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items tagged with Sean Penn

Secret Agent Woman: "Fair Game" and "The Warrior's Way"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2010-12-05 19:03:54

Naomi Watts and Sean Penn in Fair GameFAIR GAME

Presuming that it might not open locally, I caught director Doug Liman’s Fair Game – in which Naomi Watts plays outed CIA operative Valerie Plame, and Sean Penn plays Plame’s husband, former ambassador Joe Wilson – in Chicagoland on Thanksgiving night. I thought the movie was intelligent and intensely well acted, but still didn’t feel much toward it, and with so many of the film’s characters arguing over events that, by 2010, have become old (if still infuriating) news, my eyelids grew droopy during a few scenes too many.


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Best. Oscars. Ever.: Notes on the 2009 Academy Awards Telecast
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Feature Stories

2009-02-23 19:11:28

OscarsSeriously, by the end of Hugh Jackman's opening number during the 2009 Academy Awards telecast, did it even matter if the rest of the show was any good?


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Sean & Mickey & Kate & Meryl... and Melissa: Predicting the Oscar Races for Best Actor and Actress
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Feature Stories

2009-02-16 14:32:43

Mickey Rourke in The WrestlerIf you're looking to win your workplace's annual Oscar pool, you'll likely do pretty well this year just by going with Slumdog Millionaire for nearly everything, by picking The Curious Case of Benjamin Button for the tech awards Slumdog isn't nominated for, and by not making wild-card predictions in the gimme categories. Heath Ledger is winning Best Supporting Actor and WALL●E is winning Animated Feature. Just accept it. Don't try to be a hero.


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And the Nominees Are...: "The Wrestler," "Milk," and "Rachel Getting Married"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2009-02-02 15:42:09

Mickey Rourke in The WrestlerTHE WRESTLER

Sure, lots of people love Mickey Rourke now. But if you're among those of us who were in thrall to the recent Oscar nominee's talent and charisma during the '80s glory days of Body Heat and Diner, and who followed him happily through the lurid thrills of Angel Heart and Barfly, and who despaired during his career debacles in the '90s, and who rejoiced whenever he managed to pop up again in the rare good movie, his greatness in director Darren Aronofsy's The Wrestler is likely to produce feelings of enormous gratitude - coupled, that is, with an almost inexpressible sadness, which comes from realizing what Rourke, and his fans, have lost over the past three decades.


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Human/Nature: "Into the Wild" and "American Gangster"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2007-11-07 16:17:56

Emile Hirsch in Into the WildINTO THE WILD

As a director, Sean Penn has proven more than proficient, but he hasn't exactly demonstrated a lightness of spirit; within his The Indian Runner, The Crossing Guard, and The Pledge, you can pretty much count the number of smiles generated on one hand. I love the gravity that Penn brings to his directing/writing projects, his readiness to explore anguished and vengeful depths, but his seriousness as a filmmaker has its downside, too. Penn's works have been so dour and laden with portent that, as their narratives progress, they begin to feel oppressive and one-dimensional. Like a joke now and again would kill him?


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