Category: Quick Reviews

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)

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 English Teacher (2013)

THE ENGLISH TEACHER BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLSEPTEMBER 15, 2013 What is with outsider point-of-view narration? Apart from being distracting and out of place, there’s just no need for it in most films, especially a comedy. Cheapening the experience and taking away from actually forming a character in front of us instead of telling us all about the character, the only film I truly loved outsider … Read More Quick Review: The English Teacher (2013)

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: Branded (2012)

BRANDED BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLSEPTEMBER 15, 2013 As much as “Branded” is ambitious and inventive, it’s also careless and void of appropriate character development and character reactions. In the surreal world where corporations and brands materialize into strange animals and blobs, the message is so blatant that you picture the film having its monster slapping you across the face throughout its course. Ed Stoppard plays … Read More Quick Review: Branded (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: The Comedians of Comedy: Live From The Troubadour (2007)

THE COMEDIANS OF COMEDY:LIVE FROM THE TROUBADOUR BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLSEPTEMBER 15, 2013 The only thing I can imagine that would be worse than seeing this comedy tour live would be sitting at home, watching it on Netflix. At a run-time of two hours and fifteen minutes, and with far too many comics to fit into that time frame, “Comedians of Comedy – Live at … Read More Quick Review: The Comedians of Comedy: Live From The Troubadour (2007)

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: 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: The Chronicles Of Riddick (2004)

THE CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLSEPTEMBER 7, 2013 For about thirty minutes, “The Chronicles of Riddick” is edge-of-your-seat entertaining. The rest of the two-hour run-time is an overproduced and underwhelming jaunt into dense science fiction. What was first a minimalist, survival thriller in “Pitch Black,” became an adventure in an overproduced and underwhelming science fiction world with too many story-lines and much too … Read More Quick Review: The Chronicles Of Riddick (2004)

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: Passion (2013)

PASSION BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLSEPTEMBER 7, 2013 Never capitalizing on its strong, power-driven leads, Brian De Palma’s “Passion” is anything but passionate. Remaining surface level for its entire run-time, not only can the film not hold a tone but often falls into a parody of itself. Part office thriller, part crime drama, part halfhearted expose on sexuality, De Palma fails ever actually to come up … Read More Quick Review: Passion (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: 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: 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: 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: Titan A.E. (2000)

TITAN A.E. BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLSEPTEMBER 7, 2013 By and large, not the most compelling young adult animated film ever made, “Titan A.E.” does achieve some general level of memorability with its ensemble voice cast and its use of science fiction and space travel. However, it fails to stand the test of time and occasionally looks haphazard and uneven. Lead by Matt Damon as the … Read More Quick Review: Titan A.E. (2000)

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: Short Term 12 (2013)

SHORT TERM 12 BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLSEPTEMBER 7, 2013 “Short Term 12” is a mass of emotions, brought to life by a superior eye for film-making and some subtle yet high caliber performances from everyone involved. The film follows Grace (Brie Larson) as she supervises a home for at-risk teens. With each interaction, at work and home, a new set of issues is at hand, … Read More Quick Review: Short Term 12 (2013)

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: 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)

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: 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: Ain’t Them Bodies Saints (2013)

AIN’T THEM BODIES SAINTS BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLAUGUST 27, 2013 Highlighted with three stellar performances, “Ain’t Them Bodies Saints” takes a minimal storyline and creates an authentic and emotion-filled canvas for these young and bright actors to paint this heart-wrenching drama with their God-given talents. Casey Affleck has proved time and time again that he is an actor to be watched, delivering award-worthy performances around … Read More Quick Review: Ain’t Them Bodies Saints (2013)

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: 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: 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)

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: 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: Last Ride (2012)

LAST RIDE BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLAUGUST 8, 2013 Visually striking and emotionally in tune, “Last Ride” takes a father and son road trip and puts it on the backdrop of the Australian outback. Not quite the average road trip adventure, Kev (Hugo Weaving) is on the run from the law for reasons we’re not privy to immediately while his son Chook (Tom Russell) is along … Read More Quick Review: Last Ride (2012)

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 Silence Of The Lambs (1991)

THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLAUGUST 8, 2013 Hannibal Lector is one of the best villains in cinematic history, made possible by the astounding performance by Anthony Hopkins, whose dead stares and impressive delivery become staples in his Academy Award winning performance as the former doctor. Jodie Foster plays off him wonderfully and when Hopkins isn’t stealing the show as Hannibal, Foster … Read More Quick Review: The Silence Of The Lambs (1991)

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)

Quick Review: Chinatown (1974)

CHINATOWN BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLAUGUST 8, 2013 A true neo-noir, “Chinatown” not only signifies an iconic role for Jack Nicholson, but ranks as one of the best Roman Polanski films ever. Also starring Faye Dunaway, who is constantly stealing the spotlight, pairing her with Nicholson becomes an instant classic on-screen chemistry. With a suspenseful mystery unfolding and tons of shifty character, the story of “Chinatown” … Read More Quick Review: Chinatown (1974)

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: 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: 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: Fruitvale Station (2013)

FRUITVALE STATION BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLAUGUST 3, 2013 Bringing me to tears by the end, “Fruitvale Station” achieves precisely what director Ryan Coogler sets out to do: getting this high profile incident to the public in an entertaining and cinematic fashion. Delivering a strong performance is Michael B. Jordan, who causes some ripples in the Oscar pool. The film opens on the actual footage captured … Read More Quick Review: Fruitvale Station (2013)

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: 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: X-Men The Last Stand (2006)

