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Home » Articles »   By Michael Phillips
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Thursday, May 19,2011

Rom-com surprise

By Michael Phillips
Reedy and extremely pretty, Wiig has a dry, backhanded way of nailing laughs. In the posters and ads for Bridesmaids, all Wiig's female co-stars strike bigger poses, make bigger faces, take a larger, momentary, more determined share of the spotlight. Wiig hangs back.
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Thursday, May 12,2011

Class warfare wedding

By Michael Phillips
So few ensemble-driven African- American films make it to market - whether with familiar faces or unknowns - that the ones that do get out of the gate provoke a weird degree of scrutiny regarding what they have to say about the black experience. Who needs the pressure? Movies such as the first Barbershop.
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Thursday, May 12,2011

Hammer time

By Michael Phillips
At this point in the Marvel Comicsderived superhero cycle, audiences can be forgiven for feeling a tad worn out, both for reasons of quality and quantity. My rear end's thor just thinking about how many more we have coming. Yet sometimes a product exceeds expectations.
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Thursday, May 5,2011

Too disappointing

By Michael Phillips
This time Hayden Panettiere voices the kung-fu-trained Red (Anne Hathaway in the original), who has taken time off from the shadowy Happily Ever After enforcement agency run by amphibious Nicky Flippers (David Ogden Stiers, almost audibly holding his...
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Thursday, April 28,2011

Thank god for Mendes

By Michael Phillips
Opening number: We’re in the Brazilian jungle, the various birds and creatures are singing, dancing, getting us in the mood for — the abrupt arrival of smugglers. Shrieks, cries, running, scrambling and suddenly everybody’s in cages, including little Blu, the macaw.
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Thursday, April 28,2011

Robert Pattinson plays Jacob

By Michael Phillips
That’s more than can be said for Pattinson, who is easy to take without having yet made a single surprising or provocative choice as an actor. Yet he, too, is at least in there working his two or three notes hard, and often effectively. The director, Francis Lawrence (I Am Legend),.
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Thursday, April 21,2011

A conspiracy full of holes

By Michael Phillips
On April 17, 1865, three days after John Wilkes Booth assassinated Abraham Lincoln, Washington, D.C., boarding house owner Mary Surratt, along with seven others, was arrested on charges of conspiracy to kill the president.
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Thursday, April 21,2011

Meta-references are not always good

By Michael Phillips
The opening of this franchise reboot - wait, is it a reboot if it's from the same people? - promises a gory delirium the film cannot sustain. All in all, though, it's a moderately entertaining exercise in running in circles and chasing one's tail. I won't give too much away,.
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Thursday, April 14,2011

'Arthur' a tipsy remake

By Michael Phillips
In the original, Moore's alcoholic playboy fell in love with a waitress/actress/shoplifter played by Liza Minnelli. As retooled for our more sober era by screenwriter Peter Baynham, Arthur falls for a sweet, unlicensed Manhattan tour guide, played by Greta Gerwig.
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Thursday, April 7,2011

A contraption, but it works

By Michael Phillips
I like the size and scale and itchy excitement of this medium-budget picture (reportedly in the $30 million-$40 million range). While Monaghan has played richer roles, she's very shrewd about finding variations on a theme and forcing the audience to regard her character a little differently in each replay.
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