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items tagged with Zach Braff

Wizard of Blahs: "Oz the Great & Powerful" and "Dead Man Down"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2013-03-10 03:08:36

James Franco in Oz the Great & PowerfulOZ THE GREAT & POWERFUL

As numerous effect-heavy entertainments have proved over the years, few film actors, and even fewer good ones, look altogether comfortable performing in wholly pixelated landscapes opposite wholly digitized characters. Yet I’m not sure I’ve seen any star look less connected with his artificial environment than James Franco does in Oz the Great & Powerful, director Sam Raimi’s mega-budgeted and intensely disappointing prequel to The Wizard of Oz.


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Mike's Online-Only Movie Reviews - 2006
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2007-10-30 00:39:47

BarnyardBarnyard (PG) - As it had been at least six or seven hours since I had last seen a computer-animated family movie at the cineplex, I was delighted to catch a screening of Barnyard. Unfortunately, it only took about six or seven hours to all but completely forget the experience; the film is your standard pap about Believing in Yourself and Sticking by Your Friends and such, and it may hopelessly confuse the young kids it's geared towards - I'm sorry, but male cows? With udders? Yet, for what it is, it's agreeable enough and boasts a surprisingly bouncy soundtrack, and the movie displays a welcome nasty streak - when Danny Glover's sage, kindly mule kicked that elderly farmer in the head, knocking him unconscious, I laughed pretty hard. When he did it twice more, I laughed twice as hard.


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Spawn of the Dead: "28 Weeks Later," "The Ex," and "Lucky You"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2007-05-16 08:21:01

28 Weeks Later28 WEEKS LATER

In any given year, I see a lot of horror movies at the cineplex. But I remember one moment from watching the 2002 zombie flick 28 Days Later like it was yesterday: when that drop of infected blood landed on Brendan Gleeson, and the audience didn't just gasp, we practically moaned. It was the most spontaneously empathetic group response I'd ever heard during a fright film - a hundred people simultaneously reacting with "No, not him" anguish - and it underlined what made Danny Boyle's nerve-racking thriller so strong.


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A Lighter Shade of Noir: “The Black Dahlia,” “Gridiron Gang,” “The Last Kiss,” and “The Protector”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2006-09-20 04:34:58

Aaron Eckhart and Josh Hartnett in The Black DahliaTHE BLACK DAHLIA

The opening sequence of Brian De Palma's L.A. noir The Black Dahlia is so busily choreographed that, at first, you think it has to be some sort of put-on. A melee involving a street full of cops and sailors in downtown Los Angeles circa 1946, the balletic, slow-motion punching and flailing is orchestrated within an inch of its life; nothing about it seems real, but it's so dazzlingly executed that you hardly care. But with Josh Hartnett's ersatz tough-guy narration droning away, it quickly becomes clear that the scene isn't meant to be funny. It isn't comedy that De Palma's going after here but stylization, and as The Black Dahlia progresses, it's obvious that the director doesn't have the cast or screenwriter required to give his baroque touches a context. A few nastily enjoyable moments aside, the film is dour, dull, and confusing, enlivened only by a few zesty supporting portrayals and whatever directorial wit De Palma can bring to it.


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Killer Instincts: "Jarhead," "Good Night, & Good Lunck.", "Chicken Little," and "The Weather Man"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2005-11-09 00:00:00

Jake Gyllenhaal in JarheadJARHEAD

In movies, nothing is harder to define than tone, and the tone of Sam Mendes’ Jarhead, based on Tony Swofford’s Gulf War memoir, is so elusive that, hours after it ends, you might still not know what to make of it. In many ways, the movie is like a two-hour expansion of Full Metal Jacket’s first 40 minutes, as the 20-year-old Swofford (Jake Gyllenhaal) and his fellow Marine recruits, pumped up to an almost insane degree, train for their mission in the unbearable desert heat and prepare for battle. In Mendes’ film, however, there is no battle for his protagonists to respond to; the war ends while the Marines’ bloodlust is still reaching a boil. The film is, in many ways, about the maddening banality of service, and it has resulted in an occasionally maddening movie, but its shifting tones and air of unpredictability make it impossible to shake off; at the finale, you might not know exactly what you’ve seen, but you certainly know you’ve seen something.
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