Category: Reviews

Movie Review: The Ruins (2008)

BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLOCTOBER 1, 2020 “It does for Mexican vacations what Jaws did for New England beaches in 1975.” — Stephen King (about the book) When “The Ruins” first came out in 2008, I didn’t like it. To pinpoint my dislike for it, you’d have to go back a few years to 2006, when Eli Roth’s “Hostel” came out. That film’s success would spawn … Read More Movie Review: The Ruins (2008)

Movie Review: The Hunt (2020)

BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJUNE 4, 2020 “You actually believed we were hunting human beings for sport.” — Athena (Hilary Swank) Beyond anything it had to say politically, one thing “The Hunt” achieves is showing just how badass Betty Gilpin is as an actress. Yes, she’s been kicking ass on Netflix’s “GLOW” as she throws down in the squared circle, but here, she takes it up … Read More Movie Review: The Hunt (2020)

Movie Review: Guns Akimbo (2020)

GUN AKIMBO BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLMAY 1, 2020 “No respawns. No one-ups. No extra lives. I just killed this fucking guy.” — Miles (Daniel Radcliffe) Welcome to SKIZM, an online televised deathmatch run by a face-tattooed overlord pitting gun-wielding strangers against each other for entertainment. Sounds plausible enough to me. We’re probably only about ten seasons away from “Survivor” doing shit like this. “Guns Akimbo” … Read More Movie Review: Guns Akimbo (2020)

Movie Review: Trolls World Tour (2020)

TROLLS WORLD TOUR BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLAPRIL 11, 2020 “This is going to take a lot of hugs.” — Branch (Justin Timberlake) The world of Trolls just got bigger, but unfortunately, that doesn’t mean it got better. Welcome to a new era of movies, where movie theaters are involuntarily closed, audiences are sequestered in their homes, and major studios are skipping the theatrical release window. … Read More Movie Review: Trolls World Tour (2020)

Movie Review: Onward (2020)

ONWARD BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLAPRIL 5, 2020 “On a quest the clear path is never the right one.” — Barley Lightfoot (Chris Pratt) As we waded into the waters of the animated film “Onward,” my seven-year-old daughter posed me this question: in the context of the film, would I rather live in either the magic-filled world of yesteryear, where wizards and unicorns are prevalent or … Read More Movie Review: Onward (2020)

Movie Review: Underwater (2020)

UNDERWATER BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJANUARY 10, 2020 “This better not be 20,000-Leagues-Under-The-Sea-shit, man.” — Paul (T.J. Miller) Borrow from the best. Or if you’re director William Eubank (2014’s underrated sci-fi, “The Signal”), borrow from all the best. But borrowing is only half the equation. To make a memorable film, and not just a recreation, you have to make it your own. Thankfully, Eubank does just … Read More Movie Review: Underwater (2020)

Movie Review: A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood (2019)

A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLNOVEMBER 22, 2019 “Please don’t ruin my childhood.” — Andrea Vogel (Susan Kelechi Watson) Sometimes less is more, but not in the case of “A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood.” Tom Hanks captures the quirk and gravitas of the iconic Mister Rogers so perfectly. The only problem is, I wanted more. When you have a high … Read More Movie Review: A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood (2019)

TV Review: The Mandalorian: Season 1 – Episode 1: “Chapter One” (2019)

THE MANDALORIANSEASON ONE Episode 1: “Chapter One” BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLNOVEMBER 11, 2019 “Bounty hunting is a complicated business. Don’t you agree?” — The Client (Werner Herzog) The Disney+ app here! Fans have been salivating for months over the mere idea of the Star Wars original series “The Mandalorian,” with Pedro Pascal dawning the Boba Fett-like armor. With all the anticipation leading up to the … Read More TV Review: The Mandalorian: Season 1 – Episode 1: “Chapter One” (2019)

TV Review: The Handmaid’s Tale: Season 3 – Episode 5: “Unknown Caller” (2019)

THE HANDMAID’S TALESEASON THREE Episode 5: “Unknown Caller” BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJUNE 20, 2019 “We’re all in danger.” — Mr. Lawrence (Bradley Whitford) The moment that baby Nichole/Holly made it to Canada, I began worrying for everyone involved. Not only is June (Elisabeth Moss) now separated from both of her children, but there is a massive target on Luke’s (O. T. Fagbenle) back for harboring … Read More TV Review: The Handmaid’s Tale: Season 3 – Episode 5: “Unknown Caller” (2019)

Movie Review: Avengers: Endgame (2019)

AVENGERS: ENDGAME BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLMAY 2, 2019 “Whatever it takes.” — Steve Rogers aka Captain America (Chris Evans) [If you have not yet taken the ride that is “Avengers: Endgame,” please recuse yourself from this review and rectify that. That said … SPOILERS!] Over eleven years and twenty-two films, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has amassed a substantial amount of fans. Lifelong comic lovers, decadelong … Read More Movie Review: Avengers: Endgame (2019)

Movie Review: Wonder Park (2019)

WONDER PARK BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLMARCH 17, 2019 “We are the wonder in Wonderland” — June Bailey (Brianna Denski) “Wonder Park” may entertain your six-year-old with its sleek, crisp animation, but it doesn’t come close to packing the same emotional punch as anything Disney, Pixar, or Dreamworks puts out. For kids, it looks and feels enough like big studio fare to keep them enthralled, but … Read More Movie Review: Wonder Park (2019)

Movie Review: Sorry To Bother You (2018)

SORRY TO BOTHER YOU BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLNOVEMBER 26, 2018 “If you get shown a problem but have no idea how to control it then you just decide to get used to the problem.” — Squeeze (Steven Yeun), “Sorry To Bother You” Boots Riley breaks through the clutter with his directorial debut. Take a step back and look at the absurd era we live in, … Read More Movie Review: Sorry To Bother You (2018)

Movie Review: Halloween 6: The Curse Of Michael Myers (1995)

HALLOWEEN 6: THE CURSE OF MICHAEL MYERS BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLOCTOBER 17, 2018 “You can’t control evil. You can lock it up, burn it, and bury it, and pray that it dies, but it never will.” — Tommy Doyle (Paul Rudd) For being the sixth film in a series about a masked serial killer wreaking havoc on a small-town, almost no one in “Halloween: The … Read More Movie Review: Halloween 6: The Curse Of Michael Myers (1995)

Movie Review: The Nun (2018)

THE NUN BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLSEPTEMBER 21, 2018 “I’m afraid there is something very wrong with this place.” — Father Burke (Demián Bichir) In 2014, when Warner Bros. announced that it would be spinning off stories from its highly acclaimed “Conjuring” series, which at the time had just come off of a $41.9 million domestic opening weekend and a worldwide total of $319.5 million, against … Read More Movie Review: The Nun (2018)

Movie Review: Dog Days (2018)

DOG DAYS BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLAUGUST 10, 2018 At the very least, “Dog Days” functions as a public service announcement for failing animal rescue centers and dog shelters. It highlights the painfully obvious necessity to adopt animals in need of a good home. But in every other regard, “Dog Days” is fluff. Having no real bearing on anything, its only real saving grace is that … Read More Movie Review: Dog Days (2018)

TV Review: Sharp Objects – Episode 1: “Vanish” (2018)

SHARP OBJECTS Episode 1: “Vanish” BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJULY 18, 2018 Fully formed and tragically designed, Jean-Marc Vallée’s HBO series “Sharp Objects” kicks off with a mood as distinguishable as the green wallpaper lining Adora’s Southern mansion. Adapting the first novel from author Gillian Flynn (best known for “Gone Girl”), actress Amy Adams submerges into the leading role of Camille Preaker, a damaged reporter in … Read More TV Review: Sharp Objects – Episode 1: “Vanish” (2018)

TV Review: The Handmaid’s Tale: Season 2 – Episode 13: “The Word” (2018)

THE HANDMAID’S TALESEASON TWO Episode 13: “The Word” BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJULY 11, 2018 Sophomore seasons of TV can be a gamble, especially when the source material ran out after the first one. By focusing on filling in the gaps of this unique world and diving deeper into the already established characters, “The Handmaid’s Tale” proves its place as Hulu’s biggest hit yet. The season … Read More TV Review: The Handmaid’s Tale: Season 2 – Episode 13: “The Word” (2018)

Movie Review: Predator (1987)