X-MEN: THE LAST STAND BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJULY 28, 2013 “X-Men: The Last Stand” is all over the place. There are great cinematic moments like Xavier (Patrick Stewart) and Magneto (Ian McKellen) meeting the Phoenix (Famke Janssen) at her childhood home. Still, with dialogue muddied with horrid turns of phrase, absolutely no focus, and half of the cast disappearing throughout the film, it is apparent … Read More Quick Review: X-Men The Last Stand (2006)

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)

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: Spider-Man 2 (2004)

SPIDER-MAN 2 BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJULY 24, 2013 One of the best superhero films of all-time, “Spider-Man 2,” develops such a strong emotional rapport, it is hard not to become engrossed in the world. With the struggle between being a superhero and a regular guy highlighted perfectly, the inner struggles match the exquisite outer efforts in the form of the brilliant Alfred Molina in the … Read More Quick Review: Spider-Man 2 (2004)

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: 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)

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)

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)

Movie Review: The Way Way Back (2013)

THE WAY WAY BACK BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJULY 13, 2013 If there’s one thing we’ve learned from both “The Descendants” and now “The Way Way Back,” it’s that Nat Faxon and Jim Rash know their shit. This time writing, directing, and acting, both Nat and Jim are already at the top of their game, and we’re only on film number two. Diving into the world … Read More Movie Review: The Way Way Back (2013)

Quick Review: The Kings Of Summer (2013)

THE KINGS OF SUMMER BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJULY 13, 2013 In addition to being one of the most enthralling coming-of-age dramas this year, “The Kings Of Summer” is as visually stunning as emotionally engaging, taking these unknown teenage actors and giving them an open-world to roam around freely. Centered around three runaways who decide to live in the woods, the film ends up being one … Read More Quick Review: The Kings Of Summer (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)

Quick Review: Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

STAR WARS: EPISODE V — THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJULY 13, 2013 “The Empire Strike Backs” one of the best “middle” films in a trilogy to date. The second film in a trilogy is often a throwaway, carrying on what the first film started but ultimately only leading into the third and final film. “The Empire Strikes Back” builds off of the … Read More Quick Review: Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

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: Independence Day (1996)

INDEPENDENCE DAY BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJULY 6, 2013 Still visually impressive, even by today’s standards, “Independence Day” is and always has been one of my all-time favorite science fiction films. At the height of the earth ending trend in film making, Roland Emmerich led the charge. He never stopped, with the forethought to use practical effects with events like blowing up the White House that … Read More Quick Review: Independence Day (1996)

Quick Review: End Of Watch (2012)

END OF WATCH BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJULY 5, 2013 Relying slightly too heavily on the “found footage” concept of the film, “End Of Watch” overcomes this major downfall by remaining relevant and sincere throughout the film. Director David Ayer relies heavily on the natural chemistry between Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Peña as they play partners in the LAPD, specializing in the gangland that is South … Read More Quick Review: End Of Watch (2012)

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)

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: 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 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)

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: The Silent House (2010)

THE SILENT HOUSE BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJUNE 26, 2013 Questionable and not frightening in the least bit, “The Silent House” and director Gustavo Hernandez drop the ball with this lacking, wannabe thriller. Most of the time, when venturing back to see the original film that inspired the American remake, you find that it is far superior. Still, in this case, the American version is, without … Read More Quick Review: The Silent House (2010)

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: Gladiator (2000)

GLADIATOR BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJUNE 23, 2013 Ridley Scott directs this Academy Award-winning period piece starring Russell Crowe and Joaquin Phoenix that comes straight out of a Shakespearean story, with passion and betrayal, fathers and sons fighting, and political agendas and uprisings. As Maximus, Crowe is the star of the show and brings action and stylized, historical drama in full force in every scene that … Read More Quick Review: Gladiator (2000)

Quick Review: Grizzly Man (2005)

GRIZZLY MAN BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJUNE 23, 2013 Built from Timothy Treadwell’s footage while living with grizzly bears in the wild, Werner Herzog delivers a postmortem character study of a man with a strange demeanor but a kind and gentle heart towards the animal kingdom, especially with the bears and foxes that surrounded him. Including interviews with those who knew him best and narration by … Read More Quick Review: Grizzly Man (2005)

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)

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)

Quick Review: This Is The End (2013)

THIS IS THE END BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELLJUNE 15, 2013 By far one of the purest forms of comedy in recent memory, “This Is The End” takes a large concept like the Apocalypse and delves into the hilarious relationship between celebrity friends who are just trying to survive under one roof during the end times. Having all the actors play themselves is genius, creating a … Read More Quick Review: This Is The End (2013)

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One Minute Review: Man Of Steel (2013)

Release Date June 14, 2013 Director Zack Synder Screenplay David S. Goyer Christopher Nolan (Story By) Distributed By Warner Bros. Pictures Budget $225 million Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Science Fiction Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence, action and destruction, and for some language 143 minutes Man Of Steel Coming from someone who could have given a shit less about Superman as a character, … Read More One Minute Review: Man Of Steel (2013)

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

Release Date March 10, 2012 Director Jordan Roberts Screenplay Jordan Roberts Distributed By Variance Films Budget $480,000 Comedy Not Rated 89 minutes 3,2,1… Frankie Go Boom What keeps “Frankie Go Boom” from going completely into the gutter is the young, brilliant cast. Charlie Hunnam recalls his days on “Undeclared” with this straight-faced comedic role, making his bad ass persona on “Sons of Anarchy” impress … Read More One Minute Review: 3,2,1… Frankie Go Boom (2012)

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One Minute Review: The Internship (2013)

