Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Alberta) - Rotten Tomatoes

Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Alberta)

Tomatometer-approved publication
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
There's visual overstatement, stone-heavy exposition, self-seriousness (masquerading as maturity), CGI-laden plot (falling short of spectacle), and predictable action sequences.
Posted Jul 22, 2011
Never dark, witty, or smart enough (the line '[She's] had the crazy f***ed out of her' is up for 2011's Laziest Misogyny Joke), the murder-your-boss plot also lags and jags.
Posted Jul 21, 2011
Zookeeper (2011)
Should've been called Hey Kids, Watch A Pudgy Man Take Pratfalls And Act Like An Alpha A**hole-There'll Be Talking Animals!
Posted Jul 21, 2011
March of the Penguins Plus Puerile People. There's the cute-animals schtick, lazy toilet humour, and a squawwwking message about rediscovering both inner child and family.
Posted Jun 22, 2011
Hyperactively desperate-to-entertain and also veers into too-episodic, too-peppy and too-kooky territory. Would be a lot more funner if it were much less dumber.
Posted Jun 22, 2011
Super 8 (2011)
Throwback sci-fi. But the big-show moments, concocted from today's blockbuster formula, clash with the '70s small-town play of these kids' lives, often nicely observed.
Posted Jun 22, 2011
Smartly grounds the genre's pop-fiction and flashy effects in an era of clashing superpowers and political paranoia. And refreshingly refuses to say it's so super being human.
Posted Jun 22, 2011
Disney-sanitizer wafts through--there are few bloody, mercenary moments. Some action sequences are cartoonish. And for such a talky picture, the dialogue's not charged enough.
Posted Jun 22, 2011
Fast Five (2011)
Spins its wheels. Shifts between gravel-voiced speeches (about true family) and bicep-offs. Throttling dialogue, long hard looks, and heist clichés skid on for blocks.
Posted Jun 22, 2011
Quietly radical and deeply inspiring . . . thanks to a fervid commitment by Willem Dafoe as Jesus, a swirling, cross-cultural score from Peter Gabriel and some thrilling interpretations of the Bible. The ending is a rare moment of transcendence on film.
Posted Apr 25, 2011
It's Animal House Does The Holy Grail; the wit and antics of The Princess Bride are replaced with porn-imagery and swear words. Beyond such lazy writing, the movie can't really be bothered to spoof any elements of the fantasy genre.
Posted Apr 25, 2011
Hop (2011)
Almost every scene's overscored, overtold or overdone to the point of the jokes getting runny. Hop seems to think filling out the formula and being super-duper eager-to-please is enough. Hobbling along, this bunny just ain't funny.
Posted Apr 25, 2011
Sucker Punch (2011)
A spectacular flop of fancy, mind-blowingly empty. Muddles along as if Nintendo fused Cabaret and A Streetcar Named Desire for people who play Call of Duty. Snyder's carved out a pointless new subgenre--call it video-game camp.
Posted Apr 25, 2011
A delicious but not too-smooth take on LA noir. Tight shots keep us close to the ratcheting action, and there are just the right bits of grit, and the right pace to the twists, to make The Lincoln Lawyer a steadily seat-gripping cinematic cruise.
Posted Apr 25, 2011
The whole Twilight lusting-to-lose-her-virginity-to-her-true-love story falls even flatter in a Grimm historical setting. Anachronistic, true-romance clichés sap the plot's strength, while the visuals get more and more predictable.
Posted Apr 25, 2011
Rango (2011)
The kind of computer animation that lingers so exquisitely on the little things. The romance is sweetly underplayed and Coen-like moments of hyper-erudition and eccentric, grizzled characters make for a rollicking escapade.
Posted Apr 25, 2011
Beastly (2011)
Some snappy pacing and hints of pain throbbing beneath the cool sarcasm of teens push much of Beastly past its skin-deep pandering to a teen demographic. Still, this 21st-century fairy tale doesn't wilt, but it's not quite refreshed, either.
Posted Apr 25, 2011
A romantic thriller that manages a rather remarkable feat: sending us on a headlong pursuit of life's meaning, even as the banal everydayness of real life closes in on one side and the anything-goes magic of science fiction closes in on the other.
Posted Apr 25, 2011
Drive Angry (2011) and revenge-porn. No surprise there, but nothing of much interest either. Especially coming after the carnage of so much pulpy fiction, backstories and explanations drag, while gestures towards emotion seem pointless.
Posted Mar 8, 2011
Hall Pass (2011)
Has the smart, relaxed, real-life drive of the Farrellys' best comedies. (There are even two poop sight-gags that are shockingly funny.) Too bad the wives' storyline is so unfunny and uncomplicated.
