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items tagged with Sean Bean

Ridley’s Believe It or Not: "The Martian" and "Sicario"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2015-10-03 22:01:02

Matt Damon in The MartianTHE MARTIAN

If you, too, are a devotee of Ridley Scott’s Alien, you’ll no doubt remember how its title came into view during the opening credits: as a series of vertical, diagonal, and horizontal white lines that slowly appeared, beginning with the “I,” one or two at a time until the capitalized “ALIEN” was wholly spelled out. Thirty-six years later, the title for Scott’s sci-fi tale The Martian is revealed in the exact opposite manner: as a full, capitalized “THE MARTIAN” that gradually fades away, one portion at a time, until only the “I” remains.

Obviously, that disappearing act is a decidedly minor touch, especially in a film that runs just shy of two-and-a-half hours. But it might also be Scott’s most quietly clever touch, and not merely because The Martian’s chief narrative concerns an “I” that winds up left all alone. By offering a literal reverse of his 1979 achievement’s opener, Scott seems to be suggesting, with an wink, that his new endeavor will be 180 degrees removed from the claustrophobic, stomach-bursting horror of Alien, and that proves decidedly to be the case. While this adaptation of Andy Weir’s bestseller (with its script by Drew Goddard) does share some of Alien’s themes, principally the life-and-death imperatives behind deep-space problem-solving, Scott’s latest is expansive instead of spare, chatty instead of terse, heartening instead of nihilistic. It’s also, far and away, and from beginning to end, the most sheerly likable movie Ridley Scott has yet made – an exciting, moving, and altogether glorious sci-fi bear hug that leaves you feeling almost ridiculously happy. Given a career that’s found him exploring every conceivable shade of dark, it turns out that Scott looks pretty great in the light.
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Blow It Out Uranus: "Jupiter Ascending," "Seventh Son," "The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water," and "Two Days, One Night"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2015-02-09 00:20:05

Mila Kunis in Jupiter AscendingJUPITER ASCENDING

After months of previews in the wake of its delayed release, the big-budget sci-fi spectacle Jupiter Ascending – originally scheduled for summer 2014 – finally landed this past weekend. And with its opening, a question can now be asked: Was there any point at which Warner Bros. executives seriously considered pulling the plug on writers/directors/siblings Andy and Lana Wachowski’s epic stinker? Maybe when Channing Tatum was cast as a human/wolf hybrid with a blond goatee and pointy ears? Or when an incensed Russian beat the hell out of his son with a throw pillow? Or when, for the performer’s first scene, the Wachowskis handed Mila Kunis an all-too-symbolic toilet brush?


Read More About Blow It Out Uranus: "Jupiter Ascending," "Seventh Son," "The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out Of Water," And "Two Days, One Night"...


A Map of the World: "Cloud Atlas," "Chasing Mavericks," and "Silent Hill: Revelation"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2012-10-29 12:50:52

Tom Hanks and Halle Berry in Cloud AtlasCLOUD ATLAS

I’ve seen plenty of movies in which a number of excellent passages can’t seem to blend into a satisfying whole. But prior to the release of Cloud Atlas, the film version of David Mitchell’s sprawling 2004 novel, I don’t think I’d ever seen a movie in which so many merely adequate sequences combine to form a whole that’s not only satisfying but downright exhilarating. Directed by Tom Tykwer and siblings Andy and Lana Wachowski and running just shy of three hours, this genre fantasia should be a mess, and it oftentimes is. It’s also, however, a hypnotic, glorious, grandly entertaining mess, one that’s probably far more enjoyable than a more presentationally faithful adaptation would’ve been.


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Demigods and an Acting God: “Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief” and “A Single Man”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2010-02-22 14:42:42

Brandon T. Jackson, Logan Lerman, and Alexandra Daddario in Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning ThiefPERCY JACKSON & THE OLYMPIANS: THE LIGHTNING THIEF

Just because the title is rather unwieldy, and the film is about an adolescent with otherworldly abilities, and this kid has male and female tag-along pals with powers of their own, and there are a lot of CGI effects on display, and the director is Harry Potter & the Sorcerer's Stone and Harry Potter & the Chamber of Secrets helmer Chris Columbus, don't think that Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief is necessarily indebted to J.K. Rowling. The latest Harry Potter movie, after all, found its hero contending with a Half-Blood Prince. This adventure, on the other hand, finds its son-of-Poseidon protagonist attending Camp Half-Blood. See? They're not even remotely similar.


Read More About Demigods And An Acting God: “Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief” And “A Single Man”...


A "Scandal"-ous Waste of Skill: "Notes on a Scandal," "Volver," "Smokin' Aces," and "The Hitcher"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2007-01-31 09:33:08

Cate Blanchett and Judi Dench in Notes on a ScandalNOTES ON A SCANDAL

In Richard Eyre's Notes on a Scandal, Judi Dench appears to be having an amazingly fine time playing an evil harridan. Why does the movie itself have to be such a dud? In the film, Dench portrays prickly history teacher Barbara Covett, who becomes pathologically obsessed with Sheba Hart (Cate Blanchett), a younger colleague in the art department. (As Barbara's last name suggests, Eyre's film, based on the novel by Zoë Heller, won't be much concerned with subtlety.) When Barbara discovers that the married Sheba has been carrying on with a 15-year-old student (Andrew Simpson), she uses the knowledge to surreptitiously gain Sheba's trust, in the hopes of turning their friendship into something more, shall we say, Sapphic. Subsequently, threats are made, careers are jeopardized, relationships are destroyed ... and why oh why isn't the movie more fun?


Read More About A "Scandal"-Ous Waste Of Skill: "Notes On A Scandal," "Volver," "Smokin' Aces," And "The Hitcher"...





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