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items tagged with Scarlett Johansson

And a Little Cub Will Lead Them – Notes on Yet Another Quadruple Feature: "Pandas: The Journey Home," "Hercules," "And So It Goes," and "Lucy"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2014-07-26 22:28:21

Pandas: The Journey HomeFriday, July 25, 12:30 p.m.-ish: I take my seat for the latest big-screen edu-tainment at the Putnam Museum, and can’t imagine a better way to begin my third quadruple feature of the month. For one thing, the movie I’m at is only 40 minutes long, which will shorten my work day considerably. For another, the movie is all about pandas. Pandas! Who doesn’t love pandas? I figure that, at worst, the National Geographic presentation Pandas: The Journey Home will be adorable. So I’ll admit to some more-than-mild surprise when, not 10 minutes into the film, we’re treated to the (tasteful) sight of a female panda being artificially inseminated, right after witnessing the (tasteful) sight of a male panda mating with her. Hmmm, I think. Didn’t see that in Disney’s Bears.


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Adam and Evil: "Blended" and "Chef"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2014-05-26 22:51:20

Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler in BlendedBLENDED

Without a gun pressed to my head, I’m not sure I could narrow down my list of “Things I Detest About Happy Madison Productions” to fewer than 20 elements, but I’m reasonably sure that the embarrassingly inept slapstick, humiliation of frequently enjoyable co-stars, distractingly rampant product placement, and presence of Adam Sandler would all make the cut.

The very first scene in the latest Happy Madison production, director Frank Coraci’s Blended, finds Drew Barrymore shrieking while attempting to wash down ultra-spicy buffalo shrimp with French onion soup, consequently getting most of it on her blouse, and the chain-restaurant Hooters name-dropped a half-dozen times while Sandler sits opposite Barrymore wearing a Dick’s Sporting Goods polo shirt.

Sweet Jesus, I thought. It’s like a big-screen nightmare made just for me.


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A Work of Art ... I Think: "Under the Skin" and "Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2014-05-11 22:19:56

Scarlett Johansson in Under the SkinUNDER THE SKIN

Under the Skin, a dreamlike sci-fi/horror tale by director Jonathan Glazer, might just be the most fascinating, entrancing, thrilling movie I’ve ever seen given nearly unbearable viewing conditions.


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The Inn Crowd: "The Grand Budapest Hotel," "Captain America: The Winter Solider," and "Veronica Mars"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2014-04-06 22:48:22

Paul Schlase, Tony Revolori, Tilda Swinton, and Ralph Fiennes in The Grand Budapest HotelTHE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL

Generally speaking, I’m not one to argue for the inclusion of more foul language and bloody violence in a director’s oeuvre, and feel especially awkward doing so a mere week after being bored silly by the endless profanities and exploding squibs in the latest Schwarzenegger flick. But I’ll happily make an exception in the case of Wes Anderson, at least based on his most recent outing, The Grand Budapest Hotel. Like all Anderson efforts, this one, too, could be filed in the “precious comic bauble” category, given its deliberately artificial production design and obsessively controlled compositions and overall suggestion of an improv-free zone. Yet this endlessly inventive and funny new work might boast more interior life than any of the writer/director’s other live-action achievements, and for that I’m afraid we have to thank the forcible removal of Jeff Goldblum’s fingers, and Ralph Fiennes’ tendency to drop the F-bomb into every other sentence.


Read More About The Inn Crowd: "The Grand Budapest Hotel," "Captain America: The Winter Solider," And "Veronica Mars"...


Her and Her and Her and Her and Her and Her and … : "Her" and "August: Osage County"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2014-01-13 03:28:27

Joaquin Phoenix and Amy Adams in HerHER

Her, writer/director Spike Jonze’s tale of a man who falls in love with his computerized operating system, and “she” with him, casts a weirdly hypnotic spell. Although billed as comedy (as least by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association), you don’t really laugh much, and when you do, the laughter generally sticks in an odd, uncomfortable place in your throat; marveling at the unbridled sincerity of the thing, your chuckles are laced with a slight hint of mockery. Yet damned if Jonze, star Joaquin Phoenix, and the film’s superb supporting cast and designers don’t make this improbable project pay off in spades. Thoughtful, haunting, and perceptive, and at all times wickedly clever, Her is like a sci-fi Lost in Translation with a Scarlett Johansson you never get to see.


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