Category: 3 Star 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: 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: 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: 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 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: 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)

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)

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: 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: 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)

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)

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: 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: 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)

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)

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: 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)

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: 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: 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 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: [Rec] (2007)

[REC] BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLDECEMBER 26, 2013 Found footage zombie horror at its best, “[REC]” takes an interesting approach at the idea by sending in one cameraman and a reporter as they follow a group of firemen called to a scene, only to be quarantined in the apartment building with unexplainable attacks by humans. Much eerier than the American remake titled “Quarantine”, Manuela Velasco, an … Read More Quick Review: [Rec] (2007)

Quick Review: Adore (2013)

ADORE BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLDECEMBER 23, 2013 Bringing new meaning to the Oedipus complex, “Adore” revolves around two best friends who grow up together from a very young age, spending most of their time swimming out to a raft in the stunningly gorgeous Australian seaside. All grown up, Lil and Roz, played by Naomi Watts and Robin Wright, continue their relationship, practically coming off like … Read More Quick Review: Adore (2013)

Quick Review: Homefront (2013)

HOMEFRONT BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLDECEMBER 23, 2013 Jason Statham’s patented brand of violent thrillers have become a sort of art form, with strategic fight sequences built around a loose narrative that allows Statham’s characters to always be the good guy, looking like the underdog, but using his endless skills to take down villains much in the same vein as a less debonaire James Bond. In … Read More Quick Review: Homefront (2013)

Quick Review: I Give It A Year (2013)

I GIVE IT A YEAR BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLNOVEMBER 24, 2013 A British romantic comedy meets humor the likes of “The Office,” the phoned-in “I Give It A Year” stars a welcoming cast with nothing to show for it. Rose Byrne, Anna Faris, and Simon Baker lead this strange rigamarole of a comedy, where Nat (Byrne) and Josh (Rafe Spall) fall in love and get … Read More Quick Review: I Give It A Year (2013)

Quick Review: Bernie (2012)

BERNIE BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLNOVEMBER 18, 2013 Mixing reality with fiction, “Bernie” takes the true story of Bernie Tiede, an assistant funeral director in the small town of Carthage, Texas, and his love affair with the very much older Marjorie Nugent, whom he eventually shoots in the back and is taken to trial for, and brings in a comedic touch headed by Jack Black, who … Read More Quick Review: Bernie (2012)

Quick Review: The Frozen Ground (2013)

THE FROZEN GROUND BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLNOVEMBER 3, 2013 As a mystery thriller, “The Frozen Ground” relies a little too heavily on standard conventions, trading new and dynamic tension for based-on-a real-story authenticity. Pitting Nicolas Cage against a serial killer, played by John Cusack, should be a slam dunk. But with sub-par, barely-there performances, it feels like both men are reprising roles that worked better … Read More Quick Review: The Frozen Ground (2013)

Quick Review: The Croods (2013)

THE CROODS BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLNOVEMBER 3, 2013 Inventive as far as animated films go, “The Croods” takes a fantastic voice cast and some incredible visuals and puts them together in what is likely one of the highlight animated films of the year. Delving in the world of troglodytes, the story of one lone family hiding safe in a cave for the rest of their … Read More Quick Review: The Croods (2013)

Quick Review: American Grindhouse (2010)

AMERICAN GRINDHOUSE BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLOCTOBER 27, 2013 Perfect for those interested in film history, “American Grindhouse” takes a look at American exploitation films from their start in the early 1900s to the present day with directors like Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez bringing the classic nature of the film back. Focusing on giving the audience what they want, like sex, violence, and special effects, … Read More Quick Review: American Grindhouse (2010)

Quick Review: Carrie (2013)

CARRIE (2013) BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLOCTOBER 19, 2013 Kimberly Peirce’s “Carrie” is self-indulgent from the moment you step in, playing to an audience that has already experienced the Stephen King novel and knows the ins and outs. Even the trailer suggests this, giving away the ending in a matter of two and a half minutes. As Carrie White (Chloe Moretz) discovers her telekinetic power right … Read More Quick Review: Carrie (2013)

