Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)

Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)

The law of diminishing returns strikes big-time in Avengers: Age of Ultron, an overstuffed mess of one-note characters, gaudy, incomprehensible CGI, and really, really bad one-liners. It’s so unexpected that you almost forget how fresh The Avengers was three short years ago, and what a welcome reprieve it was from the… Continue reading

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

Blackhat (2015)

Blackhat (2015)

The ongoing struggle to make cyber crime an exciting time at the movies continues with Michael Mann’s Blackhat, a ridiculous, stone-faced mish-mash of genre stereotypes and endless exposition. We’ve come to expect much more from Mann, an accomplished director whose Heat (1995) remains one of the première crime films ever… Continue reading

A Most Violent Year (2014)

A Most Violent Year (2014)

You have to hand it to writer/director J.C. Chandor. He is immensely skilled at taking otherwise mundane topics (the stock market in Margin Call, a disastrous solo sailing adventure in All Is Lost, and the oh-so-glamorous heating oil industry here) and making tense dramas surrounding them. His films are all character-driven,… Continue reading

The Interview (2014)

The Interview (2014)

It would seem nearly impossible to discuss The Interview without addressing the bizarre circumstances leading up to its release. On December 17, 2014, Sony announced that the film would not be released in the wake of the Sony hack and subsequent 9/11-esque threats for violence issued by the hackers (believed… Continue reading

Unbroken (2014)

Unbroken (2014)

“If you can take it, you can make it.” Those were the words spoken by Louis Zamperini’s brother as he prepared to train as an Olympic runner in Unbroken. Little did he know that over the next few years those words would take on more meaning than ever. The film… Continue reading

American Sniper (2014)

American Sniper (2014)

American Sniper tells the story of Chris Kyle, the most lethal sniper in American military history. With 160 confirmed kills out of a probable 255, Kyle did four tours of duty in Iraq as part of SEAL Team 3. The film is a largely straight-forward look at his life. The… Continue reading

John Wick (2014)

John Wick (2014)

If ever you’ve thought that an action film didn’t have enough point blank head shots, look no further than John Wick. This is an absurdly violent, stylishly-executed revenge-action picture that delivers precisely what the genre promises. While at times repetitive, the film builds up plenty of goodwill with its lean, no-nonsense… 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

The Expendables 3 (2014)

The Expendables 3 (2014)

Expectations are usually set in concrete by the time the third entry of a franchise is reached, and The Expendables 3 is no exception. You know you’re in for a lot of action, cheesy one-liners, and the kind of plot that can be hung from a clothesline. On that level,… Continue reading