“Jack the Giant Slayer” seeks to answer that age-old question, that query that has dogged mankind since the beginning of time: who would win a tug-of-war match between humans and giants? Who says Hollywood is afraid to make a movie about important topics? But while director Bryan Singer may momentarily probe that deep, dark mystery near the climax, the film is an empty shell, a blatant attempt to infuse the “Jack and the Beanstalk” story with a grandiose “Lord of the Rings” scale, and there is very little to recommend it.
Thursday, February 28, 2013
Monday, February 25, 2013
Perhaps my biggest issue with AMC’s The Walking Dead is their tendency to have episodes where nothing happens, where all anyone does is sit around and talk, talk, talk, and where all that talking amounts to squat. Tonight’s episode, “I Ain’t a Judas,” just goes to show that you can have an hour-long show where all of these things happen, but it can still be good. Who the hell would have thought?
Sunday, February 24, 2013
I really wanted “John Dies At the End” to be a better movie than it is. There is so much potential, not only in the source material—the novel of the same name by David Wong—but also in the story itself. Unfortunately, the film never capitalizes on the enormous upside. Not a terrible movie—it’s fun enough for a while, and director Don Coscarelli (“Phantasm”) delivers the material with the dry, matter of fact tone that complements the absurdity of the premise, much like he did in “Bubba Ho-Tep”—“JDATE” never becomes anything more than a mildly amusing picture. This could, and maybe should, have been something we’d rave about and line up to see at midnight screenings for years to come.
Thursday, February 21, 2013
“Snitch” may not be the movie you’ve been lead to believe. Trailers and TV spots make it out to be an adrenaline-charged man movie for men, full of explosions, gun fights, car chases, and, you know, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson taking down a vicious drug cartel to save his son. That’s one hell of a dad right there. While all of this does come into play, the high-octane stuff is relatively minimal. Hell, the only time the Rock gets into a physical altercation he gets his ass handed to him by a couple of punk kids.
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
“Winter is coming.” That refrain echoes throughout the first season of HBO’s Game of Thrones, their adaptation of George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series of novels. Now in year two, and newly available in a fantastic Blu-ray package, the season is most definitely changing.
Monday, February 18, 2013
Now out on Blu-ray and DVD, Ben Affleck’s thriller “Argo” is one of the most acclaimed movies of 2012, and has been cleaning up on the awards circuit so far this season. In fact, from all the indicators, analytics, pattern analysis, and weird little statistical factors that no one in the real world actually cares about—think of it as the Hollywood version of Sabermetrics—and a lot of people expect a big payday when the Academy Awards roll around in a couple of weeks.
Last week’s episode of AMC’s The Walking Dead…well, let’s just say I had some serious issues with it. The first episode of the second half of the third season, it felt like “The Suicide King” took every issue I have with the show and built an entire episode around them. Up to that point, season three had been my favorite of the series, so it was extra disappointing.
Can they right the ship this week with the episode entitled “Home?” Find out below, but beware, you’re about to encounter some serious spoilers.
Saturday, February 16, 2013
When I ultimately seize control of the universe, which is, of course, an integral part of my five-year plan, there will be a special section of Hell reserved for Barbra Streisand. There’s a smug sense of superiority about everything she does that rubs me the wrong way, and she’s nowhere near as talented as she gets credit for. Babs can sing, I’ll give her that, I just hate every song she chooses to belt out—with the exception of “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers,” but that’s only due to the involvement of that most fantastic gentleman Neil Diamond. Watching her try to act, however, is physically painful.
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
We first meet little Lucy and Jack McClane in John McTiernan’s “Die Hard” all the way back in 1988. It’s now 25 years and four movies later, and though we met grown up Lucy (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) a few years back in “Live Free of Die Hard,” there’s been nary a peep from adult Jack. Well all that just changed with “A Good Day to Die Hard,” or “Son of Die Hard” as I’ve been calling it in my head since we first learned about the main plot point.
Monday, February 11, 2013
Through the midseason finale, “Made to Suffer,” season three of AMC’s massive zombie series The Walking Dead has been surprisingly solid. The action, drama, and actual tension of the first eight episodes have alleviated many of the lingering issues that have dogged the highly rated show. By no means is it perfect, but it found a nice groove, and was inching closer and closer to matching the potential inherent in the comic book the series it’s based on.
Fringe may be dead and gone, but thanks to syndication on the Science Channel, not to mention the magic of a home releases, you’ll have ample opportunities to watch and re-watch your favorite Fringe cases. This is a show that really benefits from the ability to watch in a marathon format. As you move through the series and each episode becomes more and more connected to those that came before, and those that come after, it’s nice to view them one after another for continuity’s sake.
Friday, February 8, 2013
Hey, did you know that this is the 90th anniversary of Warner Bros.? To celebrate the nine-tenths of a century mark the studio is releasing a handful of “Best Of” collections from their long, distinguished history.
“Best of Warner Bros. 20 Film Collection: Best Pictures” is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. This is an anthology, one that contains 20 films from the Warner archives, all of which walked off with the Best Picture Academy Award. Crazy, huh? Arranged chronologically, and split into three historical epochs, the films run from early “talkies” to modern crime dramas. There is a little bit of everything, including musicals, war stories, historical dramas, westerns, and epic adventures in various eras and realms.
Monday, February 4, 2013
Willkommen, bienvenue, welcome.
Somehow it’s been 40 years since the theatrical release of “Cabaret”. The movie won director Bob Fosse an Academy Award, and cemented Liza Minnelli as a full-fledged cultural icon. Picture the star, and the image the appears to most of us is big-eyed pixie Sally Bowles (for which she also took home Oscar) strutting on stage, belting out that final dirge about how life is a cabaret, my friend, to a full-house crowd dotted with khaki shirts and red swastika armbands. To celebrate the milestone, Warner has put together a new Blu-ray book of the musical.