Quick Review: Pitch Perfect (2012)

PITCH PERFECT BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLOCTOBER 19, 2013 Anna Kendrick is a beautiful and talented actress, but she isn’t even able to make “Pitch Perfect” any more than a lady-orientated comedy in the vein of “Glee” and “Bring It On.” Once again, with the rag-tag group of misfits who must work through their differences to win the championship, “Pitch Perfect” relies on the same hand … Read More Quick Review: Pitch Perfect (2012)

Quick Review: Magic Mike (2012)

MAGIC MIKE BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLOCTOBER 19, 2013 Male strippers. You’re on board, or you’re not. Regardless, Steven Soderbergh steps behind this female fantasy inducing feature “Magic Mike” which is also a partial biopic about the early life of lead actor Channing Tatum. Relying heavily on the dances of the men involved, if you have any reservations about Chippendale dancers, steer clear of this film, … Read More Quick Review: Magic Mike (2012)

Quick Review: Runner Runner (2013)

RUNNER RUNNER BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLOCTOBER 19, 2013 Even if “Runner Runner” straddles the line between stale and refreshing, the ensemble cast alone is enough to get people in the seats. What initially drew me to the film was the villainous performance from Ben Affleck, which we are not privy to in most of his showings. But as Ivan Block, he’s allowed to be the … Read More Quick Review: Runner Runner (2013)

Quick Review: Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs 2 (2013)

CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS 2 BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLOCTOBER 19, 2013 Nowhere near as imaginative as the original, “Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs 2” is entirely uninspired and uses the same old tricks to deliver an average sequel to a highly entertaining and quirky first film. Where the original “Cloudy” took a beloved children’s book and gave it a life all its … Read More Quick Review: Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs 2 (2013)

Quick Review: Star Trek: Insurrection (1998)

STAR TREK: INSURRECTION BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLOCTOBER 19, 2013 Even for casual Star Trek fans, “Star Trek IX: Insurrection” entertains as strictly a science fiction film as well, which just so happens to have a fully developed cast of characters supporting it. Following The Next Generation crew of the Enterprise, the story arc is simple: the team travels to a planet that was secretly under … Read More Quick Review: Star Trek: Insurrection (1998)

Quick Review: Don’t Look Now (1973)

DON’T LOOK NOW BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLOCTOBER 19, 2013 On the surface, “Don’t Look Now” is a chilling journey in the world of psychics and profound emotional loss. The question to ask is whether the film is terrifying or if its horror comes from the ’70s nature of the film. Horror films like “Rosemary’s Baby” and “The Birds” are made scarier by the old-fashioned feel … Read More Quick Review: Don’t Look Now (1973)

Quick Review: RED 2 (2013)

RED 2 BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLOCTOBER 19, 2013 Just as ridiculously over-the-top as the first installment, “RED 2” sees all the leading players return from the previous film and enter into another chase against their government. Bruce Willis and Mary-Louise Parker return as Frank Moses and Sarah Ross, left to their own devices and living an unexciting life. John Malkovich’s Marvin returns with some news … Read More Quick Review: RED 2 (2013)

Quick Review: Gosford Park (2002)

GOSFORD PARK BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLOCTOBER 19, 2013 Anyone that has a fascination with “Clue” or “Downton Abbey” or “Boardwalk Empire” will get a kick out of 2001’s “Gosford Park.” Openly the launching point for the PBS series “Downton Abbey, ” it shows that Maggie Smith stars in both incarnations with a subtly and humor that is unmatched throughout the film. With a huge ensemble … Read More Quick Review: Gosford Park (2002)

Quick Review: At Any Price (2013)

AT ANY PRICE BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLSEPTEMBER 22, 2013 In the age of anti-heroes and villainous leading characters, “At Any Price” fits right in. With Dennis Quaid playing the always overly positive, yet deep down bad guy Henry Whipple, you love to hate the main character in Ramin Bahrani’s Iowa based film. Henry is a family man, but he’s always cheating on his wife (Kim … Read More Quick Review: At Any Price (2013)

Quick Review: In A World… (2013)

