Eric D. Snider

Movie Review: "The Legend of Tarzan" C July 1, 2016

At least it has some monkey-punching

"The Legend of Tarzan" begins with the title swinger (played by Alexander Skarsgard) already back in London society after having spent his formative years in the African jungle. He and Jane (Margot Robbie) are married; he's a world-famous celebrity; and he's still getting used to things like sticking out his pinkie when he drinks tea (which is the kind of hogwash he didn't have to put up with when he was an ape, I'm just sayin'). Oh, and don't call him Tarzan. He's John Clayton now.

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Movie Review: "The BFG" C+ June 30, 2016

Whimsy and wonder, but not much story

"The BFG," based on a Roald Dahl book and directed by Steven Spielberg, has childlike wonderment and whimsy out the wazoo. The title character, a Big Friendly Giant who's made of computers, motion-capture, and Mark Rylance's charming voice, speaks in the gentle West Country accent of a kindly old British pensioner and has colloquial names for everything. (Farting is "whizz-popping," for example.) He befriends a precocious orphan named Sophie (Ruby Barnhill) and takes her to Giant Country, where he's actually at the small end of the spectrum and is the only giant who doesn't subsist on human flesh. He spends his nights mixing dreams to deliver to Londoners. So, yes, whimsy, etc.

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Movie Review: "Central Intelligence" B June 27, 2016

Comedy between a Rock and a Hart place

Given their individual popularity and wildly contrasting physical sizes, it was only a matter of time before Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart appeared in a movie together. That movie is "Central Intelligence," a good-natured, low-decibel action comedy from "The Mindy Project" writers Ike Barinholtz and David Stassen and "Dodgeball" director Rawson Marshall Thurber.

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Eric's Blog June 24, 2016

Friday movie roundup - June 24

Hello! I've been on the road this last week, seeing family and friends in Utah, so the full complement of reviews will be late. In the meantime, here's the rundown:

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Movie Review: "The Fundamentals of Caring" B- June 24, 2016

The funny version of 'Me Before You'

[Available on Netflix.] ••• The first half of "The Fundamentals of Caring" is a breathlessly witty, almost flawlessly executed comedy starring two very funny men with excellent rapport. If the film had stopped at the 45-minute mark, and if the rest of it had then ceased to exist for some reason (gypsy curse?), forcing me to review only the first half, well, that would have been a glowing review, let me tell you.

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Eric's Blog June 21, 2016

Xanadu: a benefit production for Chris Clark

Clarks&me061816This is a picture I took the other night of Lisa Valentine Clark, myself, and Chris Clark, Lisa's husband. They're two of my best friends. Lisa and I met 21 years ago in the Garrens Comedy Troupe at BYU. We became close friends, which Chris accepted because I am romantically nonthreatening. Then Chris and I got to be good friends, too, which Lisa accepted because I am romantically nonthreatening.

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Movie Review: "Finding Dory" B June 17, 2016

The 'Memento' of animated fish movies

Like most Pixar movies, "Finding Dory" is a kind-hearted and funny film about psychologically damaged characters seeking happiness in the face of impermanence and death. To fully appreciate it, adults should consider that most of the children in the audience around them were not alive when "Finding Nemo" came out. The adults should despair of this fact and embrace their loved ones tighter, before time runs out.

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Movie Review: "Genius" C+ June 17, 2016

There's precious little evidence of it

The biography from which "Genius" is adapted is called "Max Perkins: Editor of Genius" (by A. Scott Berg), and it's about the literary publisher who worked with such legends as F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, and Thomas Wolfe. How fascinating his life must have been -- a non-artist intimately involved in fine-tuning works of art. Or maybe it's fair to call him an artist, too. As the title suggests, he edited geniuses, but to do so effectively, he must have been a man of some genius himself.

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Eric's Blog June 10, 2016

Friday movie roundup - June 10

Hey hey! Three new wide releases this week, plus reviews of the ones from last week that I didn't see till they opened.

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Movie Review: "Now You See Me 2" C- June 10, 2016

Even dumber & less magical than before

Since everything that was wrong with "Now You See Me" is also wrong with its sequel, the blandly titled "Now You See Me 2" (not "Now You Don't"? Not even "Now You See Me, Too"?), I'm just going to repeat what I said then:

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