Archive for September, 2011

Starring: Seth Green, Dan Fogler, Elisabeth Harnois & Joan Cusack
Screenplay by Simon Wells & Wendy Wells
Directed by Simon Wells

A young boy must rescue his mother from the Martians who abducted her.

That Zemeckis-style
animation ain’t getting
any less creepy.

Grade: C+

By Daniel J. Hoag
Mars Needs Moms is now available on Blu-ray and DVD.


Haiku Review: Moneyball (2011)

Starring: Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Robin Wright & Chris Pratt
Screenplay by Steven Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin
Directed by Bennett Miller

The true story of how the Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane built a winning team for the financially-strapped baseball club by using a revolutionary method of statistical analysis to place value on players.

Here’s some simple math:
(Pitt + Hoffman) x Sorkin
= a home run.

Grade: A-

By Daniel J. Hoag
Moneyball is now playing in theaters nationwide.

Starring: Jay Baruchel, Scott Speedman & Emily Hampshire
Written and directed by Jacob Tierney

With their neighborhood under siege from a serial killer, three apartment building residents allow dark secrets to turn their relationships deadly.

Unlikeable creeps,
plot holes are murder. Also:
don’t let your cats watch.

Grade: C

By Daniel J. Hoag
Good Neighbors is available on Blu-ray and DVD on 9/27/11.

Haiku Review: Drive (2011)

Starring: Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan, Bryan Cranston, Albert Brooks, Christina Hendricks & Ron Perlman
Screenplay by Hossein Amini
Directed by Nicolas Winding Refn

A Hollywood stunt driver who moonlights as a criminal wheelman takes on a dangerous job to protect his neighbor and her son.

This ride suffers from
a laborious pace and
a cheeseball soundtrack.

Grade: B-

By Daniel J. Hoag
Drive is now playing in theaters nationwide.

Starring: Sterling Hayden, Coleen Gray, Vince Edwards, Jay C. Flippen, Marie Windsor & Ted DeCorsia
Screenplay by Stanley Kubrick
Directed by Stanley Kubrick

Stanley Kubrick’s time-shuffling account of an ambitious racetrack robbery.

Thank this noir classic:
without it, there would have been
no Reservoir Dogs.

Grade: A-

By Daniel J. Hoag
The Criterion Collection of Stanley Kubrick’s The Killing is now available on Blu-ray and DVD.

(Blu) Haiku Review: Hesher (2011)

Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Natalie Portman & Rainn Wilson
Written by Spencer Susser & David Michôd
Directed by Spencer Susser

A boy struggling with his mother’s death, his distraught father, and a meek shopgirl all find their worlds upturned when a reckless, anarchic metalhead inserts himself into their lives.

Flawed, perhaps, but it
at least deserves a couple
of raised devil horns.

Grade: B-

By Daniel J. Hoag
Hesher is available on Blu-ray and DVD on today.

Starring: Conan O’Brien & Andy Richter
Directed by Rodman Flender

This documentary follows Conan O’Brien, recently ousted from The Tonight Show, as he hits the road for a 32-city music-and-comedy show, entitled “The Legally Prohibited from Being Funny on Television Tour.”

Coco entertains,
but I wish we’d seen deeper
into that red head.

Grade: B

By Daniel J. Hoag
Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop is available on Blu-ray and DVD on 9/13/11.

Starring: Lubna Azabal, Mélissa Désormeaux-Poulin, Maxim Gaudette & Rémy Girard
Screenplay by Denis Villeneuve, Valérie Beaugrand-Champagne
Directed by Denis Villeneuve

After their mother’s death, two siblings receive instructions to track down the father they thought was dead and the brother they never knew they had.

Some family secrets
are best left buried, others
make you want to bathe.

Grade: A-

By Daniel J. Hoag
Incendies is available on Blu-ray on 9/13/11.

Starring: Gwyneth Paltrow, Matt Damon, Laurence Fishburne, Jude Law, Marion Cotillard, Kate Winslet & Bryan Cranston
Written by Scott Z. Burns
Directed by Steven Soderbergh

A deadly outbreak wreaks havoc on the world’s population.

Epic, suspenseful,
but you may want to bring some
hand sanitizer.

Grade: A-

By Daniel J. Hoag
Contagion is now playing in theaters nationwide.

(Blu) Haiku Review: Jane Eyre (2011)

Starring: Mia Wasikowska, Michael Fassbender, Jamie Bell & Judi Dench
Screenplay by Moira Buffini
Directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga

Orphaned governess Jane Eyre’s relationship with her brooding employer is threatened by a terrible secret that he had hoped to hide from her forever.

Great acting steams up
this moody Brontë classic.
Take that, Jane Austen.

Grade: B

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