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items tagged with William Fichtner

Into the Weeds: "Into the Woods" and "The Homesman"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2014-12-29 01:06:33

Emily Blunt and James Corden in Into the WoodsINTO THE WOODS

Do you know what you wish? Are you certain what you wish is what you want?” – lyrics from Into the Woods


Like a lot of stage-musical fans, I’ve been wishing – patiently but eagerly for more than 25 years now – for a film version of Stephen Sondheim’s modern classic Into the Woods. Now, thanks to Sondheim, original book and screenplay author James Lapine, director Rob Marshall, and the fairytale-happy folks at Disney, we have one.

So here’s the good news: Barring some minor changes, the movie is incredibly faithful to the show’s stage roots. But here’s the bad news: It’s so faithful that it’s under-imagined and kind of suffocating. And here’s the worst news: It isn’t much fun.

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Brain, Brain, Go Away: "The Hundred-Foot Journey," "Into the Storm," "Step Up: All in," and "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2014-08-11 00:51:58

Om Puri, Manish Dayal, and Helen Mirren in The Hundred-Foot JourneyFriday, August 8, 10 a.m.-ish: I’m at The Hundred-Foot Journey, and five minutes into this lighthearted foodie dramedy, I’m already regretting my decision to only have yogurt for breakfast. With director Lasse Hallström’s camera slavering over the creation of steaming, succulent pots and grills of Indian cuisine, all of it enhanced by spices and oils whose aromas are practically wafting off the screen, this is not the movie to see if you’re hungry. Considering screenwriter Steven Knight’s T-shirt-ready dialogue – which features such pithy bromides as “Life has its own flavor,” “We cook to make ghosts,” and the grammatically vexing “Food is memories” – it’s not really the movie to see if your brain is hungry, either.

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Fee-Fi-Fo-Fumble: "Jack the Giant Slayer," "Phantom," "21 & Over," and "The Last Exorcism Part II"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2013-03-03 18:59:03

Nicholas Hoult in Jack the Giant SlayerJACK THE GIANT SLAYER

It happened to Hansel and Gretel. It happened to Red Riding Hood. It happened to Snow White. (It happened to a couple of Snow Whites, actually.) And now it’s Jack, of “... and the beanstalk” fame, who’s getting a pricey, kitschy, effects-filled makeover, serving as protagonist for director Bryan Singer’s Jack the Giant Slayer. At the rate this trend is going, I can hardly wait for the inevitable big-budget updating of The Pied Piper with Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Marion Cotillard, and Harvey Fierstein taking on the role of a lifetime in The Frog King.

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... And "Jack & Jill" Came Tumbling After: 150 Movies Not on 2011's 10-Favorites List
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Feature Stories

2012-01-01 12:00:00

The MuppetsEvery January, I share my numerical rankings of the 10 most enjoyable movies I saw during the previous year. I do not, however, share my numerical rankings of all the other titles I caught during those 12 months, as such a list would, I think, be hopelessly arbitrary, terribly self-indulgent, and something that only a person with too much time on his hands would attempt.

Let’s get cracking, shall we?

Read More About ... And "Jack & Jill" Came Tumbling After: 150 Movies Not On 2011's 10-Favorites List...

Iowa Not-So-Stubborn: "Cedar Rapids," "Hall Pass," and "Drive Angry"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2011-02-27 22:09:26

Isiah Whitlock Jr., John C. Reilly, Anne Heche, and Ed Helms in Cedar RapidsCEDAR RAPIDS

Prior my Saturday screening of Cedar Rapids, I’d seen 18 2011 releases, and my favorite of the mostly-slash-wildly underwhelming bunch – by a considerable margin – was Justin Bieber: Never Say Never. It’s tempting, then, to want to overpraise director Miguel Arteta’s raunchy yet genial comedy simply for being, you know, good.

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