Empty Account

Director John Lee Hancock isn’t Joseph Goebbels or Leni Riefenstahl by any stretch, but Saving Mr. Banks is as close to corporate propaganda as can be legally released in theaters. A Walt Disney Studios movie about Walt Disney (Tom Hanks) making a Walt Disney Studios movie, the take home message is that a woman who […]

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Grindhouse Ground Out

I have a friend who tells this one joke where it takes an eternity to get to the punch line. And that’s the real joke: that you donated so much of your time for such a small amount of pleasure. The psychology behind my friend’s “humor” has apparently become writer/director Robert Rodriguez’s mission statement. Machete […]

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Men in Bleak

The good news is, it appears Jeff Bridges at least entertained himself while on the set of R.I.P.D. Whether the legendary thespian was trying to dive into the Depp by delivering a delightfully weird caricature for mass appeal or whether he was just plain bored, the result is one of the strangest performances in a […]

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Line of Suck-session

The nicest thing that can be said about director Roland Emmerich’s White House Down is that it is the second best Die Hard rip-off set in the Presidential estate released in the last four months. Writer James Vanderbilt has piled words as the ancient Egyptians stacked bricks, building a great pyramid of stupidity to serve […]

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No Love for this Deuce

It’s about hunters and gatherers: A good documentarian hunts the truth, stalking prey at camera-point, ready to spear any accidental insight and overlooked perspective that is scared out of the bushes. Directors Maiken Baird and Michelle Major are mere gatherers, collecting whatever the legendary Williams sisters drop down to them and presenting it to the […]

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Pew! Pew! Pew! ‘Merica!!

GI Joe: Retaliation’s script is so horrible, it should be in MoMA. Just like some people can’t stop staring at the world’s ugliest dog, this screenplay is fascinatingly hideous blather. It’s entirely possible the whole script was verbs: “shoot, explode, stab, scream.” Nobody expects Sorkin-esque dialogue from a franchise whose most popular character is a […]

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For Me? Fine. So Dumb!

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. […]

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Die Hardly

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 […]

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Par for the Corset

A quick preface before I eviscerate gifted director Joe Wright’s self-indulgent adaptation of genius playwright Tom Stoppard’s artifice-laden take on Leo Tolstoy’s classic Anna Karenina. I wrote a Master’s thesis on the influence 17th and 18th century female conduct books designed to codify feminine behavior had on the writing of Daniel Defoe’s satirical novel “Moll […]

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Too Many Ds

When you remake a movie that originally starred Sylvester Stallone and Rob Schneider, it’s not a challenge to clear the bar that was set. Limbo-ing beneath it, however, would require a shrink ray gun. So it is the faintest of all possible praises to say that Dredd 3D, the latest attempt to bring a gory […]

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