April 17, 2014

This Week's SFR Picks

Newsletters

* indicates required

Guides

 

 

Misogyny Disguised as an Art Film

Nymphomaniac: Volume 1 is stupid, uninspired and cruel

Barf Don’t get caught up in the Nymphomaniac hype. It’s a meticulously produced piece of shit.

April 01, 2014 by David Riedel 0 Comments

300: Rise of my lunch

‘300: Rise of an Empire’ proves too much blood can be boring

Barf 300: Rise of an Empire has no ideology, purpose or ambition beyond being blood-and-guts spectacle on a massive scale. If that’s your idea of a great flick, please enjoy. 

March 03, 2014 by David Riedel 0 Comments

The Barfbag Queen

‘The Callback Queen’ is so bad, it’s hard to believe

Barf Here are some things The Callback Queen thinks are funny: Gay sex; Irish-English hatred as fuel for sex; eastern Europeans in general. And here are some things The Callback Queen thinks it knows about: Hollywood productions.

Feb. 05, 2014 by David Riedel 0 Comments

Laborious

So much can happen on ‘Labor Day’

Barf The story told in Labor Day, about Adele (Kate Winslet), a divorced and depressed mother to young teenager Henry (Gattlin Griffith), and their long holiday weekend with stranger Frank (Josh Brolin) is absurd.

Jan. 29, 2014 by David Riedel 0 Comments

Break out the Barf!

‘Lone Survivor’ is jingoism

Barf Mark Wahlberg is a bad actor. There are movies when he’s passable (Date Night; Ted). But most of the time he’s inexplicably praised (his wretchedly unbelievable performance in The Departed)

Jan. 08, 2014 by David Riedel 0 Comments

More like 'The Secret Life of Walter Shitty'

'The Secret Life of Walter Mitty' holds you in contempt, so why not make a lame joke at its expense?

Barf The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is terrible. Just terrible. It’s wrongheaded, silly, and worse, confused. The story—about Walter (Ben Stiller), who works as a negative asset manager at LIFE magazine—is pretty straightforward.

Dec. 26, 2013 by David Riedel 0 Comments

Hey Joe: Where you going with that gun in your hand?

Brace yourself for 'Nymphomaniac: Vol. II'

Meh Nymphomaniac: Vol. II is, mercifully, not as bad as Vol. I, but it has its share of problems.

April 15, 2014 by David Riedel 0 Comments

Don’t Go in the Water!

You’ll get caught in The Face of Love’s undertow, and it will kill you

Meh Now that there are two movies playing simultaneously that rely on doppelgangers to fuel the plot, you have a choice: The masterfully eerie Enemy or The Face of Love.

March 25, 2014 by David Riedel 0 Comments

Hit the Brakes

‘Non-Stop’ proves it’s time for Neeson to get a better action gig

Meh It’s winter, and that means one thing: Liam Neeson will kill the hell out of people. Taken is the first in Neeson’s old-dude-slaughtering series of films. The Grey, Taken 2, and Unknown follow it.

March 03, 2014 by David Riedel 0 Comments

Was it something that he said?

Calling ‘Gloria’

Meh Bars. Dancing. Hot sex. Cigarettes. Sounds like a movie that takes place in Miami in the 1980s, but in reality it’s Gloria, a present-day movie about a divorced Chilean woman in her early 50s.

March 03, 2014 by David Riedel 0 Comments

Bah, Humbug!

‘The Invisible Woman’ would have been more interesting if she were actually invisible

Meh On the Nov. 16, 2013 episode of Saturday Night Live, Jebidiah Atkinson—a speech critic played by cast member Taran Killam—appeared on “Weekend Update” and blasted every revered speech in histo

Jan. 22, 2014 by David Riedel 0 Comments

Best Horror Movie Title of the Year (So Far!)

‘Here Comes the Devil.’ Better watch out!

Meh We open with two women having sex. The doorbell rings and one woman leaves to see whom it is. A man attacks her and slicing off some of her fingers. Her lover grabs a lamp and knocks the guy over the

Jan. 22, 2014 by David Riedel 0 Comments

Outside Normalcy

'Inside Llewyn Davis’ has its moments, but…

Meh Inside Llewyn Davis is one of those movies that’s more fun to discuss afterward than it is to watch. That’s partly because Davis (Oscar Isaac) is such a reprehensible asshole, and it’s partly because the standard Coen brothers humor seems forced and out of place this time around.

