James Sanford

Agrees with the Tomatometer 81% of the time.

Biography:
I began reviewing films for The Grand Rapids Press when I was in high school. I now work for the Kalamazoo Gazette. My website is interbridge.com/jamessanford.
Favorites:
Vintage: Broadcast News, Moonstruck, North By Northwest, Vertigo, King Kong (1933), Klute, Breakfast at Tiffany's, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, The Wizard of Oz, Gunga Din, etc. Recent: Little Children, The Queen, Volver, Jesus Camp, Slither, Children of Men, The Departed, The Painted Veil, Dreamgirls, Casino Royale, Stranger Than Fiction, Babel.
Publications:
Entertainment Insiders , James Sanford on Film , Kalamazoo Gazette , MLive.com , rec.arts.movies.reviews
Total Reviews:
1748
Total QuickRatings:
482
Location:
Portage, Michigan

Listing Of All Reviews & Articles

Showing 1 - 50 of 1748
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Rating T-Meter Title | Year Add Date
69% Romy and Michele's High School Reunion (1997) rec.arts.movies.reviews
Posted Nov 17, 2011
83% Warrior (2011) " Hardy, Edgerton and Nolte vigorously dig into this toxic dump of sour, hostile emotions and their exchanges are bruising." — Lansing City Pulse
Posted Sep 7, 2011
2/4 36% Sydney White (2007) " Neither as funny as it thinks it is nor as tough to sit through as many other movies of this sort, 'Sydney' is custom-made for viewers who haven't taken their ACTs yet." — Kalamazoo Gazette
Posted Sep 21, 2007
3.5/4 97% Once (2007) " It would be interesting to know how much of their conversation was actually in Carney's screenplay and how much was ad-libbed as the camera rolled; there's a wonderful spontaneity in both the dialogue and the musical performances." — Kalamazoo Gazette
Posted Sep 21, 2007
2/4 73% In the Valley of Elah (2007) " The movie wears each of (its) hot-button issues as casually as a runway model might sport the latest Hermes scarf. The topics are brought up, shown off and then, in most cases, replaced with something else." — Kalamazoo Gazette
Posted Sep 21, 2007
3.5/4 89% Eastern Promises (2007) " extremely violent and richly atmospheric... culminates in an electrifying scene that's destined to be discussed by movie fans for years." — Kalamazoo Gazette
Posted Sep 21, 2007
2.5/4 43% The Brave One (2007) " not unlike its heroine: conflicted and unsure of which way to go. ...(Foster) emphasizes Erica's anguish and the shock that comes from realizing that you're capable of doing things you once would have found abhorrent." — Kalamazoo Gazette
Posted Sep 14, 2007
3.5/4 88% 3:10 to Yuma (2007) " Wade's voice sounds like far-off thunder wrapped in velvet; Evans' every word is marked by exhaustion and edginess. ...These men have real complexity, and so do the actors assigned to play them." — Kalamazoo Gazette
Posted Sep 6, 2007
1.5/4 23% Balls of Fury (2007) " There were more good laughs in Attorney General Alberto Gonzales' resignation speech than there are in 'Balls of Fury'... a smorgasbord of ethnic stereotypes, a few slaps at prissy gays and an excess of weak gags..." — Kalamazoo Gazette
Posted Aug 29, 2007
1.5/4 16% Illegal Tender (2007) " De Jesus' outbursts are the only excitement in 'Illegal,' since the performances of most of the rest of the cast are barely amateurish and Reyes' story is not so much old-school as it is old-hat." — Kalamazoo Gazette
Posted Aug 24, 2007
2.5/5 34% The Nanny Diaries (2007) " the movie has softened up a story that wasn't exactly hard-hitting to begin with. Polished, pleasant and generally pedestrian..." — Kalamazoo Gazette
Posted Aug 24, 2007
3/5 50% Mr. Bean's Holiday (2007) " little more than a string of sketches stitched together to form something close to a feature film. But that shouldn't bother those who like solid slapstick, which 'Holiday' provides in abundance." — Kalamazoo Gazette
Posted Aug 24, 2007
2/4 60% Arctic Tale (2007) " (like) those cunningly engineered Disney 'True-Life Adventures'... in which scorpions appeared to dance... and supposedly lovelorn squirrels awaited what the narrator called their 'moment of fulfillment.'" — Kalamazoo Gazette
Posted Aug 24, 2007
2.5/4 19% The Invasion (2007) " neither as awful as the advance buzz suggested nor as gripping as it could have been... at least it has a few authentic shocks and some bright ideas rattling around in the chaos." — Kalamazoo Gazette
Posted Aug 17, 2007
3.5/4 88% Superbad (2007) " Rogen and co-screenwriter Evan Goldberg are attempting to create a teen-angst comedy along the lines of 'Fast Times at Ridgemont High' and 'Risky Business'... In the best sections of 'Superbad,' Rogen and Goldberg hit their targets." — Kalamazoo Gazette
