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items tagged with Tom Wilkinson

Love Is a Man and Splintered Thing: "Duplicity" and "I Love You, Man"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2009-03-23 12:47:11

Julia Roberts and Clive Owen in Duplicity

DUPLICITY

Starting with the film's enticing prelude, which finds Julia Roberts and Clive Owen engaging in the first of several argumentative flirtations in exotic locales, I felt that Duplicity was an intensely sharp, clever, enjoyable movie. It wasn't until its very last shot, though, that I felt it was also a great one.


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Star Wars: "Doubt," "Valkyrie," "The Reader," "Bedtime Stories," and "Marley & Me"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2009-01-07 16:38:13

Meryl Streep in DoubtDOUBT

Based on his Pulitzer Prize-winning play, writer/director John Patrick Shanley's period drama Doubt - set in 1964, and concerning a nun who suspects a priest of sexual misconduct with an altar boy - isn't much of a movie. Shanley's previous directorial effort was 1990's Joe Versus the Volcano, and it's a shame he wasn't able to get in more practice over the last 18 years; in an attempt to gussy up the visual blandness that accompanies most theatrical adaptations, Shanley opts for a series of high- and low-angle shots and symbolic thunder, lightning, and wind effects that oftentimes make Doubt resemble a satire of a low-budget horror flick. And it's still visually bland.


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The Weak in Review: "Changeling," "RocknRolla," "Zack & Miri," and "The Haunting of Molly Hartley"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2008-11-05 08:29:31

Angelina Jolie in ChangelingCHANGELING

Clint Eastwood's Changeling finds John Malkovich giving a thoughtful, restrained performance as a righteous pastor, and Michael Kelly giving an exceptional one as a dogged detective. Oh, and the period design for the film's 1928 Los Angeles setting is quite good. Having gotten that out of the way, the rest of the movie is so awful - so maddeningly phony and contrived - that I wanted to hurl things at the screen.


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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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A Lighter Shade of Noir: “The Black Dahlia,” “Gridiron Gang,” “The Last Kiss,” and “The Protector”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2006-09-20 04:34:58

Aaron Eckhart and Josh Hartnett in The Black DahliaTHE BLACK DAHLIA

The opening sequence of Brian De Palma's L.A. noir The Black Dahlia is so busily choreographed that, at first, you think it has to be some sort of put-on. A melee involving a street full of cops and sailors in downtown Los Angeles circa 1946, the balletic, slow-motion punching and flailing is orchestrated within an inch of its life; nothing about it seems real, but it's so dazzlingly executed that you hardly care. But with Josh Hartnett's ersatz tough-guy narration droning away, it quickly becomes clear that the scene isn't meant to be funny. It isn't comedy that De Palma's going after here but stylization, and as The Black Dahlia progresses, it's obvious that the director doesn't have the cast or screenwriter required to give his baroque touches a context. A few nastily enjoyable moments aside, the film is dour, dull, and confusing, enlivened only by a few zesty supporting portrayals and whatever directorial wit De Palma can bring to it.


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