Posted in: Review

The Contrarian: The Hobbit is Way Better than Any of the LotR Movies

That The Two Towers, the weakest of the LotR movies, is one of the most critically lauded films of the last ten years and that The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, as of writing this piece, is certified rotten by the “Top Critics” on Rotten Tomatoes is a tragic miscarriage of filmic justice.  An Unexpected Journey is not only the best […]

Posted in: Review

The 10 Best Food Scenes in Film

Ever since Public Enemy‘s James Cagney smashed a grapefruit into Mae Clarke’s face, food has been an intricate part of film. From delicious dinner scenes to randy road trip rest stops, chow and its link to cinematic subtext has been a necessary narrative and artistic staple. Here are ten examples of how important comestibles are […]

Posted in: Review

Identity Thief

Effectively without merit, Seth Gordon’s (Horrible Bosses) tiresome Identity Thief still managed to make $172 million.  Good news for Melissa McCarthy, I guess.  Bad news for American comedy, though, as now Seth Gordon will continue to make movies. Let’s begin with the premise which, even for a broad comedy, is unusually lacking in credibility.  Sandy […]

Posted in: Review

G.I. Joe: Retaliation

While it might be the height of critical cliché (and analytically wrong) to call G.I. Joe: Retaliation “a real American Zero,” if the combat boot fits… Actually, this amped up pseudo-sequel to Stephen Sommers’ incessantly brain dead 2009 adaptation of the Hasbro toy brand wallows in a weird level of kinetic testosterone which sees Dwayne […]

Posted in: Review

The Place Beyond the Pines

Following her cameo in Leos Carax’s astonishing Holy Motors, Eva Mendes gives one of the more memorable performances of her career thus far in Derek Cianfrance’s woefully self-serious The Place Beyond the Pines. As Romina, the erstwhile love interest of motorcycle stuntman Luke (Ryan Gosling), Mendes engagingly conveys the conflicting desires of a woman who […]

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Tyler Perry’s Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor

When urban entertainment phenomenon Tyler Perry thumps his Bible, an entire demographic of underserved audience members usually responds. Mostly, it’s because he is bringing his (occasionally) hilarious drag act with him. However, with the failures of last fall’s Madea’s Witness Protection (it was profitable, if otherwise pathetic) and his attempted commercial crossover, Alex Cross, it’s […]

Posted in: Review

From Up on Poppy Hill

From Up on Poppy Hill, the latest animated transmission from the out-world known as Studio Ghibli, shows Goro Miyazaki working in the same medium but in a wholly different timbre than his promising debut, Tales from Earthsea. Here, he has switched from imaginative myth-maker to chronicler of memory and nostalgia extremist, as his latest relays […]

Posted in: Review

The Contrarian: I Want the Kathryn Bigelow Who Made Point Break Back

There’s a scene in Point Break in which the Ex-Presidents reveal to Johnny Utah (remember how there’s a character in this named Johnny Utah?) that they’re not robbing banks for the money. No, no, no my friend. Only Republicans rob banks for money. We rob banks to put our finger in the eye of The […]

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