PREDATOR BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJULY 9, 2018 “El cazador trofeo de los hombres” means the demon who makes trophies of men.” — Anna (Elpidia Carrillo) John McTiernan’s 1987 “Predator” defines machismo, cast with a couple of dozen men and one lone woman, who is only along for the ride. The alien doesn’t even attack her, because, you know, she’s not a threat. There is an … Read More Movie Review: Predator (1987)

TV Review: The Handmaid’s Tale: Season 2 – Episode 12: “Postpartum” (2018)

THE HANDMAID’S TALESEASON TWO Episode 12: “Postpartum” BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJULY 5, 2018 Secrets and unease are what drive “The Handmaid’s Tale.” Not knowing what the characters’ true motivations are casts a veil of ambiguity over the series and keeps you guessing what will happen next. But the more a spotlight gets shined on a particular character, say Serena (Yvonne Strahovski) in this second season, … Read More TV Review: The Handmaid’s Tale: Season 2 – Episode 12: “Postpartum” (2018)

Movie Review: Fahrenheit 451 (2018)

FAHRENHEIT 451 BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLMAY 27, 2018 “Fahrenheit four five one is the temperature at which book paper catches fire and starts to burn” — Guy Montag, “Fahrenheit 451” Now is the era of television. We’re in the heyday of the long-form medium, where the quality of TV surpasses most feature films by a long shot. It’s a medium that allows for a slow … Read More Movie Review: Fahrenheit 451 (2018)

TV Review: The Handmaid’s Tale: Season 2 – Episode 5: “Seeds” (2018)

THE HANDMAID’S TALESEASON TWO Episode 5: “Seeds” BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLMAY 18, 2018 How do you show the person who has been so loyal to you throughout the years that you value them? In the Republic of Gilead, you gift them with an arranged marriage to a barely teenage girl freshly ripped from her family to partake in ritualized sex practices in order to bear … Read More TV Review: The Handmaid’s Tale: Season 2 – Episode 5: “Seeds” (2018)

TV Review: The Handmaid’s Tale: Season 2 – Episode 4: “Other Women” (2018)

THE HANDMAID’S TALESEASON TWO Episode 4: “Other Women” BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLMAY 10, 2018 Over the course of a full season, and now well into the second season, we’ve come to know June/Offred (Elisabeth Moss) as one personality type. Her “fight the system” attitude pushes through in this dystopian future and rightfully so, as this is how I am sure many viewers come to think … Read More TV Review: The Handmaid’s Tale: Season 2 – Episode 4: “Other Women” (2018)

TV Review: The Walking Dead: Season 8 – Episode 15: “Worth” (2018)

THE WALKING DEADSEASON EIGHT Episode 15: “Worth” BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLAPRIL 12, 2018 Eugene (Josh McDermitt) is busy making bullets for the Saviors. While Gabriel (Seth Gilliam), who is still sick, deliberately and openly tries to sabotage the bullets. Instead of ordering him killed, however, Eugene shoves Gabriel to the side. After some weird tirade about soup, Eugene ends up in the cross-hairs of Daryl … Read More TV Review: The Walking Dead: Season 8 – Episode 15: “Worth” (2018)

Movie Review: Ready Player One (2018)

READY PLAYER ONE BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLAPRIL 5, 2018 “These three words were always the last thing an OASIS user saw before leaving the real world and entering the virtual one: READY PLAYER ONE” ― Ernest Cline, “Ready Player One” (novel) Taking a 385 page novel and truncating it into an enjoyable two-and-a-half hour feature is no easy feat, yet director Steven Spielberg and writers … Read More Movie Review: Ready Player One (2018)

TV Review: The Walking Dead: Season 8 – Episode 14: “Still Gotta Mean Something” (2018)

THE WALKING DEADSEASON EIGHT Episode 14: “Still Gotta Mean Something” BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLAPRIL 2, 2018 Last week, after an attack on Hilltop by the Simon (Steven Ogg) led Saviors, the Saviors that were being held captive at Hilltop were inadvertently let go by young Henry (Macsen Lintz), who was searching for the man who killed his brother. Some of the POWs stayed behind, but … Read More TV Review: The Walking Dead: Season 8 – Episode 14: “Still Gotta Mean Something” (2018)

TV Review: The Walking Dead Season 8 – Episode 13: “Do Not Send Us Astray” (2018)

THE WALKING DEADSEASON EIGHT Episode 13: “Do Not Send Us Astray” BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLMARCH 28, 2018 Last week, Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) was taken by Jadis (Pollyanna McIntosh), so his absence this week leaves Simon (Steven Ogg) to take charge and move forward with his plan of completely disposing of the Hilltop. But the people of Hilltop, led by Maggie (Lauren Cohan), are ready … Read More TV Review: The Walking Dead Season 8 – Episode 13: “Do Not Send Us Astray” (2018)

Movie Review: Ingrid Goes West (2017)

INGRID GOES WEST BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJANUARY 14, 2018 “You are by far the coolest, the most interesting person I’ve ever met.” — Ingrid (Aubrey Plaza) Our culture has changed, and many of those changes are disheartening. This past holiday season, my family and I stumbled upon an event at the Los Angeles Zoo aptly named the L.A. Zoo Lights, where the entire zoo is … Read More Movie Review: Ingrid Goes West (2017)

Movie Review: War For The Planet Of The Apes (2017)

WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLAUGUST 2, 2017 “All of human history has lead to this moment. The irony is we created you. And nature has been punishing us ever since. This is our last stand. And if we lose… it will be a Planet of Apes.” — The Colonel (Woody Harrelson) Andy Serkis’ Caesar is Jesus, Moses, and Willis … Read More Movie Review: War For The Planet Of The Apes (2017)

Album Review: Paramore – “After Laughter”

Artist: ParamoreAlbum: After LaughterNumber of Releases: 5th Studio AlbumRelease Date: May 12, 2017Label: Fueled By RamenGenre: PopOrigin: American REVIEW Paramore has gone retro. And someone has definitely hurt Hayley Williams. Gone are the days of the Paramore punk-pop that we’ve grown accustomed to. From the band that got discovered on MySpace to Hayley Williams taking the reigns as one of the most iconic female … Read More Album Review: Paramore – “After Laughter”

Album Review: Andrew McMahon In The Wilderness – “Zombies On Broadway”

Artist: Andrew McMahon In The WildernessAlbum: Zombies On BroadwayNumber of Releases: 2nd Studio Album (as AMITW) – 8th TotalRelease Date: February 10, 2017Label: VanguardGenre: PopOrigin: American REVIEW Andrew McMahon takes some calculated risks on his latest album, “Zombies On Broadway,” and they absolutely pay off. He’s come a long way since his punk days in Something Corporate back in 2002 and is now belting … Read More Album Review: Andrew McMahon In The Wilderness – “Zombies On Broadway”

Movie Review: The Woman In Black 2: Angel Of Death (2015)

THE WOMAN IN BLACK 2: ANGEL OF DEATH BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJANUARY 12, 2015 “The Woman In Black 2: Angel Of Death” lives and dies by jump scares. Void of any real horror innovations or standout performances, the tension is built through atmospheric suspense, relying on dark corners and moving shadows to do all the heavy lifting. Revisiting the daunting Eel Marsh House from the … Read More Movie Review: The Woman In Black 2: Angel Of Death (2015)

Movie Review: Unbroken (2014)

UNBROKEN BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJANUARY 2, 2015 Incredibly inspirational, “Unbroken” finally tells the unbelievable true story of USA Olympian and WWII veteran Louis “Louie” Zamperini, who just passed away in 2014. Based on the non-fiction book of the same title, written by Laura Hillenbrand (“Seabiscuit”), the screenplay is credited to Joel and Ethan Coen, whose flair for style and pushing boundaries is nowhere to be … Read More Movie Review: Unbroken (2014)

Movie Review: What If (2014)

WHAT IF BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJANUARY 2, 2015 “What If” or “When Wallace Met Chantry”: Can men and women just be friends? Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan attempt to answer this question in their latest romantic comedy, “What If”. Meeting at a party in Toronto and enjoying each other’s company, Wallace (Radcliffe) quickly discovers that his new crush, Chantry (Kazan), has a serious boyfriend. Thus … Read More Movie Review: What If (2014)

Movie Review: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014)

TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLDECEMBER 27, 2014 Michael Bay’s “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” are definitely not the ones you knew from your childhood. This time around they are motion captured CGI rather than complete animation or dudes in rubber suits but that is actually a step in the right direction. Their bodies might look steroid-ridden but their iconic humor endures, with their … Read More Movie Review: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014)

