Does the Audience Really Get the Satirical Thriller 'The Purge'?
Published 6/12/2013 at 11:15 a.m. 0 comments
Sometimes the reaction to a movie is more interesting than the movie itself. Such is the case with The Purge, the futuristic home-invasion tale from writer/director James DeMonaco, which set a record last weekend when it grossed $36.4 million—a bigger ...
Magic Thriller 'Now You See Me': A Con Job, But a Fun One
Published 6/5/2013 at 10:56 a.m. 0 comments
Now You See Me is supposed to leave us thinking about the many parallels between movies and stage magic. We go into both with a willingness to be tricked—we know it’s all an illusion, but we’re partners in the artifice.
'Fast and Furious 6': The Best Bad Movie of the Summer
Published 5/29/2013 at 10:48 a.m. 0 comments
Having struck an uneasy truce with Dwayne Johnson’s caricatured super-spook at the end of Five, the F&F gang are back on alert when Johnson finds himself up against an international gang of auto-savvy thieves hell-bent on constructing some sort of ...
Baz Luhrmann’s 'Great Gatsby': All Spectacle, No Heart
Published 5/15/2013 at 10:48 a.m. 0 comments
Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby has quite a bit going for it: an epic soundtrack; eye-popping art direction; a titanic-sized (or Titanic-sized) budget, courtesy of co-producer Jay-Z; a number of radiant performances; and source material from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Great ...
Studio Ghibli’s Torch Is Not Quite Passed Yet With 'From Up on Poppy Hill'
Published 5/8/2013 at 10:35 a.m. 0 comments
From Up on Poppy Hill is a fine film. But it’s not a great one.
Michael Bay Reveals Unexpected Self-Referential Wit in Action Satire 'Pain & Gain'
Published 5/1/2013 at 10:34 a.m. 0 comments
Some people have never been particularly friendly to the Transformers director; according to Rotten Tomatoes, his 1996 prison-break adventure The Rock is the only Bay film to inspire so much as toleration from critics, while serious film fans deride his ...
'Oblivion' Reminds Us What Makes Sci-Fi Great
Published 4/24/2013 at 9:50 a.m. 0 comments
Oblivion is just as interesting for what it might mean for sci-fi fans as for what it actually is. It gives us everything we’d expect from a movie that comes with a reported $100 million price tag, but it’s also ...
Repeat Offender Rob Zombie Manages to Attain Stylishness with 'The Lords of Salem'
Published 4/17/2013 at 10:09 a.m. 0 comments
Shock-rocker Rob Zombie’s fifth feature, The Lords of Salem, is his most accomplished movie so far, and has something none of his previous films could claim: a sense of fun.
Fede Alvarez’s Update of 'The Evil Dead' Lacks the Original’s Lively Humor
Published 4/3/2013 at 9:28 a.m. 0 comments
The Evil Dead cries out for revisiting—on the surface, anyway. Originally shot for less than $100,000 at a cabin just outside of Morristown, Sam Raimi’s debut is a textbook on (mostly) transcended limitations.
Harmony Korine’s College Bacchanalia 'Spring Breakers' Turns Into a Disturbing Fever Dream
Published 3/27/2013 at 11:30 a.m. 0 comments
Spring Breakers is still a nihilistic (though frequently hilarious) film about young people who suffer from a dangerous disconnect between their actions and the consequences they might have, but this is an altogether more accomplished and more accessible work than ...
'The ABCs of Death' Surveys Contemporary Horror With Mixed Results
Published 3/20/2013 at 10:44 a.m. 0 comments
The ABCs of Death, which the Knoxville Horror Film Festival is screening this weekend, collects 26 short films—one for each letter of the alphabet—by 26 acclaimed directors from around the world, most of them under 40.
Sam Raimi's 'Oz the Great and Powerful' Pays Off in Unexpected Ways
Published 3/13/2013 at 10:53 a.m. 0 comments
Raimi’s prequel is a fun (if overinflated) movie that works beautifully as a guided tour through a vividly rendered Oz, and you couldn’t ask for a better—or more demented—tour guide.
The Long-Delayed 'Jack the Giant Slayer' Is a Giant Disappointment
Published 3/6/2013 at 10:29 a.m. 0 comments
It didn’t seem too much to ask that Bryan Singer’s long- and little-awaited Jack the Giant Slayer be a wall-to-wall disaster, the sort of bomb that brings this regrettable recent string of fairy-tale reboots to an end.
Recession Horror Hits a New Low With 'Dark Skies'
Published 2/27/2013 at 10:00 a.m. 0 comments
The fact that the boogeymen in Dark Skies are aliens and not ghosts or the demons who lurk about in both of the aforementioned films is irrelevant; Dark Skies is perhaps the most explicit (and explicitly derivative) mile marker of ...
Star-Studded Mob Comedy 'Stand Up Guys' Loses Its Footing
Published 2/20/2013 at 9:57 a.m. 0 comments
Rarely have the talents of Al Pacino, Christopher Walken, and Alan Arkin been as crassly misused as they are in Stand Up Guys.
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