Category: 4 Star Reviews

Movie Review: Onward (2020)

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

Movie Review: Underwater (2020)

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

Movie Review: Sorry To Bother You (2018)

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

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

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

Movie Review: Fahrenheit 451 (2018)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Movie Review: What If (2014)

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

Quick Review: If I Stay (2014)

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

Quick Review: The Wind Rises (2013)

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

Quick Review: The One I Love (2014)

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

Movie Review: Fury (2014)

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

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

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

Quick Review: Chef (2014)

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

Quick Review: Neighbors (2014)

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

Movie Review: Godzilla (2014)

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

Quick Review: Palo Alto (2014)

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

Movie Review: As Above So Below (2014)

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

Quick Review: Belle (2014)

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

Movie Review: Guardians Of The Galaxy (2014)

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

Movie Review: Boyhood (2014)

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

Quick Review: Under The Skin (2014)

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

Quick Review: Enemy (2014)

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

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

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

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

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

Quick Review: Non-Stop (2014)

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

Movie Review: Edge Of Tomorrow (2014)

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

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

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

Quick Review: Veronica Mars (2014)

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

Quick Review: Primer (2003)

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

Quick Review: The Great Beauty (2013)

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

Movie Review: Bad Words (2014)

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

Movie Review: The Invisible Woman (2013)

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

Quick Review: The Square (2013)

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

Quick Review: Ernest & Celestine (2013)

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

Quick Review: Spirited Away (2003)

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

Quick Review: Frozen River (2008)

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

Quick Review: In The Valley Of Elah (2007)

IN THE VALLEY OF ELAH BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLDECEMBER 26, 2013 Heartbreakingly real, the film “In The Valley Of Elah” tells the story of a veteran father looking for his AWOL son after his return from Iraq. Paul Haggis, best known for his directing in “Crash” delivers yet another emotionally charged drama, where every clue and every interview with a suspect leads the characters further … Read More Quick Review: In The Valley Of Elah (2007)

Quick Review: Howl’s Moving Castle (2005)

HOWL’S MOVING CASTLE BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLDECEMBER 26, 2013 Full of interesting characters and Hayao Miyazaki’s beautiful animation styling, “Howl’s Moving Castle” is an awesome feat of Japanese film making, setting the cornerstone for anime that plays across to a much larger audience than most iterations. The film follows Sophie, a hat maker and oldest daughter of a flighty debutante mother, as she toils with … Read More Quick Review: Howl’s Moving Castle (2005)

Quick Review: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013)

THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLDECEMBER 26, 2013 Where Peter Jackson had a distinct vision and fleshed out story with an appropriate ending point in “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” he somewhat loses that vision with the sequel, “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.” We all wondered how Jackson would make this short children’s story by J.R.R. Tolkien into three films … Read More Quick Review: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013)

Quick Review: The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button (2008)

THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLDECEMBER 23, 2013 David Fincher delivers his most sincere venture yet, with the almost three-hour epic drama “The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button.” Centered on an infant born with the qualities of an old man, complete with cataracts and arthritis, abandoned by his father, and taken in by a black woman named Queenie (Taraji P. Henson), … Read More Quick Review: The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button (2008)

Movie Review: Great Expectations (2013)

GREAT EXPECTATIONS (2013) BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLNOVEMBER 24, 2013 Truth must be faced when dealing with an age-old tale like “Great Expectations,” you cannot change Charles Dickens. No matter how much you want to make a current adaptation or a period piece that expands on the 1860’s novel, if you were to tamper with the material, you would face a backlash that you’d never escape. … Read More Movie Review: Great Expectations (2013)

Movie Review: The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013)

THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLNOVEMBER 24, 2013 Containing many of the same issues I had with the original, “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” does take a step up from its predecessor. It delivers more suspense, a much better cast, and much stronger performances. One key aspect to focus on is that Jennifer Lawrence now has an Academy Award between this and … Read More Movie Review: The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013)

Quick Review: Kill Your Darlings (2013)

KILL YOUR DARLINGS BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLNOVEMBER 24, 2013 The Beat Generation has always been fascinating to me, with the Allen Ginsbergs and Jack Kerouac’s of the world, who can deny this revolution in poetry and self-expression. As the story of Kerouac becomes more and more publicized, I’ve gotten even more invested in his story and have begun to seek out his work. “Kill Your … Read More Quick Review: Kill Your Darlings (2013)

Quick Review: Manic (2003)

