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items tagged with The Karate Kid

Off-Key: "Pitch Perfect 2" and "Where Hope Grows"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2015-05-17 17:28:41

Hailee Steinfeld, Anna Kendrick, and Rebel Wilson in Pitch Perfect 2PITCH PERFECT 2

Pitch Perfect 2 opens strongly, with the peerlessly funny Elizabeth Banks (who also directed the film) and John Michael Higgins performing an a cappella rendition of the Universal Pictures theme song and launching into the hilariously bitchy byplay that made their vocal-contest judges among Pitch Perfect’s many highlights. And while it’s true that this musical-comedy follow-up, like director Jason Moore’s 2012 predecessor, is set in the world of collegiate a cappella groups – and specifically the world of Anna Kendrick’s fledgling mash-up artist Beca – it’s more accurately set atop a steep precipice. Because although it starts promisingly, as the saying goes, it’s all downhill from there.


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Holy Moses!: "Exodus: Gods & Kings" and "Whiplash"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2014-12-12 20:44:20

Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods & KingsEXODUS: GODS & KINGS

You can tell a lot about a movie by its trailers. I don’t mean the trailers for the movie itself, although that’s also, usually, the case. I’m talking about the ones that play before the main attraction – the previews for future releases that generally share a genre or overall flavor with whatever film you’re paying to see, collectively acting as a sort of “Because you watched ______” recommendation list on Netflix.


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Hocus Bogus: "Now You See Me" and "After Earth"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2013-06-02 22:49:47

Jesse Eisenberg, Isla Fisher, Woody Harrelson, and Dave Franco in Now You See MeNOW YOU SEE ME

Given its premise, its cast, and the fact that it’s a summertime release without a superhero or a number (or both) in the title, it was easy to feel jazzed about the prospect of Now You See Me, director Louis Leterrier’s effects-driven caper about larcenous Las Vegas magicians scoring the heist of the century. Unfortunately, it took all of three minutes for that anticipatory excitement to turn, for me, into irritation, which then turned into active aggravation, which then turned into a disengaged torpor that lasted until the end credits rolled. Ta da.


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Novel Spy: “Salt” and “Ramona & Beezus”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2010-07-26 05:52:12

Angelina Jolie in SaltSALT

Leaving a recent screening of Cyrus, my friends and I noted how refreshing it was to see a movie in which, right up until its final seconds, you had no idea where events were going to lead; the creepy indie comedy could've ended with either a Happily Ever After or a vicious display of bloodletting, and neither finale would've seemed unjustified. (No spoilers here. You've still got a few days to catch it locally.) And the best I can say about director Phillip Noyce's Salt - and it's a considerable compliment - is that it, too, is totally unpredictable, a gripping, over-the-top action flick that makes you gasp and then giggle, and then giggle at yourself for gasping. Audiences seeking loud, defiantly ridiculous escapist fare should have a blast. Speaking as someone with a low tolerance for spy thrillers, stunt-heavy summer blockbusters, and (more often than not these days) Angelina Jolie, I had a pretty fantastic time myself.
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Waxing on: “The Karate Kid,” “The A-Team,” “Marmaduke,” and “Killers”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2010-06-13 22:56:28

Jaden Smith and Jackie Chan in The Karate KidTHE KARATE KID

The opening scenes in director Harald Zwart's The Karate Kid remake, with the preternaturally confident and magnetic Jaden Smith taking over the Ralph Macchio role, are really good. But your first indication that the movie might wind up being really great - or, at the very least, a really great time - comes with its introduction of Mr. Han, the Pat Morita substitute played here by Jackie Chan.
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