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items tagged with Will Smith

Mike’s Online-Only Movie Reviews - 2008
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2008-05-01 11:06:16

The AlpsThe Alps (not rated) - The people have chosen, and the people chose good. Last fall's winner of the Putnam Museum's "Everyone's a Critic" series - which follows climber John Harlin's attempts to scale the north face of the Eiger mountain, where his father perished in 1966 - is such a breathtaking spectacle that watching it makes you a little dizzy; not from the Eiger's treacherous inclines and precipitous drops, which are (enjoyably) vertigo-inducing enough, but from the dazzling visual rush provided by director Steve Judson and his remarkable team of camera operators. Judson re-creates Harlin's ascent with jaw-dropping skill - you'll fight the urge to blurt out "How on earth did they film that?!" repeatedly during The Alps' 45-minute running length - and he and his crew photograph the Swiss mountain ranges with crystalline perfection; I'm not sure any movie has ever looked better in IMAX format. When the film turns to matters of geology and the historic make-up of the mountains, things get a little stodgy, but you're quickly returned to the awe-inspiring vistas, an unexpectedly touching human element courtesy of Harlin and his understandably worried wife and daughter, and, believe it or not, a series of marvelously employed Queen tunes that - in this format, at least - suggest what the elevator ride to heaven would sound like.


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Survivor: Manhattan - "I Am Legend" and "Alvin & the Chipmunks"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2007-12-19 08:22:07

Will Smith in I Am LegendI AM LEGEND

In Francis Lawrence's sci-fi/thriller I Am Legend, the images of a desolated Manhattan island are so extraordinarily rendered, and Will Smith is such an appealing one-man-show, that it's heartbreaking - and more than a little annoying - that the movie itself isn't better than it is. Based on Richard Matheson's novel, the film concerns a virus that has (seemingly) annihilated the entire human race save for Smith and a pack of predatory, zombie-like humanoids, and it presents a weird dichotomy; everything about the digitally-enhanced locale, and much of Smith's performance, feels absolutely real, and nothing else feels nearly real enough. It's B-grade comic-book material severely outclassed by its visuals and leading man.


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It’s Cryin’ Time: "The Pursuit of Happyness" and "Charlotte's Web"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2006-12-20 08:17:53

Jaden and Will Smith in The Pursuit of HappynessTHE PURSUIT OF HAPPYNESS and CHARLOTTE'S WEB

A few days ago, in preparation for my forthcoming year-end recap, I was perusing the list of movies I've caught in 2006, and among my favorite cineplex offerings, I noticed several rather surprising themes. Very few family-friendly works, and none that were animated, despite the release of what felt like a new one every other week. An unusual preponderance of sequels and remakes. And, oddly, almost no works that really got to me emotionally - very few that made me cry.


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Superhero Worship: "Superman Returns" and "Poseidon: The IMAX Experience"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2006-07-05 04:28:14

Brandon Routh in Superman ReturnsSUPERMAN RETURNS

It takes a while - nearly half an hour - to reach the first truly wonderful scene in Superman Returns. In it, a group of reporters (including Kate Bosworth's Lois Lane) are on an airborne jet's P.R. junket when the electronics suddenly fail, causing the plane to hurtle toward the earth. Thankfully, Superman (Brandon Routh), who has been M.I.A. for the past five years, is there to save the day, which he does by catching the jet and gently guiding it to the middle of a major-league ballpark (during game play, no less). He checks on the passengers, makes a comment (echoing a similar line in Richard Donner's 1978 Superman) about how air flight is "still the safest way to travel," and exits the plane to the deafening cheers of the baseball fans in the stands, and the rousing Americana of it all - baseball and Superman! - produces an extraordinary, joyful rush; you're hard-pressed not to cheer along.


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"Fever Pitch" Wins Despite Its Directors: Also, "The Upside of Anger"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2005-04-13 00:00:00

Drew Barrymore and Jimmy Fallon in Fever PitchFEVER PITCH

As long as there’s a Hollywood, there will be a surfeit of romantic comedies, but when was the last time you saw one that was as charming and magical as it pretended to be? Granted, Hitch made oodles of money, but the platonic love between Will Smith and Kevin James was more engaging than either of their characters’ eventual hook-ups, and The Wedding Date, in which Debra Messing and Dermot Mulroney made flirtation look like an act of desperation, was just slightly less romantic than any given episode of Will & Grace.


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