Posted in: Review

Reality (2013)

The Italy of Matteo Garrone’s Reality signifies the moral bankruptcy and delirium of Silvio Berlusconi’s government-as-game-show regime in a way that is both bitterly comical and frustrating in its shortsightedness. Seen through the eyes of fish-market owner and low-tier swindler Luciano (Aniello Arena), Naples, once the classical setting of such tremendous works as Vittorio De […]

Posted in: Review

Love and Honor

Graciously gathering the last three or four decades of the most impersonal and forgettable Vietnam films into one wet beer-belch of counter-culture signifiers and don’t-tread-on-me rhetoric, Danny Mooney’s Love and Honor is clearly the product of a group of filmmakers who are utterly disinterested with war. Tomcat Pvt. Mickey Wright (Liam Hemsworth) and his high-strung […]

Posted in: Review

Admission

Modern rom-coms and Ivy League schools actually have a lot in common.  They’re both vestigial organs from a bygone age when men were Wiffenpoofs and women married typewriter salesmen after high school (or else mooned over their English professors at Sarah Lawrence).  They’re also mutually indistinguishable from one another, even while they remain convinced of their perfect singularness with a certitude […]

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Oz the Great and Powerful

Sam Raimi’s big and splashy but tin-eared prequel Oz the Great and Powerful turns the spirit of the 1937 The Wizard of Oz inside out. Oz is no longer the place where misguided Earth youths like Dorothy can discover how special home really is. This time, Oz — with its expensively imagined rainbow- and candy-colored […]

Posted in: Review

Stoker

It’d probably be impossible to produce a suspenseful, sensual coming-of-age thriller about the relationship forged between an impressionable, inquisitive teenage girl and her mysterious Uncle Charlie without blatantly calling to mind Alfred Hitchcock’s masterful, somehow-underrated Shadow of a Doubt. So instead of dodging the comparisons, South Korean director Park Chan-wook (Oldboy, The Vengeance Trilogy) embraces […]

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Gangster Squad

An unconvincing facsimile of a crime drama, Gangster Squad, in the end, is merely a podunk action movie in a nice suit. Gangster Squad concerns a group of cops led by John O’Mara (Josh Brolin) who are forced to confront organized crime kingpin Mickey Cohen (Sean Penn), vigilante-style, on account of their police department’s corruption.  The […]

Posted in: Review

The Incredible Burt Wonderstone

I’m going to make you a promise: this review will be magic-trick-pun free and now, having read that, you can read the rest in peace. Brass tacks: despite its flaws, The Incredible Burt Wonderstone is funny, and if you’re a comedy fan you should see it.  It’s performers are in top form, Jim Carrey plays […]

Posted in: Review

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

The odd thing about the saying “too much of a good thing” is that it acknowledges the fact that, something, in general, is composed of an overabundance of excellence. There’s no qualifier, no additional phrase which augments the sentiment like “…and too much that’s terrible.” The maxim is meant to argue for a surplus, and […]