Marvel Blockbusts a Cap

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

With fight choreography pickpocketed from Baryshnikov and more leaping and bounding than Pooh’s friend Tigger on cocaine, Captain America (Chris Evans) makes beating the crap out of bad guys look downright pretty. Give directors Joe and Anthony Russo credit; bucking the law of diminishing returns, the brothers found a way to make the umpteenth superhero movie to be released in the last five...

entered on 04/04/14 at 10:49 AM | read more »



That Ship Cray

Noah

They gave the guy who made Requiem for a Dream $150 million to make a movie about Noah’s ark. Huh?! In Requiem, writer/director Darren Aronofsky had Jennifer Connelly connect with another woman via an unforgettable shared “experience.” So, if any exec at Paramount claims they didn’t think Noah would end up like this, they are real dumb.


It takes all of five minutes for Noah to deliver a...

entered on 03/28/14 at 10:33 AM | read more »



Quirking on Something Different

The Grand Budapest Hotel

To alter a phrase from Twain, who won’t mind because he’s dead, writer/director Wes Anderson repeated history until he figured out how to rhyme. Barring a brief foray into stop-motion animation, Anderson’s oeuvre for the last decade redundantly hit the same notes with the same instruments, producing repetitive, quirky music that hipsters totally liked before you did. Until now.

To alter a...

entered on 03/22/14 at 01:59 AM | read more »



Speedy and Irritable

Need for Speed

The most important thing to know before attempting to endure the lumbering bore that is Need for Speed is this: every single character in the film is unspeakably dumb. Presumably set in a world where humans never mentally evolved from an animal state, the movie features increasingly nonsensical behaviors by derpy morons whose ability to dress themselves is as impressive to us as their ability...

entered on 03/14/14 at 05:38 PM | read more »



Xerox Xerxes

300: Rise of an Empire

When director Zack Snyder’s opus of underwear modeling amidst geysers of animated blood, 300, first arrived eight years ago, no one expected a sequel. And not just because 299 of the 300 Spartans were way too dead to return. Technically, 300: Rise of an Empire isn’t a sequel: It’s a prequel…and a side-quel…and a sequel… Look, to fans of the first film, all that really matters is swordfight,...

entered on 03/07/14 at 05:46 PM | read more »



Sheepskinned Con Dumb

The Wolf of Wall Street

To review of The Wolf of Wall Street at this stage of the game is to enter into an ongoing narrative feud with able critical champions on both sides. Does the film’s dramatization of real-world douchehammer Jordan Belfort’s drug-fueled depravity lend tacit approval, implicitly embracing harmful excess for entertainment? Or does it offer a back-handed critique of “Wall Street executive as modern...

entered on 03/01/14 at 02:45 AM | read more »



Tainted Love

Stranger by the Lake

Far from Puritanical and chaste, my film sensibilities are such where so-called “graphic” content is usually lucky if it barely forces me to raise a single eyebrow. But they haven’t invented a cartoon emoji expressive enough for the face I made when I realized just how explicit writer/director Alain Guiraudie’s L’inconnu du Lac (Stranger by the Lake) was going to get. Surely they would cut away...

entered on 02/28/14 at 07:50 PM | read more »


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The Boxtrolls

A stop-motion romp with near-nekkid trolls and a cross-dressing villain.

GRADE
B-


The Skeleton Twins

A dramedy about suicide elevated by its stars.

GRADE
B


Frank

A band that has a lead singer with a fake head will win your heart.

GRADE
A-


The Trip to Italy

Another affable outing with two British comedians.

GRADE
B+


Sin City: A Dame to Kill For

Still a fun place to visit, provided you're not a woman.

GRADE
C


The Giver

This adaptation of Lois Lowry's beloved award-winning classic will be none of those things.

GRADE
D


Boyhood

The only coming-of-age story anyone ever needs to make. 

GRADE
A+


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