Authors

Creative Loafing

Rating Title | Year Quote Author
1 62%

Evil Dead (2013)

"Even as a huge fan of The Evil Dead, it's impossible to wholeheartedly embrace this one when just last year we were treated to a cabin-in-the-woods yarn -- The Cabin in the Woods, of course -- that carried on Raimi's legacy far better than this film does."

Posted Apr 6, 2013

Matt Brunson

2 56%

Bachelorette (2012)

"It would be a major mistake to think that Bachelorette is simply a rip-off of Bridesmaids with a healthy dose of Mean Girls stirred into the mix. This comedy clearly marches to its own beat."

Posted Mar 30, 2013

Matt Brunson

3 28%

G.I. Joe: Retaliation (2013)

"The movie ricochets between interesting characters and idiotic ones, between clever plot developments and ludicrous ones, between smart dialogue and -- wait, scratch that; there is no smart dialogue, just marble-mouthed monologues and limp quips."

Posted Mar 30, 2013

Matt Brunson

4 43%

On the Road (2012)

"Salles approaches Kerouac's raw, restless and spontaneous work in such a staid and conservative manner that the movie might as well be a lesser Merchant-Ivory production from the team's late-'90s period of decline."

Posted Mar 30, 2013

Matt Brunson

5 65%

Spring Breakers (2013)

"The latest gonzo endeavor from writer-director Harmony Korine, Spring Breakers manages to be a fever dream, a wet dream, a daydream and a nightmare all in one sitting."

Posted Mar 23, 2013

Matt Brunson

6 48%

Olympus Has Fallen (2013)

"A better Die Hard movie than A Good Day to Die Hard, this still registers as a stale action flick whose primary worth is as a heartland alternative for moviegoers wary of the sexy sinfulness of Spring Breakers or the highfalutin' idiosyncrasies of Stoker."

Posted Mar 23, 2013

Matt Brunson

7 70%

The Croods (2013)

"The Croods is exactly the sort of animated fare we receive on a monthly basis from Hollywood. On the scale of such efforts, it's pretty good, with an engaging second half making up for a tedious opening stretch."

Posted Mar 23, 2013

Matt Brunson

8 38%

Admission (2013)

"While the idea of teaming Fey and Rudd sounds like a feasible one, the reality is that all this low-simmer niceness results in a movie that has absolutely no wit, bite or -- most shockingly -- moments of hilarity."

Posted Mar 23, 2013

Matt Brunson

9 69%

Stoker (2013)

"As much a startling coming-of-age saga as a portrait of a psychologically damaged family, Stoker emits a Gothic chill that's almost tangible, and the performances by Wasikowska and Goode are mesmerizing."

Posted Mar 16, 2013

Matt Brunson

10 43%

The Call (2013)

"There's something cheerfully stupid about thrillers like The Call, wherein a protagonist who's seemingly as brilliant as Sherlock Holmes eventually becomes as dim-witted as Forrest Gump."

Posted Mar 16, 2013

Matt Brunson

11 52%

Jack the Giant Slayer (2013)

"Jack the Giant Slayer isn't close to being among the elite films in theaters now, but if your significant other or your friends narrow down the viewing options to this or Oz the Great and Powerful, best to gently push them in this direction."

Posted Mar 9, 2013

Matt Brunson

12 59%

Oz the Great and Powerful (2013)

"A portrait of plasticity that could have benefited from more intelligence in its narrative structure, more feeling in its characterizations and more courage to break away from the one-size-fits-all strain of blockbuster that's been draining studio coffers"

Posted Mar 9, 2013

Matt Brunson

13 100%

Ministry of Fear (1944)

"It's not top-shelf Fritz Lang, nor is it top-level Graham Greene, but as an exercise in World War II intrigue with a smidgen of film noir thrown in, Ministry of Fear gets the job done. "

Posted Mar 7, 2013

Matt Brunson

14 89%

Easter Parade (1948)

"The most famous act finds Garland and Astaire dressed as bums for "A Couple of Swells," but there's also ... the pair tackling the title tune and -- my favorite -- Astaire showing off his incomparable tap-dancing prowess in "Steppin' Out with My Baby.""

Posted Mar 7, 2013

Matt Brunson

15 31%

A Star is Born (1976)

"A dreary and bloated production that can't sustain its 140-minute running time (the 1954 version is even longer at 176 minutes, but it feels like a live-action short when compared to this one)."

Posted Mar 7, 2013

Matt Brunson

16 100%

On the Waterfront (1954)

"A powerful watch, thanks largely to an incredible cast, Leonard Bernstein's strong score, and a handful of iconic scenes, none better than the moving "I coulda been a contender" sequence."

