Latest Film Reviews
Rather than simply repeating the successful formula of
, which incorporated humor but largely played it straight,
flips the script for a largely comic action picture punctuated by a dark, rug-yanking conclusion.
The biggest impression left by
is the characterization of Sanjuro, whose iconography of stoic cool (that inspired Clint Eastwood's antiheroic "Man with No Name") is consistently undercut with dashes of comical realism...
Broken Embraces (2009)
This isn't the first time Almodóvar has explored cinema and its power to change lives, but for all its colorful visuals and narrative sophistication, the story feels more insular than ever.
The Blind Side (2009)
Surely post-recession America will turn out in droves for this cinematic version of a hug. But should they?
Repo Men (2010)
Perfectly positioned to take advantage of the health care debate. Unfortunately, the satire doesn’t get any more complex than 'What if the mortgage crisis were over livers instead of houses?'
doesn’t amount to much, really, but it’s an enjoyably amusing character study with plenty of little pleasures.
How to Train Your Dragon (2010)
The 3D is justified, mostly by flying sequences that are certain to fuel the dreams of many a child.
The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers (2009)
The film for anyone who ever doubted that one man can make a difference.
The Princess and the Frog (2009)
The beautifully hand-drawn
The Princess and the Frog
keeps up a brisk pace and energy, but only partly achieves the effervescence of a Disney 'classic.'
Wondrous, weird, and sweetly innocent,
is a tale bursting with love, which is recommendation enough for the young and the young at heart.
Remember Me (2010)
Only slightly edgier and no more sensible than a Nicholas Sparks story.
Bigger Than Life (1956)
The sort-of picture-perfection of the suburban home...is a tenuous cover for the unpredictability of life, the short distance between the American Dream and the American nightmare.
Saint John of Las Vegas (2010)
Conspicuously pointless...an underachieving comedy of awkwardness.
The Negotiator (1998)
This highly incredible story lives and dies on its leading performances, so it's a damn good thing someone hired Jackson and Spacey to go toe to toe.
Logan's Run (1975)
Despite its grabber of a premise,
flaunts poorly developed plot specifics; as such, it's terminally silly. Nevertheless, as a camp curio, it still has an odd but undeniable staying power.
A stealth epic, framing an urban jungle and making its own kind of contemporary history by pairing acting giants Robert DeNiro and Al Pacino in what has arguably become the preminent cops-and-robbers movie.
What to make of short-attention-span artists satirizing a short-attention-span world?
Black Dynamite (2009)
Well-mined comic territory...dutifully—and it must be said, expertly—recreates the rough cinematography, cheesy production design...and incidental music that sounds like chintzy soul crossed with a Quinn-Martin TV score.
The Stepfather (2009)
Any subtlety or implicit social satire to be found in Joseph Ruben's original went out with the last neighborhood trash pickup. Too bad the service was canceled before it could haul away this waste-of-time remake.
Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths (V) (2010)
As punchy superhero entertainment for kids goes, this is fairly provocative stuff that should get the young'uns thinking along with their thrills.
New York, I Love You (2009)
Some of the twelve short films are nice enough, some are shaky and a few are outright awful...
A potent mood piece lifted by gorgeous cinematography, resonant performances and, above, all, Spielmann's sensitive filmmaking.
Coco Before Chanel (2009)
A rather dull and unchallenging account of one woman's ambitious social climb in a man's world...If Chanel's early years were really this boring, why bother with them?
The Time Traveler's Wife (2009)
with a sci-fi twist...this love story made up of signs and wonders suggests to savor the time you have.
Law Abiding Citizen (2009)
'It's going to get Biblical!'...sets new standards of lunatic plotting as it goes about its smiting.
The Last King of Scotland (2006)
Graham Greene it's not....Whitaker's striking work aside,
The Last King of Scotland
is insipid, obvious movieland history.
Walk the Line (2005)
A dash more authentic--or, at least, more subtle--than its Hollywood spawning and Taylor Hackford's come-on-strong take on [Ray] Charles would seem to predict.
The Last Station (2009)
Winds up feeling strangely perfunctory. This is subject matter that should fascinate, rather than deliver an occasional droll observation.
From Paris with Love (2010)
If only Morel and Besson would have committed to satirizing, instead of merely exploiting, this superficially cool, destructively cold archetype of American firepower, they could’ve had more than multiplex filler.
A smart little genre outing, an endangered species in modern Hollywood.
The House of the Devil (2009)
A very impressive formal exercise in style and restraint...
Extraordinary Measures (2010)
Predictable and, in the end, embarrassingly sappy...[but] does touch on some interesting points about the ethics of drug trials and approvals, the entrepreneurial spirit, and the challenges of doing important work that isn’t a sure thing...
Michael Jackson's This Is It (2009)
A hall-of-mirrors investigation of extraordinary talent, emotionally stunted personality, a performer’s process, and the cruel mistress of celebrity...but it also serves as a powerful performance version of a last will and testament.
Weeds: Season Five (2009)
No one can accuse the show of shrinking from dark psychological themes: the leading character of Nancy Botwin (Emmy winner Mary-Louise Parker) has spun more wildly out of control with each season...
Cheaper by the Dozen 2 (2005)
Okay, everybody, back to your shopping--there's nothing to see here.
The Lovely Bones (2009)
It’s a mark of Jackson’s lack of restraint as a filmmaker that the mystery-thriller elements and fantastic visualizations overtake the domestic drama that is the novel’s true raison d’être.
As preposterous as this "
on a mountain" flick is,
remains one of the zestier big-budget action pictures of the nineties.
Last Action Hero (1993)
Considered a dunderheaded big-budget flop in its day,
Last Action Hero
looks considerably better now in its creative self-parody.
Jennifer's Body (2009)
Sets thoughts swirling about three bitch-goddesses: the teenage variety (namely Megan Fox’s Jennifer), “success” in the commercial cinema, and that fickle mistress called hype.
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (2009)
Endearingly packed to the rafters with ornate anachronistic artistry, Gilliam’s
is a great place to window shop—and get lost for a spell.
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