Release Date June 7, 2013 Director Shawn Levy Screenplay Vince Vaughn Jared Stern Distributed By 20th Century Fox Budget $58 million Comedy Rated PG-13 for sexuality, some crude humor, partying and language 119 minutes The Internship 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 … Read More One Minute Review: The Internship (2013)

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One Minute Review: The Purge (2013)

Release Date June 7, 2013 Director James DeMonaco Screenplay James DeMonaco Distributed By Universal Pictures Budget $3 million Horror, Science Fiction, Thriller Rated R for strong disturbing violence and some language 85 minutes The Purge Remember that horror film with a vibe much like “The Strangers”, a genius marketing plan using billboards and radio advertisements that look and sound like public service announcements, and … Read More One Minute Review: The Purge (2013)

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One Minute Review: The East (2013)

Release Date May 31, 2013 Director Zal Batmanglij Screenplay Zal Batmanglij Brit Marling Distributed By Fox Searchlight Pictures Budget $6.5 million Adventure, Drama, Thriller Rated PG-13 for thematic elements, violence, some disturbing images, sexual content and partial nudity 116 minutes The East Not only is “The East” an entertaining thriller starring Brit Marling as an undercover operative for an intelligence firm, it also hits … Read More One Minute Review: The East (2013)

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One Minute Review: After Earth (2013)

Release Date May 31, 2013 Director M. Night Shyamalan Screenplay Gary Whitta M. Night Shyamalan Distributed By Columbia Pictures Budget $150 million Action, Adventure, Science Fiction Rated PG-13 for sci-fi action violence and some disturbing images 100 minutes After Earth Out of the gate, critics and general audiences will look down on Will Smith’s latest feature, “After Earth”. For starters, M. Night Shyamalan steps … Read More One Minute Review: After Earth (2013)

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One Minute Review: Now You See Me (2013)

Release Date May 31, 2013 Director Louis Leterrier Screenplay Ed Solomon Boaz Yakin Edward Ricourt Distributed By Summit Entertainment Budget $75 million Crime, Mystery, Thriller Rated PG-13 for language, some action and sexual content 115 minutes Now You See Me “Now You See Me” takes you for a ride. Whether its a ride without bumps is up to your interpretation. Bringing together four magicians … Read More One Minute Review: Now You See Me (2013)

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One Minute Review: Frances Ha (2013)

Release Date May 17, 2013 Director Noah Baumbach Screenplay Noah Baumbach Greta Gerwig Distributed By IFC Films Budget $3 million Comedy, Drama, Romance Rated R for sexual references and language 86 minutes Frances Ha Greta Gerwig re-teams with Noah Baumbach (“Greenberg”) to create this black-and-white, quirky, and often humorous character study of a woman living in New York, trying to find her place while … Read More One Minute Review: Frances Ha (2013)

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One Minute Review: Fast & Furious (2009)

Release Date April 3, 2009 Director Justin Lin Screenplay Chris Morgan Distributed By Universal Pictures Budget $85 million Action, Crime, Thriller Rated PG-13 for for intense sequences of violence and action, some sexual content, language and drug references 107 minutes Fast & Furious What helps a franchise stay relevant after a trilogy is returning to form and bringing back all the original characters. “Fast … Read More One Minute Review: Fast & Furious (2009)

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One Minute Review: The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006)

Release Date June 16, 2006 Director Justin Lin Screenplay Chris Morgan Distributed By Universal Pictures Budget $85 million Action, Crime, Thriller Rated PG-13 for reckless and illegal behavior involving teens, violence, language and sexual content 104 minutes The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift Hands down, Sung Kang as supporting character Han makes this film. Without Kang, there would be nothing redeemable about “The … Read More One Minute Review: The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006)

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One Minute Review: 2 Fast 2 Furious (2003)

Release Date June 6, 2003 Director John Singleton Screenplay Michael Brandt Derek Haas Distributed By Universal Pictures Budget $76 million Action, Crime, Thriller Rated PG-13 for street racing, violence, language and some sensuality 107 minutes 2 Fast 2 Furious Continuing with fast cars, beautiful women, and enough action to keep you entertained, “2 Fast 2 Furious” succeeds in the fact that Paul Walker returns … Read More One Minute Review: 2 Fast 2 Furious (2003)

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One Minute Review: The Fast and the Furious (2001)

Release Date June 22, 2001 Director Rob Cohen Screenplay Gary Scott Thompson Erik Bergquist David Ayer Distributed By Universal Pictures Budget $38 million Action, Crime, Thriller Rated PG-13 for violence, sexual content and language 106 minutes The Fast and the Furious Fast cars. Big muscles. Attractive ladies. What more could you ask for from a film titled “The Fast and the Furious”? Vin Diesel … Read More One Minute Review: The Fast and the Furious (2001)

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One Minute Review: Star Trek Into Darkness (2013)

Release Date May 16, 2013 Director J.J. Abrams Screenplay Roberto Orci Alex Kurtzman Damon Lindelof Distributed By Paramount Pictures Budget $185 million Action, Adventure, Science Fiction Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi action and violence 132 minutes Star Trek Into Darkness Relentlessly masterful, “Star Trek Into Darkness” is a smart-man’s sequel, as it strongly develops existing relationships while still introducing new and fresh … Read More One Minute Review: Star Trek Into Darkness (2013)

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One Minute Review: Revolutionary Road (2008)

Release Date December 26, 2008 Director Sam Mendes Screenplay Justin Haythe Based On The Novel By Richard Yates Cinematography By Roger Deakins Distributed By DreamWorks Pictures Paramount Vantage Budget $35 million Drama, Romance Rated R for language and some sexual content/nudity 119 minutes Revolutionary Road Not much can be said for a film involving its main characters screaming at each other for a majority … Read More One Minute Review: Revolutionary Road (2008)

