I’m Villain Happy

Megamind

In an animated PG movie, children in the audience provide a good barometer for the film’s pacing. A single scene of over-their-head dialog or the tiniest pause in plot can result in 100 formerly awed children wiggling in their seats, disembarking en masse for the restrooms or, in the worst case, checking out the action at the video arcade. Although it’s a fun superhero romp with a cavalcade...

entered on 11/10/10 at 06:40 PM | read more »



If You Can’t Beat ’Em

Conviction

Simply put, director Tony Goldwyn’s Conviction is your average end-of-the-year Oscar hopeful. Not that it isn’t any good — it features a few fine performances from very talented actors and is undeniably effective as a drama — it just isn’t anything special. Ripped from some fairly recent headlines, Conviction concerns a small town single mother named Betty Anne Waters (Hilary Swank)....

entered on 11/10/10 at 06:35 PM | read more »



No Crowning Achievement

Due Date

The filth wake of a new Jackass film makes other movies’ attempts to shock with ribald humor futile, even with dialogue like “I vomited in the wound.” Nice try, Due Date, but Steve-O practically gargled human feces. Too unimaginative to be risqué, director Todd Philips has made a “blender” film; you know, where they make an acceptable-but-not-delicious cinematic smoothie by pureeing...

entered on 11/10/10 at 06:28 PM | read more »



Is Our Children Learning?

Waiting for Superman

I pass tears like kidney stones. Big, fat crocodile drops aren’t easily milked from these tightly shuttered ducts. So when I tell you I bawled at Waiting For Superman — ugly bawled … in public — please know that means something. Writer/director Davis Guggenheim made a documentary about global warming, An Inconvenient Truth, the scariest movie of 2006; so it’s no surprise he made a...

entered on 11/03/10 at 05:06 PM | read more »


Lives for Sale

Never Let Me Go

In the special club of music video directors turned mainstream feature filmmakers, Mark Romanek is among the least visible. He hasn’t made a film since 2002’s creepy-but-minor Robin Williams vehicle One Hour Photo. Who would’ve thought, with only a handful of music videos made between then and now, that his latest feature, Never Let Me Go would be so good? A medical breakthrough in the...

entered on 11/03/10 at 04:49 PM | read more »



Slow Death

Hereafter

No matter how deserving it may be, there’s no way to feel good about panning a Clint Eastwood movie. The man is a force of nature: in just the last two years he directed and produced four films, composed the score for two more and starred in one. And he’s 80. His resume certainly demands respect; unfortunately his latest film, Hereafter, is a silly, sappy mess. Hereafter hops around the...

entered on 10/27/10 at 08:37 PM | Comments (1) read more »



Doctor in the House?

House

Calling a 30-some-year-old movie a “new release” feels strange, although we may all have to agree to redefine the word “strange” after seeing the ultra-bizarre 1977 flick House, directed by Nobuhiko Obayashi. The film’s lain in state for quite a while; but like any good zombie, reanimated just in time for our Halloween party, to drink too much jungle juice and do the “Monster Mash”...

entered on 10/27/10 at 08:34 PM | read more »


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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


Nightcrawler

A condemnation of crime pornography with a chilling central character.

GRADE
A


John Wick

You kill his dog, he kills a million people. You've been warned.

GRADE
B


Dear White People

The type of smart, ballsy satire that comes along all too rarely.

GRADE
A


Fury

War is hell, but this movie is just hella slow.

GRADE
C+


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