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items tagged with Thrillers

You Say You Want a Retribution: “The Debt,” “Apollo 18,” and “Shark Night 3D”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2011-09-04 14:51:31

Sam Worthington and Jessica Chastain in The DebtTHE DEBT

After her moving, memorable performances in The Tree of Life, The Help, and the current John Madden thriller The Debt, I’m beginning to think that Jessica Chastain can do almost anything. As evidenced by the actress’ latest (though not last) 2011 release, however, one thing she cannot do is pass for a younger version of Helen Mirren, or at least Mirren as she appears here; beyond their ill-matching features, Chastain’s empathetic soulfulness and emotional accessibility bear little relation to the detached calm and haunted inscrutability of her more seasoned counterpart.

Having said that, if one of your few complaints about a movie lies in the casting of Jessica Chastain and/or Helen Mirren, obviously you have very little to bitch about.


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Moore, or Less?: "Arthur," "Hanna," and "Born to Be Wild 3D"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2011-04-11 16:41:46

Helen Mirren and Russell Brand in ArthurARTHUR

There were better comedies released in the ’80s, to be sure. But I don’t think I have a stronger affection for any of them than I do for 1981’s Arthur, writer/director Steve Gordon’s screwball-farce throwback that featured Dudley Moore’s drunken multi-millionaire sharing brilliantly barbed repartee with caretaker John Gielgud. Consequently, I came dangerously close to booing when I first saw the preview for director Jason Winer’s Arthur remake. True, Russell Brand seemed the only logical choice to fill Moore’s (diminutive) shoes, and while Gielgud is irreplaceable, Helen Mirren seemed a reasonable enough sparring partner. But, I mean, come on – is nothing sacred?!


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Haunted Man's Son: "Insidious," "Source Code," and "Hop"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2011-04-03 19:02:56

InsidiousINSIDIOUS

It features every cliché in the haunted-house handbook. It borrows liberally from other, iconic horror movies. It’s by the director of the original Saw and the slightly more bearable killer-mannequin flick Dead Silence. And for all of the momentary jolts provided by the loud bangs and shrieking violins on its soundtrack, the most shocking thing about Insidious is how irrationally good it is.

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Brainy Acts: “Limitless,” “The Lincoln Lawyer,” and “Paul”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2011-03-20 21:01:52

Bradley Cooper in LimitlessLIMITLESS and THE LINCOLN LAWYER

At some point during my double-feature of Limitless and The Lincoln Lawyer, I was reminded, as I frequently am, that we filmgoers don’t really need more great movies from Hollywood. We just need more good movies – smart, strong, satisfying releases that only want to entertain, but manage to do so without attempting to overwhelm you, or demanding that you first check your intelligence at the auditorium door.


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L.A.-ians Vs. Predators: "Battle: Los Angeles," "Red Riding Hood," and "Mars Needs Moms"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2011-03-13 18:49:44

Aaron Eckhart in Battle: Los AngelesBATTLE: LOS ANGELES

My number-one, hands-down, love-it-to-death favorite scene in the science-fiction action spectacle Battle: Los Angeles occurs roughly 40 minutes into the film. Hundreds of meteors have fallen to earth in urban centers around the globe, and are revealed to be teeming with aliens, who waste no time in annihilating everything and everyone in their paths. After engaging in long sequences of L.A.-based retaliation, a stalwart band of Marines is helicoptered into Santa Monica to fend off one of these attacks, and a frightened lieutenant ducks into in an apartment complex’s laundry room, where he watches the horrific destruction through a window. Suddenly hearing a noise behind him, the man whips around, expecting to come face-to-face with one of the monstrous invaders from another world. Yet instead of terror, the lieutenant’s face quickly registers relief, as the sound he heard was just that of the washing machine’s spin cycle.

You know what that means, right? That in the midst of this apocalyptic showdown that, as we’ve witnessed on TV newscasts, has been going on for several hours now, someone in that apartment complex decided it was a good time to throw in a load of laundry.


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