Jan. 08, 2014 by David Riedel 0 Comments

American Meh

We're all hustled by ‘American Hustle’

Meh American Hustle is, in some circles, being touted as a masterpiece. It’s easy to see why. Good cast (Christian Bale, Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper, Jeremy Renner). Respected director (David O Ru

Dec. 18, 2013 by David Riedel 0 Comments

Kinda Great, But Kinda Terrible

'Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues' suffers from comedy sequel disease

Meh No movie with as many jokes a Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues can fail completely (but please don’t steal from Bloom County next time, guys). The sheer volume guarantees some will stick. But there

Dec. 18, 2013 by David Riedel 0 Comments

Old, White and Bored

The Great Beauty isn’t great but it is beautiful

Meh The old white guy is Jep (Toni Servillo, who’s better than the screenplay deserves), a man who wrote a successful novel in his 20s and then spent the next 40 years living the good life, writing the occasional article, and generally becoming a sad sack and a misanthrope.

Dec. 04, 2013 by David Riedel 0 Comments

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 0 Comments

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 0 Comments

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 0 Comments

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 0 Comments

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 0 Comments

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 0 Comments

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 0 Comments

Come for the Crashes, Stay for the Story

Rush is better than it should be

Movie Reviews It’s that time of year between the end of summer and the beginning of the Oscar races when, traditionally, the genuine crap starts hitting the multiplexes. (You’ll also find crap from January to March, and, depending on your point of view, all year.)

Sept. 24, 2013 by David Riedel 0 Comments

Characters and Audience Abused

It comes together quite easily in Short Term 12

Movie Reviews I recently had a conversation with another critic about the jarring transition that some actors make from playing high school students to playing adults. For my money, the biggest jump is Jon Cryer playing Duckie in Pretty in Pink (1986) to playing 27-year-old stockbroker Andrew in Hiding Out (1987).

Sept. 24, 2013 by David Riedel 0 Comments

Set ‘Em Up!

Oh, to be more than ‘Drinking Buddies’

Movie Reviews One could be forgiven for considering Olivia Wilde the Gretchen Mol of her generation. You know, an actor with enormous promise who made early and frequent missteps.

Sept. 17, 2013 by David Riedel 0 Comments

Are You Ready for Some Talk About Football?

‘Draft Day’ is a lamer, but watchable, version of ‘Moneyball’

Ok Draft Day is a shitty, overlong NFL commercial that is nonetheless kind of charming in its stupidity and aw-shucks love of football.

April 08, 2014 by David Riedel 0 Comments

Death and Desire

There’s a ‘Stranger by the Lake’

Ok There isn’t much more than desire and fear at work in Stranger by the Lake, and it doesn’t need much more.

April 01, 2014 by David Riedel 0 Comments

Beltin’ Sondheim at 86

A portrait of a Broadway legend in Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me

Ok Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me is fine, but won’t be of much interest to those who don’t already love her or love Broadway musicals. 

March 25, 2014 by David Riedel 0 Comments

Life in tha 'burbs...with drugs

‘Better Living Through Chemistry’ is silly and kind of fun

Ok Better Living Through Chemistry has a tweaked sense of humor and a lively performance by Sam Rockwell. It’s nothing we haven’t seen before, but Rockwell is as game as ever, and there’s some sharp acting by the supporting cast that makes up for the decided lack of ingenuity.

March 18, 2014 by David Riedel 0 Comments

Endless Schlock

If by “endless” we mean 107 minutes, because that’s how long 'Endless Love' is

Ok Cut Endless Love a break. David (Alex Pettyfer) and Jade (Gabriella Wilde) are the endless lovers, and everyone else plays his or her part in this over-the-top bordering-on-melodrama silliness.

Feb. 18, 2014 by David Riedel 0 Comments

Nerves and Blood

I wish I didn’t know 'In Secret' is based on 'Thérèse Raquin'

Ok One of the least pleasant activities any human can experience is the drudgery of reading Émile Zola’s Thérèse Raquin. Zola’s exploration of naturalism—a bleak worldview wherein characters are placed in realistic situations and play out parts dictated more by their social environment than anything else—is grim.

Feb. 18, 2014 by David Riedel 0 Comments

Rocket man, why couldn’t you just be a dud?

