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items tagged with The Wolf of Wall Street

Forest Gumption: "The Revenant" and "The Forest"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2016-01-11 00:21:45

Leonardo DiCaprio in The RevenantTHE REVENANT

As you may have heard, The Revenant – given its bloody violence, grisly survival tactics, and almost complete lack of levity – is strong medicine. It also inspires the same reaction that strong medicine does; you’re glad it exists, but ugh, the taste. There are images and battle sequences in Alejandro González Iñárritu’s neo-Western that I didn’t think movies were even capable of, let alone capable of making transcendently beautiful and utterly horrifying in equal measure. Yet all that beauty and horror turn out to be in the service of a dispiritingly one-note, unduly protracted revenge saga that, miraculous visuals aside, could have easily starred Charles Bronson in his mid-1970s heyday. It’s Death Wish in fur coats – or, more accurately, The Passion of the Christ if Jesus survived his crucifixion and was determined to get even with that bastard who hammered the nails.
Read More About Forest Gumption: "The Revenant" And "The Forest"...


Crash! Crunch! Clunk! "The Big Short," "Concussion," and "Joy"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2015-12-28 00:20:16

Steve Carell and Ryan Gosling in The Big ShortDuring my extended holiday stay in the Chicago area, I saw a fantastic movie, a sizable disappointment, and an utter clunker. But as Carol, Legend, and The Danish Girl aren’t currently playing at a theater near you (at least if you live in the Quad Cities region), let’s instead focus on the other fantastic movie, sizable disappointment, and utter clunker I saw.
Read More About Crash! Crunch! Clunk! "The Big Short," "Concussion," And "Joy"...


Johnny B. Bad: "Black Mass" and "Grandma"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2015-09-20 01:40:19

Johnny Depp in Black MassBLACK MASS

There’s a scene in the gangster thriller Black Mass that should sound bells of recognition for all fans of the genre. In it, legendary crime lord James “Whitey” Bulger (Johnny Depp) and some friends are enjoying a dinner prepared by one of Bulger’s associates: FBI agent John Morris (David Harbour). Bulger compliments Morris on their steaks and asks what seasoning was used, to which the agent replies that it’s a secret family recipe whose ingredients, upon further pressing, he genially reveals. That’s when Bulger seems to snap.

His smile curls into a frown, his eyes go deader than usual, and he calmly inquires of Morris that if the agent is willing to share this “family secret” so quickly, what other secrets – perhaps secrets about Bulger – might he have shared? During the unbearably thick silence that follows, Morris and his tablemates appear nearly frozen with panic. Bulger, meanwhile, stares and stares, and we in the audience prepare for an inevitable, horrific burst of violence. And then ... Bulger laughs. A lot. Exclaiming “You should see your face!”, he insists he was just busting Morris’ balls. Very slowly, the others begin to smile, and then they, too, laugh. And as this sensationally tense sequence ends on a note of cautious cheer, it’s impossible to ignore the suggestion of what we just witnessed: GoodFellas with Johnny Depp in the Joe Pesci role. All that was missing was the psychotic query “I’m funny how?!"


Read More About Johnny B. Bad: "Black Mass" And "Grandma"...


Now You See It, Now You Want to See It Again: "Focus," "The Lazarus Effect," and "Deepsea Challenge 3D"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2015-03-01 18:07:19

Will Smith and Margot Robbie in FocusFOCUS

With Will Smith playing its polished and professional master of larceny, and Margot Robbie playing the fledgling grifter who becomes Smith’s mentee and lover, Focus is so contrived, so ridiculous, and so phenomenally entertaining that while watching it, you’d almost think a new genre was being invented right before your eyes.


Read More About Now You See It, Now You Want To See It Again: "Focus," "The Lazarus Effect," And "Deepsea Challenge 3D"...


Ten Little Indies: "Begin Again," "Life Itself," "Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me," "Stranger by the Lake," "Interior. Leather Bar.", "Nymphomaniac: Volume One," "Nymphomaniac: Volume Two," "The Unknown Known," "The Immigrant," and "Snowpiercer"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2014-07-30 19:29:48

Keira Knightley in Begin AgainLike many reviewers who publish year-end recaps featuring top-10 rankings and such, I keep a running list of every new movie I see during the year, arranged in order of preference. (Wow. Seeing it in writing, that seems really anal-retentive. Maybe only I do that.) And after updating this list over the weekend, I scanned my current 10 favorites and thought, “For July, that’s a pretty great lineup.”

Of course, that lineup is only impressive because five of its titles – Life Itself, Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me, Stranger by the Lake, Nymphomaniac: Volume One, and Snowpiercer – are 2014 films I caught on home video and through streaming services. If I only included movies that played at area cineplexes, my top-10-to-date wouldn't look so hot. I mean, sure, Muppets Most Wanted, 22 Jump Street, and Hercules were a lot of fun, but come on ... . Two sequels, both inferior to their predecessors, and Brett Ratner directing The Rock? (With apologies to Dwayne Johnson, who’s actually awesome.) Hell, the new-to-our-area indie musical Begin Again would almost land in my cineplex top 10, and I didn’t even like it that much.


Read More About Ten Little Indies: "Begin Again," "Life Itself," "Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me," "Stranger By The Lake," "Interior. Leather Bar.", "Nymphomaniac: Volume One," "Nymphomaniac: Volume Two," "The Unknown Known," "The Immigrant," And "Snowpiercer"...





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