Archive for November, 2012


searching for sugar manFeaturing: Sixto Rodriguez
Directed by Malik Bendjelloul

A documentary about Sixto Rodriguez, who gave up his struggling singer/songwriter career in the 1970s after just two albums, only to discover nearly thirty years later that, in South Africa, he has achieved massive success and is something of a mysterious legend.


Could wherever I’m
famous please let me know now,
not in three decades?

Grade: B+


c2012
By Daniel J. Hoag
Searching for Sugar Man is playing now in select cities.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2125608/

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(Blu) Haiku Review: Lawless (2012)

Starring: Shia LaBeouf, Tom Hardy, Gary Oldman, Mia Wasikowska, Jessica Chastain, Jason Clarke & Guy Pearce
Screenplay by Nick Cave
Directed by John Hillcoat

Based on the true story of the Bondurant brothers, who operated the most lucrative bootlegging business in Virginia at the height of Prohibition.


Shouldn’t LaBeouf be
ruining some big-budget
franchise about now?

Grade: B


c2012
By Daniel J. Hoag
Lawless is available on Blu-ray and DVD today.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1212450/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

Hosted by Keanu Reeves
Featuring: James Cameron, David Fincher, David Lynch, Robert Rodriguez, Martin Scorsese & Steven Soderbergh
Directed by Christopher Kenneally

A documentary on the impact that digital filmmaking has had on the movie industry.


Keanu talks film
versus digital, yet can’t
act well in either.

Grade: B+


c2012
By Daniel J. Hoag
Side by Side is playing now in select cities.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2014338/

Anyone who lived through the 1980s probably remembers Red Dawn, the World War III movie in which a bunch of Colorado high school students band together to fight against invading Russian and Cuban soldiers. It’s not exactly high-class cinema, but Dawn captured the Cold War paranoia of the Reagan years, when the world was just a button-push away from nuclear holocaust at the hands of our Soviet adversaries. Thanks to its distinct subject matter and its destined-for-fame cast of young Hollywood talent, the film has become something of an enduring time capsule – enough so that, a few years back, Hollywood thought it worthy of 21st century facelift. Enter the new Red Dawn, just out in theaters, with a new cast of fresh-faced somebodies. Continue reading

Starring: John Hawkes, Helen Hunt & William H. Macy
Written and directed by Ben Lewin

The true story of journalist and poet Mark O’Brien, who spent most of his life in an iron lung after contracting polio at an early age, and who, at age 38, sought to lose his virginity with the help of a sex surrogate.


Hawkes earns Oscar nod
lying still while Helen Hunt
gets naked. Tough job.

Grade: B+


c2012
By Daniel J. Hoag
The Sessions is playing now in select cities.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1866249/

Haiku Review: Life of Pi (2012)

Starring: Suraj Sharma, Irrfan Khan & Rafe Spall
Screenplay by David Magee
Directed by Ang Lee

After the ship carrying his father’s zoo animals sinks at sea, a young man finds himself fighting for survival while sharing a lifeboat with a dangerous Bengal tiger.


Ang Lee makes something
(3)Deep out of book club pop-
spiritual fluff.

Grade: A-


c2012
By Daniel J. Hoag
Life of Pi is now playing in theaters nationwide.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0454876/

Starring: John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman, Jack McBrayer, Jane Lynch & Alan Tudyk
Screenplay by Phil Johnston and Jennifer Lee
Directed by Rich Moore

A video game villian grows tired of being the “bad guy,” but his quest to become a hero ends up wreaking havoc on the world of his arcade.


Please take a moment
to explain to the young ones
what an arcade is.

Grade: A-


c2012
By Daniel J. Hoag
Wreck-It Ralph is playing now in theaters nationwide.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1772341/

Starring: Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field, David Strathairn, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, James Spader, Hal Holbrook, Tommy Lee Jones, John Hawkes & Jackie Earle Haley
Screenplay by Tony Kushner
Directed by Steven Spielberg

During the final months of his presidency, Abraham Lincoln struggles to gain support for the 13th Amendment, which would abolish slavery, and which he believes must be done before the Civil War ends in order to succeed.


…and everyone lived
equally ever after
for all time. [crickets]

Grade: A-


c2012
By Daniel J. Hoag
Lincoln is now playing in theaters nationwide.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0443272/

Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Chuck Norris, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Bruce Willis & Arnold Schwarzenegger
Screenplay by Richard Wenk and Sylvester Stallone
Directed by Simon West

Grizzled old mercenaries seek vengeance on a terrorist who killed one of their own.


How many 80s
has-beens does it take to make
one box office draw?

Grade: D


c2012
By Daniel J. Hoag
The Expendables 2 is available on Blu-ray and DVD on 11/20/12.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1764651/

Starring: Logan Lerman, Emma Watson, Ezra Miller, Nina Dobrev, Mae Whitman, Dylan McDermott, Kate Walsh & Paul Rudd
Written and directed by Stephen Chbosky

A high school freshman with emotional problems develops deep friendships with a group of social outcasts.


You’re not a real teen
unless you dress in drag and
watch Rocky Horror.

Grade: A-


c2012
By Daniel J. Hoag
The Perks of Being a Wallflower is playing now in theaters nationwide.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1659337/