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Home » Articles » Entertainment »  Screen
 
Thursday, August 30,2012

Fender blender

‘Hit and Run’ tries to merge genres, then wrecks

By Ryan Syrek
Everybody needs a little help. Writer/director/actor Dax Shepard could have probably used another writer, a third director (David Palmer already co-directed) and a better group of actors for Hit and Run, a movie that is a cinematic traffic accident with multiple fatalities.
Thursday, August 23,2012

I see clay people

'ParaNorman' is a socially responsible, animated 'Sixth Sense'

By Ryan Syrek
Before Pixar flexed its artistic muscle (a muscle they could stand to exercise more frequently these days), the message in American animated films ranged from "always be true to yourself" to "always be true to yourself and also get heterosexually married."
Thursday, August 16,2012

Comedians united

‘The Campaign’ is a 90-minute middle finger to SCOTUS

By Ryan Syrek
Writers Chris Henchy and Shawn Harwell move beyond the standard skewing of attack-ad politics and candidates that are either incompetent or lecherous. Oh, sure, they have fun with the Scarecrow and the Cowardly Lion, but the villains are the ones shouting “pay no attention to the douchebags behind the curtain.
Thursday, August 16,2012

Bourne to be bored

'The Bourne Legacy' meekly attempts Bond-style serialization

By Dave Taylor
The film opens with Cross in the middle of the Alaskan wilderness, having to fend off a wolf attack and survive an extraordinarily hostile environment until he meets up with another agent (Oscar Isaac). Cross learns he’s not the only Outcome creation and is then forced to make his way back to civilization after a drone attacks their isolated cabin.
Thursday, August 9,2012

Forgettable

‘Total Recall’ just slightly better than amnesia

By Ryan Syrek
Total Recall is the sci-fi tale of a quasi-postapocalyptic duckface war between Kate Beckinsale and Jessica Biel, with Colin Ferrell as the judge. At least, that’s what this remake of an adaptation of a short story, written by a gob-stopping five separate writers, seems to be about. Any larger theme is missed among the cacophony of dubstep and techno sounds, Farrell’s unrepentant shirtlessness and Biel and Beckinsale’s leather pants.
Thursday, August 2,2012

Savage beauty and the beasts

‘Beasts of the Southern Wild’ is why they make movies%u2028

By Ryan Syrek
They should hand out oxygen tanks before each screening of Beasts of the Southern Wild because writer/director Benh Zeitlin’s debut feature film takes your breath in the very first scene and plays keep away with it for more than 90 minutes.
Thursday, August 2,2012

Who watches ‘The Watch,’ man?

People who laugh at genital jokes%u2028

By Ryan Syrek
Seeing as how it has an extraterrestrial plot, let’s describe The Watch using an astronomical metaphor. Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Jonah Hill and Richard Ayoade are like comedic planets that orbit a central, burning sun. And that sun is made entirely of penis jokes.
Thursday, August 2,2012

From artist to activist

New documentary chronicles Chinese dissident Ai Weiwei’s fight against his government

By Sebastian Murdock
When Chinese government officials unexpectedly detained controversial artist Ai Weiwei — keeping him for 81 days in an undisclosed location — it ignited a firestorm of protests across the world that reinforced Ai’s calls for democracy in China.
Thursday, July 26,2012

Got ham?

‘The Dark Knight Rises’ is almost goofy%u2028

By Ryan Syrek
From Christian Bale’s bark to Hans Zimmer’s “gonna getcha” score, if director Christopher Nolan has driven one point home in his Batfilms, it has been this: “Take my films seriously, yo.” From meditations on the fine line between vengeance and justice to the moral ambiguity of using high-end technology “for the greater good,” this Bat-trilogy has cleverly and successfully fused “real world” stuff with “comic book” stuff. Until now.
Thursday, July 19,2012

Taylor can’t Kitsch a break

His best movie, ‘Savages,’ is still a mess%u2028

By Ryan Syrek
'Savages,' Taylor Kitsch’s last summer gasp and director Oliver Stone’s latest pulpy romp, is quite nearly good. Aside from its bloated meandering and terrible choice in leading lady, it was one solid landing away from respectable marks from the judges, even if the level of difficulty wasn’t all that high.
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