Eric Melin

Eric Melin

Agrees with the Tomatometer 80% of the time.

Publications:
Kansas City Star , Lawrence.com , Scene-Stealers.com
Critics' Group:
Kansas City Film Critics Circle
Total Reviews:
857
Total QuickRatings:
83

Listing Of All Reviews & Articles

Showing 1 - 50 of 857
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Rating T-Meter Title | Year Add Date
3/4 56% The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004) " ... has a slow and natural progression, as Anderson's oceanographer searches for the shark that killed his partner, getting sidetracked by every possible diversion along the way. The diversions are kind of where it's at." — Scene-Stealers.com
Posted Jul 25, 2014
3/4 100% Judex (1963) " Franju's lack of serious coaching in the acting department shows how little he cared for things like motivation and subtlety. Instead he gets his kicks fashioning surreal set pieces that transcend the melodrama that the plot seems designed to support." — Scene-Stealers.com
Posted Jul 25, 2014
3/4 89% L'Eclisse (1962) " Two hours of space between people and space between objects and people," — Scene-Stealers.com
Posted Jul 25, 2014
3.5/4 65% The Rover (2014) " It's not a pleasant movie, but The Rover twists genre tenets to expose the need for connective tissue that lies somewhere beneath the dark depths of men's souls." — Scene-Stealers.com
Posted Jul 25, 2014
.5/4 18% Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014) " Transformers: Age of Extinction isn't so much a movie as it is a 165-minute propaganda film made to appeal to the widest demographic possible - but mainly for China." — Scene-Stealers.com
Posted Jul 25, 2014
3/4 95% Snowpiercer (2014) " Snowpiercer alternates between sudden violence, high camp, and heavy-handed political allegory with breakneck speed, and even when its disjoined plot mechanics seem a little too convenient, it's brimming with new cinematic technique." — Scene-Stealers.com
Posted Jul 25, 2014
3/4 98% Jodorowsky's Dune (2014) " Jodorowsky's 'Dune' could probably have never been as good as 'Jodorowsky's Dune'-- a thoroughly entertaining and inspiring movie." — Scene-Stealers.com
Posted Jul 25, 2014
4/5 97% Life Itself (2014) " Plato says that "the unexamined life is not worth living," and this touching documentary makes a powerful statement about a rich life lived at the movies, examining life." — Scene-Stealers.com
Posted Jul 25, 2014
3/4 94% Ida (2014) " What is fascinating is how Pawlikowski reveals so much by simply sticking with Ida and Wanda and acutely observing their behavior." — Scene-Stealers.com
Posted Jul 25, 2014
2/5 64% Lucy (2014) " It wants to be a thinking man's action movie, but it's really a by-the-numbers revenge movie for people who thought The Butterfly Effect was profound." — Lawrence.com
Posted Jul 25, 2014
4.5/5 88% Ace in the Hole (The Big Carnival) (1951) " Over 60 years later, Ace in the Hole has lost none of its sharpness. The only thing that's hard to believe about the movie is that Wilder and his co-screenwriters could have been this far ahead of the curve in their criticism of the media. " — Scene-Stealers.com
Posted Jul 10, 2014
2/4 48% Maleficent (2014) " There's several moments where the titular character sits around watching other people and waiting for things to happen. In order to re-invent it from her POV, there were bound to be a lot of things that don't make sense, such as believable motivations." — Scene-Stealers.com
Posted Jul 10, 2014
4/5 73% Godzilla (2014) " A foreboding aura manifests itself, and what Gareth Edwards and cinematographer Seamus McGarvey do throughout all of the giant monster scenes is keep them in perspective, framing every shot of the monster with scale in mind." — Scene-Stealers.com
Posted Jul 10, 2014
3/4 91% X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014) " Shows Singer exercising some much-needed control over the franchise he built 14 years ago and wrangling a lot of loose ends -- a welcome return, and although the material itself is a little unwieldy, it successfully brings together characterizations." — Scene-Stealers.com
Posted Jul 10, 2014
2.5/5 33% Stage Fright (2014) " Writer/director Jerome Sable fills his script full of so many leftover plot elements and references to other movies that it chokes the life right out of it." — Scene-Stealers.com
Posted May 9, 2014
2.5/5 73% Neighbors (2014) " Maybe if it would have embraced the dark side of parenting, and really let Mac and Kelly go off the deep end like most parents sometimes wish they could, it would have been a more striking movie - and one with something to say." — Lawrence.com
Posted May 9, 2014
