Review: Horns (2014)

horns

Horns is one the brightest dark fantasy films I have ever seen. I mean that in the most literal sense of the word. Much of it is set during the daytime, during a season which I'm guessing is either spring or summer. These decisions are not usually coincidental--director Alexandre Aja could have picked any time of the year to film Horns, but he opted for brightness. From a completely visual standpoint, it's a beautifully shot movie. Scenes are framed nicely, and the added benefit of daylight … [Read more...]

Review: The Maze Runner (2014)

Maze Runner (2014)

  The final 10 minutes or so of The Maze Runner is schlock.  Pure schlock.  It ends exactly how you would expect a YA novel adaptation to end--very little resolve, ludicrous explanations, topped off with a healthy dose of deux ex machina. Tune in next year for the inevitable sequel! But man, everything up to that point is pure gold. The Maze Runner is far better than I expected it to be. It's probably better than you expected it to be, as well. Blame the marketers for this one. … [Read more...]

Review: The Zero Theorem (2013)

the zero theorem

Directed By: Terry GilliamWritten By: Pat Rushin Starring: Christoph Waltz, Lucas Hedges, Melanie Thierry, Matt Damon MPAA: R What is the meaning of life? It's a question that has been bothering brilliant computer scientist Qohen Leth (Christoph Waltz) for quite some time, and he spends a majority of The Zero Theorem dancing around the issue.  At first, his awkward, antisocial demeanor is hard to identify with.  He mumbles a lot, freaks out when people touch him, and refers to himself … [Read more...]

Review: The Giver (2014)

the giver

Directed By: Phillip NoyceWritten By: Michael Mitnick, Robert B. Weide Starring: Jeff Bridges, Meryl Streep, Brenton Thwaites, Alexander Skarsgård MPAA: PG-13 Nothing in The Giver makes much sense at all. Let's start with the general premise.  In an undated time period in the distant future, the world as we know it has been subject to a bland existence.  Class doesn't exist anymore.  Jobs are assigned upon a persons graduation from childhood. Competition?  Out the window.  Citizens … [Read more...]

Review: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014)

teenage mutant ninja turtles

Directed By: Jonathan Liebesman Written By: Josh Appelbaum, André Nemec, Evan Daugherty Starring: Megan Fox, Alan Ritchson, Jeremy Howard, Pete Ploszek, Noel Fisher MPAA: PG-13 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles has everything going against it.  It's directed by Jonathan Liebesman, the hack behind trash like Darkness Falls, Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning, and Wrath of the Titans.  It stars Megan Fox, an actress that nobody wants to take seriously.  And it's produced by Michael "hate … [Read more...]

Review: Coherence (2013)

coherence

Directed By: James Ward Byrkit Written By: James Ward Byrkit Starring: Emily Baldoni, Maury Sterling, Nicholas Brendon, Elizabeth Grayson MPAA: Not Rated (Equivalent to "R" for language) It wasn't too long ago that the terms "low-budget" and "sci-fi" were synonymous with B-movie trite.  Cube and it's relentlessly unnecessary sequels come to mind.  Sure, there were big ideas at play, but they were bogged down by cheesy special effects and laughably bad acting.  It's hard to achieve a … [Read more...]

Review: Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

guardians of the galaxy

Directed By: James Gunn Written By: James Gunn, Nicole Perlman Starring: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel MPAA: PG-13 I'm getting tired of comic book movies. It's just that so many of them them tend to follow a specific pattern, the "Marvel" formula, if you will, and are becoming more and more unsurprising with every next inevitable installment.  Bad guys want something, good guys try to stop them.  Bad guys get the thing, good guys stop them.  Cue … [Read more...]

Review: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014)

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Directed By: Matt Reeves Written By: Mark Bomback, Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver Starring: Andy Serkis, Jason Clarke, Gary Oldman, Keri Russell MPAA: PG-13 There's a brilliant scene in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes where a baby chimpanzee jumps away from his mother and starts playing with a group of humans.  The adult apes and humans are alarmed at first, but they let the young chimp have a little fun despite the obvious tension between the two parties.  The infant cares nothing of this, … [Read more...]

Review: Europa Report (2013)

Europa Report (2013)

Directed By: Sebastián Cordero Written By: Philip Gelatt Starring: Christian Camargo, Anamaria Marinca, Michael Nyqvist, Daniel Wu MPAA: PG-13 Review: 3.5/4 Splashy special effects and sci-fi go together like fried chicken and waffles—they naturally complement each other, but consequences arise should you consume too much of either one of them in a single sitting.  While the movie-going world needs a healthy dose of its Avatars, Hunger Games, and [pick-your-favorite-superhero-here]’s, every … [Read more...]

Review: Snowpiercer (2014)

Snowpiercer (2014)

Directed By: Bong Joon-ho Written By: Bong Joon-ho, Kelly Masterson Starring: Chris Evans, Song Kang-ho, Go Ah-sung, Jamie Bell, John Hurt MPAA: Rated R Review: 3.5/4 "What does steak taste like again?  I had it once, but I can't remember." Such is life in the tail end of the Snowpiercer, a socially segregated train that acts as humanity's sole habitat.  It's been 17 years since the Earth has frozen over--the result of a global warming counter-experiment that failed miserably--and … [Read more...]