Eric D. Snider

Movie Review: "Poltergeist (2015)" C May 22, 2015

Just another generic, forgettable remake

You probably remember the tragic fire at the MGM archives, where every single copy of the 1982 horror classic "Poltergeist" was destroyed, including, somehow, all the DVD and digital versions. I don't recall the event myself, but it must have happened, because now there's a "Poltergeist" remake, and why else would it exist? What other possible justification could there be?

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Movie Review: "Tomorrowland" B- May 22, 2015

Talks about dazzling, but doesn't dazzle

In the future, science will be able to produce a Steven Spielberg movie without any awe. The future is now! "Tomorrowland," from animation whiz turned live-action director Brad Bird ("The Incredibles," "Mission: Impossible -- Ghost Protocol"), is a square-jawed, optimistic, all-American sci-fi adventure with a kid protagonist and George Clooney, for heaven's sake. With more heart and less pontificating, it could have been one for the ages.

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Movie Review: "Pitch Perfect 2 [AUDIO]" C May 15, 2015

The Bellas are back, but less so [AUDIO]

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.

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Movie Review: "Far from the Madding Crowd [AUDIO]" B May 15, 2015

Lush period romance done right [AUDIO]

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.

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Movie Review: "Mad Max: Fury Road" A- May 14, 2015

Waging war while speeding in the desert

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.

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Snide Remarks: "Eric D. Snider: Boy Journalist (Part 2)" May 13, 2015

More pieces from my 5th grade archives

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.

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Movie Review: "The D Train" C May 8, 2015

Jack Black + James Marsden = bromance

"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.

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Movie Review: "Hot Pursuit" D+ May 8, 2015

Coupla gals runnin' around, screamin'

"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.

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Snide Remarks: "Bake Me to Church" May 7, 2015

Wedding cakes are now a divisive issue

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.

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Movie Review: "Avengers: Age of Ultron" B- April 30, 2015

Yep, that's an 'Avengers' movie, all right

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.

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