Reviews

Draft Day (Summit Entertainment, PG-13)

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Written by Matthew Newlin Thursday, 10 April 2014 21:25


draftday 75_copyIs it good? No. Is it bad? Not really. It’s just okay, and that’s okay.

 

The Raid 2 (Sony Pictures Classics, R)

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Written by Sean Lass Thursday, 10 April 2014 20:33

Raid2 75The Raid 2 is a great film. 

   

Ernest & Celestine (GKids, PG)

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Written by Pete Timmermann Wednesday, 09 April 2014 12:07

EarnestandCelestine 75They’re charming, as one would hope, but I have to say I’m impressed with the talent assembled for the English dub.

 

Nymphomaniac: Volume II (Magnolia Pictures, NR)

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Written by Pete Timmermann Wednesday, 09 April 2014 11:39

nymphomaniac 75

It’s a shame, then, that Nymphomaniac seems likely to be remembered more as one of Von Trier’s rare misfires, as opposed to the great film(s) he clearly intended it to be.

   

Nymphomaniac: Volume I (Magnolia Pictures, NR)

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Written by Pete Timmermann Wednesday, 02 April 2014 07:41

nymphomaniac 75Despite these early setbacks, Nymphomaniac settles into a rhythm, and is relatively enjoyable as the cast is rounded out. 

 

Le Week-End (Music Box Films, R)

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Written by Sarah Boslaugh Wednesday, 26 March 2014 20:24

le-week-end 75

I suspect this film will appeal most strongly to people near their characters in age, as it’s too easy for younger people to wonder why people who have it so good are complaining.

   

Bad Words (Focus Features, R)

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Written by Pete Timmermann Thursday, 20 March 2014 21:11

badwords 75The film puts Jason Bateman in a situation where he can verbally pick off both small children and their helicoptering parents.

 

Muppets Most Wanted (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, PG)

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Written by Pete Timmermann Thursday, 20 March 2014 21:03

MuppetsMost 75The problem is, the Muppets aren’t that fun to hang around with this time.

   

The Grand Budapest Hotel (Fox Searchlight Pictures, R)

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Written by Pete Timmermann Thursday, 20 March 2014 20:55

grandbuda 75Instead of celebrating one of our most reliable, idiosyncratic directors, there’s a part of me that kind of wants to see him fail 

 

Divergent (Summit Entertainment, PG-13)

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Written by Pete Timmermann Thursday, 20 March 2014 20:41

divergent 75The cast is both talented and likeable enough and the movie good-looking enough that I was willing to give it a pass on the sometimes heavy-handedness.

   

Blondie’s New York (Smithsonian Channel, NR)

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Written by Sarah Boslaugh Tuesday, 18 March 2014 15:33

dvd blondies-new-yorkHarry’s good looks didn’t hurt their success, either, particularly when paired with her forthright sexuality and unique fashion sense.

 

Bethlehem (Adopt Films, NR)

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Written by Sarah Boslaugh Friday, 14 March 2014 22:18

bethlehem 75The city of Bethlehem is treated primarily as the backdrop for an events-heavy plot enacted by a cast of largely paper-thin characters.

   

Need for Speed (DreamWorks Pictures, PG-13)

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Written by Sean Lass Wednesday, 12 March 2014 20:46

need for_speed_75

Need for Speed is a movie that will play great when you stumble upon it while flipping through channels late at night a few years from now.

 

Tim’s Vermeer (Sony Pictures Classics, PG-13)

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Written by Pete Timmermann Thursday, 06 March 2014 23:04

TimsVermeer 75

Tim’s Vermeer winds up being one of those movies that makes you want to run out and do something.

   

3 Days to Kill (Relativity Media, PG-13)

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Written by Matthew Newlin Friday, 21 February 2014 22:56

3daystokill 75

Unfortunately, the movie gets much more ludicrous before the final credits mercifully roll.

 

RoboCop (Columbia Pictures, PG-13)

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Written by Sean Lass Wednesday, 12 February 2014 17:33

Robocop 75In the future, when I tell people what my favorite film is, I won’t feel the need to clarify that I mean the original, but Jose Padilha has made the second best RoboCop movie, and while that’s a fairly minor achievement, it is an achievement.

   

The Monuments Men (Columbia Pictures, PG-13)

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Written by Sean Lass Thursday, 06 February 2014 11:45

MonumentsMen 75It is messy and feels fairly slight, but it has a lot going for it. Some may be turned off by the tonal shifts, but that’s in keeping with the classic films it’s emulating.

 

The Lego Movie (Warner Brothers, PG)

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Written by Sean Lass Thursday, 06 February 2014 11:04

Lego 75The Lego Movie will be a huge hit, and it completely deserves to be. This is what family entertainment should be. 

