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items tagged with Stephen Root

For King and Country: "Selma," "Inherent Vice," and "Taken 3"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2015-01-12 00:27:44

David Oyelowo in SelmaSELMA

Movie violence is so prevalent – be it in horror films or action franchises (see Taken 3, if you must) or the PG-13 pummelings of every Marvel entertainment ever – that it’s shocking to see one whose brutal acts have the power to make you cry. But within the first minutes of the extraordinary Selma, director Ava DuVernay stages a literal explosion of historical violence so frightening, repellent, and emotionally overwhelming that, in the awestruck moments of silence that followed, it was absolutely no surprise to hear viewers sniffling.


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William Tell Overtures: "The Lone Ranger" and "Despicable Me 2"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2013-07-07 18:00:48

Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer in The Lone RangerTHE LONE RANGER

Youll have to wait more than two hours for it, but in director Gore Verbinski’s The Lone Ranger, you’ll finally be treated to a scene that makes sitting through this hugely budgeted action-adventure-Western-comedy totally worth your ... .

Oh, who am I kidding? The movie still isn’t worth your time. But as the scene in question is the only truly exhilarating one in the whole of this wildly over-produced and exhaustingly frenetic outing – an updating of the beloved radio and television serial that famously asked, “Who was that masked man?” – I might as well give it the praise it deserves.


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"Dude, Where’s My Conscience?": "Chronicle," "The Woman in Black," "Big Miracle," and "The Last Reef"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2012-02-05 22:34:23

Dane DeHaan in ChronicleCHRONICLE

Part superhero (and -villain) origin fable and part teen-angst melodrama, Chronicle concerns three high-schoolers who venture down a mysterious hole in the Earth and emerge with telekinetic powers, and the best thing about the movie is that its leads subsequently behave just as high-schoolers likely would in such a situation.


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Secrets and Lies: “J. Edgar,” “Immortals,” and “Jack & Jill”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2011-11-13 19:56:39

Armie Hammer and Leonardo DiCaprio in J. EdgarJ. EDGAR

Pretty much everything that’s bothersome about director Clint Eastwood’s biographical drama J. Edgar is only bothersome for the movie’s first half hour. That may sound like a lot of time spent bothered. But the film does run 135 minutes, even its weakest moments are by no means awful, and in the end, it emerges as a really fine work with a really fine central performance. So as a nod to J. Edgar (the movie, not the man), let's just get it out of the way and address its failings at the start.


Read More About Secrets And Lies: “J. Edgar,” “Immortals,” And “Jack & Jill”...


A-Stabbin' the Dorks: "Scream 4," "The Conspirator," "Soul Surfer," and "Your Highness"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2011-04-18 17:44:08

Neve Campbell in Scream 4SCREAM 4

Directed, as all of the franchise’s outings have been, by Wes Craven, and written by Kevin Williamson, Scream 4 is a sequel, a reboot, and a big middle finger to reboots, all in one bloody, meta, mostly tedious package. It opens beautifully and features a bunch of (mostly verbal) horror-comedy pleasures, yet its overall effect is wearying; Craven and Williamson are so focused on deconstructing the genre – the Scream series in particular – for a media-soaked, hipper-than-thou young audience that even its “surprises” are in quotation marks. Watching Scream 4 is like watching a movie with its commentary track running before you’ve had a chance to experience the film without it.


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