Movie Review: When The Game Stands Tall (2014)

WHEN THE GAME STANDS TALL BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLDECEMBER 23, 2014 One part spiritual drama, one part “Varsity Blues,” neither quite lands their footing in “When The Game Stands Tall.” Based on the true story of the De La Salle Spartans high school football team who had a record-setting 151-game 1992–2003 winning streak, the film picks up around their eventual defeat and the emotional and … Read More Movie Review: When The Game Stands Tall (2014)

Movie Review: Frank (2014)

FRANK BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLDECEMBER 23, 2014 The mythos of the Midas Touch tells the story of a king granted the power of turning everything he touches into gold. That may sound like an excellent idea, but once you change a few of your friends and family members into gold, you start to realize its not such a great gift. Sometimes I wonder whether the … Read More Movie Review: Frank (2014)

Movie Review: Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes (2014)

DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJANUARY 10, 2020 “Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes” is the perfect sequel. Not only does it introduce new and exciting characters that refresh the world in which it is set, the entire piece feels like a completely new entity, with Caesar the ape (motion-captured by Andy Serkis), some of his followers including Koba, … Read More Movie Review: Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes (2014)

Movie Review: The Giver (2014)

THE GIVER BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLDECEMBER 14, 2014 Even Jeff Bridges cannot save “The Giver” from being a young adult retread that comes off even less inspired than its predecessors. The problem is, the Lois Lowry novel came out in 1993, fifteen years before the first “Hunger Games” novel and eighteen years before the first “Divergent” novel. That means this classic should have been the … Read More Movie Review: The Giver (2014)

Quick Review: The Expendables 3 (2014)

THE EXPENDABLES 3 BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLDECEMBER 14, 2014 Sylvester Stallone continues to help write and star in his bombastic action series, this time delivering the first PG-13 endeavor, “The Expendables 3”. Overloading the cast with even more action stars and even poking fun at that fact in the trailer, Stallone has officially outdone himself. With almost all of the former cast returning, including Jason … Read More Quick Review: The Expendables 3 (2014)

Quick Review: Sin City: A Dame To Kill For (2014)

SIN CITY: A DAME TO KILL FOR BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLDECEMBER 3, 2014 A decade ago, films like “Sin City” and “300” were revolutionary, delivering cinematic sequences straight from the pages of graphic novels with a style over substance monicker that made them thrilling to watch. Fast-forward ten years and those stylistic choices have been heavily explored, especially by “300” director Zack Snyder, whose films … Read More Quick Review: Sin City: A Dame To Kill For (2014)

Quick Review: 22 Jump Street (2014)

22 JUMP STREET BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLDECEMBER 3, 2014 Remember that kid who got picked on in middle school? (I do, because I was one.) Now, remember how eventually they just owned the names that they were being called until it was no longer enjoyable for the other kids to make fun of them? Well, Christopher Miller and Phil Lord took a page out of … Read More Quick Review: 22 Jump Street (2014)

Quick Review: If I Stay (2014)

IF I STAY BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLDECEMBER 2, 2014 As similar as they are, “If I Stay” and “The Fault In Our Stars” are worlds apart. Of course, they are both based on widely popular young adult novels, star two up-and-coming young actresses, and contain some life and death subject matter, but upon a closer look, one of these films rises above the other. “If … Read More Quick Review: If I Stay (2014)

Quick Review: The Wind Rises (2013)

THE WIND RISES BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLNOVEMBER 30, 2014 Marked to be Hayao Miyazaki’s final film, “The Wind Rises” delivers an animated feast of colors beyond any of his previous films including “Spirited Away” (2002) and “Howls Moving Castle” (2005). Delving more into the human condition rather than any imaginary worlds, as most of his previous films do, this also ends up being Miyazaki’s most … Read More Quick Review: The Wind Rises (2013)

Movie Review: Let’s Be Cops (2014)

LET’S BE COPS BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLNOVEMBER 11, 2014 How are people not familiar with Jake Johnson and Damon Wayans Jr. yet? Johnson has been the supporting player in several high profile comedies and broke through to most audiences with his unequivocal brand of humor as Nick on Fox’s “New Girl.” Wayans starred in the pilot for “New Girl” alongside Jake but ABC beat them … Read More Movie Review: Let’s Be Cops (2014)

Quick Review: The One I Love (2014)

THE ONE I LOVE BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLNOVEMBER 4, 2014 No one is pulling off independent science fiction better than Mark Duplass. In 2012, Duplass starred in “Safety Not Guaranteed,” a psychological sci-fi that played more on relationships rather than the time travel element that made it unique. This year, he stars in “The One I Love,” with Elisabeth Moss (“Mad Men”) as a couple … Read More Quick Review: The One I Love (2014)

Quick Review: A Most Wanted Man (2014)

A MOST WANTED MAN BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLNOVEMBER 4, 2014 Marking the final leading role for Philip Seymour Hoffman, “A Most Wanted Man” is an espionage thriller from the same author as “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.” Intricate and complex in design, Hoffman delivers a powerhouse of a performance as Günther Bachmann, adding fervor to an otherwise extremely dense subject matter. Much in the same way … Read More Quick Review: A Most Wanted Man (2014)

Movie Review: Maleficent (2014)

MALEFICENT BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLNOVEMBER 4, 2014 The rise of the anti-hero story continues with “Maleficent,” the retelling of the Walt Disney animated classic “Sleeping Beauty,” this time focusing on the villain of that tale and her fall-from-grace origin story. Angelina Jolie steps into the role of Maleficent, bringing to the surface the conflicting emotions that make her such an interesting character. One of the … Read More Movie Review: Maleficent (2014)

Movie Review: Hercules (2014)

HERCULES BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLNOVEMBER 4, 2014 Never has marketing been more misleading than it was for the new Dwayne Johnson vehicle, “Hercules.” With trailers touting the legendary character of Hercules and his Twelve Labors from the Gods, which involved fighting several different monsters including a giant lion, a three-headed hydra, and massive boar, most people stepping into the theater to see this film would … Read More Movie Review: Hercules (2014)

Movie Review: Wish I Was Here (2014)

WISH I WAS HERE BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLOCTOBER 27, 2014 After a decade since his directorial debut, Zach Braff returns with his crowd-funded darling “Wish I Was Here.” Once again starring as lead, Braff trades in his college student naivety for a more weatherworn adult role, as Aidan Bloom, husband, and father of two. Playing the out of work actor, everyone in Aiden’s life continuously … Read More Movie Review: Wish I Was Here (2014)

Movie Review: Deliver Us From Evil (2014)

DELIVER US FROM EVIL BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLOCTOBER 27, 2014 Someday, hopefully soon, horror filmmakers will realize that certain tropes are not scary anymore. One of these tropes is checking under the bed. “Deliver Us From Evil” leaned heavily on this scare in their marketing campaign. Even messing with expectations after checking under the bed is now an overused motif. If there was nothing under … Read More Movie Review: Deliver Us From Evil (2014)

Movie Review: Begin Again (2014)

BEGIN AGAIN BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLOCTOBER 27, 2014 John Carney trades in his delicate musical touch for celebrity appeal and a bigger budget; $150,000 versus $9 million. “Once” was a love story told through the passion of music with its main ballad, “Falling Slowly,” going on to win the 2007 Academy Award for Best Original Song. “Begin Again” has a love story buried in it … Read More Movie Review: Begin Again (2014)

Movie Review: Snowpiercer (2014)

SNOWPIERCER BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLOCTOBER 20, 2014 “Passengers, eternal order flows from the sacred engine. We must occupy our preordained position. I belong to the front, you belong to the tail. Know your place! Keep your place!” — Minister Mason (Tilda Swinton) Dystopian future. Impaired class systems. Pending apocalypse. These are the themes being beaten to death in Hollywood these days. “The Hunger Games.” “Divergent.” … Read More Movie Review: Snowpiercer (2014)

Movie Review: The Purge: Anarchy (2014)

THE PURGE: ANARCHY BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLOCTOBER 20, 2014 “Traffic is building rapidly downtown as citizens rush to get home before commencement. If you’re not purging, we advise you to get off the streets as quickly as possible. It’ll soon be a war out there.” — News Anchor And with these words, “This is your Emergency Broadcast System announcing the commencement of the Annual Purge. … Read More Movie Review: The Purge: Anarchy (2014)

