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items tagged with Steve Martin

Fun in the Oven: "Baby Mama," "The Forbidden Kingdom," and "Deception"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2008-04-30 08:06:08

Tina Fey and Amy Poehler in Baby MamaBABY MAMA

Despite its sunny, friendly veneer, there's a rather scrappy little war being waged within writer/director Michael McCullers' Baby Mama - one between a lighthearted, pleasant sitcom and a sharper, smarter, more cynical sitcom. (Two and a Half Men versus 30 Rock, as it were.) The former wins, and we could have predicted as much, but the best parts of this engaging buddy flick suggest the truly sparkling comedy it might have been, if only it weren't so eager to be ... well, lighthearted and pleasant.


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Stop! You’re Killing Me!: "Final Destination 3," "When a Stranger Calls," and "The Pink Panther"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2006-02-15 00:00:00

Mary Elizabeth Winstead in Final Destination 3FINAL DESTINATION 3

Final Destination 3 is, almost unequivocally, the least successful of the franchise’s entries. But you know what? The movie is still pretty terrific. It’s easy to resent sequels that’s don’t deviate at all from the proven formula of their forebears, especially in regards to horror flicks; audiences want these follow-ups to give them what they loved about the original but not merely what they loved about the original. (The most common complaint I hear about horror sequels is “It’s just like the first one.”)


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A Goofy Thriller and a Glove-ly Romance: "Derailed" and "Shopgirl"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2005-11-16 00:00:00

Jennifer Aniston and Clive Owen in DerailedDERAILED

There’s nothing all that wrong with director Mikael Hafstrom’s thriller Derailed, until, that is, it turns into a thriller. Chicagoan Charles Schine (Clive Owen) is a harried family man with a wife (Melissa George) and a young, diabetic daughter. While commuting to work one morning, he meets a stranger on the train: the beguiling, flirtatious – and similarly married – Lucinda (Jennifer Aniston). Over the course of a few days, the two enjoy snappy conversation, meet for drinks, and eventually find themselves a hotel. But before their affair can be consummated, LaRoche (Vincent Cassel), a scruffy-looking nightmare with a gun and a thick French accent, breaks into their room, takes their wallets, beats Charles within an inch of his life, and rapes Lucinda. Then everything goes to hell, both for the characters and, unfortunately, for the movie.


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Foster Soars, but "Flightplan" Is Earthbound: Also, "Tim Burton's Corpse Bride" and "Just Like Heaven"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2005-09-28 00:00:00

Jodie Foster in FlightplanFLIGHTPLAN

Movies such as Flightplan are hell to review. How do I explain, exactly, why the film doesn’t work without giving away the plot secrets that prevent it from working? Like last fall’s already-forgotten The Forgotten, director Robert Schwentke’s airborne thriller involves a missing child. During a trans-Atlantic flight from Berlin to America, Jodie Foster’s newly widowed Kyle lays her six-year-old daughter Julia (Marlene Lawston) down for a nap, falls asleep herself, and wakes to find the girl missing. Obviously, escape from the plane is impossible, but Julia is nowhere to be found, and, more disturbingly, no one on the flight seems to remember her being aboard. Could Julia have merely been a figment of Kyle’s imbalanced imagination?


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The Underpants Fall, but Timber Lake's "The Underpants" Doesn’t
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2005-07-20 00:00:00
If there’s one theatrical axiom I’ve subscribed to over the years – both as a performer and as an audience member – it’s this: If anything is going to go wrong with a production, it’ll go wrong on opening night. (Things also tend to go wrong when the show is being videotaped or ... ahem ... when a critic is in the audience, but that’s a whole ’nother story.)
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