Archive for January, 2012

Haiku Review: Albert Nobbs (2011)

Starring: Glenn Close, Mia Wasikowska, Janet McTeer & Brendan Gleeson
Screenplay by Glenn Close & John Banville
Directed by Rodrigo García

A woman passes herself off as a man in order to survive and make a living in 19th century Ireland.

Cross dressing’s gotten
far more interesting in
the last hundred years.

Grade: B-

By Daniel J. Hoag
Albert Nobbs in now playing in select cities.

Haiku Review: Haywire (2012)

Starring: Gina Carano, Channing Tatum, Michael Douglas, Antonio Banderas, Ewan McGregor, Michael Fassbender & Bill Paxton
Written by Lem Dobbs
Directed by Steven Soderbergh

When a private military soldier is betrayed during a mission, she seeks revenge on those who wronged her.

Because getting the
innards beat out of you should
be sexy sometimes.

Grade: B+

By Daniel J. Hoag
Haywire in now playing in theaters nationwide.

Featuring: Phil Rosenthal
Written and directed by Phil Rosenthal

When Everybody Loves Raymond creator Phil Rosenthal travels to Russia to help adapt his show for Russian audiences, he encounters a great number of setbacks involving unique characters and unbelievable situations.

Phil, if their paying,
who cares if Russkies crap all
over your baby?

Grade: B-

By Daniel J. Hoag
Exporting Raymond is available now on DVD.

Starring: Daniel Craig, Naomi Watts & Rachel Weisz
Written by David Loucka
Directed by Jim Sheridan

When a man relocates with his family to a new house, he discovers that it was the scene of a brutal crime – one to which he may have a disturbing connection.

The plot twists are so
obvious, you’ll think M. Night
Shyamalan wrote it.

Grade: C+

By Daniel J. Hoag
Dream House is available on Blu-ray and DVD tomorrow.

Starring: Jack Black, Steve Martin, Owen Wilson, Brian Dennehy, Anjelica Huston, Rashida Jones, Rosamund Pike, Dianne Wiest & John Cleese
Screenplay by Howard Franklin
Directed by David Frankel

Three bird watchers compete to see as many birds as they can in a calendar year.

This film’s about as
much fun as bird watching – if
all the birds were dead.

Grade: C-

By Daniel J. Hoag
The Big Year is available on Blu-ray and DVD on 1/31/12.

Directed by Werner Herzog

An examination of murder and capital punishment through the eyes of a death row inmate and the families of the victims he killed.

Like Paradise Lost
but with guilty people and
far less sympathy.

Grade: B-

By Daniel J. Hoag
Into the Abyss: A Tale of Death, A Tale of Life is now playing in select cities.

Starring: Antonio Banderas, Elena Anaya, Marisa Paredes & Jan Cornet
Screenplay by Pedro Almodóvar & Agustín Almodóvar
Directed by Pedro Almodóvar

A plastic surgeon engineering an experimental synthetic skin tests it on a human patient he keeps locked up in his house.

A little bit of
tuck and a whole lotta nip
Skin may cause goosebumps

Grade: B

By Daniel J. Hoag
The Skin I Live In is now playing in select cities.

Starring: Demián Bichir & José Julián
Screenplay by Eric Eason
Directed by Chris Weitz

An illegal immigrant struggles to make a living while keeping his teenage son from getting pulled into the local gang life.

Earnest Bichir wrings
sympathy right up until –
hey! Where are my keys?

Grade: B

By Daniel J. Hoag
A Better Life is available now and Blu-ray and DVD.

Directed by Joe Berlinger & Bruce Sinofsky

The latest documentary on the West Memphis Three – three men who spent nearly 20 years in prison after being convicted of crimes they didn’t commit – includes the uncovering of exculpatory DNA evidence and their subsequent release on Alford pleas, which require them to plead guilty yet allow them to maintain their innocence.

Fear convicted them
Stubborn pride kept them in chains
Freedom at a price

Grade: A

By Daniel J. Hoag
Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory is now playing on HBO.

Starring: Thomas Horn, Tom Hanks, Sandra Bullock, Max von Sydow, Viola Davis & Jeffrey Wright
Screenplay by Eric Roth
Directed by Stephen Daldry

After a boy finds a key in his parent’s closet, he goes in search of the lock that will fit it, believing that there will be a special message left to him by his father, who died on September 11th.

“Think we can make folks
cry with this 9/11
thing?”–Stephen Daldry

Grade: B-

By Daniel J. Hoag
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close is now playing in theaters nationwide.