Posted Mar 7, 2013

Matt Brunson

17 28%

21 And Over (2013)

"It's hard to imagine anybody who's 21 and over truly getting much out of 21 & Over, but as far as these sorts of films go, this one isn't as aggressively stupid as some."

Posted Mar 2, 2013

Matt Brunson

18 89%

White Zombie (1932)

"The supporting cast is awful and the low budget dictates a few moments worthy of MST3K ribbing. But the atmosphere of dread is pungent, the use of sound is inspired, and the makeup by the great Jack Pierce and Carl Axcelle is minimal but effective."

Posted Feb 23, 2013

Matt Brunson

19 100%

The Terminator (1984)

"Still a toss-up between The Terminator and Aliens as to which James Cameron picture ranks as his best, this propulsively exciting yarn about a murderous cyborg has long staked its claim as a classic -- science fiction or otherwise -- for the ages."

Posted Feb 23, 2013

Matt Brunson

20 95%

Best in Show (2000)

"The first 45 minutes are amusing enough, but the movie ascends to another level with the second-half introduction of Fred Willard as commentator Buck Laughlin."

Posted Feb 23, 2013

Matt Brunson

21 56%

Snitch (2013)

"I certainly don't want to oversell the film ... Still, moviegoers finding themselves between The Rock and a hard place -- say, an auditorium showing the new Die Hard debacle -- might agree that a switch to Snitch isn't a bad idea at all."

Posted Feb 23, 2013

Matt Brunson

22 46%

Beautiful Creatures (2013)

"For all the vitriol directed at the shaky Twilight series, all of its entries are definitely better than this dull and insipid movie."

Posted Feb 16, 2013

Matt Brunson

23 14%

A Good Day To Die Hard (2013)

"Unbelievably, this great character has made a complete transformation from a likable, sympathetic Everyman in 1988 to an arrogant, insufferable jerk in 2013."

Posted Feb 16, 2013

Matt Brunson

24 93%

Amour (2012)

"Clearly, Amour, Michael Haneke and Emmanuelle Riva don't really need me to additionally sing their praises (although praise is indeed all I have), so let's discuss Jean-Louis Trintignant for a moment."

Posted Feb 9, 2013

Matt Brunson

25 80%

Warm Bodies (2013)

"Even after we thought the genre was exhausted with 28 Days Later ... and then Shaun of the Dead ... and then Zombieland ... and then some ... here we find fresh blood pumped into the format with Warm Bodies."

Posted Feb 2, 2013

Matt Brunson

26 4%

Movie 43 (2013)

"If approached by friends to see this disaster, feel free to repeat what a wise George Clooney reportedly said when asked by its producers to take part: "No ****ing way.""

Posted Feb 1, 2013

Matt Brunson

27 83%

Seven Psychopaths (2012)

"If it doesn't quite match In Bruges in terms of total success, it's still potent enough to indicate that McDonagh managed to dodge the dreaded sophomore slump."

Posted Jan 31, 2013

Matt Brunson

28 15%

Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters (2013)

"Viewers can expect a level of gore that in comparison makes Django Unchained look as wholesome as The Vow (OK, maybe not quite). The bloodletting at least breaks up the monotony of the fight sequences."

Posted Jan 26, 2013

Matt Brunson

29 79%

Quartet (2013)

"Of course, let's take care not to oversell this piece, which is the sort of genteel art-house offering that will thrill older audiences but seems unlikely to break out with those who don't know Downton Abbey from Howards End."

Posted Jan 25, 2013

Matt Brunson

30 82%

De rouille et d'os (Rust and Bone) (2012)

"Like a carnival barker or presidential candidate, Rust and Bone promises far more than it delivers."

Posted Jan 19, 2013

Matt Brunson

31 65%

Mama (2013)

"While the child actresses are quite good, only Chastain makes an impression among the grown-ups, and that's more for our willingness to chart her career trajectory than for anything connected to her underdeveloped role."

Posted Jan 19, 2013

Matt Brunson

32 89%

The Man Who Knew Too Much (1935)

"In the final analysis, the 1934 and 1956 versions are comparable in quality for different reasons, but the greatest single component of either film can be found in this '34 edition: the great performance by Peter Lorre as a menacing criminal mastermind."

Posted Jan 17, 2013

Matt Brunson

33 ——

Death Valley (1982)

"Director Dick Richards has fashioned a perfectly serviceable thriller that unfortunately becomes derailed by both an extended -- and ludicrous -- climax as well as an increasingly silly performance by McHattie."