‘The Rocket’ is just OK

Ok The Rocket is getting raves everywhere—except here. What it lacks in creativity it makes up for in spirited performances. Plus, it has the novelty of taking place in Laos.

Feb. 11, 2014 by David Riedel 0 Comments

Roll Me Away

A kid looks for freedom with the ‘12 O’Clock Boys’

Ok This documentary follows 13-year-old Pug and his fascination with the Baltimore dirt bike group the 12 O’Clock Boys (so named for the way a rider can make his bike almost vertical when performing wh

Jan. 29, 2014 by David Riedel 0 Comments

And the Worms Ate Into His Brain

It’s ‘Pink Floyd—The Wall’ on the big screen!

Ok Pink Floyd—The Wall is so specific—it depicts, in moving picture form, the story told in Pink Floyd’s 1979 double album The Wall—and so very misanthropic, it’s really only for the biggest fans.

Jan. 29, 2014 by David Riedel 0 Comments

Babies Killin’ Babies

It’s a ‘Battle Royale.’ Get me a chicken burrito!

Ok For all the praise it has received—and it’s worthy of that praise—there are things I’m hearing at the multiplex that needle me. No one is expecting audiences to enjoy it. And while movies are largely about entertainment, I think one of the things we forget when watching movies is that they’re not all.

Jan. 15, 2014 by David Riedel 0 Comments

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 0 Comments

Who’s that idiot on the airwaves?

'Alan Partridge' is hilarious

Yay It’s nice to see Steve Coogan back in top form as Alan Partridge, a character he’s played roughly one billion times.

April 15, 2014 by David Riedel 0 Comments

Soylent green ain’t the only thing that’s people

There’s a lot to the minimalist 'Under the Skin'

Yay Under the Skin isn’t for everyone. Those who do not enjoy meandering present-day sci-fi journeys about human nature should stay away

April 15, 2014 by David Riedel 0 Comments

Still Rumsfeld After All These Years

‘The Unknown Known’ is a fascinating portrait of an unknowable person

Yay Donald Rumsfeld tries to expand on some of his linguistic peculiarities in Errol Morris’ fascinating The Unknown Known.

April 08, 2014 by David Riedel 0 Comments

Band of Brothers

‘Mistaken for Strangers’ explores family relationships in a rock band

Yay Mistaken for Strangers is a funny and touching documentary by Tom Berninger about his relationship with his older brother.

April 08, 2014 by David Riedel 0 Comments

Nice Shield

Go see 'Captain America: The Winter Soldier'

Yay Captain America: The Winter Soldier blows its predecessor out of the water and rivals The Avengers for slam-bang action and thrills. It’s the best Marvel movie thus far.

April 03, 2014 by David Riedel 0 Comments

Life on Mars

Fan-driven reunion mostly satisfies

Yay The fans receive an overdue reunion with nearly all the show’s original characters, but plotwise Veronica Mars doesn’t hold up to the intricacy and surprises the show delivered.

April 01, 2014 by Julia Goldberg 0 Comments

Jingle All the Way?

‘Aatsinki: The Story of Arctic Cowboys’ spends a year with reindeer herders

Yay Aatsinki: The Story of Arctic Cowboys follows brothers Aarne and Lasse Aatsinki for a year through Finnish Lapland.

March 31, 2014 by David Riedel 0 Comments

She blinded me with science

Particle Fever is a fascinating trip down the rabbit hole of physics

Yay A documentary about a bunch of science nerds in the U.S. and abroad getting feverish over the possibility of discovering the Higgs particle and its implications regarding the Standard Model of particle physics.

March 25, 2014 by David Riedel 0 Comments

Now, this is what we call the Muppet Show

‘Muppets Most Wanted’ is a million times better than ‘The Muppets’

Yay Muppets Most Wanted is cheerful, laugh-out-loud funny and features one of the best Muppets ever (who has been absent since the 1970s): Mean Kermit. 

March 18, 2014 by David Riedel 0 Comments

Another day, another weird spider nightmare

‘Enemy’ is bizarre…and fascinating

Yay There are movies about doppelgangers, and there are movies in which doppelgangers appear. And then there is Enemy, which is unlike any other doppelganger movie before.

March 18, 2014 by David Riedel 0 Comments
 
Close
Close
Close