off from the finally-adjourned Shrek franchise, Puss in
Boots is a well-crafted DreamWorks animated movie that succeeds
in spite of the aid of its extraneous 3-D treatment. Screenwriter
Tom Wheeler deftly blends together nursery rhyme elements toward a
comical fantasy that includes an enjoyable dose of cute animal
The Devil. Beelzebub. Mephistopheles. Baphomet. Scratch. Old Nick. Lucifer. SATAN. The supernatural being who tempts man’s
soul to sin and ruin from his fiery underworld throne goes by many names
(and if Jagger and Richards are to be believed, he wants us to guess
them, too). He’s a creature — mythical or otherwise, depending upon
where you fall ideologically — of many different faces, as well.
Paul W.S. Anderson’s new
retelling of Alexandre Dumas’ classic tale features his usual
action-oriented antics — explosions galore and hi-tech freeze-frame
combat sequences — as well as his muse, Milla Jovovich.
Nothing about this true story
really feels organic and competently structured, but as it passes
from moment to moment, the movie begins to score a few sentimental
baskets and maybe it even starts to believe in itself enough to win a
The creator behind this horror
phenomenon (Oren Peli) has been able to successfully pass it on to
others, first to director Tod Williams, and now
to Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman (of Catfish fame) with little or no negative return on
the creative investment.
Elizabeth Winstead headlines capably enough as a researcher with
enough smarts and common sense to recognize the true potential of an
unknown and constantly evolving thing discovered by a team of
scientists in Antarctica in this John Carpenter rerun from
Matthijs van Heijningen Jr.
“We don’t get over our fathers.” This comment, from Martin Sheen, came during a recent interview with the star of The Way,
a new film written and directed by Sheen’s son Emilio Estevez, who was
also presented and seated next to me. The father-son team was back home —
Sheen is a Dayton native — as part of a bus tour promoting the film,
and both men were more than willing to chat with me about El Camino de
Director David Frankel
takes a story of single-minded pursuit and squeezes it into a convenient
package — albeit one that doesn't feel as though it has all that much to
do with the subject at hand. Inspired by Mark Obmascik's fascinating nonfiction
Big Year follows three avid birders
trying to identify the most individual bird species in North America over the course
of one calendar year.
The barn door has completely blown off the hinges in this
big twister of activity and touched down in the raging river far from
home. But it is now time, in the aftermath of this storm of Hollywood
remakes, for someone to evaluate the damage and take it upon themselves
to slap another door up there — a better, stronger barrier to guarantee
that there will be no more remakes for a season or two.
story of Sam Childers is one of a bad man reformed, but it doesn’t
exactly adhere to the typical arc. Apparently, Childers was a
small-time biker-criminal, a snatch-and-grab guy who was in the game
for the cash and the highs (both adrenaline and drug varieties), and
he wasn’t afraid of things getting messy.
Kenton (Hugh Jackman) is a former journeyman boxer who attempts to
regain his self-respect and that of the son (Dakota Goyo) he
abandoned years ago through the sport of robot boxing (think Rock-Em,
Sock-Em Robots for the virtual age). The cute, Rocky-meets-The
vibe inadequately hides the fact that the story is loosely based on a
piece from author Richard Matheson.
best, Gus Van Sant strikes the core of human emotion, especially the
disaffected (Drugstore Cowboy,
My Own Private Idaho)
that most indie purveyors wouldn’t know anything about if it
weren’t for his work. Yet Restless
isn’t one of those films.