Archive for December, 2011

Starring: Jason Sudeikis, Leslie Bibb, Lake Bell, Nick Kroll, Tyler Labine, Martin Starr & Will Forte
Written and directed by Alex Gregory & Peter Huyck

When he learns his father’s swanky vacation home is about to be sold, a thirty-something party animal tries to convince his friends to make their last crazy party an orgy.

A great cast in an
over-the-top premise that
isn’t (group) sexy.

Grade: C+

By Daniel J. Hoag
A Good Old Fashioned Orgy is now available on DVD.

Haiku Review: War Horse (2011)

Starring: Jeremy Irvine, Peter Mullan, Emily Watson & Benedict Cumberbatch
Screenplay by Lee Hall and Richard Curtis
Directed by Steven Spielberg

After his horse is sold to the British calvary during World War I, a young man enlists as a soldier in hopes of one day being reconnected with the animal he raised.

At once, breathtaking,
yet Saving Private Pony
teeters on hokum.

Grade: B

By Daniel J. Hoag
War Horse is now playing in theaters nationwide.

Starring: Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg, Paula Patton & Michael Nyqvist
Written by Josh Appelbaum & André Nemec
Directed by Brad Bird

Ethan Hunt and his IMF team must go rogue to stop a Swedish terrorist after they are framed for bombing the Kremlin.

Brad Bird performs the
impossible: making us
forget we hate Cruise.

Grade: A-

By Daniel J. Hoag
Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol is now playing in theaters nationwide.

The Haiku Review’s Worst Movies of 2011

By Daniel J. Hoag

As the holidays are drawing to a close and 2012 is upon us (the year, not that awful John Cusack movie), it’s time for the Haiku Review to start naming the best and worst movies of 2011. Let’s start with those films that deserve to be thrown out with all the torn-up wrapping paper and unappetizing fruitcakes. Continue reading

Based on the best-selling book by Stieg Larsson, David Fincher’s highly-anticipated adaptation of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo has just opened in theaters. But before Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara inhabited the beloved characters of Mikael Blomkvist and Lisbeth Salander, there was a 2009 adaptation of the novel in the author’s native Sweden starring rising star Noomi Rapace (Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows). So which movie is better? Is the latest film worth the price of admission, or will fans of the the Swedish original want to stay away? The Haiku Review presents its latest Remake Spotlight to help viewers determine which Tattoo is worth the money. Continue reading

Starring: Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Julianne Moore, Emma Stone, Marisa Tomei & Kevin Bacon
Written by Dan Fogelman
Directed by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa

When a middle-aged man’s wife asks for a divorce, he is taken under the wing of an expert ladykiller and given a confidence-boosting makeover that shakes up both their lives.

Crazy Gosling abs
Stupid rom-com this is not
Love it through and through

Grade: A-

By Daniel J. Hoag
Crazy, Stupid, Love. is available now on Blu-ray and DVD.

Starring: Warren Christie, Lloyd Owen & Ryan Robbins
Written by Brian Miller
Directed by Gonzalo López-Gallego

This “found footage” film captures the ill-fated secret mission of two astronauts sent to the moon in 1974.

As mortifying
as the tragic Challenger
disaster. (Too soon?)

Grade: D-

By Daniel J. Hoag
Apollo 18 is available on Blu-ray and DVD on 12/27/11.

Starring: Michelle Williams, Eddie Redmayne, Kenneth Branagh, Julia Ormond, Emma Watson & Judi Dench
Written by Adrian Hodges
Directed by Simon Curtis

Based on the memoir of a young film industry lackey who spent a week befriending a troubled Marilyn Monroe while she was in England to make a movie with Sir Laurence Olivier.

Come for Williams, who
explodes as the blonde bombshell,
seductive yet frail.

Grade: B-

By Daniel J. Hoag
My Week with Marilyn is now playing in select cities.

Haiku Review: Take Shelter (2011)

Starring: Michael Shannon & Jessica Chastain
Written and directed by Jeff Nichols

When a man starts having disturbing visions, he begins to worry whether he is showing signs of mental illness or if some apocalyptic storm is brewing.

Michael Shannon gives
a maelstrom performance that
will blow your house down.

Grade: A-

By Daniel J. Hoag
Take Shelter is now playing in select cities.

Starring: Justin Timberlake, Mila Kunis, Patricia Clarkson, Jenna Elfman, Richard Jenkins & Woody Harrelson
Screenplay by Keith Merryman & David A. Newman and Will Gluck
Directed by Will Gluck

Two friends trying to have a sexual relationship without emotional attachment find that it’s easier said than done.

Wooed by a flash mob
and Semisonic? I’ll pass
on these Benefits.

Grade: C

By Daniel J. Hoag
Friends with Benefits is available now on Blu-ray and DVD.