Category: 3.5 Star Reviews

Movie Review: Fast X (2023)

FAST X BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLMAY 28, 2023 “The days where one man behind the wheel of a car can make a difference are over.” — Aimes (Alan Ritchson) In the age where successful television series like “Succession” and “Barry” are going out while it still feels like there are plenty of stories to be told, “Fast X” has worn out its welcome a few … Read More Movie Review: Fast X (2023)

Movie Review: I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997)

I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLSEPTEMBER 28, 2022 “What are you waiting for?” — Julie James (Jennifer Love Hewitt) While I would imagine most people would say “Scream” loomed largest in their lives when it came to 90s horror films, for me, “I Know What You Did Last Summer” loomed much more prominent. It is one of the most iconic … Read More Movie Review: I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997)

Movie Review: Beast (2022)

BEAST BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLSEPTEMBER 3, 2022 “Death came calling to my wife and daughters and I wasn’t there to say no you can’t have them.” — Dr. Nate Samuels (Idris Elba) If the formula works, why change it? “Beast” is nothing new. It’s “Jaws” in the bush. The nice thing is director Baltasar Kormákur knows it. At one point, a character wears a “Jurassic … Read More Movie Review: Beast (2022)

Movie Review: Montana Story (2022)

BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLMAY 11, 2022 “I’ve done way stupidier things for animals than drag a horse from Montana to New York.” — Muki (Eugene Brave Rock) Haley Lu Richardson is becoming everyone’s favorite independent film darling. “Columbus” and “After Yang” both left significant impressions, and she’s bound to make one again with “Montana Story.” She plays Erin, a former Montanan who returns home after … Read More Movie Review: Montana Story (2022)

Movie Review: Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022)

BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLMAY 6, 2022 “You break the rules and become a hero. I do it and I become the enemy. That doesn’t seem fair.” — Wanda Maximoff / Scarlett Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) Doctor Strange is back. It has been six years since Doctor Stephen Strange’s origin movie premiered, where we met the award-winning surgeon who shattered his hands and then dedicated his life … Read More Movie Review: Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022)

TV Review: What If?: Season 1 – Episode 7: “What If… Thor Were an Only Child?” (2021)

WHAT IF?SEASON ONE Episode 7: “What If… Thor Were an Only Child?” BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLSEPTEMBER 25, 2021 “More than battles won or lost, it’s relationships that truly define a hero. The people who shape them, their stories.” — The Watcher (Jeffrey Wright) Every episode of “What If” up to this point has felt on the darker, more severe side. Evil Doctor Strange, zombie Avengers, … Read More TV Review: What If?: Season 1 – Episode 7: “What If… Thor Were an Only Child?” (2021)

Movie Review: Birds Of Paradise (2021)

BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLSEPTEMBER 24, 2021 “This one brave little bird flew up to the sky, faster and faster; her heart was beating so fast she thought it might burst. But she just kept going. Rebel’s heart, will of steel, eyes set on true north. Until finally, she pierced the blanket with her beak, and a tiny ray of light shone through.” — Kate Sanders … Read More Movie Review: Birds Of Paradise (2021)

Movie Review: The Map of Tiny Perfect Things (2021)

BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLFEBRUARY 13, 2021 “Most of life is just junk. And then, there’s these moments, and all the randomness turns into something perfect.” — Mark (Kyle Allen) Mark (Kyle Allen from “American Horror Story: Apocalypse”) wakes up like it’s any other day. A car pulls away outside, toast pops out of the toaster, and he catches a mug that’s about to hit the … Read More Movie Review: The Map of Tiny Perfect Things (2021)

Movie Review: Wonder Woman 1984 (2020)

BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJANUARY 1, 2021 “Life is Good… ..but it can be better.” — Max Lord (Pedro Pascal) Once again, the internet is not happy. What could be striking them now, you may ask? This time it’s because “Wonder Woman 1984” did not blow them away. Some of the hate has to come from Warner Bros choosing to release their entire slate on HBO … Read More Movie Review: Wonder Woman 1984 (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: 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 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)

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)

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: 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: 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)

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)

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: 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)

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: 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: 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)

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: 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)

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)

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: 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: 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)

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)

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 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (2013)

ANCHORMAN 2: THE LEGEND CONTINUES BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLDECEMBER 26, 2013 Not quite capturing the magic that was the original “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy,” the sequel, “The Legend Continues” takes the next logical step in the progression of news reporting and steps into the world of the 24-hour news. Will Ferrell does little to improve his stint as Ron Burgundy but continues in … Read More Quick Review: Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (2013)

Quick Review: Zodiac (2007)

ZODIAC BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLDECEMBER 26, 2013 As dark and dreary as a David Fincher film can get, “Zodiac” delves into the true to life unsolved crimes of a serial killer known as the Zodiac Killer. Unfolding like an actual mystery, Fincher lays out the entire groundwork of this real-life story and involves the audience in a manhunt that took place from the late ‘60s … Read More Quick Review: Zodiac (2007)

Quick Review: Babel (2006)

BABEL BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLDECEMBER 23, 2013 Intertwining stories and lives across multiple countries and cultures, “Babel” covers its bases on almost every type of person and ethnicity that you could think of while weaving together a complex tale to which they all connect. Whether its two harmless young boys in Morocco who are given a rifle to watch over sheep, only to accidentally shoot … Read More Quick Review: Babel (2006)

Quick Review: Brokeback Mountain (2005)

BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLDECEMBER 23, 2013 “Brokeback Mountain” lives up to its expectations by being a highly homoerotic love story between two cowboys working as ranch hands for winter and the spiral that follows. Lead tremendously by Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal, the film is unforgettable because of the performances turned in between the two. Ledger plays the grisly Ennis Del Mar who … Read More Quick Review: Brokeback Mountain (2005)

Quick Review: Out Of The Furnace (2013)

OUT OF THE FURNACE BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLDECEMBER 23, 2013 Tent-poled by an amazing cast, “Out Of The Furnace” is nothing if not an exercise in excellent casting choices. Say what you will, but Christian Bale is a huge draw. Even with his Batman days behind him, his Oscar-winning performance in “The Fighter” is enough proof to say he can get people in a theater … Read More Quick Review: Out Of The Furnace (2013)

Quick Review: The Haunting In Connecticut (2009)

