Side Effects

Review of Side Effects, Directed by Steven Soderbergh By KENDRICK KUO Rating: 7/10 Side Effects has generated a lot of buzz, partly because the director, Steve Soderbergh, has kept his lips sealed about what the movie is about, besides of course that it’s a pharmaceutical thriller; and pre-release viewers have also shown respect in not [Read More...]

Pleasant Quartet Is the Anti-Amour

Review of Quartet, Directed by Dustin Hoffman, and Amour, Directed by Michael Haneke By CHRISTIAN HAMAKER After seven Oscar nominations and two wins as an actor, Dustin Hoffman moves behind the camera for Quartet, his official directorial debut. (The actor co-directed Straight Time in 1978, but went uncredited.) The results aren’t award-worthy, but they’re pleasant [Read More...]

What are the Beasts of the Southern Wild?

Review of Beasts of the Southern Wild, Directed by Benh Zeitlin By KENDRICK KUO Beasts of the Southern Wild has taken top prizes at Sundance and Cannes and has now racked up nominations at the Oscars. The talk of the town is Quvenzhané Wallis. A six year old at the time of filming, and now [Read More...]

Happiness may be a warm blanket, but Justice is a Bullet to the Head

Review of Bullet to the Head, Directed by Walter Hill By COYLE NEAL This movie is a combination of the original graphic novel and all previous Stallone movies (except possibly that soccer one). And… I don’t actually think I’m exaggerating much. In addition to the cameo photograph from the Rambo series, the plot is basically an [Read More...]

Are We Stand Up Guys?

Review of Stand Up Guys, Directed by Fisher Stevens By KENDRICK KUO What makes a stand up guy? Friendships between three retired gangsters tries to answer this question in the just-released Stand Up Guys starring Al Pacino, Christopher Walken, and Alan Arkin. After 28 years in prison, Val (Pacino) has finally served his time and [Read More...]

Big Trouble in Little China: Tina Turner Was Wrong–We DO Need Another Hero

Review of Big Trouble in Little China, directed by John Carpenter By ALEXIS NEAL Jack Burton is nobody special. He’s just your average red-blooded American—a loudmouth truckdriver with a gambling habit and a knack for getting into trouble. When his friend Wang’s fiancée Miao Yin is kidnapped by sex traffickers, Jack agrees to help get [Read More...]

In Defense of Burning Witches

Review of Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, Directed by Tommy Wirkola By COYLE NEAL Deep in the woods of Germany, a sinister plot is brewing—and the brew will be seasoned with twelve kidnapped children from nearby Augsburg. Enter Hansel and Gretel: orphans, siblings, and professional witch hunters hired by the city to rescue the children. [Read More...]

Searching for Forgiveness in The Words

Review of The Words, Directed by Brian Klugman and Lee Sternthal By KENDRICK KUO The Words is almost more a parable than a movie. The film has three interlayered stories—Clayton Hammond is an author who writes The Words, a book about Rory Jensen who finds an old book manuscript and decides to publish it as [Read More...]

Les Miserable, a second take

Review of Les Miserables, Directed by Tom Hooper By COYLE NEAL “Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it.” Luke 17:33 I went into Les Miserables without having read the book or seen the musical or previous film adaptations (though I have read The [Read More...]

Middle Earth is Inherited by the Meek

A Review of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Directed by Peter Jackson By KENDRICK KUO After hearing the good reviews, including our very own Paul Miller’s take on the film, I decided to watch The Hobbit on New Year’s Day. There are many ways to review a film adaptation of a book—fidelity to the book’s [Read More...]


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