In “This Is the End,” a horror comedy about the apocalypse, a slaphappy bunch of funky comedy stars, including James Franco, play themselves before and after Hollywood burns. It's a gross-out extravaganza, with comic heroes and antiheroes who are more like pathetic victims, effects that echo torture-streaked horror films as well as the Book of Revelations, and a generally debauched sensibility.
Lovely. Insightful. Sad. Funny. “Before Midnight,” the third chapter in the continuing love affair of expatriate Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Parisian Celine (Julie Delpy), is essentially a couple walking and talking. But what a pair, and what dialogue!
Surfing has a different meaning than it did in the 1960s. When someone says “surfing” today, we immediately think of the Internet.
James DeMonaco’s “The Purge” is a bloody-minded, heavy-handed satire of life within these violent United States. It’s a horror film with the occasional visceral thrill: the fear of being hunted, the excitement of righteous violence against nameless intruders. But mostly, it’s just a clumsy lecture about who we’re becoming: haves vs. have-nots, with the haves armed to the teeth.
There’s an unadulterated joy in the reteaming of those fast-talking “Wedding Crashers” Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson, a wholesome novelty in their playing laid-off salesmen forced to do what millions of Americans have had to do in the past six years: reinvent themselves.
The razzle dazzles but the smoke never quite hides the mirrors in “Now You See Me,” a super-slick new magicians’ heist picture that demonstrates, once again, how tough it is to make magic work as a movie subject.
Truth be told, “After Earth” wouldn’t exist had Will Smith not cooked it up as yet another star vehicle for his son Jaden. But since buying your kid a movie credit is a tradition that dates back to the beginnings of Hollywood, you can’t hold that against him.
Admittedly, I have not seen any of the “Fast & Furious” films. They’re just not my thing.
Slow, sentimental and somewhat sedated, the third “Hangover” movie isn’t so much exhausted of outrageous “Oh no, they DIDN’T!” ideas as it is spent of energy. And the filmmakers knew it, too. The only raunchy moment is stuffed into the closing credits, a “we forgot to do that” afterthought.
Bad movies are rarely as much fun as these “Fast and the Furious” pictures. And make no mistake about it: They’re bad.
Director J.J. Abrams proved with 2009’s “Star Trek” that it is OK to boldly go where others had gone before, as long as the journey is exciting, original, entertaining and respectful to legions of loyal fans. His film, which found the balance between reprising and re-imagining, was a direct hit.
The third “Iron Man” movie, the finale to this trilogy of Marvel marvels, is the jokiest and cutest of them all. Iron Man/Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) gets a kiddie sidekick, for Pete’s sake.
Writer-director Justin Zackham has one incredible asset at his disposal for “The Big Wedding”: an exceptional cast, which includes Robert De Niro, Susan Sarandon, Diane Keaton, Amanda Seyfried and Robin Williams.
“Oblivion” is the Frankenstein of science-fiction movies.
Director Danny Boyle has an eclectic body of work, from the ferocious zombies in “28 Days Later” to the fumbling drug addicts of “Trainspotting” to the life-affirming “127 Days” to the buoyant “Slumdog Millionaire” (for which he won a directing Oscar).
Earnest, righteous, historically accurate and often entertaining, writer-director Brian Helgeland’s “42” is pretty much all you could hope for in a Jackie Robinson film biography.
I think the new “Evil Dead” (which opened Friday) is the scariest movie ever — not because of the horror or the gore, but because it’s further proof that Hollywood is going to remake everything.
Sam Raimi’s 1981 cult indie-horror classic “The Evil Dead” and its smarter, cooler follow-up, “Evil Dead II” from 1987, are the Rosetta Stone for the hack-and-splatter crowd.
History says there are two ways for Hollywood to handle something like a G.I. Joe movie: Take a completely straight-forward approach, or make fun of the franchise with tongue-in-cheek satire.
The lines between Hollywood’s seasonal calendar are getting more blurred every year as summer blockbuster season starts earlier and earlier.