February 2013 Archives
We talk about PTA's The Master once more, with feeling. Read Full Entry »
Given that it's being dumped into theaters at the tail end of February right before Oscar night, one would expect for Snitch to be yet another disposable Dwayne Johnson action programmer where the content is as generic as the one-word title -- think Faster and Doom. But in this case, looks are somewhat deceiving, as the film turns out to be one of Johnson's stronger star vehicles, one deserving of a better box office fate that awaits it this weekend. If you do decide to drop a dime on Snitch either now or, more likely, on cable a few months from now, here are four things about the movie that will surprise you.
Ben Affleck strains to think up new "Argo [bleep] yourself" jokes.
Mad Men goes to Chile in the Oscar-nominated No. Also, our takes on Shanghai Calling and A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III.
Nothing says Valentine's Day like young love, picturesque rural landscapes, attractive twentysomething actors pretending to be teenagers... and witchcraft. All of these elements are on display in Beautiful Creatures, a supernatural love story that's seeking to own Valentine's Day in the way that the not-so-dearly departed Twilight series owned Thanksgiving. But before you drag your significant other to a post-candlelit dinner showing of this particular creature feature, here are five things you really should know about what you're getting into.
What the hell is this crap? No, seriously... what the hell is it? A Good Day to Die Hard may carry the Die Hard name and feature Bruce Willis back in the role of superhero cop John McClane, but it's about as far from the spirit of the original Die Hard as you can possibly get. That this utterly disposable, entirely generic piece of action movie mayhem is allowed to advertise itself under the Die Hard banner is a travesty. Really, the title should be Bruce Willis Blows Shit Up in Russia, which is a far more accurate reflection of the film's content, not to mention its sheer contempt for the audience.
James Bond is back for one of his best adventures ever.
I find few things more frustrating than wasted potential and director Seth Gordon (Horrible Bosses) has such a mess on his hands with Identity Thief, despite committed leads Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy, that Wasted Potential may as well be the alternate title for this movie. Even the premise seems straightforward enough of a vehicle to get us to the raunchy jokes and slapstick humor we're to expect of this kind of comedy -- a mild-mannered Colorado-based businessman, Sandy Patterson (Bateman), travels to Florida to confront Diana (McCarthy), the psychotic woman who has stolen his identity and maxed out his credit card -- but the set-up is held back with so many inconsistencies that asking us to suspend disbelief for the first 30 minutes of the film (and intervals of ten minutes throughout) in order to get Bateman and McCarthy on a cross-country road trip that serves as an inward journey for them both is too much to bear.
Steven Soderbergh has been threatening to retire from filmmaking for some time now, but with Side Effects, he really means it. This is the last theatrical feature that the director of some of the finest movies of the past twenty-five odd years (if forced to choose, my Top 5 would probably look something like King of the Hill, Out of Sight, Che, The Limey and The Informant!, but that's leaving out a host of other great films, including sex, lies and videotape and Contagion) will helm for the foreseeable future, as he instead turns his focus to other artistic pursuits, painting and theater among them. (Soderbergh's does have one last narrative feature in the pipeline, the Liberace biopic Behind the Candelabra, which is scheduled to premiere on HBO later this year.) As a swan song, Side Effects -- which stars Rooney Mara as the pill-popping wife of a disgraced Wall Street turk (Channing Tatum) fresh out of a prison stint for insider trading -- won't join the ranks of Soderbergh's finest achievements, marred as it is by a third act turn into thriller territory that, while entertaining, suffers from a series of too-convenient coincidences and a reliance on one very unfortunate stereotype. Still, the film does effectively encapsulate what has made him one of America's leading directors for almost three decades now... and why he'll be missed now that he's (at least temporarily) gone.
Watch these new movies on VOD.