July 28, 2016

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

Stove by a whale of a film

Ron Howard’s latest soaks viewers in tons of stinking blubber

Barf “No right-minded sailor discards what might yet save him,” a first mate tells one of his desperate men after a month adrift at sea.

Dec. 09, 2015 by Lucas Iberico Lozada

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

It Is Your Destiny

Does it bother anybody else that it’s in English?

Meh When Netflix announced it would produce a sequel to Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, the news was a bit confusing. It seemed as though the aforementioned film had come to a slightly confusing, and dissatisfying end, but an end nonetheless.

March 02, 2016 by Ben Kendall

BOO! DID THAT WORK?

The only thing scary about this movie is the time wasted watching it

Meh With focused attention on historical accuracy and A-game production values, it’d be hard not to hit The Witch out of the park.

Feb. 17, 2016 by Ben Kendall

Your Kung Fu Is Badath

Mike Tyson and Donnie Yen, together at last

Meh Kung Fu movies are awesome. When given the opportunity to review Ip Man 3, it’s advisable to jump-kick at the chance. Unfortunately, Ip Man 3 disappointed in everything but the Kung Fu department.

Jan. 20, 2016 by Ben Kendall

Dealing with Daddy

Bowling brings the boys together in Ally Walker’s directorial debut

Meh Sex, Death, and Bowling is an amusing and occasionally touching—if utterly predictable—traipse through family, the afterlife and, well, death and bowling.

Dec. 02, 2015 by Lucas Iberico Lozada

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 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

Crustacean Nation

Colin Farrell better learn to love, lest he be transformed into a lobster

Ok From time to time in cinema, the aspirations and ideas for a story can sound absolutely incredible, but the ultimate payoff winds up falling short.

June 01, 2016 by Alex De Vore

Play Nice

Gosling and Crowe try their best to be funny

Ok It’s only fair to give kudos to Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling—actors who generally tend to take serious roles—for their attempts at slapstick, but the overall cheese factor of The Nice Guys keeps it from ever achieving the levels of cool to which it so obviously aspires.

May 25, 2016 by Alex De Vore

Fairy Tale Cinema

Stars might be the only thing going for it

Ok Tale of Tales consists of three well-trodden fairy tales from the works of Giambattista Basile, a writer and poet of the 16th and 17th century also credited with penning the first versions of Cinderella, Rapunzel and several other twice-told yarns.

May 11, 2016 by Jeff Berg

Kind of Blue

Workin’ with Don Cheadle

Ok If you had a time machine and wanted to know where “cool” came from, you could do worse than to travel back to 1949 New York and look up a guy named Miles Davis.

April 20, 2016 by Ben Kendall

Welcome to the Jungle

Kipling isn't rolling in his grave ... yet

Ok One could easily make the argument that Jon Favreau’s (Iron Man) new live-action Jungle Book adaptation is another nail in the “Hollywood is out of fresh ideas” coffin, but  it’s worth checking out, even if you aren’t being forced by your kids/

April 18, 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

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

Fly on the Weiner

A fly on the wall witnesses a campaign in decline via a political documentary that gets up close with Anthony Weiner

Yay Throughout Weiner, the eponymous documentary that chronicles a disgraced politician’s ill-fated run for redemption, Anthony Weiner repeatedly refers to “the thing” that ended his career. 

June 01, 2016 by Steven Hsieh

Neigh!

Neigh! How a rag-tag group of misfits rebuilt their lives by becoming thoroughbred equine aficionados

Yay Dark Horse: The Incredible True Story of Dream Alliance won the coveted audience award at 2015’s Sundance Film Festival for its enchanting look at the implausible success of Dream Alliance.

June 01, 2016 by Rose Antonelli-Fatton

Once a Marine

New raw documentary exposes the difficulty in reintegrating after military service.

Yay Once a Marine Let’s just assume that Memorial Day means something more than a coveted three-day weekend in the first fair days on the edge of summer.

May 25, 2016 by Julie Ann Grimm

Love & Friendship

Finally. A period piece that isn’t boring as hell.

Yay Although delightfully uneven, and heavy with both dialogue and horse-drawn carriages, period piece Love & Friendship is thoroughly enjoyable and well made.

May 25, 2016 by Jeff Berg

¡Que Viva!

Music and machismo bring drama to the doorstep, as Viva learns to fly in Havana

Yay Is there anyone who’s not talking about Cuba these days? As the island recently became fair game for American tourists after decades of prohibition on travel, it seems to occupy a new place in the sphere of imagination, too.

May 18, 2016 by Julie Ann Grimm

Here They Come to Save the Day

Civil War is every bit as dumb and fun as we’d hoped

Yay Notoriously grumpy comics genius Alan Moore has referred to the recent influx of superhero films as a “cultural catastrophe.” Them’s fightin’ words, but at the rate we’re being inundated with these things, he ain’t that far off.

May 11, 2016 by Alex De Vore
 

Morning Word: Lawmakers Tell Governor to Consider Tax Hike

Morning Word More lawmakers, including some Republicans, are asking Gov. Susana Martinez to call a special session to deal with a $650 million revenue shortfall. ... More

July 26, 2016 by Peter St. Cyr

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