Posted Mar 8, 2011
Unknown (2011)
A marketmentary trying to be canny but coming off canned. The one truth slipping out of this 105-minute ad is that, at this stratospheric level of social-networked stardom, the star and his entourage float along in a bubble of total self-delusion.
Posted Mar 8, 2011
Danny and co.'s elaborate ruse, and the movie's impersonation of a comedy, continues with bad fake accents (Cockney, German), more schtick and a dash of homophobia. But there's still room for sexism!
Posted Mar 8, 2011
The Roommate (2011)
The blandest thriller unimaginable; it's like watching the vacuum of outer space on a screen for 93 minutes. The story and direction are so lobotomized, only some evil computer, using commercial-formulas and genre-algorithms, could have manufactured it.
Posted Mar 8, 2011
It's mostly overstuffed with some funny/odd, but never throwaway, lines. And some amusing, nearly quirky, but never tired secondary characters. And, in a flick all about avoiding a serious relationship, a compelling acting-commitment from Portman.
Posted Jan 27, 2011
The Dilemma (2011)
A Titanic wreck that makes you wonder if anyone was at the helm. The plot's lost in a Bermuda triangle of exhausted-formula, genre-muddle and hackneyed storytelling. Bromance, dark drama, slapstick, and rambling, wanna-be-funny speeches get mixed up.
Posted Jan 27, 2011
Yogi Bear (2010)
Like a steady, throbbing ache that, after 75 minutes, you realize was your nerve endings' collective scream at your numbed-off brain to flee this awkward hybrid of animation and live-action. The humans are even more cartoonish than 'your a-ver-age bear.'
Posted Jan 27, 2011
Quaintly enjoyable enough in its own way. Until it's slowly sunk by a certain divine Lion, bringing along all his earnestness and preciousness. It's a ride, all dressed up as a child-hero fantasy quest, that's meant to lead us to one red-light moral.
Posted Jan 27, 2011
An overstated (dialogue-wise and visually-the movie's mostly close-ups) and underwhelming trip. And for a movie all about dickishness, its actual masking of Gyllenhaal's dick-twice with a cushion, as if out of a bad British sex farce-is limply dishonest.
Posted Jan 27, 2011
This stagnating set-up for a finale wallows in self-seriousness. There's so much glumness and lethargy here, a new character--call him Excelsior Lugubrious--emerges from the mega-budget, moody mist, threatening to slay Death himself with Sleep.
Posted Dec 1, 2010
Fair Game (2010)
Makes a remarkably taut, tense story out of recent events. In its thrilling exposure of the web of lies built around the Iraq invasion, it reminds us how much the rhetoric of the 'war on terror' invaded all of our homes, depending on us to be doormats.
Posted Dec 1, 2010
Due Date (2010)
As an overall journey, the movie disappoints, but as a collection of scenes, it's funnier than most comedies. When Todd Phillips' picture slows down, its character-driven moments are usually a winning mixture of the absurd, insensitive and poignant.
Posted Dec 1, 2010
Feeble farce about sordid blood-ties and odd-couple sex. The dialogue's neither sly nor wry. Nearly every brushstroke at humour splatters into cartoonishness. There's no real darkness to the comedy, just some dingy, superficial trappings of darkness.
Posted Dec 1, 2010
Hereafter (2010)
Jackass 3 (2010)
A slap-dash bunch of halfass-ness that's Fear Factor meets Whack-A-Crotch. Its don't-give-a-shit indifference to the basics of suspense-building and story cohesion is amazing. A hit-and-run (to the bank), sucker-punch prank on viewers who've seen better.
Posted Nov 2, 2010
Secretariat (2010)
Never convinces that this was a horse or owner who epitomized a time and so captivated an era. The against-all-odds clichés get slathered on, the races stumble, and the flick's further hobbled by all its pure emotions and heartstring-plucking.
Posted Nov 2, 2010
As cheerily banal and smilingly forgettable as its slice-of-life comic-strip title. Should really be called Bringing Up Baby in Bourgeois-Land. This isn't a realistic, romantic, or comic family anyone should give a baby-poop about.
Posted Nov 2, 2010
You Again (2010)
It's excruciating and incredibly unfunny to watch laboured scene after scene of monomaniacal non-women. They're like Barbie dolls made by Woody Allen: thin and materially successful on the outside but neurotic, stunted and pathetically obsessive inside.
Posted Oct 4, 2010
The first animation masterpiece of the decade. At first, French ennui meets Highland cheer; every frame teems with delightful detail. By story's end, the illusion of new romance proves more spellbinding than the romance of old-time illusion.
Posted Sep 24, 2010
A mystical mood piece, this Palme d'Or winner isn't as hypnotic as the Thai master's previous, Syndromes and a Century, but it has some absolutely stunning sequences. The vaporous mingling of the earthly and the supernatural settles over the film.
Posted Sep 24, 2010
Devil (2010)