THE HAUNTING IN CONNECTICUT BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLDECEMBER 23, 2013 At first glance, “The Haunting In Connecticut” comes off much like your typical haunted horror film, complete with the based on a true story, the purchase of a creaky old house possessed by spirits who roam around at night, and a sick young man left to experience these otherworldly beings on his own. But director … Read More Quick Review: The Haunting In Connecticut (2009)

Quick Review: Oldboy (2013)

OLDBOY (2013) BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLNOVEMBER 30, 2013 Nowhere near the masterpiece that is Park Chan-wook’s “Oldboy,” Spike Lee gives an admirable attempt at bringing the 2003 cult classic to life in American cinemas. Josh Brolin embodies the drunken misogynist, Joe Doucett that we eventually root for after he’s framed for his ex-wife’s murder and imprisoned by an unknown person for 20 years. However, his … Read More Quick Review: Oldboy (2013)

Quick Review: Frozen (2013)

FROZEN (2013) BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLNOVEMBER 30, 2013 Entering the annals of the Disney collection, “Frozen” takes the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale “The Snow Queen” and gives it the classic Disney touch. Working in its favor are the strong female characters in Anna (Kristen Bell) and Elsa (Idina Menzel) as they sing and dance their way through Elsa’s unwanted ability to freeze things. This … Read More Quick Review: Frozen (2013)

Quick Review: The Canyons (2013)

THE CANYONS BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLNOVEMBER 30, 2013 Not intellectual but ultra sexual, “The Canyons” takes a down-and-out Lindsay Lohan and delivers a novelty in the form of nudity and sensuality. Gone are the days of “Herbie Fully Loaded” and “Mean Girls”, Lohan has completely obliterated her former Disney charm and has set on a course of rehab and full-on nude scenes. And from a … Read More Quick Review: The Canyons (2013)

Movie Review: Nebraska (2013)

NEBRASKA BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLNOVEMBER 24, 2013 Several questions occurred to me during “Nebraska” that both attribute to the positives of Alexander Payne’s vision and the negatives or shortcomings of the material. The first question, why black-and-white? Researching this, Rotten Tomatoes brought me to an interview with the cast, and their thoughts, with someone stating that Payne’s mother had replied: “it would look stupid in … Read More Movie Review: Nebraska (2013)

Quick Review: What’s Eating Gilbert Grape (1993)

WHAT’S EATING GILBERT GRAPE BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLNOVEMBER 24, 2013 Before anyone like David Gordon Green in the film industry was making the strong dramatic independent films of our current generation, there were film-makers like Lasse Hallström who directed “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape” that delivers on the same level as those current flock of off-beat dramas. Featuring a much younger Johnny Depp, who had already … Read More Quick Review: What’s Eating Gilbert Grape (1993)

Quick Review: Indiana Jones and the Temple Of Doom (1984)

INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLNOVEMBER 18, 2013 Immediately tossing the viewer into the harrowing world of Indiana Jones, “The Temple Of Doom” is a literal roller coaster ride of action and adventure, highlighting the characteristics and mannerisms that audiences loved in the original film. From the opening sequence of an antidote vial being kicked around to a car chase … Read More Quick Review: Indiana Jones and the Temple Of Doom (1984)

Quick Review: Taken 2 (2012)

TAKEN 2 BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLNOVEMBER 13, 2013 Just as decent an action film as the first installment, “Taken 2” finds an interesting way to follow-up the original plot and keep the story fresh and exciting. Liam Neeson returns as Bryan Mills, as he sets off for work in Istanbul. Reconnecting with his daughter (Maggie Grace) and ex-wife (Famke Janssen), they again find themselves in … Read More Quick Review: Taken 2 (2012)

Quick Review: Ender’s Game (2013)

ENDER’S GAME BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLNOVEMBER 3, 2013 This review may act as a spoiler, so stop reading now if you wish to be completely surprised. Occasionally in working for the industry and passionately partaking in the marketing for feature films, there come causalities like “Ender’s Game,” which completely telegraph their ending. Ask anyone who actively avoids trailers and they’ll tell you that they give … Read More Quick Review: Ender’s Game (2013)

Quick Review: Days Of Thunder (1990)

DAYS OF THUNDER BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLNOVEMBER 3, 2013 Capitalizing off the success of “Top Gun,” director Tony Scott and actor Tom Cruise reunite to bring about another strong drama, trading Naval aviators in for stock car racers, in “Days Of Thunder.” Cruise plays Cole Trickle, a nobody racer without a sponsor brought in by Tim Daland (Randy Quaid) to get them into the business … Read More Quick Review: Days Of Thunder (1990)

Quick Review: The Lincoln Lawyer (2011)

THE LINCOLN LAWYER BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLOCTOBER 27, 2013 Relying entirely on its cast of characters and the performances provided, “The Lincoln Lawyer” never quite reaches the level of genius but also never takes the simple ways out. Matthew McConaughey takes a turn as Mickey Haller, an attorney meandering in the grey area of the law. He accepts back alley payments from bikers, swindles clients … Read More Quick Review: The Lincoln Lawyer (2011)

Quick Review: Halloween (1978)

HALLOWEEN (1978) BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLOCTOBER 19, 2013 “Halloween” invented the modern-day slasher thriller that we know today, from the stalking, the POV camera to the sexual ambiguity of the surviving lady, to the sexual dynamic that leads to most murders in a slasher film. Jamie Lee Curtis leads the crew, the only real, recognizable face of the film, and carries this franchise through decades … Read More Quick Review: Halloween (1978)

Quick Review: Don Jon (2013)

DON JON BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLOCTOBER 29, 2013 Led wonderfully by the talented Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who steps into the writing and directing chair, on top of acting, “Don Jon” delivers an introspective and occasionally funny look at “porn addiction” and how it fits into a person’s life. A strange subject matter to base a film around, HitRECord’s Gordon-Levitt does a decent job of keeping the … Read More Quick Review: Don Jon (2013)

Quick Review: Insidious: Chapter 2 (2013)

INSIDIOUS: CHAPTER 2 BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLSEPTEMBER 18, 2013 James Wan leads yet another subtle throwback to classic horror with “Insidious: Chapter 2,” masterfully building off the original with more jolting scares and creepy characters, while revisiting many of the same ideas touched on in the original, and thus expanding them, especially in regards to “The Further.” Patrick Wilson dives headfirst into his character, Josh, … Read More Quick Review: Insidious: Chapter 2 (2013)

