Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Alberta) - Rotten Tomatoes

Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Alberta)

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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
Weekend (2011)
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
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
Wrong (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
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
Ponyo (2009)
Miyazaki's ode to motherhood; the sea is the greatest nurturer of all. The underwater sequences are some of Ghibli's most luminous, complex reflections of nature's teeming beauty.
Posted May 6, 2013
Battle for Brooklyn earns its epic-sounding title, building, block by block, a sturdy, gritty little film about the impassioned fight to ensure development's directed by the local people and for the local people, not by a few overlords above all.
Posted May 6, 2013
The Host (2013)
Beyond Meyer's trite-and-untrue formula (supernatural love triangle, exotic locale, family values and kisses as daring and transgressive), corpse-stiff dialogue, flat action sequences and a confused allegory make this movie particularly stultifying piffle
Posted May 6, 2013
The Call (2013)
A 911 flick that's actually 341--3 movies 4 the price of a bad 1. The psychological thriller rushes; the psycho-horror scrapes the bottom of the barrel of titillation; the quick ending burner-phones in any remaining character development and plausibility.
Posted May 6, 2013
Oldboy (2005)
Out of some dry lines, Shakespearean allusions, and its playing with statecraft as stagecraft, this slowly emerges as more than just some ruffle-collared, frilly-cuffed throne-porn-there's a sharp quill and glinting eye behind the gilt-edged curtain.
Posted May 6, 2013
Elena (2012)
Dark Skies (2013)
What body-snatches this beyond being another haunted-home flick is the attention to family breakdown rather than another scare around the next dark corner. It's more about eerieness and creepiness than outlandish confrontations and gory shocks.
Posted May 6, 2013
This urban film cuts deep into an aspiring artist's innermost doubts. It's also about what Kondō knew well: apprenticeship, patient dedication to craft and nurturing friendship with other artists.
Posted May 6, 2013
Side Effects (2013)
The roar dies into a hollow echo, the growl gets gutturally one-note and the grit becomes B-movie background. Has too scuzzy a heart to pump out a deep throb of action. Peel this one back and you get more pit than pulp.
Posted May 6, 2013
Imagine the elaborate plan: 'We use the sets left over from Red Riding Hood, add a candy house, throw in some aerial forest shots out of Twilight, keep it cheap. Steampunk it up, and have 'em wear leather, 'specially her. Lotsa cleavage.'
Posted May 6, 2013
Movie 43 (2013)
An execrable waste cooked up by a hell's kitchen of directors and writers. It's death-of-laughter by committee. Its title? Because it's like one of those many asteroids out there--a dismal chunk of rock hurtling through an empty void, without purpose.
Posted May 6, 2013
56 Up (2013)
Jackie Brown (1997)
Pusher (2012)
Sniffing into the seams of England's multiculti capital, it's best at showing the grungy, hustling-and-bustling city as a place of slowly uncoiling despair. A hyper-charged, buzzy take on the London night-scene-and one man slipping under it, for no-good.
Posted Jan 29, 2013
Comes off as a hollow masquerade, play-acting at machismo for nearly two hours. Along with the furniture tossed in fits of rage, there are empty flourishes of neo-noir style, rote action sequences, and little danger for our hardboiled heroes.
Posted Jan 29, 2013
So many close-ups, it seems better made for TV. Scene transitions are non-existent; the pace is relentless. All this over-the-top selling of emotion makes you look around before exiting-where's the gift shop, hawking more Hugo-not spinoffs and souvenirs?
Posted Jan 29, 2013
This is 40 (2012)
Apatow's works often involve stand-up riffs on a subject, dropped into a movie. When stress, one of the ingredients of actual film comedy (not a late-night spot at Yuk Yuks), finally crackles along, the story of Pete and Debbie gets funnier and friskier.
Posted Jan 29, 2013
Whenever this movie suffers from lengthy prequel-itis and a weighty sense of expectations, it falls short. Still, for much of its 165 minutes, this epic has enough small moments and deft touches that it tugs you along with the power of a good story.
Posted Jan 29, 2013
An own-goal shambles of bland characterization, comic shtick, exes-still-in-love clichés and lazy implausibilities, Playing For Keeps plays down to the ugliest American stereotype of soccer-dull to the point of brain-death.
Posted Jan 29, 2013
Life of Pi (2012)
Takes some time to find its flow. The CGI-tiger is the greatest marvel here-the intensity of its stare alone makes it the truest fiction of all. Religious platitudes remain fairly pat; the final allegory's overstated.
Posted Jan 29, 2013
The animation's usually a visual delight. There's enough visual spark and inventiveness to make this animated adventure rise above the Christmas crowd of flicks.
Posted Jan 29, 2013
There's no genuine discussion by anyone of tactics, ideology and ethics. Even arrogantly reframes the overthrow of Mubarak as an Anonymous-fuelled uprising. Aren't-we-f***in'-awesome! hubris bubbles out of the legion of remarkably inarticulate interviews.
Posted Nov 22, 2012
A series of pretty, disconnected scenes. At worst, it becomes D-movie Dickens, devolving into semi-broad, semi-quirky comedy, poorly sketched-out coincidence, and a bad X-Men plot. The book is drained of its allusive, allegorical and dramatic force.
Posted Nov 22, 2012
Little depth or subtext here. It's tough to care about the fate of a generic, whitebread family and its blonde-in-distress living in an airless, gated-community Nevada. We've seen the creepy kid and freaked-out teens in countless fear-fests before.
Posted Nov 22, 2012
Disney-schmaltz, family-values hokum, and dopey clichés ('anything's possible,' 'different's OK,' etc.), syrup over the intriguing allegory. If only the movie had plunged deeper into its well of meaning and stopped jerking at our heartstrings.
Posted Nov 22, 2012
The Watch (2012)
Bland and juvenile, with little thought, humour, or imagination. It actually endorses its posse of puerile nobodies as noble, ass-kicking Americans.
Posted Nov 22, 2012
Fossilized in a syrupy, always-stick-by-your-family-and-friends formula. Scrat provides the only constant humour. The surrealism and manic slapstick that animation can do so well are dwarfed by adventures with pirates and a clichéd teen-fitting-in story.
Posted Jul 24, 2012
Savages (2012)
Brutally empty. Vacant style (including way too many close-ups) is the rule. And there's the double ending: the first reflects just how violence-celebrating and death-enchanted this entire waste of 130 minutes is while the second is a happy-dopey cop-out.
Posted Jul 24, 2012
To its great credit, just before the credits, We Have A Pope slips away from its droll dramedy and offers a sharp anticlimax--a pointed stab at Catholicism now. The declaration of its title turns out to be the emptiest statement of all.
Posted Jul 24, 2012
Runs deepest as a vicious twist on the coming-of-age teen movie and when it offers up small moments within its near-mythic feud. Here, revenge is a dish served hot-blooded. It's the sharp slaps of betrayal and yearnings for the impossible that chill.
Posted Jul 24, 2012
Ted (2012)
A pet project padded out to feature-length, bromance-meets-romance predictability. The story beats are so obvious they seem tapped out on a telegraph. If you want to see a Boston bruin who was truly interesting, watch a documentary about Bobby Orr.
Posted Jul 24, 2012