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One Minute Review: Save The Date (2012)

Release Date November 8, 2012 Director Michael Mohan Screenplay Jeffrey Brown Egan Reich Michael Mohan Comedy, Romance Rated R for sexual content, language and brief drug use 97 minutes Save The Date 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 … Read More One Minute Review: Save The Date (2012)

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One Minute Review: A Late Quartet (2012)

Release Date November 2, 2012 Director Yaron Zilberman Screenplay Yaron Zilberman Seth Grossman Distributed By Entertainment One Drama Rated R for language and some sexuality 105 minutes A Late Quartet “A Late Quartet” is as basic as dramas get these days. Based around a quartet with a questionable future, each character faces a different obstacle to overcome. Unraveled in the most basic of ways, … Read More One Minute Review: A Late Quartet (2012)

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One Minute Review: Cheerful Weather For The Wedding (2012)

Release Date December 7, 2012 Director Donald Rice Screenplay Donald Rice Mary Henely-Magill Based On The Novella By Julia Strachey Distributed By Capcom Pictures Comedy, Drama, Romance Rated PG for thematic material involving sensuality, and for smoking and brief language 93 minutes Cheerful Weather For The Wedding Despite it’s shortcomings, the chemistry is so strong between Felicity Jones and Luke Treadaway, that even though … Read More One Minute Review: Cheerful Weather For The Wedding (2012)

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One Minute Review: The Iceman (2013)

Release Date May 5, 2013 Director Ariel Vromen Screenplay Ariel Vromen Morgan Land Based On The Book By Philip Carlo Distributed By Millennium Entertainment Budget $10 million Action, Biography, Crime, Drama, Thriller Rated R for strong violence, pervasive language and some sexual content 105 minutes The Iceman Michael Shannon is irrevocably one of the best actors of his generation, nailing his nuanced performances in … Read More One Minute Review: The Iceman (2013)

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One Minute Review: The Great Gatsby (2013)

Release Date May 10, 2013 Director Baz Luhrmann Screenplay Craig Pearce Baz Luhrmann Based On The Book By F. Scott Fitzgerald Distributed By Warner Bros. Pictures Budget $105 million Drama, Romance Rated PG-13 for some violent images, sexual content, smoking, partying and brief language 142 minutes The Great Gatsby Baz Luhrmann’s take on the great American novel “The Great Gatsby” is not only visually … Read More One Minute Review: The Great Gatsby (2013)

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One Minute Review: Iron Man 3 (2013)

Release Date May 3, 2013 Director Shane Black Screenplay Drew Pearce Shane Black Production Company Marvel Studios Budget $200 million Action, Adventure, Science Fiction Rated PG-13 for sequences of intense sci-fi action and violence throughout, and brief suggestive content. 130 minutes Iron Man 3 Shane Black re-teams with Robert Downey Jr. to deliver not only an exceptional stand-alone action film with comedic and emotionally … Read More One Minute Review: Iron Man 3 (2013)

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One Minute Review: FernGully: The Last Rainforest (1992)

Release Date April 10, 1992 Director Bill Kroyer Screenplay Jim Cox Based On The Book By Diana Young Distributed By 20th Century Fox Budget $24 million Animation, Family, Fantasy, Science Fiction Rated G 76 minutes FernGully: The Last Rainforest 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 … Read More One Minute Review: FernGully: The Last Rainforest (1992)

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One Minute Review: Pain & Gain (2013)

Release Date April 26, 2013 Director Michael Bay Screenplay Christopher Markus Stephen McFeely Based On The Book By Pete Collins Distributed By Paramount Pictures Budget $26 million Action Rated R for bloody violence, crude sexual content, nudity, language throughout and drug use 129 minutes Pain & Gain Entertaining yet never quite exceptional, Michael Bay’s foray into the comical and violent true story of three … Read More One Minute Review: Pain & Gain (2013)

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One Minute Review: Mud (2013)

Release Date April 26, 2013 Director Jeff Nichols Screenplay Jeff Nichols Distributed By Lionsgate Roadside Attractions Budget $10 million Drama Rated PG-13 for some violence, sexual references, language, thematic elements and smoking. 130 minutes Mud Marking the career best performance of Matthew McConaughey, “Mud” is a slow burn, heavy hitting drama with themes of coming of age, family systems, and the reality of love. … Read More One Minute Review: Mud (2013)

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One Minute Review: Oldboy (2004)

Release Date May 15, 2004 Director Chan-Wook Park Screenplay Jo-yoon Hwang Joon-hyeong Im Chan-Wook Park Based On Manga Series By Garon Tsuchiya Nobuaki Minegishi Distributed By Tartan Films Budget $3 million Action, Drama, Mystery, Thriller Rated R for strong violence including scenes of torture, sexuality and pervasive language 120 minutes Oldboy One of the most powerful foreign films I’ve ever encountered, “Oldboy” is an … Read More One Minute Review: Oldboy (2004)

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One Minute Review: Oblivion (2013)

Release Date April 19, 2013 Director Joseph Kosinski Screenplay Karl Gajdusek Michael deBruyn Distributed By Universal Pictures Budget $160 million Action, Adventure, Mystery, Science Fiction Rated PG-13 for sci-fi action violence, brief strong language, and some sensuality/nudity 124 minutes Oblivion Captivating in all the right ways, “Oblivion” delivers strong, well-tread science fiction staples in a new and visually enthralling way with a competent high … Read More One Minute Review: Oblivion (2013)

