Category: Movie Reviews

  • Romero’s 2000s-Era Zombies

    Diary of the Dead Though its commentary is sometimes weak (or too obvious), Diary of the Dead uses the camcorder-shot footage to great, frightening effect. There’s a real function behind the form, unlike Cloverfield, Quarantine, and other gimmicky “video-taped” films. Romero goes back to the basics of what made Night of the Living Dead and […]

  • The Fourth Kind offers a fresh new approach for a movie, a film where the actors are identified as actors and purposefully break the “fourth wall” in order to speak directly to the audience and give credibility to the supposed documentary/interview footage that is interspersed throughout. The director himself appears in the film, tells us […]

  • Taking Chance

    “Taking Chance” is one of only a handful of films that has attempted to document the American experience in the Iraq War, and has actually succeeded. So many of the Hollywood attempts to deal with the war have been either preachy or disjointed (or both), mainly because they were more concerned with politics than with […]

  • The Problem With Epic Disaster Movies…

    I didn’t hate “2012” (and, in fact, it’s a movie that–like “Independence Day”–is so goofy that it’s tough to really hate), but I do think that it represents the absolute epitome of all that is wrong with big-budget Hollywood action/adventure epics in the post-Millennial, in-love-with-CGI world. Okay, so here’s the premise: the world is ending […]

  • September Dawn

    So I recently watched the mini-series “Into the West,” a fairly epic look at a full century of violence and conflict and tragedy as a result of American expansionism. While the filmmakers re-created the San Francisco Gold Rush, the murder and destruction of Kansas settlers by Missouri slave-owners, and the massacre at Wounded Knee, I […]

  • GasLand as Horror Documentary

    “GasLand” is the scariest documentary I’ve seen since “The Corporation” and “Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room,” and maybe the scariest film I’ve seen since “Paranormal Activity.” No, wait. Scratch that. It might just be the scariest film I’ve ever seen. Here’s why: first of all, Josh Fox–the director–comes across as a genuine and […]

  • Away We Go: Potential Millennial Movie?

    Perhaps because Dave Eggers penned the script (and his “Heartbreaking Work” was/is the quintessential novel of Generation X), and perhaps because Sam Mendes was the director (and his “American Beauty” is one of the quintessential films of late ’90s/early 2000’s suburban malaise), I expected great things from “Away We Go.” And while it was light […]

  • Miami: City of Dreams

    Though I loved “Cocaine Cowboys” for its numerous profiles of some really strange and distinct characters involved in the late ’70s and early ’80s drug trade (from drug runners to hitmen to newscasters), I think the film is most remarkable for its full and rich portrait of the city of Miami. “Cocaine Cowboys” seems to […]

  • The Cove: Shouldn’t Be True

    Like “GasLand,” a documentary I watched a couple months ago, “The Cove” is filed under that “I really wish this wasn’t true” category. It’s a disturbing, disturbing film, the type where each new scene seems to reveal some other horrible act that just doesn’t feel like it should be happening. If you’ve ever watched the […]

  • Harlan County USA

    Another one of those documentaries that doesn’t seem like it could be possible. “Harlan County USA” is tough to watch, a series of snapshots of an America that no longer exists, and that–when you look at the dates of the events, early 1970s–you cannot believe was so recent. Quite simply, this movie showcases (without any […]