Latest Film Reviews
Despite the dirty jokes hidden in plain sight ('Never underestimate the power of the Schwartz!'),
is a PG-rated comedy that makes silliness sublime.
Bye Bye Birdie (1963)
Anyone allergic to high-fructose corn syrup might do well to stay away, but the winking humor and musical gusto of this pop-artful camp standard-bearer still carry the day.
Dexter: The Sixth Season (2006)
The show has meandered back over too-familiar ground in its fifth and sixth seasons, stalling for time when it should be daringly advancing its storyline.
High Time (1960)
Plays dated these days, though what now seems like a pitch straight down the middle probably seemed more like a screwball fifty-two years ago.
Killer Joe (2011)
Friedkin’s pretty shrewd himself, in how he teases out the humor without indulging Letts’ immature glibness, and how he sidesteps Bible Belt baptism to waterboard us in the sewer of selfish human nature.
Hope Springs (2012)
There’s a weirdly riveting intensity—and a palpable sense of privilege—to the way the movie takes us into squirmy private moments...
falls a bit short of the mark, it remains a likeable artifact of talented people giving a ridiculous task the old college try...
The Incredible Mr. Limpet (1964)
You know, for kids! Best to repeat that mantra-style if you’re an adult sitting down to watch 1964’s kiddie flick
The Incredible Mr. Limpet
Full Metal Jacket (1987)
Kubrick again turns his unsparing eye to the dread of existence...of a godless universe...of moral frailty and civilization gone wrong...
Ruby Sparks (2012)
In a time of mind-numbing rom coms,
uses fantasy to get real about modern romance.
The Imposter (2012)
Stranger than fiction...simply by presenting us with the facts as they unfolded, Layton winningly encourages more questions than answers.
Wilfred: The Complete First Season (2011)
'A boy and his dog' is a storytelling trope that goes back for centuries, but there's never been a 'boy and his dog' story quite like
Star Trek: The Next Generation—Season One (1987)
The shakedown cruise of
Star Trek: The Next Generation
—may have been a bumpy one, but it got the newest incarnation of the U.S.S. Enterprise into action while winning over the 'Trekker' fanbase at large.
The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
The Nolans consider the issues of the day...explore the role of legendary heroes (from Robin Hood to Batman and Robin) in galvanizing the public, and labor mightily to ensure that how their Batman ends dovetails with 2005’s
Dirty Pretty Things (2003)
At its best delineating the absurdities of immigrant life lost in the London rat race.
Chariots of Fire (1981)
The cast is impeccable from top to bottom, and the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat reliably go for the gut.
The Intouchables (2012)
With its brash humor and emotional generosity,
has crowd-pleaser written all over it, but there’s no mistaking the queasy racial implications.
Oliver Stone, bless ’im, still believes in red-meat cinema.
Take This Waltz (2012)
Polley’s fearlessness is one of many reasons I take no pleasure in saying that
Take This Waltz
Home on the Range (2004)
This bouncy Western musical-comedy adventure is long enough on charm, but wisely short and sweet at 76 minutes. It's also totally bereft of innovation...
Treasure Planet (2002)
The awkward trappings of this Disney adventure mechanize and blunt the tale's humanity. It pops and squeaks and rumbles, but
lacks the strength to transport audiences.
Boorman's interpretation of the material resulted in an American cinematic classic built not only on shock and awe, but emotional subtlety.
A pretty much ideal big-screen adaptation of the material, which becomes convincingly cinematic.
Clearly inspired by 1960s Batmania, the hunka hunka burning camp that is
adapted French science-fiction comic books into gleefully oversexed cinematic pop art.
To Rome with Love (2012)
More distressing are Allen’s regressive treatment of women...and an off-putting solipsism.
If you yearn to be treated like an eight-year-old, this R-rated kids movie for adults—the very opposite of Judd Apatow’s wave of 'time to grow up' comedies— is all yours.
Louie: The Complete Second Season (2011)
After a critically acclaimed first season, emboldened writer-director-star C.K. doesn't fix what ain't broke, and remains agreeably irreverent about his own creation.
Seeking a Friend for the End of the World (2012)
For the apocalyptic circumstances to be more than cheap window dressing, Scafaria owes us more thought and insight and satiric zest than her film offers up.
Your Sister's Sister (2011)
Turns out not to be heady in theme and may not linger long after viewing, but it's still an enjoyable emotional wringer to be put through, in the company of a well-matched trio of actors.
Rock of Ages (2012)
Shankman's frappé of '80s rock is hideous, but weirdly fascinating...this is a movie you'll never be able to un-see, so think carefully...
Superman vs. the Elite (2012)
The conflict between The Elite's way of doing things and Superman's sets up a 'might makes right' allegory wrestling with national and global politics as well as, on a more personal level, civilian tolerance of capital punishment.
In Darkness (2011)
With straits at least as dire as those in
The Diary of Anne Frank
(and moral dimensions far more murky),
deals with survival at whatever cost, including compromise of personal principles.
Road Trip (2000)
Just a cut above the typical, but it goes without saying: your mileage may vary.
Thin Ice (a.k.a. The Convincer) (2011)
Were it not for a horribly transparent bit of narration in those opening moments,
would have a better shot at working on its audience the way the filmmakers obviously hoped it would.
Peace, Love, & Misunderstanding (2012)
Jake’s ever-present video camera notes the sign 'Woodstock 3 mi.'—but it should read 'Shameless Contrivances 3 mi.'...make tracks, not love.
U.S. Marshals (1998)
If you can get past the naked exploitation of this mercenary sequel,
is a sort of brain-rotting kind of fun (how's that for an endorsement?).
A Perfect World (1993)
Tells the tale of an escaped convict and his eight-year-old hostage and, in the process, considers the cycles of disappointment wrought on sons by questionable fathers: abusive ones, absent ones, even a well-meaning 'daddy state.'
Blood Work (2002)
This vehicle—the cinematic equivalent of a supermarket paperback—plays like the best-ever episode of
rather than a truly distinguished feature film.
Stands out as one of Wayne's best-remembered features, a smooth Western co-produced by Wayne and shot at the tail end of the '50s 3-D craze.
John Carter (2012)
An undeniable disaster...of marketing. Join me on a tour of media headaches, and why they don't necessarily reflect the quality of the movie itself.
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