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Home » Articles »   By MaryAnn Johanson
 

Film Reviews

Bruno

Out Rage: Sacha Baron Cohen risks another hilarious, daring cultural critique in Bruno.

By MaryAnn Johanson
POSTED // Jul 8,2009 - There are always angry questions bandied about in the wake of any work by Sacha Baron Cohen, but I don't think I've ever heard anyone ask this one: "How far should we be expected to dumb down movies?"

Film Reviews

Ice Age: Land of the Dinosaurs

Melted Ice: Despite a few bright spots, Ice Age is still a prehistoric cliche.

By MaryAnn Johanson
POSTED // Jul 1,2009 - This is how far cartoons have descended in the last decade and a half: The Lion King was Shakespearean, while Ice Age is Everybody Loves Raymond-ean ...

Other A&E

Direct Market

“Straight to DVD” isn’t the black mark of movie shame it used to be.

By MaryAnn Johanson
POSTED // Jun 10,2009 - "Straight to DVD": It's a phrase that has inspired fear in the hearts of movie lovers, because it has long indicated a flick not good enough to warrant a theatrical release ...

Film Reviews

Land of the Lost

Lost Cause: Forget the original—this adaptation is just crude opportunism.

By MaryAnn Johanson
POSTED // Jun 3,2009 - It’s always hard to know what’s going through the heads of filmmakers, but I think that maybe the folks behind this big-screen mounting of the 1970s Saturday-morning series believe they’ve made a cheeky homage to the cheapie Sid and Marty Krofft science-fiction kiddie mind-bender.

Other A&E

Green Screen

Looking to movies for your environmental messages can be a scary proposition.

By MaryAnn Johanson
POSTED // May 6,2009 - There's an old song by the pop duo Daryl Hall and John Oates called "Everywhere I Look," which wanted— almost 20 years ago ...

Film Reviews

Paris 36

Le Muppet Show: Paris 36 is a charming, overlong mess.

By MaryAnn Johanson
POSTED // May 6,2009 - Oh my goodness, I didn’t expect this: Paris 36 is The Muppet Show, except, you know, in 1936 Paris ...

Film Reviews

Battle for Terra

Alien Worlds: The animated Battle for Terra is heartfelt, if preachy.

By MaryAnn Johanson
POSTED // Apr 29,2009 - We see a beautiful jewel of a planet, with alien invaders swooping down to steal precious resources. Oh, but look at that: It's humans as the malevolent alien invaders ...

Film Reviews

State of Play

Paper Chase: Hollywood didn't screw it up this time.

By MaryAnn Johanson
POSTED // Apr 15,2009 - This is what it is (Americanized): A research aide to a congressman is dead. Was it a suicide? Was it an accident? Was it murder? Did her boss have something to do with it?

Other A&E

Puppy Love

A DVD festival for the dogs and the humans who love them.

By MaryAnn Johanson
POSTED // Apr 8,2009 - animal companions in its titles even when the movies have nothing to do with pets. There are good reasons to check out movies like Wag the Dog, Dog Day Afternoon, A Boy and His Dog, Dog Soliders.

Film Reviews

Fast & Furious

Drive Shaft: Fast & Furious teases with action, but it’s a dull copy of the original’s fun.

By MaryAnn Johanson
POSTED // Apr 1,2009 - You’ve seen it in the TV ads and trailers: Vin Diesel and Michelle Rodriguez drive their souped-up hotrod under a burning gas tanker that’s flipping through the air ...
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