Sept. 29, 2016

'Morgan' Review: Technological Nightmare

Do not see this movie whatever you do

Barf Major Hollywood movies about robots and AI have generally fallen pretty flat, but that doesn’t change how they’re potentially rich areas for storytelling and the paradoxical notion of what it is to be alive.

Sept. 07, 2016 by Alex De Vore

The Secret Life of Pets Review

Barf One begins to wonder how many “this is what the toys/pets/cars/planes/appliances do when you aren’t watching” films we’re expected to suffer through at this point, and The Secret Life of Pets isn’t helping.

July 13, 2016 by Alex De Vore

Sunset song?

More like Sunset WRONG

Barf Based on the 1932 book of the same name by Scottish author Lewis Grassic Gibbon, the film has the makings of an epic, yet it’s a fair bet that his plot and character development is a lot richer than in this big-screen adaptation.

June 15, 2016 by Julie Ann Grimm

Paralyzed by Awfulness

Me Before You sucks so, so hard

Barf Emilia Clarke joins Sam Claflin in Me Before You, an emotionally manipulative pile of dreck that tries so hard to make us feel anything, but winds up feeling like the longest hour and 50 minutes of your life.

June 08, 2016 by Alex De Vore

What is this movie about?

Art-Doc run amok

Barf Aleksandr Sokurov’s newest film, Francofonia, is a schizophrenic misadventure in filmmaking. The lackluster attempt at weaving its several elements into a cohesive union is a failed effort.

May 04, 2016 by Ben Kendall

Who’s the Boss?

Not Melissa McCarthy

Barf Oh boy, here comes The Boss, yet another pointless outing in a long line of movies wherein Melissa McCarthy says a bunch of awkward things, acts like a childish asshole to everyone and falls down all the time.

April 13, 2016 by Alex De Vore

Uneven Bars

I used to be a gymnast like you, then I took an arrow to the knee.

Barf There’s a general guideline in screenwriting that’s known as the “save the cat” moment. It’s a scene where the audience gets to somehow connect with the main character (or villain, if you’re being creative) on a personal level.

March 23, 2016 by Ben Kendall

North African Pantheon

Inappropriately a bunch of white guys

Barf Poor Geoffrey Rush. Poor, poor, poor Geoffrey Rush. Even an accomplished, Academy Award-winning thespian of his caliber (who somehow made a role in the absurd Pirates of the Caribbean seem excellent) could not save the abysmal Gods of Egypt.

March 02, 2016 by Alex De Vore

Let Him Die!

Dirty Grandpa is just so very awful

Barf It’s hard to say for whom Dirty Grandpa is more embarrassing: Aubrey Plaza or Robert DeNiro. 

Jan. 25, 2016 by Alex De Vore

Fervor on the Red Carpet

Documentary looks at cult of celebrity and awards shows

Barf What do the gritty details of the OJ Simpson trial and the splendor of the red carpet have in common? Aside from being studded with celebrities and paparazzi, it might not seem like much.  Howe

Jan. 25, 2016 by Anna Mae Kersey

'Max Rose' Review

Meh When the legendary Robin Williams went dramatic (like in 1982’s The World According to Garp or 1989’s Dead Poets Society), the results wound up stunning.

Sept. 21, 2016 by Alex De Vore

'Complete Unknown' Review

Meh Toward the end of Complete Unknown, one character tells the other, “That’s crazy and fucked up and kind of amazing.” In what could be the slowest movie ever made about New York City, at least those first two are right.

Aug. 31, 2016 by Julie Ann Grimm

Suicide Squad Review: Comically Bad

DC continues to struggle when it comes to handling the world of film

Meh Despite the utter nonsense that was Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and reportedly frantic last-minute reshoots, fan hopes for Suicide Squad, the newest effort from the DC Comics expanded universe, remained high. It looked soooo cool, right? Right.

Aug. 10, 2016 by Alex De Vore

Jason Bourne Review: Stillbourne

A needless return to the Bourne series

Meh Hard to believe it’s been 14 years since The Bourne Identity rolled into theaters and completely changed Matt Damon’s persona from “ho-hum” to “oh damn!”

Aug. 02, 2016 by Alex De Vore

Star Trek Beyond Review: Space Sadness

A thoroughly disappointing enterprise

Meh Space: the final frontier. An infinite vacuum of darkness wherein a film series can come out strong and full of promise but then eventually devolves into a by-the-numbers affair that repeatedly follows the same plotlines apparently forever and ever.

July 27, 2016 by Alex De Vore

Free State of Jones Review: Civil Bore

Meh There’s just something about war movies that draw us in as audiences. Oh sure, there’s the history and the shaping of nations and all that, but there’s also much to be said for the stark realism of a well-done battle scene.

June 29, 2016 by Alex De Vore

Clooney's been taken hostage!

Jodie Foster directs Clooney and Roberts in one of the most "just OK" movies ever.

Meh It’s definitely exciting that movies like this or The Big Short are beginning to look at the straight thievery of Wall Street, but whatever moral they may have been attempting to get across in this particular film is lost in the shuffle.

