Category: Movie Reviews

Scientific improbability

Logan Marshall-Green, Noomi Rapace, and Michael Fassbender

It’s been a depressing half-decade for Ridley Scott fans. His track record has been bleak ever since 2007’s American GangsterĀ and from thereĀ he’s been accelerating down an ever-steepening slope that bottoms out with Prometheus, the new film with which he has…

Fairly stale faerie tale

After the less-than-enthusiastic reception Tarsem Singh’s Mirror, Mirror received earlier this year, first-time director Rupert Sanders delivers what can be confidently said is the more anticipated update of the Grimms’ faerie tale, Snow White and the Huntsman, a roving, drifting…

Too many cooks…

The cast of 'The Avengers'

If you played Marvel Studios’ scavenger hunt that began with Jon Favreu’s excellent Iron Man in 2008 through the penultimate Captain America: The First Avenger last year, I hope you took ample notes. If you skipped them all (the remainder…

Payne and anguish

George Clooney and Shailene Woodley in 'The Descendants'

There are some films, and more specifically some directors, to which and to whom I devote my time and money against my better judgment. Alexander Payne is one such individual. After the painful but promisingly hysterical Election, he regressed with…

Not so new Zoo revue

Scarlett Johansson and Maggie Elizabeth Jones in 'We Bought a Zoo'

I never drank the Cameron Crowe Kool-Aid. He always seemed a filmmaker hinting at depth and significance without having experienced either. His films suffer from an incurious lack of dynamic range and the only injection of energy they’ve ever received…

Murky Shadows

Jude Law and Robert Downey, Jr. in 'Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows'

As I recall, I had zero interest in experiencing Guy Ritchie’s first interpretation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s esteemed super-sleuth. I nevertheless ventured forth and was, to my surprise, pleasantly entertained in a somewhat passive way. Having thus been indoctrinated,…

Second wind

'Rooney Mara and Daniel Craig'

I found it nearly impossible to watch David Fincher’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo without the spectre of Niels Adren Oplev’s adaptation prodding my expectations. Objectivity became even more strained as events inched ever closer to that scene. The…

Crappy New Year’s

Robert De Niro and Halle Barry

Katherine Fugate fills in the blanks of a screenwriting template. Garry Marshall directs it. Katherine Heigl gripes. Ashton Kutcher groans. Sofia Vergara jiggles. Jon Bon Jovi sings. So does Lea Michele (including the most dishonest rendition of Auld Lang Syne…

Guns, guts and gadgetry

Tom Cruise, Paula Patton, Simon Pegg and Jeremy Renner in 'Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol'

Brad Bird loves James Bond. This was evident in the Sean Connery-era 007 touches he infused into his Pixar hit The Incredibles. It is even more evident in the director’s recent Mission: Impossible episode (gone is the numerical increment, instead…

Fail the conquering hero

Patrick Wilson and Charlize Theron in 'Young Adult'

The search for greener grass lies at the restless heart of Jason Reitman’s latest scab-picker, Young Adult. Re-teaming with his screenwriting golden girl Diablo Cody (Juno), the pair zero in on the slacker generation and its pride in its own…