Archive for January, 2013

hotel tStarring: Adam Sandler, Andy Samberg, Selena Gomez, Kevin James, Fran Drescher, Steve Buscemi & Molly Shannon, David Spade
Screenplay by Peter Baynham and Robert Smigel
Directed by Genndy Tartakovsky

Dracula opens a monsters-only resort, but finds his world upended when a human finds his way in and falls for his daughter.

This Hotel should be
condemned and all residents
deserve to be staked.

Grade: D+

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

seven psychosStarring: Colin Farrell, Sam Rockwell, Woody Harrelson, Christopher Walken, Abbie Cornish, Harry Dean Stanton & Olga Kurylenko
Written and directed by Martin McDonagh

A struggling screenwriter finds himself in danger when his unstable best friend kidnaps the dog of a vicious gangster.

If Adaptation
were written by the coked-out
hitman from In Bruges

Grade: B-

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

Paranormal Activity 4 (2012)

paranormal activity 4Starring: Katie Featherston, Kathryn Newton, Stephen Dunham, Matt Shively & Alexondra Lee
Screenplay by Christopher Landon
Directed by Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman

A teenager finds her family threatened by the demonic ties of new neighbors.

With product placement
forethought, this demon haunts with
an XBox Kinect.

Grade: C

By Daniel J. Hoag
Paranormal Activity 4 is available on Blu-ray and DVD on 1/29/13.

pitch perfectStarring: Anna Kendrick, Skylar Astin, Rebel Wilson, Adam DeVine, Anna Camp, Brittany Snow & Elizabeth Banks
Screenplay by Kay Cannon
Directed by Jason Moore

A college student helps an a cappella singing group in their quest for championship glory.

Not off-key like Glee,
but clichés, bad puns are a
bit “a crappella.”

Grade: C+

By Daniel J. Hoag
Pitch Perfect is available now on Blu-ray and DVD.

Haiku Review: Pina (2011)

pinaFeaturing: Pina Bausch
Written and directed by Wim Wenders

Director Wim Wenders pays tribute to choreographer Pina Bausch with the help of dancers from her company.

So this is what was
missing from all the modern
dance I’ve ever seen…

Grade: A-

By Daniel J. Hoag
Pina is now available on Blu-ray and DVD.

5 Broken CamerasFeaturing: Emad Burnat
Written by Guy Davidi
Directed by Emad Burnat & Guy Davidi

A Palestinian farmer documents the nonviolent protests that take place in his West Bank village against the encroachment of the Israeli army.

If a camera
stops a bullet to my head,
I’ll take up painting.

Grade: B+

By Daniel J. Hoag
5 Broken Cameras is now available on DVD.

(Blu) Haiku Review: Taken 2 (2012)

taken 2Starring: Liam Neeson, Maggie Grace & Famke Janssen
Written by Luc Besson & Robert Mark Kamen
Directed by Olivier Megaton

The ex-CIA operative who rescued his daughter from sadistic kidnappers finds himself the target of their revenge when he and his wife are take hostage in Istanbul.

He may possess a
“certain set of skills,” but good
filmmaking’s not one.

Grade: C

By Daniel J. Hoag
Taken 2 is now available on Blu-ray and DVD.

how to surviveFeaturing: Mark Harrington, Larry Kramer, Bob Rafsky & Peter Staley
Written by David France, Todd Woody Richman & Tyler H. Walk
Directed by David France

A chronicle of the AIDS epidemic in the 80s and 90s and the activists who fought relentlessly for government action.

When the world wants to
ignore you, stand up, fight back,
make those assholes care.

Grade: A-

By Daniel J. Hoag
How to Survive a Plague is playing now in select cities.

possessionStarring: Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Kyra Sedgwick, Natasha Calis, Madison Davenport, Jay Brazeau & Matisyahu
Written by Juliet Snowden & Stiles White
Directed by Ole Bornedal

A young girl becomes possessed by a malevolent spirit – known in Judaism as a dybbuk – after purchasing a mysterious box that imprisoned it.

Oy vey! This dybbuk
should skip meshuga clichés,
find a nice doctor.

Grade: C

By Daniel J. Hoag
The Possession is available on Blu-ray and DVD on 1/15/13.

natural selectionStarring: Rachael Harris, Matt O’Leary, Jon Gries & John Diehl
Written and directed by Robbie Pickering

After her husband falls ill, a devout Christian housewife sets out to find the long-lost son he fathered many years ago.

If you’re an “every
sperm is sacred” guy, this film’s
got loopholes for you!

Grade: B-

By Daniel J. Hoag
Natural Selection is available now on Blu-ray and DVD.