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items tagged with Steve Martin

Laid Off, Laid Out, Laid: “Up in the Air,” “Sherlock Holmes,” and “It’s Complicated”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2009-12-28 13:59:51

George Clooney and Vera Farmiga in Up in the AirUP IN THE AIR

Heading to Chicagoland on December 23, I spent the whole of my journey driving through a torrential and laughably unseasonable rainstorm, and the trek that normally takes two-and-three-quarter hours wound up taking close to four. Consequently, I missed out on dinner with my folks, arriving in town just in time to meet them for our planned evening screening of the new George Clooney movie.


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Much Ado About Many Things: Spring Theatre in the Quad Cities and Surrounding Areas
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Feature Stories

2009-03-04 01:43:43

The Prenzie Players' Much Ado About NothingThe Quad Cities' spring theatre season will be bookended by Shakespeare, with the March 6 opening of Much Ado About Nothing, and Sophocles, with the May 28 debut of Oedipus Rex. But just because these plays are, respectively, more than 400 and 2,400 years old, it probably isn't wise to enter them expecting the expected. This Sophocles, after all, is subtitled The Audacity of Oed, and this Shakespeare is being staged by the Prenzie Players, so in both works, you may as well expect anything to happen; considering our lineup also features titles by Stephen Sondheim, Neil Simon, Euripides, and Mel Brooks, I'm thinking you can say the same for the theatre season as a whole.


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Best. Oscars. Ever.: Notes on the 2009 Academy Awards Telecast
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Feature Stories

2009-02-23 19:11:28

OscarsSeriously, by the end of Hugh Jackman's opening number during the 2009 Academy Awards telecast, did it even matter if the rest of the show was any good?


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Eyes Wide Shut: "Coraline," "Push," and "The Pink Panther 2"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2009-02-12 17:53:30

CoralineCORALINE

Employing extraordinarily supple, nearly tactile stop-motion animation and 3D effects, the children's film Coraline is filled with visual magic, and just about corners the market on unsettling imagery. A grinning pair of parental doppelgängers, with buttons sewn into their eye sockets, serve a dinner composed of mango milkshakes and chocolate beetles. Two morbidly obese British dowagers unzip their skins and emerge as lithe trapeze artists. A feral alley cat talks, and a theatre full of mutts attends a vaudeville, and it's all strange and clever and tantalizingly designed. Is it ungrateful, if not downright senseless, to admit that I could hardly wait for this movie to end?


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Mike’s Online-Only Movie Reviews - 2008
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2008-05-01 11:06:16

The AlpsThe Alps (not rated) - The people have chosen, and the people chose good. Last fall's winner of the Putnam Museum's "Everyone's a Critic" series - which follows climber John Harlin's attempts to scale the north face of the Eiger mountain, where his father perished in 1966 - is such a breathtaking spectacle that watching it makes you a little dizzy; not from the Eiger's treacherous inclines and precipitous drops, which are (enjoyably) vertigo-inducing enough, but from the dazzling visual rush provided by director Steve Judson and his remarkable team of camera operators. Judson re-creates Harlin's ascent with jaw-dropping skill - you'll fight the urge to blurt out "How on earth did they film that?!" repeatedly during The Alps' 45-minute running length - and he and his crew photograph the Swiss mountain ranges with crystalline perfection; I'm not sure any movie has ever looked better in IMAX format. When the film turns to matters of geology and the historic make-up of the mountains, things get a little stodgy, but you're quickly returned to the awe-inspiring vistas, an unexpectedly touching human element courtesy of Harlin and his understandably worried wife and daughter, and, believe it or not, a series of marvelously employed Queen tunes that - in this format, at least - suggest what the elevator ride to heaven would sound like.


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