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Wednesday, 19 October 2016 12:04

Action by the numbers - 'The Accountant'

Affleck thriller uneven, but entertaining nevertheless

Ben Affleck is nestled firmly in the Hollywood sweet spot right now. He's got his massive superhero franchise connection. He gets to act in and/or direct awards-bait prestige projects while tossing in the occasional standard-issue popcorn flick if he feels like it.

Published in Movies
Wednesday, 19 October 2016 12:02

Send 'Max Steel' to the scrap heap

Toy-inspired fiasco a dull, derivative, cynical cash grab

Movies and merchandising have gone hand-in-hand for a long time. The past four decades or so have seen plenty of films aimed at achieving some sort of crossover into other commercial opportunities. The most successful create merchandise based on the movie; the least successful create the movie based on the merchandise.

Published in Movies
Wednesday, 19 October 2016 11:57

More jeers than cheers for 'Mascots'

Latest Guest mockumentary lacking in laughter

Christopher Guest has long been the master of the comedic mockumentary. He has used the form to tackle the worlds of music, stage and screenand dog shows. His work with films like 'Waiting for Guffman' and 'Best in Show' and of course 'This is Spinal Tap,' the granddaddy of them all, has firmly ensconced him as a shining star of the comedy firmament.

Published in Movies
Wednesday, 12 October 2016 11:57

Rising up - 'The Birth of a Nation'

Film brings the story of Nat Turner to the screen

I'm always leery of referring to any movie as 'important.' While there's no doubt that many significant events and issues have been addressed in the cinematic medium, there's something presumptuous and vaguely smug about throwing around that label.

Published in Movies
Friday, 07 October 2016 14:14

'Middle School' daze

Tween comedy inoffensive entertainment

There's a lot of media out there aimed at young people. Books, movies, TV shows all created expressly to engage with the kiddie demographic. As far as quality is concerned, wellit's a mixed bag.

Published in Movies
Friday, 07 October 2016 09:39

Disorient express - 'The Girl on the Train'

Literary phenomenon transitions to the big screen

The Paula Hawkins thriller 'The Girl on the Train' was a wildly popular bestseller, a layered narrative rife with intrigue, sex and danger along with a wave of unreliable narrators and a big twist or two; in short, a perfect candidate to be adapted to the big screen.

Published in Movies
Sunday, 02 October 2016 15:23

The kids are odd, right?

'Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children'

Love him or hate him, there's no denying that Tim Burton is perhaps the weirdest big-budget auteur of his filmmaking generation. The brilliance of his early work bought him a lot of creative capital capital that he has been spending in a variety of wild and inconsistent ways over the past decade-plus.

Published in Movies
Friday, 30 September 2016 14:42

'Masterminds' fun but forgettable

Heist comedy uneven, but reasonably entertaining

It's never a good sign when a film disappears from the schedule. While there are often extenuating circumstances, the truth is that movies that wind up stuck on the shelf should usually stay there.

Published in Movies
Friday, 30 September 2016 09:24

Still waters run deep

'Deepwater Horizon' surprisingly effective

Dramatizing real-life events is a tricky business. Depending on the mindset, the degree with which these films ultimately reconcile with what really happened can vary wildly. Surprisingly, this is even true with the recent spate of films revisiting relatively recent events this even despite the recounted happenings being fairly fresh in the collective consciousness.

Published in Movies
Friday, 23 September 2016 14:06

Special delivery - 'Storks'

Animated film offers laughs for the whole family

One of the best aspects of 21st century Hollywood's affinity for animated films is that you not only get a wide variety of films, but a wide variety of talented filmmakers filmmakers who might not have otherwise involved themselves with animation coming on board to make movies.

Published in Movies
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