Best Make-Up

[8.0] Christian Bale once again transforms himself completely to become former vice-president Dick Cheney in Adam McKay’s (The Big Short) new film, Vice. The film is a pastiche of Cheney’s political career, driven in large part by his relationship with wife Lynne (Amy Adams) and daughters Liz and Mary. McKay is careful to keep Vice a pitch-black comedy at all times, but he also does …

[8.0] It may be tempting to dismiss Planet of the Apes as high camp, but there’s provocative science-fiction under those monkey masks. Charlton Heston plays an American astronaut who’s on his way back to Earth when he crashlands on a strange, desolate planet where apes rule and humans are primitive beasts of burden. Heston is captured, tortured, and humiliated by the apes. He finds sympathy …

[5.0] Visually striking but emotionally hollow, Warren Beatty’s film version of Chester Gould’s comic creation is an underwhelming would-be blockbuster. The only character you can get invested in is Madonna’s Breathless Mahoney. Everyone else, including our strong-jawed hero, is as two-dimensional as the comic strip they came from. It’s kinda fun to spot well-known actors in cameos throughout the movie — keep your eyes peeled …

[7.0] Matthew McConaughey stars as Ron Woodruff in this true story about a womanizing electrician whose given thirty days to live after doctors discover he carries HIV. The year was 1985 and the American government was loathe to take HIV/AIDS very seriously at the time, with most people believing it was only a ‘gay disease.’ Indeed, Woodruff loses many of his old buddies when they …

[7.5] George Miller has stopped making talking pig and dancing penguin movies (Babe, Happy Feet) long enough to give us another installment in his seminal apocalyptic Mad Max series. The result is probably one of the greatest non-stop action movies ever made. Tom Hardy takes the reigns from Mel Gibson as the title character, but gets to sink his teeth into the role quite a …

[6.0] Just as Robert Zemeckis had to make Forrest Gump and Tim Burton had to make Big Fish, so did David Fincher have to make The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. All three directors are known for their visual and/or technical prowess, and all three felt the need to wring a tear-jerker out of their filmographies, maybe just to prove they could? Benjamin Button is …

[6.5] I love movies. But unlike most other people who love movies, I don’t love Wes Anderson movies. To me they’re a case of too much style over too little substance. I never care about the story or the characters, and I’m usually more inclined to fall asleep than chuckle at anything. And while The Grand Budapest Hotel is probably my favorite Anderson flick so …

[9.0] Guillermo del Toro’s fantasy masterpiece is a volatile blend of whimsy and horror that dares to explore the depths of human evil through the eyes of an innocent child. The film is brutal, heartbreaking, and gorgeous. Del Toro’s unique style is on full display here, in the conceptual design, the fluid camera work, and in the delicate performances. Young Ivana Baquero gives a solid …

[10] Peter Jackson (Dead Alive, The Frighteners) embraces the Herculean task of bringing Tolkien’s supreme fantasy to the silver screen, and hits a home run. The Fellowship of the Ring gets the trilogy off to a strong start, as Frodo Baggins and his companions set off to destroy the One Ring.  Jackson is faithful to the source material while masterfully balancing action, horror, heart, and …

[9.5] I doubt Tim Burton will ever make a finer film. Armed with a powerhouse screenplay by Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski (The People vs Larry Flynt), Burton turns the biography of Hollywood’s most infamously bad director into a poignant and hilarious film about never giving up… no matter how much you might suck. The film is admittedly white-washed, concentrating and embellishing upon Ed Wood’s …

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