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August 2013
Prince Avalanche Reverses David Gordon Green's Directorial Slide

Not everything works, but the film's oddness makes for a unique viewing experience. It's a major comeback for director Green.

  • Christian Hamaker |
  • August 16, 2013 |
  • comments
 
Ain't Them Bodies Saints is Beautiful but Exhausting

A truly beautiful film about an outlaw, but one can’t shake the feeling that it's the exhaustive visual equivalent of a sad country song.

 
Neither Soaring nor Crashing, Planes Just Kinda Glides

Not bad, but not awesome, and definitely below Disney standards for quality. It's cute, funny, sweet, and forgettable.

 
Spectacular Now Reboots Teen Romance Genre with Strong Acting, Message

Young romantic leads Teller and Woodley are launching careers with this story about recognizing our failures and need for love.

  • Christian Hamaker |
  • August 09, 2013 |
  • comments
 
Elysium Works if One Can Set Aside its Soapbox

Despite the socialistic sermonizing, this brainy thrill-ride is smartly constructed in a manner reminiscent of Christopher Nolan.

 
Endless Exposition, Lack of Humor Doom Percy Jackson Sequel

So poorly executed that it's safe to say all comparisons between Percy Jackson and Harry Potter will come to a screeching halt.

 
Smurfs 2 Will Leave You Blue

What is meant to be a family-friendly comedy sadly becomes a big blue blunder and waste of studio money.

 
2 Guns Fires, Scores a Hit

Finally, the funny, fast-paced action movie we've been waiting for all summer has arrived.

July 2013
Wolverine a Fascinating Study of the Man behind the Mutant

Surprising how much better it is to its predecessor is in every possible way. The storyline is just as compelling as the special effects.

 
The Way, Way Back is Way, Way Overrated

The only distinguishing characteristic is that it doesn't have one. The writing and direction lack distinction; the young lead is bland.

July 2013
Wiig Successfully Plays Against Type in Girl Most Likely

A compelling coming-of-age tale where an unexpected reconnection with family helps shape the protagonist's future journey.

 
Bridges Breathes Life into R.I.P.D.

Flawed, but it only takes one special element to set a film apart. Here, it's a loony performance from the great Jeff Bridges.

 
Fruitvale Station Rises Above Racial Grievance

More than a timely drama about racial tension, but a spiritually potent story that portrays people looking toward a better life.

 
As Faith-Based Fright Fest, The Conjuring Fails

In a way, this is a faith-based film. It's also scary, violent, and filled with images that I don't think anyone really needs to see.

 
RED 2 Delivers, Just Not as Far as the Original

Does just about everything RED did, just not quite as well. Makes attempts at the same charm and flair but the execution is often forced.

 
Title Aside, Only God Forgives Isn't Spiritually Edifying

There is neither grace nor forgiveness here, only revenge. In this story of a fight between man and 'god' it’s not clear who wins.

 
Cute Turbo Coulda Used More Torque

An impossibly cute but decidedly conventional story about striving for the seemingly impossible dream.

 
Nothing Grown Up - or Funny - about Grown Ups 2

What on earth did they do to earn their paychecks, sit around and drink beer all day until they came up with recurring plot points?

 
Pacific Rim Looks Solid but Rings Hollow

Had promise, considering del Toro, of being the rare big-budget film to fire on all cylinders, but alas, it's dumb, loud and predictable.

 
The Lone Ranger is a Wild, Wild Mess

The last half-hour is exactly what we want a summer movie to be, but we have to sit through two hours of utter tedium to get there.

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