Review: Beyond the Brick: A Lego Brickumentary

It’s a family owned business with a single product line, and it’s the #2 largest company in the toy industry. Its color scheme is the inspiration for the Google logo and its little plastic people — “minifigs” — are the inspiration behind a staggeringly successful series of movie-inspired video games and even a hit cinematic film. Fans of these little plastic blocks range from 4-94 and they have conferences, competitions, and a language of their…Read More

Review: Paul

Most modern comedies end up being so stupid that it’s painful to watch the actors embarrass themselves on the big screen. There are also comic actors who seem to have a string of box office successes even as their films are stupid and only barely entertaining. That’s why it’s a pleasure to see the terrific comic team of Simon Pegg and Nick Frost skewer the alien conspiracy genre in the consistently funny Paul. Graeme (Simon…Read More

Review: Up In The Air

When I was a kid, I used to think that business travel must be fabulous, a life of glamor punctuated by new cities, fancy hotels and anything you’d like to eat, each and every meal. Then I started to travel and realized just how exhausting and disheartening it is, how it can suck the life out of you and leave you restless both on the road and at home. Ryan Bingham (George Clooney) has just…Read More

Review: Couples Retreat

Director Peter Billingsley had a tough assignment: take four suburban couples and put them through a series of “relationship building” challenges that were thought-provoking, poignant, revealing, and funny. In his attempt to accomplish this, he commits the cardinal directorial sin: he makes everyone a crass caricature, preventing us from engaging with any of them, nor caring about the outcome of their journey. Worse, it’s just not that funny. Couples Retreat could have been a funny…Read More

Review: Extract

Can an entirely predictable storyline with snappy dialog and an amusing setup produce a film that’s worth watching?  With most directors, the answer would be no, but Mike Judge, who mastered the nuances of everyday conversation and situations with the hit Office Space, has accomplished just that in the new comedy Extract. Part of what I like to see in movies is the gradual unveiling of the story, where the true allegiance of characters is…Read More