THE LAST STAND

Like THE LAST ACTION HERO, this movie stars Arnold Schwarzenegger… and bombed. And even more than HERO, it did not deserve to. It's brisk, funny, unpretentious and thoroughly entertaining, with expertly delivered (in the context of his usual non-acting) Arnold one-liners and a lot of help from a game supporting cast. I'll ask the same … Continue reading THE LAST STAND

SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN

Sixto Rodriguez was a foik/rock musician in the early 70's. He released two albums and disappeared, never to be heard from again. That is unless you lived in South Africa. There, Rodriguez was a legend who had legends written about him. Was he dead? Alive? Suicide? No one knew anything about him. And find those … Continue reading SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN

MAMA

Elegantly shot hokum. At the beginning, this middling thriller seems like it's going to be a psychological horror story whose "monster" is the incarnation of a spirit bent on vengeance, a la PUMPKINHEAD. But then comes a further supernatural twist about a drowning tragedy from the past involving an institutionalized woman and her daughter, a … Continue reading MAMA

GANGSTER SQUAD

Any lingering doubt about Ryan Gosling's ability to make women moisten their… lips (and the swollen corollary for certain guys) is laid to rest here when Ryan picks up Emma Stone (looking spectacular, looking not like herself) right from under boyfriend Sean Penn's big Jewish nose. Sean Penn is L.A.-based gangster Mickey Cohen, and he … Continue reading GANGSTER SQUAD

A HAUNTED HOUSE

A spoof ultimately done in by its own ambition. HOUSE isn't content to merely string one gag after another, HELLZAPOPPIN-style, as the SCARY MOVIEs do. Yes, much of it is parody (mostly of the PARANORMAL ACTIVITY movies; also, one funny reference to BLAIR WITCH). But large parts of it seem aimed at genuine story development, … Continue reading A HAUNTED HOUSE

DJANGO UNCHAINED

Quentin Tarantino has never been a director to hide his influences. He embraces them and that's never been truer than in DJANGO UNCHAINED. Part spaghetti western, part blaxploitation film.. Django steals the best from each genre. The movie is set in the south just before the Civil War. Christoph Waltz plays a dentist turned bounty … Continue reading DJANGO UNCHAINED

LES MISERABLES

Unless you've been in a French prison for 20 years (spoiler alert.. not!) you know LES MISERABLES is the story of Jean Valjean and Javert. The musical based on Victor Hugo's novel of a French policeman's 20-year pursuit of a parole skipper, was turned into a historically successful musical that won countless Tony's and worldwide … Continue reading LES MISERABLES

TEXAS CHAINSAW 3D

Not just awful, God-awful. Not just a bomb, an abomination. Worthless. A piece of crap. Bad actors in a screenplay that stumbles from points A to B like a jalopy with stripped gears in a stretchy premise that loses even more credibility by how badly it's developed.  Marcus Nispel's 2003 remake not only proved you … Continue reading TEXAS CHAINSAW 3D