Authors

Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Canada)

Rating Title | Year Quote Author
1 63%

One Direction: This Is Us (2013)

"Even Niall's schtick of whipping up or quieting down a mass of waiting fans seems the most innocuous metaphor imaginable for the manipulation that, unexamined here, lies at the hollow heart of all this manufactured stardom and its manufactured followers."

Posted Dec 27, 2013

Brian Gibson

2 59%

Riddick (2013)

"A general scuzziness and dinginess starts to creep over the picture like a mold ... soon, it's hard to get your heart-rate up over whether or not the coming wave of scorpo-aliens kill these scowling, sneering bags of man-meat."

Posted Dec 27, 2013

Brian Gibson

3 29%

The Family (2013)

"American family, presumed obnoxious by French villagers, deals with problems by being obnoxiously, smugly violent. The daughter, when not beating people up, is a moist-eyed virgin eroticized by the camera, all her romantic aspirations cringingly mawkish."

Posted Dec 27, 2013

Brian Gibson

4 94%

Drug War (2013)

"A nicely tangled, smartly paced and cold little thriller-nothing more, nothing less."

Posted Dec 27, 2013

Brian Gibson

5 70%

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 (2013)

"Should be re-titled Periods of Satire, Broken by Scattered Jokes of Varying Quality, Sun-Burning Colour and Sudden Storm-Surge-Pacing."

Posted Dec 27, 2013

Brian Gibson

6 9%

Runner Runner (2013)

"Mixes the vacuous and tedious, slick and predictable, smarmy and smug. There's gambling lingo, racism or sleaziness spouting from the mouths of male a**holes, conversations steaming with banal bluster, and tropical scenes out of perfume and liqueur ads."

Posted Dec 27, 2013

Brian Gibson

7 60%

Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa (2013)

"Stuffs male jackassery into a paper-thin piñata of a contrived plot, then blindly bashes us over the head, again and again, with a stick marked 'SEE WHAT AN OLD MAN AND A YOUNG BOY CAN GET AWAY WITH!'"

Posted Dec 27, 2013

Brian Gibson

8 60%

Ender's Game (2013)

"From its grave, Full-of-Portent-and-Moment start 'til its grave, Full-of-Portent-and-Moment end, this flick's got a severe case of the Messiah Complex. Lots of human-phobia here--it's 100-percent gravitas and humourless inhumanity."

Posted Dec 27, 2013

Brian Gibson

9 38%

Delivery Man (2013)

"This movie can't escape its tight pair of genes: from the paternal man-child side, the low-born comedies of dickish Vaughn-characters past; from the maternal mainstream-Hollywood side, a nagging tendency towards pretty, simplistic caricatures."

Posted Dec 27, 2013

Brian Gibson

10 82%

Shadow Dancer (2013)

"Plays slyly with noir; adroitly twists and turns away from easy expectations in its final minutes. This thriller's got one sharp, savage ending. Marsh takes a black-eyed stare out from the gravestone-gray, waning days of the Troubles."

Posted Dec 27, 2013

Brian Gibson

11 81%

The Royal Tenenbaums (2002)

"The near-fantastic, offbeat, play-room sensibility of Anderson's work is much of his appeal. Here, the cozy-roominess slots in well with the various cornered resentments, stacked secrets and crammed cubbyholes of bad memories."

Posted Dec 27, 2013

Brian Gibson

12 94%

Ghost in the Shell (1996)

"Not about haunting impermanence but hollowness and fluidity. Surveillance-camera and cyborg-eye shots make us feel like we're in an electronic casing, looking out. And both gender and the physical body are fluid and temporary shells."

Posted Dec 27, 2013

Brian Gibson

13 100%

Quadrophenia (1979)

"Roddam's look back at an angsty young man in '65 is a throwback to the kitchen-sink dramas that began plumbing the depths of lower-class lives then. Reeking with a restless teen spirit, Quadrophenia leads us down adolescence's blind alleys of rebellion."

