Yo Ho No

The Pirates! Band of Misfits

It’s hard not to mention Chicken Run without wanting to make a joke about Mel Gibson voicing a rooster. And while that may be the lasting thought from the 2000 movie, the fact remains that it was an affable claymation adventure from Aardman Animations that holds up well when compared with the relentless CGI dreck that has infested theaters over the last decade plus. So when The Pirates! Band of...

entered on 05/10/12 at 02:24 AM | read more »



Like a Joss

The Avengers

This was going to be a rabid, frothing defense of the superhero genre, complete with impassioned pleas that appealed to cinematic intellectuals who are apt to dismiss such films. But Tom Hiddleston, who ironically plays the evil Loki in The Avengers, got there first…and he straight-up crushed it. Damn you, Loki! Does your villainy know no end?!

In his unreasonably eloquent opinion piece in...

entered on 05/04/12 at 11:52 PM | read more »



In Need of Altar-ations

The Five-Year Engagement

Complaining about the length of a film can be a cop-out, a lazy way to avoid dissecting actual content in favor of basically whining about how valuable your free time is. But jokes about The Five-Year Engagement being long enough to legally make its audience common-law married aside, the duration of this and other Judd Apatow–produced movies has become a discussion point of substantial merit.

...

entered on 04/29/12 at 12:48 AM | read more »



Anatomically Correct

Bully

There is a conversation about bullying that is desperately needed in this country. Unfortunately, Bully seemingly isn’t interested in being part of it. Director Lee Hirsch’s film, although clearly well-intentioned, preaches to the choir with pedestrian truisms that tug on heart strings but ultimately add nothing of substance to a potentially important dialogue.

Sure, it’s impossible not to be...

entered on 04/21/12 at 04:54 AM | read more »



The Perils of Motherhood

This may sound like a joke to anyone who's seen Mommie Dearest (and believes what they've seen), but legendary hanger-hater Joan Crawford won her Oscar for playing a woman who surely has to be among the saintliest of silver screen single mothers.

In Mildred Pierce (1945), Crawford plays the titular heroine, a California divorcee struggling to make ends meet and raise a couple of daughters....

entered on 04/20/12 at 04:56 AM | read more »



Kung Ow Kickin’

The Raid: Redemption

Sometimes, life is simple. If you don’t like beef, don’t order a rib-eye. If you don’t like stale, recycled jokes, don’t watch CBS sitcoms. If you don’t like action movies, avoid The Raid: Redemption like a television-phobic vegan would avoid the stuff mentioned above.

Writer/director Gareth Evans, who admittedly did much more to earn the latter half of his hyphened title than the former,...

entered on 04/14/12 at 09:45 AM | read more »



Camp Crystal Fake-Out

The Cabin in the Woods

What’s funny is that writer Joss Whedon and writer/director Drew Goddard are going to get praised for how original The Cabin in the Woods is.

It isn’t.

In fact, the entire fundamental concept of the film relies solely on existing themes and tropes, on the relentless repurposing of the same mundane series of ideas over and over again. It just gives us an excuse to devour those familiar...

entered on 04/14/12 at 09:38 AM | read more »


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The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

The epic conclusion to the most epic of epics.

GRADE
A-


The Babadook

A terrifying tale of an ooky pop-up book and motherly love.

GRADE
A


The Tale of Princess Kaguya

A water-colored take on a Japanese folktale that is prettier than it is interesting.

GRADE
B-


The Theory of Everything

"Out of this world" performances buoy a sub-par script.

GRADE
B+


Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1

Half of what promises to be an epic conclusion to a fabulous series.

GRADE
B+


Birdman

A delirously fun satirical send up of artistic pretension. 

GRADE
B+


The Overnighters

"The Grapes of Wrath" in documentary form set in North Dakota.

GRADE
A-


Interstellar

If this was humanity's last hope, give up.

GRADE
D


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