MANIC BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLNOVEMBER 18, 2013 Filled with breakthrough performances and an edge of emotion that never quits, “Manic” delivers Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel into the world of independent cinema in a way never seen before. Gordon-Levitt’s anger-infused Lyle is undeniable to the point that one cannot take their eyes off of him. With each scene, he grows and becomes more entertaining to … Read More Quick Review: Manic (2003)

Quick Review: About Time (2013)

ABOUT TIME BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLNOVEMBER 13, 2013 “About Time” is sweet and simple. Its simplicity comes from being a film about time travel that never explains the back story but simply defines its premise and locks it in from the start. We never know what the power holds and we learn as we go. We accept that our main character can travel through time … Read More Quick Review: About Time (2013)

Movie Review: Thor: The Dark World (2013)

THOR: THE DARK WORLD BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLNOVEMBER 13, 2013 Progressing along wonderfully is the Marvel Universe with its latest success for “The Avengers” in “Thor: The Dark World.” Building perfectly off the previous films and adding an entirely new level of character development, the sequel delivers in all the right ways, bringing fantasy, action, and comedy together in a gorgeous kaleidoscope. Chris Hemsworth returns … Read More Movie Review: Thor: The Dark World (2013)

Quick Review: All Is Lost (2013)

ALL IS LOST BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLNOVEMBER 3, 2013 Starring only Robert Redford, “All Is Lost” wastes no time settling the viewer into the lost at sea adventure that awaits. As Redford tackles a hole in his boat, giant waves from unbearable storms, and the loneliness that comes from being stranded by one’s self, director J.C. Chandor (“Margin Call”) explores the human psyche and the … Read More Quick Review: All Is Lost (2013)

Quick Review: Midnight Cowboy (1969)

MIDNIGHT COWBOY BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLNOVEMBER 3, 2013 The star of “Midnight Cowboy” maybe Jon Voight, but the one that steals the show is Dustin Hoffman as Enrico “Ratso” Rizzo, who delivers one of the strongest character performances of his career. Voight is brilliant as the pie-eyed small-town cowboy moving to the big city to be a hustler, but without the rich and dark turn … Read More Quick Review: Midnight Cowboy (1969)

Movie Review: The Counselor (2013)

THE COUNSELOR BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLNOVEMBER 3, 2013 Ridley Scott and Cormac McCarthy team up to deliver “The Counselor,” one of the most underrated ensemble dramas of the year. McCarthy, an 80-year-old Pultizer Prize-winning author (“No Country For Old Men,” “The Road”) is no stranger to the cinema, with both adaptations mentioned receiving acclaim across the board. “The Counselor” marks McCarthy’s first venture into an … Read More Movie Review: The Counselor (2013)

Quick Review: The Man In The Moon (1991)

THE MAN IN THE MOON BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLOCTOBER 19, 2013 “The Man In The Moon” is a coming of age classic, if only for the brilliant performance that Reese Witherspoon pulls off in her introduction showing at the young age of 15. Dealing with common young teen issues, Dani (Witherspoon) goes from a tomboy who swims naked in a nearby pond to a young … Read More Quick Review: The Man In The Moon (1991)

Quick Review: Rush (2013)

RUSH BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLOCTOBER 19, 2013 The rivalry is key in Ron Howard’s “Rush,” pitting two amazing performances against one another, from Chris Hemsworth and the all-but-unknown Daniel Brühl, and creating the highlight of the film. The element that tends to sway audiences away from the film is its root in Formula 1 racing, which is not so popular here in the states, but … Read More Quick Review: Rush (2013)

Quick Review: Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs (2009)

CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLOCTOBER 19, 2013 Loosely based on the popular children’s book of the same title, “Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs” is wholly hilarious, with off-beat humor that is fresh and a cast of voices that enthralls and entertains every step of the way. Embracing the “follow your dreams” mentality, “Cloudy” sees its protagonist Flint Lockwood (voiced … Read More Quick Review: Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs (2009)

Movie Review: Thanks For Sharing (2013)

THANKS FOR SHARING BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLOCTOBER 19, 2013 Often, sex addiction is misunderstood or unrelatable. However, in the directorial debut of writer Stuart Blumberg (“The Kids Are All Right”), “Thanks For Sharing,” Mark Ruffalo takes front and center as our protagonist Adam, a sex addict that has been clean for five years. Similar to Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, sex addicts share in groups and thrive … Read More Movie Review: Thanks For Sharing (2013)

Quick Review: Drinking Buddies (2013)