IN A WORLD… BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLSEPTEMBER 18, 2013 You cannot deny Lake Bell’s passion. With her original and quirky glimpse into the world of voice-over narration, she launches into a comical adventure and a piece on women’s rights in the film industry and breaking the norm. In such a charming way, Bell capitalizes off the quirk that works for actresses like Zooey Deschanel. He … Read More Quick Review: In A World… (2013)

Quick Review: The Do-Deca-Pentathlon (2012)

THE DO-DECA-PENTATHLON BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLSEPTEMBER 15, 2013 Embracing the nature of sibling rivalry and a desire to return to the familiar, The Duplass Brothers bring a dark comedy that lives and breathes reality with every passing event. Steve Zissis and Mark Kelly play brothers Mark and Jeremy who haven’t communicated most of their lives but meet up one weekend when Mark and his wife … Read More Quick Review: The Do-Deca-Pentathlon (2012)

Quick Review: The Details (2012)

THE DETAILS BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLSEPTEMBER 15, 2013 Putting my dislike for Tobey Maguire aside, “The Details” remains entertaining despite a constant shift between quirky comedy and thoughtful drama. The question burning on my mind was how Jeff Lang (Macguire) could have gone so long before this film’s events without messing everything up completely, because “The Details” is that film where the lead character falls … Read More Quick Review: The Details (2012)

Quick Review: Butter (2012)

BUTTER BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLSEPTEMBER 15, 2013 “Butter” is a star-studded jaunt into Midwest humor that doesn’t hit its mark but still entertains the number of recognizable faces it contains. In cameos, Hugh Jackman and Olivia Wilde show just how impressive they are, as they steal the show on more than one occasion, as does the young Yara Shahidi. The rest of the cast plays … Read More Quick Review: Butter (2012)

Quick Review: Riddick (2013)

RIDDICK BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLSEPTEMBER 7, 2013 Returning to most of its former glory, “Riddick” is a decent science fiction action film with a spirited showing from lead Vin Diesel. This third installment follows a similar plot to “Pitch Black” and abandons the shlock that was “The Chronicles of Riddick.” It brings back the survivalist element as Riddick (Diesel) attempts to adapt to an abandoned … Read More Quick Review: Riddick (2013)

Quick Review: Pitch Black (2000)

PITCH BLACK BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLSEPTEMBER 7, 2013 Entirely at home in this role, Vin Diesel delivers yet another stellar anti-hero performance, this time as Riddick, a man that can see in the dark, in his debut film, “Pitch Black.” Held captive on a spaceship that crashes on an unknown planet and forced to search for refuge, the crew discovers that there is more on … Read More Quick Review: Pitch Black (2000)

Quick Review: The Omen (1976)

THE OMEN BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLSEPTEMBER 7, 2013 Filled with numerous iconic horror film moments, “The Omen” will always be a classic, despite several massive flaws and misguided plot twists. The memorable demonic tale of a family bringing home a child who isn’t theirs only to find that the devil possesses him, “The Omen,” delivers to life horror staples that will present themselves in countless … Read More Quick Review: The Omen (1976)

Quick Review: A Good Woman (2006)

A GOOD WOMAN BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLSEPTEMBER 7, 2013 When it comes to adapting the work of such a famous writer like Oscar Wilde, almost any director will encounter some difficulties portraying such vivid storytelling, especially in re-envisioning the wildly popular play “A Good Woman.” Mike Barker’s adaptation is both wonderfully cast and wrongfully cast in many instances, as is it often acceptably portrayed and … Read More Quick Review: A Good Woman (2006)

Quick Review: Paranoia (2013)

PARANOIA BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLAUGUST 27, 2013 Only entertaining on the most basic levels, without its seasoned cast and glossy shine film quality, “Paranoia” would be, as the critics have already called it, “borderline unwatchable.” Touting a cast of Harrison Ford and Gary Oldman again on opposing sides, and Liam Hemsworth with Amber Heard getting stuck in between these moguls, no one would have guessed … Read More Quick Review: Paranoia (2013)

Quick Review: Take Me Home (2011)

