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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Shortland's film has an occasionally detached, whispery quality, as the camera focuses on the nature around Lore and her group. These Malick-like moments take us out of the story, for better or worse, depending on your point of view.