3/5 100% The Hidden Fortress (kakushi-toride No San-akunin) (1958) " Kurosawa was drawing influence from American directors like John Ford, so its an enjoyable film, but sometimes the movies that influenced a generation of filmmakers lose some of their luster because they've been borrowed from so many times." — Scene-Stealers.com
Posted May 2, 2014
3/5 74% Oculus (2014) " Remove the supernatural threat and you have a film that preys on the sometimes scary dynamic of any dysfunctional family. Leave it in and you have a genuinely creepy ghost story that spotlights some nightmarish scenarios without resorting to gore." — Scene-Stealers.com
Posted May 2, 2014
2/5 74% Bettie Page Reveals All (2013) " Mori hammers home her status as a pop culture icon to a numbing degree, perhaps because parts of Bettie's spotty narration gloss over huge chunks of her life while other portions reduce what might otherwise seem fascinating to one-dimensional levels." — Scene-Stealers.com
Posted May 2, 2014
4.5/5 86% Under the Skin (2014) " Aptly named, it feels otherworldly. It explores the the difference between simply being sentient and actually becoming sympathetic. As a moviegoing experience, it is thrillingly alive, hearkening back to the heyday of '70s art cinema." — Scene-Stealers.com
Posted May 2, 2014
4/5 60% Nymphomaniac: Volume II (2014) " Somehow, despite all the meta digressions, unlikely coincidences, and nihilistic tendencies of von Trier's storytelling (the ending certainly subscribes to this leaning), a convincing sense of sadness and loss comes through." — Scene-Stealers.com
Posted May 2, 2014
3/5 53% The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014) " It stubbornly adheres to old-school comic conventions and can sometimes feel like an episode of the cheesy '60s Batman TV series. This may drive some audiences batty, but as classical tribute, the throwback strategy is quite charming." — Scene-Stealers.com
Posted May 2, 2014
.5/5 20% Sabotage (2014) " A cynical piece of trash that thinks it's smarter than it is. It's what happens when filmmakers mistake "violent" and "unlikable" as keywords for gritty adult entertainment. None of those traits matter if your movie is just plain stupid." — Scene-Stealers.com
Posted Mar 28, 2014
3.5/5 89% Tim's Vermeer (2014) " The crossroads between technology and art has always been troublesome. Without either, we might not have some of the art world's greatest treasures. Certainly without digital video, we wouldn't have this wonderfully entertaining movie either." — Lawrence.com
Posted Mar 22, 2014
2/5 41% Divergent (2014) " Yes, kids should embrace individuality, and yes, they should think for themselves. But this thinly veiled metaphor can be rough going sometimes, and the humorless, dumb script asks way too much of its cast." — Scene-Stealers.com
Posted Mar 22, 2014
4/5 93% Persona (1966) " Persona probes the depths of the human psyche, even as it examines the ways in which people tell stories and create new realities. Its themes are timeless, and it still holds up today." — Scene-Stealers.com
Posted Mar 22, 2014
2/5 42% Oldboy (2013) " Maybe the giant leaps of faith that the original script calls for were easier to swallow 10 years ago, or perhaps it's just that Lee's version seems to mannered to be convincing." — Scene-Stealers.com
Posted Mar 22, 2014
2.5/5 46% The Book Thief (2013) " Zusak's story is stirring, and it holds the film up during most of its predictable parts, but The Book Thief never rises too far above that. The narration from Death only serves to make it more like some sort of fantastical fairy tale." — Scene-Stealers.com
Posted Mar 22, 2014
1.5/5 42% 300: Rise of an Empire (2014) " Hitting the same story beat four times in one movie isn't very common (and a really bad idea), but it isn't concerned with telling a story so much as it's on a rinse-and-repeat cycle of purging CGI blood as and one-upping the last big battle." — Scene-Stealers.com
Posted Mar 7, 2014
2.5/5 30% Austenland (2013) " an interesting diversion that holds a lot of promise at first, is pleasant but generally underdelivers throughout, and then almost redeems itself with a last-minute twist that almost makes sense considering the movie's core weakness." — Scene-Stealers.com
Posted Feb 21, 2014
3.5/5 84% The Armstrong Lie (2013) " The Armstrong Lie is a fascinating portrait of a man in denial, told from the firsthand perspective of Gibney, who himself was duped at a certain level by Armstrong's own confidence and charm. " — Scene-Stealers.com
Posted Feb 21, 2014
3/5 48% RoboCop (2014) " The satire's still there, albeit not as angry and more obvious, and the targets have shifted. It may not have the original's subversive nutso attitude but there's a couple of crazy surprises up its sleeve and a surprisingly engaging story." — Scene-Stealers.com
Posted Feb 21, 2014
