Every now and then a mid-range movie slips through the cracks, and why not use Thanksgiving to catch up on some of them with quick reviews? Enjoy the Holiday, and check back throughout the weekend for more reviews…
“Fading Gigolo” …One of the rare recent “Woody” movies to star Woody Allen but not More >
The exact opposite of “Rosewater” in that it’s a sprawling film on a vast canvas that no one will accuse of being too light or insufficiently big enough to see at the theater. IMAX screenings are rarely worth the extra ticket price, but this is the best film since “Gravity” to watch that way. Even More >
Jon Stewart’s directorial debut isn’t really worth rushing out to watch in theaters–but few people are anyway–and I think it’ll find a proper home on Netflix or HBO, where more people will likely see it and that’s probably the right move. At least half the movie is intimate two-person scenes set in More >
Two films enter, only one shall leave…[If the title of this post makes absolutely no sense to you please read the review of "The Chair" filmmaking television series right below this.]
I’ll skip to the chase: neither film is very good, but Anna’s is better by default since Shane has (almost More >
“The Chair” is a reality competition series—-and I know that sounds awful, but keep reading—-where two different first-time directors are given the same movie script and asked to make their own versions of it. [I told you! Plus, it's got Project Greenlight's Chris Moore, who's clearly channelling More >
If you haven’t heard of Whiplash yet, do yourself a favor and look it up, OR, even better, go to the nearest theater playing it and buy a ticket. This is a movie that will definitely make my top 10 Best of the year list.
What Works: The plot seems deceptively simple as we watch a drumming prodigy More >
An excellent film that serves as a cracked-mirror version of last month’s ignored gem “Kill the Messenger.” Whereas that film was all about good journalism (and journalists) getting buried by a lazy, defensive media, this is the polar opposite as we watch a sociopath climb up the ranks of More >
Maybe it says something about the soft bigotry of low expectations towards Keanu Reeves movies, but this thing has received very positive reviews for what is—essentially—a fairly standard revenge film. Still, there are hundreds of small surprises and upgrades that make it feel a lot more satisfying More >
The first round of cancelled TV shows is upon us, and—honestly—I can’t think of a more deserving crop.
Utopia: It wanted to be a high-minded Big Brother, what with a cast of 15 reality show stock character creating their own society. Sadly, that gimmick never really took off, and it just wound up More >
Sucks. Maybe “sucks” is too strong a word, but unlike “Men, Women, Children” this film does deserve its rotten tomatoes rating and weak box office performance.
What Works: It’s about an amnesiac woman (Nicole Kidman) who wakes up everyday with no memory, but her husband (Colin Firth) and More >
I’m stunned that this film has a horrendous 29% on rotten tomatoes. [But maybe not so stunned it's a box office flop.] It’s just a reminder that every so often, the majority of critics get it wrong, and actually pander to broad-audience films a lot more than they should (that More >
This Reese Witherspoon-starrer (that doesn’t really star Reese) has just about left theaters, but I think this is more the kind of movie you watch at home anyway. That way there’s no judgment when you happen to cry during some of the more obvious tear-jerker moments.
The first third of this movie More >
A vibrant, offbeat animated tale that never quite becomes this decade’s “Nightmare Before Christmas” but is still well-worth watching.
What Works: This has not been the best year for animated movies, and it feels like a lot of the major players have pretty much written off 2014. [Pixar didn't even More >
Every now and again, a great film falls through the cracks. Kill the Messenger is one of the year’s very best but is not quite getting the critical or commercial respect it deserves, and I doubt most people have even heard it.
What Works: The movie is the true story of Gary Webb (Jeremy Renner, More >
This is a tough one because on the one hand, I should be thrilled to watch a movie clearly made for adults (there’s been a grand total of 9 of them this year) and there’s not a zombie or superhero in sight, but the movie also isn’t very good. Do you give Robert Downey Jr. points for finally More >