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items tagged with Thrillers

Labored Day Weekend: "Closed Circuit," "Instructions Not Included," "The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones," "One Direction: This Is Us," and "Getaway"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2013-09-02 05:01:17

Eric Bana and Ciaran Hinds in Closed CircuitIt’s a commonly held belief, mostly because it’s generally true, that no worthwhile movies open on either the last weekend of August or Labor Day weekend. So I hope I wasn’t alone, among reviewers, in feeling trepidation about my most recent cineplex duties, given that this year, in a calendar rarity, those weekends were one and the same. (Would the films be twice as bad as usual? Would there be twice as many bad films to contend with?) But I’m pleased, and somewhat shocked, to report that my latest movie-going experiences weren’t relentlessly grim. They were just relentlessly weird, especially considering I had the best time at the weekend’s worst picture, and the lineup’s most professionally rendered offering made me fall dead asleep.


Read More About Labored Day Weekend: "Closed Circuit," "Instructions Not Included," "The Mortal Instruments: City Of Bones," "One Direction: This Is Us," And "Getaway"...


Blues 2 Men: "The Smurfs 2" and "2 Guns"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2013-08-05 10:09:46

Hank Azaria in The Smurfs 2THE SMURFS 2

Upon returning from my screening of The Smurfs 2, a buddy asked what I thought of the film, and I told him that Hank Azaria – the comic genius who plays the nefarious, Smurf-loathing wizard Gargamel – was awfully funny in it. My friend asked, “When isn’t he?”, and beyond the TV-movie tearjerker Tuesdays with Morrie, I couldn’t provide an example. (And in truth, at appropriate moments in his Emmy-winning dramatic turn, the actor is awfully funny in Tuesdays with Morrie.) Consequently, as he’s nearly always this inspired on-screen, Azaria’s hilariously outlandish performance probably isn’t reason enough to see director Raja Gosnell’s blue-hued sequel, at least if you don’t have small children pressuring you to do so.

If, however, you’re a childless adult who chooses to attend The Smurfs 2 anyway, your secret’s totally safe with me, because Azaria actually does make this kiddie comedy worth sitting through – though perhaps only if you catch it during bargain-matinée hours, or have a cineplex gift card that you were just gonna throw out otherwise.


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Guns and Blammo: "White House Down" and "The Heat"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2013-06-29 21:27:33

Channing Tatum and Jamie Foxx in White House DownWHITE HOUSE DOWN

At the start of the Roland Emmerich thriller White House Down, Channing Tatum’s military veteran John Cale is seen applying for a position with the president of the United States’ Secret Service detail. By the film’s end, he’ll have rescued hostages, shot innumerable bad guys, ensured peace in the Middle East, averted nuclear apocalypse, and saved the commander in chief’s life several times over. In short: most impressive job interview ever.


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"Ga-a-ah!"s and Monsters: "World War Z" and "Monsters University"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2013-06-23 18:59:48

Mireille Enos and Brad Pitt in World War ZWORLD WAR Z

Beginning with the fact that it’s directed by Marc Forster – a competent-enough craftsman whose previous works (including Finding Neverland, The Kite Runner, and the deadening James Bond entry Quantum of Solace) have hardly been known to quicken one’s pulse – practically everything about the suspenseful and exciting zombie chiller World War Z feels a little bit off, and that’s what I liked about it.


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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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