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items tagged with Steve Carell

Scottish Rites, and Wrongs: "Brave," "Seeking a Friend for the End of the World," and "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2012-06-25 03:29:11

BraveBRAVE

Like many of you, I’d imagine, I applaud Pixar for finally giving audiences a strong female protagonist in Brave, and would’ve looked forward to the movie itself more had the trailers not been so resoundingly blah. But what I’d forgotten was that several of the animation studio’s best outings – Finding Nemo, WALL•E, Toy Story 3 – were also promoted with weak previews, and so it’s a pleasure to say that this Scotland-based adventure is one of Pixar’s most involving and interesting achievements in years, partly because those generically jokey trailers give you almost no idea of what’s actually in store.


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It Came from Outer Space, Y'All: "Cowboys & Aliens," "Crazy, Stupid, Love," and "The Smurfs"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2011-07-31 22:51:33

Harrison Ford and Daniel Craig in Cowboys & AliensCOWBOYS & ALIENS

A full six writers are credited with the script and screen story for director Jon Favreau’s sci-fi/Western hybrid Cowboys & Aliens, which, based on the evidence, averages out to them contributing roughly half a fresh idea apiece. And I’m including the inspiration to call its saloon-keeper, rather than its doctor, "Doc."


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Guess-Who’s Coming to Dinner: "The Kids Are All Right" and "Dinner for Schmucks"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2010-08-01 18:25:16

Annette Bening, Julianne Moore, Josh Hutcherson, Mia Wasikowska, and Mark Ruffalo in The Kids Are All RightTHE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT

In general terms, explaining what director Lisa Cholodenko's The Kids Are All Right is "about" is a pretty easy task: 18-year-old Joni (Mia Wasikowska) and 15-year-old Laser (Josh Hutcherson) - the children of a contented and devoted lesbian couple (Annette Bening's Nic and Julianne Moore's Jules) - arrange a first meeting with their shared sperm-donor father (Mark Ruffalo's Paul), and through several more meetings, watch as his casually disruptive presence gradually, irrevocably alters their family dynamic. Yet while this is an accurate, if simplified, plot synopsis, it doesn't come remotely close to explaining what this buoyant, original, altogether extraordinary dramatic comedy is actually about.
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Cartoon Nut Work: “Despicable Me” and “Predators”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2010-07-11 19:33:40

Despicable MeDESPICABLE ME

When a computer-animated feature doesn't have the Pixar label attached to it, I tend to be grateful for whatever flashes of true cleverness I can get, and it's a pleasure to report that Despicable Me delivers hundreds, if not thousands, of these flashes. They arrive in the form our protagonist's minions, and are called Minions, and resemble canary-yellow gel capsules with functioning limbs and one or two eyes. They're also just about the cutest, silliest, funniest damned creatures that have ever waddled, bounced, and shrieked through an animated outing (excepting your own children, of course). I liked Despicable Me just fine, but I never loved the movie more than when these miniature slapstick wonders were on-screen; the Minions' boss may be a super-thief, but these goofy little buggers easily steal the show.
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’Til Death Threats Do Us Part: "Date Night" and "Letters to God"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2010-04-11 19:53:50

Tina Fey and Steve Carell in Date NightDATE NIGHT

Playing husband and wife in the marital action comedy Date Night, Steve Carell and Tina Fey partner each other with such skillful ease, and radiate such genuine affection for one another, that my issues with the film have come to feel insignificant, and even a little petty. I had a not-bad time at director Shawn Levy's latest. But reflecting on the experience, I've found it awfully difficult to wipe the grin from my face; surrounded by an exceptional cast of second bananas, Carell and Fey are so genial and inventive together that it's easy to ignore the dully synthetic, determinedly formulaic Hollywood product they're appearing in.
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