July 5, 2015

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People Suck, and So Does This Movie

Take heart; the Italians are as bad as the Americans if 'Human Capital' is proof

Barf If Human Capital is the kind of thing that’s supposed to pass for great foreign cinema these days, we’re all assuredly fucked.

Feb. 18, 2015 by David Riedel

Gobbledygook and Silliness

'Jupiter Ascending' is so, so bad

Barf Is it too early to declare the Jupiter Ascending the worst movie of 2015? Probably, but there's going to have to be some serious shit out there to compete with it.

Feb. 04, 2015 by David Riedel

Oh, Enough

Let’s hope 'The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies' sits on its own sword

Barf The Battle of the 144 Minutes I’ll Never Get Back became the epitome of everything shitty about the 2014 movie year.

Dec. 16, 2014 by David Riedel

Eternal Vanity

'The Immortalists' could be fascinating, but its subjects aren’t

Barf The Immortalists takes an intriguing premise and squanders it with one of the least likable documentary subjects to ever grace the screen.

Dec. 09, 2014 by David Riedel

Piece. Of. Shit.

'Horrible Bosses 2' is so bad it defies comprehension

Barf There are four laughs in Horrible Bosses 2, but at 108 minutes, you deserve more than a laugh every 27 minutes.

Nov. 25, 2014 by David Riedel

It’s 'Twister' Part 2!

'Into the Storm' is worse than bad; it’s boring

Barf Into the Storm is so similar to Jan de Bont’s mid-1990s unintentional larf-fest that one wonders how Warner Bros. isn’t suing itself.

Aug. 05, 2014 by David Riedel

Planet of the Dopes

Hopefully 'Dawn of the Planet of the Apes' is followed by 'Demise'

Barf First there was Rise. Before that there was Tim Burton’s remake. Before that there were five Planet of the Apes films, the first of which has the distinction of being adapted by Rod Serling, so at least it’s subversive and progressive.

July 15, 2014 by David Riedel

A Contender for the Worst Movie Ever Made

'Third Person' is rotten, rotten and rotten

Barf Director Paul Haggis could have done the audience a big favor by making a short movie, as the endless narratives of Third Person don’t allow for any one story to dominate.

July 09, 2014 by David Riedel

Misogyny Disguised as an Art Film

Nymphomaniac: Volume 1 is stupid, uninspired and cruel

Barf Don’t get caught up in the Nymphomaniac hype. It’s a meticulously produced piece of shit.

April 01, 2014 by David Riedel

300: Rise of my lunch

‘300: Rise of an Empire’ proves too much blood can be boring

Barf 300: Rise of an Empire has no ideology, purpose or ambition beyond being blood-and-guts spectacle on a massive scale. If that’s your idea of a great flick, please enjoy. 

March 03, 2014 by David Riedel

How Pruned Was My Garden

In 'A Little Chaos', Alan Rickman and Kate Winslet turn French history into a British period piece

Meh Alan Rickman has only directed two films now. His lack of practice is a hindrance, but not a deal-breaker on A Little Chaos.

June 24, 2015 by Jonathan Kiefer

Can You Tell Me How to Get to the Story?

'I Am Big Bird: The Caroll Spinney Story' is featherweight

Meh When I Am Big Bird: The Caroll Spinney Story is over, you'll have no better idea of what makes Spinney tick.

May 13, 2015 by David Riedel

Why Can’t You Just Play Ball, Dude?

'5 to 7' is great until it isn’t (and then it really isn’t)

Meh 5 to 7 starts so wonderfully that its left turn into bologna is all the more disheartening.

April 22, 2015 by David Riedel

Be Brave, Bold Robot

Alex Garland’s 'Ex Machina' has human limitations

Meh There are many things to admire in Alex Garland’s directorial debut, but there’s an underlying ickiness to the entire film.

April 22, 2015 by David Riedel

All Hail the Underdog(s)

'White God' is hard to watch

Meh For those who feel pained whenever animals suffer, on the screen or in real life, White God will be tough going.

April 15, 2015 by David Riedel

Stolen Art, Stolen Lives

'Woman in Gold' should have huge stakes but struggles dramatically

Meh Here’s a question for you: What happens when you make a movie that’s a shameless bid for awards but isn’t good enough to win any of those awards?

April 08, 2015 by David Riedel

Gay Panic! (At the Prison Yard)

Good chemistry can’t elevate 'Get Hard's lethargy

Meh Apparently in 2015, no one got the memo that it’s not funny when someone thinks sucking a dick is the worst thing that can happen to him.

March 24, 2015 by David Riedel

We've Seen That Robot Movie, Too

How many plots from better films can you spot in 'Chappie'?

Meh While Chappie has gritty style, it has jack shit for substance.

March 18, 2015 by David Riedel

It's Not Your Fault

'Insurgent' plays by the rules and is pretty dull for it

Meh Insurgent, bless its heart, relies even more on Young Adult fiction tropes than The Hunger Games.

March 18, 2015 by David Riedel

Cindermehlla

'Cinderella' is pretty, and pretty lifeless

Meh This version of Cinderella has no teeth; the only thing resembling conflict is Blanchett’s rather overblown  stepmother.

March 11, 2015 by David Riedel

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

Come for the Crashes, Stay for the Story

Rush is better than it should be

Movie Reviews It’s that time of year between the end of summer and the beginning of the Oscar races when, traditionally, the genuine crap starts hitting the multiplexes. (You’ll also find crap from January to March, and, depending on your point of view, all year.)

