Chef (2014)

Chef (2014)

Chef is the kind of enjoyable, good-natured comedy that’s frequently accused of being a vanity project by detractors. Written, directed, and co-produced by Jon Favreau, the film is light on conflict but heavy on familiar themes such as appreciating your family and work to live, not live to work. It … Continue reading

Birdman (2014)

Birdman (2014)

Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) is a true original; a work of technical wizardry, virtuoso acting, and compelling storytelling unlike anything we’ve seen before. Featuring only a few locations and long, single takes of dialogue-driven material, the film never lets up for an instant and always keeps the viewer on … Continue reading

Dear White People (2014)

Dear White People (2014)

Tackling a topic as complex, difficult, and at times downright uncomfortable as race relations in the United States is never easy. Dear White People, the feature film debut from writer/director Justin Simien, stares it right in the face with a combination of biting satire, understated anger, and a whole lot of … Continue reading

The Other Woman (2014)

The Other Woman (2014)

The Other Woman plays like a movie that was made by people that actively hate the script. It is a grotesque, shrill, never-ending effort that always finds a way to sink a little lower just when you’re positive there’s no way it can. Not only is it wholly damaging in its … Continue reading

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014)

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014)

Bringing the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to the big screen has been one of the more interesting cinematic case studies of the past twenty-plus years. Whether live action, animation, or, in this case, motion-capture combined with live action, it’s pretty much impossible for the turtles not to be some combination of … Continue reading

Tammy (2014)

Tammy (2014)

Tammy is exactly what happens when the duo responsible for a breakout performance are given carte blanche control over a vanity project. It’s a sad, angry excuse for a comedy that contains exactly one chuckle and infinitely more cringing. That it couldn’t even rise above the basement-low bar set by … Continue reading

22 Jump Street (2014)

22 Jump Street (2014)

Just because you know you’re a lame retread doesn’t mean you’re not a lame retread. Such is the lesson to be learned from 22 Jump Street, a self-aware sequel to the very good 2012 original that earns some early laughs before disintegrating into screaming matches and just plain unfunny, repetitive … Continue reading

A Million Ways to Die in the West (2014)

A Million Ways to Die in the West (2014)

It can probably be said that A Million Ways to Die in the West is the first and only film where my primary complaint is too many shots of sheep penises (i.e. more than zero). Such are the breaks when viewing a Seth MacFarlane film. He has chosen to follow … Continue reading

Blended (2014)

Blended (2014)

Adam Sandler, reigning king of the Filmed Vacation, is back for another luxurious trip short on belly laughs and long on gooey sentimentality and familiar slapstick. The strange part is that Blended comes close to working, mainly due to Sandler and Drew Barrymore’s chemistry and her likability. The comedy mine … Continue reading