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items tagged with sports movies

Contract Highs: "Moneyball," "Killer Elite," and "Abduction"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2011-09-25 17:32:32

Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill in MoneyballMONEYBALL

On paper, the casting of Brad Pitt as Oakland A’s General Manager Billy Beane in Moneyball must have seemed inspired. On screen, it’s so, so much better than that. Pitt has, of course, given many wonderful performances over the past two decades (and just as many blandly acceptable or downright dreary ones). But to my mind, his Billy Beane – driven, hopeful, cocky, incensed, funny, tender, and smart as hell – is the actor’s first chance to employ all of his gifts in the service of an emotionally expansive, fully shaped character, and Pitt’s beautiful and generous work here is truly a sight to behold. Director Bennett Miller’s last feature film was his 2005 debut Capote, which netted Philip Seymour Hoffman a Best Actor Oscar. With Moneyball, Miller might find himself batting 2-for-2 for his stars in that category.


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The Cough Heard 'round the World: "Contagion" and "Warrior"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2011-09-12 18:11:20

Jude Law in ContagionCONTAGION

I’m presuming, and hoping, that a bunch of you spent your weekend’s cineplex allowances on Contagion, director Steven Soderbergh’s bleak, elegant, deeply disturbing thriller about the planet’s decimation by a new strain of flu-like virus. I’m also praying that none of you saw it while on a date, because I can barely imagine how awkward the drive home must’ve been. One cough or casual touch from your movie-going companion and you’d be frantically ransacking the car for hand sanitizer and a surgeon’s mask.


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En Pointe, on Edge: "Black Swan" and "The Fighter"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2010-12-20 00:02:21

Natalie Portman in Black SwanBLACK SWAN

In director Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan, the first words we hear are uttered by professional ballet dancer Nina Sayers (Natalie Portman), who tells her mother, “I had the craziest dream last night.” And for the next 105 minutes, the movie unfurls like a crazy dream itself – a crazy, fascinating, terrifying, exhilarating dream that you have no desire to wake from. You can label the film a psychological drama, or a hallucinogenic thriller, or an art-house horror flick, and each would be appropriate. But none of those tags really hints at how much delectable fun Black Swan is. As with a dream that you want to return to the moment you wake up, you want to experience the intoxicating, rapturous weirdness of Aronofsky’s vision all over again the minute the end credits start to roll.


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Waxing on: “The Karate Kid,” “The A-Team,” “Marmaduke,” and “Killers”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2010-06-13 22:56:28

Jaden Smith and Jackie Chan in The Karate KidTHE KARATE KID

The opening scenes in director Harald Zwart's The Karate Kid remake, with the preternaturally confident and magnetic Jaden Smith taking over the Ralph Macchio role, are really good. But your first indication that the movie might wind up being really great - or, at the very least, a really great time - comes with its introduction of Mr. Han, the Pat Morita substitute played here by Jackie Chan.
Read More About Waxing On: “The Karate Kid,” “The A-Team,” “Marmaduke,” And “Killers”...


Not to My Lycan: "The Twilight Saga: New Moon" and "The Blind Side"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2009-11-22 22:10:50

Taylor Lautner, Kristen Stewart, and Robert Pattinson in The Twilight Saga: New MoonTHE TWILIGHT SAGA: NEW MOON

Like last November's film version of Stephenie Meyer's Twilight, this November's follow-up, the helpfully titled The Twilight Saga: New Moon, is a mostly dour affair, a vampire tale less concerned with blood-letting than with the pain of teenage heartache, romantic longing, chastity, and maudlin acoustic ballads. That's why, despite some occasional levity, it's a shock to find director Chris Weitz's movie boasting not one but two absolutely outstanding jokes.


Read More About Not To My Lycan: "The Twilight Saga: New Moon" And "The Blind Side"...





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