John Larsen

John Larsen
John Larsen's reviews do not count toward the Tomatometer. This is not a Tomatometer-approved critic, and this critic's reviews are not published on a Tomatometer-approved publication.
Biography:
They're not just moving images, they're a way of life. Fascinated by movies since he was born in a small hospital on the hill in Santa Paula, California, John Larsen has been professionally reviewing movies since 1974. As editor of his high school newspaper, Larsen developed his long-running column, "Light Views, Reviews and Previews." The column moved to the Oxnard College newspaper Campus, which Larsen helped create and served as its first Editor-in-Chief. After graduation, Larsen tagged up with the Ventura County Reporter, a large weekly entertainment newspaper based in Ventura County, California. He has been the film and video editor for the paper for the past twenty-five years. During that time, Larsen's reviews have appeared in numerous publications, television and radio shows, and on-line at eDrive and Hollywood Hotline. He's a Chief Contributor for the Video Movie Guide, the Pasadena Weekly, San Diego City Beat and Santa Barbara Bulletin, and hosts a weekly entertainment review show on KVEN Talk Radio and KBBY Radio. Larsen's "Video Views" column was one of the first columns to exclusively cover video, debuting in 1983. He also writes the syndicated "The Video Closet" column. Larsen spends most of his time in the dark, reviewing more than 400 films every year on screen and video. When he's not watching movies, he spends his time writing them. When he's not working, Larsen enjoys white water rafting (he's been down the Grand Canyon twice), acting, and stand-up comedy. He also writes and produces under a well-guarded alter ego.
Favorites:
FAVORITE MOVIES: The Exorcist, E.T., Field of Dreams, Schindler's List, Mary Poppins, Road to Perdition, Pocketful of Miracles, Pulp Fiction, Psycho, The Searchers, American Graffiti, Breakfast at Tiffany's, Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Nashville, The Sting, Taxi Driver
Publications: Light Views
Location: Always Within Striking Distance
Official Websites: lightviews.com

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
8% The Number 23 (2007) The Number 23 is just a sordid exercise for a comedy actor to stretch his dramatic muscle. - Light Views EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 22, 2007
89% Zodiac (2007) Methodical to the point of becoming unnerving, Zodiac meshes fact and supposition into a fascinating exploration of obsession. - Light Views EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 22, 2007
65% Snow Cake (2006) Angela Pell's screenplay deals honestly with the characters and situations, and never takes the easy way out. - Light Views EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 22, 2007
88% Red Road (2007) Dickie and Curran are brave actors, willing to explore and expose the complexities of their characters on every level. - Light Views EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 22, 2007
93% The Host (2007) Director/co-writer Bong Joon-ho has a lot of fun with the premise, infusing political commentary into the tale of a family brought together by tragedy. - Light Views EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 22, 2007
50% Color Me Kubrick (2007) Audacious and funny, Color Me Kubrick takes a small slice out of the entertainment pie to deliver a delicious and filling treat. - Light Views EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 22, 2007
69% Disturbia (2007) Disturbia features an extremely likable protagonist in Shia LaBeouf... - Light Views EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 22, 2007
84% Grindhouse (2007) Raging at you harder than a televangelist on an overdose of Viagra, Grindhouse pulverizes the audience with a bombardment of hyper-violence, buxom babes, gnarly zombies, and enough exploitation to fill two movies. - Light Views EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 22, 2007
65% Jindabyne (2006) Linney is fascinating as a woman trapped under the weight of loneliness and desperation, willing to make sacrifices for security. - Light Views EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 22, 2007
9% Norbit (2007) Once we've seen Murphy in the fat suit, the joke is over. - Light Views EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 20, 2007
15% Hannibal Rising (2007) You won't need a GPS to know where this plot is headed. - Light Views EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 20, 2007
27% Ghost Rider (2007) Unless I'm rubbing ice cubes across my nipples, I don't like to use the word cool, but "Ghost Rider" is extremely cool. - Light Views EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 20, 2007
54% Alpha Dog (2007) Timberlake is trying to bring sexy back, and after seeing his performance in "Alpha Dog," I can see why it left. - Light Views EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 29, 2007
30% Smokin' Aces (2007) What sounds like an interesting idea goes up in a blaze of bullets as none of the characters exist beyond the film frame. - Light Views EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 29, 2007
19% Factory Girl (2007) Hickenlooper gives "Factory Girl" a distinct Warhol look. It's cutting edge without being cluttered. - Light Views EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 29, 2007
89% Venus (2006) Venus isn't a great movie, but it features a great performance by O'Toole. - Light Views EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 8, 2007
92% Children of Men (2006) Instead of engrossing me with its powerful message and gripping imagery, it just meandered along like my grandfather's Rascal on a low battery. - Light Views EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 8, 2007
28% Saw III (2006) Like an herbal blend of grand guignol and gothic horror, Saw isn't everyone's cup of tea. - Light Views EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 26, 2006
22% Man of the Year (2006) Reminded me of an octogenarian circus spinner. While grounded, she looks terrific, but the moment she tries to elevate herself, she loses her teeth. - Light Views EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 26, 2006
37% The Guardian (2006) There's enough testosterone on display in "The Guardian" to fuel a woman's golf tournament. - Light Views EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 26, 2006
6% Hate Crime (2005) Writer-director Tommy Stovall creates characters who are real and sympathetic. - Light Views EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 26, 2006
91% Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan (2006) What makes all of this so funny is being in on the joke. - Light Views EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 26, 2006
91% The Departed (2006) Monahan's screenplay effectively transplants the story from Hong Kong to the mean streets of Boston. - Light Views EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 26, 2006
87% The Last King of Scotland (2006) Forest Whitaker performs the ultimate magic act: he turns a blood-thirsty butcher into a charismatic, empathetic man. - Light Views EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 26, 2006
80% Little Children (2006) Former actor Phillips hits all the right notes as director, never allowing the characters to turn drama into melodrama. - Light Views EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 26, 2006
69% Babel (2006) ...this is one tower of Babel which won't be coming down any time soon. - Light Views EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 26, 2006
97% The Queen (2006) Flawless to the point of perfection, Helen Mirren delivers a seamless performance as Queen Elizabeth II. - Light Views EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 26, 2006
87% Notes on a Scandal (2006) Judi Dench delivers a wickedly scintillating performance in Notes on a Scandal, a deliciously dark morality tale about breaking taboos. - Light Views EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 26, 2006
20% You, Me and Dupree (2006) Anyone with a couch, a spare room or a basement knows a Dupree. - Light Views EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 26, 2006
53% Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (2006) With dashing heroes, swashbuckling damsels, vile villains and enough plot for two films, Dead Man's Chest is worth digging up. - Light Views EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 26, 2006
25% Lady in the Water (2006) Lady in the Water is like a convenience store, with the director filling his basket with easy story fixes and unnecessary junk food. - Light Views EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 26, 2006
40% My Super Ex-Girlfriend (2006) Anyone who ever found a boiled bunny on their stove knows breaking up with a woman who won't be ignored can be extremely dangerous. - Light Views EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 26, 2006
85% The Descent (2006) What distinguishes The Descent from other cave thrillers is the way director Marshall never lets up, constantly pounding at us until our heartbeat becomes so loud we can no longer hear the characters scream. - Light Views EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 26, 2006
69% Snakes on a Plane (2006) While it's hard to recommend a film called Snakes on a Plane to the Jane Austen crowd, I have no reservations telling fans of this genre they will get exactly what they pay for. - Light Views EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 26, 2006
22% The Oh in Ohio (2006) Not since Sex in the City has frank, female driven dialogue been so funny or enlightening. - Light Views EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 26, 2006
15% The Wicker Man (2006) LaBute comes out with both barrels blazing, but his remake misfires. - Light Views EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 26, 2006
73% The Illusionist (2006) The Illusionist slowly works its magic, unveiling little pieces until it's time for the grand reveal. - Light Views EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 26, 2006
57% Feast (2006) The biggest shock is how well Feast works, and it works because of Gulager, who always finds fascinating ways of taking the obvious and making it his own. - Light Views EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 26, 2006
68% Aurora Borealis (2006) Sutherland is outstanding as a fine man devastated by time and disease. - Light Views EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 26, 2006
33% The Black Dahlia (2006) Director Brian De Palma's fascination with crime and sexual obsession is the perfect attitude for "The Black Dahlia." - Light Views EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 26, 2006
75% Superman Returns (2006) Superman Returns defies the odds by taking chances, mixing old and new, layering on nostalgia while peeling away artifice. - Light Views EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 8, 2006
82% A Prairie Home Companion (2006) What Altman and Keillor, who plays himself, have done is create a believable piece of radio drama on the big screen... - Light Views EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 8, 2006
57% X-Men: The Last Stand (2006) X-Men: The Last Stand delivers exactly what I expected, nothing more, nothing less. It is what it is, and anyone who enjoyed the first two films will enjoy their Last Stand. - Light Views EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 8, 2006
27% The Omen (2006) By-the-book remake of the 1976 horror thriller features scrumptious production values, a sinister turn by Mia Farrow as Nanny 666, and an overall sense of familiarity. - Light Views EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 8, 2006
36% The Lake House (2006) Anyone concerned over the rising price of postage should invest in a mailbox like the one featured in The Lake House. - Light Views EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 8, 2006
75% The Devil Wears Prada (2006) The Devil Wears Prada is a delicious page-turner of a movie, a wonderfully wicked examination of absolute power and how it corrupts absolutely. - Light Views EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 8, 2006
25% The Da Vinci Code (2006) The Da Vinci Code is just another summer movie for people who like pulp in their cinematic orange juice. - Light Views EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 8, 2006
75% Cars (2006) Cars is no exception, a breathtaking, funny, sweet, soulful, eye-popping exercise in filmmaking, another home run for Pixar. - Light Views EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 8, 2006
53% Wolf Creek (2005) We know these characters are headed for slaughter, so the fun comes in seeing how long the filmmakers can sustain the suspense before clubbing us over the head. - Light Views EDIT
Read More | Posted May 8, 2006
22% Marilyn Hotchkiss Ballroom Dancing & Charm School (2006) Some will find Marilyn Hotchkiss' Ballroom Dance and Charm School quaint, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. - Light Views EDIT
Read More | Posted May 8, 2006