Movie Review: "Pitch Perfect 2 [AUDIO]" C May 15, 2015
I didn't love the first "Pitch Perfect" -- it was fine, OK? -- and the sequel is more of the same, but less so. The story meanders and is stuffed with irrelevant subplots and tangents.
Movie Review: "Far from the Madding Crowd [AUDIO]" B May 15, 2015
Thomas Vinterberg's adaptation of Thomas Hardy's novel "Far from the Madding Crowd" is lush and chaste, like a Victorian romance ought to be. Carey Mulligan, Matthias Schoenaerts, and Michael Sheen all give sympathetic performances, expressing a lot of restrained emotion with their faces.
Movie Review: "Mad Max: Fury Road" A- May 14, 2015
Noted Australian madman George Miller may have distracted himself (and amused us) with films like "Babe: Pig in the City" and the two "Happy Feet" toons, but now it's time to quit goofing around and get back to the dusty, post-apocalyptic wasteland that launched his career. "Mad Max: Fury Road" reboots Miller's cult-favorite franchise with all the intense, explosive energy you'd expect from a passion project that's been some 20 years in the making. Which is to say: it is straight-up, wall-to-wall BONKERS.
Snide Remarks: "Eric D. Snider: Boy Journalist (Part 2)" May 13, 2015
I kept these newspaper clippings in a photo album. To make maximum use of the space in the album, I would sometimes cut the columns up and rearrange the layout. Over time, some of the smaller clippings of clippings fell out of the photo album and were lost forever. Also, there were a few columns that I didn't save at all, out of sheer negligence.
Movie Review: "The D Train" C May 8, 2015
"The D Train" marks Jack Black's first starring role since 2011's "Bernie," and it finds him a little more mature and self-restrained than we remember him. He's still very funny, though, adept as ever at reaction shots and physical comedy. That holds true even in a film, like "The D Train," that runs out of ideas long before it reaches the conclusion.
Movie Review: "Hot Pursuit" D+ May 8, 2015
"Hot Pursuit" is beneath Reese Witherspoon, just about right for Sofia Vergara, and bad for us all. It's one of those comedies about supposedly ordinary people of at least average intelligence who nonetheless spend the entire movie being frantic, bumbling morons who can't do anything without breaking something. One of them can't talk on the phone and drive at the same time, so she hands the phone to the other one, who drops it out the window. That sort of thing.
Snide Remarks: "Bake Me to Church" May 7, 2015
Getting married is a huge production. There are so many details to consider! For example, first you have to find someone who wants to be married to you. This step alone can be very time-consuming. Then you have to book a venue, send out invitations, and double-check that the person still wants to be married to you. And now, on top of all that, you ALSO have to take time to meet with potential bakeries to see if they will sanction your union with a cake.
Movie Review: "Avengers: Age of Ultron" B- April 30, 2015
In "Avengers: Age of Ultron," the 43rd film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe®, Earth's mightiest heroes™ must band together to squabble amongst themselves, and also to save the world from a deadly threat unleashed by, uh, themselves. The Avengers' ultimate goal is for the world not to need them anymore, but it seems like the world will always need the Avengers as long as the Avengers are around.
Movie Review: "Unfriended" C+ April 29, 2015
"Unfriended," a horror movie for the social media age, has a premise that invites mockery: six teens on a Skype chat are harassed by what may be a supernatural entity. But while the tech is new, the tropes are familiar and potent. After all, the idea of getting a Facebook message from a dead person is just as creepy as -- and no sillier than -- the idea of getting a phone call from one.
Snide Remarks: "Eric D. Snider: Boy Journalist" April 29, 2015
I've wanted to be a writer since I was 5, but I didn't get my first paid gig until I was twice that old. Our weekly community newspaper, The Lake Elsinore Valley Sun-Tribune, had a student from each of the local schools write a column about news at their school, and I was chosen to represent Elsinore Elementary. I was proud that all of the other elementary schools were covered by sixth graders and I was only in fifth grade.