2/5 29% 3 Days To Kill (2014) " It's a decidedly mediocre effort, with exactly one memorable action scene, and when it pushes too hard into sentimental territory, it feels completely unearned." — Scene-Stealers.com
Posted Feb 21, 2014
1/4 22% That Awkward Moment (2014) " The characters, their motivations, the plot machinations, the forced banter - it's all contrived. Not only can you see the entire story coming from miles away, there's a late-in-the-game plot twist that feels desperate and tonally wrong. " — Scene-Stealers.com
Posted Feb 10, 2014
4.5/5 98% Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (1927) " Murnau deftly balances the changes in tone, going from a deep foreboding to complete bliss, and using Expressionistic techniques like forced perspective, wonky set design, and long shadows to project a huge range of emotion." — Scene-Stealers.com
Posted Jan 17, 2014
3/5 55% Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (2014) " Pine brings Ryan to life as a real person -- one who gets in over his head and is actually nervous about it, instead of acting like a puffed-up action cliché. " — Scene-Stealers.com
Posted Jan 17, 2014
3.5/4 94% Inside Llewyn Davis (2013) " It steers away from any kind of sentimentality, so any time serious discussion of success or failure - either commercially or artistically - come up, they are torpedoed like some kind of sick joke. That itself carries a special kind of poignancy." — Lawrence.com
Posted Jan 10, 2014
4/4 94% Her (2013) " It doesn't just reflect the ways that technology has irrevocably changed our life, Her challenges the nature of our humanity and exposes a raw nerve. " — Scene-Stealers.com
Posted Jan 10, 2014
2.5/5 75% Lone Survivor (2014) " There's not much time between fighting for the audience to contemplate the tricky ethical questions that surround the mission, so the film becomes a tale of courage, professionalism and persistence." — Lawrence.com
Posted Jan 10, 2014
2.5/4 38% Insidious: Chapter 2 (2013) " It's a treat to see old-school film technique and makeup design rather than an overabundance of CGI work." — Scene-Stealers.com
Posted Jan 8, 2014
4/5 96% Thief (1981) " It's almost as if Mann was shot out of the womb fully formed as a visual artist, because the slick, neon-lit widescreen images of 1981′s Thief echo his later films." — Scene-Stealers.com
Posted Jan 8, 2014
3.5/4 77% The Wolf of Wall Street (2013) " A cynical, nasty satire about humans regressing to infantile levels. I would love for it to be the final, insane word on indecent power-hungry Wall Street behavior, but you and I both know that probably won't be the case, so trust me, it's okay to laugh." — Scene-Stealers.com
Posted Dec 30, 2013
2/4 50% The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty (2013) " It fast-forwards past a ton of struggle and conflict to get its character to a heroic place, and after the CGI-heavy daydream scenes, the real-life scenes just lose their luster." — Scene-Stealers.com
Posted Dec 30, 2013
3.5/4 93% American Hustle (2013) " Believe it or not, amidst all of the oversized collars and outlandish suits, [Russell] wrings pathos out of [his characters]." — Scene-Stealers.com
Posted Dec 30, 2013
2/5 75% Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (2013) " The artificial nature of the story is part of the point, of course, but there's not a strong enough satirical streak here to keep it afloat." — Scene-Stealers.com
Posted Dec 19, 2013
2.5/4 74% The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug (2013) " Very similar to LOTR with lots of walking montages and an identical central conflict--the corrupting temptation of the ring and a call to courage for a hobbit. Far from the journey then, it's individual moments that elicit the greatest pleasure." — Scene-Stealers.com
Posted Dec 16, 2013
3.5/4 92% Nebraska (2013) " Dern's portrayal of Woody takes on new shades, and its impossible not to warm up to him, just as the emotional resonance of his story sneaks up on you. " — Scene-Stealers.com
Posted Dec 6, 2013
3/4 93% All Is Lost (2013) " The key ingredient to the film's success is Redford's vulnerability. He's trying so desperately to stay alive that he has few moments for reflection, but they register - and all without the aid of dialogue." — Scene-Stealers.com
Posted Dec 6, 2013
1.5/4 53% Out of the Furnace (2013) " Scott Cooper musters zero surprises in a script that takes too long establishing a tired premise and plays it out in grimy, dull fashion." — Scene-Stealers.com
Posted Dec 6, 2013
2/4 46% All Is Bright (2013) " Morrison films this redemptive story - which has some hard-to-swallow moments - with a dusty gray palette that suits its characters and masquerades the story's more obvious sentimentality." — Scene-Stealers.com
Posted Nov 22, 2013
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