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items tagged with The Silence of the Lambs

McCarthyism ... the Good Kind: "Win Win," "Fast Five," and "Hoodwinked Too! Hood Vs. Evil"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2011-05-02 13:33:21

Paul Giamatti and Alex Shaffer in Win WinWIN WIN

When I say that writer/director Tom McCarthy’s Win Win could easily serve as the inspiration for a long-running TV series, I don’t mean it in any way insultingly, partly because our current small-screen options are, in general, vastly superior to our big-screen ones. Mostly, though, it’s because this serious-minded comedy is so teeming with nuanced, empathetic characters and complicated yet wholly plausible situations and circumstances that you want to luxuriate in Win Win’s universe for far longer than the movie’s too-brief 100 minutes – like, for an hour a week over several seasons.


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The Loons! The Loons!: “Shutter Island”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2010-02-22 14:46:00

Shutter IslandSHUTTER ISLAND

Shutter Island, Martin Scorsese's operatically paranoid adaptation of Dennis Lehane's 2003 suspense thriller, is easily the best movie of 2010 thus far, so it seems a bit churlish to wish that was higher praise. Don't get me wrong: Even running a wildly overlong 138 minutes, the film is mostly terrific, and one of the very rare works of its kind in which your interest actually increases during the final reels. Yet given Scorsese's glorious technical acumen and the efforts of a ridiculously gifted cast, I still left the cineplex feeling that it just missed greatness, and not even greatness along the lines of GoodFellas or The Departed - more like the genre excellence of Scorsese's 1991 remake of Cape Fear. Shutter Island is a strong, worthy offering, yet as far as this year's releases go, it's only a few degrees more satisfying than Youth in Revolt or Daybreakers. But hey, it's early - I'll happily take it.


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More Like a Six, at Best: "Nine" and "Alvin & the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2010-01-04 03:17:26

Daniel Day-Lewis and Marion Cotillard in NineNINE

Despite its mostly lackluster reviews and rather lame box-office intake, director Rob Marshall's Nine is actually pretty entertaining. But seriously, shouldn't any movie starring Daniel Day-Lewis, Marion Cotillard, Nicole Kidman, Judi Dench, Penélope Cruz, Kate Hudson, and Sophia Loren be considerably better than "pretty entertaining"? (Collectively, these performers have amassed 18 Oscar nominations and eight statuettes, though it's doubtful that Nine will do much to increase those tallies.)


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Pilot Lite: “Amelia,” “Saw VI,” “Law-Abiding Citizen,” and “Good Hair”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2009-10-25 21:39:21

Hilary Swank and Richard Gere in AmeliaAMELIA

As barrier-breaking aviatrix Amelia Earhart in director Mira Nair's Amelia, Hilary Swank is stylized yet approachable - exactly the kind of down-to-earth, pre-feminist spitfire that a squarely reverential bio-pic calls for. Her Katharine Hepburn cadences take some getting used to, but Swank charges through her scenes with natural authority and winning gumption, and when she smiles, the whole of Earhart's glorious aerial experiences seems to shine through her toothy grin. It's a lovely, sincere Earhart impression, and might've really been something if the actress wasn't being continually undermined by the direction, the script, the score, and most of her co-stars.


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When Bad Movies Happen to Good Actors: “The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard” and “Post Grad”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2009-08-23 22:52:46

Jeremy Piven and James Brolin in The Goods: Live Hard, Sell HardTHE GOODS: LIVE HARD, SELL HARD

Assuming his talents haven't waned in the current, sixth season of Entourage, Jeremy Piven's bile-spewing Hollywood agent Ari Gold remains (as of season five) as corrosively entertaining as ever, and the Neal Brennan comedy The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard suggests that Piven's Gold routine could be just as enjoyable on big screens as small ones. It would certainly help, though, if the actor were given a few funny scripts to work with, or at least funnier than this shapeless, scattershot comedy about used-car hucksters trying to unload 211 vehicles over a long Fourth of July weekend.


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