Latest Film Reviews
The Words (2012)
A fairly straightforward yarn with bluntly articulated themes of Regret, Guilt, Misplaced Trust, and the Vagaries of Fate.
An anti-musical...based on The Who's 1973 "rock opera" concept album...all the more brilliant for this seemingly counter-intuitive approach.
Sons of Anarchy: Season Four (2011)
It's good that
Sons of Anarchy
has pointed itself more clearly in the direction of an end game, as narrative wheel-spinning doesn't serve the show well.
Sleepwalk with Me (2012)
Film demonstrably isn't the best medium for this story...but [it] remains resonant, with its hidden-in-plain-sight metaphor of drifting unconsciously through life.
Tough-minded...In recounting 'the Great Franklin County Moonshine Conspiracy,'
does not lack for local color and local legend.
Homeland: The Complete First Season (2011)
The Manchurian Candidate
as a television series, and you have a pretty good idea of what you're in for with Showtime's paranoid thriller
, adapted from the Israeli drama
Prisoners of War
Once Upon a Time: The Complete First Season (2011)
The reach for epic status sets
Once Upon a Time
apart; one hopes that reach will result in more grasp during the upcoming sophomore season.
The Pirates! Band of Misfits (2012)
Eighty-eight minutes of sublime silliness...should appeal in equal measure to adults as to children.
Monsieur Lazhar (2012)
A sensitive and fairly subtle work, with the deceptive simplicity of a well-honed short story.
A Separation (2012)
Above all, Farhadi’s parable teaches that a rush to judgment inevitably turns back on the judge.
The Rescuers/The Rescuers Down Under (1977)
It's easy to root for Bernard and Bianca...The sequel also tweaks the formula with a brisker pace, and development of the leading characters...
Robot & Frank (2012)
Cold-staring with a black, reflective visor, a robot helps a fading old man to see life, and himself, more clearly.
Hit and Run (2012)
Yee-haw, and so forth.
Decide for yourself if the narration is a necessary concession for kids: it's a take-it-or-leave-it proposition that doesn't make but also doesn't quite break
Pocahontas/Pocahontas II: Journey to a New World (1995)
It's hard to excuse the reconception of the eleven or twelve-year-old Pocahontas...as a statuesque supermodel, especially as kids don't need their stories to be hung on romance to deem them, err, shapely.
The Hunger Games (2012)
The Hunger Games
on screen doesn't exactly catch fire (as does its hero Katniss Everdeen), its savvy pop culture mash-up and the charge of teens in life-and-death peril remain intact.
The Dictator (2012)
Cohen's act wears thin...still,
has several memorable moments...
The Aristocats (1970)
Proves that even the studio's halfhearted larks still have life in them, thanks to golden-age animators...tunesmiths...and vocal talent.
Glee: The Complete Third Season (2011)
In its third season,
tenaciously held its ground as one of TV's most ambitious shows, in terms of production value and the sheer size of the ensemble it sets out to serve.
Celeste and Jesse Forever (2012)
A kinder, gentler divorce comedy...Jones' commitment to portraying Celeste at least as much for her flaws as her strengths winds up making the character more likeable.
Despite the dirty jokes hidden in plain sight ('Never underestimate the power of the Schwartz!'),
is a PG-rated comedy that makes silliness sublime.
Bye Bye Birdie (1963)
Anyone allergic to high-fructose corn syrup might do well to stay away, but the winking humor and musical gusto of this pop-artful camp standard-bearer still carry the day.
Dexter: The Sixth Season (2006)
The show has meandered back over too-familiar ground in its fifth and sixth seasons, stalling for time when it should be daringly advancing its storyline.
High Time (1960)
Plays dated these days, though what now seems like a pitch straight down the middle probably seemed more like a screwball fifty-two years ago.
Killer Joe (2011)
Friedkin’s pretty shrewd himself, in how he teases out the humor without indulging Letts’ immature glibness, and how he sidesteps Bible Belt baptism to waterboard us in the sewer of selfish human nature.
Hope Springs (2012)
There’s a weirdly riveting intensity—and a palpable sense of privilege—to the way the movie takes us into squirmy private moments...
falls a bit short of the mark, it remains a likeable artifact of talented people giving a ridiculous task the old college try...
The Incredible Mr. Limpet (1964)
You know, for kids! Best to repeat that mantra-style if you’re an adult sitting down to watch 1964’s kiddie flick
The Incredible Mr. Limpet
Full Metal Jacket (1987)
Kubrick again turns his unsparing eye to the dread of existence...of a godless universe...of moral frailty and civilization gone wrong...
Ruby Sparks (2012)
In a time of mind-numbing rom coms,
uses fantasy to get real about modern romance.
The Imposter (2012)
Stranger than fiction...simply by presenting us with the facts as they unfolded, Layton winningly encourages more questions than answers.
Wilfred: The Complete First Season (2011)
'A boy and his dog' is a storytelling trope that goes back for centuries, but there's never been a 'boy and his dog' story quite like
Star Trek: The Next Generation—Season One (1987)
The shakedown cruise of
Star Trek: The Next Generation
—may have been a bumpy one, but it got the newest incarnation of the U.S.S. Enterprise into action while winning over the 'Trekker' fanbase at large.
The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
The Nolans consider the issues of the day...explore the role of legendary heroes (from Robin Hood to Batman and Robin) in galvanizing the public, and labor mightily to ensure that how their Batman ends dovetails with 2005’s
Dirty Pretty Things (2003)
At its best delineating the absurdities of immigrant life lost in the London rat race.
Chariots of Fire (1981)
The cast is impeccable from top to bottom, and the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat reliably go for the gut.
The Intouchables (2012)
With its brash humor and emotional generosity,
has crowd-pleaser written all over it, but there’s no mistaking the queasy racial implications.
Oliver Stone, bless ’im, still believes in red-meat cinema.
Take This Waltz (2012)
Polley’s fearlessness is one of many reasons I take no pleasure in saying that
Take This Waltz
Home on the Range (2004)
This bouncy Western musical-comedy adventure is long enough on charm, but wisely short and sweet at 76 minutes. It's also totally bereft of innovation...
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