Posted Aug 17, 2007
3.5/4 76% Stardust (2007) " a delightful, thrilling and entertainingly offbeat yarn... Pfeiffer is positively spellbinding... Vaughn has given this seductive fairy tale the same dark comedy and out-of-left-field wackiness that made his first effort memorable." — Kalamazoo Gazette
Posted Aug 9, 2007
3/4 57% Becoming Jane (2007) " Utilizing a lovely British accent and a graceful way with words, Hathaway communicates Austen's predicament beautifully. When she was creating her immortal heroines... the real Jane Austen must have pictured someone like Hathaway." — Kalamazoo Gazette
Posted Aug 9, 2007
3/4 86% Paris Je T'aime (2007) " Generally, the comic pieces are sturdier than the abbreviated dramas. ...As might be expected, a couple of the chapters are misfires... Happily, 'Paris' saves some of its prime material for the last half-hour." — Kalamazoo Gazette
Posted Aug 9, 2007
3.5/4 94% Three Kings (1999) " (The) screenplay abruptly changes tone after the first half-hour, eventually incorporating some genuinely harrowing sequences... The final picture becomes something noticeably deeper and smarter than its first reels suggest." — Kalamazoo Gazette
Posted Aug 6, 2007
1.5/4 20% Wild Wild West (1999) " ...has style to spare, a few laughs and some imaginative touches. Also like 'Avengers' it has stars who look like they'd rather be somewhere else, a lack of verve and a script that takes the long road to nowhere." — Kalamazoo Gazette
Posted Aug 6, 2007
3.5/4 67% A Midsummer Night's Dream (1999) " Bathed in sunshine, stardust and star power, this 'Dream' should be required viewing for anyone who insists Shakespeare is stuffy and dull. ...this is Shakespeare for the masses." — Kalamazoo Gazette
Posted Aug 5, 2007
1.5/4 25% El Cantante (2007) " takes the unusual -- and awkward -- approach of letting Puchi tell Hector's story via flashbacks... That's somewhat akin to letting Kevin Federline narrate the Britney Spears saga." — Kalamazoo Gazette
Posted Aug 3, 2007
2.5/4 39% Hot Rod (2007) " a fitfully funny comedy that's neither a must-see nor a must to avoid." — Kalamazoo Gazette
Posted Aug 3, 2007
3.5/4 94% The Bourne Ultimatum (2007) " There's something unusual about Matt Damon's spy thrillers built around the exploits of the amnesia-addled Jason Bourne: Each film in the series has actually been better than its predecessor..." — Kalamazoo Gazette
Posted Aug 3, 2007
4/4 93% The Lives of Others (2006) " a mesmerizing, heartbreaking thriller" — Kalamazoo Gazette
Posted Jul 29, 2007
4/4 98% Jaws (1975) " Like all the best suspense films, "Jaws" manages to somehow remain amazingly tense, even if you've seen the film before. No wonder so many moviegoers went back for repeat viewings." — Kalamazoo Gazette
Posted Jul 27, 2007
1/5 6% I Know Who Killed Me (2007) " Small wonder that distributor TriStar Pictures has gone to great pains to hide this fiasco from critics: It's certainly the worst movie Lohan has ever appeared in and it's a formidable contender for worst movie of the year, period." — Kalamazoo Gazette
Posted Jul 27, 2007
3.5/4 75% Sunshine (2007) " Boyle has always been exceptionally good at creating suspense... and he succeeds again here, incorporating tight close-ups, sometimes distorted sound and a series of striking visuals into a wondrously warped picture." — Kalamazoo Gazette
Posted Jul 27, 2007
3/4 90% The Simpsons Movie (2007) " A full-speed-ahead laugh riot for its first 45 minutes, although it loses some of its gusto in the second half." — Kalamazoo Gazette
Posted Jul 27, 2007
3/4 90% Rescue Dawn (2007) " certainly effective in its own way, thanks to a number of excellent performances, a few jolting visuals and Herzog's evocation of the steamy, almost impenetrable jungles of Laos and Thailand..." — Kalamazoo Gazette
Posted Jul 27, 2007
3.5/4 91% Hairspray (2007) " a vibrant musical comedy... (Shankman) knows how to stage and to shoot musical numbers, which sets 'Hairspray' high above other recent stage-to-screen adaptations like 'The Producers'..." — Kalamazoo Gazette
Posted Jul 20, 2007
4/5 79% Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007) " boils down Rowling's brick-thick novel into a fat-free, fleet-footed adventure... although Rowling's readers may be disappointed to find that much of the story's color has been sacrificed in the name of economy..." — Kalamazoo Gazette
Posted Jul 12, 2007
2/4 57% Transformers (2007) " Admirers of great special effects... will find plenty to appreciate. ... (But) for every truly funny joke (and, admittedly, there are a few), there are a dozen duds." — Kalamazoo Gazette
