by Justin Dweeber at . Comments

Derek Cianfrance has made another brilliantly pensive film about the failings of the human drive for progress in The Place Beyond the Pines.

Movies that treat small personal conflicts in sweepingly dramatic and devastating ways are often hard to watch, inching dangerously close to mushy melodrama. But the Blue Valentine director has an amazing ability to treat an intimate narrative like an epic poem.

Ryan Gosling Eva Mendes The Place Beyond the Pines

The Place Beyond the Pines is actually three films. Three very good films. While they are woven together in a way that is initially jarring, Cianfrance’s structural decisions prove carefully thought-out and, indeed, riveting.

Continue Reading...

by Justin Dweeber at . Comments

Scary Movie 5 is not a spoof. It’s not even a comedy. It’s a mess of very vague references to mostly outdated cultural phenomena, sprinkled in between half-hearted and half-baked “gags.”

Genre spoof is supposed to expose the conventions of that genre in a clever way.

The original Scary Movie was successful because it came on the heels of a horror film Renaissance that began with the movie Scream (which, in itself was somewhat of a spoof, but, that’s okay).

Scary Movie 5 Poster

Scary Movie had a reason to exist. It had something to say.

Mainly, “Boy, there sure are a lot of horror movies copying Scream these days.”

But what is Scary Movie 5 saying? I sat through it, and I couldn’t tell you.

Continue Reading...

by Justin Dweeber at . Comments

Evil Dead has one of the most difficult names to live up to. The original film is a consummate cult classic. While most fans of The Evil Dead franchise may not hold the reboot in the same esteem, it does succeed in bringing the story into the 21st century.

The new film is gory. Very gory. While there are only one or two startle points in the entire thing, there is enough blood to make millions of black puddings (gross).

Evil Dead Cast

The rules of Evil Dead are slightly different than the 1981 movie, but the same tropes are all hit. Five people in a cabin in the woods find the Book of the Dead and unlock a demonic presence. Simple.

Continue Reading...

by Justin Dweeber at . Comments

Oh, Tyler Perry's Temptation, where to begin? You were written in a single night, right? On Red Bulls and Adderall? Or during a fever dream with not just a Telenovela, but the worst Telenovela - whatever that would be - playing on double-speed in the background?

Please tell me I’m getting close.

Temptation Poster

That Temptation was made is confounding. That it was made by one of the most successful and recognizable filmmakers alive is terrifying.

Continue Reading...

by Justin Dweeber at . Comments

Harmony Korine’s Spring Breakers is essentially a movie without a purpose.

It’s a sensationalized film about sensationalism, and while it gets away with very little in the way of plot or character growth for much of the film, the ending seems to cast away any sense of obligation to make a grander point one way or the other about youth culture and depravity.

Spring Breakers Cast Pic

Spring Breakers is shot like a music video. It’s cut like a music video. Its characters think they’re in a music video.

Taking their cues from MTV, James Franco, Selena Gomez, Rachel Korine, Ashley Benson, and Vanessa Hudgens’ characters spend no mental energy at all on anything but image.

Continue Reading...

by Hilton Hater at . Comments

Django Unchained may be receiving attention for its excessive use of the N-Word, and the body count in this Quentin Tarantino thriller may be as high as anything the director has ever helmed, but neither of those issues gets to the heart of the film:

Two men, one friendship and the way Christoph Waltz was pretty much born to recite words written by Tarantino.

Django Unchained Scene

Waltz portrays Dr. King Shulz, essentially the same character that earned him an Oscar in Inglourious Basterds. He's a loquacious, laid back killer who smiles through the most tense situations.

Tarantino penned the part for Waltz, and the best parts of the 166-minute movie feature Shulz simply talking: to residents of a town after he kills their sheriff; to Foxx's slave-turned-bounty-hunter, Django; to Leonardo DiCaprio's evil plantation owner.

Waltz brings Tarantino terrific dialogue to entertaining life.

Continue Reading...

by Hilton Hater at . Comments

Les Miserables is an impressive cinematic achievement that remains true to the iconic Broadway production, changing scarcely a storyline or a lyric and likely satisfying fans of the long-running musical.

There's just one minor problem: Russell Crowe absolutely cannot sing.

Russell Crowe as Javert

The Oscar winner portrays Inspector Javert in the film, an integral character who sets his sights on Hugh Jackman's fugitive, Jean Valjean.

But while Jackman has won Tony Awards and shined on stage, Crowe simply can't carry a tune.

Continue Reading...

by Free Britney at . Comments

Contrary to popular belief, we don't enjoy bashing Lindsay Lohan for the heck of it. We'd like to see her get her act together, and we really wanted to like Liz & Dick.

It just wasn't good. At all.

Lindsay Lohan Elizabeth Taylor Picture

The actress' absurdly-hyped-up Lifetime TV movie was allegedly “based on a true story.” If so, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton's story was likely much more interesting.

We know it's Lifetime. They're not trying to win any awards with melodramatic, overly-acted films.

Therein lies Liz & Dick's biggest problem, however: When it came to Lindsay Lohan as Elizabeth Taylor, there was no drama or acting to speak of.

Continue Reading...

by Hilton Hater at . Comments

Let's be honest: it doesn't matter what any critic says about Breaking Dawn Part 2. The movie will be a mammoth success.

But once you get past the Kristen Stewart scandal and stop analyzing every scene between her and Robert Pattinson, is the movie itself worth the price of admission?

Yes, this is a strong conclusion to The Twilight Saga.

Final Poster for Breaking Dawn Part 2

Let's start with Stewart as Bella, a new vampire, bloodthirsty and ravenous. The actress excels in such a role, leaving behind the awkward glances and pauses that fans have come to know and sort of love from the first set of films.

She's on the prowl here, and it's a pleasure to watch.

Continue Reading...

by Hilton Hater at . Comments

The Avengers is not only a superhero movie for the ages, it is a pretty fantastic stand-alone film, regardless of the genre.

So states our pals at Movie Fanatic, whose Avengers review is just one of a number of enthusiastic critiques across the board for this Marvel-based ensemble blockbuster.

The film has already raked in hundreds of millions around the globe and is likely to break some major records in the U.S. this weekend.

What, exactly, are critics saying about the teaming up of Iron Man, Captain America and company? Consider these excerpts from the most glowing reviews:

It's two-plus hours of visual brawn, unexpected heartbeats and welcome humor. - The Denver Post

Comic geeks can collectively sigh with deep relief: Joss Whedon has taken their beloved Avengers and given them back a well-directed, action-packed, brilliantly written film. - Movie City News

A superpowered crowd-pleaser, Marvel's The Avengers wows its way into comics-to-film history as one of the greatest popcorn flicks of its era. - TV Guide

What makes this anticipated film so absorbing is how the heroes' internal battles are often more pronounced than their external ones. And when these troubled people interact, it's electric. - Kansas City Star

Did you attend a midnight showing of The Avengers? If show, chime in below with your own take!