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items tagged with Tilda Swinton

Disappointment Big Really A: "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2009-01-07 16:41:29

Taraji P. Henson and Brad Pitt in The Curious Case of Benjamin ButtonTHE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON

Visually arresting and wildly ambitious, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is a tough film to dislike. But I'm giving it a shot anyway, because while director David Fincher's 165-minute opus is spectacular in lots of small ways, it's frustrating and fundamentally unsatisfying in much, much bigger ones. Given several days to reflect on the experience, I no longer hate the movie the way I initially did, yet I remain convinced that what could have, and should have, been a magical, lyrical piece of work is instead a graceless, obvious, and frequently maddening one.


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Nuts and Dolts: "Burn After Reading," "The Women," and "Righteous Kill"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2008-09-17 08:15:57

Brad Pitt in Burn After ReadingBURN AFTER READING

Brad Pitt is so adorably dim-witted in the Coen brothers' espionage comedy Burn After Reading, and John Malkovich is so hilariously profane (and singularly weird), that it's a little heartbreaking to admit just how disappointing the actors' debut outing with the Coens actually is. From 1984's Blood Simple to last year's No Country for Old Men, the filmography of Joel and Ethan has been chockablock with enjoyably eccentric throwaway characters. Until now, though, I'd never seen a Coen brothers movie that was nothing but a series of enjoyably eccentric throwaway characters; Pitt, Malkovich, and the film's other hard-working performers provide a decent enough time, yet I still left Burn Without Reading feeling a little bewildered and annoyed, and counting the months - hopefully not too many - until the siblings' next endeavor.


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Battle of the Blands: "The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian" and the IMAX "Sea Monsters"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2008-05-21 08:24:40

The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince CaspianTHE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: PRINCE CASPIAN

All things considered, The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian is pretty good, and on a purely technical level, it's more than pretty impressive. In his second stab at C.S. Lewis, director Andrew Adamson has fashioned a continuation that's both darker and lighter than 2005's The Lion, the Witch, & the Wardrobe - the film is admirably grim for a Disney outing, and unlike its predecessor, it maintains a sense of humor throughout - and most of its visuals are extraordinary. Yet I still can't build up much enthusiasm for it, because like many recent works of its kind (including The Golden Compass and the last two Harry Potters), the movie wows you with everything except personality. Prince Caspian is epically scaled, gorgeous, and hollow - a Pirates of the Caribbean without Johnny Depp.


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Lyra’s Entangled with Bears. Oh, My!: "The Golden Compass" and "Noelle"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2007-12-12 08:18:59

Nicole Kidman and Dakota Blue Richards in The Golden CompassTHE GOLDEN COMPASS

I would love to give an account of how the little kids in the audience reacted to Chris Weitz's The Golden Compass, but as school was in session during the Friday-afternoon screening I attended, there wasn't a single kid to be found. And I'd give you an account of how the adults reacted, but in all honesty, I was too busy trying not to fall asleep to notice.


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The Toxic Avenger: "Michael Clayton" and "Across the Universe"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2007-10-17 16:16:41

George Clooney and Sydney Pollack in Michael ClaytonMICHAEL CLAYTON

There's a spirit of fatalism and dread that hangs over nearly every scene in Tony Gilroy's legal thriller Michael Clayton, and the miracle of the movie is that its grimness doesn't equal torpor; for a work drenched in both literal and figurative darkness, it's exquisitely, robustly entertaining. Like the films in the Bourne franchise (all of which Gilroy scripted), Michael Clayton is a smart, knotty diversion that keeps your senses, at all times, alert, and happily, the movie's ecologically minded plotline - involving an agricultural chemical company being sued for poisoning communities - doesn't have sanctimonious intent. The movie isn't designed to be Good for Us; it's just designed to be good. And it's very, very good.


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