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items tagged with science fiction movies

Survivor: Manhattan - "I Am Legend" and "Alvin & the Chipmunks"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2007-12-19 08:22:07

Will Smith in I Am LegendI AM LEGEND

In Francis Lawrence's sci-fi/thriller I Am Legend, the images of a desolated Manhattan island are so extraordinarily rendered, and Will Smith is such an appealing one-man-show, that it's heartbreaking - and more than a little annoying - that the movie itself isn't better than it is. Based on Richard Matheson's novel, the film concerns a virus that has (seemingly) annihilated the entire human race save for Smith and a pack of predatory, zombie-like humanoids, and it presents a weird dichotomy; everything about the digitally-enhanced locale, and much of Smith's performance, feels absolutely real, and nothing else feels nearly real enough. It's B-grade comic-book material severely outclassed by its visuals and leading man.


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Mike's Online-Only Movie Reviews - 2007
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2007-10-30 00:41:02

Eduardo Verastegui and Tammy Blanchard in BellaBella (PG-13) - Alejandro Monteverde's drama, which concerns the friendship between a chef and a newly pregnant, newly unemployed waitress, received the People's Choice Award at the 2006 Toronto Film Festival. Um... who are these "people," exactly? Space people? Because I can see how Bella might be confused with a great movie if you didn't understand a word of human conversation. Even then, of course, you might still be put off by the film's bizarre editing (with flash-forwards routinely, meaninglessly interrupting scenes-in-progress) and lackluster photography; Montevrede shows more interest in food than in his stars. And then there's that baffling ending, which seems to set the film up for a sequel - one that fills in that massive "Huh?!?" of a climactic plot hole. But it's still the mawkish, maudlin screenplay that does it in; Eduardo Verástegui (looking uncannily like Jim Caviezel as Christ) and Tammy Blanchard (as ever, looking uncannily like Judy Garland) are stuck with unplayable dialogue and baldly written characters, and the movie shamelessly plies on the merely-functional supporting stereotypes. The movie is pro-life and pro-family with a vengeance, which might account for its (limited) popular success. I just wish it were also a little pro-brain, and a lot anti-cliché.


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The Kids Are Alright: "Superbad" and "The Invasion"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2007-08-22 08:36:29

Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Jonah Hill, and Michael Cera in SuperbadSUPERBAD

Superbad, the wildly hilarious, subtly moving, and only-a-little-disappointing comedy about two youths hell-bent on securing booze for (and getting laid at) a high school party, is directed by Greg Mottola, but it's impossible to miss the imprint of its producer, Judd Apatow.


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Arrested Development: "Reign Over Me," "Pride," "The Hills Have Eyes II," and "The Last Mimzy"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2007-03-28 08:17:01

Adam Sandler and Liv Tyler in Reign Over MeREIGN OVER ME

Even though I have yet to enjoy Adam Sandler in, well, anything, I applaud the comic's attempts to stretch beyond the mumbling, hostile, stunted-adolescent shtick he's employed in such comedies as Click, 50 First Dates, and Mr. Deeds. I'd applaud them more if the films he chooses to stretch in - Punch-Drunk Love, Spanglish, and the current Reign Over Me - didn't wind up every bit as confused and unsatisfying as his comedies are.


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Radioactive Blast: "The Hills Have Eyes," "The Libertine," "Failure to Launch," and "Ultraviolet"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2006-03-15 00:00:00

The Hills Have EyesTHE HILLS HAVE EYES

The setup for The Hills Have Eyes – Alexandre Aja’s remake of Wes Craven’s 1977 horror classic, with Craven himself on board as a producer – couldn’t be simpler. A vacationing family, headed for California, stops for gas at a filling station near an abandoned nuclear-testing site in New Mexico. The station’s gnarled and suspiciously friendly attendant guides them to a shortcut. The shortcut is a trap, set by the attendant and a family of horribly mutated, not-entirely-inhuman cannibals. And from there on, the plot boils down to three words: Us Against Them.


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