TAKE ME HOME BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLAUGUST 27, 2013 For the first-time writer-director Sam Jaeger, “Take Me Home” is a reasonably enjoyable cross country trip and romantic comedy that follows the same basic rom-com, buddy travel story ideas while producing high caliber performances from unknowns Jaeger and his real-life wife, Amber. Traveling from New York to Los Angeles, the characters do enough to hold one’s … Read More Quick Review: Take Me Home (2011)

Quick Review: My Amityville Horror (2012)

MY AMITYVILLE HORROR BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLAUGUST 27, 2013 Recounting the paranormal trials of Daniel Lutz, the real-life inspiration of the Amityville Horror phenomenon, “My Amityville Horror” is a somewhat fascinating discovery about a young boy growing up under the microscope after a spiteful stepfather moves them into the now infamous Amityville house. Not haunted since that young age, the interviews with Lutz do little … Read More Quick Review: My Amityville Horror (2012)

Quick Review: Mother (2010)

MOTHER (MADEO) BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLAUGUST 27,2013 Bong Joon Ho’s “Mother” is a Korean thriller that takes one mother’s deep love for her simple son and turns it into an intriguing murder mystery with a slight hint of darkness. When Do Joon, a mentally challenged young man, is put away for the murder of a high school girl, his mother becomes determined to prove his … Read More Quick Review: Mother (2010)

Quick Review: R.I.P.D. (2013)

R.I.P.D. BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLAUGUST 8, 2013 Not quite the action, comedy blockbuster everyone was expecting, “R.I.P.D.” loses most of its steam by falling too close to the structure and tones of the “Men In Black” franchise. Replacing Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith, Jeff Bridges and Ryan Reynolds do their best possible performances given the script and the ridiculous nature of the action sequences. … Read More Quick Review: R.I.P.D. (2013)

Quick Review: Breaking The Girls (2013)

BREAKING THE GIRLS BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLAUGUST 8, 2013 Super sexualized, “Breaking The Girls” brings double-crosses and a “Strangers On A Train” plot to the world of sexy twenty-somethings messing with sexual boundaries and continuously twisting agendas. Madeline Zima leads the pack, as the promiscuous Alex, who struggles to hold onto her last connection with her stepfather, despite his new wife’s (her ex) disdain for … Read More Quick Review: Breaking The Girls (2013)

Quick Review: The House of the Devil (2009)

THE HOUSE OF THE DEVIL BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLAUGUST 3, 2013 Ti West achieves some significant strides with his horror film “The House of the Devil.” For being released in 2009, West does an expert job making the film feel like it’s from the ’80s, in film quality and set pieces. There’s nothing wrong with Jocelin Donahue’s performance as Sam, who wanders the house in … Read More Quick Review: The House of the Devil (2009)

Quick Review: The To Do List (2013)

THE TO DO LIST BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJULY 28, 2013 If you remember the first time you learned swear words and if from that point forward, you slipped them in wherever possible, then the screenplay for “The To Do List” feels exactly like that except with dirty content in general. Before seeing the film, I appreciated that this was an “R” rated comedy about sex, … Read More Quick Review: The To Do List (2013)

Quick Review: Red (2010)

RED BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJULY 20, 2013 According to this film, Bruce Willis is old enough to retire as former CIA agent Frank Moses. “RED” is a comedic action film that follows Retired and Extremely Dangerous agent Moses as he uses his former resources to find out why people are sending death squads after him. Over-the-top and sometimes brilliant, “RED” relies mainly on its ensemble … Read More Quick Review: Red (2010)

Quick Review: Thir13en Ghosts (2001)

THIR13EN GHOSTS BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJULY 20, 2013 Nursing production quality over substance or content, “Thirteen Ghosts” is still a hugely underrated horror film with a unique concept (based on a 1960s horror film) and enamoring set pieces. With an elaborate maze of a glass house standing as the centerpiece of the film, with its shifting walls and ghost laden basement, producer Terry Castle (with … Read More Quick Review: Thir13en Ghosts (2001)

Quick Review: The Kitchen (2013)

