2008

[8] Without the burden of exposition, Christopher Nolan molds his Batman sequel into a compelling crime drama that probes deep into the frightening psyches of Bob Kane’s characters. No Batman movie, or comic book movie for that matter, has ever been so character-driven or intricately plotted. It’s complex, emotional, disturbing, and almost a masterpiece. I still have reservations about Christian Bale as Batman, but the …

[8] Pineapple Express is Quentin Tarantino meets Cheech and Chong, a hyperviolent action flick crashed into a buddy comedy. The mish-mash may be an acquired taste, but it’s a winning combination for me. Seth Rogen and James Franco carry this movie to victory as a process server and pot dealer on the run from a hitman (Gary Cole) and a crooked cop (Rosie Perez). Rogen …

[7] Two high school buddies discover a girl chained to a table in an abandoned mental hospital. At first she appears dead, but she’s actually one of the “living” dead. And she’s all theirs… Yes, just when you thought zombies had been completely used up as cinematic metaphors, along comes Deadgirl, a provocative and deeply disturbing exploration of the slippery slope between male sexual impulse …

[5] A prim and proper lady discovers she is infertile and hires a street-smart gal to be her ‘Baby Mama.’ As much as I like everyone in the cast — from stars Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, to Steve Martin, Sigourney Weaver, Greg Kinnear, Holland Taylor, and Dax Shepard — Baby Mama comes off oddly restrained, never allowing Fey or Poehler to cut loose and …

[5] You know this story by now, even if you haven’t seen the movie: Girl meets vampire, girl wants to screw the vampire, but vampire is too good for that shit. I don’t generally like a story where one character pines obsessively over another (which is why I don’t like most John Cusack movies), so when two characters start pining obsessively, I’m bound to be …

[6] Nick Stahl (Carnivale, Terminator 3) and Vera Farmiga (Up in the Air, The Conjuring) star in this intimate, slightly bizarre character drama from writer/director Carlos Brooks. Stahl plays a wheelchair-bound New York City radio reporter┬áresearching a subculture of “paraplegic wannabes,” people who pretend to be wheelchair bound or even go so far as to pay doctors to remove healthy limbs. Quid Pro Quo isn’t …

[5] Ridley Scott directs Leonardo DiCaprio and Russell Crowe in a story about a CIA agent (DiCaprio) trying to bust a terrorist leader in Jordan while having his chain yanked by both the Jordan and American governments. I could also describe it as two hours of watching Leonardo DiCaprio talk on his cell phone. But I won’t be quite that snarky. This time. Body of …

[5] This belated sequel gets by, for the most part, on good will and fond memories of the previous three installments. It’s light on memorable action scenes and heavy on silliness (the CGI mokeys and gophers are really, really hard to shake). What I really wanted were more special moments between Harrison Ford and Karen Allen. I mean, who didn’t always want to see Indy …

[5] How do you review a movie about a guy and girl with murderous mutant genitalia? In the hands of David Cronenberg, this could have been a truly disturbing, fascinating horror film. But in lieu of Cronenberg, we have Frank Henenlotter of Basket Case fame. Henenlotter, as always, takes the comedic route, which forces you to view the effort as one of those ‘so bad …

[8] This monster movie from the creators of Lost and Felicity combines low-budget ingenuity with high-budget production values for a thrilling movie going experience. The whole film is hand-held ‘found footage’ documenting a group of friends’ attempted escape from Manhattan after the city is attacked by a raging leviathan. The monster’s design is fresh and original, and the young cast do very good jobs running …

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