DRINKING BUDDIES BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLSEPTEMBER 20, 2013 Set apart by its strong leads, “Drinking Buddies” is a romantic comedy that escapes the bounds of the typical formula and delivers a much more natural and realistic view, all while still pleasing and offering workable silver linings in the process. Most romantic comedies that take a direct look at how relationships are, most often, are depressing. … Read More Quick Review: Drinking Buddies (2013)

Movie Review: The Family (2013)

THE FAMILY BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLSEPTEMBER 15, 2013 Wasting no time delving into the story of this insanely dark and violent comedy, “The Family” is scattershot of ideas and cast members placed together in a haphazard, yet entertaining way. Lead by Robert De Niro; the cast feels fresh in their roles as a former mob family on the run. De Niro’s character in this feels … Read More Movie Review: The Family (2013)

Quick Review: The World’s End (2013)

THE WORLD’S END BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLAUGUST 27, 2013 With “The World’s End,” director Edgar Wright delivers his funniest installment in the Cornetto trilogy, with a masterful blending of comedy, science fiction, and action, endless laughs, and vivid character development the likes that the previous two films never quite reach. Simon Pegg proves just how good of a comedic actor he is, embodying three completely … Read More Quick Review: The World’s End (2013)

Movie Review: Elysium (2013)

ELYSIUM BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLAUGUST 20, 2013 Following a retreaded story structure, “Elysium” sticks out as a strong science fiction action film for its impressive visuals, more-so over its ability to tell a captivating story. However, the strong allusions to unbalanced socio-economical classes and unequal distribution of wealth help differentiate it from similar sci-fi flicks. Much like his directorial debut, Neill Blomkamp has no problem … Read More Movie Review: Elysium (2013)

Quick Review: Blue Jasmine (2013)

BLUE JASMINE BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLAUGUST 20, 2013 Dark, quippy, and cathartic, “Blue Jasmine” is the epitome of a Woody Allen film. Forced to give up her lavish lifestyle with her mover-and-shaker husband, Hal (Alec Baldwin), Jasmine (Cate Blanchett) moves in with her lower-middle-class sister, Ginger (Sally Hawkins). There she teeters on the edge of her sanity, descending into alcoholism. “Blue Jasmine” is impressively intricate, … Read More Quick Review: Blue Jasmine (2013)

Quick Review: The Spectacular Now (2013)

THE SPECTACULAR NOW BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLAUGUST 4, 2013 In one of the most subtle and engaging coming of age films this year, “The Spectacular Now” not only captures the essence of being a senior in high school, but it also portrays an adolescent relationship realistically and uniquely. Unlike most dramas of this nature, there’s no jealousy or cheating, no lies, and melodrama. These characters … Read More Quick Review: The Spectacular Now (2013)

Quick Review: X2: X-Men United (2003)

X2: X-MEN UNITED BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJULY 28, 2013 “X2: X-Men United” is the definition of an effective sequel, taking the key players from the original film and using them as a backdrop for the new characters and new situations. In “X2”, we see the mutant wars continue, with a perfect prologue in the form of an assassination attempt on the President by a mutant. … Read More Quick Review: X2: X-Men United (2003)

Movie Review: X-Men (2000)

X-MEN BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJULY 28, 2013 Bryan Singer starts strong with “X-Men,” proving that this venture’s most significant feat is casting. Assembling the perfect crew to embody these comic book characters is the most effective way to introduce them to the uninitiated while pleasing the hardcore X-Men fans who are finally seeing their heroes of choice come to life. “X-Men” is so strong because … Read More Movie Review: X-Men (2000)

Quick Review: Only God Forgives (2013)

ONLY GOD FORGIVES BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJULY 24, 2013 Unflinching. Charismatic. Surreal. Nicolas Winding Refn’s follow-up to “Drive” re-teams Refn with Ryan Gosling for “Only God Forgives,” a self-described neon fairy tale of heightened reality. The screenplay unfolds like a Shakespearean tragedy, with Gosling playing Julian, a brother seeking revenge on his older brother’s killers in Bangkok, all by his overbearing and uber sexual mother … Read More Quick Review: Only God Forgives (2013)

Quick Review: The Conjuring (2013)

THE CONJURING BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJULY 20, 2013 You have to say something for a horror film that keeps you alert and edgy throughout the movie. “The Conjuring” is a throwback to classic horror films like “Poltergeist” and “The Exorcist,” with an eerie feeling from the moment you step foot into the characters’ lives. Based on a true story, director James Wan delivers an age-old … Read More Quick Review: The Conjuring (2013)