Movie Review: Sex Tape (2014)

SEX TAPE BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLOCTOBER 20, 2014 “Who has sex for three hours? That’s the length of the movie “Lincoln.” You did the full “Lincoln.” —Robbie (Rob Corddry) The first thing to wrap your head around in the raunchy comedy “Sex Tape” is that the smoking hot Cameron Diaz, at 42 years old, is married to Jason Segel, who is 34 years old. The … Read More Movie Review: Sex Tape (2014)

Movie Review: Fury (2014)

FURY BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLOCTOBER 18, 2014 “Ideals are peaceful. History is violent” — Wardaddy (Brad Pitt) With a thundering blow, “Fury” joins the ranks of classics like “Saving Private Ryan” and “Apocalypse Now” as one of the best cinematic representations of war ever produced. However, whereas Spielberg and Coppola drove those films to be not just great war films but two of the best … Read More Movie Review: Fury (2014)

Movie Review: X-Men: Days Of Future Past (2014)

X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLOCTOBER 13, 2014 “Just because someone stumbles and loses their path, doesn’t mean they’re lost forever.” — Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) After three films (“X-Men”, “X2”, and “X-Men: The Last Stand”), two spin-offs (“X-Men Origins: Wolverine” and “The Wolverine”), and one prequel (“X-Men: First Class”), no one can blame the franchise for reaching fatigue. The fact that … Read More Movie Review: X-Men: Days Of Future Past (2014)

Quick Review: A Million Ways To Die In The West (2014)

A MILLION WAYS TO DIE IN THE WEST BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLOCTOBER 7, 2014 Seth MacFarlane set the bar high with his successful comedy “Ted”, reminding why “Family Guy” has been pushing the envelope for as long as it has. However, given the reins to produce his passion project, “A Million Ways To Die In The West”, a comedic period Western, MacFarlane falters, proving the … Read More Quick Review: A Million Ways To Die In The West (2014)

Quick Review: Chef (2014)

CHEF BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLSEPTEMBER 29, 2014 Jon Favreau takes to independent filmmaking with his food truck film titled “Chef”, in which he writes, directs, and stars in. The quintessential definition of “food porn,” the story Favreau weaves takes professional chef Carl (director Jon Favreau himself) from the kitchen of a high-end restaurant owned by Riva (Dustin Hoffman) to a food truck that ventures from … Read More Quick Review: Chef (2014)

Movie Review: The Signal (2014)

THE SIGNAL (2014) BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLSEPTEMBER 23, 2014 Actor Brenton Thwaites has been on a roll lately. Most recently you have seen him as the leading role in “The Giver”, playing Jonas alongside Jeff Bridges’ title character, before that he made a brief appearance in “Maleficent” as the prince, and the first thing I saw him in this year was Mike Flanagan’s horror film … Read More Movie Review: The Signal (2014)

Quick Review: The Rover (2014)

THE ROVER BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLSEPTEMBER 23, 2014 Post-apocalypse has become so many things in cinema. Whether it is zombies or the fallout of some catastrophe, Hollywood seems obsessed with the idea. Flooding the theaters with these films, it becomes rare for any of these them to stand out. What becomes key is subtlety. Parring down, focusing on the characters rather than the changing world … Read More Quick Review: The Rover (2014)

Quick Review: Neighbors (2014)

NEIGHBORS BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLSEPTEMBER 23, 2014 Unlike Adam Sandler, who, as he has gotten older, has gone from raunchy comedies to watered-down family comedies, Seth Rogen continues to take steps deeper and deeper into the world of dirty comedies. As Mac, who is a loving husband to Kelly (Rose Byrne) and caring father to their baby, Rogen pulls off this nice balance between a … Read More Quick Review: Neighbors (2014)

Movie Review: The Fault In Our Stars (2014)

THE FAULT IN OUR STARS BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLSEPTEMBER 16, 2014 Forming a connection with actress Shailene Woodley and her character, Hazel Grace Lancaster, is the easy part of “The Fault In Our Stars”. Forming a connection with a couple while constantly being reminded that they have or had cancer, on the other hand, is damn near impossible. Allow me to let you into my … Read More Movie Review: The Fault In Our Stars (2014)

Movie Review: Godzilla (2014)

GODZILLA (2014) BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLSEPTEMBER 16, 2014 “an·ti·he·ro — noun: a central character in a story, movie, or drama who lacks conventional heroic attributes.” — Webster Dictionary The term antihero is becoming a staple in the entertainment that we consume at home and in theaters, mainly because a central character with flaws is much more relatable. “Breaking Bad”, “Guardians Of The Galaxy”, and even … Read More Movie Review: Godzilla (2014)

Quick Review: Palo Alto (2014)

PALO ALTO BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLSEPTEMBER 8, 2014 Believe it or not, but actor and director James Franco is also a published author. His 2010 published collection of short stories titled “Palo Alto” is based somewhat on his life of growing up in that area of Southern California. Centered around different high schoolers and their bouts with drinking, drugs, and violence, the collection spawned a … Read More Quick Review: Palo Alto (2014)

Movie Review: As Above So Below (2014)

AS ABOVE, SO BELOW BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLSEPTEMBER 6, 2014 “As Above, So Below” is a smart horror film packaged to be consumed by the average viewer. Set in the claustrophobic nightmare that is the Paris Catacombs, one has to wonder why it took so long for horror filmmakers to capitalize on the built-in creepiness that comes from the bone-lined tunnels. Unsure where the real … Read More Movie Review: As Above So Below (2014)

Movie Review: Night Moves (2014)

NIGHT MOVES BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLSEPTEMBER 2, 2014 Released almost exactly a year apart, the May 2013 release “The East” and the May 2014 release “Night Moves” are both films about activists fighting the law in an almost terroristic fashion. Both containing well-known faces as well as eerie, unsettling natures, they both also draw heavy differences from one another. Whereas “The East” sees Brit Marling’s … Read More Movie Review: Night Moves (2014)

Movie Review: Draft Day (2014)

DRAFT DAY BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLSEPTEMBER 2, 2014 Before watching “Draft Day”, an exert from a David Denby, New Yorker review resonated in my mind: “Ivan Reitman’s dull-witted movie about the flurries of player trading on N.F.L. draft day might be a commercial for professional football.” Now, I did not find the film as “dull-witted” as David found it to be, but the fact that … Read More Movie Review: Draft Day (2014)

Quick Review: Belle (2014)

BELLE BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLAUGUST 26, 2014 Having starred in countless television movies and adding small supporting roles to recent films like “Larry Crowne” and “Odd Thomas”, actress Gugu Mbatha-Raw makes her first breakout leading performance in Amma Asante’s first film in almost a decade, the period piece titled “Belle”. Based on a 1779 painting of the real-life Dido Elizabeth Belle next to her cousin, … Read More Quick Review: Belle (2014)

Quick Review: Blended (2014)

BLENDED BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLAUGUST 26, 2014 Looking at the progression from “The Wedding Singer” to “50 First Dates” to the newest installment in the pairing of Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore, “Blended”, it is made painfully clear how far off base the quality of the films have fallen. Where “The Wedding Singer” had likable characters and somewhat edgy jokes, “Blended” has flat, one-dimensional characters … Read More Quick Review: Blended (2014)

Movie Review: The Quiet Ones (2014)

THE QUIET ONES BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLAUGUST 19, 2014 If I were to say that “The Quiet Ones” was creepy, since it is a horror film and you would hope for the best, you may assume it is a startling and hair-raising sort of creepy. The truth is, however, that the legendary Hammer Films Productions release is a different type of creepy. As with most … Read More Movie Review: The Quiet Ones (2014)

Quick Review: Locke (2014)

LOCKE BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLAUGUST 11, 2014 Following in the footsteps of a film like “Buried,” which was shot entirely in one location with only one actor ever-present on-screen, “Locke” takes its single character show on the road. Starring Tom Hardy and an extensive voice cast, this simple idea sees character Ivan Locke (Hardy) taking a two-hour-long night drive from work to London all while … Read More Quick Review: Locke (2014)

Quick Review: Muppets Most Wanted (2014)

MUPPETS MOST WANTED BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLAUGUST 11, 2014 Losing most of the magic instilled by the 2011 reboot of “The Muppets” and even with three years between productions, “Muppets Most Wanted” still feels like a lesser quality product with less humor and less soul. Do not get me wrong, I am entirely happy just to see the Muppets back in action on the big … Read More Quick Review: Muppets Most Wanted (2014)