Sept. 24, 2013 by David Riedel

In Defense of Shutting In

'The Wolfpack' is a documentary about kids growing up in a locked house

Ok The Wolfpack becomes a loose laboratory study of the nature of escapism, raising such context-dependent questions as whether an obsession with Reservoir Dogs is healthy for kids.

June 24, 2015 by Jonathan Kiefer

The Man Makes the Clothes

Design not quite within reach in 'Saint Laurent'

Ok Bertrand Bonello’s film comes on like a narcotic and presents the life of late designer Yves Saint Laurent in a series of oblique narrative vignettes.

June 10, 2015 by Jonathan Kiefer

Once More Unto the Beach

'Love & Mercy' lies in bed just like Brian Wilson did

Ok In Love & Mercy, a bedridden Brian Wilson struggles mightily with almost becoming the star child from 2001: A Space Odyssey. Or something like that.

June 03, 2015 by Jonathan Kiefer

Here’s that Estonian Oscar Submission You Asked For

'Tangerines' probably is as sweet and tart as a little Eastern European war drama can probably be

Ok Have you heard this one? A Chechen and a Georgian lie wounded in an immigrant Estonian’s house, circa 1992.

May 27, 2015 by Jonathan Kiefer

The Kids Are…Well, They’re OK

Meet the Who’s managers in 'Lambert & Stamp'

Ok What it takes to produce a great quartet of gear-smashing mod rockers is this: on the one hand, a gay, Oxford-educated son of a composer, and on the other, yes, the kid brother to the future General Zod.

May 20, 2015 by Jonathan Kiefer

Frontiersman and Frontiersboy

'Slow West'. Because Fast East isn’t a thing

Ok In its best moments, Slow West manages to take the piss out of genre-mandated laconicism without losing sight of why we like it.

May 20, 2015 by Jonathan Kiefer

Turning Frowns Upside Down or Some Shit

'Misery Loves Comedy' is for fans

Ok Misery Loves Comedy works because its subject—comedians and how they operate—is important to comedy fans.

May 13, 2015 by David Riedel

Is That a Fourth Wall in Your Pocket or Are You Just Happy to See Me?

'Playing It Cool' doesn’t, but it’s awright

Ok Playing It Cool gets points for trying to be a different kind of romantic comedy but gets demerits for being dumb as shit.

May 06, 2015 by David Riedel

Adult but Not Grown Up

Nick Kroll tackles family comedy and drama in 'Adult Beginners'

Ok It seems the big comedy trope these days is the screw-up-makes-good comedy, and now Nick Kroll is getting in on it.

April 29, 2015 by David Riedel

Some of His Lies Are True

Hill and Franco put on their drama coats for 'True Story'

Ok True Story is a quiet but tense rumination on the nature of truth.

April 15, 2015 by David Riedel

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

A Bike Lane Runs Through It

Dutch doc 'The New Rijksmuseum' reveals how art institutions do and don’t work

Yay Though it actually observes people falling asleep in meetings, the film itself is not boring.

July 01, 2015 by Jonathan Kiefer

Well, They Seem Nice

Let’s all make new friends with 'The Overnight'

Yay The establishment of intimacy, with all its confusions, frustrations and consolations, is just what interests writer-director Patrick Brice, who juices this minimal scenario with maximum efficiency.

July 01, 2015 by Jonathan Kiefer

Emotion Graphics

With 'Inside Out', Pixar once again gets into your heart and head

Yay A nimble ensemble piece, Inside Out exemplifies the platitudes of teamwork that seem baked in to the famously by-committee studio that produced it.

June 17, 2015 by Jonathan Kiefer

Wastrels of the Upper West Side

Arielle Holmes gets discovered in 'Heaven Knows What'

Yay Heaven Knows What is a quasi-documentary of homeless young addicts adrift in the area that once was known as Needle Park.

June 17, 2015 by Jonathan Kiefer

Mother of Gwyneth Paltrow Appears Confusingly Sensible

Blythe Danner’s lack of lead roles until 'I’ll See You in My Dreams' seems like excessive karmic retribution for bringing kook into world

Yay Here’s a refreshingly uncommon movie protagonist: a retiree and widow, wistfully reclusive even in the company of three bridge buddies and one fledged daughter.

June 10, 2015 by Jonathan Kiefer

Personal, Training

We don’t say the word ‘mumblecore’ even once in this review of Andrew Bujalski’s 'Results'

Yay Filmmaker Andrew Bujalski's almost (but not quite) Hollywood-style film is a comedy about fitness training that hails by the dryly ironic title of Results.

June 10, 2015 by Jonathan Kiefer

Sans Popeye

'The Connection': Because in French, they don’t need to call it 'The French Connection'

Yay The fact-based tale of cops versus smack smugglers in 1970s Marseille may be familiar from a certain celebrated American film, but this take doesn’t seem daunted at all.

June 03, 2015 by Jonathan Kiefer

Age During Beauty

In 'Iris', the late documentary maestro Albert Maysles hangs out with a fashion maven

Yay Everyone keeps calling Iris Apfel a “nonagenarian fashion icon,” because how many such people can there even be?

May 27, 2015 by Jonathan Kiefer

Who Needs the Kwik-E-Mart?

If you’ll pardon that headline on a piece about Satyajit Ray’s great 'Apu Trilogy'

Yay Restorations of director Satyajit Ray's films have been ongoing since his death, and lucky you, now’s your chance to catch Ray’s masterly Apu Trilogy on the big screen.

May 27, 2015 by Jonathan Kiefer

Hardy Appetites

A gal has her choices in 'Far from the Madding Crowd'

Yay It’s a weird cultural moment for a new movie of this old book.

May 20, 2015 by Jonathan Kiefer
 
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