It has finally been assembled. Marvel’s decision to make “The Avengers” might seem like the superhero equivalent of the ensemble movie “Valentine’s Day,” or the theory that stuffing multiple popular actors into one movie is an adequate substitute for storytelling and makes it so marketable that no one could pass it up. While that’s not [...]
The two most lovable stoners in movie history return in “A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas,” which somehow continues the series’ impressive balancing act of clever humor, crude jokes, stoner gags and heart.
The horror genre clings onto and feeds off of audience expectations. From a fan perspective, horror-lovers tend to flock to films that appear as if they will evoke the feelings of previous successes, even to the point of supporting blatant mimicry. From a filmmaking perspective, a horror director’s go-to card is expectation—the audience recognizing those [...]
Just like how rules were meant to be broken, prisons were meant to be broken out of, and movies have literally and figuratively given us much escapist entertainment over the years. Prison movies are especially fun when we’re not just talking iron bars. A great number of filmmakers over the years have imagined prisons of [...]
It’s fair to say Luc Besson has gotten a bit giddy ever since “Taken.” The man who once upon a time brought us “La Femme Nikita” and “Leon: The Professional” has instead taken to lighter action fare, in this case recruiting amateurs James Mather and Stephen St. Leger to help write and direct his “original [...]
So often the most powerful card in a brooding character study ends up the one never played. The mystery lying behind the on-screen display of social perversion, which in the case of “Martha Marcy May Marlene” comes as a manipulative cult, can drive intense interest just through sheer curiosity as to what possible force in [...]
After Easter weekend here, expect the box office to cool off with some April showers. Until then, however, it’s a weekend for nostalgists with “American Reunion” bringing “the gang” back together nearly 10 years later and “Titanic” sailing back into theaters 15 years later in 3D.
Timely and familiar: these are the two qualities “Tower Heist” has going for it. Heist films have a reputation for good fun, and when said heist is pulled off by average or incompetent folks like these, all the better, as the characters become even easier to like. Add that they’re stealing from a millionaire who [...]
The hype, the fan base, the skeptics—the skeptics created by the hype and the fan base—all of these make adapting an insanely popular novel anything but easy. Given the breadth of the age and gender demographics that Suzanne Collins’ young adult science-fiction story “The Hunger Games” has reached, there are so many niches to please. [...]
Although the hugeness of “The Hunger Games” is bound to make up the box-office story again this weekend, a couple noteworthy films getting big releases enter the fold to close up March (and Spring Break) for most folks. The first is the Greek mythology sequel “Wrath of the Titans” and the second is a [...]
What was the point of making a “21 Jump Street” movie? No, really, why bother remaking or rebooting re-imagining a short-lived cop series from the ‘80s, especially when you’ve targeted your movie at people born long after it went off the air? The way writer Michael Bacall along with Jonah Hill, directors Phil Lord and [...]
It’s here. One of the most anticipated non-sequels in movie history, “The Hunger Games” plays its way into theaters to kick off spring break. Just how high will it soar?
It’s been ages since we had a weekend with only one new wide release, so I coupled it with an appealing limited one. This St. Patrick’s Day and March Madness weekend we get the comedy “21 Jump Street” based on the ’80s TV show. Stars Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum look to flex their box-office [...]
When we think of science fiction, we so often think about the future. We expect it to stretch our imaginations in ways we never thought possible with groundbreaking concepts beyond our current understanding. “John Carter” appears to aspire to that level. Yet in spite of the film’s hefty price tag, use of latest in motion-capture [...]
No risk, no reward — you can’t exactly picture Hollywood execs saying that one too often. The movie industry is almost always about sure bets, especially when studios spend more than $100 million on most of their major films. Sequels, book adaptations — anything familiar with a built-in fan base to justify a high price [...]