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items tagged with Showcase 53 Cinemas

The Papal Chase: "Angels & Demons" and "The Last Lullaby"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2009-05-17 22:04:42

Tom Hanks in Angels & DemonsANGELS & DEMONS

You may not necessarily know character actor Armin Mueller-Stahl by name, but you likely know him by sight, and almost surely by voice. Familiar from such thrillers as Eastern Promises, The Game, and the recent The International - and Oscar-nominated as David Helfgott's über-strict father in Shine - the 78-year-old German, with his closely-cropped gray hair and wizened eye slits, doesn't look much different now from how he did playing Jessica Lange's is-he-a-Nazi-or-isn't-he? dad in 1989's Music Box. And he sounds exactly the same, with that heavily accented, hoarse whisper of his; by the time the performer reaches the end of a sentence, he always seems dangerously close to running out of breath.


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Battle of the Blands: "The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian" and the IMAX "Sea Monsters"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2008-05-21 08:24:40

The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince CaspianTHE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: PRINCE CASPIAN

All things considered, The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian is pretty good, and on a purely technical level, it's more than pretty impressive. In his second stab at C.S. Lewis, director Andrew Adamson has fashioned a continuation that's both darker and lighter than 2005's The Lion, the Witch, & the Wardrobe - the film is admirably grim for a Disney outing, and unlike its predecessor, it maintains a sense of humor throughout - and most of its visuals are extraordinary. Yet I still can't build up much enthusiasm for it, because like many recent works of its kind (including The Golden Compass and the last two Harry Potters), the movie wows you with everything except personality. Prince Caspian is epically scaled, gorgeous, and hollow - a Pirates of the Caribbean without Johnny Depp.


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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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No Guts, No Glory: "Letters from Iwo Jima," "The Last King of Scotland," and "Pan's Labyrinth"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2007-01-24 08:16:47

Letters from Iwo JimaFor devoted movie hounds, and those who enjoy getting caught up with potential Academy Award nominees, this past weekend was an embarrassment of riches, as Davenport's Showcase 53 presented the local debuts of Clint Eastwood's Letters from Iwo Jima, Kevin Macdonald's The Last King of Scotland, and Guillermo del Toro's Pan's Labyrinth. Of course, the wide(r) release of these three films makes good business sense - what better time for such specialized works to attract audiences if not the weekend after the Golden Globes and before the announcement of 2006 Oscar nominees? (Showcase 53 and Moline's Great Escape Theatre also, wisely, brought The Queen back to area screens - seriously, folks, it's so much fun! - and Great Escape re-opened Babel.)


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Oscar-Mire Winners
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Feature Stories

2006-02-22 00:00:00
In discussing this year’s Oscar races in the picture, director, and the acting categories, we may as well begin with the nominee area audiences had the least chance of catching, as it was the only major contender yet to get an area release: Duncan Tucker’s Transamerica.
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