Quick Review: A Haunted House 2 (2014)

A HAUNTED HOUSE 2 BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLAUGUST 11, 2014 After having five “Scary Movie” horror parodies thrown at us, the biggest fear now is that “A Haunted House” will become a franchise. The first film was an answer to the “Paranormal Activity” craze, basically just changing the name of the parodies and letting Marlon Wayans step out on his own to make fun of … Read More Quick Review: A Haunted House 2 (2014)

Quick Review: Breathe In (2014)

BREATHE IN BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLAUGUST 11, 2014 With 2011’s “Like Crazy”, two things happened: Drake Doremus became one of my favorite directors and I developed a huge crush on actress Felicity Jones. A few years later, we are once again graced with their presence together in the independent drama entitled “Breathe In”, an emotionally complex study of a family that faces its breaking point … Read More Quick Review: Breathe In (2014)

Movie Review: Guardians Of The Galaxy (2014)

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLAUGUST 4, 2014 Marvel wins again with their biggest gamble to date, “Guardians Of The Galaxy”. Taking an almost unknown comic book team and giving them their film without any precursor does not scream general audiences. Add in a talking raccoon and a walking tree as two of the main characters, and on paper, “Guardians” does not sound … Read More Movie Review: Guardians Of The Galaxy (2014)

Quick Review: The Other Woman (2014)

THE OTHER WOMAN BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJULY 28, 2014 If I wanted to see Kate Upton running in a skimpy bikini, I would just Google it. When it comes to most romantic comedies, I can get on board. Despite almost all of these films having the same plot and story structure, there can be a sincerity brought out by stellar actors and actresses. “The Other … Read More Quick Review: The Other Woman (2014)

Movie Review: Noah (2014)

NOAH BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJULY 28, 2014 Visually stunning and equally captivating, “Noah”, at its core, is the story we all know from the Bible. As most people would roll their eyes at a big-budgeted, Hollywood adaptation of an Old Testament saga, Darren Aronofsky takes his patented darkness and flair from his previous works like “The Fountain” and “Black Swan” and carries them into his … Read More Movie Review: Noah (2014)

Movie Review: Transcendence (2014)

TRANSCENDENCE BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJULY 24, 2014 Give Wally Pfister a break. In his directorial debut, Pfister was placed against impossible odds. Having been Christopher Nolan’s cinematographer for around fourteen years, the man was being compared to one of the best directors of our time. With Nolan’s name almost front and center in the marketing and with everyone hoping some of Nolan’s thought-provoking talent would … Read More Movie Review: Transcendence (2014)

Movie Review: Boyhood (2014)

BOYHOOD BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJULY 20, 2014 Never has a director been more ambitious than Richard Linklater, whose latest feature “Boyhood” spans over twelve years, both in production and time within the narrative. Using the same actors throughout the film, the audience gets to see the characters grow up in front of their eyes. Actor Ellar Coltrane started this film when he was six years … Read More Movie Review: Boyhood (2014)

Quick Review: Under The Skin (2014)

UNDER THE SKIN BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJULY 19, 2014 Over the years, it has become apparent that Scarlett Johansson will not be giving up her independent acting roots anytime soon. She has become a household name with her role as Black Widow in “The Avengers” but she continues to produce small titles which are actually where she got her start, with films like “Lost In … Read More Quick Review: Under The Skin (2014)

Movie Review: Transformers: Age Of Extinction (2014)

TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJULY 6, 2014 Michael Bay gets me. He understands that I was once an eight-year-old boy who had a huge collection of Hot Wheels cars that were often commanded by Optimus Prime. In my imagination, these non-transforming cars were still Autobots, fighting alongside their leader, attempting to stop the Decepticons from destroying the Lego towns that lay in … Read More Movie Review: Transformers: Age Of Extinction (2014)

Quick Review: Earth To Echo (2014)

EARTH TO ECHO BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJULY 2, 2014 “I’m going to tell you a story and I’m not supposed to tell anyone so keep it between us. We were normal kids until we discovered something.” — Tuck (Brian “Astro” Bradley) Here is my theory: director David Green saw “Super 8” and heard critics call it a mix between “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial” and “Cloverfield,” pairing … Read More Quick Review: Earth To Echo (2014)

Quick Review: Enemy (2014)

ENEMY BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJUNE 27, 2014 The doppelganger storyline has never been more intense or more confusing than in director Denis Villeneuve’s latest film, “Enemy”. In “Prisoners”, Villeneuve directed Jake Gyllenhaal to one of the best performances of his career, so it was only natural for these two to pair up again. This time around Gyllenhaal plays a lowly history teacher named Adam who … Read More Quick Review: Enemy (2014)

Quick Review: 300: Rise Of An Empire (2014)

300: RISE OF AN EMPIRE BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJUNE 27, 2014 Eva Green is a sexpot. Taking on the role of the villain Artemisia in the somewhat sequel to “300” (more of a side-quel as the timelines run parallel), “300: Rise Of An Empire” proves that Eva has the sinister vivacity that makes her a highlight under the right circumstances. Without her, the film would … Read More Quick Review: 300: Rise Of An Empire (2014)

Movie Review: How To Train Your Dragon 2 (2014)

HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2 BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJUNE 23, 2014 “How To Train Your Dragon 2” is a sequel with gravitas. There is a weight to the characters and their situations that build off the first film almost perfectly. Director Dean DeBlois and his writers recognize what makes a franchise special, by raising the stakes and injecting new life into not just the … Read More Movie Review: How To Train Your Dragon 2 (2014)

Quick Review: Joe (2014)

JOE BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJUNE 19, 2014 David Gordon Green returns to form with his latest drama, “Joe”, about an ex-con who finds himself in the tough position between a young, innocent boy and his twisted, abusive father. Proving that his best days may still be ahead of him, Academy Award-winning Nicolas Cage produces one of his best performances ever, as the title character. Joe … Read More Quick Review: Joe (2014)

Movie Review: Walk Of Shame (2014)

WALK OF SHAME BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJUNE 18, 2014 Urban dictionary defines a “walk of shame” as “the walk home after a one night stand”. Further extrapolated, “one usually wears either the clothes they went out in (i.e. short skirt and heels) or the clothing of the person they slept with (i.e. a large white t-shirt) the morning after”. In the film bearing that title, … Read More Movie Review: Walk Of Shame (2014)

Quick Review: The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)

THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJUNE 18, 2014 One will often hear that when their favorite artists come to town, everyone wants them to play the hits. Director Wes Anderson is content with playing the hits, delivering yet another truly unique comedy in “The Grand Budapest Hotel”. Like in the world of art and painting, one can tell a Wes Anderson from the … Read More Quick Review: The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)

Movie Review: The LEGO Movie (2014)

THE LEGO MOVIE BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJUNE 18, 2014 Everything was not awesome, at least for me, upon seeing “The Lego Movie”. Akin to being the only person at a party that is not having fun, Phil Lord and Christopher Miller’s latest animated feature simply never clicked for me while landing for what felt like absolutely everyone else. All around me, adults and children were … Read More Movie Review: The LEGO Movie (2014)

Quick Review: Non-Stop (2014)

NON-STOP BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJUNE 11, 2014 Flying is nerve-racking enough without someone terrorizing your airplane. However, in the latest entry in the thriller sub-genre taking place on planes (“Flightplan,” “Snakes On A Plane,” etc.), director Jaume Collet-Serra (“Unknown,” “Orphan”) sets up a U.S. federal air marshall (Liam Neeson) as the potential antagonist on this flight. Neeson plays Bill Marks, a troubled, gun and badge … Read More Quick Review: Non-Stop (2014)

Movie Review: Edge Of Tomorrow (2014)

EDGE OF TOMORROW BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJUNE 6, 2014 If you have ever owned a Nintendo in your lifetime, then you have shared the unique struggles experienced by Tom Cruise’s character in the new action film “Edge Of Tomorrow”. In the film, an alien race has come to Earth and taken over parts of Germany and France, while the militaries of the world ban together … Read More Movie Review: Edge Of Tomorrow (2014)

Movie Review: RoboCop (2014)

ROBOCOP (2014) BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJUNE 2, 2014 Gary Oldman is a bonafide savior. Now, do not get me wrong, I do not believe he is godly, but I do recognize that he has a saving power in which each film he graces ends up being way more enjoyable because of his presence. The remake of “RoboCop” is no different. Set in a world where … Read More Movie Review: RoboCop (2014)

