Posted in: Review

Les Miserables (2012)

Some stories are so bulletproof that even a tuneless Russell Crowe can’t deliver a mortal wound. There are also some so prone to overwrought pathos that even a fearsomely committed Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway, working every creative muscle in their bodies, can’t quite elevate to greatness. In Tom Hooper’s labor-of-love adaptation of the workhorse […]

Posted in: Review

Jack Reacher

A lunatic sniper fires off rounds from a parking garage, killing five presumably random people on the streets below. Identified by a fingerprint, the former soldier is arrested and promptly interrogated. In lieu of a confession, he scrawls on a piece of paper, “GET JACK REACHER.” Whoa! Who’s Jack Reacher? A former military criminal investigator […]

Posted in: Review

Mama

Is there room for overt sentimentality in a scary movie? That’s the main question one encounters after sitting through the Guillermo Del Toro-produced/Andres Muschietti-directed fright film Mama. While the aforementioned Mexican auteur has himself included fantasy and romanticized elements in his own movie macabre (The Devil’s Backbone, Pan’s Labyrinth), it appears his penchant for turning […]

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Silver Linings Playbook

Though hamfisted at times and ultimately predictable, Silver Linings Playbook still manages to bring some real brio to a genre long since sodden with platitudes and empty humor.  And despite some serious errors in judgement, Silver Linings Playbook is one of those rare love stories with actual heart. After coming upon his wife in flagrante delicto having shower-fun-time with […]

Posted in: Review

Broken City

The movies love sleaze in high places. From the posh offices of world leaders to the local political scandal, film enjoys tales of absolute power corrupting absolutely-and those who would bring such despots down.  So it’s no surprise when an effort like Broken City comes around. It has all the components for a competent thriller. […]

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The Details

A couple of years back, the brilliant Coen brothers unleashed A Serious Man on unsuspecting movie audiences. The masterpiece of faith and fate, the film featured a physics professor nebbish whose own growing Anti-Semitism is tempered by a cosmic design to make his life as unlivable as possible. Within the dark comedic core was a […]

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Save the Date

In the aftermath of so many wedding-centric romantic comedies, an alternative vision of the subgenre seems to be building: first Kristen Wiig and Paul Feig’s Bridesmaids appeared with a messier, raunchier take on a best friend’s wedding, then Leslye Headland’s Bachelorette went even darker; even The Five-Year Engagement focused more on its central relationship than […]

Posted in: Review

I Wish

No writer/director is better at mining big human truths from the seemingly trivial details of daily life than Hirokazu Kore-eda, whose jewel-box like movies — Nobody Knows and Still Walking are two stellar examples — offer intimate slices of life in contemporary Japan that teach us about life anytime and anywhere. In I Wish, Kore-eda […]

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John Dies at the End

It’s been a long time since we’ve heard from horror film director Don Coscarelli. When last he darkened a Cineplex with his dangerous visions, it was in service of the wonderful Elvis-as-ghostbuster classic Bubba Ho-Tep. Unfortunately, since then, his post-Phantasm career has been stalled. He’s tried to get a sequel, the vampire-inspired Bubba Nosferatu, off […]