Posted Dec 27, 2013

Brian Gibson

14 92%

O Som ao Redor (Neighbouring Sounds) (2012)

"Rural and urban, property lines and blood feuds, family histories and petty battles . . . in a film that reframes Brazil as a place where blood is thicker and murkier than water, even in homes that seem so clean and white and safe."

Posted Dec 27, 2013

Brian Gibson

15 74%

The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug (2013)

"A trilogy sinks under the middle-weight of its sheer desolation, becoming baggy, boggy, saggy and smaugy. Scenes aren't just predictable but chiselled in triplicate--with stony dialogue, soaring muzak and restless, blatant visuals. A slogging quest-opera."

Posted Dec 27, 2013

Brian Gibson

16 56%

Escape From Tomorrow (2013)

"Mainly a one-trick Goofy-show, connecting a famous family-fun park with adult voyeurism, paranoid delusions and sexual obsession. There's a tedium to Jim's sex-obsession, some Freudian 101 symbolism, and the shrewishness of Jim's wife is too much."

Posted Dec 27, 2013

Brian Gibson

17 73%

Barbarella (1968)

"A Flash Gordon-meets-Oz kitsch-fest stripping women's sexual revolution down to voyeuristic spectacle, flimsily dressed in cheap, see-through, psychedelic B-movie garb. Vadim imbues most scenes with a faux-arty lethargy that slumps into stiltedness. "

Posted Dec 27, 2013

Brian Gibson

18 56%

Godzilla 2000 (2000)

"After all the humans' blathering about studying him or killing him or why's-he-keep-saving-us-after-we-created-him-but-now-try-to-destroy-him?, the big scaly brute's got the best idea for taking the piss out of this movie--keep roaring unintelligibly."

Posted Dec 27, 2013

Brian Gibson

19 47%

Last Vegas (2013)

"All the glitzing-up and trading-off of Vegas's allure blinds and bleaches out what isn't nearly as bad as it could've been. Has a relaxed, let's-have-some-laughs feel but tries too hard to be so cool and sappy-ever-after for all those 'zoomers' out there."

Posted Dec 27, 2013

Brian Gibson

20 100%

Heima (Sigur Ros: Heima) (2007)

"Reverberates a sense not only of Iceland's people, places and history but a sense of natural intimacy and intimacy with nature. Capping it all is the band's best-ever, 'Popplagið,' a stunning 12 minutes that DeBlois matches with a shiver-inducing sequence"

Posted Dec 27, 2013

Brian Gibson

21 88%

She Monkeys (Apflickorna) (2011)

"Lisa Aschan's remarkable debut shows girls aping adult sexuality and power-plays. Female adolescence becomes a gasping for air and grasping for achievement, getting ahead of a rival or friend (the distinction blurs) however one can."

Posted Dec 27, 2013

Brian Gibson

22 96%

Pan's Labyrinth (2006)

"Grotesque and macabre thrills here, but not a fantasy-masterpiece. There's a drawn-out-ness to the plot that extends to the time-period being overdrawn. Captain Vidal's an overstated fatherland fascist; the political history becomes morbid melodrama."

Posted Dec 27, 2013

Brian Gibson

23 81%

Batman Returns (1992)

"Among the 1990s' most fruitful marriages of high-brow auteurist style and pulp source material. A Burtonesque layer cake: at bottom, his take on German Expressionism; then the Gotham grotesquerie; topping it all off is a fissuring, fracturing fairytale."

Posted Dec 27, 2013

Brian Gibson

24 93%

The Hunt (2013)

"It's a maddening, strangely riveting cinematic experience to follow a man wrongly accused of a crime that could stain his name forever ... but there's still something one-note about this near-tragedy. The script, too, seems programmatic."

Posted Dec 27, 2013

Brian Gibson

25 73%

Lee Daniels' The Butler (2013)

"A more grandiose version of The Help, The Butler stands at the ready, eager to offer an after-dinner mint of simplified, sweetened history to make us--especially white Americans--feel good about how that whole racism thing turned out in the end."

