Tag Archive: Competition

Haiku Review: In a World… (2013)

In a worldStarring: Lake Bell, Rob Corddry, Ken Marino, Demetri Martin, Fred Melamed, Nick Offerman, Michaela Watkins & Geena Davis
Written & directed by Lake Bell

A female vocal coach attempts to break into the male-dominated voice-over industry.

As long as it’s a
world where more women get to
direct films, I’m in.

Grade: B+

By Daniel J. Hoag
In a World… is playing now in select cities.


monsters UStarring: Billy Crystal, John Goodman, Steve Buscemi, Helen Mirren, Sean Hayes, Dave Foley, Charlie Day, Alfred Molina, Nathan Fillion & Aubrey Plaza
Written by Robert L. Baird & Daniel Gerson & Dan Scanlon
Directed by Dan Scanlon

Before they were the greatest team at Monsters Inc., Mike and Sully were college rivals looking to prove which one of them was better at scaring.

See, kids: Pixar says
you DON’T need to finish school
to follow your dreams!

Grade: B+

By Daniel J. Hoag
Monsters University is now playing in theaters nationwide.

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.

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.

Starring: Steve Zissis, Mark Kelly & Jennifer Lafleur
Written and directed by Jay Duplass & Mark Duplass

Two fiercely competitive brothers resurrect a decades-old quest to prove dominance through a series of 25 ridiculous events.

It’s the Mumblecore
Olympics in this heartfelt
“blows before bros” flick.

Grade: B+

By Daniel J. Hoag
The Do-Deca-Pentathalon is available now on Blu-ray and DVD.

Haiku Review: The Campaign (2012)

Starring: Will Ferrell, Zach Galifianakis, Jason Sudeikis, Dylan McDermott, John Lithgow, Dan Aykroyd & Brian Cox
Screenplay by Shawn Harwell & Chris Henchy
Directed by Jay Roach

Two corrupt corporate bigwigs attempt to oust a long-term congressman by backing a naive family man to run against him.

Have a good laugh at
these politiclowns; the real
ones will make you weep.

Grade: B+

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

Directed by J. Clay Tweel

This documentary follows a group of young magicians battling to win the Lance Burton Teen Stage Competition.

This contest doc has
by-the-book hocus-pocus
but little magic.

Grade: C+

By Daniel J. Hoag
Make Believe: The Battle to Become the World’s Best Teen Magician is available now on DVD.

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: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks & Stanley Tucci
Screenplay by Gary Ross, Suzanne Collins & Billy Ray
Directed by Gary Ross

Yes, it’s good. So can
we all just forget about
stupid Twilight now?

Grade: B+

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

Starring: Jack Black, Steve Martin, Owen Wilson, Brian Dennehy, Anjelica Huston, Rashida Jones, Rosamund Pike, Dianne Wiest & John Cleese
Screenplay by Howard Franklin
Directed by David Frankel

Three bird watchers compete to see as many birds as they can in a calendar year.

This film’s about as
much fun as bird watching – if
all the birds were dead.

Grade: C-

By Daniel J. Hoag
The Big Year is available on Blu-ray and DVD on 1/31/12.