Film Review: King Arthur: Legend of the Sword

There are some film directors who have such a strong imprint on their films that regardless of the story, you know what kind of cinematic experience you’re in for when you walk in the theater. Michael Bay loves his explosions. Quentin Tarantino loves his ultra-violence (yes, with a nod to A Clockwork Orange). And Guy Ritchie? He loves his style. His oeuvre encompasses some of the coolest, most visually striking films in the last decade, including…Read More

Best New Films to Netflix, May 2017

I haven’t written about what’s leaving and what’s coming to Netflix in a while, but let’s be honest: Netflix has so much content, it can be hard to realize that the catalog changes on any given month anyway. Particularly now that it’s so aggressively producing its own unique content, both movies and engrossing TV series. Still, let’s have a look at May, 2017’s big list. Leaving Netflix There are some really good movies leaving Netflix…Read More

Review: Outcast

There’s a certain style of storytelling in a Chinese historical film that requires Western viewers to adjust their perspective and expectations just a bit. A bit of the mythic, an exaggeration for moral and ethical effect, and battles that are always epic and heroes who stagger on and fight until the very end, pulling arrows out of their torso and daring their opponent to stick them with another sword because one wasn’t enough to stop…Read More

Review: Pain & Gain

There are two fundamental problems with the action “comedy” Pain and Gain: First, Michael Bay is the wrong director for this sort of material, and second, whoever cast the likable Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne Johnson in the film made a terrible mistake. I like Wahlberg and Johnson, and that’s the problem: In the film the criminal masterminds they portray are such losers that it’s just wrong to have these two popular actors in these roles….Read More

Review: Machete

After having sat through the enjoyable but mind-numbingly violent Machete, I’ve come up with a new movie category: bloodbath porn. From the very first scene in this Robert Rodriguez homage to 70s action films, Machete has a body count that I can’t recall seeing an equal of since the Rambo series. Not into decapitation?  Then this probably isn’t the film for you. Machete is played by scary-looking character actor Danny Trejo, whose entire career seems…Read More

The Best Films of 2009

I’ve spent the time to rant about the films I saw last year that I thought were the worst of the bunch, not just middling experiences, but genuinely “how on Earth did they ever raise the money to make this abomination?” movies where they either started out okay and slowly collapsed on their own weight (like Knowing) or were daft from the get-go (like Transformers 2). The worst of the bunch, though, must have been…Read More

Review: Inglourious Basterds

It’s wonderful to watch a talented professional mature in their skills and with the release of Inglourious Basterds that’s what’s clearly happened with wunderkind director and film biz bad boy Quentin Tarantino. His earlier works are best typified by Kill Bill and Pulp Fiction, interesting stories that are so extraordinarily violent that the graphic violence appears in lieu of story or character development. Let me put this another way: Inglorious Basterds is the first Tarantino…Read More