Posted Jan 17, 2013

Matt Brunson

34 40%

The Island (1980)

"The biggest flaw is that the pirates aren't particularly frightening or imposing, instead coming off as Peter Pan's Lost Boys all grown up -- to riff from Kentucky Fried Movie, they aren't tough and ruthless so much as they're rough and toothless."

Posted Jan 17, 2013

Matt Brunson

35 93%

Zero Dark Thirty (2013)

"The picture acknowledges the very real presence of torture on the post-9/11 landscape -- had the filmmakers ignored the subject, the movie would be little more than vile, jingoistic nonsense."

Posted Jan 12, 2013

Matt Brunson

36 32%

Gangster Squad (2013)

"The movie claims to be "based on a true story" but turns out to be as authentic as The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas."

Posted Jan 12, 2013

Matt Brunson

37 81%

The Impossible (2012)

"The Impossible has enough going for it to earn a mild recommendation, but it's unfortunate that it ends up self-destructing as rapidly as one of those Mission: Impossible messages."

Posted Jan 11, 2013

Matt Brunson

38 52%

Promised Land (2013)

"The end result is simply a fracking mess."

Posted Jan 11, 2013

Matt Brunson

39 36%

Hyde Park on Hudson (2012)

"Like the equally ludicrous Hitchcock, Hyde Park on Hudson is a character assassination posing as a movie."

Posted Jan 11, 2013

Matt Brunson

40 70%

Les MisÚrables (2012)

"Les Miserables is hampered by Crowe's feat. Fortunately, Jackman is potent in the leading role, and it's nice to see Hollywood taking advantage of his versatility. Yet the showstopper is Hathaway, who's tremendous as Fantine."

Posted Dec 29, 2012

Matt Brunson

41 88%

Django Unchained (2012)

"Exciting. Funny. Gratuitous. Inflammatory. Insensitive. Stylish. Stupid. Sophisticated. Grab just about any adjective out of a hat and chances are it will apply to Tarantino's messy mashup."

Posted Dec 29, 2012

Matt Brunson

42 61%

Jack Reacher (2012)

"With Cruise whipping off his shirt and flexing his muscles with all the eager-to-please zestiness of Taylor Lautner in the Twilight series, it's clear that this is a vanity project of the highest order. But it's also a movie full of pleasant surprises."

Posted Dec 22, 2012

Matt Brunson

43 51%

This is 40 (2012)

"At least when filmmakers used to indulge themselves, the results would be on the order of Fellini's 8-1/2 or Lucas' American Graffiti. These days, celluloid navel-gazing is more likely to be met with audience eye-rolling and shoulder-shrugging."

Posted Dec 22, 2012

Matt Brunson

44 38%

The Guilt Trip (2012)

"If this Streisand vehicle isn't quite as disastrous as Jane Fonda tethering her mid-2000s comeback to projects co-starring Lindsay Lohan (Georgia Rule) and Jennifer Lopez (Monster-in-Law), it's not an occasion for celebration, either."

Posted Dec 22, 2012

Matt Brunson

45 25%

Santa Claus Conquers the Martians (1964)

"4 stars for bad-movie buffs, 1 star for the rest of humanity."

Posted Dec 22, 2012

Matt Brunson

46 64%

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012)

"Is the 48fps format a good thing? Not unless the title had been Days of Our Hobbits or As the Shire Turns. My advice, then, would be to see this fairly entertaining movie in 2-D or even regular 3-D and leave the 48fps nonsense by the wayside."

Posted Dec 15, 2012

Matt Brunson

47 62%

Hitchcock (2012)

"This cinematic claptrap is often so risible that it's no wonder I initially misread the name of the director, Sacha Gervasi, as Sacha Baron Cohen -- although I doubt even the helmer of Borat and Bruno could make a farce as outlandish as this movie."

Posted Dec 7, 2012

Matt Brunson

48 74%

Rise of the Guardians (2012)

"More exhausting than exciting, but there are enough amusing gags to prevent on-the-fence viewers -- and critics -- from going full Scrooge on the final product."

Posted Dec 7, 2012

Matt Brunson

49 75%

Killing Them Softly (2012)

"Killing Them Softly positions itself as a heady piece of entertainment, but it's ultimately no more intelligent than The Pet Goat."

Posted Dec 7, 2012

Matt Brunson

50 89%

A Royal Affair (2012)

"In the immortal words of King Louis XVI -- or was it Mel Brooks? -- it's good to be the king."

Posted Dec 7, 2012

Matt Brunson

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