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items tagged with Spike Lee

Meet the Prez: “W.”, “The Express,” and “Max Payne”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2008-10-22 08:17:04

Josh Brolin in W.W.

I'm not exactly sure what kind of movie Oliver Stone's W. is trying to be, but that just makes it easier to appreciate it for what it is: A terrifically entertaining political comedy (with tragic undertones) that plays a bit like a sequel to Hal Ashby's 1979 Being There, in which a series of borderline-ludicrous circumstances find a friendly, well-meaning simpleton elected commander-in-chief. Now what?


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War Bonds: "Miracle at St. Anna"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2008-10-01 08:14:57

Matteo Sciabordi, Omar Benson Miller, and Michael Ealy in Miracle at St. AnnaMIRACLE AT ST. ANNA

With credits including Do the Right Thing, Clockers, Get on the Bus, 4 Little Girls, 25th Hour, and the landmark documentary When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts, Spike Lee has made more great films over the past 20 years, perhaps, than any other American director. (And that list doesn't include the Spike Lee joints that are merely very good, among them Jungle Fever, The Original Kings of Comedy, and Inside Man.) But when Lee's movies go wrong, they tend to go shockingly, stunningly wrong, and for at least its opening half hour, the director's new Miracle at St. Anna seems poised to topple Girl 6, Bamboozled, and the execrable Summer of Sam as the most misguided and embarrassing work of the director's career.


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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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Crooks, Slugs, Ice, Death ... and Larry: "Inside Man," "Slither," "Ice Age: The Meltdown," "Stay Alive," and "Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2006-04-05 00:00:00

Denzel Washington and Jodie Foster in Inside ManINSIDE MAN

Spike Lee’s Inside Man, with its script by Russell Gewirtz, might look like a conventional blockbuster, but it has been structured with incredible finesse. Ostensibly, the movie is a standard heist thriller: Clive Owen and a trio of accomplices take over a Manhattan bank, hold the tellers and customers hostage, and – after news of the robbery breaks – make demands to Denzel Washington’s negotiator.


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A Hundred-Plus Reasons to Go to the Movies
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Feature Stories

2004-10-27 00:00:00
My first article for the River Cities’ Reader appeared in Issue 18, way back in March of 1995. (You know how long ago that was? Tom Hanks had only one Oscar.) Serving as the Reader’s film critic was, and still is, a terrific gig – for an avowed movie fanatic who loves to write, the chance to expound on the state of cinema has always been about more than giving a particular work a “yay” or “nay” vote; it’s given me, in a minor way, the opportunity to analyze an entire culture, to try to understand what’s in the heads of those who make films, and those who distribute films, and the millions of us who view them.
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