The Hunger Games (2012) review
At last! I’m in on the beginning of a film franchise, instead of arriving late (Harry Potter, Iron Man) or never showing up at all (Twilight, Lord of the Rings, many others). Of course I haven’t read any of the “Hunger Games” novels, but I saw The Hunger Games film on the first weekend! *squeals in mock delight* Meh, it’s not bad. Seems like I’ve seen this before—or perhaps I’m...
John Carter (2012) review
Poor John Carter, it’s already got a…reputation. It’s *stage whisper* a bomb. Not a critical failure, and not even a horrible box-office failure except in the context of its immensely hyper-inflated budget ($250 million? And no “name” stars?) and (slightly less) inflated expectations, but “everyone knows” it’s a flop. John Carter may go down in...
Seeking Justice (2011) review
Does Nicholas Cage ever sleep? From 2009 to 2011, he’s played a leading role (or done the voice for an animated character) in eleven feature films. Heaven help me, I’ve seen five of them (well, four and half, I bailed out of the direct-to-DVD Trespass fairly early). Surprisingly, the Cage-cinema I’ve watched in recent years hasn’t been that bad (even...
A Dangerous Method (2011) review
A Dangerous Method attempts to combine abstract ideas and drama, which sounds good in theory, but which is not always easy to execute effectively. Ideally, a film’s plot would illustrate or exemplify the ideas being discussed, and David Cronenberg’s latest movie—about Carl Jung, Sigmund Freud, and the early years of psychoanalysis—does do this…to a...
We Need to Talk About Kevin (2011) review
Riveting, fascinating, complex, and wholly engrossing, We Need to Talk About Kevin might not exactly qualify in everyone’s book as “entertainment,” although the conclusion is surprisingly upbeat (then again, anything short of the apocalypse would probably feel upbeat, given the soul-wrenching events of the previous hour and forty minutes). However, anyone who can appreciate...
Safe House (2012) review
Safe House is the first new film I’ve seen in several weeks, though I’ve hardly been idle in the movie-watching/reviewing realm. I’ve just finished screening a score of old (1935-1957) Mexican films directed by Juan Orol for the new issue of The Mexican Film Bulletin and DVDs of The Bad Seed (1956) and El Monstro del Mar! (2010, an Australian film despite its title) were...