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items tagged with Tom Cruise

Bad Boys, Too: "Hot Fuzz," "Fracture," and "Perfect Stranger"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2007-04-25 08:10:30

Simon Pegg and Nick Frost in Hot FuzzHOT FUZZ

Not that many of you have seen them, but in between Rodriguez's and Tarantino's Grindhouse offerings, there are faux "coming attractions" for forthcoming trash flicks, one of which is directed by Edgar Wright. The trailer in question is for a slasher film called Don't, and in about 90 seconds of screen time, Wright - director/co-writer of the peerless zombie comedy Shaun of the Dead and the new action spoof Hot Fuzz - manages to lampoon (and celebrate) just about every cliché in the horror-preview bible: the insidiously throaty voice-over announcer; the shock edits, punctuated by screams; the sudden bursts of outré violence. It's a brilliant, savage parody, yet the trailer's ultimate joke is that it's legitimately effective; you find yourself actually wanting to see Don't. Wright tweaks genre previews and outdoes them in the same breath.


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Coasting: “The Guardian,” “Jet Li’s Fearless,” and “Open Season”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2006-10-04 04:38:15

Kevin Costner in The GuardianTHE GUARDIAN

If I were trapped in the middle of a violent storm, and drowning, and being rescued by a member of the Coast Guard, I would hope that my savior was just like Kevin Costner in The Guardian - someone stalwart, sincere, and able to convince me that everything was going to be all right, even when he was shouting at me.

If I'm watching a movie involving this exact same scenario, though, I'm sorry - Kevin Costner is just about the last person I want to see, at least given his performance in director Andrew Davis' Coast Guard drama.


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Cruise in for a Bruisin’: "Mission: Impossible III"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2006-05-10 09:00:17

Tom Cruise and Keri Russell in Mission: Impossible IIIMISSION: IMPOSSIBLE III

Call it envy, call it sour grapes, call it schadenfreude, but I’ll admit to hugely enjoying the public meltdown of Tom Cruise, mostly because it’s finally making him interesting. Cruise has always been too bland to be true. He’s moderately proficient, and in several of his films – most recently Collateral and Minority Report – he’s even been impressive. But he has too few resources to draw upon as a performer. It would be hard to accuse Cruise of slouching on the job – he’s determined and earnest, and you can sense him trying to suggest interior life. But his line readings have no surprise and his on-screen performances rarely build; whenever a new scene begins, Cruise appears to have forgotten everything his character experienced in his previous scenes. He can’t seem to play more than one emotion, or one thought, at a time.


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Idle "American": "American Dreamz," "The Wild," and "Scary Movie 4"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2006-04-26 00:00:00

Mandy Moore in American DreamzAMERICAN DREAMZ

American Dreamz is like a middling Saturday Night Live skit that never ends. In writer/director Paul Weitz’s conception, the president is a slow-witted dolt being puppeteered by his staff, the participants on an American Idol-type mega-hit are a combination of talentless sweeties and fame-hungry monsters, and the American public happily buys every piece of pop-fueled mediocrity placed before it, especially when it’s swathed in the sentimental, jingoistic guise of “patriotism.” Wherever did Weisz come up with such fresh objects of ridicule?


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When the Spielberg Touch Goes Deeply Wrong: "War of the Worlds"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2005-07-06 00:00:00

Tim Robbins, Tom Cruise, and Dakota Fanning in War of the WorldsWAR OF THE WORLDS

My first thought after seeing Steven Spielberg’s War of the Worlds was: Thank God for the aliens, because although the creatures themselves aren’t particularly memorable – a gooey blend of the director’s beatific Close Encounters visitors and H. R. Giger’s 1979 Alien design – their spacecrafts certainly are. The ships’ enormous tripod legs, crushing everything in their paths, exude a wriggling, snakelike suggestiveness, and they have vicious talents besides; these tentacles have the ability to either incinerate their victims instantly – making the human race resemble ants at the mercy of a magnifying glass – or toss them into the spaceships’ grotesque “mouths,” producing more grisly, prolonged executions. (A couple of killings are reminiscent of Steve Buscemi’s demise in Fargo.) To the War of the Worlds aliens, humans are a combination of entertainment, nuisance, and snack, and whenever Spielberg gives us evidence of just how queasily horrifying an attack of this nature might be, his movie is gripping and evocative.

My second thought was: Steven Spielberg has lost his mind.


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