Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Alberta) - Rotten Tomatoes

Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Alberta)

Tomatometer-approved publication
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 clich├ęs 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)
Easy A (2010)
Stone's immensely appealing. Delightfully teeters between comedy, satire and romance before falling a few letter-grades short of the top mark in this genre--set by Election--because it tries to grow up too quickly without quite knowing what to say.
Posted Sep 24, 2010
Feels too much like a shrugging shuffle around the bases. Scenes are overscored, there are more references to dicks than in a Judd Apatow boxset, and the story's too episodic, with little tension other than will-they-stay-together?
Posted Sep 13, 2010
Tosses off some blunt-force one-liners, coasts on character impersonation, riffs off the originals' plot points, and pretends its cheap imitation of the Saga's mopey, slow scenes are parody. In other words, Vampires Suck bites.
Posted Sep 8, 2010
Passes the way a pet lover hopes euthanasia goes for their beloved feline or canine-a blur of motion, moments drifting by in a numbing fog, then the blissful end, free of pain at last. A forgettable, clunky CGI tinkertoy.
Posted Sep 8, 2010
This is an almost quaint throwback of a kids' movie that ends up enjoyably ragtag and cluttered, all of it contained by an emphasis on neighbourhood and maturity. Realistic, refreshing, and reassuring.
Posted Sep 8, 2010
Predators (2010)
If Predators had plunged deeper into the bloodsport-honour-hunting, kill-or-be-killed psyche of both sides, this could've been a truly jolting reboot.
Posted Sep 8, 2010
Knight & Day (2010)
Half-aware it's an action flick while trying to breezily amuse, and half-alert to its comic potential while roaring off on a chase or shoot-out, it staggers along. Knight and Day's potential vanishes in the haze of a mundane situation-comedy.
Posted Jul 5, 2010
Marmaduke (2010)
'The conventionality and predictability of every scene, the lame puns, the absence of comic rhythm, the fart jokes butt-ending the film--all was sly metafilmic parody of the sheer banality and crassness of so much present-day film comedy, yes?' (Silence.)
Posted Jul 5, 2010
Death comes to us all, though perhaps never so depressingly slowly as with a 90-minute clubbing over the head by a bad comedy. A deadly dull farce . . . a machete-choppy non-buildup of obvious schticks.
Posted May 3, 2010
Call this theme-park ride Around the Ancient World in 80 Minutes. Creatures get ridiculously larger and deadlier as action-scenes advance to the next video-game level. Dull, grey, spiritless.
Posted Apr 22, 2010
Repo Men (2010)
Beyond its shapeless sense of the future, humdrum story and fairly routine plot mechanics . . . this flick mostly recycles old action-movie parts.
Posted Apr 22, 2010
Greg's not wimpy--he fears being a pussy. This apparently gives him licence to be a total dickhead. The film should be retitled Diary of a Sociopathic Kid . . . it offers a cynical, shrugging view of today's tweens.
Posted Apr 22, 2010
Green Zone (2010)
Often reaches 'gripping' on the cinematic alert level and shows more political smarts than most films on Iraq, let alone action movies. Ultimately over-ambitious yet still one of the best battlefield films for avoiding war-glorification.
Posted Mar 18, 2010
Numbs deepest in suggesting the war and its aftermath fanned flames burning within. It's clear what '20s and '30s Germany will spark the fuse to after Haneke's shown us, tick by tick, the little bombs within little lives and little lies, black and white.
Posted Mar 18, 2010
Dulled down by a leaden epic formula, the plot becomes jerkily predictable on its Lord of the Rings route. Comedy and charming daffiness are sorely lacking--it's mostly ashen doom and gloom. 'Tediouser and tediouser!' cried Alice.
Posted Mar 15, 2010
Cop Out (2010)
The victim swears the director is one Kevin Smith. Yet the high level of non-funniness here, registering 7.6 on a yawn-alyzer, suggests Mr. Smith is being impersonated by a talentless gun-for-hire trying to pass for someone who can make people
Posted Mar 15, 2010
An exercise in style so overheated that the controlled burn reignites the gothic's tropes. Slips out of its genre shackles by suggesting we're eager to drug ourselves on the thriller formula.