Quick Review: Scream (1996)

SCREAM BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJULY 20, 2013 With Wes Craven’s “Scream,” the horror genre was not only revitalized; it turned upside down. One of the first-ever, self-aware horror films spells out the horror genre rules while also partaking in the stereotypes while remaining a wholly entertaining and sometimes terrifying slasher film. Filled with an exceptional cast from Neve Campbell, Drew Barrymore, Matthew Lillard, and Rose … Read More Quick Review: Scream (1996)

Movie Review: Before Midnight (2013)

BEFORE MIDNIGHT BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJULY 9, 2013 Of the relationships I’ve encountered, none have gotten as far as the main one in “Before Midnight.” I have had my fair share of fights with girlfriends and even watched them walk out on me, but they were never as intricate and lengthy as the relationship between Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Celine (Julie Delpy). That said, having … Read More Movie Review: Before Midnight (2013)

Quick Review: The Lone Ranger (2013)

THE LONE RANGER BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJULY 7, 2013 Overly long and tonally challenged, “The Lone Ranger” is still a visually stunning and eloquent Western that suffers from emotional shifts and a run time of almost three hours. Not completely sold on Armie Hammer as a frontman, his Lone Ranger interpretation is slightly convincing, but not entirely enjoyable. There is little charm or threat presented … Read More Quick Review: The Lone Ranger (2013)

Quick Review: District 9 (2009)

DISTRICT 9 BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJULY 7, 2013 Not only did director Neill Blomkamp bring something new and rejuvenating to the science fiction genre, but he also does so in his directorial debut with “District 9”. Exhibiting the skills and wherewithal of directors twice as seasoned, Blomkamp delivers a fresh, clean look at the alien invasion genre paired with huge political undertones set on South … Read More Quick Review: District 9 (2009)

Quick Review: Se7en (1995)

SE7EN BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJULY 5, 2013 Sufficiently dark and poignantly creepy, David Fincher’s “Se7en” develops a string of murders surrounding the seven deadly sins. Starring Brad Pitt, Morgan Freeman, and Kevin Spacey, the film feels high caliber, producing the Freeman we’ve become accustomed to in this crime-thriller, detective roles. Fincher even proves he can deliver an engaging performance from young Brad Pitt, whose star … Read More Quick Review: Se7en (1995)

Quick Review: Before Sunset (2004)

BEFORE SUNSET BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJUNE 29, 2013 “Before Sunset” is an impressive feat of romantic film-making. For starters, the entire film consists mainly of a limited number of long takes, as Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy’s characters reunite after a nine-year separation. Their conversations, co-written by each of them, naturally flow as they walk the streets of Paris, sit in a cafe smoking, and … Read More Quick Review: Before Sunset (2004)

Movie Review: Before Sunrise (1995)

BEFORE SUNRISE BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJUNE 29, 2013 Who knew that strangers meeting on a train and walking around Vienna talking could be such an entertaining bit of escapism. Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy form an instant connection on a train to Vienna and leap of faith in spending the next 24 hours together with a dash of unmatched realism. With Hawke’s character flying out … Read More Movie Review: Before Sunrise (1995)

Movie Review: The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996)

THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJUNE 29, 2013 “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” is one of the darkest Walt Disney movies to date. With enough animated detail, action sequences, and character development, the film catapults light-years beyond anything before its time. This film is often a struggle to endure at times, as you witness the brutal mistreatment of Quasimodo and the quarrel … Read More Movie Review: The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996)

Quick Review: We Need To Talk About Kevin (2012)

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJUNE 26, 2013 Eerie and psychological, “We Need To Talk About Kevin” is one-half “The Omen,” one-half “Beautiful Boy” combining the horrific events of a school shooting with the deteriorating home life. Eva (Tilda Swinton) is a mother, and Kevin is a detached child, who may or may not be the devil’s spawn. The director Lynne … Read More Quick Review: We Need To Talk About Kevin (2012)

Quick Review: Monsters University (2013)

MONSTERS UNIVERSITY BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJUNE 26, 2013 As far as underdog tales go, “Monsters University” lands above average. With no vast laughs but plenty of chuckles throughout, it does a fine job matching the tone and emotion of its previous installment. Focusing more on the child’s giggles rather than aiming any at the adult groups, this Pixar film gears at toys and Disney sales, … Read More Quick Review: Monsters University (2013)

Quick Review: World War Z (2013)

