The Gods of Egypt aren’t that impressive

 Review of Gods of Egypt, Directed by Alex Proyas Myth can be powerful, wondrous, beautiful, and insightful, but not when it feels like a videogame set in a universe where hieroglyphs meet all the gratuitous glitz and glamour of Trump Tower. The “gods” of Egypt in this world literally bleed gold. They have interchangeable power-ups and abilities like perfect vision, flight, and demon-repelling bracelets, which can be activated, seemingly, at the flip of a switch. And they sp … [Read more...]

Jupiter Ascending: A Real Letdown

Review of Jupiter Ascending, Directed by Andy Wachowski, Lana WachowskiThis is the story of how the movie Jupiter Ascending was written.Two little boys got together and said, “Wouldn’t it be cool if we could rollerblade and fly at the same time? And isn’t outer space awesome? And isn’t Mila Kunis hot? Let’s make a movie!”OK, not really, but might as well have been.Jupiter Ascending was an awkward travesty of a movie — at times painful to watch, with plot holes galore.I will attempt to e … [Read more...]

Of Family and Training Dragons

How to Train Your Dragon 2, directed by Dean DeBloisThe first How to Train Your Dragon, which came out way back in 2010, was something of a surprise. In addition to the impressive animation and thrilling action--par for the course for these kinds of movies--it had wit, beauty, and a story with real emotional depth. Dreamworks had clearly learned something from Pixar, and the result was pure gold.Now comes the sequel, the crucible that proves whether we have a legitimately engaging m … [Read more...]

The Heresy of Noah, and why it’s still a good movie

Review of Noah, Directed by Darren Aronofsky Darren Aronofsky’s film Noah has been analyzed and debated ad nauseum by critics and bloggers in Christian circles. I suppose given its biblical source material, everyone felt a need to weigh in. Normally I wouldn’t presume to try to add another voice to a subject so thoroughly flogged (and now ancient history, in internet terms). But there’s a simple way of framing Noah that I have yet to see presented.It is this:The film tells the sto … [Read more...]

Maleficent Love

Review of Maleficent, Directed by Robert StrombergAngelina Jolie makes Maleficent a movie worth watching. And she doesn’t even say very much throughout the film. Her accentuated cheekbones, her cold, creepy stares, the alabaster skin and ruby lips, the careful intonation of each phrase--the whole package keeps you fixated. There is no doubt that without Jolie, Maleficent would not sell, and fortunately both for the studio and for the audiences, the camera stays glued to this complex creature … [Read more...]

Best X Ever

X-Men: Days of Future Past, directed by Bryan SingerI imagine the birth of X:Men: Days of Future Past was the result of blatantly cynical studio scheming. Some years ago a bunch of studio executives at Fox probably held a secret huddle to plot the future of the X-Men franchise. The trilogy--including the well-received X-Men (2000) and X2 (2003), and the widely-reviled X-Men: The Last Stand (2006) had been successful, though not spectacularly so, grossing $1.2 billion over three movies. … [Read more...]

The Disappointment of Winter’s Tale

Winter's Tale, directed by Akiva GoldsmanBy Elizabeth WhyteWhenever any movie studio announces they are going to adapt a 700-page novel for the silver screen, every good book lover groans. And when the 700-page novel is on a book lover’s list of favorites, that book lover sheds a little tear, then hopes against all odds that the movie studio will somehow do literature justice.With Winter’s Tale, my hopes suffered a violent, messy death.Hear me out. I am not one of those bibl … [Read more...]

This Week on Sleepy Hollow: It’s the End of the World as We Know It!

Review of Sleepy Hollow Season Finale (Episodes 12 & 13)The Apocalypse is one step nearer as Moloch prepares to break the second seal and release the Second Horseman upon humanity. Only a secret message hidden in the pages of George Washington's Bible (written by Zombie George Washington himself!), combined with magic sin-filled prayer beads and the ancient Masonic art of finding hidden tombs, can reveal the map to Purgatory. With the map, Ichabod and Abbie can free Ichabod's trapped … [Read more...]

Smaug is the one bright spot in ‘Desolation’

Review of The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug, Directed by Peter JacksonIn case it wasn’t obvious enough from An Unexpected Journey, The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug does not tell the story of J.R.R. Tolkien’s beloved book, The Hobbit. The characters, names, and events are all there, but the strands of the story weave together into something else entirely. It’s not “the enchanting prequel to The Lord of the Rings” as experienced through the eyes of Bilbo Baggins. Instead, it purports to be an epic … [Read more...]

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty: Our Understated Habit of Daydreaming

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, directed by Ben StillerBy Abe TimlerIn 2008 holiday audiences were delivered David Fincher’s The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Five Christmases later, the Secret Life of Walter Mitty parodies a key scene from Benjamin Button’s reverse aging. Without that scene, it’s unlikely these two title characters would be compared. On the surface, both films are adaptations of short stories (by F. Scott Fitzgerald and James Thurber, respectively); and both stories … [Read more...]