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One Minute Review: The Company You Keep (2013)

Release Date April 5, 2013 Director Robert Redford Screenplay Lem Dobbs Based On The Novel By Neil Gordon Distributed By Sony Pictures Classics Budget $2 million Drama, Thriller Rated R for language 121 minutes The Company You Keep Engaging and well cast, “The Company You Keep” has at least enough star power to keep the entire film interesting. Robert Redford directs and stars in … Read More One Minute Review: The Company You Keep (2013)

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One Minute Review: 28 Weeks Later (2007)

Release Date May 11, 2007 Director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo Screenplay Rowan Joffé Juan Carlos Fresnadillo E. L. Lavigne Jesus Olmo Distributed By 20th Century Fox Budget $15 million Drama, Horror, Science Fiction Rated R for strong violence and gore, language and some sexuality/nudity 100 minutes 28 Weeks Later Lacking the originality and ingenuity of “28 Days Later”, as suspected, “28 Weeks Later” is not … Read More One Minute Review: 28 Weeks Later (2007)

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One Minute Review: 28 Days Later (2003)

Release Date June 27, 2003 Director Danny Boyle Screenplay Alex Garland Distributed By Fox Searchlight Pictures Budget $8 million Drama, Horror, Science Fiction, Thriller Rated R for strong violence and gore, language and nudity 113 minutes 28 Days Later 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 … Read More One Minute Review: 28 Days Later (2003)

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One Minute Review: To The Wonder (2013)

Release Date April 12, 2013 Director Terrence Malick Screenplay Terrence Malick Cinematography By Emmanuel Lubezki Distributed By Magnolia Pictures Budget $2.7 million Drama, Romance Rated R for some sexuality/nudity 112 minutes To The Wonder Meditative and reflective, “To The Wonder” is an ethereal glimpse at the emotions of love as perceived by director Terence Malick. Not for everyone and described by one patron as … Read More One Minute Review: To The Wonder (2013)

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One Minute Review: 42 (2013)

Release Date April 12, 2013 Director Brian Helgeland Screenplay Brian Helgeland Distributed By Warner Bros. Pictures Budget $40 million Biography, Drama, Sport Rated PG-13 for thematic elements including language 128 minutes 42 “42” is a phenomenal sports film about Jackie Robinson, a legend not only in baseball, but in life, however, the film does not reach much further than that. Going into the film, … Read More One Minute Review: 42 (2013)

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One Minute Review: Jurassic Park 3D (1993)

Release Date June 11, 1993 Director Steven Spielberg Screenplay Michael Crichton David Koepp Based On The Novel By Michael Crichton Distributed By Universal Pictures Budget $63 million Action, Science Fiction, Thriller Rated PG-13 for intense science fiction terror 127 minutes Jurassic Park 3D “Jurassic Park” is a masterpiece and one of the greatest films of all-time. An adventure on one of the grandest scales, … Read More One Minute Review: Jurassic Park 3D (1993)

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One Minute Review: Evil Dead (2013)

Release Date April 5, 2013 Director Fede Alvarez Screenplay Fede Alvarez Rodo Sayagues Distributed By TriStar Pictures Budget $17 million Fantasy, Horror Rated R for strong bloody violence and gore, some sexual content and language 91 minutes Evil Dead Reliable as a remake and as a decent horror film, “Evil Dead” may not be the “most terrifying film you will ever experience” but it … Read More One Minute Review: Evil Dead (2013)

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One Minute Review: Evil Dead 2 (1987)

Release Date March 13, 1987 Director Sam Raimi Screenplay Sam Raimi Scott Spiegel Distributed By Rosebud Releasing Budget $3.6 million Comedy, Horror Rated R 84 minutes Evil Dead 2 “Evil Dead 2” loses me. I respect the first film from a horror stand point, but this sequel is too repetitive, too nonsensical, and too trippy for me to stay invested. There are several long, … Read More One Minute Review: Evil Dead 2 (1987)

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One Minute Review: The Evil Dead (1981)

Release Date October 15, 1981 Director Sam Raimi Screenplay Sam Raimi Distributed By New Line Cinema Budget $400,000 Horror Rated NC-17 for substantial graphic horror violence and gore 85 minutes The Evil Dead For a low budget, straight out of film school horror flick, I can respect Sam Raimi and his original “The Evil Dead”. Not only does it carry the themes of many … Read More One Minute Review: The Evil Dead (1981)

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One Minute Review: The Place Beyond The Pines (2013)

Release Date March 29, 2013 Director Derek Cianfrance Screenplay Derek Cianfrance Ben Coccio Darius Marder Distributed By Focus Features Budget $15 million Crime, Drama, Thriller Rated R for language throughout, some violence, teen drug and alcohol use, and a sexual reference 140 minutes The Place Beyond The Pines Don’t let the two hour and twenty minute run-time frighten you away, Derek Cianfrance (“Blue Valentine”) … Read More One Minute Review: The Place Beyond The Pines (2013)

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

Release Date August 7, 2009 Director Stephen Sommers Screenplay Stuart Beattie David Elliot Paul Lovett Michael B. Gordon Stephen Sommers Distributed By Paramount Pictures Budget $175 million Action, Adventure, Science Fiction, Thriller Rated PG-13 for strong sequences of action violence and mayhem throughout 118 minutes G.I. Joe: The Rise Of Cobra Channing Tatum takes his first giant leap into action films with “G.I. Joe: … Read More One Minute Review: G.I. Joe: The Rise Of Cobra (2009)

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One Minute Review: G.I. Joe: Retaliation (2013)

