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items tagged with The Last Samurai

Into the Woods: "Defiance" and "Last Chance Harvey"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2009-01-19 15:48:21

Liev Schreiber and Daniel Craig in DefianceDEFIANCE

Am I the only person who wishes that Edward Zwick would go back to making sharp, bitchy comedies like his 1986 Rob Lowe-Demi Moore romance About Last Night...? The director's latest - the action drama Defiance - tells the astonishing, true-life story of the Bielski brothers, who hid hundreds of fellow Jews in a makeshift Lipiczańska Forest camp during World War II, and who managed to fend off Russian officers and German armies through innovation, daring, incredible bravery, and a well-stocked supply of artillery. With Daniel Craig and Liev Schreiber as the ideologically warring siblings Tuvia and Zus Bielski, Defiance is impassioned and serious and God knows it's sincere, and it wasn't until about 45 minutes had passed that I realized I no longer watch Edward Zwick movies; I endure them.


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The 2004 Alternate Oscars
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Feature Stories

2004-02-25 00:00:00
For the past couple of years, as a prelude to the Academy Awards presentation (scheduled to air on ABC at 7 p.m. on Sunday, February 29), I’ve devoted an article to re-constructing the top six Oscar categories, replacing what I felt were unworthy contenders with my own personal preferences; this enabled me to extoll the virtues of the deserving while also allowing me to whine, “Why the hell didn’t Naomi Watts get noticed for Mulholland Dr.?” And before this year’s contenders were announced in late January, I was already writing my annual article in my head: “Where’s Johnny Depp’s nomination? And what about Keisha Castle-Hughes? And how about Marcia Gay Harden and Shohreh Aghdashloo and Fernando Meirelles?” And then what did the Academy go and do? They nominated them all.
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Holiday Fare a Depressing Lot: "Peter Pan," "Mona Lisa Smile," and "Cheaper by the Dozen"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2004-01-14 00:00:00

Are mainstream movies, in general, becoming more and more stale? The question arose a couple of weeks ago when an acquaintance asked if I’d seen anything good recently. After a pause I was finally able to reply, “Uh ... Return of the King?”

“Well, of course that. Anything since then?”


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2003 in Movies
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Feature Stories

2003-12-24 00:00:00

Among the year’s seemingly endless spate of business-as-usual Hollywood product, with the remakes and sequels and – in the case of Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines – a de facto remake of a sequel, I saw exactly one work in 2003 that, with absolutely no qualms, I would call a masterpiece, and it made its debut on HBO. (It was that kind of year.)
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"The Last Samurai" Derivative, Dull: Also, "Timeline," "The Haunted Mansion," and "The Missing"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2003-12-10 00:00:00

Tom Cruise in The Last SamuraiTHE LAST SAMURAI

Occasionally, all it takes is sharp cinematography to get critics all woozy. How else to explain the positive notices for Edward Zwick’s The Last Samurai, a period epic so unexceptional and derivative it might as well have been called Dances with Wolves Meets Braveheart? (Barkeep! Oscars for all!)


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