Quick Review: Insidious (2011)

INSIDIOUS BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLSEPTEMBER 15, 2013 In a throwback to old horror, “Insidious” dodges the cheap thrills of modern horror and delves into what disturbs audiences. Quick camera cuts, well constructed audio designs, and a chilling story are enough to cause constant spooks throughout the film. The last portion of the film, set in “another world,” I could have done without, but I appreciate … Read More Quick Review: Insidious (2011)

Movie Review: Afternoon Delight (2013)

AFTERNOON DELIGHT BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLSEPTEMBER 15, 2013 Excuse the pun, but Juno Temple is a delight. Unafraid of her sexuality and always adding a deeper level to any of her characters, no matter how shallow, she is so enigmatic that even scenes where she’s in the background, she can be caught stealing it. Innocent and down-to-earth, her characters take on reality and authenticity that … Read More Movie Review: Afternoon Delight (2013)

Quick Review: Mysterious Skin (2005)

MYSTERIOUS SKIN BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLSEPTEMBER 15, 2013 The equivalent of an exposed nerve ending, “Mysterious Skin” is a sensitive and emotionally charged beyond comprehension. A story told from the perspective of two very different young men, it centers around Neil, played masterfully by Joseph Gordon-Levitt as he partakes in multiple sexual encounters with strange men for money. Having been molested by his Little League … Read More Quick Review: Mysterious Skin (2005)

Quick Review: The Lifeguard (2013)

THE LIFEGUARD BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLSEPTEMBER 7, 2013 Who doesn’t wonder what it would be like to step back into the days of high school? The days before careers and serious relationships toiled our everyday lives, when swimming at the local pool and the appropriate places to skateboard, were your most significant worries. In “The Lifeguard,” leading lady, Kristen Bell takes that step back, after … Read More Quick Review: The Lifeguard (2013)

Quick Review: You’re Next (2013)

YOU’RE NEXT BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLSEPTEMBER 7, 2013 A perfect blending of horror and comedy, “You’re Next” is a prime example of the Adam Wingard we have come to know and love through his shorts in “V/H/S/2” and “The ABCs of Death.” Wingard produces dark comedy natural from the home invasion sub-section of the horror genre.The film is half a throwback to classic horror specifications, … Read More Quick Review: You’re Next (2013)

Quick Review: Confessions Of A Dangerous Mind (2003)

CONFESSIONS OF A DANGEROUS MIND BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLSEPTEMBER 7, 2013 Sam Rockwell has a way with flawed anti-heroes, and his performance in “Confessions of a Dangerous Mind” is a prime example of that. Directed by and starring George Clooney, “Confessions” follows the autobiographical (and somewhat contested) true-to-life story of Chuck Barris, best known for developing the concept for The Dating Game and The Newlywed … Read More Quick Review: Confessions Of A Dangerous Mind (2003)

Quick Review: Closed Circuit (2013)

CLOSED CIRCUIT BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLSEPTEMBER 7, 2013 With all the makings of a concise and memorable thriller, “Closed Circuit” takes its flashy and topical subject matter of a government cover-up and squanders it with a less than impressive delivery. Saved, for the most part, by the acting chops of the beautiful Rebecca Hall and an expected yet captivating performance from Eric Bana, the film … Read More Quick Review: Closed Circuit (2013)

Quick Review: Hot Fuzz (2007)

HOT FUZZ BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLAUGUST 27, 2013 Not quite to the level of Edgar Wright’s previous success in zombie-spoof, “Shaun of the Dead,” his latest venture, “Hot Fuzz,” still proves stylistically on par yet lacks the thoughtfulness and ingenuity brought by his first film. Parodying blow-em up action films, “Hot Fuzz” relies once again on Simon Pegg and Nick Frost to deliver hilarious scene … Read More Quick Review: Hot Fuzz (2007)

Quick Review: Shaun Of The Dead (2004)

SHAUN OF THE DEAD BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLAUGUST 27, 2013 Branding the directing style that he would become known for, “Shaun of the Dead” marks Edgar Wright’s first endeavor into the comedic styling that would put him on the map with his future successes. Wright’s eccentric mind brings to life the comedic zombie movie in a way that opened the door for the future zombie … Read More Quick Review: Shaun Of The Dead (2004)

Quick Review: Just Friends (2005)

JUST FRIENDS BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLAUGUST 27, 2013 Ryan Reynolds has a hold on comedy that always embodies the story that surrounds him. Much like his sincerity in the comedy “Waiting,” Reynolds returns with force in the off-beat and over-the-top comedy, “Just Friends.” After losing weight, Chris Brander (Reynolds), a prominent record executive in Los Angeles, returns to his tiny hometown. There, he finds himself … Read More Quick Review: Just Friends (2005)

Quick Review: Kick-Ass 2 (2013)

KICK-ASS 2 BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLAUGUST 27, 2013 On about the same level as its predecessor, “Kick-Ass 2” delivers more bang for your buck but ultimately loses something over time. What once was hilarious is now just average. Mindy McCready (Chloe Moretz) once stole the spotlight as the smart-mouthed twelve-year-old who took to murder as second nature. Now she’s an older teenager, where the foul … Read More Quick Review: Kick-Ass 2 (2013)

Movie Review: Lovelace (2013)

LOVELACE BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLAUGUST 20, 2013 An entertaining biopic with a strong central performance from Amanda Seyfried, “Lovelace,” captures the rise and fall of real-life porn star Linda Lovelace. Starting her life as Linda Boreman, she lives with her strict parents, Dorothy (Sharon Stone) and John (Robert Patrick). It is not until Linda meets and marries suave Chuck Traynor, played entirely convincingly by Peter … Read More Movie Review: Lovelace (2013)

Quick Review: Little Birds (2012)

LITTLE BIRDS BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLAUGUST 20, 2013 A fresh and harsh-reality look at a coming of age story, involving two young girls, Elgin James’ “Little Birds” brings Juno Temple and Kay Panabaker together for some of the best young woman acting since “My Girl.” Temple plays wild child Lily, who lives in the Salton Sea, dreaming of drowning herself, cutting herself, and running off … Read More Quick Review: Little Birds (2012)

Quick Review: Paranormal Activity (2009)

