Archive for February, 2010

Shutter Island (9/10)

Posted in Entertainment, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , on February 22, 2010 by Brandon

Every last thing in “Shutter Island” is conducive to the stifling atmosphere of fear, a tour-de-force mystery that tightens around your neck like a noose at the beginning of the film and drags you, unknowingly, into the creepy black corners of the room, where secrets live and gnaw at the edges of your vision, ducking into shadows before you can spot them. It weaves a fascinating and absorbing tale about corruption, the psychological effect of war, and the horrors of the mind, real or imagined, that haunt the dark places in our hearts. Continue reading

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The Wolfman (6/10)

Posted in Entertainment, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , on February 14, 2010 by Brandon
The best horror films showcase a masterful manipulation of the balance between that perverse desire of expectantly waiting and wanting for something awful to occur and the mounting terror that builds as you hope that the characters you care for don’t fall prey to some evil of the night. “The Wolfman,” for a time, walks this line pretty carefully, but through some awkward and cliched plotting devices devolves all-too soon into that devilish pitfall of an monster movie – it’s more about the gross-goodiness of the monster than the humanity of the man. Continue reading

Up in the Air (5/10)

Posted in Entertainment, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , on February 14, 2010 by Brandon
Ryan Bingham’s life is tidy and uncluttered, just the way he likes it. Jetting from town to city to metropolis and back again, firing hundreds of workers, because the companies of these employees don’t have the guts to fire them themselves. So they outsource the job of firing them to Ryan’s employer, who send him and 22 other people zooming across the nation on a daily basis, a handy rehabilitation packet in their hands and the words “you’ve been let go” always on their lips. Ryan is the company’s best employee, always eager to hop on a plane or spend a few hours in an airport lobby, and the movie’s premise is clearly a set-up to illustrate the lonely and isolated life Ryan leads and the importance of personal relationships in our daily lives. In fact, it is painfully clear, to the point where the movie feels less like one man’s personal journey and more like a series of pre-arranged vignettes that Ryan must travel through in order to become enlightened. Continue reading

An Education (9/10)

Posted in Entertainment, Movie Reviews with tags , , , on February 10, 2010 by Brandon
A man pulls up to the curb in the rain, feigning concern that the cello you’re carrying in a bag will suffer water damage, so won’t you please put in his car so he can drive alongside you, because you’d have to be a fool to get into the same car with a strange older man. So you oblige him, until the rain bothers you enough that you ask to get into the car, fooled into thinking that you, not he, made the decision. Continue reading

The Spy Next Door (4/10)

Posted in Entertainment, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , on February 10, 2010 by Brandon

Hooray, another groan-worthy “family friendly” flick that aims to reach new levels of mediocrity! Only this time, they’ve roped Jackie Chan into the proceedings! How fun! Well, actually, it is kinda fun, and Chan and his Kung Fu antics are the only saving grace of a movie that includes such humor black holes as George Lopez and Billy Ray Cyrus.

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Precious (7/10)

Posted in Entertainment, Reviews with tags , , , , on February 8, 2010 by Brandon

If you haven’t figured out the movie’s true intentions by the time Precious’s mother, Ruby, has sent a TV hurtling over a staircase in an attempt to crush Precious and her newborn beneath its weight, you probably never will. On the surface, it’s about the age-old tale of an oppressed person escaping an oppressing situation through sheer hard work and the unconditional love of non-oppressive people. “Precious” follows this formula to a “T,” but its intent is more subversive and clever than its plot would have you believe. Continue reading

The Princess and the Frog (5/10)

Posted in Entertainment, Reviews with tags , , , , , on February 8, 2010 by Brandon

Picture in your head the “Ain’t never had a friend like me” song from the classic “Aladdin.” Remember how crazy the visuals were, how epic and fast-paced the lyrics? Every single song and dance number in “The Princess and the Frog” aims to be just as show-stoppingly insane, and the result is a film that tries way too hard to push all the buttons and pull all the levers of the Disney musical animated classic, to a point where, much of the time, it loses itself in over-zealous incoherence. Continue reading