Posted Jul 3, 2007
1.5/4 81% Live Free or Die Hard (2007) " a pretty crummy comeback... (the) ridiculous stunts might have been dreamed up by a group of hyperactive 12-year-olds in the midst of a Red Bull binge; they should not have been staged by filmmakers old enough to know better." — Kalamazoo Gazette
Posted Jun 29, 2007
3.5/4 96% Ratatouille (2007) " Bewitching... Bird's movies don't have the same rush-rush rhythms or the lowbrow humor that have become the hallmark of too many animated films. Instead, he puts the emphasis on characters and cleverness..." — Kalamazoo Gazette
Posted Jun 29, 2007
2/4 27% Evening (2007) " an 'if only I had...' nostalgic romance... even the appealing performances of Danes, Wilson and Gummer are not enough to make up for a ponderous story that assigns each of its characters a predictable fate..." — Kalamazoo Gazette
Posted Jun 29, 2007
92% Sicko (2007) " has the same level of outrage as most of his other films but a considerably less strident attitude. ... Whether you agree with Moore's points or dispute them, 'Sicko' should inspire plenty of lively conversations." — Kalamazoo Gazette
Posted Jun 29, 2007
3/4 23% Evan Almighty (2007) " Feeling nostalgic about those 'Oh, God' movies that George Burns made 30-odd years ago? Then 'Evan Almighty' might seem like manna from heaven." — Kalamazoo Gazette
Posted Jun 23, 2007
3/4 78% 1408 (2007) " the majority of the movie is built entirely around Enslin's scary safari into his subconscious, and Cusack gives a high-powered performance that never fails to hold your attention." — Kalamazoo Gazette
Posted Jun 23, 2007
3/4 79% A Mighty Heart (2007) " Winterbottom wants to create a you-are-there, semi-documentary-style environment, which doesn't leave any room for self-indulgent star turns. Jolie doesn't give him one..." — Kalamazoo Gazette
Posted Jun 23, 2007
2/4 58% Perfume: The Story of a Murderer (2006) " Tykwer squeezes every possible drop of melodramatic beauty out of this material. ...But the gorgeous visuals aren't enough to keep the drama from occasionally degenerating into beautifully produced hokum." — Kalamazoo Gazette
Posted Jun 15, 2007
3/4 50% Nancy Drew (2007) " an enjoyable combination of a typically Nancy Drew-ish mystery -- which includes a murdered screen star and a haunted house -- and some 'Clueless'-style comedy." — Kalamazoo Gazette
Posted Jun 15, 2007
4/5 88% The Wind That Shakes the Barley (2007) " the intensity of Murphy and Delaney's performances is shattering... 'Wind' never loses sight of the fact that sometimes a victim's wounds may be invisible to the eye, but every bit as painful as a stabbing..." — Kalamazoo Gazette
Posted Jun 8, 2007
2/5 78% Surf's Up (2007) " easy to look at, yet the storyline and gags are half-baked. Whenever things quiet down... the filmmakers feel obligated to trot out burping, flatulence or jokes about substances that belong in the toilet." — Kalamazoo Gazette
Posted Jun 8, 2007
3.5/5 70% Ocean's Thirteen (2007) " Clooney, Pitt and Damon have now worked together long enough that they've found a delightful sense of synchronicity that makes even the throwaway lines worth catching." — Kalamazoo Gazette
Posted Jun 8, 2007
2.5/4 61% Bug (2006) " All of the actors find the right rhythm... But even the performers' complete commitment can't entirely disguise the fact that 'Bug' doesn't seem to belong on the big screen." — James Sanford on Film
Posted Jun 3, 2007
2.5/4 55% Mr. Brooks (2007) " Costner and Hurt's strong performances are surrounded by flimsy plotting, unbelievable sidenotes... and occasionally absurd 'surprises.'" — Kalamazoo Gazette
Posted Jun 1, 2007
3.5/4 91% Knocked Up (2007) " an (almost) across-the-board crowd-pleaser. There's a reasonable amount of risque humor to pacify those who love gross-out gags and enough of a love story to satisfy viewers looking for a good romance." — Kalamazoo Gazette
Posted Jun 1, 2007
3/4 69% Year of the Dog (2007) " frequently funny and sometimes touching, even though, like (Mike White's) earlier 'The Good Girl' and 'Chuck and Buck,' the comedy leaves a slightly sour aftertaste." — Kalamazoo Gazette
Posted May 25, 2007
3/4 44% Pirates of the Caribbean: At Worlds End (2007) " the most brutal, the wackiest and certainly the trippiest of the 'Pirates' pictures... If it's overloaded and a bit overly complicated, that's not exactly unusual for these movies." — Kalamazoo Gazette
Posted May 24, 2007
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