This tag is associated with 32 posts

Movie review: “Mission: Impossible — Fallout”

It’s safe to say that writer-director Chris McQuarrie and mega-star Tom Cruise have hit their collaborative stride with Mision: Impossible — Fallout. McQuarrie has learned how to properly wind Cruise up and let him loose to do his thing, resulting in an enjoyable over-the-top slice of spy-fi full of misdirection, disguises, and double crosses within … Continue reading

Movie review: “Jason Bourne”

It’s ironic and inevitable that after four movies a franchise about a super-spy/super-soldier with amnesia would start to develop a feeling of deja vu. Its predecessors have always been cutting edge, gritty, faced-paced, timely, and raw in their sensibilities; but with Jason Bourne the world seems to have caught up with the franchise. Its style has … Continue reading

Movie review: “Spectre”

While Spectre is far from bad, it is likely to frustrate many fans, especially given its unenviable position of following on the heels of the near-perfect Skyfall. The latter flew in the face of expectations and pushed the boundaries of the franchise’s formula while paying homage to its rich history and serving as a mini-reboot. Spectre … Continue reading

Movie review: “American Ultra”

The epitome of the failed genre mash-up, American Ultra probably played better on paper than it does on the screen. The idea is sound — stoners turn out to be super-agents and wackiness ensues — but the passion is so lacking and the execution so slack that it feels like everyone involved wanted to be somewhere else. … Continue reading

Movie review: “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.”

Adapting a TV series to film is usually a recipe for disaster, and dropping a dated spy-fi franchise in late summer between the twin juggernauts of Mission: Impossible and James Bond is something akin to a box office suicide mission; that said, The Man from U.N.C.L.E. beats those odds. It’s a brisk, smart, fun action … Continue reading

Movie review: “Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation”

After the one-two punch of Mad Max: Fury Road‘s art house approach to action movies and Ant-Man‘s low-key thrills, it’s tempting to expect Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation to feel un-hip and outdated two minutes in. It comes as a pleasant surprise that the series’ cartoon spy-fi lunacy still plays, that leading man Tom Cruise can … Continue reading

Movie review: ‘Kingsman: The Secret Service’

A smarter spoof than Austin Powers, and free of the over-seriousness the Bond movies, Kingsman: The Secret Service is a much-needed fresh take on spy fiction, one that pays homage to the genre almost as often as it rips it off, subverts it, and then gives it the finger. The movie finds writer-director Matthew Vaughn once again … Continue reading

This Week’s Special Screenings

The Magnolia’s Big Movie film series continues with Mike Nichols’ iconic comedy The Graduate (1967), 7:30pm and 10pm, March 4, at the theater. Details The Texas Theatre’s Tuesday Night Trash series returns with a screening of Mardi Gras Massacre (1978), 9:15pm, March 4, at the theater. Details The Alamo Drafthouse’s Wes Anderson Week runs through March 6 with screenings of movies from the … Continue reading

This Week’s Special Screenings

The Magnolia’s Big Movie film series continues with A Letter to Three Wives (1949), 7:30 and 10pm, February 4, at the theater. Details The Texas Theatre will pay tribute to the late Run Run Shaw with a trailer compilation followed by a screening of The Boxers Omen (1983), 9:15pm, February 4, at the theater. Details The Angelika Film Center presents a screening … Continue reading

Movie review: ‘Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit’

The first truly mediocre movie of 2014 has arrived. A well-meaning attempt to reboot the Jack Ryan franchise (if it can seriously be called that), Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit is a surprisingly, disappointingly tepid thriller that succumbs to the same fatal flaw that sank Swordfish and its ilk: computer crime doesn’t make for great action … Continue reading

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