Latest Film Reviews
Winnie the Pooh (2011)
A back-to-basics charmer evoking the Pooh short films from the '60s and '70s.
When they're not risking their lives with exciting spy maneuvers, Blaster works out to Lady Gaga and Juarez updates her Facebook page. Okay, so maybe
is just a tad self-consciously 'hip.'
Are your kids ready for an existential movie? Turns out they are: Disney's CGI-animated action comedy
is, at its core, a story of one individual's discovery that his sense of reality...has been seriously skewed.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2 (2011)
Thematically, like any good myth, the Harry Potter story comes full circle, with a heroic homecoming and the promise of more adventures, if only in our imaginations.
The director's emotional sadism and laughable bluntness in his symbolic approach leave us in the cold, to pick through the art-auction catalog of Manuel Alberto Claro's cinematography and contemplate Dunst's award-winning suffering.
Tower Heist (2011)
Has the perfect 'generic brand' title to match its Teflon blandness.
Martha Marcy May Marlene (2011)
At least, though the insights here aren't as plentiful as Durkin seems to think, Olsen's fine work as the off-balance, paranoid anti-hero helps to create that illusion.
Cars 2 (2011)
Director John Lasseter pushes the credo 'Story is king,' but the sequel to the 2006 hit
unwittingly abdicates the throne.
Toy Story 3 (2010)
A story with timeless, universal themes: family, coming of age (and leaving behind childish things), and the inevitable time when, past our prime, we will all face potential social obsolence.
Toy Story 2 (1999)
'You can't rush art.' Pixar's bliss in art and play is part and parcel of both the creation and the meaning of
Toy Story 2
, a celebration of the pure joy of doing.
Toy Story (1995)
Introduced not one but two indelible characters to the pop culture pantheon: cowboy rag-doll Woody (Tom Hanks) and plastic space ranger Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen).
From the man who brought you
...a loud and ludicrous historical rewrite about the supposed hidden authorship of Shakespeare's plays.
The Lion King (2011)
It's not hard to understand why
The Lion King
's good-vs.-evil adventure and high-spirited comic passages haven't lost their appeal.
The Tree of Life (2011)
[Malick] wants to see so much: people and through people to their souls, the world and through the world to the ineffable, life and death and through them to their meaning. And...he wants to help us to see it all too.
Margin Call (2011)
Chandor’s social critique may or may not stand the test of time, but as all eyes turn to the 'Occupy' movement,
is entirely right for this moment.
Beauty and the Beast (1991)
As far as 'Classic Disney,'
Beauty and the Beast
pretty much has it all. Y'know, for kids (of all ages).
Jackie Brown (1997)
Succeeds as a witty Elmore Leonard crime story...but also as a surprisingly affecting mid-life romance.
Pulp Fiction (1994)
A balls-out postmodern comedy
. It's a Royale with Cheese.
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011)
The problem with attempting to replicate the 'magic,' such as it was, of
Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
is you get something very close to a replica, minus the novelty.
Green Lantern (2011)
On brightest screen, in threest-D,
It's the latest franchisee.
This superhero's super-slight;
Beware two hours...
Space Jam (1996)
If you weren't a kid when you first saw
, you're a lot less likely to find it palatable.
Pee-wee's Big Adventure (1985)
A purely creative movie that one must admit has no equal in cinema history (for better or worse).
The Bad Seed (1956)
The dark drama that launched a genre of evil-kid movies.
The Cutting Edge (1992)
The only thing that could make
The Cutting Edge
more absurd would be if the final competition revolved around a potentially deadly, possibly illegal move called the Pamchenko Twist. Wait, it does? Never mind.
Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994)
Not everything works out neatly for everyone, but life seems a little better by the end of two hours' struggle, for the characters and for the audience.
Wedding Daze (2007)
Something of a train wreck...[but] comedy scavengers may find it worthwhile to pick through the remains for a few amusing gags.
A Guy Thing (2003)
Cycles through the same old cliches, like squares accidentally being dosed with drugs, overzealous pharmacists blaring out sensitive medical information (nothing like a good ol' venereal disease joke), and climactically scotched weddings.
Honeymoon in Vegas (1992)
The romantic comedy version of its setting: an overgrown theme park that momentarily amuses, wears down the body and spirit, but mentally stays behind.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005)
Never stops doling out demented treats....Dahl's morality play of bad parenting and bad-egg kids is evergreen....a genuinely amazing movie.
African Cats (2011)
The characters in the latest Disney film frequently attack each other, sometimes eat each other, and spend the whole time running around naked.
doesn’t have the reassuring clarity of a straight path from starting block to finish line, its fits and starts are pretty good.
Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer (2011)
It’d be nice to report that this film with a still-all-too-rare female protagonist is a great time at the movies, but alas, not so much.
The Ides of March (2011)
Plays out like a game of high-stakes poker, mostly in shades of quiet, intense deliberation.
Machine Gun Preacher (2011)
Butler delivers an unconvincing performance that's part and parcel of a phony film lacking in any narrative subtlety or finesse.
Poltergeist II: The Other Side (1986)
They don't come much more ridiculous...
Last House on the Left (1972)
A depraved exploitation film specifically designed to shock and repulse viewers...also a cultural artifact reflective of and reactive to the time it was made...
O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000)
Even with its mock-pretentious parallelism to
O Brother, Where Art Thou?
refuses to take itself seriously, which is both its principal failing and its charm.
The Count of Monte Cristo (2002)
When it comes to swashbucklers, I'll take Wolpert's unmolested molestation of Dumas over
Pirates of the Caribbean
any day of the week.
The Tempest (2011)
Taymor tries a little too hard, neither breaking nor broken by the play, but ultimately losing the wrestling match.
Pretty much a non-starter...its squeaky-cleanliness will seem more at home in its inevitable cable afterlife on the Disney channel.
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