Django Unchained review 

DJANGO UNCHAINED – Take THAT Slavery!

You probably already know if you’re going to like DJANGO UNCHAINED. If you can stomach, and in fact relish in Quentin Tarantino’s propensity for over-the-top bloodbaths, you are going to find even more reason to relish it here than ever before. These targets get what they have coming to them, and unlike the INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS, Django and Dr. Schultz are heroes I didn’t feel icky about rooting for. Speaking of which: Jamie Foxx, and especially Christoph Waltz, turned in phenomenal performances. Waltz’s character is hysterical and Foxx has set a…

Read More
Daniel+Day-Lewis+as+Abraham+Lincoln review 

LINCOLN – What it Takes to Become a Great Man

I could nitpick Spielberg’s LINCOLN for maybe two scenes in the film that I thought were a tad on the clunky side. Besides that, I can find absolutely nothing to criticize it for. The acting is phenomenal. The dialogue, though difficult to decipher at times is magnificently written. The production value, cinematography and direction were all absolute top notch, and the story is something that every American needs to understand. The film is kind of like the true historical biopic version of THE DARK KNIGHT, where slavery is the Joker…

Read More
Thorin+Oakenshield+taking+over+the+whole+damn+movie review 

THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY – An Unexpected Letdown

Pictured: the chief protagonist from THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY. Bilbo is featured, of course. He’s even introduced as the film’s narrator, but I was shocked by how little the story was told from his perspective. Rather the filmmakers opt for Gandalf or Thorin, the characters already versed in adventuring. This, unfortunately, strips the story of most of the book’s humor and sense of wonder (something far more present in the LOTR trilogy). Many bits of the book are re-written to completely change the nature of the adventure into something…

Read More
Tiger+roars+in+the+boat+in+Life+of+Pi review 

LIFE OF PI – Visual Splendor and The Nature of Truth Understanding

LIFE OF PI will definitely be in the running for the best picture Oscar. It’s not a perfect film, but its theme is significant enough that I think everyone needs to see it. It discusses the nature and significance of religion, and more broadly faith, and even more broadly the effect that stories have on our perception of our lives. The story doesn’t offer up concrete answers, but it asks all the right questions. The CG creatures aren’t always flawlessly realistic, but they don’t need to be. They have all…

Read More
Keira+Knightley+is+appropriately+sullen review 

ANNA KARENINA – A Bummer of a Period Piece

ANNA KARENINA is full of fantastic dialogue and performances, and the production design is sure to make lovers of period pieces swoon. The movie also has as much right to be classified as a “drama” than probably anything I’ve ever witnessed. With the exception of some awkward transitions, the script is masterfully written. However, I do take issue with the empty feeling I had by the story’s fatalistic conclusion. The film was overdirected by Joe Wright. It’s an unusual problem to have, but the camera angles and especially transitions are…

Read More
Spider-Man+Turn+Off+the+Dark+-+Weird,+wild+acrobatics review 

SPIDER MAN: TURN OFF THE DARK – …Wut?

SPIDER MAN: TURN OFF THE DARK is about as amusing and as awkward as this image and the play’s name suggest. Bono’s songs range from passably forgettable to godawful. The sets and imagery are striking, but they try so hard to be “comic-booky” that they often overdo it in all the wrong ways (similar to Ang-Lee’s HULK). It may have been partially affected by the performances, but the script felt to me like a watered down Kool Aid version of everything I love about the character. Only J Jonah and…

Read More
Daniel Craig as James Bond in Skyfall review 

SKYFALL – Bond’s Back, and in Fine Form

SKYFALL’s triumphs and its failings both lie in its desire to act as a celebratory checklist for Bond’s 50th Anniversary. The film takes Daniel Craig’s rebooted Bond to the next level in exploring what makes him tick. The exploration of his relationship with boss, Judi Dench’s fantastic “M” was particularly done well. But as far as the film goes to explore what kind of past could create a chauvinistic killing machine, it also steps on its toes by falling back, every so often, into the camp and violence glorification that…

Read More
Ralph+gives+Vanellope+some+pre-race+advice review 

WRECK-IT-RALPH – The Closest We’re Gonna Come to a MARIO KART Movie

WRECK-IT RALPH is a great little movie. Its ending is as obviously ham-handed as its protagonist, but that’s standard Disney fare. The good news is that the remainder of the film is an amusing and enjoyable homage to video games. The animation pops and the actors give a lot of personality to their 8-bit counterparts. It looks like Disney’s got a hit on its hands and I’m looking forward to not only the inevitable sequel but also seeing Ralph at Disneyland for years to come. Share List

Read More
Argo script reading review 

ARGO – Hollywood Saves The Day

ARGO may have missed a few opportunities with its source material, and a bit of the action may be fictional, but the film does a dang good job of telling a little-known story that America needs to be reminded of. While the Iranian public is the terrifying antagonist for the majority of the film, a prologue ensures that the audience knows from the get-go that they have good reason to be. The movie is about American individuals trying to clean up the trash of what America as a whole did…

Read More
Seven+Psychopaths+around+a+campfire+in+the+desert review 

SEVEN PSYCHOPATHS – Auteur Theories

SEVEN PSYCHOPATHS joins the club (with Charlie Kaufman’s ADAPTATION) of excellent films which are essentially about the making of themselves. Since the trailer doesn’t make it terribly clear, the film is about a screenplay writer (Colin Farrell) trying to make sense of the nature of violence in films today, with a psychopathic angel and demon (Christopher Walken and Sam Rockwell respectively) each trying to influence how the film should progress. The actors are all expertly used, and the film is hilarious, thoughtful, and appropriately disturbing. It’s also edited together fantastically…

Read More