Movie Review: Pompeii (2014)

POMPEII BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLMAY 17, 2014 Mount Vesuvius is the star of “Pompeii” and it never lets you forget it. Always looming in the background, the history of the volcano is quite exceptional, and allows us to recognize that it is a ticking time bomb in the film, ready to take out the entire city of Pompeii when it finally erupts and encasing the … Read More Movie Review: Pompeii (2014)

Movie Review: Grand Piano (2014)

GRAND PIANO BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLMAY 17, 2014 Elijah Wood is not a piano-playing prodigy. But from the looks of director Eugenio Mira’s new feature film “Grand Piano”, he looks exactly like he has been playing piano his entire life. The premise of “Phone Booth,” which saw Colin Farrell stuck in a phone booth taking orders from a sniper that we never see, but whose … Read More Movie Review: Grand Piano (2014)

Quick Review: In Secret (2014)

IN SECRET BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLMAY 17, 2014 Sexual repression in the 1860s is not a subject matter often discussed, but in Charlie Stratton’s adaptation of Émile Zola’s scandalous novel “Thérèse Raquin” (1867) titled “In Secret”, this tale is given a shot of rejuvenation thanks to its young and aspiring cast. Elizabeth Olsen is enough reason to view any film these days, with impressive control … Read More Quick Review: In Secret (2014)

Quick Review: The Monuments Men (2014)

THE MONUMENTS MEN BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLMAY 17, 2014 On the surface, “The Monuments Men” looks like an Oscar-worthy World War II drama. Directed by George Clooney, he has already proven to be a successful director on previous films like “Confessions Of A Dangerous Mind,” “The Ides Of March,” and the Academy Award-nominated “Good Night, and Good Luck.” Along with an impressive ensemble cast, including … Read More Quick Review: The Monuments Men (2014)

Movie Review: The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)

THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2 BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLMAY 4, 2014 Emotions run high in Marc Webb’s superhero sequel, “The Amazing Spider-Man 2.” Spider-Man has been my favorite superhero since I was a child and to my satisfaction, he continues to be written the way he was meant to be, witty and wisecracking, an element that was always missing in Sam Raimi’s take on the character. … Read More Movie Review: The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)

Quick Review: Bringing Up Bobby (2012)

BRINGING UP BOBBY BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLMAY 4, 2014 Many questions arise from watching “Bringing Up Bobby.” First, of which, is why did actress Famke Janssen decide to write, direct, and produce this film as her first directorial venture? A somewhat successful actress in her own right, you would assume either this was a passion project of hers or something she felt very strongly about. … Read More Quick Review: Bringing Up Bobby (2012)

Quick Review: Veronica Mars (2014)

VERONICA MARS BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLMAY 3, 2014 Ten years after the first season of this cult classic appeared on television, “Veronica Mars” makes its crowd-funded feature film debut. Bringing back almost all of the notable cast members and weaving them into another whodunnit murder mystery, Kristen Bell once again leads the pack as the tiny blonde detective for hire, the role that put her … Read More Quick Review: Veronica Mars (2014)

Quick Review: Devil’s Due (2014)

DEVIL’S DUE BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLMAY 3, 2014 With the creativity and ingenuity found in their “V/H/S” anthology short film, “10/31/98,” about a group of guys who find themselves in a haunted house by mistake on Halloween, one would imagine that directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett could bring the same level of genius to their first feature film. Unfortunately, “Devil’s Due” proves to be … Read More Quick Review: Devil’s Due (2014)

Quick Review: Cutie And The Boxer (2013)

CUTIE AND THE BOXER BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLAPRIL 19, 2014 “Cutie And The Boxer” is the story of the artistic couple, Noriko and Ushio Shinohara, living in their Manhattan flat attempting to make ends meet through their art. Having moved from Japan to the United States, Ushio found slight stardom from his transition into the New York art scene. His sculptures made from recycled cardboard … Read More Quick Review: Cutie And The Boxer (2013)

Quick Review: A.C.O.D. (2013)

A.C.O.D. BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLAPRIL 18, 2014 Adam Scott leads a stellar comedic ensemble cast in a not-so-funny jaunt through exactly what the title suggests, “A.C.O.D.” or “Adult Children Of Divorce.” When you see a cast list filled with Richard Jenkins, Catherine O’Hara, Amy Poehler (playing against type), Clark Duke, Jessica Alba, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, and Jane Lynch, chances are high that most people will … Read More Quick Review: A.C.O.D. (2013)

Movie Review: Oculus (2014)

OCULUS BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLAPRIL 18, 2014 Turning an inanimate object into the main antagonist of a story is a huge accomplishment, especially when it comes to horror. Setting the right tone and building enough tension to get the audience invested in your otherwise outrageous ideas is pivotal in bringing that world to life. In “Oculus,” the inanimate villain is an ancient mirror that plagues … Read More Movie Review: Oculus (2014)

Quick Review: Philomena (2013)

PHILOMENA BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLAPRIL 18, 2014 Human emotion is a complicated yet beautiful thing. Captured like lightning bugs in a bottle, the Academy Award-nominated “Philomena” displays these complicated emotions in full force. Based on the true story of Philomena Lee, whose baby boy was taken from her by the nuns in the convent that took her in and adopted him away without her permission, … Read More Quick Review: Philomena (2013)

Movie Review: Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLAPRIL 5, 2014 Over the weekend, you are going to hear the words ’70s espionage thriller tossed around quite a bit, to which I’ve already seen in about four reviews that I’ve read, and in all honesty, they are not wrong. “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” feels less like a Marvel superhero movie and more like a … Read More Movie Review: Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

Quick Review: Primer (2003)

PRIMER BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLAPRIL 5, 2014 “Primer” is a dense, low budget, science fiction film that sets out to explore the bare bones of time travel and the relationship between friends in discovering the ability to travel through time. Solidly produced on a $7,000 budget, Shane Carruth writes, directs, produces, edits, stars in, and scores this little American Indie that could. After stumbling across … Read More Quick Review: Primer (2003)

Quick Review: 47 Ronin (2013)

47 RONIN BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLAPRIL 5, 2014 Too often does Hollywood take the path of overindulgence, expanding so much on one simple idea to the point where you hardly recognize the original story? “47 Ronin” is this epitome of a simple story masqueraded with so much flare and convoluted with so much mythology that the studio fails to see the golden story that they … Read More Quick Review: 47 Ronin (2013)

Movie Review: Lone Survivor (2013)

LONE SURVIVOR BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLAPRIL 5, 2014 Not since “Saving Private Ryan” has war felt so real. Through the help of the real-life accounts from Petty Officer Marcus Luttrell and his memoirs recounting the horrific days where he and his four-man SEAL team were engaged by a Taliban group while on a surveillance mission, the story of “Lone Survivor” breathes authenticity, creating an emotional … Read More Movie Review: Lone Survivor (2013)

Movie Review: Divergent (2014)

DIVERGENT BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLMARCH 29, 2014 A strong-willed female character living in a dystopian future is forced out of her comfort zone as she leaves her home behind. Unable to trust those around her, she finds solace in training for her impending challenges, as she falls for the brooding, muscular male counterpart that trains her. Can you tell me, specifically, what story I am … Read More Movie Review: Divergent (2014)

Movie Review: Plus One (2013)

PLUS ONE (+1) BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLMARCH 29, 2014 No doubt, at some point in your life, you’ve heard the Golden Rule, but in case you haven’t, it is “do unto others as you would have them do to you”. This adage is meant to keep children from harming one another, but it is just a great philosophy to live by. But what would happen … Read More Movie Review: Plus One (2013)

Movie Review: Falling Overnight (2012)

FALLING OVERNIGHT BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLMARCH 29, 2014 Completely bare-bones, “Falling Overnight” is a love story using the streets of Los Angeles as a backdrop. Presented as completely natural, it embodies a quality of independent film-making that projects everyday life in the most interesting of ways. Despite this ability to appear organic, the presentation often falls short of actually connecting, delivered too haphazard and with … Read More Movie Review: Falling Overnight (2012)

Quick Review: The Great Beauty (2013)

