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items tagged with Ryan Phillippe

Brainy Acts: “Limitless,” “The Lincoln Lawyer,” and “Paul”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2011-03-20 21:01:52

Bradley Cooper in LimitlessLIMITLESS and THE LINCOLN LAWYER

At some point during my double-feature of Limitless and The Lincoln Lawyer, I was reminded, as I frequently am, that we filmgoers don’t really need more great movies from Hollywood. We just need more good movies – smart, strong, satisfying releases that only want to entertain, but manage to do so without attempting to overwhelm you, or demanding that you first check your intelligence at the auditorium door.


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It Ain’t Over ’Til It’s Ogre: "Shrek Forever After" and "MacGruber"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2010-05-23 21:15:00
Shrek Forever After

SHREK FOREVER AFTER

Has there ever been a cinematic storybook adventure - to say nothing of an animated, comedic one - as profoundly joyless as Shrek Forever After? It's not just that the subject matter for this latest, potentially last, and certainly least of the Shrek series concerns middle-aged dissatisfaction and inertia, themes that aren't exactly conducive to lighthearted escapism. The bigger problem is that nearly everything about the film, from the plotline to the jokes to the voice acting, is lethargic and heavy-spirited, and that air of fatigue is likely intensified if, like me, you catch it in 3D, with the gray of your eyewear dulling the movie's already-pretty-dull color palette. From its opening beats, Shrek Forever After feels less like a follow-up than the grudging fulfillment of a contract obligation, and I left this third sequel feeling about 10 years older than I did before it began.
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Bust!: "21," "Run Fatboy Run," "Superhero Movie," and "Stop-Loss"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2008-04-02 08:30:05

Kevin Spacey and Jim Sturgess in 2121

Based on the Ben Mezrich nonfiction Bringing Down the House: The Inside Story of Six MIT Students Who Took Vegas for Millions, the film 21 boasts a far snappier title, yet I wouldn't recommend viewing it if you're even a day older than that. It's not often that a true story is re-told with such aggressive fraudulence, but 21 is a rare and rather spectacular failure - one in which your bullshit detectors wail at you early on and don't stop until you're rendered nearly deaf. The movie is directed by Robert Luketic, who also helmed Legally Blonde, and it's all just slightly less believable than Legally Blonde.

 


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Imaginary Heroes: “Flags of Our Fathers,” “The Prestige,” and “Marie Antoinette”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2006-10-25 04:18:45

Flags of Our FathersFLAGS OF OUR FATHERS

Clint Eastwood's Flags of Our Fathers is serious and noble, but it isn't resonant - despite some harrowing battle scenes, this World War II drama is surprisingly easy to brush off. Based on the James Bradley book, the film provides the back story to the historic raising of the American flag during the battle of Iwo Jima - a moment eternalized in Joe Rosenthal's famed photograph - and then follows the flag-raisers as they cope with their newfound status as American heroes, sent on a nationwide tour promoting war bonds. Yet with the exception of Rene Gagnon (Jesse Bradford), who is seduced by the limelight, the men don't feel heroic - John Bradley (Ryan Phillippe) falls into a jittery depression, and Native American Ira Hayes (Adam Beach) becomes a despondent alcoholic. These men didn't ask to be heroes. They just wanted to stay alive.


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