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Wednesday, 30 March 2016 13:40

It's all Greek to me

'My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2'

Published in Buzz
Wednesday, 23 March 2016 14:09

Celebrating Pee-Wee's Big Holiday'

Netflix offering proves fun, surprisingly heartfelt

There have been plenty of ill-conceived sequels in recent years. Whether they're too close together or too far apart, these movies rarely manage any kind of worthwhile payoff for audiences.

However, every once in a while, a project comes along that seems borderline absurd on its surface, yet turns out to be a welcome and wonderful surprise.

Published in Movies
Thursday, 01 August 2013 10:13

Second time's the charm The Wolverine'

Character's second solo outing far outshines the first

Wolverine has been one of the most popular characters in the Marvel Universe for decades now, his brooding nature and willful violence coalescing into an antihero that fans have embraced. 

So it only makes sense that he would be the one character from the 'X-Men' franchise that warranted his own film. And now, with the release of 'The Wolverine,' he actually gets his second solo outing. After the misfire that was the 2009 'X-Men Origins: Wolverine,' it's nice to see the character get a shot at critical and commercial redemption.

Published in Movies
Wednesday, 24 July 2013 16:24

Red 2' a second-rate sequel

Film fails to capture spirit, humor of the original

It's no secret that a Hollywood studio's primary objective is to make money. Art and entertainment come in far down the list of movie-making goals it's all about those box office receipts. And one of the easiest ways to make that money is to build a franchise property; launch a film that is successful, then bring back the characters, plots, formulas and what have you to make a sequel. And another. And another. On and on until every dollar has been squeezed out of the premise.

Unfortunately, what happens more often than not is that these premises aren't necessarily designed to be sturdy franchise foundations. Sometimes, one movie is enough to tell the story. But if that movie turns out to be a success, there will be a sequel. Rarely a good sequel, but a sequel nonetheless.

Published in Movies
Wednesday, 24 July 2013 16:22

The Conjuring' offers old-school frights

Horror film filled with terror and tension

Hearing the words 'Based on a true story' connected to a film is always a mixed bag at best. You're always curious as to just how much is true and how much is trumped up to make for a better movie. It's probably worst with horror films not only did we have classics such the original 'Amityville Horror' and 'Texas Chainsaw Massacre' with their supposed toeholds in reality, but you've got stuff like 'The Blair Witch Project' that goes out of its way in an attempt to convince us of the truth inherent to its (very) fictional premise.

Published in Movies
Wednesday, 17 July 2013 16:25

Bigger is indeed better Pacific Rim'

Sci-fi film delivers in a big way

Sometimes, you want to watch a film that is packed full of nuance. You want to see a film that challenges you, a film that defies simple explanation the sort of film that prompts a minutes-long diatribe in response to the question 'What's it about?'

Other times, you want relative simplicity. You want spectacle. You want good guys and bad guys and clear conflicts between them. You want a film that can be summarized in one sentence.

Published in Movies
Thursday, 11 July 2013 10:03

A not-so-despicable sequel

Despicable Me 2' offers plenty of fun

Movies for kids are pretty hit or miss in general. It seems like every time you buy a ticket, you've got about a 50/50 chance of getting a good one. And even if you do get a good one, that just means that there's going to be a sequel and that's when the law of diminishing returns raises its ugly, money-grubbing little head.

So it's a nice surprise when an animated follow-up manages to maintain some of the spirit of the original. 'Despicable Me 2' is definitely one such surprise.

Published in Movies
Wednesday, 03 July 2013 10:45

The Heat' is on

Female buddy cop movie delivers laughs

There's no denying that Hollywood likes its formulas. After all, they're in the business of making money if a certain type of film does well at the box office, obviously they're going to try to find ways to continue making that film. All you need is a little bit of a tweak and you've got yourself another smash.

Of course, when it comes to comedy, the summer isn't necessarily a slam-dunk. Big shoot-em-up action spectaculars sell big in the dog days; comedy is something else entirely. But if you can take one of those preexisting formulas and build a comedy around itwell, then you might have something.

Published in Movies
Wednesday, 03 July 2013 10:43

National insecurity White House Down'

Tatum, Foxx a dynamic duo

Hollywood loves offering up ideas in pairs. Whether you're talking about asteroids ('Deep Impact' and Armageddon'), volcanoes ('Volcano' and 'Dante's Peak') or even animated insects ('Antz' and 'Bug's Life'), we often see films with similar concepts appear at roughly the same time.

In 2013, one of those paired ideas is 'terrorists take over the White House.' We've already seen 'Olympus Has Fallen' this year, where Gerard Butler has to fight his way through the White House. Now, it's Channing Tatum's turn in 'White House Down.'

Published in Movies
Wednesday, 19 June 2013 13:43

Judgment Day jollity This Is the End'

Apocalyptic ensemble comedy proves surprisingly entertaining

I'm a firm believer in the humor potential inherent to actors playing themselves. There's something wonderfully anarchic about performers playing hyperstylized versions of themselves; it can really make for a phenomenal guest-starring turn.

But the idea of making an entire movie that way? Where every one of the main players is playing him or herself or at least, a version thereof? Could you really build a quality film on that sort of foundation? It seems unlikely, no?

Published in Movies
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