Tag Archive: 2010

Starring: Bridgit Mendler, David Henrie, Amy Poehler, Will Arnett, Moises Arias & Carol Burnett
Screenplay by Keiko Niwa
Directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi

A family of tiny people who live under the floorboards is jeopardized when daughter Arrietty is discovered by the young boy who lives in the house.

Studio Ghibli’s
magic is proportional
to size this time out.

Grade: B-

By Daniel J. Hoag
The Secret World of Arrietty is available now on Blu-ray and DVD.

Somewhere in the middle of last decade, the creative folks behind comics giant Marvel realized they could probably make more money by producing their own films rather than licensing their property to other movie studios. After reacquiring the rights to several of their key superheroes, Marvel Studios began to unveil a series of films with overlapping continuity, shared characters, and a master plan that would lead up to a massive ensemble piece. Now that plan comes to fruition with The Avengers – the Marvel Universe collective that features such heavy hitters as Iron Man, the Incredible Hulk, and Captain America. With The Avengers opening in theaters in less than a week, it’s time for the Haiku Review to look back at the Marvel Universe films that have been leading up to it. Continue reading

Directed by Kevin Macdonald

This documentary (co-produced by YouTube) is compiled of user-generated footage from around the world, all shot on a single day–July 24, 2010–that captures what it’s like to be alive on Earth today.

Who knew that YouTube
could be used for something more
than cat videos?

Grade: B

By Daniel J. Hoag
Life in a Day is now available on Blu-ray and DVD.

Starring: Otto Jespersen
Written and directed by André Øvredal

A trio of college student filmmakers find themselves documenting the exploits of a grizzled trollhunter.

So many trolls you’ll
think it’s a Kardashian
family function.

Grade: B+

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

Starring: Lubna Azabal, Mélissa Désormeaux-Poulin, Maxim Gaudette & Rémy Girard
Screenplay by Denis Villeneuve, Valérie Beaugrand-Champagne
Directed by Denis Villeneuve

After their mother’s death, two siblings receive instructions to track down the father they thought was dead and the brother they never knew they had.

Some family secrets
are best left buried, others
make you want to bathe.

Grade: A-

By Daniel J. Hoag
Incendies is available on Blu-ray on 9/13/11.

Starring: Shirley Henderson, Ciarán Hinds, Allison Janney, Charlotte Rampling, Paul Reubens, Ally Sheedy, & Michael Kenneth Williams
Written and directed by Todd Solondz

In a companion piece to the 1998 dark comedy Happiness, an emotionally stunted group of family, friends and lovers struggle with forgiveness and the tragedies of everyday life in a post-9/11 world.

Solondz has his most
relevant film in years (but
it’s no Happiness.)

Grade: B

By Daniel J. Hoag
Life During Wartime is now available on Blu-ray and DVD.

Starring: Josh Hopkins, Rachel Kitson, Mary Beth Hurt & Samantha Mathis
Written and directed by Ben Hickernell

When Will returns to his home town of Lebanon, Pennsylvania, for his father’s funeral, he befriends his newly pregnant 17-year-old cousin, and together they struggle with life choices.

You probably liked
this better when it was called
Juno and sucked less.

Grade: C-

By Daniel J. Hoag
Lebanon, Pa. is now available on Blu-ray and DVD.

Starring: Catherine Deneuve, Gerard Depardieu & Fabrice Luchini
Written and directed by François Ozon

In the late 70s, a French “trophy housewife” steps in to manage the umbrella factory run by her tyrannical husband after the workers go on strike and proves herself to be an excellent leader.

Deneuve is charming,
but the troll-like Depardieu’s
a miscast relic.

Grade: B-

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

Haiku Review: Four Lions (2010)

Starring: Kayvan Novak, Nigel Lindsay, Riz Ahmed & Adeel Akhtar
Written by Jesse Armstrong, Sam Bain, Simon Blackwell & Christopher Morris
Directed by Christopher Morris

Four bumbling jihadists set out to commit an act of terrorism.

It takes balls to make
a comedy of terrors,
playing bombs for laughs.

Grade: B-

By Daniel J. Hoag
Four Lions is available on Blu-ray and DVD.

Starring: Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon, Josh Brolin & Hailee Steinfeld
Written for the screen and directed by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen

A fourteen-year-old girl enlists the help of a washed-up U.S. Marshal and a hardened Texas Ranger to track down the man who killed her father.

Leave it to The Dude
to make you forget The Duke
(with a young girl’s help).

Grade: A-

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