THE GREAT BEAUTY BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLMARCH 29, 2014 Having won the Golden Globe and Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Feature, “The Great Beauty” or “La Grande Bellezza” was one of the only foreign film anyone was talking about this Oscar season. Setting the bar high for foreign film contenders, with amazing visuals and memorable performances, this French film is filled with breathtaking sequences … Read More Quick Review: The Great Beauty (2013)

Quick Review: Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom (2013)

MANDELA: LONG WALK TO FREEDOM BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLMARCH 22, 2014 Timing is everything. And in the case of “Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom” and its release date occurring very close to the actual passing of Nelson Mandela is simply a coincidence and an example of perfect timing as far as biopics go. I will always remember driving down Sunset Blvd and seeing huge advertisements … Read More Quick Review: Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom (2013)

Movie Review: Saving Mr. Banks (2013)

SAVING MR. BANKS BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLMARCH 22, 2014 “Saving Mr. Banks” is a film about Walt Disney made by Walt Disney Pictures, so anyone looking for a rich and dynamic look at the man’s life and especially his involvement with getting the rights to “Mary Poppins” from author P.L. Travers, will be sadly mistaken. Were there animated dancing penguins involved, this would feel much … Read More Movie Review: Saving Mr. Banks (2013)

Movie Review: Bad Words (2014)

BAD WORDS BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLMARCH 17, 2014 Believe it or not, first time director and star of “Bad Words”, Jason Bateman, was not the first choice to play the leading role in the film. Explaining in a Q&A following the screening of his film over the weekend, Bateman stated that he approached several other actors for the part and all of them declined rather … Read More Movie Review: Bad Words (2014)

Quick Review: Need For Speed (2014)

NEED FOR SPEED BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLMARCH 15, 2014 2014’s answer to the first “The Fast and the Furious” film, following the same underground street racing lifestyle, along with high-level emotions coinciding with very little substantial dialogue, “Need For Speed” runs a little hot, at over two hours long. Suffering from dead-end plot points, elements that exist to only serve the plot, and the overuse … Read More Quick Review: Need For Speed (2014)

Quick Review: The Broken Circle Breakdown (2013)

THE BROKEN CIRCLE BREAKDOWN BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLMARCH 15, 2014 Coming out of Belgium and nominated at the 86th Annual Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Feature, “The Broken Circle Breakdown” is a passionate love story filled with young love and young loss that tears at the heartstrings and leaves you on the verge of emotionally drained by the time you walk out of the … Read More Quick Review: The Broken Circle Breakdown (2013)

Movie Review: The Book Thief (2013)

THE BOOK THIEF BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLMARCH 15, 2014 Having never read the book and having only experienced the trailer, I was fully under the impression that “The Book Thief” was more of a children’s film than that of one for adults, to which I was wholly wrong. With distinct themes of death and war, the film takes an interesting look at devotion and deep-rooted … Read More Movie Review: The Book Thief (2013)

Movie Review: The Grandmaster (2013)

THE GRANDMASTER BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLMARCH 8, 2014 Kung-fu is not a genre of action film that I am often drawn to. Even when I saw the trailer for “The Grandmaster”, I wrote it off slightly, but the pacing, the storytelling, and the lore of Ip Man achieve greatness no matter what the genre. Nominated for two Academy Awards, in Best Costume Design and Best … Read More Movie Review: The Grandmaster (2013)

Movie Review: The Invisible Woman (2013)

THE INVISIBLE WOMAN BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLMARCH 4, 2014 Charles Dickens was a selfish man. “The Invisible Woman” depicts his true story courting of his mistress Ellen “Nelly” Ternan in 1857 while still married to his wife Catherine. With twenty-seven years separating the two of them, the film depicts the relationship as heavily one-sided, placing Ellen in the predicament of always being the “other” woman, … Read More Movie Review: The Invisible Woman (2013)

Movie Review: Rendition (2007)

RENDITION BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLMARCH 4, 2014 Before “Zero Dark Thirty” caught everyone’s attention about the treatment of terrorist suspects in other countries, “Rendition” explored the same basic idea six years before a much lesser audience. But what’s the difference? Were people not ready to hear about the idea of “extraordinary rendition” back then, which was a very real thing that occurred under the go-ahead … Read More Movie Review: Rendition (2007)

Quick Review: The Square (2013)

THE SQUARE (2013) BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLFEBRUARY 23, 2014 If there is one thing I learned about myself while watching “The Square,” it is that I am completely out of touch with the worldwide news. Taking a candid look at the Egyptian population fighting their government for freedom, this political struggle has been transpiring since 2011 and I had no idea it was happening. Originally … Read More Quick Review: The Square (2013)

Quick Review: The Missing Picture (2013)

THE MISSING PICTURE BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLFEBRUARY 21, 2014 Cambodia’s foreign film entry “The Missing Picture” is a multi-media exploration of the Kampuchean Revolution in 1975, of which very few images remain. To counteract these “missing pictures”, the filmmaker creates clay models of himself and many of the surrounding Cambodians to reenact the damage done by Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge. The real marvel … Read More Quick Review: The Missing Picture (2013)

Quick Review: Ernest & Celestine (2013)

ERNEST & CELESTINE BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLFEBRUARY 16, 2014 For lack of a better term, “Ernest And Celestine” is cute. It is cutely drawn, reviving the hand-drawn animation style, the characters are cute, and the voices (in French) are cute. Having made it to a preview screening of this foreign animated film in the theaters, I can easily say that the audience loved it. Adults … Read More Quick Review: Ernest & Celestine (2013)

Quick Review: The Act Of Killing (2013)

THE ACT OF KILLING BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLFEBRUARY 15, 2014 A once-in-a-lifetime documentary about paramilitary leaders (also known as death squad leaders) in Indonesia, “The Act Of Killing” interviews these men about their practices and even has them reenact some of the vicious things they have done, all while unconsciously unraveling them to the point where the film ends with the main death squad leader, … Read More Quick Review: The Act Of Killing (2013)

Quick Review: The Hunt (2013)

THE HUNT BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLFEBRUARY 15, 2014 Evoking one of the most emotionally conflicted responses I have ever had during a film, Thomas Vinterberg’s latest foreign-language film, “The Hunt” will have you yelling at the screen in no time. Some films benefit from keeping its secrets until the very end, playing close to the chest, and shocking audiences with reveals. “The Hunt” is an … Read More Quick Review: The Hunt (2013)

Quick Review: Spirited Away (2003)

SPIRITED AWAY BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLFEBRUARY 10, 2014 Hayao Miyazaki’s Oscar-winning animated film “Spirited Away” tells the story of a little girl who follows her parents into a strange amusement park and gets lost in the world of the spirits. Following the helpful young man, Haku, the young girl takes refuge in a bathhouse, run by a witch named Yubaba. In trying to free her … Read More Quick Review: Spirited Away (2003)

Quick Review: Plush (2013)

PLUSH BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLFEBRUARY 10, 2014 Without the talented Emily Browning, “Plush” would almost be unwatchable. But with her innocent style mixed with the precarious nature of her character, she becomes the focal point of this feature as Hayley, the rockstar that loses her brother/bandmate to drugs. Following a poorly received second album, Hayley begins an intimate connection with her new guitarist Enzo (Xavier … Read More Quick Review: Plush (2013)

Quick Review: 20 Feet From Stardom (2013)

20 FEET FROM STARDOM BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLFEBRUARY 5, 2014 Following the story of some of the most prestigious backup singers in music, “20 Feet From Stardom” pleasantly surprises, providing a relatable and insightful look at the music industry. Including interviews with Darlene Love, Judith Hill, Merry Clayton, Lisa Fischer, Táta Vega, and Jo Lawry, and spanning decades with these women lending their vocals in … Read More Quick Review: 20 Feet From Stardom (2013)

Quick Review: Omar (2013)

OMAR BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLFEBRUARY 2, 2014 Five years ago, I started participating in what I call the Oscar Challenge, where I watch every single film nominated for an Academy Award that year, and it was for films like “Omar” that I started doing it in the first place. A Palestinian love story between a young man and his best friend’s sister, “Omar” was one … Read More Quick Review: Omar (2013)

Quick Review: Despicable Me 2 (2013)

DESPICABLE ME 2 BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLFEBRUARY 1, 2014 Toss all the minions at me that you want, “Despicable Me 2” does nothing for me. Expanding off the original film, former super-villain Gru (Steve Carrell) turned foster father is taken captive by the Anti-Villain League, headed by Silas Ramsbottom (Steve Coogan), to consult for their latest case, a missing laboratory stolen by a giant magnet. … Read More Quick Review: Despicable Me 2 (2013)

