Browsing all articles from June, 2012.

Joe Manganiello Turns up the Heat in Magic Mike

When meeting actor Joe Manganiello, any reaction less than, say, awe would probably be insufficient. Unlike most celebrities, who in person do not often resemble their 40-foot visages, the 6’5” rugged former athlete and Carnegie Mellon-schooled drama grad is the personification of a god, towering physique surely carved from the base of Mount Olympus. Okay, […]

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Channing Tatum Delivers Star Turn as Magic Mike, A Stripper with a Dream

Channing Tatum delivers a sensitive performance in Magic Mike, Steven Soderbergh’s smart new picture about a star male stripper in Tampa who has the money, the women and the glory – but really just wants to settle down with a nice girl and start a normal life as a high-end furniture designer. In a movie […]

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People Like Us

* * * The main reason to see People Like Us, about a hotshot who does some growing up after returning home for his father’s funeral, is the performance of Elizabeth Banks as an down-on-her-luck single mother with a lot of baggage, valiantly trudging along until she meets what seems like the perfect guy, played […]

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Magic Mike

* * * 1/2 There’s been a lot of talk about how Magic Mike, the “male stripper movie” based on producer-star Channing Tatum’s early experiences and directed by Steven Soderbergh, won’t play to heterosexual men—and how this may inevitably spell box-office trouble.  And from the film’s marketing campaign, which naturally capitalizes on its scantily clad […]

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Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

* Director Timur Bekambetov’s Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, an awkward mash-up of historical fiction, satire and horror, couldn’t be less inspired.  “History is made of legends, not men,” we learn in the opening sequences—not exactly apropos for a movie sure to be quickly forgotten.  In a forgettable superhero genre film that attempts a revision of […]

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Seeking a Friend for the End of the World

* * * A strangely affecting film that begins as a broad comedy before settling down into something sweeter, filmmaker Lorene Scafaria’s Seeking a Friend at the End of the World, about an unlikely friendship that forms as a meteor hurls toward Earth, has a surprising, beating heart that flowers in its final reels—you just […]

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Safety Not Guaranteed

* * * * What a wonderful picture Safety Not Guaranteed turns out to be—to describe it is to reduce it to its rudimentary plot points, but to see it, and witness the sensitivity and sweetness play out onscreen, is a thing of beauty.  It’s a movie that starts as a joke and then becomes […]

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Your Sister’s Sister

* * * 1/2 Filmmaker Lynn Shelton’s new comic chamber piece, Your Sister’s Sister, has an uncanny ear for the dynamics between adult sisters and a firm grasp on the identity of a young man going through  a period of crisis.  As in her first feature, Hump Day, she offers an insightful examination of personal […]

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Snow White and the Huntsman

* * * As critics we worry so much about plot structure, character development, contrivance, logic—that we sometimes forget that film is primarily a visual medium.  When a great-looking film emerges, it’s often derided as style over substance.  But it is undeniable that the new adventure, Snow White and the Huntsman, is one gorgeous piece […]

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Prometheus

* * * 1/2 Superbly mounted by director Ridley Scott, the ambitious sci-fi epic Prometheus poses the big questions—origin of the species, science vs. faith and the potential end of Earth—and it’s a hell of a way to spend two hours, inside a smart, visionary, big-budget ride that employs terrific 3D, judicious special effects and […]

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