PARANORMAL ACTIVITY BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLAUGUST 8, 2013 The first time I saw “Paranormal Activity” was in Fargo, ND at the historic Fargo Theater downtown. With rickety wooden seats and creaking lobby doors, this packed theater was the best location to experience this creepy horror film. Sufficiently scary and incredibly unique, Oren Peli writes, directs, and produces this film on a minimal budget and not … Read More Quick Review: Paranormal Activity (2009)

Movie Review: 2 Guns (2013)

2 GUNS BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLAUGUST 3, 2013 Without Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg, “2 Guns” would be just another ridiculously plotted action film with telegraphed twists and nothing to grab your attention. Washington and Wahlberg’s pairing works perfectly, as their chemistry creates both tension and comedic relief from start to finish. Wahlberg embraces his character, Stig, a suave, ladies’ man with straightforward ideas, “fight … Read More Movie Review: 2 Guns (2013)

Quick Review: X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)

X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLAUGUST 3, 2013 In the first of the origin series, we follow the most exciting character, Logan, aka the Wolverine, played brilliantly yet again by the talented Hugh Jackman, who has wholly embodied this role from the beginning. The writers of this X-Men endeavor do not skimp on the details as we follow Logan back to when he was … Read More Quick Review: X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)

Quick Review: As Good As It Gets (1997)

AS GOOD AS IT GETS BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLAUGUST 3, 2013 Anything with Jack Nicholson is bound to be enjoyable, but in “As Good As It Gets,” he extends beyond simply embodying his character, Melvin, a short-tempered and socially inept author with no filter, and takes the role to an entirely new, iconic level. Nicholson is always fierce and intimidating, but tossing on an OCD, … Read More Quick Review: As Good As It Gets (1997)

Quick Review: V/H/S/2 (2013)

V/H/S/2 BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJULY 20, 2013 Not quite as enthralling as its predecessor, “V/H/S/2” still holds on to most of what made the original so entertaining, with practical effects and serious, hardworking scares, remaining the best use of found footage to date. Weaving together four short films of macabre nature with a fifth over-arcing film, five different directors take a stab at telling their … Read More Quick Review: V/H/S/2 (2013)

Quick Review: Much Ado About Nothing (2013)

MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJULY 13, 2013 Easily one of the funniest William Shakespeare’s comedies to grace the big screen, “Much Ado About Nothing” is helped by Joss Whedon’s distinctive style of directing and producing humor from his brilliant and loyal cast of characters. As dense as the material can be, with Whedon using all the original text, the story eventually becomes … Read More Quick Review: Much Ado About Nothing (2013)

Movie Review: In Our Nature (2012)

IN OUR NATURE BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJULY 7, 2013 Father and son. The relationship has taken on new meaning in this day and age where divorce rates are skyrocketing, and mid-life crises lead to second families. No matter how you slice it, divorce has its effects, mostly on the children, but the parents too. With “In Our Nature,” the directorial debut of Brian Savelson, those … Read More Movie Review: In Our Nature (2012)

Quick Review: The Game (1997)

THE GAME BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJUNE 29, 2013 With David Fincher at the helm, of course, “The Game” is dark, gritty, and engaging. The dark streets and even darker characters scream Fincher’s directing style and deliver a different take on the suspense thriller. Michael Douglas takes control of his spiraling name, Nicholas Van Orton, like no one else can, bringing shades of his Oscar-winning performance … Read More Quick Review: The Game (1997)

Movie Review: Mulan (1998)

MULAN BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJUNE 29, 2013 With epic battles and self-empowerment songs, it is hard not to enjoy “Mulan.” As I’ve learned over the years, Walt Disney knows how to make not only enjoyable films but films that stand apart from one other, genuinely creating a collection of morals and characters so different and broad on a spectrum that there usually’s something for everyone. … Read More Movie Review: Mulan (1998)

TV Review: Mad Men: Season 6 – Episode 12: “The Quality Of Mercy” (2013)

MAD MENSEASON SIX Episode 12: “The Quality Of Mercy” BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJUNE 17, 2013 With only one episode left of this dark season of “Mad Men,” there’s still plenty of questions in the air that cannot possibly be answered by the finale. The biggest problem: is someone going to die? With rumors floating around about the foreshadowing of Megan’s death and the idea that … Read More TV Review: Mad Men: Season 6 – Episode 12: “The Quality Of Mercy” (2013)

Quick Review: 3,2,1… Frankie Go Boom (2012)

3,2,1… FRANKIE GO BOOM BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJUNE 13, 2013 What keeps “Frankie Go Boom” from going into the gutter is the young, brilliant cast. Charlie Hunnam recalls his days on “Undeclared” with this straight-faced comedic role, making his badass persona on “Sons of Anarchy” impress that much more. Chris O’Dowd is the driving force of comedy, as the misfit brother pushing the raunchy plot … Read More Quick Review: 3,2,1… Frankie Go Boom (2012)

Quick Review: The Internship (2013)

THE INTERNSHIP BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJUNE 8, 2013 Although it’s not the genius that was “Wedding Crashers,” Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson’s latest collaboration, “The Internship,” far exceeded my expectations. With a workplace setting, fish-out-of-water plot structure, and trailers that contained very few memorable jokes and the promise of the funniest moments being displayed well before opening night, Shawn Levy’s comedy hits home on several … Read More Quick Review: The Internship (2013)

Movie Review: Now You See Me (2013)

NOW YOU SEE ME BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJUNE 1, 2013 “Now You See Me” takes you for a ride. Whether it’s a ride without bumps is up to your interpretation. Four magicians, known as the Four Horsemen, unveil a three-act, three-location show and turn out to be very successful bank robbers. The magicians use an “Ocean’s 11” model of sleight of hand and misdirection to … Read More Movie Review: Now You See Me (2013)

Quick Review: Fast & Furious (2009)

FAST & FURIOUS BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLMAY 19, 2013 What helps a franchise stay relevant after a trilogy? The answer is returning to form and bringing back all the original characters. “Fast & Furious” is textbook fourth film material. Taking a much darker tone and pitting Vin Diesel against Paul Walker in a paralleling storyline, this sequel is set apart from the originals by creating … Read More Quick Review: Fast & Furious (2009)

Quick Review: The Fast and the Furious (2001)

THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLMAY 18, 2013 Fast cars. Big muscles. Attractive ladies. What more could you ask for from a film titled “The Fast and the Furious”? Vin Diesel and Paul Walker make this film their own and put themselves on the map while doing so. Even if it is mindless fun, there’s enough heart and introduction to want more … Read More Quick Review: The Fast and the Furious (2001)

Movie Review: Revolutionary Road (2008)

REVOLUTIONARY ROAD BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLMAY 16, 2013 Not much can be said for a film involving its main characters screaming at each other for most of the run-time, but at least with “Revolutionary Road,” some of the most talented and attractive actors are picked to do the screaming. Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet are reunited as man and wife in this 60’s novel adaptation … Read More Movie Review: Revolutionary Road (2008)

Quick Review: Save The Date (2012)

SAVE THE DATE BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLMAY 12, 2013 First of all, will directors please give Alison Brie more work? She is brilliant, even in the smallest of roles. “Save The Date” feels built around Lizzy Caplan, who disappears into her role. Caplan has this natural, indie quality that produces a sincerity that makes one sense she is like this. The film is quirky and … Read More Quick Review: Save The Date (2012)

Quick Review: A Late Quartet (2012)

A LATE QUARTET BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLMAY 12, 2013 “A Late Quartet” is as essential as dramas get these days. The film centers around a quartet with a questionable future. Each character faces a different obstacle to overcome. The heft of the film falls on the shoulders of its veteran cast, which raises it above dry drama. Philip Seymour Hoffman and Christopher Walken are at … Read More Quick Review: A Late Quartet (2012)

Quick Review: Cheerful Weather For The Wedding (2012)

CHEERFUL WEATHER FOR THE WEDDING BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLMAY 12, 2013 Despite its shortcomings, the chemistry is so strong between Felicity Jones and Luke Treadaway that even though they spend most of the film apart, the connection between them carries the film. Felicity is gorgeous as always, performing in such a lyrical beauty that radiates through her lack of dialogue. She is the star, and … Read More Quick Review: Cheerful Weather For The Wedding (2012)

Quick Review: FernGully: The Last Rainforest (1992)

FERNGULLY: THE LAST RAINFOREST BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLMAY 1, 2013 Short and sweet, “FernGully” packs more beautiful animated imagery and life lessons into 72 minutes than most films fit in twice that run-time. The voice acting is high caliber, with Robin Williams, Tim Curry, Christian Slater, and Cheech & Chong offering exceptional voice-over. Original for its time, this family favorite provides memorable tunes, iconic animation, … Read More Quick Review: FernGully: The Last Rainforest (1992)

Quick Review: 28 Days Later (2003)

28 DAYS LATER BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLAPRIL 18, 2013 A staple in the growing zombie horror niche, “28 Days Later” takes most of the elements we love from the genre and carries them to a much more cinematic level. Cillian Murphy was a wise casting choice by Danny Boyle, as he shoulders the shifting moods like a pro, even turning the wild third act into … Read More Quick Review: 28 Days Later (2003)

Quick Review: G.I. Joe: The Rise Of Cobra (2009)

G.I. JOE: THE RISE OF COBRA BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLMARCH 29, 2013 Channing Tatum takes his first giant leap into action films with “G.I. Joe: The Rise Of Cobra.” The film is helped immensely by its well-known cast. Marlon Wayans re-emerges into something relevant and helpful to his career, Sienna Miller and Rachel Nichols are both stunning, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt is the surprise star of … Read More Quick Review: G.I. Joe: The Rise Of Cobra (2009)

Quick Review: The Lorax (2012)

THE LORAX BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLMARCH 29, 2013 Pointedly agreed, “The Lorax” lacks the wit and charm of Dr. Seuss, but what it lacks in personality, it makes up for with humor and production value. I found myself laughing several times throughout the film, a feat that most animated children’s movies can’t tout. The Lorax has several distinct moments of hilariousness, as does Ted’s grandmother, … Read More Quick Review: The Lorax (2012)

Quick Review: Olympus Has Fallen (2013)

OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLMARCH 22, 2013 Finally, Gerard Butler steps away from the romantic comedy doldrums and into a much better role. Taking on the task of defending the White House, “Olympus Has Fallen” is the first of two Washington D.C. terrorist attack films centered around the President’s house set to release this year (“White House Down” coming this summer). And for … Read More Quick Review: Olympus Has Fallen (2013)

Quick Review: Silent Hill: Revelation (2012)

SILENT HILL: REVELATION BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLMARCH 19, 2013 When it comes to video game adaptations, I often afford a bit of leeway for the filmmakers and the production as a whole. I ask myself, “does it stick to the source material,” “does it bring the elements of the game to life,” and lastly, “does it translate to film effectively.” “Silent Hill: Revelation” hits on … Read More Quick Review: Silent Hill: Revelation (2012)

Quick Review: Upside Down (2013)

UPSIDE DOWN BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLMARCH 15, 2013 Often overcomplicated and drawn out, “Upside Down” is ambitious from the start but loses ground when it tries too hard to be something futuristic and different. The cinematography is outstanding, resembling that of Terrence Malick’s work, with stunning, vast landscapes and much-needed visual effects, in this science fiction interpretation of love between two very different people. With … Read More Quick Review: Upside Down (2013)

Quick Review: Dead Man Down (2013)

DEAD MAN DOWN BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLMARCH 13, 2013 “Dead Man Down” has a slow burn. Filled with moments that either feel weighted and impacting or fall a bit slack and uneven, the film is mainly held firm by the leading cast that packs all the punch. Colin Farrell proves he can lead a movie, playing the quiet, dark revenge seeker. Noomi Rapace continues to … Read More Quick Review: Dead Man Down (2013)

Quick Review: Oz The Great And Powerful (2013)

OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLMARCH 13, 2013 Aimed more at the younger generation, “Oz The Great and Powerful” lacks the humor and sophisticated nature that makes a film “fun for all ages.” The visuals are incredible, and the females are stunning, but apart from that, the adventure relies heavily on notions that are not entirely interesting. It’s a run-of-the-mill prequel that … Read More Quick Review: Oz The Great And Powerful (2013)

Quick Review: Snitch (2013)

SNITCH BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLMARCH 3, 2013 Hollywood loves Dwayne Johnson right now. With four or more films starring the professional wrestler set to release this year, there’s no denying he’s an action star draw. But who knew he had a passionate, emotional side? Sure, some of the lighter portions of “Snitch” are stiff and unconvincing, especially when Johnson consoles the women in his life. … Read More Quick Review: Snitch (2013)