   

The Past (Sony Pictures Classics, PG-13)

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Written by Pete Timmermann Thursday, 06 February 2014 09:29

ThePast 75Which is why The Past feels like a disappointment, despite actually being something close to very good.

 

Labor Day (Paramount Pictures, PG-13)

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Written by Sean Lass Thursday, 30 January 2014 21:40

LaborDay 75I like when directors push themselves and surprise us, so I’m glad Labor Day exists, and I look forward to seeing where he goes in the future.

   

Gloria (Roadside Attractions, R)

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Written by Pete Timmermann Thursday, 30 January 2014 13:49

Gloria 75

Couple this vague form of grotesquerie with the fact that the characters feel like real people who you wouldn’t necessarily much like or want to spend time with in real life, and one starts to wonder if better things couldn’t have been done to illustrate the lives of this woefully underserved demographic.

 

Oscar-Nominated Animated Short Films 2014

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Written by Sarah Boslaugh Wednesday, 29 January 2014 23:26

OscarShortFilms 75

All five nominees in the animated category are visually stunning, and also quite different from each other, so that the program never feels repetitive.

   

Oscar-Nominated Live Action Short Films 2014

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Written by Sarah Boslaugh Wednesday, 29 January 2014 23:11

OscarShortFilms 75The finalists for the 2014 Oscar in the live short film category do not disappoint in this regard, and in fact, I had a hard time picking a winner. 

 

Gimme Shelter (Roadside Attractions, PG-13)

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Written by Pete Timmermann Wednesday, 22 January 2014 13:32

GimmeShelter 75I really wish I liked it. But man, I don’t.

   

Computer Chess (Kino Lorber, NR)

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Written by Pete Timmermann Wednesday, 22 January 2014 10:43

ComputerChess 75I wouldn’t go so far as to say that Computer Chess is Bujalski’s best film, but it is close to it, and also it’s unlike anything he’s ever made before. Or anything anyone else has made before, for that matter.

 

The Invisible Woman (Sony Pictures Classics, R)

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Written by Pete Timmermann Wednesday, 22 January 2014 08:09

InvisibleWoman 75And The Invisible Woman is potentially an interesting one—it’s somewhat less stuffy than one might imagine, given the subject matter. 

   

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (Paramount Pictures, PG-13)

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Written by Sean Lass Thursday, 16 January 2014 21:22

SadowRecruit 75People will go see it, for lack of anything better to do, and they’ll probably like it. But I doubt they will really love it, or even remember it. 

 

Her (Warner Bros., R)

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Written by Pete Timmermann Friday, 10 January 2014 11:52

her 75Between this and last year’s The Master, Joaquin Phoenix has quickly proven that he’s one of the best actors we have right now.

   

Lone Survivor (Universal Pictures, R)

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Written by Matthew Newlin Friday, 10 January 2014 11:46

lone-survivor 75What happens when abiding by the rules puts soldiers in greater danger than the mission justifies?

 

August: Osage County (The Weinstein Company, R)

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Written by Pete Timmermann Wednesday, 08 January 2014 12:01

august-osage 75Despite the film having some merit, you’re better off seeing a stage production.

   

The Great Beauty (Janus Films, NR)

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Written by Pete Timmermann Wednesday, 08 January 2014 11:57

Great-Beauty 75By the time of Jep’s revelation, I already didn’t care what happened, and it wasn’t enough to win me back over.

 

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (PG, 20th Century Fox)

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Written by Adrienne Jones Monday, 23 December 2013 18:49

walter-mitty 75Walter is at his most interesting when he’s faced with challenges most people couldn’t dream of.

   

Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom (The Weinstein Company, PG-13)

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Written by Pete Timmermann Monday, 23 December 2013 18:46

mandela 75It’s a pretty traditional, by-the-numbers biopic that is neither poorly done nor especially memorable, at least under normal circumstances.

 

Grudge Match (Warner Brothers, PG-13)

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Written by Sean Lass Monday, 23 December 2013 18:43

grudge 75Sylvester Stallone’s rival is Robert De Niro, which sets this up as a pseudo crossover of Rocky and Raging Bull, a concept which would seem less ridiculous if there had never been any Rocky sequels.

   

The Wolf of Wall Street (Paramount Pictures, R)

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Written by Pete Timmermann Monday, 23 December 2013 18:41

wolf 75While a lot of Scorsese’s signature directorial flourishes are on display, this is easily his edgiest film in years.

 

Saving Mr. Banks (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, PG-13)

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Written by Pete Timmermann Friday, 20 December 2013 00:44

Saving-Mr.-Banks 75The only thing the movie was able to do for me was make me not want to watch Mary Poppins anytime soon, which is a shame, as I do like Mary Poppins.

   

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