Saturday, March 28, 2015

Annual Manual

Posted March 25, 2015in Film Review


For starters, here’s a caveat for this week’s review: I am not a teenage girl, so I acknowledge that I am not the target audience for “Insurgent.” Now, the caveat to my caveat: I am also not the target audience for “Frozen,” but I can still tell a good movie

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Posted March 18, 2015in Film Review

Run away

Is there an actor alive who has more undeserved goodwill than Liam Neeson? He certainly seems like a pleasant enough fellow in interviews and commercials, and this “I’m going to do action movies now” turn has been enjoyable enough. But when was the last time he actually made a good

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Posted March 11, 2015in Film Review

Almost human

Remember last week’s discussion about the difference between entertaining movies and good movies? Neill Blomkamp has given us another example to work with in “Chappie.” On a purely emotional, gut level, “Chappie” does everything it sets out to. It is moving, funny, exciting and gut-wrenching. Taken purely from that point

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Posted March 04, 2015in Film Review


I did not realize “Focus” was bad until I realized I had spent an hour wondering what side of the road Brazilians drive on. There is frequently a more than semantic difference between a film that is “good” and one that is “entertaining.” Good films are usually entertaining (though in

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Posted February 25, 2015in Film Review

Play on

If you could break life down into a series of Venn diagrams, at the point where the circles for “people who like sports” and “people who like movies” intersect, you would find “Kevin Costner fans.” Say what you will about Costner’s complete body of work, but there is no denying

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Posted February 18, 2015in Film Review

Royal treatment

There are a number of things that make “Kingsmen” really cool: seeing Colin Firth — master of the period drama — throwing punches in fight scenes; the wonderfully choreographed action sequences; seeing Mark Hamill get some work. There are, however, a few things that make the film not so cool:

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Posted February 11, 2015in Film Review

Brain vomit

It has been apparent for some time now that the Whachowski siblings are completely convinced of their own brilliance. The big problem with “Jupiter Ascending” is that they’ve apparently convinced Warner Bros. of it as well, and the studio has responded by handing them the keys and not looking back.

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Posted February 04, 2015in Film Review

Sinking feelings

Thrillers, especially modern ones, tend to follow a basic pattern. The audience is given a portion of the story early and allowed to try and figure out the rest as the film develops. Usually, viewers are trying to read the clues and figure out whodunit or some variation therein. Then

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Posted January 28, 2015in Film Review

Fairly Mortifying

As a critic, one tries to go into every scenario with an open mind. Once a film is identified as the one for review, I will go out of my way to avoid message boards trailers so as to approach each screening as open-minded as possible. Sometimes, though, you just

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Posted January 21, 2015in Film Review

Right On Target

Clint Eastwood has marked out an interesting career trajectory for himself. First he spent 30 years as one of Hollywood’s most consistent and bankable action stars. Then, after he got too old to bother with that anymore, he woke up one morning and said to himself, “To hell with it,

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