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Wednesday, 29 August 2012 14:15

Premium Rush' delivers kind of

Written by Allen Adams
Bike courier movie goofy, but entertaining

Let's be clear: Right now, we're in the process of watching Joseph Gordon-Levitt become a movie star. He's pulled supporting roles in epic Hollywood blockbusters ('The Dark Knight Rises,' 'Inception') and led the way in more intimate fare ('50/50,' '500 Days of Summer').

So why, you might ask, is he doing a movie about bike messengers?

Wednesday, 29 August 2012 14:10

Hit and Run' more run than hit

Written by Allen Adams
Chase comedy has moments, but falls flat

August's end also marks the end of the summer movie season. This means that the last couple of weeks of that month are the repository for many of the studios' also-rans. These are films that don't fit the blockbuster bill, nor do they warrant inclusion in the fall's lineup of more sophisticated movies. Calling it a wasteland is probably harsh, but not overly so.

This is where we find movies such as 'Hit and Run,' a comedy that seems to be the pet project of actor Dax Shepard (TV's 'Parenthood'). By all appearances, this is Shepard's magnum opus not only did he star in the film, but he wrote and co-directed it as well. Heck, he's even listed in the credits as an editor.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012 13:28

The Expendables 2' explodes

Written by Allen Adams
Action homage/parody full of exciting excess

How many action stars can comfortably fit in a film?

Sylvester Stallone seems bound and determined to find out with 'The Expendables 2,' the second installment in Stallone's ongoing deconstruction of the 1980s action film. The first movie felt like a bit of a novelty, but for this second one to succeed, Stallone was going to have to take things to the next level.

So he did.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012 14:36

A vote of confidence for The Campaign'

Written by Allen Adams
Satirical political comedy crass, crude and better than you think

2012 is an election year, so it shouldn't be a surprise to see politically themed movies make the scene over these next few weeks leading up to November. What is surprising at least a bit is who fired the first satiric salvo of the season.

It's Will Ferrell.

You have to call Ferrell's latest film 'The Campaign' a political satire, if only because there's really nothing else you can call it. It's as broad and goofy and crass as anything else Ferrell has done. Throw co-star Zach Galifinakis into the mix and you can expect things to get seriously weird.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012 14:32

A franchise re-Bourne'

Written by Allen Adams
Series tries to move forward with new star, story

The 'Bourne' franchise has been incredibly popular over the past decade. All three films have managed to be both commercial and critical hits nine figure box office takes don't combine with rave reviews all that often. Matt Damon's Jason Bourne (loosely based on the novels struck a chord. He was a hero that matched up well with the uncertain, gray-area-laden mood of the first few years of the 21st century.

However, Damon's Jason Bourne days appear to be behind him; he's moving on to other things. But the Bourne brand is still viable; there are a lot of parts to that universe that have yet to be explored.

Wednesday, 08 August 2012 16:08

Memories light the corners of your mind

Written by Allen Adams
Total Recall' remake explores the nature of memory

Current conventional wisdom (or what passes for it in Hollywood, anyway) indicates that there's very little room in the Cineplex for original ideas. It's all about creating and maintaining franchises or else buffing a modern sheen onto repackaged old ideas, so the fact that Hollywood rebooted a movie like 'Total Recall' isn't nearly as surprising as the fact that it took over 20 years for them to get around to it.

The works of author Philip K. Dick have served as the basis for something like a dozen films his stories led to films such as 'Screamers,' 'Minority Report,' 'Paycheck,' 'The Adjustment Bureau' and more but 'Total Recall' was only the second Dick-based work ('Blade Runner' was the first.). It was based on Dick's short story 'We Can Remember It for You Wholesale' and it was far from a sure thing.

Wednesday, 01 August 2012 15:41

Too much to watch in The Watch'

Written by Allen Adams
Comedy overwhelmed by its three leads

We're entering the tail end of blockbuster season. Now that the last of the three monster superhero releases has hit screens, with 'The Dark Knight Rises' flying by the $500 million mark in global box office, we can look forward to the gradual tapering off of the big showy premieres.

That's not to say we won't get some good movies over the next month or so. In fact, the chances are good that we're going to get some high-quality stuff.

Unfortunately, 'The Watch' doesn't really fall into that category.

Wednesday, 01 August 2012 15:28

Step Up Revolution' stumbles

Written by Allen Adams

Film offers elaborate dance numbers and not much else

As a film critic, I have the opportunity to see a lot of films that I wouldn't necessarily choose to see. I'm a pretty easy audience I have a fairly wide range of interest but even then, I occasionally wind up seeing a film that is completely outside of my typical area of enjoyment.

Which brings us to 'Step Up Revolution.'

Wednesday, 25 July 2012 14:40

'The Dark Knight Rises' to the occasion

Written by Allen Adams
Nolan's brilliant Batman trilogy concludes

Some filmmakers know how to do a trilogy. Some don't. Peter Jackson does. The Wachowskis do not. Steven Spielberg does (crystal skulls be damned). George Lucas did, but then he didn't.

Christopher Nolan definitely does.

After four long years, 'The Dark Knight Rises' has arrived. If you're like me, you've been anxiously awaiting this film since you walked out of the theater following a screening of 2008's 'The Dark Knight.' Nolan along with brother Jonathan and screenwriter David S. Goyer had slowly, steadily constructed a fully-realized comic book world. But this is not the brightly-colored bang-bang of Marvel's 'Avengers' assembly.

Thursday, 19 July 2012 09:46

Revisiting historywith an ax

Written by Allen Adams
By any measure, Abraham Lincoln was one of the greatest presidents this country has ever had. They don't put you on Mount Rushmore for being a slouch. But according to 'Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter,' there's a whole lot more to the legend of Honest Abe than America could have ever dreamed.
4 out of 5 - Read full review
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