Movie Review: "The Expendables 3" D+ August 15, 2014
The point (such as it was) of the first two "Expendables" movies was to feature an all-star cast of action heroes past and present killing bad guys and blowing things up. The films took themselves too seriously overall, but you got the sense Stallone and his gnarled, wrinkly friends understood and embraced the scenario's inherent camp value. They were in on the joke.
Movie Review: "Into the Storm" C- August 14, 2014
"Into the Storm" is the story of various idiots who team up to observe closely/flee in terror from a massive series of tornadoes in Oklahoma and environs. A few of the idiots are professional storm chasers, played by the likes of Matt Walsh ("Veep"), Sarah Wayne Callies ("The Walking Dead"), and Jeremy Sumpter ("Friday Night Lights"). A few more idiots come from a town in the storms' path, where the high school graduation ceremony is going ahead as scheduled. These include a lovestruck junior named Donnie (Max Deacon), his brother Trey (Nathan Kress), and their father (Richard Armitage), who for maximum convenience is also the vice principal. Finally, there are two idiot hillbillies named Donk and Reevis (Kyle Davis, Jon Reep) who hope to get YouTube famous by following nadoes in their truck (labeled "TWISTA HUNTERZ") and filming themselves doing dangerous things with them. It's PG-13, so don't expect to see as many deaths of irritating characters as you'd like to.
Eric's Blog August 2, 2014
[Also on Movie B.S. this week, a round of Jeff & Eric's Excellent Adventure, involving time travel.]
Movie Review: "Calvary" B August 1, 2014
Let us stipulate that the wide-faced, twinkly-eyed Irish actor Brendan Gleeson is an under-appreciated thespian who improves every movie he appears in, whether you know his name or not. (Fine, he played Mad-Eye Moody in the Harry Potters.) It is no small thing, then, to say that his compassionate and multi-faceted performance in the gut-punching "Calvary" is particularly good, even for him. Onscreen almost every minute of the film, he bears its weight as skillfully as his character, an Irish village priest, carries the troubles of his parishioners.
Movie Review: "Guardians of the Galaxy" B August 1, 2014
If it weren't for the Marvel label and some minor characters teased in previous films, you'd never know "Guardians of the Galaxy" had anything to do with any superheroes. This is a sci-fi comedy about a group of space rogues of assorted alien races, more "Galaxy Quest" than "The Avengers." (That's not a criticism, merely an observation.)
Miscellaneous August 1, 2014
By Craig Frenton
Movie Review: "Boyhood" A- July 31, 2014
Near the end of "Boyhood," Richard Linklater's truly remarkable time-lapse portrait of a child growing up, the boy's mother, Olivia (Patricia Arquette), is feeling wistful over his imminent departure for college. "I just thought there would be more," she says -- more to life, more to the experience of motherhood, more to everything. That rueful sentiment could be echoed by viewers of "Boyhood" who find the movie uneventful or dull -- and I hope those viewers, like Olivia, realize they're looking at it the wrong way.
Movie Review: "Magic in the Moonlight" C+ July 31, 2014
Maybe the reason Woody Allen is so fond of the 1920s and '30s is that in those days, nobody batted an eye when, say, a 53-year-old man like Colin Firth had a relationship with a 25-year-old woman like Emma Stone. Not so anymore! Nowadays, if a man is 28 years older than his love interest, people wonder about ulterior motives or undue influence. Some people might even find it a little creepy, actually, especially in a Woody Allen movie.
Movie Review: "They Came Together" B+ July 31, 2014
[In theaters and Video on Demand.]
Movie Review: "A Most Wanted Man" B July 31, 2014
The venerable English spy-novelist John le Carré has been writing page-turners since the early 1960s, when the Cold War was giving people in le Carré's profession ample material to work with. As the times have changed, le Carré has adapted his skills. The easily identifiable Soviets and East Germans of "The Spy Who Came in from the Cold" and "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy" are gone now (even their countries are gone); modern espionage focuses on terrorist groups and religious extremists, most of whom aren't affiliated with or backed by a government. Intelligence-gathering is more complicated now. But le Carré's criticism of it -- that the West's tactics often go against our ideals -- is as trenchant as ever, as we see in the film "A Most Wanted Man," adapted from his 2008 novel.