THE KITCHEN BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJULY 20, 2013 Set more like a stage play, “The Kitchen” focuses on a small group of friends dealing with relationships and life decisions ranging from breaking up with boyfriends to pregnancy. Laura Prepon plays a somewhat uptight art gallery owner who hates birthdays. The film focuses on her plight to get through the night of her birthday party. The … Read More Quick Review: The Kitchen (2013)

Movie Review: White House Down (2013)

WHITE HOUSE DOWN BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJULY 5, 2013 As much as “White House Down” resembles “Olympus Has Fallen” from this year, they carry slight differences that make them both enjoyable. Tatum and Foxx have a much different chemistry than Butler and Eckhardt, plus Tatum has a much more enjoyable screen presence than Butler. However, having two films based around taking out the white house … Read More Movie Review: White House Down (2013)

Quick Review: Parker (2013)

PARKER BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJULY 5, 2013 Exactly what one would expect from this or any future Jason Statham film, “Parker” takes the one-man-against-the-world scenario and brings it to Florida. One would think adding an impressive actor like Michael Chiklis as the villain would make the film more exciting and credible, but he has never given the direction or forum to stand out and instead … Read More Quick Review: Parker (2013)

Movie Review: Godzilla (1998)

GODZILLA BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJULY 5, 2013 Not nearly as bad as said to be, “Godzilla” was just made before its time. Had Roland Emmerich waited until CGI had come along to the point of Peter Jackson’s “King Kong,” people’s interpretation of the film would have been much more accepting. However, the film’s CGI and effects are often hit-or-miss, with the poorly rendered portions completely … Read More Movie Review: Godzilla (1998)

Quick Review: Mystery Men (1999)

MYSTERY MEN BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJULY 5, 2013 “Mystery Men” is a fully functional superhero spoof with an above average, comedic cast and a Burton-esque view of a city’s underbelly. Ben Stiller leads the ragtag gang of misfits with “special powers,” including wielding a shovel, throwing forks, and flatulence. No one stands out, no one really has a chance to shine, and you could probably … Read More Quick Review: Mystery Men (1999)

Quick Review: The Bling Ring (2013)

THE BLING RING BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJUNE 16, 2013 Sofia Coppola makes a statement with “The Bling Ring” that brings to light our obsession with celebrities and the warped minds of some young people in Los Angeles who break into celebrity homes when they’re away and steal their high-end fashion and stashed money. Based on a true story, the film chronicles their descent as they … Read More Quick Review: The Bling Ring (2013)

Movie Review: Solitary Man (2010)

SOLITARY MAN BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLAUGUST 27, 2010 Call it sex addiction, call it sexual conquests personified, even call it a twisted point to prove, but Michael Douglas’ actions as Ben in “Solitary Man” are reprehensible. Failing to live up to the icon he once was, Ben trades in his glamorous life as a well-known car dealer for a life as a bona fide 65-year-old … Read More Movie Review: Solitary Man (2010)

Movie Review: The White Ribbon (2009)

The children, by far, out-act the adults in The White Ribbon..
Though the film did not come through on Oscar night, the film still feels award winning and will continue to be one of the best foreign films I have ever seen.

Movie Review: Unthinkable (2010)

UNTHINKABLE BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLAUGUST 16, 2010 Samuel L. Jackson is left to do the unthinkable in one of his newest films, appropriately titled “Unthinkable.” Jackson is thrown into the belly of the beast, playing retired interrogator, Henry Herald Humphries, also known simply as “H.” In an effort to stop nuclear bombs from being set off in the United States, “H” must act quickly to … Read More Movie Review: Unthinkable (2010)

Movie Review: The Joneses (2010)

THE JONESES BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLAUGUST 15, 2010 The picturesque new family moving in next door has all the newest toys and the envy of the neighborhood. But what price do the Joneses have to pay to have the American dream? Behind the glamorous façade, emotions run high. By the end, the family can barely hold themselves together, secretly or publicly. The enigma feeding “The … Read More Movie Review: The Joneses (2010)

Movie Review: The Ghost Writer (2010)

