Jupiter Ascending (2015)

Jupiter Ascending (2015)

Jupiter Ascending takes the trailer approach to filmmaking, meaning each shot looks perfectly crafted for a two second appearance in a two-minute trailer. When tasked with creating a coherent film from said clips, the results are disastrous. This is one of the more misguided space operas of recent memory, and … Continue reading

Into the Woods (2014)

Into the Woods (2014)

Into the Woods is eighty minutes of energy and joy followed by forty more of tiresome, by-the-numbers visual effects. The drop-off in quality is notable. It’s a shame, as the first two-thirds are filled with crowd-pleasing tunes, beautiful set designs, and a playfulness that jumps off the screen. All of … Continue reading

The Boxtrolls (2014)

The Boxtrolls (2014)

The Boxtrolls is another dark, edgy, macabre story from the same team that brought us ParaNorman and Coraline. If you’ve seen one or both of those films, you’ll have a pretty good idea of what to expect here. Directors Graham Annable and Anthony Stacchi and their team have created some of … Continue reading

Dracula Untold (2014)

Dracula Untold (2014)

The allure of the prequel, from the studio’s standpoint, makes a whole lot of sense. After all, something can always occur before something else and you can pretty much make up your own rules. Dracula Untold, the latest in the Dracula saga that has served Universal well for decades, is a … 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

I, Frankenstein (2014)

I, Frankenstein (2014)

I, Frankenstein is an endlessly silly Blade/Underworld mash-up that somehow never becomes unwatchable, mainly due to some decent action, visual effects, and Bill Nighy’s Billy Mack-gone-Goth routine. Aaron Eckhart stars as Adam, the supposedly horrendous creation of Dr. Frankenstein (he basically looks like a normal dude with some scars) whose … Continue reading

Frozen (2013)

Frozen (2013)

Frozen contains all of the timeless ingredients of Disney’s wildly successful past: royalty, magical powers, familial drama, and visual splendor. All of these elements feel familiar, but Frozen puts enough energy and witty spin on them to create something new and memorable. It won’t get any bonus points for breaking … Continue reading

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012)

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012)

Welcome back, Middle-earthers. Nearly a decade after launching his Lord of the Rings trilogy, director Peter Jackson returns with another set of three films, this time adapted from J.R.R. Tolkien’s beloved book, The Hobbit. The first part, An Unexpected Journey, is a well-made spectacle that makes up for overall lacking … Continue reading

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011)

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011)

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides represents the fourth entry in this unlikely series. Not bad for a series whose source material is a Disney theme park ride. They are, perhaps, the face of disposable, inconsequential summer films, but On Stranger Tides has the faint stink of a phoned-in … Continue reading