Posted in: Review

Pixels

Pixels is about as entertaining as a video game-based action comedy produced by and starring Adam Sandler can be. That is to say, working from a screenplay that is stunted by its own immaturity, within a filmmaking environment that can only generate a certain amount of visual imagination, the film is able to muster as […]

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Ant-Man

Failure seemed imminent on Ant-Man after Edgar Wright, the man whose skewed perspective, anarchic sense of humor, and whiz-bang visual style promised to breathe vibrant life into this story of a superhero also-ran, exited the project due to “creative differences.” Surely, those differences had to do with Marvel stifling Wright’s gonzo independent vision, enveloping this […]

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Felt

Felt is a filmic exercise in which the “narrative,” inasmuch as one even exists, is so embedded in the film’s formal properties that it becomes futile to separate one discipline from another. The piece functions as a synthesized whole. As a result, it is a film for which criticism and analysis cannot be separated, either. […]

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Inside Out

When the Pixar team is firing on all cylinders, the resulting films are state-of-the-art and revolutionary, both in terms of the visual immersion and the emotional experience. A great Pixar film is a masterpiece of complexity, using the boundless possibilities of both animated filmmaking and fantasy storytelling to tap directly into the hearts and minds […]

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Manglehorn

For all its attempts to heavily overcomplicate both its narrative and its aesthetic, Manglehorn sure is simplistic and bland. In spite of the wistful philosophizing narration layered over every other scene and a heavy-handed visual approach that laboriously carries the film from one scene to the next, this is just another movie about a sad […]

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San Andreas

Disaster movies always test our suspension of disbelief, but San Andreas tests the threshold of which our eyes can roll in the back of our heads. If, by the end, you are still able to stare directly at the screen, you pass… or fail. You can choose the result based on your tolerance for the […]

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Hot Pursuit

Allow me to clear up any confusion right up front: Hot Pursuit is not directed by Paul Feig, and it does not star Melissa McCarthy. It’s unfortunate that both Feig and McCarthy have become synonymous as the go-to (read: only) source of female-centered movie comedy — not merely because it pigeon-holes two great talents, but […]

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Avengers: Age of Ultron

Avengers: Age of Ultron works because we like familiar heroes enacting grand spectacle on an epic canvas. There are flaws aplenty in this, Joss Whedon’s sequel to his massively lucrative (and massively fun) 2012 comic book opus, but what carries the film past a convoluted plot that threatens to bloat but somehow still cuts convenient […]

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Get Hard

Get Hard is probably the lamest comedy of all time that also happens to be occasionally amusing. I mean, I guess it’s hard not to happen upon a couple humorous bits when you have talent like Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart headlining your film. Those guys can improv all day long – and they likely […]

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Cinderella (2015)

Jean-Luc Godard famously said, “In order to criticize a movie, you have to make another movie.” In the span of three short months, Walt Disney Pictures has illustrated that theory, only in reverse. Last December, the studio released Into the Woods, which skewered – sometimes playfully, sometimes savagely – the conventions of the traditional fairy […]

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Everly

Everly is like a great mash-up trailer extended to insufferable full length. There are plenty of fun ideas swirling around, but none of them move past the conceptual stage. What results is a film that throws these disparate base concepts into a blender and hurls them at the audience, in chunks measured enough to eventually […]

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Annie

It’s kind of disheartening to sit here on the brink of lightly bashing the unceasingly-promoted Annie, which is actually quite sweet and well meaning, and which represents a very sincere attempt to mount a magic-tinged musical. Unfortunately, this modern adaptation of Thomas Meehan’s classic play is distractingly incompetent, failing to either make us invest our belief […]

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The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

One last time. Finally, thankfully, mercifully, one last time. After 13 years and six films, the cinema’s immersion into J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle Earth comes to a close with The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, a film that brings full circle not only the events of Peter Jackson’s second Tolkien-based trilogy, but also the […]