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items tagged with Shawn Levy

Unclean and Sober: "Top Five," "Wild," and "Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2014-12-21 22:02:50

Rosario Dawson and Chris Rock in Top FiveTOP FIVE

Chris Rock is on-record as being a fan of Woody Allen movies and Richard Linklater’s Before Sunrise/Sunset/Midnight trilogy, and the comedian’s funny and thoughtful Top Five – Rock’s first film as a writer/director since 2007’s I Think I Love My Wife – is like a 100-minute blend of those influences. Then again, Allen, and certainly Linklater, would be much less likely to cap a scene with the image of a naked man getting a Tabasco-soaked tampon shoved up his ass.


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Walking, Running, Retching, Kvetching: "A Walk Among the Tombstones," "The Maze Runner," "Tusk," and "This Is Where I Leave You"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2014-09-21 22:19:52

Liam Neeson in A Walk Among the TombstonesFriday, September 19, 10:10 a.m.-ish: It’s been six weeks since my last quadruple feature, and I’m expecting this one to start with supreme novelty, considering that the poster for the day’s first feature, A Walk Among the Tombstones, boasts the image of a brooding Liam Neeson holding a gun. That’s right: Liam Neeson! That guy from Schindler’s List! Brooding and holding a gun! How does Hollywood keep coming up with such fresh ideas?!


Read More About Walking, Running, Retching, Kvetching: "A Walk Among The Tombstones," "The Maze Runner," "Tusk," And "This Is Where I Leave You"...


Lawless Execution: "The Purge" and "The Internship"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2013-06-09 18:40:19

Ethan Hawke in The PurgeTHE PURGE

If you blended The Hunger Games, David Fincher’s Panic Room, and Shirley Jackson’s classic short story “The Lottery” with generous helpings of ice, you’d wind up with the scare-flick smoothie that is The Purge. An eventually underwhelming yet bluntly effective chiller by writer/director James DeMonaco, the movie, admittedly, does lose its way before its 90 minutes are up. But considering how few modern releases in its genre find their way at all, it’s hard to deny the primal pleasures of DeMonaco’s outing, even if the film remains more thought-provoking in concept than it proves to be on-screen.


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Primary Concern: "The Ides of March," "Real Steel," and "Courageous"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2011-10-09 21:02:46

Philip Seymour Hoffman and George Clooney in The Ides of MarchTHE IDES OF MARCH

Audiences demanding insight, or even much depth, from director George Clooney’s The Ides of March will no doubt leave the film disappointed – unless, that is, the revelation that political candidates and their staffers routinely lie and spin and backstab strikes any of those viewers as a newsflash. Yet if you enter this tale of Machiavellian (and, as its title suggests, Shakespearean) intrigue not expecting trenchant analysis so much as a good, gripping yarn supremely well-told, you’re in for a major treat. Smart and fast and gratifyingly vicious, Clooney’s latest is a drama that plays like a thriller, and it’s full-to-brimming with sequences you want to watch over and over again; for those conversant in West Wing-ese, the movie suggests a juicy episode of Aaron Sorkin’s TV series if every character in it was played by Ron Silver.


Read More About Primary Concern: "The Ides Of March," "Real Steel," And "Courageous"...


’Til Death Threats Do Us Part: "Date Night" and "Letters to God"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2010-04-11 19:53:50

Tina Fey and Steve Carell in Date NightDATE NIGHT

Playing husband and wife in the marital action comedy Date Night, Steve Carell and Tina Fey partner each other with such skillful ease, and radiate such genuine affection for one another, that my issues with the film have come to feel insignificant, and even a little petty. I had a not-bad time at director Shawn Levy's latest. But reflecting on the experience, I've found it awfully difficult to wipe the grin from my face; surrounded by an exceptional cast of second bananas, Carell and Fey are so genial and inventive together that it's easy to ignore the dully synthetic, determinedly formulaic Hollywood product they're appearing in.
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