May 18, 2016 by Alex De Vore

Game Over

'Ratchet & Clank' is, itself, ratchet

Meh In the early 2000s, the fine folks at Insomniac Games brought a spirited young Lombax named Ratchet and an adorable defective robot named Clank together, and the gaming landscape was forever blown away.

May 04, 2016 by Alex De Vore

The Preppie Connection

Another flick about rich kids with drugs and money, and the idiocy that ensues

Meh There’s a major problem at the heart of writer/director Joseph Castelo’s The Preppie Connection that’s hard to put a finger on.

March 30, 2016 by Alex De Vore

Meanwhile, at the Hall of Justice

Crisis on infinite spin-offs

Meh Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is a poorly constructed pastiche of disparate scripts slapped together with the thinnest of pretense and has more guest stars than an episode of The Simpsons.

March 23, 2016 by Ben Kendall

The Force Awakens: Not Just for Nerf Herders

JJ Abrams' foray into the franchise is far better than we could have hoped for

Movie Reviews As Thursday the 17th wore on, SFR Art Director Anson Stevens-Bollen and I felt our Star Wars tickets burning holes in our respective pockets. 

Dec. 18, 2015 by Alex De Vore

Nativize Me

Sandler gaffe proves old habits are hard to shake off in Hollywood

Movie Reviews Last week, news broke that some Native American actors working on a new Adam Sandler movie in the area walked off the set over what they say are disrespectful jokes in the script, historically inaccurate costumes, characters who speak in halting English and generally shitty attitudes (my take) from producers.

April 27, 2015 by David Riedel

Good Riddance, 2014

It was a bad year for good movies and a good year for bad movies

Movie Reviews So 2014 is finally over, and I think I speak for everyone who loves movies when I say: Good goddamn riddance, 2014. You sucked. Like, REALLY SUCKED.

Dec. 30, 2014 by David Riedel

It’s a Wrap!

2013 was a year filled with glory, slurps and triple barfs

Movie Reviews So this year was a pretty good one for movies. It’s just that movies that were bad were so bad. Just inexcusable. Sweet Jesus. But we’ll get to those after my five favorite movies of 2013.

Dec. 31, 2013 by David Riedel

Fall Flicks

It’s the attack of the award-worthy films!

Movie Reviews Welcome to autumn. As we all know—and if you don’t, WHAT THE FUCK, ARE YOU LIVING UNDER A ROCK?—it’s the time of year when the studios, big and small, start pushing their awards fodder picture

Oct. 25, 2013 by David Riedel

Blood and guts… gotta problem with that?

'Machete Kills' is long, dumb, and a lot of fun

Movie Reviews The early reviews for Machete Kills have largely been unkind. The big gripe appears to be that Machete Kills is too long, too repetitive and too superviolent. How many of these critics have seen a Robert Rodriguez movie before?

Oct. 11, 2013 by David Riedel

Tom Hanks… and pirates

'Captain Phillips' has its moments

Movie Reviews Sometimes when watching a movie that’s particularly emotionally distressing, one has to ask, “Just how much harrowing adversity can we watch these characters go through? What’s the endgame here?

Oct. 09, 2013 by David Riedel

Nothing to see here

'Love, Marilyn' is truly lame

Movie Reviews Hey, here's something to savor. A bunch of actors reading—on camera no less!—words by lots and lots of people who have written things about Marilyn Monroe. And words by Monroe herself.

Oct. 09, 2013 by David Riedel

I Seem to Be Floating, And Downward

It’s ‘Gravity’!

Movie Reviews Calling a movie Newton’s Laws of Motion would probably have the potential audience running for the hills.

Oct. 01, 2013 by David Riedel

Not Enough

‘Enough Said’ is delightful

Movie Reviews It’s a shame there aren’t more movies like Enough Said. It’s a touching (and truly hilarious) comedy with moments of drama about people who are actual adults—people with children and responsibilities and jobs—and not just assholes who work in graphic design.

Oct. 01, 2013 by David Riedel

'The Magnificent Seven' Review

Ok Hold onto your hats, because here comes another remake—this time in the form of legendary Western The Magnificent Seven (which was itself a retelling of Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai).

Sept. 28, 2016 by Alex De Vore

'Harry and Avis' Review

Ok Billed as an indie rom-com, this simple story leaves a lot to the imagination. Although the title suggests otherwise, and despite how Avis takes up her share of the screen, it’s more of a story about Harry.

Sept. 07, 2016 by Julie Ann Grimm

'Hell or High Water' Review:

O, Coen Brothers, Where Art Thou?

Ok About 30 minutes into Hell or High Water, an unfortunate thought occurs: It’s trying to be a Blood Simple/Fargo kind of Coen Brothers film, but it’s failing.

Aug. 31, 2016 by Alex De Vore

Pete’s Dragon Review: Hugs For Everyone

Disney shows kids respect, but tries a little too hard to tug on our heartstrings

Ok Keeping up with the endless onslaught of remakes, reboots, re-imaginings and so forth is Pete’s Dragon, the newest pile of heartwarming dreck from the fine folks at Disney.