THE GHOST WRITER BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLAUGUST 7, 2010 The unfortunate part of Hollywood is that personal problems usually garner more attention than the films being produced there. Roman Polanski had one of those years. Polanski’s Switzerland house arrest spoke louder than his new film, “The Ghost Writer.” The political drama proved less interesting than the international incident occurring behind the curtains. Born in 1933, … Read More Movie Review: The Ghost Writer (2010)

Movie Review: Diary Of A Wimpy Kid (2010)

DIARY OF A WIMPY KID BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLAUGUST 6, 2010 Send me back to sixth grade, at twelve years old, and “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” would have been my favorite film. My admiration for the film, it appears, even resonates as an adult. The heart of “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” is in the right place, with humor and friendship playing the biggest … Read More Movie Review: Diary Of A Wimpy Kid (2010)

Movie Review: Repo Men (2010)

REPO MEN BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJULY 30, 2010 “Repo Men” is “Repo! The Genetic Opera” minus the opera… Jude Law and Forest Whitaker enter the world of repossession, but instead of repossessing cars or furniture, they are living in the future of 2025, where repo men cut out your organs for defaulting on loan payments. The graphics of “Repo Men” is “Terminator: Salvation” meets “Hostel.” … Read More Movie Review: Repo Men (2010)

Movie Review: Jonah Hex (2010)

JONAH HEX BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJULY 28, 2010 Jonah Hex is not a handsome man. With scars covering his body, a grimace in his jaw, and the strong hint of weathering in his face, the man is anything but ravishing. The same can be said for the film. “Jonah Hex” was not enticing or refined. The film lacked the arc of a plot, the grace … Read More Movie Review: Jonah Hex (2010)

Movie Review: 44 Inch Chest (2010)

44 INCH CHEST BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJULY 21, 2010 Ever seen a grown man cry? How about a grown man that looks like he works for the mob? Heartbreak and emotion are not what you associate with a big roughneck, jack-jawed British sluggers. Yet “44 Inch Chest” delivers just that. Big man Ray Winstone plays Colin Diamond, a car salesman, that finds out his wife, … Read More Movie Review: 44 Inch Chest (2010)

Movie Review: The Squid And The Whale (2005)

THE SQUID AND THE WHALE BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJULY 15, 2010 Noah Baumbach is a director of real life. Baumbach’s expertise focuses on taking a real life subject, like two parents separating, and making a cinematic film. Baumbach steers clear of cliché moments or high action sequences, but simply displays to you, still in a cinematic and interesting way, how a real life situation can … Read More Movie Review: The Squid And The Whale (2005)

Movie Review: Creation (2010)

CREATION BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJULY 10, 2010 Period pieces are in a world all their own. My thoughts are that in order to direct a period piece, you truly have to be infatuated with the piece or the period to take on the challenge. Jon Amiel was one of those directors and “Creation” is one of those films I could potentially see up for an … Read More Movie Review: Creation (2010)

Movie Review: World’s Greatest Dad (2009)

WORLD’S GREATEST DAD BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJULY 9, 2010 When viewing dark comedies, you find yourself laughing at certain scenarios you would not normally laugh at like war or death. “World’s Greatest Dad” brings you to the same point of discomfort. Robin Williams plays Lance Clayton, a school teacher by day, failed novelist by night, with son Kyle (Daryl Sabara) that puts to shame the … Read More Movie Review: World’s Greatest Dad (2009)

Movie Review: Brooklyn’s Finest (2010)

BROOKLYN’S FINEST BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJULY 9, 2010 “Brooklyn’s Finest” follows the lives of three different New York cops all working in the same corruption. All three men are asked to make decisions, professionally and personally, that end up risking their lives. Richard Gere plays the straight up patrol cop on the brink of retirement. The contrasts between he and the newcomers he is forced … Read More Movie Review: Brooklyn’s Finest (2010)

Movie Review: Hot Tub Time Machine (2010)

HOT TUB TIME MACHINE BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJULY 2, 2010 How can a film by the name of “Hot Tub Time Machine” be any good? That was the question I posed when seeing the trailer of the film for the very first time. The cast looked ridiculous (“why in God’s name is John Cusack in a raunchy comedy“) and the concept was farfetched even for … Read More Movie Review: Hot Tub Time Machine (2010)

