Artificially Sweetened Pi

Life of Pi

Forget Babe Ruth pointing a stick at bleachers; Life of Pi raises the stakes on “shot-calling” to unprecedented levels. Early on, it is explicitly stated that if the older version of Pi (Irrfan Khan) in the present day does not tell a story that convinces “The Writer” (Rafe Spall)—and by extension, the audience—in the existence of God, it’s a failure. No pressure or anything.

Considering that...

entered on 11/21/12 at 05:36 PM | read more »



A Man Did

Lincoln

A humble suggestion: Force the chittering, self-serving partisans in Washington who increasingly prefer filibusters over floor votes to watch Lincoln. Director Steven Spielberg’s latest provides a character sketch, not of its titular president, but of America’s political process. While hundreds of thousands of sons and fathers killed each other mere miles from where the House of Representatives...

entered on 11/17/12 at 05:17 AM | read more »



Falling Down 12 Steps

Smashed

The ubiquitous hyperbolic after-school-special-type of dramatization of the perils of alcoholism has lost its teeth; it no longer delivers a social bite so much as it gets drool everywhere. Thus, in many ways, what Smashed wanted to do is something necessary, as we need a reboot of our cultural cautionary tale that ditches the wailing melodrama in favor of the muted reality of modern addiction....

entered on 11/16/12 at 05:07 PM | read more »



Am I Sick?

Skyfall

The moment when the seemingly-perpetually-creepily-coiffed Javier Bardem caresses Daniel Craig’s thigh parts and whispers whatever the supervillain equivalent of a sweet nothing is, using whatever non-geographically distinct accent he uses this time, is the precise moment Skyfall becomes the best Bond film in decades. Why? Because of Bond’s response.

Instead of recoiling, the supersexy...

entered on 11/09/12 at 04:06 PM | read more »



Metal Lurching

The Man with the Iron Fists

To walk in to The Man with the Iron Fists by choice is to give up your right to bitch about story and character. This is a movie written and directed by The RZA, a member of the powerhouse rap group The Wu-Tang Clan; produced by Eli Roth, the guy who made Hostel, and overseen by Quentin Tarantino, whose grindhouse kung fu depravity knows no bounds. To claim you expected good acting and a...

entered on 11/03/12 at 07:28 AM | read more »



8-Bit-O-Honey

Wreck-It Ralph

For a generation weaned on more Mario than Mother Goose, Wreck-It Ralph has been a long time coming. An 8-bit fairy tale with a burly bruiser in the role of the misunderstood princess, it skews a tad more prepubescent than Pixar but shares similar DNA. Writers Jennifer Lee and Phil Johnston won’t be unlocking any bonus levels for originality, with a conceit that feels poached from Toy Story and...

entered on 11/03/12 at 07:25 AM | read more »



Partly Sunny

Cloud Atlas

To steal from Mother Goose (don’t worry, she’s dead): When Cloud Atlas is good, it’s very, very good; and when it’s bad, Hugo Weaving is doing a drag impression of Nurse Ratched. The ambition of writers/directors Lana and Andy Wachowski and Tom Twyker, working from David Mitchell’s novel, is flabbergastingly impressive. Fueled by more humility than hubris, beautiful endeavors like this one are...

entered on 10/28/12 at 02:57 PM | read more »


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Lucy

A girl ingests a drug that makes her God. For real.

GRADE
C+


Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Those damned apes are back and anything but dirty.

GRADE
B+


We Are the Best

Set in Stockholm in 1982, this is punk rock female adolescence at its finest.

GRADE
A


Snowpiercer

Awesome, literal class warfare on a train that holds the only humans that survived the new ice age.

GRADE
A-


Obvious Child

Billed as a comedy, this is actually a sophisticated, empathetic look at a crucial issue.

GRADE
B+


The Signal

Crazy good and just plain crazy, this is indie sci-fi at its best!

GRADE
A+


Ping Pong Summer

Drowning in 1980s nostalgia, this deserves to be a cult hit.

GRADE
A-


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