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items tagged with Viola Davis

Time Warped: "Looper," "Pitch Perfect," "Won’t Back Down," and "House at the End of the Street"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2012-10-01 13:11:53

Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis in LooperLOOPER

Rian Johnson’s Looper, a time-travel thriller set primarily in the year 2044, casts Joseph Gordon-Levitt as a contract killer whose life is upended with the arrival of his latest target: his older self, who has been transported from the year 2074 and is played by Bruce Willis. This means that, with Gordon-Levitt delivering rather uncanny likenesses of his co-star’s traditional scowls and smirks – and with the younger actor’s countenance bizarrely altered to resemble the elder actor’s familiar face – Willis essentially plays both leading roles ... which isn’t the most enticing of setups if, like me, you generally find one Bruce Willis more than enough.


Read More About Time Warped: "Looper," "Pitch Perfect," "Won’T Back Down," And "House At The End Of The Street"...


Tour of Doody: "The Lucky One," "Think Like a Man," "October Baby," and "Chimpanzee"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2012-04-22 22:32:34

Taylor Schilling and Zac Efron in The Lucky OneTHE LUCKY ONE

Every time I leave a movie version of some Nicholas Sparks novel, I’m relieved if it’s not, thus far, the worst movie version of some Nicholas Sparks novel. It’s to The Lucky One’s good fortune, then, that 2008’s Nights in Rodanthe still scrapes the bottom of that particular barrel, because otherwise we might’ve had a new champion.


Read More About Tour Of Doody: "The Lucky One," "Think Like A Man," "October Baby," And "Chimpanzee"...


Everything New Is Old Again: Notes on the 2012 Academy Awards Telecast
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Feature Stories

2012-02-27 19:34:55

Best Actress Meryl StreepThe first trophy handed out at the 2012 Academy Awards ceremony was for Best Cinematography, a prize that I predicted would go to The Tree of Life but that instead went to Hugo. (Seriously, after his undeserved losses for 2006’s Children of Men and now the Terrence Malick film, exactly whom does Emmanuel Lubezki have to do to win an Oscar?) But that was actually my second incorrect assumption of the evening, because as soon as host Billy Crystal stepped on stage, I said to the others at my viewing party, “Here comes the standing ovation,” and the audience – despite giving the man a warm reception – remained seated. Did the crowd have a collective premonition of just how spectacularly Crystal would bomb last night?


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Ground Zero Offense: "Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close," "Red Tails," and "Haywire"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2012-01-23 15:34:23

Tom Hanks and Thomas Horn in Extremely Loud & Incredibly CloseEXTREMELY LOUD & INCREDIBLY CLOSE

The protagonist of director Stephen Daldry’s Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close – based on Jonathan Safran Foer’s famed 9/11/01-themed novel and adapted by screenwriter Eric Roth – is Oskar Schell, an 11-year-old Manhattanite who tells a new acquaintance that he was once tested for Asperger’s syndrome, but that “the results weren’t definitive.” My first thought upon hearing that admission was that Oskar’s folks really should’ve sought a second opinion, because with young actor Thomas Horn tearing through breathless reams of stream-of-consciousness dialogue, his condition seemed definitive as all-get-out. My second thought, which I only fully composed during the end credits, and which I apologize for in advance, was that watching Extremely Loud was like watching a movie while an 11-year-old with Asperger’s yammers in your ear for 130 minutes.


Read More About Ground Zero Offense: "Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close," "Red Tails," And "Haywire"...


Mississippi Yearning: "The Help" and "Glee: The 3D Concert Movie"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2011-08-14 18:16:01

Emma Stone, Octavia Spencer, and Viola Davis in The HelpTHE HELP

Based on Kathryn Stockett’s much-loved bestseller, The Help concerns the tenuous relationships between black domestic workers and their privileged white employers in early-’60s Mississippi, and it’s a fairly obvious movie, with director Tate Taylor opting for broad brushstrokes over subtlety, and the occasionally wrenching drama sitting, rather uncomfortably, alongside klutzy jokiness. Yet offhand, I can’t think of another popular entertainment whose flaws matter less than this film’s, because everything that’s lacking in the picture is more than made up for in the fearless, emotionally precise, and oftentimes devastating portrayals of Taylor’s cast. The Help is easy to complain about, but all it takes is one of the magnificent Viola Davis’ fierce, tearful stares – or a blast of Octavia Spencer’s anger, or a flash of Emma Stone’s heartbreak, or a burst of Jessica Chastain’s joy – to make your complaints feel positively moot.


Read More About Mississippi Yearning: "The Help" And "Glee: The 3D Concert Movie"...





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