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Home » Articles »   By Michael Phillips
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Thursday, April 12,2012

The ship so nice they sank it twice

By Michael Phillips
The RMS Titanic has resurfaced from the icy depths of the Atlantic only to be subjected to a second dunking, this time with a 3-D upcharge, under the stewardship of Capt. James Cameron, master and commander.
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Thursday, March 29,2012

Dull expectations

By Michael Phillips
Since their married friends have morphed into shrill shadows of their former selves, they wonder: Is it possible to bring children into your life without destroying the possibility of romance? Only one way to find out: Tackle the former without even a whiff of romantic expectation.
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Thursday, March 29,2012

Remake worth watching

By Michael Phillips
Jenko and Schmidt weren’t friends in high school, as we learn in the 2005-set prologue. Jenko was the jock triumphant and a lousy student, and Schmidt (sporting an impressive mouthful of braces) spent most of his waking hours being embarrassed by his parents.
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Thursday, March 8,2012

Teen dream, parental nightmare

By Michael Phillips
Things only start to go wrong when they rip off Costa’s well-armed, disturbed drug dealer. Costa has blasted the invitations all over social media, so the socially anonymous Thomas will be hosting hordes of “randoms,” peers who don’t know he exists. Not to worry, though.
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Thursday, March 8,2012

Seuss is spinning

By Michael Phillips
Most of the picture, as did the book, unfolds as a flashback to the Once-ler’s rabid capitalistic youth, when he harvested the precious Truffula tree for its velvety tufts and commercial prospects. Taking its cue from a single line in the original about the Once-ler’s family, The Lorax.
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Thursday, March 1,2012

Realism thwarted

By Michael Phillips
Its Navy Sea, Air and Land team warriors, better known as SEALs, collaborate without friction. They stick to the plan or adapt it when needed. Authority is not bucked. Voices are raised only under fire.
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Thursday, February 23,2012

A smooth crossover

By Michael Phillips
Compared to so much American animation, which seems hell-bent on putting a global audience of addled kids in a paradoxical manic stupor, the work of Japan’s Studio Ghibli sets its own pace, establishes its own, meticulously observed realms of the fantastic and respects a moviegoer’s senses — any moviegoer’s, of any age.
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Thursday, February 16,2012

Bloody interesting

By Michael Phillips
The moment may or may not have been scripted, but you certainly appreciate it. You also appreciate how Swedish-born director Daniel Espinosa delivers harsh jolts a beat before you expect this car to smash into that car, or this character to calmly pull out a gun and murder that one.
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Thursday, February 16,2012

Slop disguised as fun

By Michael Phillips
In its own sweetly bombastic way, the 2008 remake of Journey to the Center of the Earth did the job, the job being a 21st-century 3-D bash starring Brendan Fraser — an actor who gives his all to the green screen, every time — and loosely based on the 19th-century Jules Verne adventure, a natural for the movies. Its script proceeded from the idea that Verne, science fiction visionary, was in reality writing about real places and genuine fantastic phenomena only disguised as fiction.
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Thursday, February 9,2012

Harry Potter grows up

By Michael Phillips
Harry Potter finally behind him, Daniel Radcliffe has chosen a different sort of supernatural fantasy to launch his film career as an adult. In the 1920s, a London solicitor named Arthur Kipps is sent north to a grim, moist residence known as Eel Marsh House in order to settle the affairs of its recently deceased owner.
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