Archive for August, 2011

Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Danny McBride, Aziz Ansari & Nick Swardson
Screenplay by Michael Diliberti
Directed by Ruben Fleischer

A lowlife criminal looking for money to hire an assassin to murder his father kidnaps a pizza delivery man, straps a bomb to him, and orders him to rob a bank or else.

This delivers laughs.
The real story? Not so much.
That was messier.

Grade: B

By Daniel J. Hoag
30 Minutes or Less is now playing in theaters nationwide.

Starring: Anton Yelchin, Colin Farrell, Toni Collette, David Tennant & Imogen Poots
Screenplay by Marti Noxon
Directed by Craig Gillespie

A high school student begins to suspect that his next door neighbor is a vampire.

A Buffy writer
and a slick cast give this camp
80s remake fangs.

Grade: B

By Daniel J. Hoag
Fright Night is now playing in theaters nationwide.

Starring: Paul Rudd, Elizabeth Banks, Zooey Deschanel & Emily Mortimer
Written by Evgenia Peretz & David Schisgall
Directed by Jesse Peretz

A naive idealist upends the lives of his three sisters when he temporarily moves in with each of them.

You don’t have to be
high to enjoy Rudd’s hippie
power, but why not?

Grade: B

By Daniel J. Hoag
Our Idiot Brother is now playing in theaters nationwide.

Directed by Marshall Curry
Co-directed by Sam Cullman

A documentary about the rise and fall of the Earth Liberation Front, a radical environmental group that became America’s largest domestic terrorist threat, as told through the eyes of one of its former members.

Good intentions meet
bad choices, hippies burn sh*t
Slanted but gripping

Grade: B+

By Daniel J. Hoag
If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front is available on DVD on 8/30/11.

Starring: Paul Bettany, Karl Urban, Cam Gigandet, Maggie Q & Christopher Plummer
Written by Cory Goodman
Directed by Scott Stewart

In a post-apocalyptic world, a warrior priest fights to save the world from savage vampires.

Your prayers can’t save you
from ungodly awfulness
found in this vamp crap.

Grade: D+

By Daniel J. Hoag
Priest is now available on Blu-ray and DVD.

Starring: Morgan Spurlock
Written by Jeremy Chilnick & Morgan Spurlock
Directed by Morgan Spurlock

Morgan Spurlock examines product placement and advertising in the movie industry, while at the same time funding his movie exclusively through corporate sponsorship.

No revelations
Duh! adverts are everywhere
Right, HP laptop?

Grade: B-

By Daniel J. Hoag
POM Wonderful presents The Greatest Movie Ever Sold is available on Blu-ray and DVD today.

Starring: Mel Gibson, Jodie Foster, Anton Yelchin & Jennifer Lawrence
Written by Kyle Killen
Directed by Jodie Foster

A severly depressed person begins using a beaver hand-puppet as his means of communicating with the world.

In this bleak Beaver,
Gibson plays a crazy man.
Not much of a stretch.

Grade: C

By Daniel J. Hoag
The Beaver is available on Blu-ray and DVD tomorrow.

Starring: Shirley Henderson, CiarĂ¡n Hinds, Allison Janney, Charlotte Rampling, Paul Reubens, Ally Sheedy, & Michael Kenneth Williams
Written and directed by Todd Solondz

In a companion piece to the 1998 dark comedy Happiness, an emotionally stunted group of family, friends and lovers struggle with forgiveness and the tragedies of everyday life in a post-9/11 world.

Solondz has his most
relevant film in years (but
it’s no Happiness.)

Grade: B

By Daniel J. Hoag
Life During Wartime is now available on Blu-ray and DVD.

Starring: Nick Damici, Connor Paolo, Kelly McGillis & Danielle Harris
Written by Nick Damici & Jim Mickle
Directed by Jim Mickle

A teenage boy fights for survival alongside a rogue vampire hunter in a futuristic dystopia in which in blood-hungry monsters and dangerous religious zealots have taken over America.

Above average, though
these “vamps” are more like zombies.
For true horror fans.

Grade: B-

By Daniel J. Hoag
Stake Land is now available on Blu-ray and DVD.

Starring: Sandrine Bonnaire, Kevin Kline & Jennifer Beals
Written by Caroline Bottaro with Caroline Maly
Directed by Caroline Bottaro

A French maid develops a passion for the game of chess and, with the tutelage of a reclusive American widower, undergoes an emotional reawakening.

Only the French could
make playing chess seem sexy.
A surprise charmer.

Grade: B+

By Daniel J. Hoag
Queen to Play is available on DVD today.