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Matt Mueller's Articles
Now showing 1-20 of 627 results.
Movies & TV - Jan. 24, 2015
"Strange Magic" orders up plenty of strange but not too much magic
It doesn't take long into George Lucas' bizarre new animated movie "Strange Magic" to ask "What the heck am I watching?" Not shortly after, that question turns into "Why the heck am I still watching this?" It's hard to rationalize a good answer for either.
Movies & TV - Jan. 22, 2015
"Blackhat" comes dangerously close to resembling a hack job
After the Sony hack forced "The Interview" out of its prime Christmas release slot, "Blackhat" seemed to be perfectly primed to take its place. Alas, Universal kept the film in January. And maybe that was for the best, because even with its timely sounding synopsis, "Blackhat" plays like a relic, recalling less the anxiety of today's headlines and more the warmed-over memories of yesterday's forgettable action junk and silly techno-trash.
Milwaukee Buzz - Jan. 20, 2015
Streetcar opponents, advocates make final pushes before vote
A day before the Common Council meets to vote on the Milwaukee streetcar plan, advocates and opponents made their final pushes to gain public support or enough signatures for a referendum.
Movies & TV - Jan. 20, 2015
"Selma" powerfully presents MLK and the hard road to history
"Selma" is much more accomplished than "timely" gives it credit - or that its award season release and Important Movie surface may imply. It may appear like yet another Great Man Oscar bait biopic. Instead, it plays exactly like what many of those films are desperately reaching to be: a deeply powerful and deftly nuanced movie, one that beautifully captures the man and his mission with clear eyes, leaving viewers with teary ones thoroughly earned.
Arts & Entertainment - Jan. 19, 2015
Milwaukee actress Gordon reconnects with "Good People"
After heading into the heart of the South in "The Beautiful Music All Around Us," the Milwaukee Rep now travels up to Southie in Boston, the home of the Ben Affleck, the Red Sox, pahking the cahr in Hahvahd Yahd and David Lindsay-Abaire's "Good People." Taking over the award-winning role of Margie in the Rep's production is Milwaukee actress and director Laura Gordon, but it's not her first go around with the street smart Southie native.
Movies & TV - Jan. 16, 2015
Oscar noms sideline "Selma" while "Birdman" and "Boyhood" set to battle
Every January, the Academy wakes the film-obsessed nation bright and early to present its picks for the best movies of the past year. And every year, it's a three-way tie for headlines between the expected, the exciting and the excrement.
Movies & TV - Jan. 15, 2015
The 2015 Oscar nominations are in
Bright and early this morning, the joint forces of Chris Pine, J.J. Abrams, Alfonso Cuaron and Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs prattled off the 2015 Oscar nominees. "Birdman" and "The Grand Budapest Hotel" lead the pack with nine nominations for each - including Best Picture nods for both.
Movies & TV - Jan. 14, 2015
"Inherent Vice" gives off one great, groovy second-hand high
Writer-director Paul Thomas Anderson's been called a lot of things over his prodigious career. Light and cartoonish, however, would not likely be two of them. Yet here we are with "Inherent Vice," which goes down satisfyingly like a late night pizza on 4/20.
Arts & Entertainment - Jan. 13, 2015
A musical gumshoe hits the Rep for "The Beautiful Music All Around Us"
Stephen Wade has played many roles throughout his life. He's a scholar. He's an author. He's a musician and a performer, bringing banjo and traditional folk music across the nation in one-man shows - including the Rep's upcoming "The Beautiful Music All Around Us." Arguably his most famous role, however, is as a kind of musical detective, uncovering a nation's musical history that's very much alive and very often hiding in plain sight.
Movies & TV - Jan. 12, 2015
The best (and worst) movies of 2014
Hollywood insiders and magazines would have you believe 2014 was a miserable year for movies. And from a financial perspective, yes, they're totally correct. From a quality standpoint, however, 2014 was kind of terrific. Movie critic Matt Mueller breaks down the best (and a few of the worst) the year had to offer.
