Not enough wonder in ‘Wonderland’

Here’s how it breaks down: Lewis Carrol’s “Alice in Wonderland” is fraught with insanity. Tim Burton’s “Alice in Wonderland” contains almost none. Without all that illogic and craziness, Wonderland has no soul. The characters lose their intrigue, their menace, their magic – and their entertainment value. Burton’s “Wonderland” contains only overbearing plot and Johnny Depp, […]

‘Avatar’ neglects a few interesting ethical questions

NOTE: This post contains a few slight SPOILERS about “Avatar.” I’m sure you can guess the plot of the movie based on the trailers, but if you’re scared at all, you may want to refrain. The huge IMAX-projected blue hand twitched as the alien drifted in a giant, fluid-filled incubation tube, and my very first […]

In defense of ‘New Moon’

It grossed more on its Thursday opening than both “Harry Potter” and “The Dark Knight,” and everyone has been ragging on the movie, but let me make an apparently earth-shattering statement: “The Twilight Saga: New Moon” is really not that bad. It’s no worse than the various dude-bro films that make tons of money and […]

‘Whip It’ excels through phenomenal casting, and a ‘Paranormal Activity’ review too

Two words elevate “Whip It” from predictable teen angst-underdog sports movie to a fun and funny roller-derby hit: Ellen Page. Actually, that’s simplifying things a bit. It’s the entire cast, led by the capable Page who hits her tried-and-true off-beat irritated teen mark. But among the ranks are Kristen Wiig, Drew Barrymore, Alia Shawkat, and […]

‘Pandorum’ muddled with too many bad ideas

I went into Pandorum, a sci-fi movie set on a huge dark ship potentially filled with horrifying creatures, expecting, well, that. I was hoping for a movie akin to the original Alien. I also was excited to see the likes of Ben Foster (3:10 to Yuma, 30 Days of Night) and Dennis Quaid (Frequency) manning […]

‘Basterds’ portrays torture of Nazis and little else

Nobody likes Nazis. In fact, everybody hates Nazis. Especially Quentin Tarantino. There’s really no other explanation for “Inglorious Basterds.” And for a Tarantino film, a motivation so thin as “let’s make a movie about killing Nazis because we hate Nazis” just isn’t good enough. The result is an underdeveloped, self-indulgent piece of film that’s slow, […]