REVIEW: To the Stars [2020]

Welcome to Oklahoma. The whole of Martha Stephens‘ To the Stars can be summed up by a line in the director’s statement of intent: “Longing is part of the human condition: the ever-present awareness of what’s still missing from our lives.” It’s true. We all long for something. Sometimes it’s for something as simple and direct as love. Sometimes it’s for something as complex and harrowing as equality. We long to be seen as who we are and often for the escape that’s necessary to allow it to happen far…

Read More

REVIEW: Rampage [2018]

Even assholes deserve a second chance. To watch a play-through of Bally Midway’s 1986 arcade hit Rampage is to conjure thoughts of Wreck-It Ralph and his destructive path up a populated building to smash windows and grab bystanders. Instead of controlling a Fix-It Felix to subdue the trio of beasts wreaking havoc or a military entity throwing explosives to end the assault, you were the destroyers and destruction was your goal. To clear a level meant reducing every building in that city to rubble. You ate people and other food…

Read More

REVIEW: Rock of Ages [2012]

“Actually, I told him the gig was last night. So he’s a day late.” Listening to Night Ranger‘s “Sister Christian” sung by a bus full of strangers a la Almost Famous was a pretty good way to start Rock of Ages, the big screen adaptation of the Tony Award nominated musical. Julianne Hough‘s ‘Sherrie’ Christian’s blandly starry-eyed wonder was acceptable; Hollywood circa 1987 took shape via hookers, muggers, and over-zealous cops; and the hyper-real Broadway sensibilities came out as extras broke into song and dance while a sweaty, sex-infused rock…

Read More

REVIEW: Happythankyoumoreplease [2011]

“Who says Santa’s pants have to be red?!” It only took about halfway through Happythankyoumoreplease before I began to think about the one thing I probably should have latched onto from the start. The comparisons between this and 2004’s Garden State are unmistakable. And it’s not just the obvious—or what should be obvious if my brain had been working—that each starred and was written and directed by the star of a hit television sitcom, it’s also the sense of heart behind every single moment, the off-kilter eccentricity of certain characters…

Read More

REVIEW: 27 Dresses [2008]

“What color is that—vomit?” Can expectations ever be high for a romantic comedy starring Katherine Heigl The answer from this guy, who was even low on Knocked Up, is no. Coming from a script by screenwriter Aline Brosh McKenna, she of abysmal Laws of Attraction and mediocre Devil Wears Prada fame, I can say I went into 27 Dresses very low, with only the stalwart adoration of my viewing partner keeping me from not even giving it a chance to prove itself. A day later, I am glad she got…

Read More

REVIEW: Watchmen [2009]

“The end is nigh” The ultimate graphic novel—a tale many hold to be amongst the greatest stories ever written regardless of being illustrated—has finally been brought to cinematic life after twenty years and multiple failed attempts. Should an epic tale set in such a specific period of time (the Cold War of the 1980s) be updated? Should the bleak nature of humanity depicted be toned down? Will lunatics and delinquents dressed up in costumes pretending to be superheroes bring in a public more interested in reality television then something based…

Read More