Aug. 17, 2016 by Alex De Vore

'De Palma' Review

Ok We’re not sure whether it’s the questions from behind the camera or deft editing that leaves one liking the guy.

Aug. 03, 2016 by Julie Ann Grimm

The Infiltrator Review

Ok In the 1980s, cocaine was king, and South American drug lords were making just crazy bonkers money by exporting their product into America through various port cities like Miami.

July 20, 2016 by Alex De Vore

Swiss Army Man Review

Ok Film newcomers Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert are collectively known as “Daniels” for some reason, and the pair has come out swingin’ with Swiss Army Man, an indie-ish film about what it is to be alive.

July 06, 2016 by Alex De Vore

Last Cab to Darwin Review

Ok Last Cab to Darwin With a few notable exceptions, our modern culture does a piss-poor job of confronting mortality. We’re bad at dealing with our own impending death, and we’re worse when the death of a loved one is looming.

June 29, 2016 by Julie Ann Grimm

'L’attesa' Review: Endless Waiting

The perfect film for people who love to be bored

Ok We want to like the film, we really do, but despite some standout performances and a gorgeous setting, it just never gets to the point that makes audiences forget they’re watching a movie.

June 22, 2016 by Alex De Vore

Ta-Da!

Oh, oh, oh, it’s magic—and little else

Ok The original Now You See Me was not the kind of movie you saw because you thought it would actually be good.

June 15, 2016 by Alex De Vore

What Did You Do in the War on Terrorism, Daddy?

The Interview debacle isn’t over, and it’s pretty bizarre

See By the time you read this piece, it will be a week since Sony canceled the release of James Franco and Seth Rogen’s comedy The Interview. And then news broke Tuesday that the The Interview will screen on Christmas after all, just in limited release.

Dec. 23, 2014 by David Riedel

Killing Hollywood-Style for Real

‘The Act of Killing’ is a bizarre must-see

See The Act of Killing is such a surreal movie it’s almost hard to believe that all the killings in it took place. 

Feb. 25, 2014 by David Riedel

‘Starving the Beast’ Review: Higher Education

Battle against deep cuts to higher education funding fuels documentary

Yay Should students and the private sector bear the financial burden of sustaining the publicly funded universities in the United States because individuals and businesses are the beneficiaries?

Sept. 28, 2016 by Julie Ann Grimm

'The Hollars' Review: Family Matters

Scary hospital stays and singing sons make for a keeper

Yay From the outside, the complexity of the way a single family operates as an organism is unintelligible. Meet Don, Ron, John and their mom (Sally).

Sept. 21, 2016 by Julie Ann Grimm

'Snowden' Review: One-Way Ticket to Moscow

Oliver Stone taps into the world of the infamous whistleblower

Yay Oliver Stone doesn’t do short and sweet. He does long and developed. Most of the time, he’s even really good at doing important, tense, conflicted moments in US history.

Sept. 14, 2016 by Julie Ann Grimm

'The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years' Review

Yay Practically everyone is familiar with the story of The Beatles and their rise from the basement venues of Liverpool and Hamburg to unprecedented crowds of screaming fans.

Sept. 14, 2016 by Alex De Vore

Kubo and the Two Strings Review: All You Need is Love

Laika achieves its best film yet

Yay Animation powerhouse Laika, which previously brought us Coraline and ParaNorman, is out to blow our minds all over again with Kubo and the Two Strings, a fable heavily influenced by Japanese mythology and one of the finest films of the year.

Aug. 24, 2016 by Alex De Vore

Microbe and Gasoline Review

Yay This premise of this movie just isn’t breathtaking. Two boys in France build a car and take a journey. Yawn. Wake us when they get there.

Aug. 10, 2016 by Julie Ann Grimm

Ghostbusters Review

So good it's almost scary

Yay The reboot from Paul Feig (Freaks and Geeks, Bridesmaids) and Parks and Recreation writer Kate Dippold is actually everything you want and more, so, like good scientists, let’s examine the facts here.

July 18, 2016 by Alex De Vore

Tickled Review: Global Tickling Phenomenon

Yay What first seemed a quirky TV story for New Zealand pop culture journalist David Farrier quickly took a turn into the control fetish of a well-heeled (and perhaps even dangerous) recluse.

July 13, 2016 by Julie Ann Grimm

Yarn Review: Rhythm Section

With nary a sock or sweater, doc spins unexpected stories

Yay Something about knitting graffiti generates a joyful energy.

July 06, 2016 by Julie Ann Grimm

'A Midsummer Night’s Dream' Review

Yay Endless billows of chiffon, surreal lighting and flexible bamboo stilts—no, it’s not Cirque du Soleil, it’s acclaimed director Julie Taymor’s (The Tempest) interpretation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

June 22, 2016 by Rose Antonelli-Fatton
 

Morning Word: Stolen Email Lawsuit Dropped

Morning Word A federal lawsuit filed by several people who had their emails stolen by Jamie Estrada, a former Republican operative who gained control of the Gov. Susana Martinez 2010 web domain, has been dismissed. ... More

Sept. 27, 2016 by Peter St. Cyr

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