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Marshall Fine

Movie Review: Admission

Marshall Fine | Posted 05.21.2013 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

You can count on one hand the number of good romantic comedies in any given year. Not that people aren't making them -- they just don't do them very well. Which is why Admission is such a treat.

Movie Review: The Sapphires

Marshall Fine | Posted 05.19.2013 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

The darling of the Australian Academy Awards and a hit on the festival circuit, The Sapphires is that pure treat: an aggressively entertaining movie about the struggle, uplift, romance and joy of music.

There Are Too Damn Many Movies

Marshall Fine | Posted 05.18.2013 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

Here's the most important thing: The majority of them aren't worth seeing or reviewing. There used to be filters for this kind of thing. They were called film festivals.

Movie Review: Upside Down

Marshall Fine | Posted 05.15.2013 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

As allegories go, Juan Diego Solanas' Upside Down is about as deep as that famous Frank Gorshin Star Trek episode -- we're talking classic Star Trek, mind you.

Movie Review: The Incredible Burt Wonderstone

Marshall Fine | Posted 05.14.2013 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

The Incredible Burt Wonderstone is a movie for 8-year-olds who haven't seen a lot of movies and provide fresh eyes for its tired gags. Anyone older will see every punchline coming long before it arrives.

Interview: Matthew Fox and Emperor

Marshall Fine | Posted 05.13.2013 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

Everyone knows who Gen. Douglas MacArthur was. But Gen. Bonner Fellers? Not so much. So when actor Matthew Fox took on the role of Fellers in Emperor, which opened in limited release March 8, he figured the interpretation was up to him.

Movie Review: Spring Breakers

Marshall Fine | Posted 05.13.2013 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

It's populated with characters who seem to have no interior life -- only a devotion to the pursuit of sensation via the eternal party. And, in his own oblique way, Korine offers commentary about just how empty that world is.

Why Embargo Movie Critics' Reviews?

Marshall Fine | Posted 05.12.2013 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

Why would a movie studio try to stop critics from reviewing movies? It's called a review embargo -- and it seems a little self-explanatory. But still, I'd like to take this opportunity to discuss a little movie-critic inside-baseball stuff. Perhaps we can get a larger discussion going.

Interview: The Journey to Make Don't Stop Believin': Everyman's Journey

Marshall Fine | Posted 05.12.2013 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

Arnel Pineda was a former street kid in the Philippines, singing in a cover band in a Manila club. Suddenly, he was singing in front of 20,000 people in a stadium in Chile -- as frontman for Journey.

Movie Review: Emperor

Marshall Fine | Posted 05.08.2013 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

Emperor doesn't reimagine history so much as use it as the jumping-off point for a fictional historical romance set against the backdrop of impending war, when everything seems more vital and in-the-moment. Except for this sometimes plodding film.

Movie Review: The Silence

Marshall Fine | Posted 05.07.2013 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

The Silence is chilling stuff, the kind of thriller -- like The Vanishing, let's say -- that leaves you stunned and gulping.

Movie Review: Don't Stop Believin': Everyman's Journey

Marshall Fine | Posted 05.05.2013 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

Not to put too fine a point on it, but as someone who was working as a rock critic for the first decade and a half of Journey's existence, I always regarded them as unexplainably popular, an at-best thoroughly mediocre hit-making machine.

Movie Review: Oz, the Great and Powerful

Marshall Fine | Posted 05.04.2013 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

James Franco, the Energizer bunny of actors, plays Oscar Diggs, a small-time magician in a second-rate traveling circus first seen doing his show to a small crowd in the black-and-white Kansas of the early 20th Century.

Movie Review: The Sweeney

Marshall Fine | Posted 05.01.2013 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

Though Ray Winstone has been a TV star in Great Britain since the mid-1970s, a lot of Americans got their first sighting of the beefy British actor with Gary Oldman's 1997's Nil By Mouth or 2000's Sexy Beast.

Movie Review: Phantom

Marshall Fine | Posted 04.30.2013 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

Phantom supposedly is based on actual events. But that doesn't lend it weight, authority or even a modicum of dramatic sense.

Movie Review: Jack the Giant Slayer

Marshall Fine | Posted 04.29.2013 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

A roiling visual extrusion rendered from computer-generated imagery, Jack the Giant Slayer makes you long for the days of Ray Harryhausen.

Movie Review: Stoker

Marshall Fine | Posted 04.28.2013 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

Chan-wook Park's Stoker is audaciously, in-your-face creepy and exhilarating in a way few films have been since David Lynch's Blue Velvet. Because it's not just the creepiness -- but the way Park gets you involved in his world so that you can't look away.

Movie Review: A Place at the Table

Marshall Fine | Posted 04.27.2013 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

A Place At the Table, with talking heads ranging from Jeff Bridges to Tom Colicchio, all of them articulate and impassioned, is a film that should make you furious.

Movie Review: Snitch

Marshall Fine | Posted 04.24.2013 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

While this could nominally be considered an action film -- because of a couple of shoot-outs and car chases -- Snitch is more a dramatic thriller with violence thrown in.

Actor-director Alex Karpovsky Releases a Double-bill

Marshall Fine | Posted 04.23.2013 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

Getting a movie made is an Olympian task. Getting a movie made and released is even tougher. So Alex Karpovsky's accomplishment -- writing, directing and starring in two movies that are being released the same day as a double-feature -- seems positively Herculean.

Movie Review: Inescapable

Marshall Fine | Posted 04.22.2013 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

There are a number of people whose work I admire involved with Inescapable. So allow me to say some nice things about them before I talk about what is so wrong with this movie.

The Difference Between What's Hot and What Lasts

Marshall Fine | Posted 04.21.2013 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

There are a lot of things that are popular and commercial, but aren't very good. Or are just good enough. Consider Justin Bieber: It's not that the kid isn't talented; it's that he's only just talented enough.

Movie Reviews: Red Flag, Rubberneck

Marshall Fine | Posted 04.20.2013 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

Alex Karpovsky actually has two films out the same day: Red Flag and Rubberneck. They also happen to be surprising and compelling, in very separate ways.

Movie Review: A Good Day to Skip Die Hard 5

Marshall Fine | Posted 04.17.2013 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

According to box-office pundits, A Good Day to Die Hard will be the big box-office winner this holiday weekend. If the predictions hold true, this film confirms the conventional wisdom: People want what's familiar, no matter how hackneyed and repetitive.

Why Beasts of the Southern Wild Doesn't Deserve Its Oscar Nominations

Marshall Fine | Posted 04.16.2013 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

Cheap, amateurish and sometimes just plain hard to watch, Beasts enjoyed a wave of overwrought critical hosannas, going all the way back to when the film first was shown more than a year ago at the Sundance Film Festival.