Movie Review: "Now You See Me" C May 31, 2013
When you see a magician do something in a live show that seems impossible, you know there's a trick to it. Either he didn't actually do the thing he pretended to do, or he did it by some method other than the impossible method he pretended to use. You may not be able to figure out how the trick works, but there's no question that it IS a trick.
Movie Review: "After Earth" C May 31, 2013
The reason M. Night Shyamalan's name isn't all over the advertising for "After Earth," which he directed and co-wrote, is undoubtedly that the marketing department knew the Shyamalan brand is no longer the robust selling point it once was. But it was an appropriate choice anyway, as "After Earth" has few of the elements that usually comprise "an M. Night Shyamalan film." The only thing it has in common with his last several projects, unfortunately, is that it's flatly acted and not very good.
Eric's Blog May 25, 2013
Hello! Let us celebrate Memorial Day Weekend in the traditional fashion by listing everything we've written online in the last few weeks.
Eric's Blog May 24, 2013
[I co-host a weekly movie podcast with Jeff Bayer. It's pretty fun, usually. You should listen!]
Movie Review: "Furious 6" C May 24, 2013
Near the beginning of "Furious 6," upon viewing a crime scene that involved a great deal of vehicular mayhem, FBI agent Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) says, "There's only one crew in the world that could get this done." The punchline is that he's not talking about the Fast and/or Furious team of Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, and friends, but about another group of automotive-based criminals. In fact, he's going to need the assistance and expertise of the Fast and/or Furious crew to capture these villains.
Movie Review: "Star Trek Into Darkness" B- May 23, 2013
"Star Trek Into Darkness" has a great antagonist, a terrorist calling himself John Harrison, played by the increasingly famous British actor Benedict Cumberbatch. His voice drips with pure, theatrical villainy, but Cumberbatch plays him believably, like a real person. The movie's worst enemy, though, may be its own zealous, clumsy intentions.
Movie Review: "The Hangover Part III" D+ May 23, 2013
Remember how "The Hangover Part II" was a lukewarm rehash of "The Hangover," almost beat-for-beat the same story, with little originality? Todd Phillips evidently heard our complaints and has addressed them in "The Hangover Part III," which is nothing like the first two and features no hangovers. It is barely a comedy. Heck, it's barely a movie.
Movie Review: "Frances Ha" A- May 17, 2013
Twentysomething drifts aimlessly, tries to figure out what to do with his or her life. That one-line summary is practically its own genre in independent filmmaking, and while plenty of movies dealing with the subject have been just fine, the sub-par entries that clog festival schedules make it hard for the truly special ones to be heard over the mumbling hipster roar.
Movie Review: "Mud" B+ May 17, 2013
Jeff Nichols' last film, "Taking Shelter," was about a man trying to protect his wife and daughter. Before that, he made "Shotgun Stories," in which two sets of half-brothers feud after their father's death. His third film, "Mud," takes a 14-year-old boy's point of view, but it is once again about the pressures of manhood and the importance of father figures. Nichols is examining the subject of modern masculinity more richly and thoughtfully than any other filmmaker.
Movie Review: "Stories We Tell (documentary)" B+ May 17, 2013
Toronto native Sarah Polley, the daughter of performers, started acting in Canadian TV and films as a child, and eventually established a steady career on both sides of the border in movies like "Go," "My Life Without Me," and "Dawn of the Dead." Where people really began to take notice of her, though, was when she wrote and directed a feature film, "Away from Her," about a married couple coping with Alzheimer's. The screenplay earned her an Oscar nomination, and the movie (also nominated for Julie Christie's lead performance) announced Polley as the latest in a line of perfectly good actors who might be even better filmmakers.
The last 60 days:
- After Earth C
- At Any Price B+
- Call Me Kuchu (documentary) B+
- Frances Ha A-
- Furious 6 C
- The Great Gatsby C
- The Hangover Part III D+
- The Iceman C-
- Iron Man 3 B+
- The Kings of Summer B
- Man of Steel B-
- Much Ado About Nothing B
- Mud B+
- Now You See Me C
- An Oversimplification of Her Beauty B
- Pain & Gain C
- The Purge B-
- The Reluctant Fundamentalist B-
- Star Trek Into Darkness B-
- Stories We Tell (documentary) B+
- This Is the End B