Release Date March 28, 2013 Director Jon M. Chu Screenplay Rhett Reese Paul Wernick Distributed By Paramount Pictures Budget $155 million Action, Adventure, Science Fiction, Thriller Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of combat violence and martial arts action throughout, and for brief sensuality and language 110 minutes G.I. Joe: Retaliation With an unexpected turn in the first act, “G.I. Joe: Retaliation” is left with … Read More One Minute Review: G.I. Joe: Retaliation (2013)

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One Minute Review: The Lorax (2012)

Release Date March 2, 2012 Director Chris Renaud Kyle Balda Screenplay Cinco Paul Ken Daurio Based On The Book By Dr. Seuss Distributed By Universal Pictures Budget $70 million Animation, Adventure, Comedy, Drama, Family, Fantasy, Musical Rated PG for brief mild language 86 minutes The Lorax Pointedly agreed, “The Lorax” lacks the wit and charm of Dr. Seuss, but what it lacks in personality, … Read More One Minute Review: The Lorax (2012)

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One Minute Review: Safe Haven (2013)

Release Date February 14, 2013 Director Lasse Hallström Screenplay Gage Lansky Dana Stevens Based On The Novel By Nicholas Sparks Distributed By Relativity Media Budget $28 million Drama, Romance, Thriller Rated PG-13 for thematic material involving threatening behavior, and for violence and sexuality 115 minutes Safe Haven Truth be told, I could watch Julianne Hough with short, blonde hair, do just about anything for … Read More One Minute Review: Safe Haven (2013)

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One Minute Review: Spring Breakers (2013)

Release Date March 22, 2013 Director Harmony Korine Screenplay Harmony Korine Distributed By A24 Budget $5 million Crime, Drama Rated R for strong sexual content, language, nudity, drug use and violence throughout 94 minutes Spring Breakers “Spring Breakers” is far from perfect, but it does display enough potential to lead director Harmony Korine onto bigger and better things, the likes we’ve seen from many … Read More One Minute Review: Spring Breakers (2013)

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One Minute Review: Olympus Has Fallen (2013)

Release Date March 22, 2013 Director Antoine Fuqua Screenplay Creighton Rothenberger Katrin Benedikt Distributed By FilmDistrict Budget $70 million Action, Thriller Rated R for strong violence and language throughout 120 minutes Olympus Has Fallen Finally Gerard Butler steps away from the romantic comedy doldrums and into the role he was meant to play. Taking on the task of defending the White House, “Olympus Has … Read More One Minute Review: Olympus Has Fallen (2013)

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One Minute Review: Silent Hill: Revelation (2012)

Release Date October 26, 2012 Director Michael J. Bassett Screenplay Michael J. Bassett Distributed By Open Road Films Budget $20 million Adventure, Drama, Horror, Mystery, Thriller Rated R for violence and disturbing images, some language and brief nudity 94 minutes Silent Hill: Revelation When it comes to video game adaptations, I often afford a bit of leeway for the filmmakers and the production as … Read More One Minute Review: Silent Hill: Revelation (2012)

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One Minute Review: The Host (2013)

Release Date March 29, 2013 Director Andrew Niccol Screenplay Andrew Niccol Based On The Novel By Stephenie Meyer Distributed By Open Road Films Universal Pictures Budget $80 million Action, Adventure, Romance, Science Fiction, Thriller Rated PG-13 for some sensuality and violence 125 minutes The Host Despite being a retread of the themes in Stephenie Meyer’s “Twilight”, “The Host” succeeds in two ways. Saoirse Ronan … Read More One Minute Review: The Host (2013)

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One Minute Review: The Incredible Burt Wonderstone (2013)

Release Date March 15, 2013 Director Dan Scardino Screenplay John Francis Daley Jonathan Goldstein Chad Kultgen Tyler Mitchell Distributed By Warner Bros. Pictures Budget $34 million Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy Rated PG-13 for sexual content, dangerous stunts, a drug-related incident and language 100 minutes The Incredible Burt Wonderstone Definitely nails the Will Ferrell movie not starring Will Ferrell, which is unfortunate, “The Incredible Burt Wonderstone” … Read More One Minute Review: The Incredible Burt Wonderstone (2013)

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One Minute Review: The Call (2013)

Release Date March 15, 2013 Director Brad Anderson Screenplay Richard D’Ovidio Nicole D’Ovidio Jon Bokenkamp Distributed By TriStar Pictures Budget $13 million Crime, Thriller Rated R for violence, disturbing content and some language 94 minutes The Call For being a thriller about a 911 operator sitting in a chair, “The Call” actually builds enough suspense to keep the audience involved. Although most of the … Read More One Minute Review: The Call (2013)

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One Minute Review: Fear Island (2009)

Release Date September 8, 2009 Director Michael Storey Screenplay Jack Harry Jeff Martel Distributed By Waterfront Pictures Horror, Mystery, Thriller Rated NR 95 minutes Fear Island Poorly acted, poorly presented, and completely telegraphed, “Fear Island” has extremely little to offer, in line with every other bottom barrel horror B-movie being squeezed out these days. Haley Duff shows zero control of her emotions and flails … Read More One Minute Review: Fear Island (2009)

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One Minute Review: Upside Down (2013)

Release Date March 15, 2013 Director Juan Diego Solanas Screenplay Juan Diego Solanas Distributed By Millennium Entertainment Budget $50 million Drama, Fantasy, Romance, Science Fiction Rated PG-13 for some violence 100 minutes Upside Down 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, … Read More One Minute Review: Upside Down (2013)

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One Minute Review: Dead Man Down (2013)

