Just Go with It (2011)

There’s nothing wrong with mediocrity in the movies. If it didn’t exist, how else could we discern between masterpieces and the dregs of the motion picture industry? No, we need mediocrity like a map needs to indicate north; it gives the viewer a point of reference on that post-credits walk to their car (when most people lock in their opinion of a film). Case in point: Just Go with It, a loose adaptation of 1969′s Cactus Flower and the latest rom-com from funnyman Adam Sandler. It’s just Read more [...]

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (2010)

It’s been a troublesome couple of years for The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. The film and its darling young stars were cast aside by Disney, the film series’ original studio, on the basis of the less than stellar performance of the sequel (Prince Caspian). Now that it has been picked back up by 20th Century Fox, the difference in style–or lack thereof–can be felt acutely. This installment finds the youngest of the Pevensie children, Edmund (Skandar Keynes) Read more [...]

Machete (2010)

In recent years, the subject of immigration has become a hot button topic in those states resting on the U.S./Mexico border. With the new, controversial laws from Arizona still being argued over in court, indie filmmaker Robert Rodriguez has decided to weigh in with his vision of international relations. The result is Machete, an irreverent and frequently bloody send-up of both traditional action flicks and exploitation cinema. And it’s got Lindsay Lohan wearing a nun’s habit. This isn’t Read more [...]

Piranha 3D (2010)

It was inevitable, really, that Piranha 3D would come into existence. The title is the concept, just like Snakes on a Plane, but more succinct (by two words). The 3D trend is big at the box office these days, right? And people like scary creature flicks, right? And we’re in the middle of a summer heat wave, so let’s make the audience feel cool by setting it all in the water, right? And we can show lots of hot babes in bikinis…and less, right? And we can half-assedly rip off Jaws (and two other Read more [...]

The Killer Inside Me (2010)

Set in an oil-boom Texas town in the 1950s and based on Jim Thomson’s 58-year-old novel of the same name, The Killer Inside Me is a grotesque, uneven entry into the film noir genre. Its violence is stomach turning, but the film doesn’t seem to know why. Neither will you. In the film, Casey Affleck plays Lou Ford, a seemingly nice guy. He’s the surviving son of the once-small town’s doctor. He lives in his childhood home, among his father’s library of volumes that include both Freud and Read more [...]

Sex and the City 2 (2010)

I’ve already started to hear whispers of disappointment aboutSex and the City 2, the second big-screen helping of everyone’s favorite oversexed, over-shopped Manhattan gals. Honestly, I’m having some trouble understanding the backlash. Granted, the plot of the film is paper-thin. In a nutshell, the ladies–Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte and Samantha–are all back with their men, and their issues with men, in tow. This time around, Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) is stressing out about her sexist boss Read more [...]

The Disappearance of Alice Creed (2010)

This may be one of the trickiest reviews I’ve ever had to write, so let me get right to the point: The Disappearance of Alice Creedis a succinct, smartly crafted suspense thriller, and, the less you know about it going in, the better. Ideally, I prefer to watch a movie knowing as little as possible, but I had seen a trailer that informed me The Disappearance of Alice Creedwas about two men kidnapping a woman. If you’re interested in seeing this movie in a similar “blank slate” mind-set, stop Read more [...]

The Human Centipede (First Sequence) (2010)

If you’ve heard about The Human Centipede (First Sequence) and are shocked and disgusted by the premise, I can verify that it’s indeed based on one of the most vile and revolting ideas ever conjured, definitely not for weak stomachs. It’s outlandishly conceived and executed, terribly scripted, and utterly ridiculous much of the time. And the most shocking thing about the movie was realizing afterward that I wasn’t going to give it a bottom-of-the-barrel review. I’m truly in a quandary, Read more [...]

Chloe (2010)

Chloe is good with words, or so she tells us in the opening minutes of the film. Since she’s a call girl with an upwardly mobile clientele, she’s obviously good with more than just words, but her point is well taken. Chloe is a pro (by any definition), particularly in her ability to read a client; she acts as a mirror and amplifier of their desires. This provocative film from Canadian director Atom Egoyan functions in a similar fashion, as the titular character, skillfully portrayed by Amanda Read more [...]