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items tagged with Titanic

Are You Not Entertained?!: "Pompeii," "3 Days to Kill," and "Winter’s Tale"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2014-02-23 19:23:46

Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje and Kit Harington in PompeiiPOMPEII

About a half-hour into Paul W.S. Anderson’s Pompeii, the film’s protagonist – a gladiator-turned-slave amusingly named Milo – hears the unfamiliar sound of the nearby Mount Vesuvius preparing to erupt. “It is the mountain,” says Milo’s comrade Atticus. “It grumbles from time to time.” So do movie reviewers, and this latest 3D action spectacle by the director of Mortal Kombat, Death Race, and a trio of Resident Evil flicks would, at first glance, appear to be exactly the sort of thing I’d personally grumble about: a predictably corny, derivative, overscaled costume party with loads of generic violence and nothing in the way of subtlety or emotional nuance.

Yet while it’s easy to name the movie’s most direct influences, Gladiator and Titanic chief among them, what I didn’t at all expect was for this swords-and-sandals outing to be so thoroughly, cheerfully indebted to 1970s disaster epics in the vein of The Towering Inferno and The Poseidon Adventure; Pompeii, to its cheeky credit, is kind of like 1974’s Earthquake with the ancient Roman city cast in the role of Los Angeles.


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One Story, Many Voices: Disaster Tales Are Shared in "Titanic Aftermath," May 11 through 20 at the Playcrafters Barn Theatre
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Feature Stories

2012-05-07 12:00:00

Titanic Aftermath ensemble membersAs Oregon-based playwright Michael Wehrli is the author of Titanic Aftermath – the historical drama being staged at Moline’s Playcrafters Barn Theatre May 11 through 20 – I initially presume that he’s seen James Cameron’s Oscar-winning movie. In our April 25 phone interview, he tells me he has, and that it was even the inspiration for his play.

That’s not exactly the compliment it might seem, though, considering he calls Cameron’s Titanic “visually stunning and incredibly, maddeningly frustrating because of the fictional characters.

“I mean, they took up half the story,” says Wehrli of the young lovers played by Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet, “and it was the actual survivors’ stories, to me, that were ... interesting. That, and the corporate-negligence side to the tragedy, which is hardly ever addressed in dramatic form.

“So I thought, ‘All right, well, I’m just going to write a play about all this.’” Wehrli laughs. “‘How the hell do I do that?’”


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Good “Morning”’s Stars Shine: “Morning Glory,” “Skyline,” and “Unstoppable”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2010-11-14 20:11:38

Rachel McAdams, Diane Keaton, and Harrison Ford in Morning GloryMORNING GLORY

The vibrant, frequently ebullient Diane Keaton and the gruff, frequently grouchy Harrison Ford have been above-the-title Hollywood stars for more than 30 years now. Why, in heaven’s name, has it taken more than three decades to get these two cute kids together?


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Natives/American: "Avatar," "Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire," and "The Road"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2009-12-20 21:43:06

AvatarAVATAR

There are visual wonders galore in James Cameron's science-fiction epic Avatar, but what's most amazing about the film's design is how offhandedly wondrous it is.


Read More About Natives/American: "Avatar," "Precious: Based On The Novel 'Push' By Sapphire," And "The Road"...


End-of Daze: “2012” and “Pirate Radio”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2009-11-15 22:38:13

Morgan Lily and John Cusack in 20122012

After 2012 - the movie, not the year - it will be exceedingly difficult for Roland Emmerich to deliver yet another of his expensive, apocalyptic disaster cartoons. So, you know, I guess we should be grateful for small favors.


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