Archive for December, 2012

silver linings playbookStarring: Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro, Jacki Weaver & Chris Tucker
Written & directed by David O. Russell

After an eight-month stay at a psychiatric hospital, a man recently-diagnosed with bipolar disorder struggles to maintain relationships with his parents and estranged wife while befriending a young widow with emotional issues of her own.

Hollywood solves our
nation’s mental health issues
with dancing, jazz hands.

Grade: B+

By Daniel J. Hoag
Silver Linings Playbook is playing now in theaters nationwide.

django unchainedStarring: Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kerry Washington & Samuel L. Jackson
Written & directed by Quentin Tarantino

A bounty hunter helps a former slave rescue his wife from a cruel slaveowner.

Because everyone
wants to kill white folk now and
then – even white folk.

Grade: A-

By Daniel J. Hoag
Django Unchained is now playing in theaters nationwide.

Haiku Review: Hitchcock (2012)

hitchcockStarring: Anthony Hopkins, Helen Mirren, Scarlett Johansson, Danny Huston, Toni Collette & Jessica Biel
Screenplay by John J. McLaughlin
Directed by Sacha Gervasi

The story of Alfred Hitchcock’s struggle to make Psycho.

The true Master of
Suspense gets a biopic
that simply has none.

Grade: C

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

Haiku Review: A Royal Affair (2012)

royal affairStarring: Alicia Vikander, Mads Mikkelsen & Mikkel Boe Følsgaard
Screenplay by Rasmus Heisterberg & Nikolaj Arcel
Directed by Nikolaj Arcel

In 18th century Denmark, a young queen’s affair with her mentally-ill husband’s doctor leads to political and cultural revolution.

At least leaders back
then had mental illness and
inbreeding to blame.

Grade: A-

By Daniel J. Hoag
A Royal Affair is playing now in select cities.

trouble with the curveStarring: Clint Eastwood, Amy Adams, Justin Timberlake & John Goodman
Written by Randy Brown
Directed by Robert Lorenz

An elderly baseball scout finds his career in jeopardy when his eyesight begins to falter.

This grumpy old man
really hates Moneyball, but
loves movie clichés.

Grade: D

By Daniel J. Hoag
Trouble with the Curve is available on Blu-ray and DVD today.

premium rushStarring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Michael Shannon & Dania Ramirez
Written by David Koepp & John Kamps
Directed by David Koepp

A bike messenger finds himself chased across Manhattan by a crooked cop who’s looking to steal his valuable delivery.

You’ll have to settle
for a perfectly above
average rush, thanks.

Grade: B-

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

hobbit 1Starring: Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, Richard Armitage & Andy Serkis
Written by Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Peter Jackson & Guillermo del Toro
Directed by Peter Jackson

60 years before the events in The Lord of the Rings, a young Bilbo Baggins reluctantly sets out with a group of dwarfs who are bent on reclaiming their lost kingdom from the fierce dragon Smaug.

Bless us and splash us
Gollum’s most precious in this
overstuffed return.

Grade: B

By Daniel J. Hoag
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is now playing in theaters nationwide.

invisible warWritten and directed by Kirby Dick

A harrowing look at the disturbing epidemic of rape within the U.S. military and the shocking repercussions that soldiers face when they courageously speak out.

Uncle Sam wants you
to keep silent when Uncle
Sam really wants you.

Grade: A-

By Daniel J. Hoag
The Invisible War is available now on DVD.

Haiku Review: Arbitrage (2012)

arbitrageStarring: Richard Gere, Susan Sarandon, Tim Roth & Brit Marling
Written and directed by Nicholas Jarecki

A corrupt business tycoon finds the sale of his company threatened while trying to cover up both fraudulent bookkeeping and a scandalous accident.

Hey, it’s hard out there
for a corrupt, entitled
corporate sleazebag.

Grade: A-

By Daniel J. Hoag
Arbitrage is available on Blu-ray and DVD on 12/21/12.

chasing iceFeaturing: James Balog
Written by Mark Monroe
Directed by Jeff Orlowski

A National Geographic photographer uses time-lapse photography to capture the devastating effect of climate change on the world’s glaciers.

They didn’t listen
to Al Gore, so I doubt they’ll
listen to this guy.

Grade: B

By Daniel J. Hoag
Chasing Ice is playing now in select cities.