“Kick-Ass” was one of those movies that seemed to have everybody split. Either you found the film morally reprehensible or you soaked up every minute of the film’s colorful violence and profanity. Personally, I was among the latter group.
It would be dishonest to call “Grown Ups 2” the most repellent high-profile comedy in recent memory. But that’s largely because few moviegoers have memories kind enough to have already erased 2010’s “Grown Ups” — which offered almost every loathsome quality of this installment, plus Rob Schneider.
Along with Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight Rises,” “Iron Man 3” is one of the rare superhero threequels that doesn’t disappoint. While Jon Favreau remains an executive producer and co-star, he passes on the directorial duties to Shane Black of “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang.” Black maintains all the action, humor, and character development that made Faverau’s first two films so enjoyable, while also incorporating his own unique signature. His film continues to raise the stakes and pushes its characters to their critical limits. In addition, “Iron Man 3” makes some hilarious commentary on the media’s role in terrorism with several inspired twist. The result is the darkest of the “Iron Man” trilogy and, ironically, the funniest.
“The Incredible Burt Wonderstone” starts off with a recipe for grade-A comedy. The cast includes names such as Steve Carell, Steve Buscemi, Alan Arkin, James Gandolfini, and Jim Carrey. The director is Don Scardino of “30 Rock” while Jonathan M. Goldstein and John Francis of “Horrible Bosses” penned the screenplay. The premise regarding rivaling magicians offers endless comedic possibilities. So how is it that the final product is just mediocre?
‘The Incredible Burt Wonderstone” starts off with a recipe for grade-A comedy. The cast includes names such as Steve Carell, Steve Buscemi, Alan Arkin, James Gandolfini and Jim Carrey. The director is Don Scardino of “30 Rock,” while Jonathan M. Goldstein and John Francis of “Horrible Bosses” penned the screenplay. The premise regarding rivaling magicians offers endless comedic possibilities. So how is it that the final product is just mediocre? It’s probably because the audience has to be constantly caught off guard in order for a magic show or comedy to succeed. In “The Incredible Burt Wonderstone,” the audience can pretty much predict everything that’s going to happen. This subtracts the elements of surprise and humor from the equation.
The Oscar season is customarily kicked off by the Academy president and a random star solemnly announcing the nominees in a drab ceremony. The Academy decided to shake up tradition this year, however, in one of the most cheerful Oscar mornings we’ve ever had. Seth MacFarlane, director of “Ted” and this year’s Oscar host, announced the nominees Thursday morning alongside the invaluable Emma Stone, who had the funniest bit at last year’s Oscar ceremony. MacFarlane and Stone made for an outstanding duo, engaging in playful banter about each of the categories. Even when one of their jokes didn’t quite hit the mark, MacFarlane and Stone still looked like they were having a genuine ball on stage. That’s more than can be said about Anne Hathaway and James Franco when they hosted the Oscars two years ago.
In the eight years I’ve taken on the regular duty of reviewing movies, 2012 just might have been the best. It wasn’t easy compiling a top 30 list for a 12-month period of so many diverse, outstanding films. I found myself having to make some absolutely painful snubs, including “Flight,” “The Sessions,” “The Hobbit: An Expected Journey,” and a little cinematic masterpiece by the name of “21 Jump Street.” In the end though, I managed to narrow the list down to the 20 titles that best encompass 2012 in all its glory. If you’re still behind on the movies of yesteryear, consider this your ultimate movie guide to 2012.
As a dark veil began to sweep over Europe in 1939 — the pale hint of what would come from Nazi rule — a stockbroker from England took a course of action that would save the lives of nearly 700 children.
December will soon be descending upon us. For a lot of people this month will entail building snowmen, sledding down hills of snow, making snow angles and getting tongues stuck to icy poles. Of course those stuck in Ahwatukee won’t be able to appreciate any of these traditional winter activities. But who needs snow when you can spend your Christmas break in a cozy movie theater. Here are several films to look out for this holiday season.
Looper is a time traveling thriller that reminds us that classic science fiction doesn’t come from quality visuals or the biggest explosions. There’s no denying that “Looper” is an exquisitely crafted picture with some heart pounding action set pieces. But the reason the film warrants such praise is because of its inspired ideas, brilliant execution, and the involving characters we follow along the way. Director and writer Rian Johnson obviously had a clear artistic vision going into this project and never allowed the studio or conventions to stand in his way. His product is one of the slickest and smartest movies about time travel in a long time.
Riley loves to stare right back at you, as if to say, “Hello, would you please rub my belly?” Yes, belly rubs are one of Riley’s favorite things. In addition to being handsome, Riley has excellent leash manners, rides well in the car, gets along with other dogs, and is a pretty mellow fellow. Once outside, Riley is happy to explore the yard, rolling on the grass, and looking for all the bugs and lizards that might be visiting. But once he’s had his exercise he’s content to lay on a dog bed or next to you on the sofa.
Two weeks ago, Batman and comic fans were excited that the day finally came for the midnight release of “The Dark Knight Rises.” It was the epic trilogy finale and fans were stoked to see how director Christopher Nolan was going to finally finish Batman’s story. So fans piled into movie theaters across the nation for the midnight release ever so excited as they could be, never knowing that a sad tragedy was about to unfold in a movie theater in Aurora, Colo.
Actor Christian Bale and his wife Sibi Blazic visit a memorial to the victims of Friday's mass shooting, Tuesday, July 24, 2012, in Aurora, Colo. Twelve people were killed when a gunman opened fire during a late-night showing of the movie "The Dark Knight Rises," which stars Bale as Batman. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Superman may be the most iconic of superheroes, providing people with a symbol of hope and setting an example for all mankind. But if you asked anyone who is the more interesting superhero, Batman or Superman, they would likely reply, “Batman,” in a heartbeat. But what is it that makes Batman so much more compelling than not just Superman, but Green Lantern, The Flash, Wonder Woman and various other superheroes? Is it because of his tragic past, dark persona, lack of superpowers, or endlessly impressive rouge gallery? That all certainly contributes to Batman’s appeal. On the whole though, Batman is all about great character development and storytelling. This is what has made Batman such an eternal character, from his first appearance in the comics to Christopher Nolan’s latest “Dark Knight” trilogy.
AURORA, Colo. (AP) — A former medical student in a gas mask barged into a crowded Denver-area theater during a midnight showing of the Batman movie on Friday, hurled a gas canister and then opened fire, killing 12 people and injuring at least 50 others in one of the deadliest mass shootings in recent U.S. history.
A good trilogy centered on a superhero has yet to be accomplished. Some series, such as “Superman” and Sam Raimi’s “Spider-Man,” have come close to having a great trilogy. But whether it’s due to Richard Pryor or an idiotic dance sequence, they always seem to screw up the third installment. Christopher Nolan is the first filmmaker to completely nail a superhero franchise from beginning to end. “The Dark Knight Rises,” his grand conclusion to the Batman saga, is a film well worthy of its two exceptional predecessors. To call this the pinnacle collection of superhero pictures goes without saying. But “The Dark Knight Rises” additionally engraves Nolan’s take on the Batman legend into the history books as one of the best movie trilogies of all time.