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items tagged with Scarlett Johansson

A Lighter Shade of Noir: “The Black Dahlia,” “Gridiron Gang,” “The Last Kiss,” and “The Protector”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2006-09-20 04:34:58

Aaron Eckhart and Josh Hartnett in The Black DahliaTHE BLACK DAHLIA

The opening sequence of Brian De Palma's L.A. noir The Black Dahlia is so busily choreographed that, at first, you think it has to be some sort of put-on. A melee involving a street full of cops and sailors in downtown Los Angeles circa 1946, the balletic, slow-motion punching and flailing is orchestrated within an inch of its life; nothing about it seems real, but it's so dazzlingly executed that you hardly care. But with Josh Hartnett's ersatz tough-guy narration droning away, it quickly becomes clear that the scene isn't meant to be funny. It isn't comedy that De Palma's going after here but stylization, and as The Black Dahlia progresses, it's obvious that the director doesn't have the cast or screenwriter required to give his baroque touches a context. A few nastily enjoyable moments aside, the film is dour, dull, and confusing, enlivened only by a few zesty supporting portrayals and whatever directorial wit De Palma can bring to it.


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Allentown: "Scoop," "The Ant Bully," and "Monster House"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2006-08-02 05:03:06

Scarlett Johansson and Woody Allen in ScoopSCOOP

If you're not a Woody Allen fan, it's easy to see how you could be annoyed by his latest comedy, Scoop.


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London Bitches Falling Down: "Mrs. Henderson Presents" and "Match Point"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2006-02-08 00:00:00

Kelly Reilly and Judi Dench in Mrs. Henderson PresentsMRS. HENDERSON PRESENTS

Beginning with its first reel, I had a pretty fair inkling that I would wind up hating Mrs. Henderson Presents, but the point of no return occurred around the 30-minute mark.


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Bay’s Latest a Personal Best – and an OK Movie: "The Island," "Hustle & Flow," "Wedding Crashers," and "March of the Penguins"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2005-07-27 00:00:00

Scarlett Johansson and Ewan McGregor in The IslandTHE ISLAND

If we absolutely must endure movies by Michael Bay, we could do a lot worse – we have done a lot worse – than The Island. As usual, there isn’t a plot point or turn of character here that Bay doesn’t make wincingly obvious, and, apparently, there’s no getting rid of either his tiresome sentimental streak or his sniggering, insulting stabs at “humor.” (When Bay attempts to be serious I giggle, and when he tries to make jokes, I go numb.) But I’d be lying if I didn’t admit to being reasonably entertained by The Island. Bay has hold of an intriguing story idea, and even if the movie eventually turns into routine action-thriller nonsense, at least that nonsense is delivered with speed, a few memorable images, and even something resembling humanity. Like all Michael Bay movies, The Island runs a good bit over two hours. Unlike the others, I barely noticed.


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"A Very Long Engagement" Is Very, Very Good: Also, "Ice Princess"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2005-03-30 00:00:00

Gaspard Ulliel in A Very Long EngagementA VERY LONG ENGAGEMENT

Its love scenes are like Titanic meets The English Patient, its battle scenes suggest what might happen if the Coen brothers remade Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket, and yet A Very Long Engagement is enormously enjoyable; this mad amalgam of genres and styles seems almost tailor-made for the talents of its director, Jean-Pierre Jeunet.


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