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items tagged with Star Wars

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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The Jig Is Up: “Saw III,” “Catch a Fire,” “Flicka,” and “Roving Mars”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2006-11-01 04:31:53

Shawnee Smith and Bahar Soomekh in Saw IIISAW III

There's a shot in Saw III - one of the less repellent ones, and one of the few that makes any sense whatsoever - that proves pretty emblematic of the movie as a whole. A middle-aged man, attempting to escape the machinations of the serial killer Jigsaw, runs down a dank hallway and vomits, and as he does, the camera pans down for a close-up of the bile. In a nutshell, that's Saw III - having our faces shoved in puke. (Also blood, entrails, and, in one sequence, pureed pig.) Whatever ultra-violent wit the Saw series may have once boasted is nowhere on display here; the film is 105 minutes of solid torture, both for Jigsaw's hapless victims and for the audience.


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Superhero Worship: "Superman Returns" and "Poseidon: The IMAX Experience"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2006-07-05 04:28:14

Brandon Routh in Superman ReturnsSUPERMAN RETURNS

It takes a while - nearly half an hour - to reach the first truly wonderful scene in Superman Returns. In it, a group of reporters (including Kate Bosworth's Lois Lane) are on an airborne jet's P.R. junket when the electronics suddenly fail, causing the plane to hurtle toward the earth. Thankfully, Superman (Brandon Routh), who has been M.I.A. for the past five years, is there to save the day, which he does by catching the jet and gently guiding it to the middle of a major-league ballpark (during game play, no less). He checks on the passengers, makes a comment (echoing a similar line in Richard Donner's 1978 Superman) about how air flight is "still the safest way to travel," and exits the plane to the deafening cheers of the baseball fans in the stands, and the rousing Americana of it all - baseball and Superman! - produces an extraordinary, joyful rush; you're hard-pressed not to cheer along.


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Lucas’ Revenge: Goodwill Triumphing Over Evil: "Star Wars, Episode III - Revenge of the Sith"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2005-05-25 00:00:00

Natalie Portman and Hayden Christensen in Star Wars, Episode III - Revenge of the SithSTAR WARS, EPISODE III - REVENGE OF THE SITH

I’ve spent a lot of time – both in print and in person – making fun of George Lucas’ Star Wars prequels, and for a reason: It’s pretty easy. The prosaic (and endless) exposition, the flat staging, the unspeakable dialogue, the ba-dum-ching! clunkiness of the comedy, the videogame-inspired mayhem, Jar Jar Binks … there’s practically no end of topics worth goofing on.


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Smith and James Elevate "Hitch" – a Little: Also, "The Wedding Date" and "The Motorcycle Diaries"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2005-02-23 00:00:00

Will Smith and Kevin James in HitchHITCH

As Hollywood romantic comedies go, the Will Smith vehicle Hitch isn’t bad, which, unfortunately, isn’t the same as actually being good. But judging by the film’s sensational box-office intake – not to mention the enthusiastic audience response at the screening I attended (people actually applauded throughout) – no one seems much bothered by the movie’s mediocrity; many viewers prefer a romantic comedy that doesn’t challenge or excite them in the least to films such as Before Sunset and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Sideways, works that understand and explore the nature of romance in ways that feel revelatory.


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