Posted Dec 27, 2013

Brian Gibson

26 86%

Le Petit Voleur (The Little Thief) (1999)

"Beyond its feral glances, whipping pace, and unlikeable but hypnotically watchable anti-hero (much like the Dardennes' protagonists), The Little Thief's greatest ingenuity is its view of crime as hard work."

Posted Dec 27, 2013

Brian Gibson

27 73%

Chicken with Plums (2012)

"Suffused with longing and whimsy, Chicken with Plum's tone can get a little stretched; it can be a touch twee, even cautious. But mostly this adaptation retains a sad dreaminess and a melancholy comic-ness without ever getting cartoonish."

Posted Dec 27, 2013

Brian Gibson

28 69%

The Wolverine (2013)

"Preferring to stay broody and small-time, this minimalist noir, with little dialogue and no world-threatening schemes, intriguingly sustains its culture clash and blurring lines between man, beast and monster."

Posted Dec 27, 2013

Brian Gibson

29 70%

Not Fade Away (2012)

"There's a nice, pop-in-and-see rhythm to the storytelling. Gandolfini's Pat descends into a rich sadness. There's wry humour to be had with Douglas and his idealizing buddies. Loneliness and longing lounge around together."

Posted Jul 11, 2013

Brian Gibson

30 50%

White House Down (2013)

"Crank up the destruction-porn, strike up the patriotic movie-muzak, round off the sun-bright halo around the Obama-like Prez. By the exhausted end, it's all a super-spangled slice of apple pie."

Posted Jul 11, 2013

Brian Gibson

31 78%

Monsters University (2013)

"Mostly takes the old college tropes and doesn't sneak, crawl or run too far with them. There's a bravura scene near the end that's far and away the film's best 10 minutes. Most spark, spontaneity and character complexity is left for the sideline monsters."

Posted Jul 11, 2013

Brian Gibson

32 56%

Man of Steel (2013)

"Super-duper-overStatement. A cataclysm-caravan of speeches, doomed and desolate landscapes, proclamations of glorious destiny or rebirth, and sprawling, stone-faced seriousness. Can't save itself from self-suffocating grandiosity."

Posted Jul 11, 2013

Brian Gibson

33 38%

The Purge (2013)

"A workable blueprint for a movie that falls apart in its shoddy construction. Hammers home its concept, then smashes down the doors of horror-movie clichés. Its beaten-to-a-pulp idea leaves the 'hood and sublets to some weakly shot home-invasion B-horror."

Posted Jul 11, 2013

Brian Gibson

34 86%

The Manor ()

"What keeps Cohen's doc from slipping into comic stereotypes or reality-TV programming is his long, worried, head-on stare at his troubled parents. His pained, poignant gaze at them, trapped together but apart in a tawdry business's shadow, fascinates."

Posted Jul 11, 2013

Brian Gibson

35 11%

After Earth (2013)

"As the story moves along with an almost medicating dullness, so antiseptic and square and insulated from any fun or spark or non-self-seriousness, the entire movie has that plastic-wrap feel of a hermetically-sealed Hollywood vanity project."

Posted Jul 11, 2013

Brian Gibson

36 91%

The Sapphires (2013)

"Tries to dazzle itself but the shine comes off quickly, as this weakly structured story flees at the sight of any lingering dramatic conflict, preferring to turn history into a pleasant song-and-dance routine."

Posted Jul 11, 2013

Brian Gibson

37 19%

The Hangover Part III (2013)

"Whatever humour was left in the guys-gone-wild porn of the Hangover franchise dribbles and trickles and slips out, one quarter-chuckle every half-hour or so, in the third instalment."

Posted Jul 11, 2013

Brian Gibson

38 68%

Fast & Furious 6 (2013)

"This Formula 6 racing flick's tire-spinning in a vacuum: the plausible's passed early on, the ludicrous is smoked down the stretch, and any lingering basic law of action-film gravitas is shredded by the finish line."

