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items tagged with Seven

"The Ladykillers" Just Might Be Another for the Ages by the Coens: Also, "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind," "Dawn of the Dead," and "Taking Lives"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2004-03-31 00:00:00

Irma P. Hall and Tom Hanks in The LadykillersTHE LADYKILLERS

Just about every Coen brothers comedy is more enjoyable on a second or third (or fourth or fifth) viewing than it is on a first; once you adjust to Joel’s and Ethan’s Byzantine plotting, affected wordplay, and in-your-face staging – culminating in a style that can make their works seem, initially, show-offy and too quirky by half – the brothers’ filmmaking exuberance eventually wears down your resistance, and their scripts feature some of the funniest non sequiturs you’ll ever hear. (Nearly every movie fan I know can recite reams of dialogue from Raising Arizona and Fargo and O Brother, Where Art Thou?.) The Ladykillers, the Coens’ adaptation of a 1955 Alec Guinness comedy, is mostly on the hit side of hit-or-miss, and I’m guessing that it, too, will eventually become a beloved treasure trove of quotable quotes, mostly because, on a first go-around, it takes diligence to decipher exactly what Tom Hanks is saying in it.


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"From Hell" Is Heaven-Sent: Also, "Riding in Cars with Boys" and "The Last Castle"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2001-10-24 00:00:00

Johnny Depp in From HellFROM HELL

You can be forgiven for assuming that From Hell, Allen and Albert Hughes’ re-telling of the Jack the Ripper saga (based on the immensely popular graphic novel), is a follow-up to Tim Burton’s Sleepy Hollow, what with its previews focusing on a shadowy murderer, lots of fog and mist, Johnny Depp’s investigator speaking in a British accent (Cockney this time), and Heather Graham in the Christina Ricci role of the Corseted Love Interest.


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Notes on Brad, Julia, and "The Mexican"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2001-03-07 00:00:00

Brad Pitt and Julia Roberts in The MexicanTHE MEXICAN

We’ve had the evidence for years, but I think it’s time we made it official: Brad Pitt is a gonzo supporting player stuck in a (rather dull) leading man’s body. Recently, he portrayed the heavily-accented Irish boxer in Snatch, giving the film a jolt of pure, comedic adrenalin – his screen time was brief, but he was the most entertaining performer in the movie – and when he appeared as a supporting actor in 12 Monkeys, Thelma & Louise, and True Romance (probably his best, and easily his funniest, screen work), his performances were well-calibrated and often inspired. Pitt can display a true flair for off-kilter comedy; it’s telling that his most enjoyable lead performance has come from the darkly comic cult film Fight Club, where his Tyler Durden was clearly one of Pitt’s nutjob character roles gone berserk.


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In-Laws, Breaking Laws: "Meet the Parents" and "Get Carter"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2000-10-11 00:00:00

Robert De Niro and Ben Stiller in Meet the ParentsMEET THE PARENTS

I’m not sure that any movie genre is harder to critique than the Sitcom Disguised as Feature Film. You know the sort: a comedy, usually with faux-dramatic undertones, filled with likable actors playing likable people (even the antagonists are more pesky than dangerous), where the characters’ dilemmas are sorted out neatly in under two hours, and with no serious harm coming to any of them in the end. The dialogue is moderately witty, the physical gags are predictable but amusing, the lighting is overly bright, and the score is bouncy, with moments of sap when the characters show their “souls.” What’s to discuss? You know going in what to expect, and when the film in question is pulled off well, as Jay Roach’s Meet the Parents is, you leave feeling serene and comfortable.


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