Category Archives: Film

Films, movies, whether they’re in theaters or on demand.

Review: The women are not the problem in the new Ghostbusters

The new Ghostbusters movie feels like a video game rushed to launch in need of a day one patch that will never come. This film wasn’t ready for prime time — it’s clear from the moment a half-assed title card appears on-screen, and only emphasized by several amateur edits and forced cameos. The theme song appears over and over, as if to assure viewers that they are, in fact, watching a Ghostbusters movie. The big irony here is that almost everything wrong with this film happened in the editing room, having little to do with the performances of the main cast.

The four actresses that make up the new all-female Ghostbusters team — Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, and Leslie Jones — play their parts to near perfection. Had they been in a better movie we might have genuine conversations about which Ghostbusters team is our favorite. Their sheer enthusiasm often transported me into their world, inspiring the same imagination I felt as a kid with the original 1984 cast. They’re having a lot of fun being Ghostbusters, and that fun is contagious. When you ask the question, “why have female Ghostbusters?” this cast is about as good of an answer as you can hope for. Continue reading Review: The women are not the problem in the new Ghostbusters

It Follows – Film Review

The creature at the heart of It Follows is a testament to the power of a well-realized terror. The rules are established early on — passed along through sex, the creature can assume the form of anyone, and it will follow you relentlessly until it gets close enough to kill. It’s also invisible to everyone else, making it difficult for even the most understanding of friends to believe or even help. It’s that Terminator-like relentlessness combined with the isolation of an invisible killer that makes for a potent cocktail of horror. Continue reading It Follows – Film Review

Tak3n – Film Review

Whether you call it Taken 3 or the more absurdly appropriate Tak3n, Liam Neeson’s latest continues the fine tradition of devaluing the charms of the first film. The original Taken wasn’t very good either, but it had good quotes, good moments, and enough to merit required viewing from any action/revenge movie fan. The concessions you have to make — the “not very good” part — have had a brighter light shone on them with every passing sequel.

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Interstellar – Film Review

A review should be your own take on a film — your subjective opinion. Unfortunately, I went into Interstellar expecting the next Prometheus or Gravity. The reviews under RottenTomatoes 74% consensus describe another preposterous sci-fi film with big ideas that handles them in sloppy ways. I was ready to see characters making nonsensical, frustrating decisions in the style of Prometheus. I figured the adherence to the rules of space travel would start and stop with the needs of the plot, just as Gravity handled it.

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Nightcrawler – Film Review

I can’t help but imagine Jake Gyllenhaal’s turn as Lou Bloom in Nightcrawler, forced to go on a roadtrip with Ryan Gosling’s character from Drive. Would the driver ever speak a word as Lou Bloom prattled on about the state of the job market? How long would it take before one of them killed the other?

They’re two characters impaired by neurological issues that keep them from connecting with the general populace, yet they channel that strangeness in entirely different ways. The driver is an idealistic fantasy — a stranger who takes matters into his own hands to save people. Lou Bloom is the sad truth, the thing you’re more likely to get: a slimy, manipulative, exploitative sociopath who sees would-be connections as opportunities to get ahead. Continue reading Nightcrawler – Film Review

Wicked Blood – Film Review

If for nothing else, Wicked Blood fascinated me for blending two completely different genres — the crime drama and the quirky indie film. It stars former Little Miss Sunshine Abigail Breslin as Hannah, a precocious teen living with her drug-dealing uncle Donny and her sister Amber. She wants to be a family and have a good life, but she can’t escape under the controlling influence of Uncle Frank, the local crime boss who has Donny wrapped around his finger. Continue reading Wicked Blood – Film Review

Unidentified – Film Review

Combine The Hangover with IT geeks, then throw in some aliens and Paranormal Activity, sprinkle it with the budget of a YouTube video series and you have what I imagine were the hopes and dreams for Unidentified. It sounds like a winning formula for a film that would at least be fun and entertaining, if not intelligent, but the blend doesn’t quite work.

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