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.
Rather than develop the more cerebral aspects of the story in the rushed, 88 minutes of Surrogates, director Jonathan Mostow (Terminator 3) substitutes action where thoughtful dialogue and exposition would have been more helpful.
The brainchild of author-filmmaker Dan Merchant, Lord, Save Us from Your Followers aims to spark conversation about ways to win hearts rather than merely arguments. As believers, we need to step back and listen to how we sound to the rest of the world.
In the same way a book shouldn’t be judged by its cover, a movie probably shouldn’t be judged solely by its title. But in the case of Love Happens (starring Jennifer Aniston and Aaron Eckhart), trust me, your gut is probably right.
- September 18, 2009 |
As whistle-blower Mark Whitacre in The Informant!, Matt Damon is 30 pounds heavier than he was as Jason Bourne in The Bourne Identity, so it's appropriate that The Informant! is a weightier film. But it ain't heavy.
- September 18, 2009 |
Kate Beckinsale’s career once looked promising, but her willingness to take paycheck jobs like Whiteout isn’t helping her career. Was she so blinded by the story that she couldn’t see how disastrous the final result would be?
- September 14, 2009 |