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items tagged with Taken 2

Bibbidy-Bobbidi Boon: "Cinderella" and "Run All Night"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2015-03-14 22:04:07

Richard Madden and Lily James in CinderellaCINDERELLA

Given its sumptuous production design and its array of multi-hued gowns so breathtaking that costumer Sandy Powell should just be sent her inevitable Oscar via express mail, Disney’s new, live-action Cinderella has to be the most opulent deeply unnecessary movie ever made. Somewhat unexpectedly, it’s also one of the more satisfying deeply unnecessary movies ever made. Director Kenneth Branagh’s fairytale adaptation, with its script by Chris Weitz, may have no reason to exist beyond the obvious mercenary one, but it’s strong and heartfelt and quite beautifully acted – proof that even in the revisionist age of Maleficent, it’s not always necessary to re-invent the wheel.

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Are You Not Entertained?!: "Pompeii," "3 Days to Kill," and "Winter’s Tale"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2014-02-23 19:23:46

Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje and Kit Harington in PompeiiPOMPEII

About a half-hour into Paul W.S. Anderson’s Pompeii, the film’s protagonist – a gladiator-turned-slave amusingly named Milo – hears the unfamiliar sound of the nearby Mount Vesuvius preparing to erupt. “It is the mountain,” says Milo’s comrade Atticus. “It grumbles from time to time.” So do movie reviewers, and this latest 3D action spectacle by the director of Mortal Kombat, Death Race, and a trio of Resident Evil flicks would, at first glance, appear to be exactly the sort of thing I’d personally grumble about: a predictably corny, derivative, overscaled costume party with loads of generic violence and nothing in the way of subtlety or emotional nuance.

Yet while it’s easy to name the movie’s most direct influences, Gladiator and Titanic chief among them, what I didn’t at all expect was for this swords-and-sandals outing to be so thoroughly, cheerfully indebted to 1970s disaster epics in the vein of The Towering Inferno and The Poseidon Adventure; Pompeii, to its cheeky credit, is kind of like 1974’s Earthquake with the ancient Roman city cast in the role of Los Angeles.

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Project CLX: A Ranking of 2012 Movies Beyond Mike's Top 10
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Feature Stories

2013-01-07 16:00:02

Sam Rockwell and Colin Farrell in Seven Psychopaths“So, Mike, what did you think of the other 2012 movies you saw?”

Gosh, how nice of you to ask!

In descending order of appreciation ... .

Read More About Project CLX: A Ranking Of 2012 Movies Beyond Mike's Top 10...

Elementary Ghouls: "Frankenweenie," "Hotel Transylvania," and "Taken 2"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2012-10-07 18:16:19


Not two months after the release of ParaNorman, two other animated, family-friendly spook fests can now be found at national cineplexes: Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie, the Mary Shelley-like tale of a beloved pooch’s magical resurrection, and Hotel Transylvania, a manic slapstick about the world’s most comically macabre bed-and-breakfast. And after catching up with the latter titles during a recent double feature, my immediate thought was this: Man, ParaNorman sure was good, wasn’t it?

Read More About Elementary Ghouls: "Frankenweenie," "Hotel Transylvania," And "Taken 2"...

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