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Wednesday, 29 February 2012 13:17

This Means War (PG-13)

Written by Wire Reports
One of the unfortunate aspects of today's Hollywood is the obsessive need to produce work that appeals to the broadest possible audience. When you try to appeal to everyone, however, you wind up diluting the product. You wind up with a film that still has the stink of excessive focus grouping all over it. It's just too bad when it happens to a movie that should have been better - a movie like 'This Means War.'
2.5 out of 5 - Read full review
Wednesday, 29 February 2012 13:14

Safe House (R)

Written by Wire Reports
I imagine that we all have certain actors whose work we particularly enjoy. All movie stars are not created equal - everyone has a favorite, someone who consistently hits home runs in his or her eyes. On the flip side, I (and I'm sure most of you) also have actors - not many, but a few - whose work I simply cannot stand. For whatever reason, their continued popularity not only confuses me, but actively offends me as well. But what happens when a favorite and a not-favorite wind up on screen together? 'Safe House.' That's what happens.
4 out of 5 - Read full review
Wednesday, 29 February 2012 13:12

The Vow (PG-13)

Written by Wire Reports
I have no problem with being emotionally manipulated by a movie. I think those artificial feelings are a huge part of why we go to the movies in the first place. However, when that manipulation becomes too forced and overt, it loses its impact and becomes hollow and false. It becomes a movie like 'The Vow.'
1 out of 5 - Read full review
Wednesday, 29 February 2012 13:01

Communal comedy with Wanderlust'

Written by Allen Adams
Comedy offers great performances, plenty of laughs

Screen chemistry is a tricky thing. In any sort of cinematic relationship - especially a romantic one - your leads have to have the proper dynamic between them. They are the foundation from which the rest of the movie builds; without a strong, engaging relationship in that spot, everything else falls apart.

And just because the actors involved are charismatically gifted individually does not mean that their on-screen pairing is going to work. It's all about the mixture.

Wednesday, 29 February 2012 12:49

Shouldn't have Gone'

Written by Allen Adams
Mediocre thriller has nothing to offer

Winter is a good time for a thriller. It's cold and dark outside, and we're maybe just a little more predisposed toward the danger by proxy of the genre. Well if it's a good one. If it's a bad one, the only thrill will come when the credits finally roll.

'Gone' resides firmly in the latter category.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012 17:30

Time to give up the Ghost Rider'

Written by Allen Adams
Sequel features little more than an insane leading man
This just in: Nicolas Cage is effing crazy.

No review of Cage's latest film, 'Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance,' should start from any other point. Cage. Is. Insane. We've all heard the stories of his financial issues and his weird proclivity for buying giant yachts and pyramids. We all know that his Elvis obsession was so deep that he married the King's daughter and that he named one of his kids Kal-El after Superman.

And yet Cage's performance in 'Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance' outcrazies all of that crazy with crazy to spare.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012 17:25

Little is fair in 'This Means War'

Written by Allen Adams
Well-intentioned action-comedy falls short
One of the unfortunate aspects of today's Hollywood is the obsessive need to produce work that appeals to the broadest possible audience. When you try to appeal to everyone, however, you wind up diluting the product. You wind up with a film that still has the stink of excessive focus grouping all over it. It's just too bad when it happens to a movie that should have been better - a movie like 'This Means War.'

It's the latest offering from director McG ('Terminator Salvation') and on paper, it looks like it could strike the ideal balance between rom-com and shoot-em-up.

On paper.

Thursday, 16 February 2012 15:40

Safe House' worth a stay

Written by Allen Adams
Action film elevated by strong lead performances
I imagine that we all have certain actors whose work we particularly enjoy. All movie stars are not created equal - everyone has a favorite, someone who consistently hits home runs in his or her eyes. On the flip side, I (and I'm sure most of you) also have actors - not many, but a few - whose work I simply cannot stand. For whatever reason, their continued popularity not only confuses me, but actively offends me as well. But what happens when a favorite and a not-favorite wind up on screen together?

'Safe House.' That's what happens.

Matt Weston (Ryan Reynolds, 'The Change-Up') is a CIA 'housekeeper,' in charge of maintaining a safe house in Cape Town, South Africa. He's been at it for a year and is desperate for a promotion to field work. The job is monotonous and utterly boring. Right up until a CIA retrieval team shows up with legendary rogue agent Tobin Frost (Denzel Washington, 'The Book of Eli') in custody.

Thursday, 16 February 2012 15:36

Say I don't' to The Vow'

Written by Allen Adams
Unlikely love story inoffensive, uninteresting
I have no problem with being emotionally manipulated by a movie. I think those artificial feelings are a huge part of why we go to the movies in the first place. However, when that manipulation becomes too forced and overt, it loses its impact and becomes hollow and false.

It becomes a movie like 'The Vow.'

Wednesday, 18 January 2012 11:00

Tower Heist (PG-13)

Written by Allen Adams
The staff of a luxury apartment building loses their entire pension fund to the big-deal financial adviser who lives in the penthouse. So they decide to steal it back.
5 out of 5
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