Archive for February, 2012

Welcome to the latest edition of the Haiku Review’s Remake Spotlight, which focuses on the recently-released 2011 version of The Thing and John Carpenter’s 1982 installment (which was itself a remake of the 1951 horror film The Thing from Another World). Technically, the newest Thing is a prequel, since it’s set prior to events of Carpenter’s, but considering it follows the exact same formula as its predecessor and doesn’t even have a different name or a titular qualifier, we’ll just call it a “premake.” So read on to find which film is the real Thing and which deserves the flamethrower? Continue reading

Well, another Oscar season has come to a close. As expected, The Artist walked away with the night’s top prize, becoming only the second silent film ever to win Best Picture (after Wings, which won at the very first ceremony).  Billy Crystal returned as host after a long absence and turned in a confident, funny performance that helped keep the show on-pace and more entertaining than those from recent years.  As usual there were surprises and sure-things, hilarious guests and awkward presentations.  The Haiku Review even managed to predict 16 of the 24 categories – a solid two-thirds, which, frankly, is not too shabby considering the large number of close races this year.  (I am kicking myself for switching to Clooney at the last minute, and not sticking with Dujardin, who was my choice right up until the last minute).  Nevertheless, it’s time to move on to a whole new season of movies, so to wrap up this whole Oscar business, the Haiku Review offers you some final thoughts on the ceremony and its winners and losers, along with a complete list of the victors. Continue reading

Considering there are a number of really close races (both lead acting categories) and very few “sure things” (both supporting categories) – and given the Academy’s penchant for out-of-left-field surprises – I wouldn’t recommend betting too much money in your Oscar pool this year. Nevertheless, the Haiku Review will take a stab at prognostication; just don’t come crying if you lose your lunch money. Here are the picks for who will (and should) win in the major categories at the 84th annual Academy Awards this weekend. Continue reading

Haiku Review: Wanderlust (2012)

Starring: Paul Rudd, Jennifer Aniston, Justin Theroux, Alan Alda & Malin Akerman
Written by David Wain & Ken Marino
Directed by David Wain

Suddenly unemployed and in need of a new living situation, a Manhattan couple find themselves stumbling upon a commune outside of Atlanta where they must adjust to a simpler way of life.

Hit the bong all you
want, Aniston’s not getting
any funnier.

Grade: B-

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

The Haiku Review’s 2011 Blacklist

Oscar weekend is upon us, which – let’s face it – is the true end of the previous year’s movie season. And while the Haiku Review has given you its best and worst films of 2011 already, this haikuist would like to introduce a new year-end feature: the Blacklist.

The Blacklist is, essentially, the top five films of the year that the Haiku Review just wouldn’t watch. A lot of terrible films have been waded through to bring you the syllables you have come to know and love (or be relatively indifferent about and yet feel strangely compelled to return to). But there are some things – some terrible, awful things – the mere thought of which makes this haikuist run for the hills. Continue reading

Starring: Rowan Atkinson, Gillian Anderson, Dominic West & Rosamund Pike
Screenplay by Hamish McColl
Directed by Oliver Parker

Bumbling spy Johnny English returns to stop the assassination of the Chinese premier.

For Anglophiles, Bean
fans, Scully lovers, and dorks.
Yup. I am all four.

Grade: B

By Daniel J. Hoag
Johnny English Reborn is available on Blu-ray and DVD on 2/28/12.

Starring: Nicholas D’Agosto, Emma Bell, Miles Fisher, David Koechner & Tony Todd
Written by Eric Heisserer
Directed by Steven Quale

When a premonition leads a group of people to cheat death by avoiding a deadly accident, Death comes to reclaim them one by one. Again.

This franchise should have
died long ago, so why has
Death not come for it?

Grade: D+

By Daniel J. Hoag
Final Destination 5 is available now on Blu-ray and DVD.

Starring: Antonio Banderas, Salma Hayek, Zach Galifianakis, Billy Bob Thornton & Amy Sedaris
Screenplay by Tom Wheeler
Directed by Chris Miller

Swashbuckling outlaw Puss in Boots, fellow feline renegade Kitty Softpaws, and old friend Humpty Dumpty are pitted against the nefarious Jack and Jill, who are in possession of some valuable magic beans.

This furry Puss fares
better without that stupid
green ogre around.

Grade: B-

By Daniel J. Hoag
Puss in Boots is available on Blu-ray and DVD on 2/24/11.

These are the five films nominated for Best Live Action Short Film at the 2012 Academy Awards. Continue reading

These are the five films nominated for Best Animated Short Film at the 2012 Academy Awards. Continue reading