Music - Jan. 10, 2015
WIFEE and THE HUZz BAND is a happy musical marriage of luck and love
In music and in love, one needs a little dash of luck and maybe a helpful push from fate. At least, that's exactly the case with singer Ruby James and saxophonist Stephen "Coopy" Cooper - the WIFEE and the HUZz of WIFEE and THE HUZz BAND, a 10-piece old soul, funk and Motown-infused music group complete with a trumpet section born up north in Door County and now coming to Linneman's Riverwest Inn Saturday night at 9 p.m.
Music - Jan. 9, 2015
Phox prepares to keep its hot streak rolling into 2015
2014 was an awesome year for breakout bands from Wisconsin, from Sylvan Esso hitting it big to Phox exploding into commercials and getting plugged nationally by the likes of NPR and Entertainment Weekly. For the Madison-based Phox, what comes now is the terrifying part: the year after.
Movies & TV - Jan. 7, 2015
"The Woman in Black 2": Atmosphere abounds in scare-free start to 2015
Like any respectable horror movie villain, "The Woman in Black" has refused to die, returning for the January sequel "The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death." Other than a jump in time period and a distinct lack of star power (Daniel Radcliffe's been traded out for an unknown British actress and the kid from "War Horse"), little has changed. It's still rich in ornately decorated spooky atmosphere but in need of some more potent nightmare fuel.
Movies & TV - Jan. 5, 2015
"The Imitation Game" successfully cracks the code of a forgotten hero
Thanks to "The Imitation Game," you can add another mentally sharp but socially challenged fellow to his resume: behind-the-scenes World War II hero Alan Turing, a man with a tragic, compelling story made even more so by Cumberbatch's dedicated oddness.
Arts & Entertainment - Jan. 3, 2015
Behind the scenes with the tapping toes of "Anything Goes"
It may be a dream for dance captain Bradley Allan Zarr to take on Kathleen Marshall's Tony-winning choreography for "Anything Goes" - coming to the Marcus Center on Tuesday, Jan. 6 - but the first act finale is a verified monster: an extended 12-minute tap attack to the tune of Cole Porter's titular song.
Movies & TV - Jan. 3, 2015
"Unbroken" transforms a remarkable life into an unremarkable movie
You could list every potential synonym for incredible - amazing, triumphant, inspirational, awe-worthy, etc. - and it would still fall short of giving Louis Zamperini's life its due. "Unbroken," the movie blessed with bringing his remarkable story to the big screen, unfortunately lives up to none of those words. It is anything but amazing or triumphant or inspirational or awe-worthy. It manages to take cinematic gold and morph it into pewter.
Movies & TV - Jan. 1, 2015
Songs and performances cast a worthy spell in "Into the Woods"
There are many morals taught and learned over the course of "Into the Woods." Look at the world through others' eyes. Let your children into the world. Stop giving Johnny Depp roles involving goofy hats. However, the ultimate overarching lesson is be careful what you wish for, one that was all too prescient for fans of the beloved musical concerned about Disney's big screen adaptation. For fans, however, this story ends with a "happily ever after."
Music - Dec. 31, 2014
Glancing back at 2014 and looking forward with Paul Cebar
A little less than 365 days ago, Milwaukee music mainstay Paul Cebar and his band, Tomorrow Sound, rang in the new year with a bang, playing a Turner Hall on Jan. 10 in support of the band's newly released album, "Fine Rude Thing." After a productive 2014 promoting the new record around the country, Cebar and company are now coming back to town to crack open 2015 in a similar fashion, playing a set at Shank Hall Friday night.
Movies & TV - Dec. 29, 2014
The desperately modern "Annie" is cinematic artificial sweetener
Before the movie's going to congratulate itself for nixing its namesake, it ought to replace or reinvent it with something at least a little bit better. And unfortunately, this new "Annie" - encased in layers of fake sugary pop-song gloss and forced modernity - isn't all that much of an improvement.
Movies & TV - Dec. 27, 2014
"The Interview" is worth some solid laughs, if maybe not a cyber war
Ah, Christmas. The time for family. The time for memories. And, thanks to the collective cowardice of Sony Pictures and theater owners across the nation, the time for me to drive two hours up north to New London to see a Seth Rogen/James Franco comedy. But how's the movie?
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