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items tagged with Thrillers

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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The Evil Dead and the Evil Dad: “Paranormal Activity” and “The Stepfather”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2009-10-18 20:48:11

Katie Featherston and Micah Sloat in Paranormal ActivityPARANORMAL ACTIVITY

It's not often that you witness an image in a horror movie (or in any movie, really) that you instinctively recognize as iconic. The last one I can think of in the scare-flick genre would probably be Heather Donahue in The Blair Witch Project, with her wool cap, her nose running, and her mouth out of camera range as she videotapes a final, tearful apology. (Seeing that shot for the first time in 1999, you knew it was one that would endure - and be parodied ad nauseam.) But we now have a new addition to the Iconic Image Hall of Fame thanks to Paranormal Activity, which, like Blair Witch, was filmed on a shoestring budget, and which features a shot, like that of Donahue, that will no doubt be instantly identifiable for generations of horror-movie fans.


Read More About The Evil Dead And The Evil Dad: “Paranormal Activity” And “The Stepfather”...


So, You Think You Can Dance? And Sing? And Act?: "Fame" and "Surrogates"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2009-09-27 23:53:50

Anna Maria Perez de Tagle, Cody Longo, Paul Iacono, Kay Panabaker, and Asher Brook in FameFAME

Not long into Kevin Tancharoen's remake of Fame, there's a brief sequence that completely underscores the difficulty - if not impossibility - of successfully updating Alan Parker's R-rated musical drama from 1980 for young audiences in 2009.


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Burlap Messiah: "9," "Tyler Perry's I Can Do Bad All by Myself," "Sorority Row," and "Whiteout"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2009-09-13 22:47:18

9 in 99

This might sound like heresy, but after seeing the extraordinary doomsday parable 9, Pixar's Up is now only my second-favorite animated work from 2009 to feature a gravelly vocal performance by Christopher Plummer.


Read More About Burlap Messiah: "9," "Tyler Perry's I Can Do Bad All By Myself," "Sorority Row," And "Whiteout"...


Futile Attraction: “All About Steve,” “Extract,” and “Gamer”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2009-09-06 20:19:45

Sandra Bullock and Bradley Cooper in All About SteveALL ABOUT STEVE

It's one thing for a movie to present its audience with hateful characters. It's quite another when the movie itself appears to hate its characters, and in the depressingly, almost sadistically unamusing All About Steve, very little reads beyond the filmmakers' contempt for the "lovable" whack-job they're purportedly championing. I've seen stupider movies this year - at least two or three of them - but I don't think I've endured one that annoyed me more than this new Sandra Bullock vehicle by director Phil Traill, which humiliates its star at every turn, and humiliates you for spending 100 minutes trying to make sense of it.


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