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items tagged with Willem Dafoe

The Pop of the King: “Michael Jackson’s This Is It,” “Astro Boy,” and “Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2009-11-01 18:57:10

Michael Jackson's This Is ItMICHAEL JACKSON'S THIS IS IT

For a film that seemed to have "commercial exploitation" written all over it, Michael Jackson's This Is It is an intensely loving and even indispensable piece of work -- a joyous celebration of performance drive, hard work, and a fearsome amount of skill. Culled from roughly 100 hours of rehearsal footage from the late star's planned concert tour, director Kenny Oretga's behind-the-scenes account doesn't offer much in the way of insight, nor is it meant to. Yet it's still a first-rate spectacle that, at times, provides an almost ridiculous amount of pleasure; somehow, miraculously, Ortega and his editors have shaped their footage into a documentary that boasts the kineticism, excitement, and boundless ebullience of a kick-ass movie musical.


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Dog Days: “The Nanny Diaries,” “Resurrecting the Champ," "September Dawn," and "Mr. Bean's Holiday"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2007-09-05 08:32:16

Scarlett Johansson and Laura Linney in The Nanny DiariesTHE NANNY DIARIES

There are two wholly different films at war in Shari Springer Berman's and Robert Pulcini's The Nanny Diaries, and unfortunately, the wrong one wins.


Read More About Dog Days: “The Nanny Diaries,” “Resurrecting The Champ," "September Dawn," And "Mr. Bean's Holiday"...


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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Explosive "Crash" an Early Contender for Best of 2005: Also, "Melinda & Melinda" and "XXX: State of the Union"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2005-05-11 00:00:00

Jennifer Esposito, Don Cheadle, and Kathleen York in CrashCRASH

Crash, the magnificent drama by Million Dollar Baby screenwriter Paul Haggis, fits alongside such sprawling, ensemble-driven works as Grand Canyon, Short Cuts, and Magnolia, movies in which plotlines dovetail within one another and themes enmesh, and where bitter, dissatisfied characters might not wind up more content than before – some might not even wind up alive – but they will definitely have shared, for better or worse, An Experience. (These characters might not receive traditional happy endings, yet they almost invariably find degrees of solace and a measure of hope.) Moviegoers who crave a clearly delineated moral to their stories can be driven batty by films of this ilk; more than once I’ve heard someone ask, apropos of one of these works, “But what was its point?” Crash, like its predecessors, explores characters so hungry for contact and meaning and understanding in a chaotic universe that they’re ready to explode, and oftentimes do. That hunger becomes the point.


Read More About Explosive "Crash" An Early Contender For Best Of 2005: Also, "Melinda & Melinda" And "XXX: State Of The Union"...


Scorsese Falters with the Pandering "The Aviator": Also, "The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou" and "Beyond the Sea"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2005-01-05 00:00:00

Leonardo DiCaprio in The AviatorTHE AVIATOR

Martin Scorsese’s The Aviator, which covers two decades in the life of entrepreneur Howard Hughes, is a skillful, beautifully designed bio-pic, engaging and occasionally thrilling, and, despite a two-and-three-quarter-hour running time, it’s remarkably easy to sit through.


Read More About Scorsese Falters With The Pandering "The Aviator": Also, "The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou" And "Beyond The Sea"...





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