Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Alberta) - Rotten Tomatoes

Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Alberta)

Tomatometer-approved publication
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
Comes off like a series of forgettable History Channel recreations with some axeman versus vampire video game scenes tossed in. Editing is choppy; some transitions are sloppy. A parchment paper-thin conceit playing at being a feature-length movie.
Posted Jul 24, 2012
We're left looking at a mass cult-gathering of fans paying tribute to commercial idols. Individual stories are under-built after being initially overhyped. We're put in the bleachers to watch a field of American pop-cult dreams, and told to cheer.
Posted Jul 24, 2012
At best, Snow White and the Huntsman is pretty but forgettable. At worst, as with its occasionally anachronistic dialogue ('passed away,' 'OK') and its heroine's sadly undeveloped character, there's something rather hollow about these dark woods.
Posted Jul 24, 2012
The Dardennes smoothly shift one gear up in the film's coda, offering a sting of humility before a flash of quiet grace. Then we're left watching after one boy on his bike, stubbornly moving, moving, moving, a force to be reckoned with and respected.
Posted Jul 24, 2012
Mainly rollicks along, keeping a nice balance between grotesque-alien playfulness and badass secret-agent seriousness. The story doesn't have as much fun with the near-alien weirdnesses of 1969 as it could have but the ending comes with a poignant twist.
Posted Jul 24, 2012
Dialogue is banal, the camerawork's predictable, and any subtext's missing in all the action. The flick's irradiated with a general insensitivity to human tragedy. The place, though, is deeply eerie on its own.
Posted Jul 24, 2012
Dune (1984)
Leads us into our own strange need to untangle the spools of film and dream, fiction and truth, protective fantasy and traumatic reality. Lynch uses the twinkling lights and dazzling stars of superficial LA to warp us into a deeper, stranger surreality.
Posted Jul 24, 2012
Dark Shadows (2012)
There's much more bloody potential here for dark comedy (and shaded emotions) than we're lightly spattered with . . . offers no zany flourishes, dashing touches or striking shots.
Posted Jul 24, 2012
Gradually slips from awkward-funny moments to droll dawdling along. While overstaying its welcome by half-an-hour, it becomes clear this is another tale of bourgeois-white-girl-and-boy-who-can't-quite-commit. The charm wears off.
Posted May 10, 2012
Warning to all ye who enter: drollery, Pythonesque absurdity, and some smartly silly swashbuckling with history ahead. The dark corners of wooden ships and buildings ground the zaniness in Victorian atmosphere, so even modern jokes sail smoothly along.
Posted May 10, 2012
Not too heavy on the nyuks but a bit light on sustained yuks. As with the originals-devoid of character depth, social satire, or other subtext-there's not enough slap behind the schtick. Heartfelt humour-homage that ends up more like korny komic karaoke.
Posted May 10, 2012
Near-epic in preposterousness. So, swamped by CGI spectacle, wonder: what came first, overblown super-sneezes of action or the tissue-thin plot to wrap them in? Forget gods getting it on with humans; here, non-story meets quasi-show, begets a demi-star.
Posted May 10, 2012
A floppy cross of high-school movie and buddy-cop comedy. Overdoses on flaccid penis and vagina 'jokes,' indulges in the ain't-this-cool?!ness of a cop-action flick, and passes out on the cliché-couch of bromance.
Posted May 10, 2012
Pulp Fiction (1994)
And just to make all this Hollywoodization--this snappy, fizzy, poppy enviro-libation, sugar-coated for the ADD-kid generation--even more delicious to swallow, well, the look of it all seems oddly plastic and hollow.
Posted May 10, 2012
Project X (2012)
Laughs? Just one or two chuckles. Acting? Pretty flat. X stands for Xcuse to shrug off empty-spectacle moviemaking as awesome partying for Hollywood's coveted teen demographic. X marks that Xtremely cynical profiteering spot atop the box office.
Posted May 10, 2012