Quick Review: Dark Skies (2013)

DARK SKIES BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLMARCH 1, 2013 “Dark Skies” is formulaic and borrows multiple concepts from dozens of films. However, writer-director Scott Stewart still finds a way to make the most of this familiar story about the most unfamiliar of subjects; aliens. With themes galore and several strong performances, specifically Keri Russell, who delves deep for this role, “Dark Skies” produces some hair-raising moments … Read More Quick Review: Dark Skies (2013)

Quick Review: Sympathy For Mr. Vengenace (2002)

SYMPATHY FOR MR. VENGEANCE BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLFEBRUARY 27, 2013 More visual gore than warranted content, “Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance” takes the revenge thriller to strange heights. Often beautiful yet frequently gruesome, “Sympathy” is a Korean film that tells the story of Ryu (Shin Ha-Kyun) and his exploits after failing to donate a kidney to his sister. With a kidnap and many deaths later, the … Read More Quick Review: Sympathy For Mr. Vengenace (2002)

Quick Review: Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012)

BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJANUARY 20, 2013 Impressive on most accounts, “Beasts of the Southern Wild” makes the most of its unknown director and first-time cast to create a grand story of ingenuity. With the young Quvenzhane Wallis carrying most of the film with her narration and young girl/old soul mentality, there’s an other-worldly-ness to the entire film. Shot on location … Read More Quick Review: Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012)

Quick Review: Broken City (2013)

BROKEN CITY BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJANUARY 20, 2013 “Broken City” relies heavily on its seasoned cast, especially the leads, Mark Wahlberg, Russell Crowe, and Jeffrey Wright, to hold this film together when the script is paper thin. Caught in a scheme of betrayal and murder, Wahlberg’s character, Billy Taggart, a former detective turned private investigator, is contacted by acquaintance Mayor Hostetler (Russell Crowe) to follow … Read More Quick Review: Broken City (2013)

Quick Review: How To Survive A Plague (2012)

HOW TO SURVIVE A PLAGUE BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJANUARY 16, 2013 Undoubtedly, one of the best activism documentaries I have ever seen, “How to Survive a Plague,” engages while still educating. It is built from archival footage and news programs from the ’80s AIDS outbreak through the battle to save those infected amidst a hostile, homophobic government and media, concluding with the effective treatments discovered … Read More Quick Review: How To Survive A Plague (2012)

Quick Review: Liberal Arts (2012)

LIBERAL ARTS BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJANUARY 5, 2013 Hardly anyone’s best effort, “Liberal Arts” is still a great second feature, written and directed by leading star Josh Radnor. Borrowing many of the same themes of his first directing endeavor, “HappyThankYouMorePlease,” Radnor places himself at the center of a relationship with a college student (Elizabeth Olsen) who is half his age. The emotions are high, and … Read More Quick Review: Liberal Arts (2012)

Quick Review: Shotgun Stories (2008)

SHOTGUN STORIES BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLDECEMBER 24, 2012 Even if Michael Shannon is the only seasoned actor in Jeff Nichols’ “Shotgun Stories,” this subtle drama is stilled pulled off effectively, delivering the actual tone of smalltown, rural life. Based on a feud between two sets of sons fathered by the same alcoholic-turned-Christian man, the violence is made more realistic by its downplayed nature. If casually … Read More Quick Review: Shotgun Stories (2008)

Quick Review: On The Road (2012)

ON THE ROAD BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLDECEMBER 23, 2012 Interesting and sublime enough to grab and hold your attention, speckled with strong actors and believable performances, “On The Road” takes Jack Kerouac’s novel and presents it almost literally to the audience, leaving a sense of actual storytelling and plot progression behind. Garrett Hedlund steals the show as Dean Moriarty, the eccentric and constantly shifty ex-con, … Read More Quick Review: On The Road (2012)

Quick Review: Jack Reacher (2012)

JACK REACHER BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLDECEMBER 23, 2012 With a solid performance from Tom Cruise in a role that is all too close to his “Mission Impossible” persona, “Jack Reacher” (also produced by Cruise) pulls itself out of the disaster it could have been and remains a decent action thriller. With the film banking on several twists, there is often the cause for concern of … Read More Quick Review: Jack Reacher (2012)

Movie Review: Anna Karenina (2012)

ANNA KARENINA BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLDECEMBER 9, 2012 Despite its tragic and flawed characters, “Anna Karenina” is visually evocative and perfectly stylized, combining the ideas and set design of live theater with the motions and photography of the cinema. At times, director Joe Wright draws attention to this stage play aspect by including the edge of the stage and moving set pieces, yet at other … Read More Movie Review: Anna Karenina (2012)

Movie Review: The Words (2012)

THE WORDS BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLSEPTEMBER 16, 2012 As much as “The Words” is a rehashing of films and stories that came before it, this literature drama still poses essential and thought-provoking questions about morality. With a strong showing from almost all the cast members involved, Brian Klugman’s Sundance premiering pet project is worth the marketing that led up to its theatrical release. The film … Read More Movie Review: The Words (2012)

Movie Review: Miss Bala (2012)

MISS BALA BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLAPRIL 15, 2012 Loosely based on an actual occurrence, “Miss Bala,” a Spanish foreign film, depicts the life of a fictitious young woman, Laura Guerrero (Stephanie Sigman), as she enters a beauty pageant. As she celebrates at a club with her friend that night, the club gets raided by a local gang. She escapes, but when her friend goes missing, … Read More Movie Review: Miss Bala (2012)

Movie Review: The Hunger Games (2012)

THE HUNGER GAMES BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLMARCH 15, 2012 For months I have circled the idea of reading “The Hunger Games” series. All my friends seemed to be enjoying themselves with the books, and I was thoroughly captivated by the “Harry Potter” craze. But upon reading a detailed synopsis of the first book of “The Hunger Games,” I steered clear. Having seen the film, I’m … Read More Movie Review: The Hunger Games (2012)

Movie Review: Wrath of the Titans (2012)

WRATH OF THE TITANS BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLAPRIL 1, 2012 “For those with a burning curiosity to know how The Lord of the Rings as directed by Michael Bay might look, Wrath of the Titans provides an idea.” —ReelViews You could ask for more from this sequel to “Clash of the Titans,” but why would you want to? “Wrath of the Titans” succeeds in entertaining … Read More Movie Review: Wrath of the Titans (2012)

