Posted in: Review

The Calling

A committed serial killer using religious and dogmatic motives as the main reason for his crimes. A small town police woman dealing with the unusual problem of murder in her sleepy little burg. An unseasoned detective out to make good in a unwelcoming principality many miles from the big city. A desperately undermanned and underfunded department […]

Posted in: Review

The Congress

Thanks to such technological advances as digital filmmaking, CGI, and motion capture, Hollywood is now capable of creating “virtual performances,” bringing everything from gun-toting space raccoons to semi-salient apes to (almost real) life. Tinseltown can even uses such science to create differing versions of actual human beings. In Tron: Legacy, an aging Jeff Bridges was […]

Posted in: Review

One Chance

For the true story of Paul Potts, the down-on-his-luck Welsh cellphone store clerk with dreams of becoming an opera star, you don’t expect much in the way of nuance. True to form, the folks at Weinstein — who’ve created a decent-sized niche line of feel-good stories with light quirk, preferably from the United Kingdom — […]

Posted in: Review

Sin City: A Dame to Kill For

Is two-thirds of a great Sin City sequel good enough? Is the absence of original cast members Clive Owen, Michael Clark Duncan, and Devon Aoki acceptable, considering their impact the first time around? Is nine years too long to revisit this neo-noir material, considering its groundbreaking “digital studio” style is no longer all that fresh? […]

Posted in: Review

If I Stay

For a movie with music at its core, If I Stay sure is tone deaf. It’s a film made by people who have no clue about the various elements they’re working with: punk rock; young love; the ins and outs of relationships; life and death; and perhaps, most importantly, narrative structure. The movie, like the popular […]

Posted in: Review

Are You Here

Matthew Weiner has written or co-written a dozen episodes of The Sopranos and dozens more of his own creation Mad Men, seven of which he also directed. These are the facts that will create expectations and puzzlement over Are You Here, in which those skills fail to translate to a feature film. It’s an odd […]

Posted in: Review

When the Game Stands Tall

When the Game Stands Tall can’t settle on a clichéd sports movie through-line and uses homogenized tropes that feel like a lame greatest hits compilation. There’s potential to do something unique with the true story of the De La Salle High School football team’s remarkable 151-game winning streak and the aftermath of their first loss […]

Posted in: Review

Jersey Shore Massacre

It’s hard to say what’s more off-putting about Jersey Shore Massacre — that it’s an irredeemably awful film, or that it arrives several years too late. MTV’s Jersey Shore show was a phenomenon when it debuted in 2009. It went off the air two years ago, yet here is an old-fashioned slasher flick inspired by it. The […]

Posted in: Commentary

The 10 Best Vampire Movies of All Time

Before Anne Rice romanticized them (and Stephenie Meyer took that “endless” love element and ran with it), vampires were terrifying. They were frightening creatures who sucked the blood of humans, leaving an undead apocalypse (and many more hungry neckbiters) in their wake. Connected to other “children of the night,” they became myth and legend and […]

Posted in: Review

The Expendables 3

Sly and his ragtag bunch of mercenaries are back again… again, and the third mission for The Expendables is the least inspired yet. The novelty of action icons teaming up wore off long ago, the question, “Who can they add next” replaced with, “What’s the point of this, anyway?” While being referential and tapping into […]

Posted in: Review

The Giver

For a book about breaking the bonds of conformity — among other things — the movie version of The Giver sure is conventional. It’s stilted and dull, as dreary as the drab monochrome used by director Phillip Noyce to bring Lois Lowry’s utopian dystopia to life. In this post-Ruin world, known as Community, a strict […]