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items tagged with Scarlett Johansson

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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"Baby" Tops in 2004 – and Eastwood’s Career: "Million Dollar Baby," "Hotel Rwanda," and "In Good Company"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2005-02-02 00:00:00

Clint Eastwood and Hilary Swank in Million Dollar BabyMILLION DOLLAR BABY

Despite featuring a few peripheral figures, Clint Eastwood’s Million Dollar Baby is essentially a three-character mood piece, yet Eastwood, co-stars Hilary Swank and Morgan Freeman, and screenwriter Paul Haggis invest the material with so much emotional and intellectual accuracy that the results border on the overwhelming.


Read More About "Baby" Tops In 2004 – And Eastwood’S Career: "Million Dollar Baby," "Hotel Rwanda," And "In Good Company"...


"Lemony Snicket" Not Quite an Unfortunate Event: "Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events," "Phantom of the Opera," "Meet the Fockers," and "Spanglish"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2004-12-29 00:00:00

Emily Browning, Jim Carrey, and Liam Aiken in Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate EventsLEMONY SNICKET'S A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS

A friend recently introduced me to the considerable joys of Daniel Handler’s Lemony Snicket novels, the first three of which have been adapted for the new Jim Carrey vehicle Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events.Handler rivals Roald Dahl in his talent for concocting exquisitely macabre and funny children’s stories, and the Unfortunate Events series is almost embarrassingly enjoyable reading. (I’m currently on book nine of, thus far, 11.) The novels follow three orphans – Violet, Klaus, and baby Sunny – as they’re whisked from relative to relative while evading their evil uncle, Count Olaf, a demented character actor attempting to murder them for their inheritance, and the surprising intricacy of the books’ plotting is matched by their wit and humor; after reading them you feel jazzed and alert, like waking from an oddly funny nightmare.


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Performers, Script Sink "Closer": Also, "Maria Full of Grace"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2004-12-15 00:00:00

Clive Owen, Natalie Portman, Julia Roberts, and Jude Law in CloserCLOSER

In Mike Nichols’ adaptation of Patrick Marber’s play Closer, we are first introduced to Dan (Jude Law) and Alice (Natalie Portman). He’s an obit writer; she’s a former stripper.


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