May 31, 2016

What is this movie about?

Art-Doc run amok

Barf Aleksandr Sokurov’s newest film, Francofonia, is a schizophrenic misadventure in filmmaking. The lackluster attempt at weaving its several elements into a cohesive union is a failed effort.

May 04, 2016 by Ben Kendall

Who’s the Boss?

Not Melissa McCarthy

Barf Oh boy, here comes The Boss, yet another pointless outing in a long line of movies wherein Melissa McCarthy says a bunch of awkward things, acts like a childish asshole to everyone and falls down all the time.

April 13, 2016 by Alex De Vore

Uneven Bars

I used to be a gymnast like you, then I took an arrow to the knee.

Barf There’s a general guideline in screenwriting that’s known as the “save the cat” moment. It’s a scene where the audience gets to somehow connect with the main character (or villain, if you’re being creative) on a personal level.

March 23, 2016 by Ben Kendall

North African Pantheon

Inappropriately a bunch of white guys

Barf Poor Geoffrey Rush. Poor, poor, poor Geoffrey Rush. Even an accomplished, Academy Award-winning thespian of his caliber (who somehow made a role in the absurd Pirates of the Caribbean seem excellent) could not save the abysmal Gods of Egypt.

March 02, 2016 by Alex De Vore

Let Him Die!

Dirty Grandpa is just so very awful

Barf It’s hard to say for whom Dirty Grandpa is more embarrassing: Aubrey Plaza or Robert DeNiro. 

Jan. 25, 2016 by Alex De Vore

Fervor on the Red Carpet

Documentary looks at cult of celebrity and awards shows

Barf What do the gritty details of the OJ Simpson trial and the splendor of the red carpet have in common? Aside from being studded with celebrities and paparazzi, it might not seem like much.  Howe

Jan. 25, 2016 by Anna Mae Kersey

Stove by a whale of a film

Ron Howard’s latest soaks viewers in tons of stinking blubber

Barf “No right-minded sailor discards what might yet save him,” a first mate tells one of his desperate men after a month adrift at sea.

Dec. 09, 2015 by Lucas Iberico Lozada

Wonder-less

Reality TV meets Tuscan beekeepers, with disappointing results

Barf Ah, the world of foreign film, wherein we find ourselves nonplussed by societal pressures which practically dictate we must enjoy the work simply for its seemingly exotic nature.

Dec. 09, 2015 by Alex De Vore

A Coming-of-Age Story for the Dustbin of History

'Ten Thousands Saints' is terrible

Barf The story, despite being convoluted, is entirely predictable. The characters are paper-thin, and everyone is an asshole.

Aug. 26, 2015 by David Riedel

Yawning for Fire

Yep, 'Digging for Fire' is standard white malaise fare

Barf I’m all for movies that mirror real life (or attempt to mirror real life), but Digging for Fire is so vapid I can only feel pity for the people who find it interesting.

Aug. 26, 2015 by David Riedel

Clooney's been taken hostage!

Jodie Foster directs Clooney and Roberts in one of the most "just OK" movies ever.

Meh It’s definitely exciting that movies like this or The Big Short are beginning to look at the straight thievery of Wall Street, but whatever moral they may have been attempting to get across in this particular film is lost in the shuffle.

May 18, 2016 by Alex De Vore

Game Over

'Ratchet & Clank' is, itself, ratchet

Meh In the early 2000s, the fine folks at Insomniac Games brought a spirited young Lombax named Ratchet and an adorable defective robot named Clank together, and the gaming landscape was forever blown away.

May 04, 2016 by Alex De Vore

The Preppie Connection

Another flick about rich kids with drugs and money, and the idiocy that ensues

Meh There’s a major problem at the heart of writer/director Joseph Castelo’s The Preppie Connection that’s hard to put a finger on.

March 30, 2016 by Alex De Vore

Meanwhile, at the Hall of Justice

Crisis on infinite spin-offs

Meh Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is a poorly constructed pastiche of disparate scripts slapped together with the thinnest of pretense and has more guest stars than an episode of The Simpsons.

March 23, 2016 by Ben Kendall

It Is Your Destiny

Does it bother anybody else that it’s in English?

Meh When Netflix announced it would produce a sequel to Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, the news was a bit confusing. It seemed as though the aforementioned film had come to a slightly confusing, and dissatisfying end, but an end nonetheless.

March 02, 2016 by Ben Kendall

BOO! DID THAT WORK?

The only thing scary about this movie is the time wasted watching it

Meh With focused attention on historical accuracy and A-game production values, it’d be hard not to hit The Witch out of the park.

Feb. 17, 2016 by Ben Kendall

Your Kung Fu Is Badath

Mike Tyson and Donnie Yen, together at last

Meh Kung Fu movies are awesome. When given the opportunity to review Ip Man 3, it’s advisable to jump-kick at the chance. Unfortunately, Ip Man 3 disappointed in everything but the Kung Fu department.

Jan. 20, 2016 by Ben Kendall

Dealing with Daddy

Bowling brings the boys together in Ally Walker’s directorial debut

Meh Sex, Death, and Bowling is an amusing and occasionally touching—if utterly predictable—traipse through family, the afterlife and, well, death and bowling.

