Eric D. Snider

Movie Review: "Locke" B+ April 25, 2014

In the two dozen movies he's made since his first small role in "Black Hawk Down" twelve years ago, Tom Hardy has established himself as a chameleon, disappearing into characters as physically different as the hulking, monstrous Bane in "The Dark Knight Rises," the often-naked psychopath in "Bronson," and the sharp-dressed identity thief in "Inception." With all that gaining and losing of muscle and weight, it's easy to forget that Hardy is a superb actor, too.

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Movie Review: "Under the Skin" A- April 24, 2014

She came from outer space to 'study' us

"Under the Skin" is the story of an alien who comes to Earth, interacts with our kind, and learns what it means to be human. It's like a nightmarish, adults-only version of "E.T.," if E.T. fed on Elliott instead of befriending him.

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Eric's Blog April 20, 2014

Movie B.S. with Bayer and Snider #207: 'Transcendence,' 'Bears,' 'Joe'

[How do you know you don't like my podcast Movie B.S. if you've never listened to it?]

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Movie Review: "Transcendence" C April 18, 2014

Someone tampers in God's domain again

Like so much of modern technology, "Transcendence" starts out full of excitement and promise before proving to be just another expensive gadget of dubious usefulness. The directorial debut of cinematographer Wally Pfister (he's Christopher Nolan's favorite), this half-hearted examination of the conflict between humanity and technology stars Johnny Depp as Will Caster, a brilliant Berkeley scientist at death's door who uploads his consciousness into the artificial intelligence device that he's been developing with his heal-the-world do-gooder wife, Evelyn (Rebecca Hall), and their conscience-stricken colleague Max (Paul Bettany). Now a super-intelligent living computer with access to all the world's knowledge, Will develops nanotechnology that can heal injuries and cure disease -- BUT AT WHAT COST?

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Eric's Blog April 11, 2014

Movie B.S. with Bayer and Snider #206: 'Draft Day,' 'Oculus,' 'Rio 2,' more

[We got a big ol' pile of reviews for you this week on Movie B.S..]

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Movie Review: "Hide Your Smiling Faces" B+ April 11, 2014

One tranquil summer marred by tragedy

The boys in "Hide Your Smiling Faces," an evocative rumination on adolescence by first-time filmmaker Daniel Patrick Carbone, are in the "exploring" phase of youth. Composed of fragments taken from one typical-but-formative summer, the film shows them roaming the woods, testing their own strength in wrestling matches, investigating an abandoned house, and poking curiously at dead animals. When a gun is introduced, the younger boys stupidly (yet innocently) just want to get a closer look at it.

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Movie Review: "Oculus" B April 11, 2014

Evil mirror a reflection of our times

The first thing you should know about "Oculus," a horror film about a haunted mirror, is that it is much better than a film about a haunted mirror has any right to be. Directed, co-written, and edited by Mike Flanagan, it's an expansion on a well-received 30-minute short he made several years ago, and the extra practice he's had at getting it right is evident in the way he creates atmosphere and builds suspense.

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Movie Review: "Draft Day" C+ April 11, 2014

Haha there's a team called 'The Browns'

After seeing the trailer for "Draft Day" a few months ago, I made the observation that Summit was clearly making no effort to sell the film to people who aren't already interested in the NFL draft (people like me, for example). As if to prove my point, the NFL-loving friend I was with told me his reaction: "I'm sold!"

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Movie Review: "Joe" B April 9, 2014

A comparatively sane Nic Cage drama

We give Nicolas Cage a lot of ribbing (and rightly so) for his over-the-top performances in nutty movies, but "Joe" is a reminder that he can balance those lunatic sensibilities with real acting when he feels like it. Set deep in rural Texas and based on a 1991 Larry Brown novel, the film is also a reminder of director David Gordon Green's knack for atmosphere, and of 17-year-old Tye Sheridan's status as one of the most promising young actors in the movies today.

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Eric's Blog April 4, 2014

Movie B.S. with Bayer and Snider #205: 'Captain America 2,' 'Noah,' Pitch Me

[If you like podcasts, here's good news: Movie B.S. is one!]

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