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Film Reviews

2014 Film Preview

A look at 2014's non-sequels, non-adaptations and non-reboots

By MaryAnn Johanson
POSTED // Jan 24,2014 - You may find this hard to believe, but there are, in fact, a few films opening in 2014 that are not sequels, not remakes, not reboots and not based on stage shows, the Bible (there’s more than one of these coming our way)

Film Reviews

Ender's Game

A heartless justification of might making right

By MaryAnn Johanson
POSTED // Nov 1,2013 - The book is better. I haven’t even read Orson Scott Card’s book, and I know this must be the case, because there’s little here in the adaptation by director Gavin Hood (Rendition, X-Men Origins: Wolverine)

Film Reviews

The Purge

Questioning our own human nature

By MaryAnn Johanson
POSTED // Jun 7,2013 - Maybe it’s implausible. Ten years from now, America is a veritable paradise—unemployment is at 1 percent, crime is virtually nonexistent—thanks to the Purge, an annual 12-hour free-for-all during which all crime,

Film Reviews

Star Trek Into Darkness

A different vision of the future

By MaryAnn Johanson
POSTED // May 15,2013 - There’s a thing that makes me very sad about Star Trek Into Darkness. It’s not the perfect geek storm of an opening gambit that evokes not only the old-school boldly going adventures of the crew of the starship Enterprise,

Film Reviews

Iron Man 3

Man inside the armor takes center stage

By MaryAnn Johanson
POSTED // May 3,2013 - The least interesting thing about the otherwise hugely entertaining Iron Man movies is, ironically, Iron Man. The suit of powered flying armor, that is. Hiding Robert Downey Jr. behind a metal mask an

Film Reviews

Oblivion

Deja viewing with Tom Cruise

By MaryAnn Johanson
POSTED // Apr 19,2013 - Go on! Indulge in the very best movie-promo tie-in ever: the Oblivion-branded Mandatory Memory Wipe, available at the concession stand. Then walk into Oblivion with no recollection of 2001: A Space Odyssey

Film Reviews

Oz the Great & Powerful

Pay no attention to fan-fiction-itis

By MaryAnn Johanson
POSTED // Mar 8,2013 - So, it turns out in Oz the Great & Powerful that the man behind the curtain is even smaller and less mighty than Dorothy had discovered in the Emerald City.

Film Reviews

Paranormal Activity 4

Sinking into tedious irrelevance

By MaryAnn Johanson
POSTED // Oct 19,2012 - You’ve seen those TV ads for the Paranormal Activity movies in which night-visioned moviegoers jump and scream at the latest PA flick they were lucky enough to get an advanced showing of.

Film Reviews

Taken 2

Liam Neeson is Taken, Too!

By MaryAnn Johanson
POSTED // Oct 5,2012 - If there’s one important lesson we can all learn from Taken 2, it’s this: Albanian sex-slavers are people, too, OK? Their mothers love them, and if you kill them, their fathers/bosses will hunt you down and kill you in return.

Film Reviews

The Expendables 2

The Art of Bore

By MaryAnn Johanson
POSTED // Aug 17,2012 - If there’s one thing The Expendables 2 is really good at—and there is pretty much just this one thing—it’s demonstrating that 2010’s The Expendables was a one-joke wonder
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