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items tagged with Tom Wilkinson

"Batman Begins" Is Faithful, but Not Much Fun
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2005-06-22 00:00:00

Christian Bale in Batman BeginsBATMAN RETURNS

Many Hollywood blockbusters feel so generic as to have been formed by committee, and in Batman Begins, that committee appears to be comprised entirely of comic-book bloggers. Just how afraid of Internet fanboys have movie studios become? It has been widely reported that this new installment in the superhero franchise is a deliberate rebuke to director Joel Schumacher’s beyond-campy Batman Forever and Batman & Robin, and I couldn’t be more on board with that; Schumacher managed to turn Warner Brothers’ moody franchise into a half-assed Mardi Gras spectacle, minus the debaucherous fun. (Only in Schumacher’s hands could Uma Thurman come off as a depressed drag queen.)


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Unexpected Moments Enliven "The Pacifier": Also, "Stage Beauty" and "Robots"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2005-03-16 00:00:00

Vin Diesel in The PacifierTHE PACIFIER

There’s a moment in the Vin Diesel family comedy The Pacifier that should have really pissed me off, but instead it made me almost unaccountably happy: About midway through the film, Diesel, playing a former Navy SEAL entrusted with the safety of five fatherless youths (you’ve seen the trailers, you get the idea), enters their suburban digs covered in raw sewage, the victim of a practical joke pulled by the family’s oldest siblings.


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"The Ladykillers" Just Might Be Another for the Ages by the Coens: Also, "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind," "Dawn of the Dead," and "Taking Lives"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2004-03-31 00:00:00

Irma P. Hall and Tom Hanks in The LadykillersTHE LADYKILLERS

Just about every Coen brothers comedy is more enjoyable on a second or third (or fourth or fifth) viewing than it is on a first; once you adjust to Joel’s and Ethan’s Byzantine plotting, affected wordplay, and in-your-face staging – culminating in a style that can make their works seem, initially, show-offy and too quirky by half – the brothers’ filmmaking exuberance eventually wears down your resistance, and their scripts feature some of the funniest non sequiturs you’ll ever hear. (Nearly every movie fan I know can recite reams of dialogue from Raising Arizona and Fargo and O Brother, Where Art Thou?.) The Ladykillers, the Coens’ adaptation of a 1955 Alec Guinness comedy, is mostly on the hit side of hit-or-miss, and I’m guessing that it, too, will eventually become a beloved treasure trove of quotable quotes, mostly because, on a first go-around, it takes diligence to decipher exactly what Tom Hanks is saying in it.


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Best Bets This Week Are in the Video Store: Also "Analyze That" and "Empire"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2002-12-11 00:00:00

Billy Crystal and Robert De Niro in Analyze ThatANALYZE THAT and EMPIRE

It’s enough to make a grown movie-critic weep: You rave about Solaris, a science-fiction work that’s psychologically rich, challenging, and incredibly unusual, and you read in the paper that the audience-tracking firm Cinemascore has ranked it the most universally loathed major release in 20 years. You check out the top-10 list from the National Board of Review, the first organization to hand out year-end kudos, and realize that only one of those 10 films has (as yet) made it to the Quad Cities, and that one only stayed for a week at Moline’s Nova 6 Cinemas. And you eagerly look forward to a December weekend of new releases – surely some of those terrific-looking titles will finally appear? – and your only options are Analyze That and Empire.


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The Oscar-Bait Parade Continues...: "Gosford Park," "The Royal Tenenbaums," "In the Bedroom," and "Impostor"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2002-01-16 00:00:00

Gosford ParkGOSFORD PARK

In Robert Altman’s Gosford Park, set in 1932 England, a group of well-to-do guests is invited to a country estate for a shooting party, with their numerous servants in tow, and find their weekend disrupted by the murder of their host.


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