Attack Lads

The Ides of March

A reminder: Bobbing for apples in a sports stadium urinal trough may be less vile than becoming a professional politician. If Aaron Sorkin’s sorely missed “West Wing” was a weekly fairy tale of governmental grace, The Ides of March is a campfire ghost story where every player is the bogeyman. Populated exclusively with characters only passingly familiar with the definition of integrity, the...

entered on 10/08/11 at 11:16 AM | read more »



Pinkie Gets Fingered

Brighton Rock

Although writer/director Rowan Joffe’s Brighton Rock, the second attempt at a big-screen adaptation of a 1938 Graham Greene novel, never introduces us to the parents of its sociopathic main character, it’s safe to assume they sucked at child rearing. Maybe genetics alone determined that their offspring would become a brain-bashing, knife-wielding savage, but naming him Pinkie Brown couldn’t...

entered on 10/02/11 at 07:41 PM | read more »



The Digital Diamond

Moneyball

“It's hard not to be romantic about baseball.” Or so drawls Billy Beane, the restless Oakland Athletics general manager depicted in “all caps” by Brad Pitt in Moneyball. It's a hard statement to deny, whether or not the phrase “America's pastime” even means anything in our always-connected, always-at-war modern age. That conflict—idyllic nostalgia versus cruel reality—is the secret core of this...

entered on 09/26/11 at 07:45 AM | read more »



The Bell of the Bawl

Bellflower

Bellflower wants badly to burn. It so yearns to catch fire that cinematographer Joel Hodge appears to have frequently smeared ash on the lens and scrambled the color palate, so that bright reds and oranges practically ignite the screen. Alas and alack, beyond a sizzlin’ visual look, Bellflower is less flame and more smoke … derivative, borderline misogynistic smoke. It feels dirty taking a...

entered on 09/23/11 at 04:23 PM | read more »


Purell Madness

Contagion

Not to advocate violence, but anybody who cannot control their coughing while publicly watching Contagion, a movie about super sniffles that nearly destroy humanity, is either too sick to be around others or desperate for negative attention — that is to say, they’re either sick or “sick.” You know who I’m talking about, people.

With that off my chest, director Steven Soderbergh (Oceans 11, 12...

entered on 09/12/11 at 11:08 AM | read more »


Muck of the Irish

The Guard

Writer/director John Michael McDonagh’s debut feature, The Guard, begins with a scene where a tired old Irish cop (Brendan Gleason) inspects the scene of a fatal car wreck, finds some LSD in one of the victim's pockets and pops it in his mouth before offering a cold, expletive-laden greeting to the day.

It's the sort of studied, exaggerated aggression that might have seemed anarchic and...

entered on 09/05/11 at 10:20 AM | read more »



French Fried Nerves

Point Blank

Sorry, Esperanto; À Bout Portant, which translates to the nearly Keanu-tastic Point Blank, is a reminder that action clichés are the true universal language. Writer/director Fred Cavayé puts a lightly French twist on such classics as “average guy at the wrong place and wrong time,” “pregnant wife held hostage,” “dirty cops are everywhere” and “only the hero’s bullets are accurate.” Aided by...

entered on 09/02/11 at 03:26 PM | read more »


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Ernest & Celestine

A kids movie for kids with kid jokes and kid themes.

GRADE
B+


Captain America: Winter Soldier

A kinetic crash of conspiracism and costumed crusaders!

GRADE
A-


Noah

Bible school by way of JRR Tolkien and Stephen King.

GRADE
A


The Grand Budapest Hotel

This madcap caper proves Anderson can do things (kinda) different!

GRADE
A


Need for Speed

If you're the "dumber" version of Fast and Furious, you lose.

GRADE
F


300: Rise of an Empire

A prequel, side-quel and sequel with the same style and carnage.

GRADE
B


The Wolf of Wall Street

DiCaprio crackles but the movie fizzles without taking a clear stance on Wall Street excess.

GRADE
B-


Stranger by the Lake

It's a Hitchcock thriller by way of Grindr.

GRADE
C+


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