Release Date March 8, 2013 Director Niels Arden Oplev Screenplay J.H. Wyman Distributed By FilmDistrict Sony Pictures Entertainment Budget $30 million Action, Crime, Drama, Thriller Rated R for violence, language throughout and a scene of sexuality 110 minutes Dead Man Down “Dead Man Down” has a slow burn. Filled with a mixture of moments that either feel weighted and impacting or fall a bit … Read More One Minute Review: Dead Man Down (2013)

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One Minute Review: Oz The Great And Powerful (2013)

Release Date March 8, 2013 Director Sam Raimi Screenplay Mitchell Kapner David Lindsay-Abaire Produced By Walt Disney Pictures Budget $200 million Adventure, Family, Fantasy Rated PG for sequences of action and scary images, and brief mild language 130 minutes Oz The Great And Powerful Aimed more at the younger generation, “Oz The Great and Powerful” lacks the humor and sophisticated nature that makes a … Read More One Minute Review: Oz The Great And Powerful (2013)

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One Minute Review: The Last Exorcism Part II (2013)

Release Date March 1, 2013 Director Ed Gass-Donnelly Screenplay Damien Chazelle Ed Gass-Donnelly Distributed By CBS Films Budget $5 million Drama, Horror, Thriller Rated PG-13 for horror violence, terror and brief language 88 minutes The Last Exorcism Part II All credit must be given to Ashley Bell, the wonderful young actress who, yet again, takes on the role of Nell Sweetzer, reprising her role … Read More One Minute Review: The Last Exorcism Part II (2013)

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One Minute Review: Jack The Giant Slayer (2013)

Release Date March 1, 2013 Director Bryan Singer Screenplay Darren Lemke Christopher McQuarrie Dan Studney Distributed By Warner Bros. Pictures Budget $195 million Action, Science Fiction, Thriller Rated R for brutal violence and language 114 minutes Jack The Giant Slayer Not nearly as bad as I expected it to be, “Jack The Giant Slayer” creates a fantasy world with kings and peasants, giants and … Read More One Minute Review: Jack The Giant Slayer (2013)

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One Minute Review: The ABC’s Of Death (2012)

Release Date March 8, 2013 Director Various Directors Screenplay Various Screenwriters Distributed By Magnet Releasing Comedy, Horror Rated NR 123 minutes The ABC’s Of Death “The ABCs of Death” continues the multiple director, horror anthology trend that is developing and presents 26 shorts directed by 26 different filmmakers, depicting a death for each letter of the alphabet. The fun of the shorts is trying … Read More One Minute Review: The ABC’s Of Death (2012)

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One Minute Review: Deadfall (2012)

Release Date December 7, 2012 Director Stefan Ruzowitzsky Screenplay Zach Dean Distributed By Magnolia Pictures StudioCanal Crime, Drama, Thriller Rated R for strong violence, language and sexuality 95 minutes Deadfall The idea was there, the amazing cast was there, and even the snowy setting was there, but somehow “Deadfall” and director Stefan Ruzowitzky never quite get off on the right foot. The film starts … Read More One Minute Review: Deadfall (2012)

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One Minute Review: Beauty and the Beast (1991)

Release Date November 22, 1991 Director Gary Trousdale Kirk Wise Screenplay Linda Woolverton Based On A Fairy Tale By Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont Produced By Walt Disney Pictures Budget $25 million Animation, Family, Fantasy, Musical, Romance Rated G 84 minutes Beauty and the Beast Having grown up with the film, not only does it hold up, but the remastering of this animated feature film … Read More One Minute Review: Beauty and the Beast (1991)

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One Minute Review: Monsters, Inc. (2001)

Release Date November 2, 2001 Director Pete Docter David Silverman Lee Unkrich Screenplay Pete Docter Jill Cullton Jeff Pidgeon Ralph Eggleston Produced By Walt Disney Pictures Pixar Animation Studios Budget $115 million Animation, Adventure, Comedy, Family, Fantasy Rated G 92 minutes Monsters, Inc. With an original cast of characters, a completely unique plot, and spot-on animation, “Monsters, Inc.” continues Pixar’s solid run of computer … Read More One Minute Review: Monsters, Inc. (2001)

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One Minute Review: Snitch (2013)

Release Date February 22, 2013 Director Ric Roman Waugh Screenplay Justin Haythe Ric Roman Waugh Distributed By Summit Entertainment Budget $25 million Action, Drama, Thriller Rated PG-13 for drug content and sequences of violence 112 minutes Snitch 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 … Read More One Minute Review: Snitch (2013)

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One Minute Review: Stoker (2013)

Release Date March 1, 2013 Director Chan-Wook Park Screenplay Wentworth Miller Distributed By Fox Searchlight Pictures Budget $12 million Drama, Thriller Rated R for disturbing violent and sexual content 98 minutes Stoker “Stoker” is the perfect English debut from director Chan-wook Park. In this eerie thriller, Mia Wasikowska boldly plays a young woman named India, who is not only dealing with the loss of … Read More One Minute Review: Stoker (2013)

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One Minute Review: Dark Skies (2013)

Release Date February 22, 2013 Director Scott Stewart Screenplay Scott Stewart Distributed By Dimension Films Budget $3.5 million Horror, Science Fiction, Thriller Rated PG-13 for violence, terror throughout, sexual material, drug content and language – all involving teens 97 minutes Dark Skies “Dark Skies” is formulaic and borrows multiple concepts from dozens of films, but writer-director Scott Stewart still finds a way to make … Read More One Minute Review: Dark Skies (2013)

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One Minute Review: Sympathy For Mr. Vengenace (2002)

