This tag is associated with 33 posts

Movie review: “Hacksaw Ridge”

Mel Gibson has returned to the director’s chair after a ten-year absence, and his war film Hacksaw Ridge proves to be a worthy effort. It’s a blunt-force but highly effective treatise on the horrors of war as well as those who rise above the brutality to maintain as much humanity as one can on a battlefield. … Continue reading

Movie review: “The Walk”

Biopics are often tributes to eccentrics with grandiose — and often unusual — obsessions. In the case of The Walk, veteran filmmaker Robert Zemeckis (Back to the Future and Forrest Gump)  has found a subject with a curious fixation indeed, and while the movie stumbles a bit early on, it (ahem) never falls. The subject here is Phillipe … Continue reading

Movie review: “Black Mass”

James “Whitey” Bulger was a real-life bogeyman in Boston during the 1970s and ’80s. A vicious, possible psychotic, and seemingly untouchable criminal kingpin, his name commanded varying degrees of fear and grudging respect among cops and crooks alike. It is ostensibly an ensemble flick, though so much has been made of Johnny Depp’s performance and appearance … Continue reading

Movie review: “Everest”

Spectacle film-making with a purpose, Everest is a welcome throwback to the testorone-heavy adventure flicks of past decades. Based on the true story of the tragic May 10-11, 1996 excursion to the summit of the world’s highest peak that resulted in the deaths of eight mountaineers, it’s an epic man-versus-nature story that reminds us of what happens when … Continue reading

Movie review: “True Story”

Rupert Goold’s adaptation of Mike Finkel’s true crime novel/memoir, True Story is tepid that serves as a sobering reminder that while truth can be stranger than fiction, that’s not enough to make it interesting. At its core it is a genuinely bromance, but that conceit is soft-pedaled and ignored in favor of anemic characterization. Jonah Hill … Continue reading

Movie review: ‘Big Eyes’

  It’s been a while  since Tim Burton has offered up a movie that wasn’t A.) drenched in weirdness-as-affectation, B.) smothered in heavy-handed effects, C.) beaten into delirium with gratuitous Johnny Depp, or D.) all of the above. With Big Eyes, however, he seems ready to throw aside his stylistic crutches and tell a simple story. However, even with much of … Continue reading

Movie review: ‘Exodus: Gods and Kings’

Visually sumptuous but otherwise hollow, Ridley Scott’s take on the Biblical tale of Moses could use a little more wrath of God to perk it up a bit. It’s not a bad movie per se, it’s just that it fails to pull us in the way it should. You don’t watch Exodus: Gods and Kings, … Continue reading

Movie review: ‘Rosewater’

A strong debut film by The Daily Show‘s Jon Stewart, there’s still some room for improvement in the earnest and entirely nonthreatening Rosewater. Some first-time filmmakers opt for going full-bore with their freshman work, laying on the style and emotion in sloppy layers as if the project were the only movie they were ever going to … Continue reading

Movie review: ‘Get On Up’

Whereas most biopics suffer from cramming either too much or too little of its subject’s life into a standard running time, Tate Taylor’s warts-and-all examination of James Brown hits that sweet spot that eludes most of its ilk. Get On Up digs deep into what made the Godfather of Soul tick, what drove him towards fame … Continue reading

Movie review: ‘Jersey Boys’

The break-out success of the jukebox musical Jersey Boys pretty much guaranteed the inevitable film adaptation; however, said spin-off not only fails to adequately compensate for the schmaltz, it exacerbates it with some truly bland, derivative film-making. It’s as if director Clint Eastwood set out to dramatize the most boring episode of VH1’s Behind the Music … Continue reading

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