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New Releases - Film (41)

Wednesday, 10 September 2014 23:35

The Identical' an imperfect impersonation

Written by Allen Adams

Faux-Elvis offering strikes a number of false notes

The dearth of quality cinematic offerings in late August/early September is well-documented. This period, when summer is ending and everyone is busy preparing for the business of the fall, is a dumping ground for the unwashed and unwanted leftovers of the movie world. These are movies that even the studios know aren't any good. This point gets harped on, but it's important that it be repeated here, because this past weekend's sole new wide release epitomizes the concept.

Thursday, 03 October 2013 17:33

Rush' fires on all cylinders

Written by Allen Adams

Racing movie one of the year's best

It isn't easy to make a great sports movie. There are plenty of decent examples and quite a few good ones, but the true greats are exceedingly rare. It is just too difficult to marry the greatness of sport with the requirements of great cinema.

So when a great sports movie does make an appearance, it warrants our attention.

Thursday, 03 October 2013 17:29

Love and pornography Don Jon'

Written by Allen Adams

Gordon-Levitt makes feature writing, directorial debut

When an actor even a talented one makes his or her first foray behind the camera, viewers should always approach with some trepidation. Talent in one film-related arena does not necessarily equate to talent in another. And when the actor in question has written and directed the film one in which he himself stars all you can do is cross your fingers and hope for the best.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt ('Looper') has managed it better than most.

Tuesday, 24 September 2013 21:04

Take no Prisoners'

Written by Allen Adams

Quality direction, performances elevate thriller

The best films are the ones that provoke reactions long after you've seen them. There are few things in the pop cultural world as rewarding as a movie that prompts you to ask yourself the big questions - questions about your own basic nature, about how what we do defines who we are.

'Prisoners' is one of those movies; it holds up a mirror and asks us if we're really so different from what we're seeing before us. It's the sort of movie that, for better or worse, stays with us long after the credits roll. 

Tuesday, 24 September 2013 20:56

A losing Battle'

Written by Allen Adams

'Battle of the Year' a trite, tepid dance movie

There's something to be said for knowing that a movie is going to be bad before you go into it. While I'm generally a proponent of doing my utmost to give any film the benefit of the doubt, there are plenty of offerings whose lack of quality is impossible to ignore.

I'll also admit to not being a huge fan of the dance movie genre. It's rare for me to be genuinely engaged by a story of how a youth center/school/neighborhood/who-gives-a-crap is going to be saved by the power of dance.

Tuesday, 17 September 2013 22:49

Little value in The Family'

Written by Allen Adams
Film much less than the sum of its parts

Sometimes, you look at a film and you can just tell that it isn't going to work, no matter how impeccable the pedigree of the people involved.
 
For instance, if someone were to say that Luc Besson was going to direct and co-write a Mafia action comedy starring Robert DeNiro ('Killing Season'), Michelle Pfeiffer ('People Like Us') and Tommy Lee Jones ('Men in Black 3') and executive produced by Martin Scorsese, you'd probably think that that had a chance to be a pretty good movie.
Tuesday, 17 September 2013 22:36

Not-so-scary seconds Insidious: Chapter 2'

Written by Allen Adams

 

Horror sequel falls short of original

Like it or not, the movie business is driven by profit. We can go on and on about artistry and merit and all that, but the truth is that by and large, the movies that get made are the ones that make a lot of money.

In terms of percentages, 2011's most profitable film wasn't one of the many blockbuster franchise offerings the studios churned out. No, it was a low-cost horror movie with a budget of less than $2 million. 'Insidious' was a massive hit by any definition, making just shy of $100 million globally at a cost of just $1.5 million to make.

 

Tuesday, 10 September 2013 21:45

Woody Allen works Blue'

Written by Allen Adams

'Blue Jasmine' compelling, surprisingly sad

Sometimes, even the seemingly predictable can surprise us.

Woody Allen has been making movies for what seems like an eternity; the truth is that in Hollywood terms, he has been. His directorial debut was 'What's Up, Tiger Lily?' back in 1966. Take a moment and really think about that; Woody Allen has been making movies for almost 60 years. The last year in which he didn't have a feature release was back in 1981. For a long while, it seemed that many critics felt the veteran filmmaker had lost his fastball.

Tuesday, 10 September 2013 21:28

Don't be Riddick'-ulous

Written by Allen Adams

So they went ahead and made another Riddick movie.

'Who's Riddick?' is the question many of you may be asking, and with good reason the character last appeared in 2004's forgettable 'The Chronicles of Riddick' after first popping up as the heavy in the well-received 'Pitch Black' back in 2000.

Wednesday, 04 September 2013 09:09

Stay away from Getaway'

Written by Allen Adams

Car-chase film epitomizes late August offerings

While there is no disputing that the summertime is the realm of the blockbuster, the truth is that there are only so many megamovies to be had in any given year. And so, when we reach the dog days of August, the studios start rolling out the also-rans. These are the dregs, the movies that have essentially been abandoned. The last weeks of the summer are home to the cinema's unwashed and unwanted the flawed, forgettable films.

This brings us to 'Getaway,' which is the absolute epitome of the late summer release.

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