Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Alberta) - Rotten Tomatoes

Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Alberta)

Tomatometer-approved publication
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
Wanderlust (2012)
Usually avoids SNL skit-shtick and wacky-pothead parody, thanks to affectionate humour, sharp cuts and droll dialogue. Still, the story ultimately sides with the bland, loft-closeted couple and gets lazy with guy-gets-back-girl moments down the stretch.
Posted May 10, 2012
Studio Ghibli's best film since Miyazaki's eco-fable masterpiece Spirited Away. Its story is impeccably paced, its look beautifully imagined, and its drama perfectly built-up. Bristles, underfoot, with some delightful feminism and environmentalism.
Posted May 10, 2012
Panders to the kiddies, caters to the teens, and tosses in a loser-ethnic-sidekick. The shrugging tone of this 21st-century sabotage of the original novel is summed up by this slogan masquerading as dialogue: 'It's Jules Verne, man-ya gotta believe.'
Posted May 10, 2012
Safe House (2012)
Ultimately, it dashes into so many close-ups of carnage and neckbreaking, it skids scuzzily close to spy-snuff. Call this Bourne-porn; Safe House needed a safe word.
Posted May 10, 2012
The Vow (2012)
So full of trite phrases, clichéd moments and uncool coolness (she has a tattoo on her back!), it's mind-wiping. I vow to forgive this movie, just to forget it faster.
Posted May 10, 2012
Chronicle (2012)
For much of its study of young supermen never grasping great responsibility, Chronicle offers a sense of how adolescents can become awfully, powerfully alien even to themselves.
Posted Feb 9, 2012
The supposedly feisty Plum keeps following the lead of the two hunky men in her life. Scrape off the Elmore-Leonard-lite scuzz, and this is just a retroinactive rom-com.
Posted Feb 9, 2012
The POV becomes irritatingly self-involved and self-tormenting. There's a game-playing with grief in the movie's roving, Lord-of-the-Wrings-Emotions quest.
Posted Feb 9, 2012
Red Tails (2012)
The pilots are reduced to war-movie stereotypes, firing off character clichés ('best soldier I ever met'), historical lectures, or go-get-'em speeches with anachronisms ('Man up').
Posted Feb 9, 2012
By the last half-hour, the story's seething skepticism towards the surveillance-state and its portrait of a naïve guard turned murderous prisoner make for a mesmerizing movie.
Posted Feb 9, 2012
Joyful Noise (2012)
Todd said, let there be uplift, and there was such uplift the plot drifted into space. And so it was that, out of a void of tension, there came eye-splitting gospel-muzak.
Posted Feb 9, 2012
Here, Tintin and pals are semi-cartoon characters careening through an unreal world. Instead of charming, intriguing, and exciting us, Spielberg and co. usually try to bowl us over.
Posted Jan 12, 2012
Young Adult (2011)
Tragicomically stares on at this lost alcoholic, drifting through a hollow strip-mall world but groping back for her teenage days in narcissistic nostalgia.
Posted Jan 12, 2012
Hugo (2011)
Scorsese, now in the winter of his career, has tapped into his own childlike passion for film with this late-period masterpiece.
Posted Jan 12, 2012
Dwells on how, just beneath the surface of that teen who seems a shrugging idiot or that woman who seems an everyday mom, there rustles an undergrowth of pain, or loss, or heartache.
Posted Jan 12, 2012
A plucky, clever animated Xmas tale that has much of Aardman's attention to quirky detail (bulbous noses), wordplay, and unconventional heroes (Arthur's fuelled by worry).
Posted Jan 12, 2012
Matched Kubrick's photographic eye to a story about watching, transformed him into a director of the epic, and made one giant leap in sci-fi cinema that's never been matched.
Posted Jan 12, 2012
Akira (1988)
Offers rolling-paper-thin female characters. Ethnic stereotypes are lazily snowballed at us. And it has the usual boring, hokey spirit-of-the-season moments.
Posted Nov 11, 2011
In Time (2011)
This alternate world's hollowness drains the movie, blanching the noir. Cheesy, corny moments pop up throughout. Grinds its potential down into a clockwork chase movie.
Posted Nov 11, 2011
The tension is slowly bled out, the metacommentary on movies' phantom power is eerie, and the directors capture a creepiness in the sleepy, after-hour spaces of home.
Posted Nov 11, 2011
Manhattan (1979)
The Big Year (2011)
Veers close to being The Bucketful-of-Birds List. So pleasantly decent and hesitant to be complex that it's rather simple-minded; it just doesn't make an obsession sing to us.
Posted Nov 11, 2011
Real Steel (2011)
Characters' smug, this-is-so-cool!ness and jingoistic, heartland subtext tries to knock us into submission. The hero's one of those animatronic adults in kid's clothing.
Posted Nov 11, 2011
Abduction (2011)
Boring fugitive action-flick meets insipid teen romance. Well before the movie shows any hint of ending, you'll hope for a quick abduction, by any means, from the cineplex.
Posted Nov 11, 2011
Dolphin Tale (2011)
Sometimes drifts into the emotional shallows rather than letting its 'inspired by a true story' soar on its own.
Posted Nov 11, 2011
Moneyball (2011)
A sports movie about disappointment and falling just short. Manages to make the dealing, stealing, and brain-wheeling in stadium offices enthralling.
Posted Nov 11, 2011
Straw Dogs (2011)
Dumb crosscutting, a sickening, stupid rape scene, and the inane addition of a Steinbeck-ian subplot make the movie a cheap, exploitative build-up to the climactic carnage.
Posted Sep 22, 2011
Sarah's Key (2011)
Loses some force in its latter half but the key story remains gripping. Unlocks 70-year-old horrors so the present can't shut the door on past complicities and crimes.
Posted Sep 22, 2011
Colombiana (2011)
Gets off some fire-flashes of interest but nothing more sustained. The romance subplot is rote and there are some ludicrous moments. Ultimately, it seems hollow-point.
Posted Sep 1, 2011
A nice mix of old-fashioned imagination (anagrams, pranks, secret spaces) and newfangled effects (gizmos, gadgets, graphics), it's a rollicking, never obnoxious family flick.
Posted Sep 1, 2011
The Smurfs (2011)
It's got witty moments and (for an American picture) some relaxed, funny, nearly realistic sex scenes but it's too slickly self-aware and intently selling itself at times.
Posted Sep 1, 2011