Posted Mar 3, 2010
Another attempted launch of a teen-aimed franchise, but this show-boat is rowing through the motions. Seen-that, been-there fantasy-epic stuff with dialogue more wooden and hollow than the Trojan Horse.
Posted Mar 3, 2010
When in Rome (2010)
The scenery is dull and the romance is a boring ride--neither the places nor people offer much to write home about. Aimless and ambling along, this is a rom-com that seems totally random.
Posted Feb 11, 2010
Easy resolutions pop up and there's no real drama, with flat jokes, overacting and wasted comic-talent voices slathered between the plot's thin slices-of-strife like cheap peanut butter.
Posted Jan 21, 2010
Armored (2009)
The low-level desperation and the wavering of consciences, against a working-class backdrop in a slumping neighbourhood, turns this into not just a fairly gripping heist-gone-wrong movie, but a fairly gritty reflection of an anxious, bankrupted America.
Posted Dec 11, 2009
Late Spring (1949)
Haiku-like in its title, its interest in the undramatic silences between scenes, and its enfolding of human behaviour within nature, Late Spring offers tenderness in the place of melodrama and patient truth in the place of sudden revelation.
Posted Dec 2, 2009
The Box (2009)
One of those thrillers that, looking back on it, has some plot ribbons with frayed, fuzzy ends. Just not quite sharp-edged enough to open doors to images and fears in your head you never knew were there, but now want desperately to lock up.
Posted Nov 13, 2009
As characters get startled but you don't and you suspenselessly wait for everyone to figure out what we realized long ago (Mr. Harris kills people, then 105 minutes of your life), you may well wonder about the bloody point of it all.
Posted Oct 23, 2009
The vapid couples become sniping or sarcastic chunks of white blandness even sharks would spit back up. A kind of bad video-game romance-comedy: 2D characters, flat dialogue, an exotic backdrop, and lame new levels of relationship challenges.
Posted Oct 23, 2009
Sorority Row (2009)
After these Bratz dolls dump the Corpsey One down a mine shaft, the plot follows, dropping us into dark spaces without any emotional gravitas, real scares, smart twists or even B-movie fun.
Posted Oct 7, 2009
Four stages of Acceptance Of 2-Star Movie: 1) Embarrassed for lead character. 2) Embarrassed for actor playing lead character. 3) Admiration for movie's all-out, gawky commitment to awkward comedy. 4) Annoyance with usual rom-com schmaltz-injections.
Posted Sep 11, 2009
An SUV of a comedy: enjoy hate crimes, homophobia and terrorizing women? Then this hulking, gas-guzzling beast--completely out-of-touch with the economic climate and progressive politics--is for you!
Posted Sep 11, 2009
Up (2009)
Themes of adventure, home, and inner childhood are all tweaked and rejuvenated with as much spark and pop as high-flying Carl himself. A spry, imaginative romp through the jungle of the imagination.
Posted Jun 16, 2009
The Pool (2008)
Shimmers silently. A quietly remarkable film, for its seeming simplicity, its careful rhythms, and its interest in a place and its spirit.
Posted Jun 16, 2009
Fighting (2009)
This is Rocky for the UFC generation . . . but what Dito Montiel's film lacks in subtlety it makes up for with heartfeltness, though not quite artfulness.
Posted May 4, 2009
Most revealing as an unintended allegory for Russian rulers' continuing will, in their aspiration for absolutism, to lead a powerful and menacing empire, regardless of those people far below who get crushed by an iron fist.
Posted May 4, 2009
Both work and play--camerawork and screenplay--elevate Kevin Macdonald's State of Play from the usual conspiracy flick into a smart thriller.
Posted May 4, 2009
Duplicity (2009)
Much of the fun is all about what's 'in play'--acting--from the spy and lover roles these characters may or may not be playing and which sides (personal, professional) they're playing for or against, to our assumptions about these stars' personas.
Posted Apr 3, 2009
Lilja 4-ever (2003)
So seamless and relentlessly powerful that the social-realism of not just this film, but the genre itself, is pushed to its limit. Acting and action that rips so deeply, you'll feel you've got to do more than simply watch.
Posted Feb 26, 2009