Movie Review: Forrest Gump (1994)

FORREST GUMP BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJANUARY 29, 2014 Chances are most people recognize the phrases “run, Forrest, run” or “life is like a box of chocolates” even if the film that they come from is a mystery to them. Having been seven-years-old when “Forrest Gump” came out, it was not a film I was familiar with until much later in life. But these phrases were … Read More Movie Review: Forrest Gump (1994)

Quick Review: Dirty Wars (2013)

DIRTY WARS BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJANUARY 27, 2014 Investigative journalist Jeremy Scahill, known for his book “Blackwater,” tells the story of his trip to Afghanistan, as he delves into the mystery of unsanctioned U.S. Army night raids. Despite his over-dramatic voice-over narration, the interviews he has with many of the people involved with the war are very informative. The Army veteran that he interviews state … Read More Quick Review: Dirty Wars (2013)

Quick Review: Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones (2014)

PARANORMAL ACTIVITY: THE MARKED ONES BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJANUARY 14, 2014 To sum up “Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones” into one word; derivative. Copying just about every horror and possession device in the book, this detour in the franchise adds nothing to the narrative yet tries to attach itself desperately to the previous installments. Once again we meet new characters who are simply living their … Read More Quick Review: Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones (2014)

Quick Review: Magic Magic (2013)

MAGIC MAGIC BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJANUARY 14, 2014 If you’ve seen the trailer for “Magic Magic,” then you’ve successfully been duped. Not to say “Magic Magic” isn’t an exceptional thriller with fine performances, but anyone expecting a sinister, psychological thriller where everyone is out to get the leading lady will be sadly mistaken. Juno Temple plays lead Alicia, vacationing from the States to Chile to … Read More Quick Review: Magic Magic (2013)

Quick Review: August: Osage County (2013)

AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJANUARY 14, 2014 Not surprisingly adapted from a stage play by Tracy Letts, who also pens the screenplay, “August: Osage County” is a character piece if ever there was one. Set in the Oklahoma home of Violet Weston for most of the run-time, the characters are simply allowed to blossom and mold in front of our eyes. Pulling apart … Read More Quick Review: August: Osage County (2013)

Quick Review: The Wall (Die Wand) (2013)

THE WALL (DIE WAND) BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJANUARY 14, 2014 An interesting premise, “The Wall” sees a woman trapped in the wilderness behind an invisible barrier, left to fend for herself and face solitude, with only animals to accompany her and give her purpose. If you haven’t read Marlen Haushofer’s 1963 novel in which the film is based, you’ll likely get an inkling of the … Read More Quick Review: The Wall (Die Wand) (2013)

Quick Review: Alice In Wonderland (1951)

ALICE IN WONDERLAND BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJANUARY 14, 2014 Trippy is the best descriptor for the animated Disney classic “Alice In Wonderland”. To children, it’s just an innocent and curious blonde falling into a rabbit hole and discovering a whole new world. But watched as an adult, Alice steps into a very psychedelic otherworld that would likely best be enjoyed while on some sort of … Read More Quick Review: Alice In Wonderland (1951)

Quick Review: Sweetwater (2013)

SWEETWATER BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJANUARY 14, 2014 A Western at heart, “Sweetwater” loses its footing on more than one occasion, arguing whether to be a serious, full-on wild west revival or an eccentric stomping ground for its colorful cast of characters. Most of the characters in the film are cartoonish, especially the villain, Prophet Josiah (Jason Isaacs) who preaches to his congregation one second, kills … Read More Quick Review: Sweetwater (2013)

Quick Review: Frozen River (2008)

FROZEN RIVER BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJANUARY 14, 2014 Having been acting since 1984, “Frozen River” marked Melissa Leo’s revival, bringing her an Oscar nomination and a continued impressive career to follow. Bringing to life the white trash lifestyle in New York, Ray’s (Melissa Leo) dreams of getting a new double-wide trailer with a jacuzzi tub are dashed when her gambling husband runs off with all … Read More Quick Review: Frozen River (2008)

Quick Review: My Week With Marilyn (2011)

MY WEEK WITH MARILYN BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJANUARY 14, 2014 Michelle Williams wholeheartedly pulls off the role of Marilyn Monroe in “My Week With Marilyn” capturing not only the bubbly on-screen beauty that we knew and loved but the innocent and mysterious side of her character as well. Williams has never been more attractive and wholly engulfed in a role than she was with Marilyn, … Read More Quick Review: My Week With Marilyn (2011)

Quick Review: Redemption (2013)

REDEMPTION(aka HUMMINGBIRD) BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJANUARY 14, 2014 “Redemption” is not completely what you’d expect from Jason Statham. A man that has his very own brand of action films, Statham steps into a much more dramatic role as Smith, an AWOL Special Forces soldier that has taken to the streets of London, living homeless to avoid being detected. After a young homeless girl is taken … Read More Quick Review: Redemption (2013)

Quick Review: Requiem For A Dream (2000)

REQUIEM FOR A DREAM BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJANUARY 14, 2014 Proving almost immediately in his career that he had a distinct eye for the surreal, Darren Aronofsky set the stage for his legacy with one of his first films, the unforgettable “Requiem For A Dream.” Starring the ultra-talented Jared Leto as the lead, Harry, his performance offers up one of the many best of his … Read More Quick Review: Requiem For A Dream (2000)

Quick Review: Far From Heaven (2002)

FAR FROM HEAVEN BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJANUARY 14, 2014 More like an episode of “Mad Men,” Todd Haynes’ period drama “Far From Heaven,” set in the late ’50s, tackles some racy issues including homosexuality, interracial relationships, and divorce, all on the backdrop of a picture-perfect ’50s family. Julianne Moore plays the matriarch of the family, Cathy Whitaker, a stay-at-home mom with more on her plate … Read More Quick Review: Far From Heaven (2002)

Quick Review: What Dreams May Come (1998)

WHAT DREAMS MAY COME BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJANUARY 14, 2014 “What Dreams May Come” presents an intriguing take on what happens to someone when they die, presenting a visual representation of the afterlife. Starring Robin Williams in the leading role, for the most part, he fits the role just fine, except for when playing his younger self, to which he comes off hokey and out … Read More Quick Review: What Dreams May Come (1998)

Quick Review: Braveheart (1995)

BRAVEHEART BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJANUARY 14, 2014 Mel Gibson not only proves he’s an amazing actor in “Braveheart,” but he also proves to be a high caliber director, versatile enough to star as the lead in an epic film while directing what will remain a cinematic classic. Extremely dark, the story continuously surprises, catching the viewer off guard on multiple occasions. Hooking me within the … Read More Quick Review: Braveheart (1995)

Quick Review: Jack Frost (1998)

JACK FROST BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJANUARY 14, 2014 For some reason, whether it was because it was always on cable around Christmas or because it had Michael Keaton in it, I’ve seen “Jack Frost” more times than I can remember, and to be perfectly honest, I enjoy it every time. Keaton plays a musician father that is just about to break into the music industry … Read More Quick Review: Jack Frost (1998)

Quick Review: The Polar Express (2004)

THE POLAR EXPRESS BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJANUARY 13, 2014 Perfect for children, Robert Zemeckis sets the stage for the motion capture animated films to follow with “The Polar Express,” where Tom Hanks shines through as many of the characters in the film. Taking a young boy whose belief in Santa Claus begins to falter on an epic train adventure to the North Pole, this heartwarming … Read More Quick Review: The Polar Express (2004)

Quick Review: The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty (2013)

THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJANUARY 3, 2014 “The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty” is a balance of memorable moments and sincere performances from most of the main cast, especially Ben Stiller and Sean Penn. Stepping into the director’s shoes, Stiller takes on double duty and does not disappoint, playing title character Walter Mitty, an easygoing daydreamer living a reserved lifestyle. … Read More Quick Review: The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty (2013)

Quick Review: The Wolf Of Wall Street (2013)

THE WOLF OF WALL STREET BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJANUARY 3, 2014 Leonardo DiCaprio gives one of his best performances of his career in Martin Scorsese’s “The Wolf Of Wall Street”, a brutally honest look at the life of real-life New York stockbroker, Jordan Belfort, who scammed rich people out of their money to live his lavish, no holds barred lifestyle. Almost pornographic, the film brings … Read More Quick Review: The Wolf Of Wall Street (2013)