Posted Jul 11, 2013

Brian Gibson

39 91%

The Beguiled (1971)

"Southern Gothic that sinks too deep into the bayous of sexploitation and horror towards the end, Don Siegel's adaptation of Thomas P Cullinan's 1966 novel is still ripe and pungent enough to intermittently fascinate."

Posted Jul 11, 2013

Brian Gibson

40 79%

Die Blechtrommel (The Tin Drum) (1979)

"Walks a taut, high rope between doubles and split selves, docu-realism and surrealism, brutality and naïveté, sacred and profane, and history and myth, without falling into the safety net of childish fantasy. (It only falters in its final half-hour.)"

Posted Jul 11, 2013

Brian Gibson

41 97%

Hotaru no haka (Grave of the Fireflies) (1988)

"Such odd hopefulness, flitting around a child, mixed with the overwhelmingly sad, pervades Isao Takahata's film. And all around Seita and Setsuko, nature, in the face of human destruction and tragedy, persists in its beauty."

Posted Jul 11, 2013

Brian Gibson

42 75%

My Neighbors the Yamadas (1999)

"There's a crabby, gleeful spirit to the whole thing, carried along by animated bursts of imagination, snippets of haiku, and spirited song. Amid all the disgruntlement and dismay, there's a sweet we're-all-in-this-life-togetherness."

Posted Jul 11, 2013

Brian Gibson

43 83%

From Up On Poppy Hill (2013)

"Ghibli's latest is its most local and historical, like a gorgeous-looking manuscript plucked from a town's archives. A school-film about personal space and preserving place in a Japan on the cusp of a new era. But it'll lack spark for any non-Ghibli fan."

Posted Jul 11, 2013

Brian Gibson

44 49%

The Great Gatsby (2013)

"This take, pimped out in 3D spectacle and one woozy romance, renders the '20s as backdrop and swerves around the book's period-politics. A surreal slice-of-a-1922-summer overbaked into maximalist fantasia. The narrative frame is silly; the pacing is off."

Posted Jul 11, 2013

Brian Gibson

45 95%

Weekend (2011)

"A romance that finds intimacy in intense conversation but also a very British film about private and public spaces; a potent mix of the sensually intimate and the politically confrontational."

Posted Jul 11, 2013

Brian Gibson

46 82%

A Cat in Paris (2012)

"In this chase film, children's love of pursuit, of running and jumping and hiding and seeking, transforms the City of Lights into a playground where even a mother bounds along car roofs to reach her daughter. The story, though, lags behind the animation."

Posted Jul 11, 2013

Brian Gibson

47 78%

Iron Man 3 (2013)

"It's Iron Man 3's sneaky exposé of superhero cool--on the outside, a wisecracking warrior; on the inside, an anxiety-attacked guy who tries to insulate himself with arrogance--that brings this blockbuster down to sympathetic size. "

Posted Jul 11, 2013

Brian Gibson

48 68%

Wrong (2013)

"Apart from arousing fitful curiosity, this stretch of surrealism yawns into an arid expanse of flat quirkiness. Meanders between torquing noir clichés and drifting through a funhouse-mirror-maze of SoCal conventions. Little strange poetry emerges."

Posted Jul 11, 2013

Brian Gibson

49 7%

The Big Wedding (2013)

"Behold the unholy matrimony of hack-job romance and whack-job comedy. Witness the blindingly bleached marriage of house-porn and cocky Caucasian privilege. Suffer the union of former A-list stars and express-cashed paycheques."

Posted Jul 11, 2013

Brian Gibson

50 100%

Omohide poro poro (Only Yesterday) (1991)

"Moves with barely a ripple along a woman's memories of her girlhood in 1966. Here, as love blossoms (blooming in one of cinema's most touching end-credit sequences), the environment's imbued with memories of families and workers."

Posted May 6, 2013

Brian Gibson

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