Movie Review: Green Zone (2010)

GREEN ZONE BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJULY 2, 2010 Matt Damon proved his worth to me throughout “Green Zone.” Yes, I am a fan of the “Bourne” saga (which apparently has three more installments coming) but “Green Zone” looked like a knock-off of that same series from those same guys that did the “Bourne” movies. Needless to say, I was all but passing up any inkling … Read More Movie Review: Green Zone (2010)

Movie Review: Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief (2010)

PERCY JACKSON & THE OLYMPIANS: THE LIGHTNING THIEF BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJULY 2, 2010 Earlier this month I saw “Clash of the Titans.” Huge blockbuster CGI, great performances all around, and Greek mythology to make your head spin. “Percy Jackson” is the “Harry Potter” version of “Clash.” Based on young adult books, rated PG, and plump full of young adolescent actors, Harry Potter’s wand is … Read More Movie Review: Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief (2010)

Movie Review: The Crazies (2010)

THE CRAZIES BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJULY 1, 2010 Can you remake a 1973 George Romero horror film? From the sounds of the plot, the original film sounds more intriguing than the remake. My guess is that the original “Crazies” was probably a hokey, 70’s B-movie that would have been glazed over in today‘s market. But the remake has reached a level untouched by the original. … Read More Movie Review: The Crazies (2010)

Movie Review: The United States of Leland (2003)

THE UNITED STATES OF LELAND BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJUNE 30, 2010 Mix a stacked cast of big names with Kevin Spacey as the producer and you get a film called “The United States of Leland.” Having been released since 2003, a friend of mine encouraged me to watch the film. Having finally gotten time to view it, I was pleasantly surprised. Ryan Gosling acts as … Read More Movie Review: The United States of Leland (2003)

Movie Review: The Good Guy (2010)

THE GOOD GUY BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJUNE 29, 2010 “The Good Guy” takes a different approach to the art of storytelling. The production of the film progresses much as the story does. From the get-go, the film was unable to grab me. Alexis Bledel plays Beth the girlfriend of a stock trader and is absolutely gorgeous however cannot 100% carry the film. However Alexis does … Read More Movie Review: The Good Guy (2010)

Movie Review: The Runaways (2010)

THE RUNAWAYS BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJUNE 24, 2010 Throw a 16-year-old into the role of Cherie Curie from The Runaways and imagine a trainwreck. Yet, watch the film and be damned that Dakota Fanning can truly act. Between Dakota Fanning and Chloe Moretz (Hit Girl from “Kick Ass”), I am not 100% who will have the best career-to-come. Dakota Fanning is the star of the … Read More Movie Review: The Runaways (2010)

Movie Review: Trucker (2009)

TRUCKER BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJUNE 23, 2010 “Trucker” is every Indie director’s dream; four or more well-known stars, a great original story, and a full future ahead. Trucker was James Mottern’s first feature film endeavor but not by appearance. Dramatic storytelling is an art-form: making viewers care about imaginary people and their predicaments is not easy. Yet there was an ease to falling in next … Read More Movie Review: Trucker (2009)

Movie Review: Clash Of The Titans (2010)

CLASH OF THE TITANS BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJUNE 22, 2010 Right off the bat, let me make it clear that I have yet to view the original (not from a lack of effort, however). From what I hear, the original is not that great. Sam Worthington has made quite the action-adventure run in the last year with “Terminator: Salvation,” “Avatar,” and now “Clash of the … Read More Movie Review: Clash Of The Titans (2010)

Movie Review: Youth In Revolt (2010)

YOUTH IN REVOLT BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJUNE 22, 2010 “In the movies the good guy gets the girl. In real life it’s usually the prick.” —Nick Twisp and Francois Dillinger (Michael Cera) From the poster or the cover art, you could mistake “Youth In Revolt” as just another comedy, but actually view it and the film becomes so much more. Michael Cera’s prowess in the … Read More Movie Review: Youth In Revolt (2010)