Archive for May, 2012

Starring: Tilda Swinton, John C. Reilly & Ezra Miller
Screenplay by Lynn Ramsay & Rory Stewart Kinnear
Directed by Lynne Ramsay

A woman struggles with the increasing malevolence of her son and must cope with the tragic consequences of his behavior.

Swinton is subtle;
the directing not so much.
Bet the book’s better.

Grade: B-

By Daniel J. Hoag
We Need to Talk About Kevin is available on Blu-ray and DVD on 5/29/12.

Starring: Amanda Seyfried, Daniel Sunjata, Wes Bentley, Jennifer Carpenter & Sebastian Stan
Written by Allison Burnett
Directed by Heitor Dhalia

A young woman believes her sister has been abducted by the same man she claims kidnapped her a year earlier, but the police are convinced that she is imagining it all.

An apt title for
a film missing anything
of substance. Bye, Gone.

Grade: C-

By Daniel J. Hoag
Gone is available on Blu-ray and DVD on 5/29/12.

Starring: Ingrid Bolsø Berdal, Dimitri Diatchenko, Olivia Taylor Dudley, Devin Kelley & Jesse McCartney
Screenplay by Oren Peli
Directed by Bradley Parker

When a group of tourists visit an abandoned village near the site of the Chernobyl disaster, they find themselves trapped and attacked by a terrifying threat.

Chernobyl’s now had
two tragedies befall it.
Bad taste trumps promise.

Grade: C

By Daniel J. Hoag
Chernobyl Diaries is now playing in theaters nationwide.

Starring: Sam Worthington, Elizabeth Banks, Jamie Bell, Anthony Mackie, Edward Burns & Ed Harris
Written by Pablo F. Fenjves
Directed by Asger Leth

An falsely-accused ex-cop escapes from prison and climbs out on the ledge of a tall building to serve as a distraction while his brother attempts to steal a valuable diamond that might help prove his innocence.

It’s fitting that this
plot resembles the splattered
corpse of a jumper.

Grade: C

By Daniel J. Hoag
Man on a Ledge is available on Blu-ray and DVD on 5/29/12.

Written by Jon Foy & Colin Smith
Directed by Jon Foy

A group of men seek to unravel the mystery behind the Toynbee Tiles, a series of cryptic messages that have appeared on the streets of cities across the U.S. and South America for over three decades.

A real bargain bin
conspiracy theory;
some artist laughs last.

Grade: C

By Daniel J. Hoag
Resurrect Dead: The Mystery of the Toynbee Tiles is available now on DVD.

Starring: Sacha Baron Cohen, Anna Faris, Ben Kingsley & Jason Mantzoukas
Screenplay by Sacha Baron Cohen & Alec Berg & David Mandel & Jeff Schaffer
Directed by Larry Charles

When a cruel African dictator is usurped by a conniving advisor with a body double, he must befriend a liberal activist in order to reclaim his position and ensure his country is not turned into a democracy and subsequently exploited by oil companies.

Cohen’s bag of tricks
is lighter, but he still has
some cards up his sleeve.

Grade: B

By Daniel J. Hoag
The Dictator is now playing in theaters nationwide.

Written by Lee Hirsch & Cynthia Lowen
Directed by Lee Hirsch

A documentary on the detrimental effects of bullying that occurs in schools nationwide.

Respect everyone
Don’t take sh*t from anyone
All kids should watch this

Grade: B+

By Daniel J. Hoag
Bully is playing now in select cities.

Starring: Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Helena Bonham Carter, Eva Green, Jackie Earle Haley, Jonny Lee Miller & Chloë Grace Moretz
Screenplay by Seth Grahame-Smith
Directed by Tim Burton

After being buried alive for nearly two centuries, a vampire returns to his homestead only to find dysfunctional ancestors and a vengeful witch waiting for him.

For a creative
guy, Burton sure wastes a lot
of time on remakes.

Grade: C+

By Daniel J. Hoag
Dark Shadows is now playing in theaters nationwide.

Starring: Liam Neeson, Frank Grillo, Dermot Mulroney & James Badge Dale
Screenplay by Joe Carnahan & Ian Mackenzie Jeffers
Directed by Joe Carnahan

After their plane crashes in the Alaskan wilderness, a handful of survivors must fight off dangerous predatory wolves as they try to make their way back to civilization.

Note to self: if wolves
pursue you, don’t ask Neeson
for survival help.

Grade: B-

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

Starring: Dane Dehaan, Alex Russell & Michael B. Jordan
Screenplay by Max Landis
Directed by Josh Trank

The lives of three high school students spin out of control after they gain superpowers.

The only thing worse
than angsty teens? Angsty teens
with superpowers.

Grade: B

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