In telling chapters of history, films have the benefit of hindsight. As obvious as that statement sounds, Oscar-winning screenwriter Brian Helgeland takes advantage of almost 70 years of history in writing/directing “42,” to the point where he can set the stage with the perfect emotional tone for telling the story of Jackie Robinson, one of […]
Category: "Reviews (On DVD)"
Who says all “based on a true story” movies have to take themselves seriously? Regardless of how true-to-life the events of “Pain and Gain” are, the film offers a ballsy take on a crime thriller, namely in being unafraid of comic territory.
For a totally preposterous magician caper, “Now You See Me” has a surprising meta edge to it. The film talks a big talk about deception with its Morgan Freeman voice-over narration (“the closer you think you are, the less you will actually see”), but in spite of its high levels of ludicrousness, it delivers exactly […]
The story being told in “Searching for Sugar Man” is 15 years old, yet it didn’t become a documentary until 2012. Seeing as the film centers on a man who never received the fame he deserved until long after the fact, that’s quite fitting.
“Oblivion” is so visually crisp and clean that you could actually brush your teeth with it. Director Joseph Kosinski, who pieced together the aesthetically immaculate “Tron: Legacy” takes a similar approach in adapting his graphic novel for the big screen, and with some solid screen writing help, “Oblivion” feels especially worth of the “science-fiction” label.
Judd Apatow continues to get personal with “This Is 40″—maybe even too personal. When you think about it, it’s kind of awkward that he directs Paul Rudd as husband to his real-life wife (Leslie Mann) and father to his real-life children (Maude and Iris Apatow) and it’s really awkward because the film is about family […]
Bruce Willis has proved himself to be an ageless wonder. Although the roles he has chosen of late (“RED,” Old Joe in “Looper,” “The Expendables 2″ and playing the original G.I. Joe in “G.I. Joe: Retaliation”) suggest he’s playing the “aging action star” card, his box-office draw has been consistent if not downright reliable.
A man who doesn’t play by the law when it comes to delivering justice isn’t an original idea for a main character, and Tom Cruise is far from an original action star, but somehow “Jack Reacher” doesn’t suffer too much from being stale.
Los Angeles and gangsters. Before “Gangster Squad,” the first film that ought to come to mind is “L.A. Confidential.” For Ruben Fleischer’s latest, that creates an outrageous comparison point. The “Zombieland” and “30 Minutes or Less” director was probably not aiming that high. Even if he weren’t, he’s still not even aiming to add a […]
I can’t count the number of acclaimed foreign films centered on characters who cannot mobilize half or all their limbs on one hand—if you’ll excuse the awkward phrasing. “The Intouchables” appears to be just another one of those bizarre common niche films, and in many ways it boils down to just that. But with memorable, […]
My how things would be different today if in 1995, instead of getting Sylvester Stallone in “Judge Dredd,” we were treated to director Pete Travis’ “Dredd.” And I’m not just talking about visual effects advances in the last 17 years. “Dredd,” starring Karl Urban as the helmeted anti- hero, does classic, ’80s and ’90s-style action […]
If I were to pitch you a movie about two police officers who are partners on patrol in South Central Los Angeles, one of your first inclinations might be “not another buddy copy comedy.” While “End of Watch” is often funny, the newest film from “Training Day” writer David Ayer, is no comedy.
To Hollywood, the MIdwest is that amorphous blob in the middle of country that allows for the satire of corn-fed American values. Whenever a place such as Iowa serves as a film’s setting, as it does in “Butter,” you can be sure that small-town life is about to get put through the ringer.
The timeless narrative of people who do bad things getting what they deserve has become so entrenched in the way we look at books, movies, television and more. For that reason, many who finish “Arbitrage” will find themselves rather bewildered.
Ever since “The Nightmare Before Christmas” there has been an inexplicable connection between stop-motion animation and horror motifs. Tim Burton has been responsible for most entries in this small but noticeable canon, but Laika has found an equally quirky yet more mainstreamed alternative in Chris Butler’s “ParaNorman.”