Dec. 02, 2015 by Lucas Iberico Lozada

Film-Flam

The true story of a gifted writer who was kind of a huge jerk

Meh The ultimate issue with the film version of Trumbo's life is that it mostly seems like he was an insufferable prig rather than heroic crusader for political freedoms.

Nov. 25, 2015 by Alex De Vore

Agent Down!

'Spectre' is the long-awaited 26th Bond film, but it's long and hollow

Meh How do you like your James Bond? Brooding and brutal, with a healthy dose of melancholic angst? Or breezily throwing out quips as he murders his way around the world?

Nov. 11, 2015 by AP Kryza

The Force Awakens: Not Just for Nerf Herders

JJ Abrams' foray into the franchise is far better than we could have hoped for

Movie Reviews As Thursday the 17th wore on, SFR Art Director Anson Stevens-Bollen and I felt our Star Wars tickets burning holes in our respective pockets. 

Dec. 18, 2015 by Alex De Vore

Nativize Me

Sandler gaffe proves old habits are hard to shake off in Hollywood

Movie Reviews Last week, news broke that some Native American actors working on a new Adam Sandler movie in the area walked off the set over what they say are disrespectful jokes in the script, historically inaccurate costumes, characters who speak in halting English and generally shitty attitudes (my take) from producers.

April 27, 2015 by David Riedel

Good Riddance, 2014

It was a bad year for good movies and a good year for bad movies

Movie Reviews So 2014 is finally over, and I think I speak for everyone who loves movies when I say: Good goddamn riddance, 2014. You sucked. Like, REALLY SUCKED.

Dec. 30, 2014 by David Riedel

It’s a Wrap!

2013 was a year filled with glory, slurps and triple barfs

Movie Reviews So this year was a pretty good one for movies. It’s just that movies that were bad were so bad. Just inexcusable. Sweet Jesus. But we’ll get to those after my five favorite movies of 2013.

Dec. 31, 2013 by David Riedel

Fall Flicks

It’s the attack of the award-worthy films!

Movie Reviews Welcome to autumn. As we all know—and if you don’t, WHAT THE FUCK, ARE YOU LIVING UNDER A ROCK?—it’s the time of year when the studios, big and small, start pushing their awards fodder picture

Oct. 25, 2013 by David Riedel

Blood and guts… gotta problem with that?

'Machete Kills' is long, dumb, and a lot of fun

Movie Reviews The early reviews for Machete Kills have largely been unkind. The big gripe appears to be that Machete Kills is too long, too repetitive and too superviolent. How many of these critics have seen a Robert Rodriguez movie before?

Oct. 11, 2013 by David Riedel

Tom Hanks… and pirates

'Captain Phillips' has its moments

Movie Reviews Sometimes when watching a movie that’s particularly emotionally distressing, one has to ask, “Just how much harrowing adversity can we watch these characters go through? What’s the endgame here?

Oct. 09, 2013 by David Riedel

Nothing to see here

'Love, Marilyn' is truly lame

Movie Reviews Hey, here's something to savor. A bunch of actors reading—on camera no less!—words by lots and lots of people who have written things about Marilyn Monroe. And words by Monroe herself.

Oct. 09, 2013 by David Riedel

I Seem to Be Floating, And Downward

It’s ‘Gravity’!

Movie Reviews Calling a movie Newton’s Laws of Motion would probably have the potential audience running for the hills.

Oct. 01, 2013 by David Riedel

Not Enough

‘Enough Said’ is delightful

Movie Reviews It’s a shame there aren’t more movies like Enough Said. It’s a touching (and truly hilarious) comedy with moments of drama about people who are actual adults—people with children and responsibilities and jobs—and not just assholes who work in graphic design.

Oct. 01, 2013 by David Riedel

Play Nice

Gosling and Crowe try their best to be funny

Ok It’s only fair to give kudos to Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling—actors who generally tend to take serious roles—for their attempts at slapstick, but the overall cheese factor of The Nice Guys keeps it from ever achieving the levels of cool to which it so obviously aspires.

May 25, 2016 by Alex De Vore

Fairy Tale Cinema

Stars might be the only thing going for it

Ok Tale of Tales consists of three well-trodden fairy tales from the works of Giambattista Basile, a writer and poet of the 16th and 17th century also credited with penning the first versions of Cinderella, Rapunzel and several other twice-told yarns.

May 11, 2016 by Jeff Berg

Kind of Blue

Workin’ with Don Cheadle

Ok If you had a time machine and wanted to know where “cool” came from, you could do worse than to travel back to 1949 New York and look up a guy named Miles Davis.

April 20, 2016 by Ben Kendall

Welcome to the Jungle

Kipling isn't rolling in his grave ... yet

Ok One could easily make the argument that Jon Favreau’s (Iron Man) new live-action Jungle Book adaptation is another nail in the “Hollywood is out of fresh ideas” coffin, but  it’s worth checking out, even if you aren’t being forced by your kids/

April 18, 2016 by Alex De Vore

I’m Sweet Enough

The way to the heart is through the stomach

Ok Everyone searches for meaning. It’s a quest that consumes us all, from the time that we start wondering why we’re here or what we’re doing with our lives.

