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items tagged with Samuel L. Jackson

Power Surge: "The Avengers " and "Bully"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2012-05-07 13:03:37

Scarlett Johansson, Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans, Jeremy Renner, Robert Downey Jr., and the Hulk in The AvengersTHE AVENGERS

Prior to its national release, the scuttlebutt on The Avengers seemed to be that the Hulk totally stole the show. Having now seen director Joss Whedon’s long-awaited, cinematic commingling of Marvel superheroes, I’m inclined to agree, because the angry green giant has been granted two fantastically unexpected, legitimately great moments in the film, and that’s at least one more than anyone else has been given.


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If He Had a Hammer ... : "Thor" and "Something Borrowed"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2011-05-08 22:53:36

Chris Hemsworth and Natalie Portman in ThorTHOR

Prior to the film’s release, I wouldn’t have thought any director a worse candidate for helming the hugely budgeted comic-book adaptation Thor than Kenneth Branagh, that frequent interpreter of Shakespeare whose one foray into Hollywood-blockbuster(-wannabe) terrain was 1994’s monstrously terrible Frankenstein. In retrospect, I’m not sure any director would have proved a better choice. Two days after seeing Branagh’s grandly produced yet subtly frisky entertainment, I’m still a bit shocked at how strong the results are; against all logic, Thor’s director has successfully melded his movie’s wildly disparate elements into an action-packed thrill ride (in 3D!) that, incredibly, also manages to be emotionally satisfying, and oftentimes funny as hell.


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Cirque du Soulful: "Water for Elephants," "Tyler Perry's Madea's Big Happy Family," "Rio," and "African Cats"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2011-04-24 04:27:54

Robert Pattinson in Water for ElephantsWATER FOR ELEPHANTS

After his where’s-my-paycheck? turn in The Green Hornet, I was mildly concerned that, following his Oscar-winning Inglourious Basterds portrayal, Christoph Waltz might be resigned to a career of forever playing Euro-trashy über-villains in Hollywood action dreck. With director Francis Lawrence’s Water for Elephants, though – a Depression-era romance based on Sara Gruen’s beloved novel – my fears have proved unfounded. As the egomaniacal, possibly sociopathic owner and ringleader of a second-tier traveling circus, enraged by the blossoming affections between his star-performer wife (Reese Witherspoon) and the troupe’s young veterinarian (Robert Pattinson), Waltz is every bit as mesmerizing – charming, unpredictable, terrifying – as he was in Quentin Tarantino’s World War II opus. Yet fantastic though he is, Waltz’s talents here aren’t a shock. The bigger surprise is that the movie itself is so bloody marvelous.


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Beat(en) Cops: "The Other Guys"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2010-08-09 12:00:00

Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell in The Other GuysTHE OTHER GUYS

I'm not going to pretend that I understood the crime plot in director Adam McKay's The Other Guys, which concerns Wall Street chicanery, bureaucratic red tape, a pension-fund swindle, and a suicide or a murder, though I'm hesitant to state exactly which. Seriously, when did goofy-ass Will Ferrell comedies get so complicated?
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Isn’t It "Iron"-ic?: "Iron Man 2" and "Babies"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2010-05-09 21:35:17

Gwyneth Paltrow and Robert Downey Jr. in Iron Man 2IRON MAN 2

As expected, the rocket-fueled title character flies across the screen pretty damned quickly in director Jon Favreau's Iron Man 2, but this might be the very first comic-book movie to boast dialogue that zips by even quicker. By now, summer-blockbuster crowds are so used to being wowed - or, for some of us, "wowed" - by pricey visuals and gargantuan action set pieces that the true thrill of Fevreau's and screenwriter Justin Theroux's sequel comes as both a relief and a shock; how on earth did Paramount (thankfully) agree to shell out some $200 million for what is, in essence, an updated take on a '30s screwball comedy? The climax in which our metal-plated superhero takes on more than a dozen artillery-laden robots is enjoyable enough, I guess, yet in terms of actual celluloid magic, it doesn't hold a candle to the sight of Iron Man 2's Robert Downey Jr. and Gwyneth Paltrow arguing over whether Latin is, or is not, a dead language.
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