Review: TRANSCENDENCE Tries Too Hard, Fails Utterly

Most of the ingredients are here for something special - a decent enough cast, the man behind the visuals of most of Christopher Nolan's works, and a high-concept sci-fi thriller that delves into such heady topics as "neo-ludites" and the... More »
  

Review: HEAVEN IS FOR REAL Is Filmgoing Hell

Eternal paradise is all well and good, but the notion of spending the afterlife floating on clouds while wearing white gowns, halos and playing the harp doesn't thrill people like it used to. Even organized Christianity, a wide swath of... More »
By Jim Tudor   
  

Review: Blame It On RIO 2

If kids entertainment in the 90's taught us anything, it's that recycling is an essential aspect of environmentalism. So I suppose we should be applauding Blue Sky Studios in their success at recycling so impressively many of that era's tropes... More »
By Jim Tudor   
  

Review: DRAFT DAY Fumbles, Repeatedly

A lethargic version of Moneyball that has been licked clean by the official approval of the National Football League, Ivan Reitman's Draft Day is a kitten desperately pretending to be a lion. The film plays like a 109-minute commercial, advertising... More »
  

Review: OCULUS, Mirror, Mirror, Dark And Twisted

Of all the things remarkable about Oculus, and there are many, it's that this is a slow burn film with a deliciously creepy mood, yet at the same time it remains exhilarating throughout. The fact that a "creepy mirror" film... More »
  

Review: SABOTAGE, A Genuinely Gripping And Suspenseful Thriller

What's easy to forget about Arnold Schwarzenegger is that he excels in roles that maximize his strengths. His range may be limited, but make him the unquestioned leader of a hard-bitten team of DEA undercover operatives, give him a script... More »
  

Review: CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER Is A Taut, Engaging Conspiracy Thriller

"How do we know the good guys from the bad guys?," Anthony Mackie's Falcon (real name: Sam Wilson) asks in the midst of the climax to Captain America: The Winter Soldier. It's a line that is played for laughs and... More »
  

Review: NOAH, Good Vs. Evil Is Not As Simple As It Sounds

With a length of little more than two hours, Darren Aronofsky's Noah is many things. It is an exploration of some of the themes the director already touched on in The Fountain, but it also functions as new territory for Aronofsky,... More »
  

Review: MUPPETS MOST WANTED, A Sequel That Delivers What Fans Want

It was halfway through a press conference this week that someone asked the talent propped up at the front of the assembled media about the inconsistencies that one can find between the various tales that have served as the eight... More »
  

Review: DIVERGENT Is Not So Special

"I like training sequences to run no longer than the length of the song 'Eye of the Tiger.' This one runs ninety minutes." That was my friend's reaction to the bloated, flat, and spark-less Divergent, in which an unlikely... More »
By Jim Tudor   
  

Review: BETTER LIVING THROUGH CHEMISTRY Triggers Gag Reflex

For such an obviously small and grass-rootsy kinda dark comedy, Better Living Through Chemistry has a surprising lot going for it. Sam Rockwell, Olivia Wilde, Michelle Monaghan. That's a lot of solid talent rounding out the three leading parts, all... More »
By Jim Tudor   
  

Review: Do We Need NEED FOR SPEED?

I like Aaron Paul. I've met the guy a couple times over the last few months, and he seems like a mensch. He was at Sundance for Hellion, and came across as a genuine, down-to-Earth guy who was more... More »
  

Review: BAD WORDS Is Jason Bateman's Dark And Funny Directorial Debut

The career of Jason Batemen is rather fascinating. Rising from a sidekick on Silver Spoons early in his career, he stumbled through a number of films that his sister's sit-com sibling would pass on (including the truly egregious Teen Wolf Too). He showed... More »
  

SXSW 2014 Review: CHEF Cooks Up Profound Retrospect

I've been waiting 15 years to give Jon Favreau the glowing review he's earned in spades with his return-to-roots film Chef. He has no doubt had a very interesting career since his initial indie splash Swingers back in '96, but... More »
By Zach Gayne   
  

SXSW 2014 Review: NEIGHBORS Goes Directly For The Raunch

To put it bluntly, asking why things happen in Hollywood studio comedies is besides the point. It's all about getting to the funny as expeditiously and as often as possible. Neighbors, a new Hollywood studio comedy by Nicholas Stoller, quickly... More »
  

SXSW 2014 Review: VERONICA MARS, Older But Still Wisecracking

The idea of a wisecracking female detective in her late twenties may not be quite as fresh as a wisecracking female detective in high school. But the formula that creator Rob Thomas and company developed for a television series is... More »
  

Review: COMMUNITY S5EP08 "App Development And Condiments" Gets Dystopic

I've spent a good few minutes typing and retyping more informed, humorous and/or clever openings to this review, only to come back to this conclusion: Last night's Community was an episode that featured one of the show's always interesting experiments... More »
  

Review: 300: RISE OF AN EMPIRE Is A Servicable Sequel

It seems apt for a film of this nature to provide a bit of historical context. Back in 2006 a young man who had previously helmed the surprisingly not shitty redux of Dawn of the Dead was tasked with bringing... More »
  

Review: COMMUNITY S5EP07, "Bondage And Beta Male Sexuality" Brings The Substance

Before we get to the review proper... yes, to the two people who read these, I missed reviewing the last two episodes on account of some serious Sundance fatigue (In such a state I became selfish and also just wanted... More »
  

Review: SON OF GOD Preaches To The Choir

The Bible tells us, "In the beginning was the Word." (John 1:1) "The Word," in this case, is understood to be Jesus Christ himself, who became "The Word made flesh" (John 1:14) for his time on Earth. If that's the... More »
By Jim Tudor   
  
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