Movie Review: Young Adult (2011)

YOUNG ADULT BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLMARCH 25, 2012 “Young Adult” and all its unrelenting qualities are not Jason Reitman’s nor Diablo Cody’s best work. Yet, it entertains and showcases its talent justly and ends up a sub-standard comedy. Diablo Cody returns to small-town Minnesota as she does with most of her writing. In this pseudo-comedy, the main character, Mavis (Charlize Theron), returns home from the … Read More Movie Review: Young Adult (2011)

Movie Review: Underworld: Awakening (2012)

UNDERWORLD: AWAKENING BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJANUARY 23, 2012 “Underworld: Awakening” is the fourth installment in the “Underworld” series and the franchise’s third film to star Kate Beckinsale as the death-dealer vampiress, Selene. The age of the ass-kicking actresses is upon us. Kate Beckinsale, Milla Jovovich, Ali Larter, Charlize Theron, and Gina Carano are all bashing skulls and taking names. How fitting that we’re approaching one … Read More Movie Review: Underworld: Awakening (2012)

Movie Review: Bridesmaids (2011)

BRIDESMAIDS BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLDECEMBER 19, 2011 I was not a massive fan of “Bridesmaids” after my initial viewing. Partial blame rests on the hype surrounding the film after its opening weekend. , The female-written, Judd Apatow-produced film was billed as the funniest comedy of the year, and it could not live up to that. Seven months later, after the hype died down, I saw … Read More Movie Review: Bridesmaids (2011)

Movie Review: Revolver (2007)

REVOLVER BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLDECEMBER 17, 2011 Love him or hate him, Guy Ritchie has created a genre in film that is all his own. With a mobster mentality mixed with stunning visuals and a clear, discernible voice, Ritchie has a lock on what sets him apart. The problem that comes from anyone who steps outside the box and creates a world risks alienating anyone … Read More Movie Review: Revolver (2007)

Movie Review: 30 Minutes Or Less (2011)

30 MINUTES OF LESS BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLDECEMBER 14, 2011 Please explain to me, with a cast of established comedians and well-known actors, how the newest comer is the film’s highlight. “30 Minutes Or Less” is a launching pad for Aziz Ansari. If you’ve caught the television series “Parks & Recreation,” you already know his exceptional delivery. However, a comedian that outshines a 2010 Academy … Read More Movie Review: 30 Minutes Or Less (2011)

Movie Review: The Sitter (2011)

THE SITTER BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLDECEMBER 11, 2011 What should you expect from a film that opens with its lead actor going down on his pseudo-girlfriend (pseudo as in she doesn’t like labels unless she wants something)? The answer is a raunchy ride through a night of debauchery titled “The Sitter.” Noah (Jonah Hill) is a college dropout living with his mother, with nothing better … Read More Movie Review: The Sitter (2011)

Movie Review: Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011)

PIRATED OF THE CARIBBEAN:ON STRANGER TIDES BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLDECEMBER 11, 2011 For being a pirate film, “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” contains just about the bare minimum of pirating lore to get by. With very few ships and even less swordplay, it is not the best film of the franchise, but it’s not the worst. Like “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s … Read More Movie Review: Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011)

Quick Review: Tucker and Dale Vs. Evil (2011)

TUCKER AND DALE VS. EVIL BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLDECEMBER 8, 2011 “There we were minding our own business, just doing chores around the house, when kids started killing themselves all over my property.” — Tucker, Alan Tudyk “Tucker & Dale Vs. Evil” could have easily been another failed spoof movie. However, with the right combination of self-aware dialogue and the perfectly casted Tyler Labine and … Read More Quick Review: Tucker and Dale Vs. Evil (2011)

TV Review: House M.D. Season 8 – Episode 5: “The Confession” (2011)

HOUSE M.D.SEASON EIGHT Episode 5: “The Confession” BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLNOVEMBER 12, 2011 Part of the old team is back this week on “House MD,” with Taub and Chase returning to their previous positions. Though the gimmick of “One Year Later” does not always work for television, in this case, since we have gotten to know most of these characters so well, having some time … Read More TV Review: House M.D. Season 8 – Episode 5: “The Confession” (2011)

Movie Review: Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest (2006)

More so a vehicle to launch the third film, “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest” brings much less to the table than “Curse of the Black Pearl”. Without “Dead Man’s Chest”, however, the third film (“At World’s End”) would not pack as big of a punch. This makes “Dead Man’s Chest” a much less desirable film on its own but makes the trilogy, as a whole, much stronger.

Movie Review: Thor (2011)

We were there last summer (2010) when the conclusion of “Iron Man 2” revealed the protagonist for this summer’s blockbuster, “Thor”. The nerdiest members of the audience whooped and hollered at the hammer of Thor, as it solidified the continued build up to “The Avengers” film compiling years of story and characters into one single, “mega-film”. I am a fan of the comic book adaptations of late, but Thor never really jumped off the page for me. Even the first trailers for “Thor” did not seem to translate well into an on-earth piece or as grounded as say “Iron Man” or “The Incredible Hulk”. I felt that “Clash of the Titans” would take its slimy tentacles and reign again as God of the bad B-title remakes. I am sitting here today, singing a different tune. “Thor” proved me wrong.

Movie Review: Going The Distance (2010)

One day after a break up stemming from an inability to cope with long distance, I ventured out to see “Going The Distance”, a romantic comedy involving Justin Long and Drew Barrymore. The couple in the film come to question whether love is really enough to keep a romance blooming over an entire country’s length. Not only was “Going The Distance” entertaining, but it definitely nailed the situation head on.

Movie Review: The Killer Inside Me (2010)

The Killer Inside Me screams award-winning, but with the unfortunate response to the violence, the film will remain a silent cult classic, only enjoyed by those with an open enough mind to accept absolutely everything depicted in the film. Absolutely stunning and emotion evoking, The Killer Inside Me is guaranteed to cause for discussion among all those that dare to view it.

Movie Review: Passenger Side (2010)

Basing the entire film around Scott’s trademarked cynicism creates a genuine Indy classic worthy of mainstream status. The fact that Adam Scott has not made more of a stir in the commercial film world is mind boggling, but to have a star like Scott floating around in the Indy world is a refreshing new experience in many Indy films including his huge success in The Vicious Kind.

