Paranormal Activity 3 (2011) review
Paranormal Activity 3 is the latest example of Mencken’s aphorism, “No one ever went broke underestimating the taste of the American public.” How else can one explain the record-breaking box-office performance of this minimalist pre-prequel in which almost literally nothing happens—if you thought the first two PA films were light on scary action, trust...
Real Steel (2011) review
I wasn’t sure I wanted to see Real Steel, given its “family friendly” imprimatur (since I’m such a tough, macho guy, grrr). A film about a boy and his estranged dad bonding? Meh. On the other hand, robot fights! Real Steel turned out to be a slick, superficial, predictable but mildly pleasant time-waster, albeit one riddled with logical and dramatic and...
Melancholia (2011) review
To paraphrase Tolstoy, “each unhappy person is unhappy in their own way,” and Lars von Trier might well have used this as the opening epigraph for Melancholia, a visually sweeping and yet dramatically intimate tale of two sad sisters and the end of the world. I was almost afraid to watch von Trier’s latest effort after going through the grueling, visceral experience of...
Killer Elite (2011) review
Killer Elite served as a cinematic-palate cleanser—fast, refreshing, adrenaline-inducing—between Drive and Melancholia, two more “serious” films on my viewing agenda. An intricately-twisted plot, performers for whom the descriptors “macho” and “hard-bitten” seem to have been coined, and heaping dollops of violent action have been blended into a...