Posted in: Commentary

The 10 Best Films About the Con Game

Toward the end of their final show as a band, Johnny “Rotten” Lydon of the British bad boys Sex Pistols screamed at an unappreciative audience the following beleaguered battle cry: “Ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated?” He was speaking both realistically (the band was awful that night) as well as metaphorically, since most of […]

Posted in: Review

The Amazing Spider-Man 2

Sony’s desire to reboot the already popular Spider-Man franchise was the result of fear. It was afraid of where Sam Raimi was taking the comic book series, and it was afraid that the character would become buried by the competition coming from brand companion Marvel and its well-honed movie universe. So hiring Marc Webb (of (500) Days […]

Posted in: Review

Bears

Nature documentaries have long been a staple of elementary school classrooms and Sunday afternoon television programming. They’re a great, if occasionally dry, way to learn about the many species with whom we share the planet. DisneyNature has been moving the genre into new, exciting directions in recent years, using high-tech cameras and other modern equipment […]

Posted in: Review

Blue Ruin

Revenge isn’t so sweet in Jeremy Saulnier’s Blue Ruin, an unblinking look at a journey down the winding road to retribution and beyond. The writer-director organizes the ugliness in a subdued mood piece that entertains and provokes. This Coen-esque thriller communicates clearly without getting bogged down in over-explanation of character motivations or plot minutiae. We […]

Posted in: Review

Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown: The Problem With Chick Flicks Today

Michelle Obama, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Condoleezza Rice, Christiane Amanpour, Oprah Winfrey, Tina Fey. What do they all have in common? They are considered to be some of the smartest, most accomplished, and most inspiring women of our time. Each has been wildly successful in her chosen field, showing that talent and ability are not bound by […]

Posted in: Review

The Other Woman (2014)

You have to feel sorry for the actresses in The Other Woman. Instead of being given characters to play, they’ve been handed recognizable female stereotypes, accented with occasional scatology and slapstick. Clearly influenced (poorly, one might add) by the entire Bridesmaids theory of “you go girl” power, we have the naive, nutty ditz (Leslie Mann), […]

Posted in: Review

Brick Mansions

Brick Mansions is an efficient and effective B-movie. It doesn’t reinvent the action genre so much as tunnel through the often imitated tropes of the type to deliver its limited delights. As a Luc Besson production, we get borrowed bits in abundance. The film’s premise is lifted almost directly from RoboCop by way of District 13 (which this film is a […]

Posted in: Review

Locke

Few actors can make 85 minutes of cell phone conversations wholly engrossing. In Locke, Tom Hardy proves he’s one of them. When you consider that many of the calls he makes are about a concrete pouring job, it makes his performance all the more impressive. Writer/director Steven Knight never takes the focus off his star, […]

Posted in: Review

Proxy

Any great thriller earns that definition by keeping its audience off-balance. We crave control in the real world, but not when it comes to the movies – if we have a grasp of what’s to come, we chide a film or filmmaker for being too predictable. Zack Parker has a firm understanding of this basic […]