Release Date June 14, 2002 Director Chan-Wook Park Screenplay Chan-Wook Park Lee Jae-soon Lee Moo-young Lee Yong-jong Distributed By CJ Entertainment Thriller Rated R for strong gruesome violence, strong sexuality, language and drug use 129 minutes Sympathy For Mr. Vengeance More visual gore than warranted content, “Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance” takes the revenge thriller to strange heights. Often beautiful yet frequently gruesome, “Sympathy” is … Read More One Minute Review: Sympathy For Mr. Vengenace (2002)

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One Minute Review: For Ellen (2012)

Release Date January 21, 2012 Director So Yong Kim Screenplay So Yong Kim Distributed By Tribeca Film Drama Rated NR 94 minutes For Ellen Paul Dano leads this emotionally taut drama as Joby Taylor, an aspiring musician who returns home to find his ex-wife is looking to gain sole custody of his young daughter. “For Ellen” lives and breathes with Dano’s high caliber performance, … Read More One Minute Review: For Ellen (2012)

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One Minute Review: A Haunted House (2013)

Release Date January 11, 2013 Director Michael Tiddes Screenplay Marlon Wayans Rick Alvarez Distributed By Open Road Films Budget $2.5 million Comedy, Fantasy, Horror Rated R for crude and sexual content, language and some drug use 86 minutes A Haunted House “A Haunted House” is on a borderline. While it is mostly not funny or even creative, it is actually better than the upcoming … Read More One Minute Review: A Haunted House (2013)

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One Minute Review: Nobody Walks (2012)

Release Date January 22, 2012 Director Ry Russo-Young Screenplay Lena Dunham Ry Russo-Young Distributed By Magnolia Pictures Drama Rated R for sexuality, language and some drug use 83 minutes Nobody Walks Rather self-indulgent, “Nobody Walks” hints at thoughtful performances and poetic revelations but never quite delivers. Olivia Thirlby is gorgeous with short hair, but her wishy-washy, home-wrecking naivety works against her performance and leaves … Read More One Minute Review: Nobody Walks (2012)

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One Minute Review: Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012)

Release Date June 27, 2012 Director Benh Zeitlin Screenplay Lucy Alibar Benh Zeitlin Based On The Play By Lucy Alibar Distributed By Fox Searchlight Pictures Budget $1.8 million Adventure, Drama, Fantasy Rated PG-13 for thematic material including child imperilment, some disturbing images, language and brief sensuality 91 minutes Beasts Of The Southern Wild Impressive on most accounts, “Beasts of the Southern Wild” makes the … Read More One Minute Review: Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012)

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One Minute Review: 5 Broken Cameras (2012)

Release Date May 30, 2012 Director Emad Burnat Guy Davidi Screenplay Guy Davidi Distributed By Kino Lorber Documentary, War Rated NR 118 minutes 5 Broken Cameras Any human being willing to put their life on the line to document certain political activities, whether knowledgeable (or not) of what that action might entail or lead to, is an important historical figure in my book. In … Read More One Minute Review: 5 Broken Cameras (2012)

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One Minute Review: Broken City (2013)

Release Date January 18, 2013 Director Allen Hughes Screenplay Brian Tucker Distributed By 20th Century Fox Budget $35 million Crime, Drama, Thriller Rated R for pervasive language, some sexual content and violence 109 minutes Broken City “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 … Read More One Minute Review: Broken City (2013)

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One Minute Review: About Cherry (2012)

About Cherry Initially excited about this film, “About Cherry” severely drops the ball with its meandering nature and complete disregard for the talented new actress Ashley Hinshaw. With both James Franco and Dev Patel having such potential in these roles, both are squandered for no apparent reason, with all focus being placed on Hinshaw and her fall into pornography, which never really has a … Read More One Minute Review: About Cherry (2012)

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One Minute Review: Bottle Rocket (1996)

Bottle Rocket Wes Anderson’s first feature film is nothing short of amazing, developing his pronounced style and quirk almost immediately in his career, directing the Wilson brothers in a dark comedy about heisting and camaraderie. Both brothers show their unique acting styles and bright futures and work with Anderson to produce multiple comedic sequences. The quality of the film does not scream first-time feature, … Read More One Minute Review: Bottle Rocket (1996)

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One Minute Review: The Last Stand (2013)

The Last Stand For starters, “The Last Stand” has a great cast. For what it’s worth, Johnny Knoxville is perfectly cast as the gunning collecting, bumbling idiot. Peter Stormare and Eduardo Noriega are both great villains, built up effectively to face the protagonists of the film, played completely convincingly by Jaimie Alexander, Forest Whitaker, Luis Guzman, and of course, the star of the show, … Read More One Minute Review: The Last Stand (2013)

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One Minute Review: How To Survive A Plague (2012)

How To Survive A Plague Without a doubt one of the best activism documentaries I have ever seen, “How to Survive a Plague” wholly engages while still educating, built off of archival footage and news programs from the time of the major AIDS outbreak in the ’80s through the battle to save those infected against a hostile, somewhat homophobic government and media, all the … Read More One Minute Review: How To Survive A Plague (2012)

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One Minute Review: The Impossible (2012)

The Impossible One of the most powerful “based on a true story” films I have ever seen, “The Impossible” not only depicts an actual natural disaster with the brilliance and detail of the actual cataclysmic event, but does so in an emotionally engaging and entertaining way. Ewan McGregor and Naomi Watts both take their turns carrying the film and both display the deep emotion … Read More One Minute Review: The Impossible (2012)

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One Minute Review: Liberal Arts (2012)

Liberal Arts 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, the situation is realistic enough, but … Read More One Minute Review: Liberal Arts (2012)