April 13, 2016 by Ben Kendall

Bittersweet Memories

A Miyazaki production you may not have seen

Ok Hidden beneath the layers of your adult-self, obscured in the forest of past experiences and your relationship with your family, lies perhaps the more real part of yourself.

March 16, 2016 by Ben Kendall

Maybe There’s Giant Monsters

Or maybe not? John Goodman knows.

Ok What begins on a rather Hitchcockian level quickly devolves into a mildly enjoyable tangle of run-of-the-mill jump scares, so-so performances and unresolved plot lines in 10 Cloverfield Lane,.

March 16, 2016 by Alex De Vore

British Indigent

I'm so charmingly transient

Ok Long venerated actor Maggie Smith frowned her way into today’s pop culture American heart and seems quite at home.

March 02, 2016 by Julie Ann Grimm

Yet Another Comic Movie

There’s even a guy who gets killed by a Zamboni

Ok When two major studios announced they were working on a Deadpool feature film, it was hard to imagine how 20th Century Fox and Marvel Studios were going to accomplish bringing a lesser-known cult-status character into motion picture territory.

Feb. 10, 2016 by Ben Kendall

Panda-monium

Jack Black is the chosen one, again

Ok The CGI animated film has practically become old hat at this point, with countless productions from Pixar, DreamWorks, Fox, etc. over the years and no shortage of vehicles looming on the horizon.

Feb. 03, 2016 by Alex De Vore

What Did You Do in the War on Terrorism, Daddy?

The Interview debacle isn’t over, and it’s pretty bizarre

See By the time you read this piece, it will be a week since Sony canceled the release of James Franco and Seth Rogen’s comedy The Interview. And then news broke Tuesday that the The Interview will screen on Christmas after all, just in limited release.

Dec. 23, 2014 by David Riedel

Killing Hollywood-Style for Real

‘The Act of Killing’ is a bizarre must-see

See The Act of Killing is such a surreal movie it’s almost hard to believe that all the killings in it took place. 

Feb. 25, 2014 by David Riedel

Once a Marine

New raw documentary exposes the difficulty in reintegrating after military service.

Yay Once a Marine Let’s just assume that Memorial Day means something more than a coveted three-day weekend in the first fair days on the edge of summer.

May 25, 2016 by Julie Ann Grimm

Love & Friendship

Finally. A period piece that isn’t boring as hell.

Yay Although delightfully uneven, and heavy with both dialogue and horse-drawn carriages, period piece Love & Friendship is thoroughly enjoyable and well made.

May 25, 2016 by Jeff Berg

¡Que Viva!

Music and machismo bring drama to the doorstep, as Viva learns to fly in Havana

Yay Is there anyone who’s not talking about Cuba these days? As the island recently became fair game for American tourists after decades of prohibition on travel, it seems to occupy a new place in the sphere of imagination, too.

May 18, 2016 by Julie Ann Grimm

Here They Come to Save the Day

Civil War is every bit as dumb and fun as we’d hoped

Yay Notoriously grumpy comics genius Alan Moore has referred to the recent influx of superhero films as a “cultural catastrophe.” Them’s fightin’ words, but at the rate we’re being inundated with these things, he ain’t that far off.

May 11, 2016 by Alex De Vore

Talking Cats

Only in France

Yay Hand-drawn animated features are a rarity is this day and age. Having one shipped over from Europe that has any kind of resonance is even rarer (the last one that this critic can recall personally was The Triplets of Belleville).

April 27, 2016 by Ben Kendall

Hail to the King

Oh yeah, movies have actual stories sometimes

Yay Tom Hanks is almost always at his best when he plays the everyman thrust into extraordinary circumstances. He’s America’s sweetheart, and while the man has proven his chops in dozens of memorable films over the years, he always excels in roles th

April 26, 2016 by Alex De Vore

El-Dough-Rado

Food critic Jonathan Gold opens the doors to LA’s nosh

Yay Los Angeles is home to about 20 million people. Its greater metropolitan area stretches in all directions for around 500 square miles.

April 06, 2016 by Ben Kendall

Music is Truth

And the truth will set you free

Yay It may be visible every day for most, but those who would dare question the power of music need look no further than filmmaker Johanna Schwartz’ triumphant 2015 documentary.

April 06, 2016 by Alex De Vore

Cinema-Constrictor

One of the few movies filmed in the Amazon is rad

Yay The bloody history of rubber exploitation and colonization in the Amazon is brought into stark relief in writer/director Ciro Guerra’s new film, Embrace of the Serpent.

March 23, 2016 by Ben Kendall

Highbrow Kid Stuff

New Pixar film attacks social issues

Yay Not everyone is enamored with the saccharine-sweet films from the admittedly fine folks at Pixar, and not everyone loves CGI-produced animated films the way they love good old-fashioned cell animation.

March 09, 2016 by Alex De Vore
 

Morning Word: Honoring Fallen Warriors

Morning Word Memorial Day events scheduled around the state today.  ... More

May 30, 2016 by Peter St. Cyr

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