The Sorcerer's Apprentice (Review)

Disney bastardizes a classic

0 Comments · Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Disney, Jerry Bruckheimer and Nicolas Cage tap into the legacy of one of the most celebrated animated films of all time ('Fantasia') and end up bastardizing it with a live-action reconfiguration set in this vice-free version of New York City, which is missing its living warts and wonders. Grade: C-.   

Kick-Ass (Review)

Excellent pulp adaptation turns teenage Everyman into superhero

0 Comments · Tuesday, April 13, 2010
When Dave Lizewski (Aaron Johnson) asks why no one has ever tried to be a real-life superhero, the question initially sounds like the fantasies of a comic-book geek a few years away from accepting the realities of life as we all know it. Director Matthew Vaughn and his actors seamlessly stitch together the disparate fabrics of pulp and an almost John Hughes-like weave of teenage drama. The real standout is Nicolas Cage. Grade: A.   

Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans (Review)

Nicolas Cage deliriously over the top as drug-addled homicide detective

0 Comments · Tuesday, February 2, 2010
German wild-man Werner Herzog blissfully resurrects old-school Nicolas Cage in this hilarious, noir-infested tale about a drug-addled homicide detective whose disintegration (both moral and physical) coincides with that of his hurricane-ravaged hometown. Cage hasn't been this deliriously over the top since 'Wild at Heart.' Grade: A-.  

Astro Boy (Review)

Anime kids classic translates poorly to screen

0 Comments · Friday, October 23, 2009
Sometime in the future, the lucky humans of Metro City live in a floating paradise above the post-apocalyptic surface of the Earth, slaved over by armies of sentient, emotional robots who present happily subservient faces while grumbling to themselves about how they "hate" their jobs. I'm not familiar with the 1960s Japanese cartoon that's the basis for this American retread, but I'm guessing it wasn’t this icky. Grade: D.  

G-Force (Review)

Jerry Bruckheimer-produced 3-D adventure is an uninspired dud

0 Comments · Friday, July 24, 2009
'G-Force' strains the Jerry Bruckheimer brand model past the breaking point by creating a kid's film with no real kids, using the animals as stand-ins, I suppose, but there's nothing particularly kid-friendly about them. Nor, to be brutally honest, is there anything engaging about them on a pop-cultural level for adults. Grade: D.  

Knowing (Review)

Nic Cage emotes admirably in reasonably effective sci-fi thriller

0 Comments · Friday, March 20, 2009
John Koestler (Nicolas Cage) is an astrophysicist still reeling from the accidental death of his wife a year earlier; he's left to care for his young son. The plot shifts into gear when John eyes a paper marked with a series of numbers that, when encoded, predicts the dates and death tolls of every major disaster of the last 50 years. Grade: B-.