WORLD WAR Z BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJUNE 23, 2013 “World War Z” reaches beyond the run-of-the-mill Hollywood blockbuster and delivers a smart, thrilling, and often impressive zombie film. Led by Brad Pitt in one of his most genuine performances yet, the plot’s progression in this loose adaptation of Max Brooks’ novel of the same title benefits all the characters involved. It gets the most out … Read More Quick Review: World War Z (2013)

Quick Review: The Brass Teapot (2013)

THE BRASS TEAPOT BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJUNE 20, 2013 Not bad for her first feature film, Ramaa Mosley creates a believable world of want and greed in “The Brass Teapot.” Starring one of my recent favorite actresses on the rise, Juno Temple sells this film far beyond what any other actress could. She makes this film, and her role embodies the reasons I enjoy her, … Read More Quick Review: The Brass Teapot (2013)

Movie Review: Bringing Out The Dead (1999)

Martin Scorsese is one of the last great film directors. Bringing Out The Dead produces such an abundance of dramatic interest, the film persists to be anything less than perfection. Pair Scorsese with a brilliantly eccentric man like Nicolas Cage and an entirely new world opens up.

Movie Review: The Good, The Bad, The Weird (2010)

The Good, The Bad, The Weird IS the best foreign film of the year (thus far). With superb quality, divine action sequences, and a master crafted cast, the film translates to a perfect cinematic masterpiece, the likes of something Clint Eastwood had probably never imagined.

Movie Review: Kick-Ass (2010)

KICK-ASS BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLAUGUST 20, 2010 Where else can you go to see an average teenage boy dressed in a superhero wetsuit, Nicolas Cage as an Adam West-like Batman, and an eleven-year-old girl gutting villains and screaming profanities? “Kick-Ass” is not your regular comic book superhero film. “How come nobody’s ever tried to be a superhero?” is the basis of the entire film. The … Read More Movie Review: Kick-Ass (2010)

Movie Review: How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days (2003)

HOW TO LOSE A GUY IN 1O DAYS BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLAUGUST 9, 2010 Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey are an incomparable dream couple. Though “Fool’s Gold” left much to be desired, “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days” puts both actors in the driver’s seat. In most films, only a single person is allowed the upper hand at any given time, but “How … Read More Movie Review: How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days (2003)

Movie Review: The Vicious Kind (2009)

THE VICIOUS KIND BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJULY 26, 2010 Strong comedic actors and dramatic performances appear to go hand in hand. Adam Sandler, Will Ferrell, and lately Robin Williams are great examples with “Punch Drunk Love,” “Stranger Than Fiction,” and “World‘s Greatest Dad” under their respected belts. However, one does not get used to comedians taking on many of these roles. When they do, however, … Read More Movie Review: The Vicious Kind (2009)

Movie Review: Greenberg (2010)

GREENBERG BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJULY 16, 2010 “Greenberg” is not “Meet The Parents.” “Greenberg” is not “Night At The Museum.” “Greenberg” is not “Tropic Thunder,” “Zoolander,” “Dodgeball,” “Heavyweights,” or “Starsky & Hutch.” “Greenberg” is not the Ben Stiller you know and love. “Greenberg” is real. “Greenberg” is self-righteous, self-loathing, and pretentious. “Greenberg” is probably not someone you would personally like to be around for more … Read More Movie Review: Greenberg (2010)

Movie Review: Get Him To The Greek (2010)

GET HIM TO THE GREEK BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJULY 5, 2010 Russell Brand is truly a rock star. Plain and simple. If Russell Brand crossed over to the music industry, I would buy his music. (1) I am already going to buy this soundtrack and (2) especially if Jason Segel still writes the music. The reason “Get Him to the Greek” works so well is … Read More Movie Review: Get Him To The Greek (2010)

Movie Review: Chloe (2010)

CHLOE BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJUNE 21, 2010 “Chloe” is a fatal attraction thriller that does not hide its true nature; with the lead starlet dressing from bare naked to brassier within the opening credits of the film. Amanda Seyfried takes on the role of a woman-for-hire who, despite her apparent naivety, is far from innocent. With Julianna Moore, Liam Neeson, and the young boy from … Read More Movie Review: Chloe (2010)

Movie Review: Sherlock Holmes (2009)

SHERLOCK HOLMES BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLDECEMBER 25, 2009 Sherlock Holmes was never so bad ass. Great performances all around. Robert Downey Jr. obviously carries the film to heights I do not believe any other actor could carry such a film. This part was made for him. Mark Strong stuck out as well. I almost wish he could have been in something a little more serious … Read More Movie Review: Sherlock Holmes (2009)