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items tagged with Zoe Saldana

Oscar-Baiting the Hook: "Out of the Furnace," "The Book Thief," and "Philomena"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2013-12-08 17:05:53

Woody Harrelson and Christian Bale in Out of the FurnaceOUT OF THE FURNACE, THE BOOK THIEF, and PHILOMENA

When it comes to films vying for Academy Awards attention, there are several themes and subjects generally guaranteed to pique voters’ interest: post-war trauma; post-incarceration estrangement; the Holocaust; Judi Dench. Yet while a trio of recently released titles collectively addresses these and other Oscar-bait-y topics, I can’t help feeling that the talents behind all three might wind up disappointed come nominations-announcement morning. Well, except for Judi Dench. There’s just no stopping that Dame.


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Lively, Long, and Prosperous: "Star Trek Into Darkness"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2013-05-18 18:09:57

Zachary Quinto and Chris Pine in Star Trek Into DarknessSTAR TREK INTO DARKNESS

Star Trek Into Darkness opens on a note of frenzied, almost satiric busyness. For reasons initially left unexplained, and in a set piece suggesting a futuristic Raiders of the Lost Ark, Captain Kirk and “Bones” McCoy are first seen racing through a jungle of crimson foliage on a foreign planet, attempting to escape the clutches of dozens of yowling savages with black eyeballs and papier-mâché skin. The chase eventually leads the pair to the edge of a cliff where they leap into the water below, just as Mr. Spock – much to the concern of his unusually panicked fellow crew members – beams into the belly of an active, ready-to-burst volcano. Director J.J. Abrams’ franchise extender isn’t even five minutes old, and between the shouting, the manically staged mayhem, the whiplash editing, and composer Michael Giacchino’s pummeling score, it already feels like a typically overstuffed blockbuster sequel, yet one without any of the wit that Abrams brought to 2009’s terrifically witty Star Trek reboot. But then something wonderful happens.
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Writer Wrong: "The Words" and "The Cold Light of Day"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2012-09-09 14:44:08

Bradley Cooper and Zoe Saldana in The WordsTHE WORDS

Three separate narratives dovetail in The Words, a modestly engaging morality drama by writers/directors Brian Klugman and Lee Sternthal. Yet ironically enough, the one narrative I never bought into was the one that’s meant to be the most believable, though heaven knows the other two aren’t exactly models of cinematic authenticity.


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Devilish Fun: "The Last Exorcism," "Get Low," and "Takers"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2010-08-30 01:09:19

Ashley Bell in The Last ExorcismTHE LAST EXORCISM

For the majority of its length, The Last Exorcism is a hell of a good time. I'd love to say that's because the movie is terrifying, but it isn't, really; the biggest jolt you're likely to experience comes in the first 20 minutes, when a teen unexpectedly hits a car's rear window with a rock. Yet until it goes seriously off the rails in its final third, director Daniel Stamm's low-tech scare flick is clever and engrossing (without being all that gross), and it boasts a protagonist who's something unique for his genre: a funny, friendly sort whom you're still aching to see get what's coming to him.
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How Lo Can You Go?: "The Back-up Plan," "The Losers," and "Oceans"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2010-04-25 19:07:08

Alex O'Loughlin and Jennifer Lopez in The Back-up PlanTHE BACK-UP PLAN

"All right. Let's hear your pitch."

"Well, we're calling it The Back-Up Plan. It's about this successful single woman named Zoe, desperate for a baby but fed up with the New York dating scene, who decides to get artificially inseminated and raise the child on her own."

"Ah. So you're thinking an intimate character drama about the hardships of pregnancy and single-motherhood?"

"Oh, hell no. Slapstick romantic comedy! You see, only a few minutes after her procedure, Zoe hails a cab and gets inside at the exact same moment that a handsome stranger does! They argue about who saw the cab first, Zoe storms off in a huff, and whammo! They're in love!"
Read More About How Lo Can You Go?: "The Back-Up Plan," "The Losers," And "Oceans"...





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