The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013)

Middle chapters in trilogies — particularly in cases where each installment is part of a larger whole — can often come across as time-wasters. The idea, especially here, in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, is to initiate events that will pay off in the finale, but not necessarily do a whole lot else. There […]

Godzilla (2014)

There isn’t any nice way to say this, so I figured I might as well just come out and get it over with: Godzilla is terrible. Not worse than the 1998 version, mind you, but not at all worth watching for anyone who isn’t one of the biggest fans of the titular giant monster. If […]

Million Dollar Arm (2014)

There are times when knowing the real story of a film “based on a true story” can ensure that you’re not going to be a big fan of the movie version. That might be the case here, but even if you have no idea what it’s like going in, there isn’t going to be a […]

Two Hands (1999)

Coming from Australia and director Gregor Jordan, Two Hands is a typical crime thriller set against an atypical backdrop and with an offbeat sense of humor. It sets everything in motion right away, contains more than a couple of surprises, and is entertaining from start to finish. Is it derivative? Absolutely. But its sense of […]

Devil in the Flesh (1998)

After surviving a fire which killed her abusive mother, Debbie Strand (Rose McGowan) is sent to live with her fundamentalist Christian grandmother (Peg Shirley) who makes her wear old clothes, continually clean the house, and not have any fun. At school, Debbie develops a crush on a teacher at her school, Peter (Alex McArthur), even […]

Dr. Strangelove Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)

Dr. Strangelove Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb is a fantastic satirical black comedy centered around the potential destruction of the human race. Released less than two years after the Cuban Missile Crisis, the film functions as a way to cathartically laugh at what could have easily been our demise. […]

Super 8 (2011)

Set in 1979 and starring a few teenagers, Super 8 essentially functions as a love letter to ’80s Spielberg movies. For all its mystery, trio of overarching plots, special effects, etc., it mostly just wants its audience — and in particular the audience members who were this age at this time — to remember how […]

The Double (2014)

Simon James (Jesse Eisenberg) is the hardest working employee at an unnamed retro-futuristic company that will remind most watching it of Brazil, probably because it looks a lot like Brazil. I can’t remember if it’s ever said exactly what the people do here, but it looks like a representation of the future that came from […]

Devil’s Knot (2014)

On May 5, 1993, three eight-year-old boys went for a bike ride from which they would never return. Later, their bodies were found bound, beaten, and naked in a river. After a search and a trial, three teenagers were charged with the murders, despite a lack of actual evidence. This has been a well-documented case, […]

Neighbors (2014)

I don’t have much of a problem with Neighbors. Honestly, I expected to. I don’t particularly like either of the two male leads — or much of the cast, really — this style of comedy is very hit-and-miss with me, and it’s often the case that comedies that receive rave reviews to little for me. […]

Assault Girls (2009)

Have you ever been invited to a friend’s house to play video games, only to find out your friend meant watch him play a single World of Warcraft quest that he already started and had no desire to finish, so you watched for a bit and then left? Come on, I’m sure that’s happened plenty […]

8 Minutes Idle (2014)

After being kicked out of his mother’s house, twentysomething Dan (Tom Hughes) has to face the harsh reality of life as a homeless person working a dead-end job. Well, not really, but he does, along with his cat, move into his office, which is at a call center. He makes a bed in the janitor’s […]

Walk of Shame (2014)

A silly movie based around coincidence, misunderstandings, and a lack of creativity, Walk of Shame eventually becomes a one-joke comedy that wears out its welcome far before it reaches its conclusion. Elizabeth Banks stars and is great, but the situations she’s forced into seem, well, forced, as well as repetitive. After you’ve seen the first […]

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)

A lot of things happen in The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Enough things that the 142-minute running time is almost justified. This is a film that contains so much material that it could possibly be split into two movies, except forget I said that, because I don’t want to be giving Sony any ideas. The problem […]

The Quiet Ones (2014)

I’m of two minds when it comes to The Quiet Ones, although I definitely lean stronger toward one than the other. The first is that it is scary and works so effectively at making you jump that anything else it does almost doesn’t matter, for good or for ill. The second is that its scares […]

A Promise (2014)

It’s not reaching to say that a romance needs some semblance of passion in order to reach the hearts of the people watching it. It’s not believable if two monotonous, blank-faced people “fall in love,” because nobody watching is going to get that sort of feeling. It’s impossible to care about them when this is […]

13 Sins (2014)

Sometimes it’s a shame that we don’t live in a vacuum. 13 Sins has been released roughly a month after Cheap Thrills, and that’s not enough time to make them feel like completely separate entities. Their plots are close, they contain similar themes, and the former is better, which means that the latter can only […]

Transcendence (2014)

Of all the things I have to say about Transcendence, I’ll open with this: for the majority of its two-hour running time, I was not bored. I was not necessarily excited, thrilled, or having fun, but I was also not wishing it would end, or feeling the need to check a clock. It might just […]