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items tagged with sports movies

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"...


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.


Read More About Contract Highs: "Moneyball," "Killer Elite," And "Abduction"...


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.


Read More About The Cough Heard 'round The World: "Contagion" And "Warrior"...


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.


Read More About En Pointe, On Edge: "Black Swan" And "The Fighter"...


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”...





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