Quirking on Something Different

The Grand Budapest Hotel

To alter a phrase from Twain, who won’t mind because he’s dead, writer/director Wes Anderson repeated history until he figured out how to rhyme. Barring a brief foray into stop-motion animation, Anderson’s oeuvre for the last decade redundantly hit the same notes with the same instruments, producing repetitive, quirky music that hipsters totally liked before you did. Until now.

To alter a...

entered on 03/22/14 at 01:59 AM | read more »



Speedy and Irritable

Need for Speed

The most important thing to know before attempting to endure the lumbering bore that is Need for Speed is this: every single character in the film is unspeakably dumb. Presumably set in a world where humans never mentally evolved from an animal state, the movie features increasingly nonsensical behaviors by derpy morons whose ability to dress themselves is as impressive to us as their ability...

entered on 03/14/14 at 05:38 PM | read more »



Xerox Xerxes

300: Rise of an Empire

When director Zack Snyder’s opus of underwear modeling amidst geysers of animated blood, 300, first arrived eight years ago, no one expected a sequel. And not just because 299 of the 300 Spartans were way too dead to return. Technically, 300: Rise of an Empire isn’t a sequel: It’s a prequel…and a side-quel…and a sequel… Look, to fans of the first film, all that really matters is swordfight,...

entered on 03/07/14 at 05:46 PM | read more »



Sheepskinned Con Dumb

The Wolf of Wall Street

To review of The Wolf of Wall Street at this stage of the game is to enter into an ongoing narrative feud with able critical champions on both sides. Does the film’s dramatization of real-world douchehammer Jordan Belfort’s drug-fueled depravity lend tacit approval, implicitly embracing harmful excess for entertainment? Or does it offer a back-handed critique of “Wall Street executive as modern...

entered on 03/01/14 at 02:45 AM | read more »



Tainted Love

Stranger by the Lake

Far from Puritanical and chaste, my film sensibilities are such where so-called “graphic” content is usually lucky if it barely forces me to raise a single eyebrow. But they haven’t invented a cartoon emoji expressive enough for the face I made when I realized just how explicit writer/director Alain Guiraudie’s L’inconnu du Lac (Stranger by the Lake) was going to get. Surely they would cut away...

entered on 02/28/14 at 07:50 PM | read more »



Kevin Costner Hates You

3 Days to Kill

He laid low.

For the last decade, Kevin Costner mostly kept to himself, popping up only to save our oceans from oil spills with inventions from Waterworld and to convince Superman he shouldn’t be so super, man. But now my least favorite actor is back, and he’s looking to make up for lost time in the “things that suck” department. And sweet tap-dancing Moses does 3 Days to Kill suck.

3 Days...

entered on 02/21/14 at 06:09 PM | read more »



Droning On

Robocop

For one brief, shining moment, the completely unnecessary remake of Robocop suggested the possibility of non-suckage. Pat Novak (Samuel L. Jackson), a host of cable news propaganda, frothily and non-ironically suggests using the same drone-based military action we use abroad to curb violence at home. Suddenly, this Robocop appeared to have a purpose: skewering American apathy about machines...

entered on 02/14/14 at 06:02 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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