The Birdman Cometh

The Birdman Cometh

Done with Dumb and Dumber To

(November 20, 2014) Reviews BIRDMAN or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance). I've been an admirer, if a casual, distanced one, of director Alejandro González Iñárritu since his feature debut, Amores Perros (2000). His...

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Space Age

Small step for Hero, Interstellar takes a leap

(November 13, 2014) Reviews BIG HERO 6. If the movie were more captivating, with a story that rose occasionally above boiler-plate predictability, I might not have been so distracted by the 2-year-old tirelessly...

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Sharp noir and forgettable amnesiacs

(November 6, 2014) Reviews NIGHTCRAWLER introduces the viewer to the world of independent Los Angeles news stringers: freelance cameramen with police scanners who prowl the darkened landscape in search of others' misfortune. They...

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Wick on Fire

St. Vincent's grumpy heart of gold

(October 30, 2014) John J. Bennett Reviews JOHN WICK serves as one more exhibit in the damning case against Hollywood's conventional wisdom. People who should know better seem shocked that it opened well...

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Skeleton Crews

Book of Life's flimsy, Fury stands ground

(October 23, 2014) Reviews THE BOOK OF LIFE. Guillermo del Toro as executive producer, a talented cast and a unique visual style had me convinced that this could be more than just another...

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Awkward Reunions

Skeleton Twins is delicate, Judge overdoes it

(October 16, 2014) Reviews THE SKELETON TWINS. I don't bear heartfelt indie dramedies any ill will, but they rarely suit my taste. Maybe I've been made callous by decades of broad Hollywood entertainments...

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The Lady Astonishes

Satanists and evangelists crash and burn

(October 9, 2014) Reviews GONE GIRL is one of the best-made movies this year. Its screenplay (which Gillian Flynn adapted from her own juggernaut novel) remains taut, and concise over two and half...

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All Boxed Up

Boxtrolls nails visuals, Equalizer's full of fight

(October 2, 2014) Reviews THE BOXTROLLS. Laika Entertainment first entered the mainstream conversation with Tim Burton's Corpse Bride (2005), subsequently producing Coraline (2009), ParaNorman (2012) and now The Boxtrolls. Like Burton's movies, Laika's...

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Lost Boys

Maze Dead Ends, Bateman Grows Up

(September 25, 2014) Reviews THE MAZE RUNNER is a tightly paced sci-fi/horror flick for the tween set, a dark and violent mystery that doesn't gloss over the child murder so popular in films...

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Bungled B&E

No Good Deed is punishing

(September 18, 2014) Reviews NO GOOD DEED. The whole "killer inside the house" thing is long in the tooth. But for me it taps into a visceral fear — one of those childhood...

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The Identical ain't nothing like the real thing

(September 11, 2014) Reviews THE IDENTICAL. I've sat through more than a few bad movies, many of them in the theater, mostly in the last four years. I don't like disliking movies. I...

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Going Underground

Priest hits pay dirt

(September 4, 2014) Reviews AS ABOVE, SO BELOW. And it's a mess on both sides. Another found footage cock-up based on the shaky premise that, somewhere in the bowels of the Earth, an...

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Sin City comes back stale, If I Stay surprises

(August 28, 2014) Reviews SIN CITY: A DAME TO KILL FOR. A buddy hipped me to Frank Miller's comics a few years before Miller and Robert Rodriguez (El Mariachi, Spy Kids) teamed up...

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Give and Take

Dystopia's a pleasure, but growing up isn't for everyone

(August 21, 2014) Reviews THE GIVER. The film adaptation of Lois Lowry's The Giver has been floating around Hollywood for years, always with Jeff Bridges attached. The dystopian young adult novel is a...

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Even Twistier

Storm stagnates, Ninja Turtles belongs in the sewer

(August 14, 2014) Reviews INTO THE STORM. Somewhere around an hour in, I realized it was gut-check time. I'd been sitting there, half-passively, half-dismissively looking at this movie without bothering to make up...

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Guardians Gets it Right

Brown biopic lacks soul

(August 7, 2014) Reviews GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY. I've admired writer/director James Gunn for years, even if I'm not an outright fan of everything he's done. He cut his teeth at Troma Studios,...

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