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items tagged with Sam Mendes

Bored. Mike Bored. : "Spectre" and "The Peanuts Movie"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2015-11-07 23:25:53

Daniel Craig in SpectreSPECTRE

Watching the opening credits to the new James Bond thriller Spectre, I leaned back in my seat, smiled, and thought, “Man, I love these things.” Not Bond movies, per se, but their opening credits. The lushly rendered colors. The serenely gliding camera pans. The artful poses and undulating torsos. The charming, deferential formality of the star’s name followed by “ … as Ian Fleming’s James Bond 007 in … .” The mystery of the accompanying pop song, which is as likely to be atrocious as marvelous. (Spectre’s “Writing’s on the Wall,” sung by Sam Smith, leans more toward the former. And call it gender bias or even blatant sexism, but I do think that unless you’re Paul McCartney or maybe Simon Le Bon, these duties should really be handled by women.)

But my absolute favorite thing about the James Bond title sequences is that in the 53 years since Dr. No, they’ve hardly changed a whit, meaning that those serving such below-the-line positions as second-unit assistant director, supervising sound editor, and “Mr. Craig’s makeup” get listed at the start right alongside Ian Fleming and Daniel Craig themselves. It’s a lovely gesture and a touching hat-tip to the series’ longevity, and it’s got to be cool for those professionals whose names usually flash on-screen while patrons are leaving the auditorium. I bet it’s cool even if, as in Spectre, your eye is being averted from those names by the silhouetted octopus tentacles shown embracing Bond and his two nubile lady friends. At first, I wondered: Why an octopus? To suggest the elastic, multi-limbed reach of evil? To prepare us for an underwater Bond in the vein of Thunderball? I never really got my answer, but after two-and-a-half punishingly long hours, I started thinking the creature was merely there to create a perverse nostalgia for the comparative wit and excitement of Octopussy.

Read More About Bored. Mike Bored. : "Spectre" And "The Peanuts Movie"...

His Word Is Bond: "Skyfall"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2012-11-09 18:20:13

Daniel Craig in SkyfallSKYFALL

Longtime fans of the franchise can, and likely will, argue over whether Skyfall is one of the all-time best James Bond films or whether it just feels that way because it’s now been six years since the last decent one. (Despite having friends who’ll stump for everything from Moonraker to The World Is Not Enough, I don’t know anyone who really cares for 2008’s Quantum of Solace.) But here’s a question that I’m not sure merits any argument: Prior to this latest adventure, has any other Bond movie looked quite so spectacular?

Read More About His Word Is Bond: "Skyfall"...

Charmed and Dangerous: "Public Enemies," "Away We Go," and "My Sister's Keeper"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2009-07-03 12:00:00

Johnny Depp in Public EnemiesPUBLIC ENEMIES

With a low-key yet intensely charismatic Johnny Depp as its lead, you could describe Michael Mann's Public Enemies as the story behind the criminal activity of the infamous, Depression-era bank robber John Dillinger. But that's not entirely accurate. The film is also about the nascent, frequently misguided authority of the FBI, personified here by a stalwart agent (a somber, less-throaty-than-usual Christian Bale) and showboating chief J. Edgar Hoover (a spectacular Billy Crudup). It's also about early media saturation in our country, and the public's complicity in turning villains into heroes, and the labyrinthine hierarchies among American gangsters, and - as embodied by a dazzlingly desirable and powerful Marion Cotillard - the ever-unpredictable nature of love. And, more than anything, it's about the exquisite craftsmanship of Michael Mann, whose Public Enemies doesn't look or sound quite like any other crime movie you've seen, and whose technical virtuosity might make Public Enemies impossible to forget.

Read More About Charmed And Dangerous: "Public Enemies," "Away We Go," And "My Sister's Keeper"...

Scenes from a Marriage: "Revolutionary Road"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2009-01-26 15:09:14

Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio in Revolutionary RoadREVOLUTIONARY ROAD

Set in 1955, Revolutionary Road finds Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet portraying Frank and April Wheeler, a young, affluent couple who realize they're miserable with their well-ordered lives in the suburbs - beautiful home, adorable kids, friendly neighbors - and it would be perfectly understandable if audiences watched the pair's suffering and listened to their frequent fits of rage and asked, "What's the freaking problem here?"

Read More About Scenes From A Marriage: "Revolutionary Road"...

Comic Depth Perceptions: Augustana College's "The Real Inspector Hound" and "Black Comedy"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Feature Stories

2006-04-26 00:00:00

In the realm of educational theatre, the rehearsal process for a main-stage show generally lasts several weeks, if not months. It can

be hard work. Yet if the selected material gives actors and directors enough to work with, what could be a laborious process is, for its participants, more often a joy.
Read More About Comic Depth Perceptions: Augustana College's "The Real Inspector Hound" And "Black Comedy"...

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