There are many ways for a film to go wrong, and while HELLBOY may not have explored all of them, it has certainly come very close. Dialogue that is not nearly as clever as it thinks it is, editing that teeters between pedestrian and laughable, and a story that is merely an excuse for carnage… Read More »
There is a wondrously cheesy sincerity to SHAZAM! that makes its weak spots irrelevant. It is, in many ways, as pure of heart as its champion, and just as giddy about discovering that magic is real. Plus, there’s that flaming Santa running for his life during the climactic final face-off between good and evil.
There is much to unpack in Jordan Peele’s deeply disturbing, darkly funny horror film, US. As it twists and turns through its doppelganger premise, the scariest part of the action isn’t the fear of home invasion by strangers out for slow, painstaking revenge.
Alex Gibney makes a subtle, but salient, point in THE INVENTOR: OUT FOR BLOOD IN SILICON VALLEY. While recounting the curious story of Elizabeth Holmes and Theranos, the billion-dollar company she founded, he draws the obvious comparison between Holmes and her idol, Thomas Edison, but he doesn’t stop there. Using the tropes of a suspense… Read More »
Ah, the timeless tale of a boy and his dragon. As recounted in HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON I and II, it was magical. Even more magical is that the final part of the trilogy, HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON: THE HIDDEN WORLD is the equal of the first two without being a repeat of either installment.
It’s a clever premise that propels ISN’T IT ROMANTIC, using the idiom of rom-coms to give us just that, but a rom-com that affirms that the regular Joe and Jane out there can also be the star. One that deconstructs every cliché with self-aware relish, while also staying open to the magic of true love.… Read More »
It is with great relief that I report on an American remake of a fine French film that doesn’t drain me of the will to live. After DINNER FOR SCHMUCKS and FATHER’S DAY, the travesties of which haunt me to this very day, Neil Burger’s THE UPSIDE captures most of the essence of what made… Read More »
We learn many things in M. Night Shyamalan’s GLASS. We learn that the Philadelphia police department has an abysmal response time. We learn that a fully staffed psychiatric hospital has only two orderlies its employ. And we learn that James McAvoy still cries more manfully than any other actor working today. Possibly ever. He is… Read More »
One comes away from HOLMES AND WATSON bemused. The stunning lack of entertainment value in a film starring Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly is almost a body blow, such is its unremitting ineptitude. Using as its premise the same spoofery done much better by the Wayans Brothers in their series of SCARY MOVIE riffs,… Read More »
There is little that tugs more insistently at my heartstrings, cinematically at least, than a film that genuinely means well and falls short. And so it is with WELCOME TO MARWEN, a showcase of CGI and of Steve Carrell’s dramatic chops, but of little else. The story is based on the life of Mark Hogencamp,… Read More »