For Me? Fine. So Dumb!

Jack the Giant Slayer

The theory holds that monkeys typing on a typewriter can eventually produce “Hamlet” by accident. Presumably, Jack the Giant Slayer is one of the monkeys’ lesser works. Hobbled together by five writers, one of whom is a previous Best Screenplay Oscar winner, this film is a series of studio executive notes stretched into two hours. Unimaginative, uninspired, undeserving of attention, this...

entered on 03/02/13 at 02:52 AM | read more »



I Immediately Regret This Decision

Beautiful Creatures

It has been claimed by the defendant, Mr. Ryan Syrek, that the film Beautiful Creatures is neither “reductive Twilight barf” nor “derivative young-adult hormonal daydreaming” but that it is, instead, “charming and kinda fun.” The prosecution points to Mr. Syrek’s questionable celebration of such films as Miss Congeniality 2 and Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters as evidence of his compromised...

entered on 02/22/13 at 07:06 PM | read more »



Die Hardly

A Good Day to Die Hard

John McClane (Bruce Willis), the hyper-violent man perpetually wrong in place and time, has always been Rambo by way of “grumpy cat.” The only thing that makes Die Hard actually Die Hard is the surly sense of humor McClane spouts whilst committing copious homicides. Sadly, A Good Day to Die Hard turns him into a boring dick who you wish would find death a little less difficult to embrace.

A...

entered on 02/15/13 at 08:00 PM | read more »



Faint Pulse Praise

Warm Bodies

“Warm” is the ultimate ‘tweener temperature. It’s not “hot” or “cold;” it rejects extreme or definitive categorization. It’s the thermometer equivalent of “meh.” So, it’s fitting that writer/director Jonathon Levine’s film sports the noncommittal word as the lead in its title. Warm Bodies is completely okay. It is resplendently fine. It is immeasurably pretty good. Sadly, it really hoped to be...

entered on 02/09/13 at 05:04 AM | read more »



Restless Leg Syndrome

Side Effects

Feel free to call director Steven Soderbergh’s latest film (and potentially last, if you believe his retirement threats) a wacky mallard because it is one odd duck. If a Hitchcock movie took a Dateline NBC segment behind the art house theater and got it pregnant, Side Effects is what would emerge from the birth canal. Like Frankenstein’s monster or fans of “Two Broke Girls,” this film shouldn’t...

entered on 02/09/13 at 04:42 AM | read more »



Only Kinda Good, Fellas

Gangster Squad

Nothing brings back memories of Sean Penn’s history as a serial domestic abuser like watching him revel in a man being drawn-and-quartered by automobiles. What a weird choice to take a cheesy, scene-chewing, 1940s mob-boss role at this point in his career. Cross-apply the same bewilderment to the decisions of Emma Stone, Ryan Gosling and Josh Brolin. Nick Nolte and Giovanni Ribisi? No, that...

entered on 01/30/13 at 06:09 PM | read more »



Diabetes: The Real Monster

Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters

Hansel (Jeremy Renner) has diabetes. This is not a throwaway character trait, not a bit of bizarre nuance in a quasi-steampunk re-imagining of a Grimm fairy tale. The fact that Hansel must stop combatting the forces of darkness whenever his wrist-alarm-thingie goes off so he can inject himself with insulin is a full-fledged, God’s honest plot point in writer/director Tommy Wirkola’s film. Oh,...

entered on 01/30/13 at 06:07 PM | read more »


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The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

The epic conclusion to the most epic of epics.

GRADE
A-


The Babadook

A terrifying tale of an ooky pop-up book and motherly love.

GRADE
A


The Tale of Princess Kaguya

A water-colored take on a Japanese folktale that is prettier than it is interesting.

GRADE
B-


The Theory of Everything

"Out of this world" performances buoy a sub-par script.

GRADE
B+


Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1

Half of what promises to be an epic conclusion to a fabulous series.

GRADE
B+


Birdman

A delirously fun satirical send up of artistic pretension. 

GRADE
B+


The Overnighters

"The Grapes of Wrath" in documentary form set in North Dakota.

GRADE
A-


Interstellar

If this was humanity's last hope, give up.

GRADE
D


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