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Wednesday, Oct 1, 2014
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Movie Reviews

Denzel commands attention in ‘The Equalizer’

October 1, 2014
An early shot in “The Equalizer” shows a beautiful woman rising from her seat on the bus. She waits to exit, and the camera pans around to reveal Robert McCall’s face. We’d expect any male character in this shot to be staring straight at her -- we’ve seen that reaction thousands of times from thousands of antiheroes. Instead, Robert’s eyes are cast down, reading his book, which we’re later told is Ernest Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea.  (More)
Ode to the curious — ‘The Maze Runner’

September 24, 2014
When I was younger, almost all my scripts and stories started the same way. A man or woman wakes up somewhere mysterious, not knowing who they were or how they got there. It’s the easiest set-up in the world. It takes the burden off of the characters and puts it on shaping the story’s world.  (More)
A punishing ‘No Good Deed’

September 17, 2014
Movies are all about expectations. If I’d rented “No Good Deed” straight-to-DVD, having no idea what it was, I still wouldn’t think it’s a good movie but I’d applaud the effort. Seeing it in the theater, however, magnifies all its flaws 30 feet tall.  (More)
Top 10 movies of the fall

September 10, 2014
As the summer ends and we begin shifting toward autumn, we also change movie seasons. Gone for the most part are the glossy superhero blockbusters that ruled the hottest months. In their place will come art films, Oscar bait, and more than a few crime thrillers. The next “Hunger Games” arrives November 21, and I’m sure it will dominate at the box office. It just barely misses my top 10, which follows:  (More)
A POV standard — ‘As Above, So Below’

September 3, 2014
Mainstream critics tend to miss the boat when it comes to found footage movies, and they’ve done it again with “As Above, So Below.”  (More)
Avoid at all costs — ‘Sin City 2’

August 27, 2014
“Sin City: A Dame to Kill For” would be a lot better if it didn’t seem like a Men’s Rights recruitment ad. Every woman in the film is either manipulating a man, getting beaten, or pining for a man who couldn’t care less about her. Often all three at once.  (More)
Just enough to prop up ‘The Expendables 3’

August 20, 2014
There stood their names, 20 feet tall: Stallone. Li. Statham. Grammer. Snipes. Schwarzenegger … wait. Back up a few. Grammer? Kelsey Grammer?  (More)
These ‘Ninja Turtles’ are belly up

August 13, 2014
I’m not convinced Megan Fox is a bad actress. I’m not convinced she’s a good one either. She’s never been given much to do aside from scream and run in slow motion. I can’t think of another actor, outside motion capture, who’s spent as much time opposite green screens and cars and so little time opposite other actors.  (More)
‘Lucy’ survives on Scarlett Johansson alone

August 6, 2014
The big name in all the ads for “Lucy” is Scarlett Johansson, and for good reason. “Lucy” just clobbered Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s brawnier, twice-as-expensive release “Hercules” in theaters this weekend. I think it’s safe to put to rest the notion that women can’t launch action movies, and make those Black Widow and Wonder Woman spin-offs immediately.  (More)
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