In addition to an old-fashioned love story complete with a gloriously throwback aesthetic, An Education poses the age-old question of which educational experiences are really the most important: what happens in the classroom or in "the real world."
- November 11, 2009 |
Mysterious, intriguing and involving for about 40 minutes, The Box, directed by Richard Kelly and adapted from a short story by Richard Matheson, turns sillier and sillier as it attempts to explain every mystery and answer every question about its premise.
- November 09, 2009 |
In Disney's A Christmas Carol, all viewers are left with is a familiar story with little discernable heartbeat. It seems inventiveness was saved exclusively for the visuals, which are gloriously thrilling at moments and as impersonal as an action sequence from your average video game the next.
Though not perfect, The Men Who Stare At Goats still makes for a good time at the movies. At this time of year when many films are self-important Oscar-baits, it’s refreshing to have one that’s main goal is to simply make us laugh.
The potential audience for Gentlemen Broncos encompasses lovers of bad science fiction, B-movies (or lower grade) and the strangely endearing film Napoleon Dynamite. Lovers of good comedy, however, are advised to look elsewhere.
Instead of focusing on Michael Jackson's private life or his particular oddities, This Is It is really all about the music and a farewell tour that'll never see the light of day, a move that ultimately casts Jackson, and his legacy, in a more favorable light.
- October 28, 2009 |
There's a surprisingly human element woven in with the science of Astro Boy. Not only does the protagonist make many self-sacrificing choices, but his underlying desire to connect with others is something that virtually anyone can relate to.
- October 23, 2009 |
Considering the talent involved, Amelia should have been better. Director Mira Nair's previous film, The Namesake, was both sumptuous and meaningful. Here, Nair has taken on a quintessentially American story, meant to be inspiring but which instead comes across as empty.
- October 23, 2009 |
Even with two talented writers onboard and a mostly faithful rendering of this seminal coming-of-age story, Where the Wild Things Are is ultimately big on imagination and arresting visuals but seriously slight of script.
It's not impossible for Hollywood to take a true story and do it justice, but it's rare. Some films are able to capture the essence of truth, while most others are just pretenders. Sadly, and despite admirable intentions, The Boys Are Back is the latter.
Mixing sexual violence with moments of torture-porn, Law Abiding Citizen is one of the year’s low points at the cinema—an offensive, ugly piece of work that offers no moral nor anything memorable except its sadism.
A Serious Man is one of the Coen brothers' finest efforts outside No Country for Old Men, explicitly addressing comparable religious questions and issues but adding a serious dose of their trademark humor. The story keeps viewers chuckling until the film's sudden, ominous conclusion.
- October 12, 2009 |
For any couple looking for a recession-friendly date night escape, the title of Couples Retreat should be heeded as a warning—with the emphasis on "retreat." Trust me, you'll be glad you saved your hard-earned money.
- October 09, 2009 |
With his latest film, Capitalism: A Love Story, Michael Moore has delivered his least convincing, sloppiest work. The holes in his theory about capitalism being "evil" are so gaping that it's difficult to give credence to his more salutary points.
- October 05, 2009 |
In The Invention of Lying, Ricky Gervais brings to the screen a story with some genuine laugh-out-loud potential. But its sharp, unexpected turn only serves as the actor/director’s personal atheistic soapbox.
Zombieland anchors its energetic, extended road tale with expressions about the need for family and for human relationships built on trust rather than deceit. But make no mistake—the messages about family are secondary to the main event: zombie killing.
Jane Campion has made a career off of tortured love stories, yet Bright Star is different (even opposite, and superior). Her past films have been about tortured people who destroy their circumstances. This, conversely, is a bittersweet arc of pure people who are tragically tortured by circumstances.
Given our culture's continued obsession with seeing ordinary people "make it big" and “achieve their dreams of stardom," it was only a matter of time before the '80s flick Fame got a modern-day makeover.
- September 25, 2009 |