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items tagged with The Princess Bride

Fairly Stale Fairy Tale: "Mirror Mirror," "Jeff, Who Lives at Home," and "Wrath of the Titans"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2012-04-05 18:15:03

Julia Roberts and Lilly Collins in Mirror MirrorMIRROR MIRROR

Mirror Mirror is a slightly modernized, family-comedy version of the Snow White fairy tale, and offhand, I can think of few directors less suited to the material than this film’s Tarsem Singh, the music-video veteran whose big-screen credits include those wildly baroque (and decidedly adult) spectacles The Cell and Immortals. Yet every once in a while, when a director is spectacularly wrong for a project, the results can be much more interesting than if he were right for it, and that certainly seems the case here; this aimless, pointless little trifle is mostly a drag, but I can only imagine how deadening it might’ve been without Singh at the helm.


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The Blunder Years: "Flipped," "16 to Life," and "Resident Evil: Afterlife"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2010-09-12 19:47:14

Madeline Carroll and Callan McAuliffe in FlippedFLIPPED

Rob Reiner’s 1986 Stand by Me told us that we’ll never have better, more meaningful friends than the ones we had when we were 12. His new film, Flipped, tells us that we’ll never have better, more meaningful romances than the ones we had when we were 12. It’s touching, if a little sad, that it’s all apparently been downhill for the director since hitting his teen years, but does Reiner’s nostalgic yearning somehow excuse his latest for being so bland, saccharine, and childish? Set just a few years after Reiner’s summer-of-’59 hit, Flipped is like Stand by Me without profanity, dirty jokes, unforced camaraderie, and Kiefer Sutherland. In other words, it’s just a stone’s throw away from utterly excruciating.


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Rap, Flap, Crap: "Notorious," "Inkheart," and "Paul Blart: Mall Cop"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2009-01-26 15:14:36

Jamal Woolard in NotoriousNOTORIOUS

Every musician's life is different, of course, but every musical bio-pic seems fundamentally the same: The humble beginnings, followed by the first hints of greatness, followed by the early romantic interests, followed by the steady rise to fame, followed by the new romantic interests, followed by the explosive success, followed by the personal setbacks, followed by the professional setbacks, followed by the cementing of the legend ... and if the movie can find room for a title card reading "With his life he proved that no dream is too big," so much the better.


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Mike's Online-Only Movie Reviews - 2007
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2007-10-30 00:41:02

Eduardo Verastegui and Tammy Blanchard in BellaBella (PG-13) - Alejandro Monteverde's drama, which concerns the friendship between a chef and a newly pregnant, newly unemployed waitress, received the People's Choice Award at the 2006 Toronto Film Festival. Um... who are these "people," exactly? Space people? Because I can see how Bella might be confused with a great movie if you didn't understand a word of human conversation. Even then, of course, you might still be put off by the film's bizarre editing (with flash-forwards routinely, meaninglessly interrupting scenes-in-progress) and lackluster photography; Montevrede shows more interest in food than in his stars. And then there's that baffling ending, which seems to set the film up for a sequel - one that fills in that massive "Huh?!?" of a climactic plot hole. But it's still the mawkish, maudlin screenplay that does it in; Eduardo Verástegui (looking uncannily like Jim Caviezel as Christ) and Tammy Blanchard (as ever, looking uncannily like Judy Garland) are stuck with unplayable dialogue and baldly written characters, and the movie shamelessly plies on the merely-functional supporting stereotypes. The movie is pro-life and pro-family with a vengeance, which might account for its (limited) popular success. I just wish it were also a little pro-brain, and a lot anti-cliché.


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For the Children, or Merely Childish?: "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, & the Wardrobe" and "Syriana"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2005-12-14 00:00:00

Tilda Swinton and Skandar Keynes in The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, & the WardrobeTHE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: THE LION, THE WITCH, & THE WARDROBE

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, & the Wardrobe, director Andrew Adamson’s imagining of the first book in C. S. Lewis’ Narnia series, is almost childishly clunky, but it’s nearly impossible to dislike. Geared, as it appears, toward a very young audience – I’d say seven or eight – the movie is sweet, and it’s sincere, and it displays a welcome touch of fairy-tale simplicity. Despite the rather prosaic nature of its presentation, Narnia is one of those movies that, if it catches children at the right age, might linger in their memories for some time to come; it’s just magical enough to suggest how magical it should have been. For kids who are finally seeing their beloved Narnia novel translated to the big screen, Adamson’s Narnia will be good enough. It just doesn’t have much to offer the rest of us. Adamson is co-director of the Shrek movies, and he does a fair enough job with the movie’s CGI wonders; the lion Messiah Aslan (voiced, to the surprise of no one, by Liam Neeson) moves with regal grace, and the beavers who accompany the Pevensie children on their quest seem to be, for kids in the audience, enjoyably frisky characters. But all throughout the film, I had the nagging feeling that, if he was allowed, Adamson would have happily computer-generated his humans, too.


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