Movie Review: Prince Of Persia: The Sands Of Time (2010)

Prince Of Persia takes all the major plot points from several of its Disney predecessors and combines them into a live action Arabian family feud film, with a hint of the metaphysical and mythological. Though well cast, the film falls short of a film such as 300 and rides the fine line between child’s film and adult action adventure.

Movie Review: Due Date (2010)

Walking into Due Date, the stage had been set for me to experience a sub-par comedy. No high expectations were allotted for the film with few critics gleaming it an absolute knock-out like The Hangover. However, my actual recollection of the film brings up my argument about hype, and what it does for films and their audiences. Due Date was absolutely hilarious and I enjoyed every minute of it.

Movie Review: Robin Hood (2010)

The 21st Century version of Robin Hood is not your mom and dad’s Robin Hood. Most know Robin Hood the outlaw, set with his merry men and Maid Marian, stealing from the rich and giving to the poor and portrayed by the likes of Kevin Costner. Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood, however, dares to look at an unseen Robin Hood lore, where Russell Crowe delves into Robin Longside, who is simply looking to fight alongside his fellow man.

Movie Review: Machete (2010)

Machete will never be regarded for any sort of performance or logistical nominations, but if Hollywood is looking for ways to entertain audiences without stooping to the “3D propaganda”, Machete is a step in the right direction.

Movie Review: Mean Streets (1973)

Martin Scorsese delivers his first major feature length film in the gritty and future-making Mean Streets. In his first collaboration with Robert De Niro, Scorsese sets into the motion the wheels of success for everyone involved, including fellow friend and (at the time) aspiring actor Harvey Keitel. With intense imaginary and breakthrough performances from De Niro and Keitel, the film speaks a language that has transcended into all that Scorsese is known for.

Movie Review: Just Married (2003)

Just Married comes through with heart and two great performances, but suffers from a childish feeling that only Scott Levy can master and the dreadful “Ben Stiller Effect”, making it just short of amazing.

Movie Review: Diary Of The Dead (2008)

Had the cast been slightly more credible and the dialogue not so repetitive, Diary Of The Dead could have easily become one of the best zombie films in the genre. Instead, it only accomplishes being original, yet failing to the raise the bar for zombie horror flicks.

Movie Review: City Island (2010)

City Island catalogs nicely the strain that lying can put on a family, all in a well-mannered and humorous way.

Movie Review: The Other Guys (2010)

THE OTHER GUYS BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLAUGUST 18, 2010 How can you knock “The Other Guys?” Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg prove to be at their comedic bests. Compared to Ferrell’s past endeavors, his newest installment appears more mainstream and socially acceptable than say, “Talladega Nights” or “Semi-Pro,” which normally rely heavily on the eccentric nature of Ferrell in his unique characters. “The Other Guys” … Read More Movie Review: The Other Guys (2010)

Movie Review: Salt (2010)

SALT BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLAUGUST 17, 2010 Angelina Jolie is stunning. What more can you say? A woman that can leap from moving truck to moving truck yet remain a gorgeous and arousing courtesan contains a unique endowment. Atop the exhilarating abilities of Jolie, attach a well-conceived sleeper cell espionage thriller and the talent pours from the woodwork. “Salt” is a peculiar mixture of three … Read More Movie Review: Salt (2010)

Movie Review: The Sorcerer’s Apprentice (2010)

THE SORCERER’S APPRENTICE BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLAUGUST 15, 2010 Who knew that after sixty years, Disney’s “Fantasia” would spawn the likes of this year’s Disney summer release, “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice?” Based in the realm of magic and containing a sequence straight out of the 1940 animated film with mops and dustpans, “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” snares viewers into a world of the unimaginable. The anthology of … Read More Movie Review: The Sorcerer’s Apprentice (2010)

Movie Review: Resident Evil (2002)

RESIDENT EVIL BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLAUGUST 11, 2010 The first “Resident Evil,” my favorite of the film franchise, carries the video game series to the big screen. Milla Jovovich heads the cast of nobodies (save for Michelle Rodriguez of “The Fast and the Furious” fame). Enjoy the crazed, underground zombies while you can because the first film is the only one that seriously focuses on … Read More Movie Review: Resident Evil (2002)

Movie Review: After.Life (2010)

AFTER.LIFE BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLAUGUST 7, 2010 Psychological thriller or purgatorial science fiction flick? Is Liam Neeson just your run-of-the-mill mortician, plagued with the gift of seeing the spiritual realm, or is he just a smooth-talking serial killer, able to brainwash his victims into “crossing to the other side“? Unfortunately, the viewer is left to make the final call as “After.Life” gives no blatant, straightforward … Read More Movie Review: After.Life (2010)

Movie Review: Whip It (2009)

WHIP IT BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJULY 31, 2010 Truth be told, it was not the actors or the storyline that attracted me to the film, it was the song “Pork & Beans” by Weezer in the trailers. The idea of Drew Barrymore interacting with a film more than just ungracefully gracing the screen sent shivers down my spine. But give it up to those glasses-wearing … Read More Movie Review: Whip It (2009)

Movie Review: An Education (2009)

AN EDUCATION BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJULY 22, 2010 Love is complex. Love can be sticky, undependable, sensitive, unstable, and perplexing. Of course, these are only one side of love. The characters in “An Education” experience all of these aspects of love. The characters ARE all of these aspects of love. The harsh reality of love is what envelopes the majority of this film. Carey Mulligan … Read More Movie Review: An Education (2009)

Movie Review: Shutter Island (2010)

SHUTTER ISLAND BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJULY 15, 2010 “Shutter Island” is a stunning masterpiece, requiring multiple viewings in order to appreciate all the levels of the film that are formed from the mastermind of Martin Scorsese. Right off the bat, I was aware of the ending before I sat down to view the film for the first time. The first time through the film, I … Read More Movie Review: Shutter Island (2010)

Movie Review: Toy Story 3 (2010)

TOY STORY 3 BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJUNE 27, 2010 Travel back to 1995. The first “Toy Story” film was released and revolutionized animated films as we knew them. Not only was it revolutionary, but the film’s content was truly amazing. I remember being a kid back then and watching my VHS version of the film when it was released, transcribing the script from memory and … Read More Movie Review: Toy Story 3 (2010)