Authors

Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)

Rating Title | Year Quote Author
1 41%

Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters (2013)

"The most memorable scene doesn't showcase Confederate zombies or the reawakened Kronos but 'Firefly' star Nathan Fillion as Hermes, god of speed, dressed like a parcel messenger and bemoaning the fact that the best TV shows are 'of course, canceled.'"

Posted Aug 26, 2013

John Beifuss

2 70%

Student (2013)

"'Crime and Punishment' transplanted to post-Soviet Kazakhstan, where a ruthless new capitalism is creating millionaires and gangsters; the film suggests there isn't much difference between the two."

Posted Aug 26, 2013

John Beifuss

3 ——

Shyamal Uncle Turns Off The Lights ()

"Very modest and fairly wonderful..."

Posted Aug 26, 2013

John Beifuss

4 ——

Parada (The Parade) ()

"As slick and corny and sitcom-esque as 'La Cage Aux Folles'; but if its message seems obvious and unchallenging for the typical U.S. viewer, it's not so easily digested in post-Soviet Eastern Europe, as recent events in Russia have demonstrated."

Posted Aug 26, 2013

John Beifuss

5 92%

The Spectacular Now (2013)

"Unfortunately, an odd paradox emerges. The more we learn about Aimee -- the more she is presented in depth, as a complicated character -- the more she is revealed to be, in fact, just a prop for Sutter's rehabilitation and redemption."

Posted Aug 26, 2013

John Beifuss

6 89%

The World's End (2013)

"Says the Rosamund Pike character: 'You come back (home), and everything is the same, but different.' The science-fiction element of the story, when it appears, offers a clever literal explanation for this unsettling, uncanny feeling."

Posted Aug 26, 2013

John Beifuss

7 91%

Blue Jasmine (2013)

"Jasmine may no longer be a trophy wife, but she remains a sort of trophy: Something on display, cold and golden, for us to admire. "

Posted Aug 26, 2013

John Beifuss

8 89%

In the House (2013)

"The convoluted yet familiar narrative games become somewhat tiresome. The movie works best as a straight suspense drama about a frustrated teacher and his devious star pupil..."

Posted Aug 26, 2013

John Beifuss

9 72%

Lee Daniels' The Butler (2013)

"It's another of the film's ironies that while Gaines owes his success to an ability to make a room feel empty, Whitaker, even at his most still and silent, fills the frame with life -- with presence."

Posted Aug 16, 2013

John Beifuss

10 83%

Berberian Sound Studio (2013)

"A movie that may whisper dark secrets into your ears at night, when you're trying to forget it. "

Posted Aug 16, 2013

John Beifuss

11 69%

The Wolverine (2013)

"A superior, even adult Marvel Comics adaptation that plays almost like a straight gangster/yakuza thriller for much of its length, until the obligatory climactic superhero/supervillain dust-up."

Posted Aug 16, 2013

John Beifuss

12 64%

2 Guns (2013)

"Director Baltasar Kormakur keeps the pace and patter loose and lively; the result is almost refreshing -- a run through a sprinkler on a summer movie-season lawn cluttered with junked blockbusters."

Posted Aug 16, 2013

John Beifuss

13 86%

The Conjuring (2013)

"America's stealth auteur, James Wan, directs unpretentious, inexpensive, stylistically consistent horror movies that spook audiences and scare up enormous profits; he embraces the genre's tropes and demonstrates why they continue to unnerve."

Posted Aug 16, 2013

John Beifuss

14 68%

Elysium (2013)

"Blomkamp has taken note of the growing gap between the world's have and have-nots and made it literal."

Posted Aug 9, 2013

John Beifuss

15 54%

Lovelace (2013)

"The grim second half of the movie is not just a 'reveal' for viewers unfamiliar with Lovelace's biography but a sort of hangover (or STD?) that punishes moviegoers for enjoying the sexual soap opera and salacious horseplay of the first half."

Posted Aug 9, 2013

John Beifuss

16 93%

Still Mine (2013)

"Takes full advantage of the ornery authority and distinctive Thomas Hart Bentonesque physiognomy of its star, James Cromwell, in a rare lead role."

Posted Aug 9, 2013

John Beifuss

17 13%

R.I.P.D. (2013)

"The movie might best be enjoyed by kids, although parents won't appreciate the 'comic' moment when the deceased Roy reports that the coyote that ate his carcass 'made love' to his skull."

Posted Aug 8, 2013

John Beifuss

18 98%

Blackfish (2013)

"Whatever its flaws, 'Blackfish' seems likely to be the rare film that inspires real reform and that helps awaken viewers to their kinship and responsibility to the animal kingdom."

Posted Aug 8, 2013

John Beifuss

19 47%

I'm So Excited! (2013)

"This isn't just camp, it's existential camp -- or, more precisely, an acknowledgment that the camp impulse is one way of dealing with the absurdity of life. 'We're flying around aimlessly,' a man says, 'and we don't know where or how we're going to land.'"

Posted Aug 8, 2013

John Beifuss

20 14%

The Smurfs 2 (2013)

"At this week's preview screening, a young girl who apparently was experiencing her first 3D movie complained: 'It's in my face!' Child, I feel your pain. "

Posted Aug 8, 2013

John Beifuss

21 7%

Grown Ups 2 (2013)

"This Happy Madison remedial-school version of 'This Is 40' is as insane and dumbfounding and worthy of WTF mock-cult status as 'The Room' or 'Manos, Hands of Fate,' even if it did earn $42 million its first weekend."

Posted Aug 1, 2013

John Beifuss

22 72%

Pacific Rim (2013)

"It's del Toro's squarest, least interesting film. It's as if the sense of fun and wonder collapsed beneath the gargantuism of the budget, in an esthetic equivalent of the square-cube law that makes the story's monsters impossible in real life."

Posted Aug 1, 2013

John Beifuss

23 94%

Fruitvale Station (2013)

"In the wake of the Trayvon Martin verdict, this compassionate film reclaims the humanity of victims transformed into political symbols and provides context for those who think the media and not Zimmerman's bullet 'injected race' into the Martin killing."

Posted Aug 1, 2013

John Beifuss

24 80%

Crystal Fairy (2013)

"Like the hallucinogenic brew the film's American drug tourist painstakingly distills from a purloined San Pedro cactus, it demonstrates that a simple formula can produce a potent effect."

Posted Aug 1, 2013

John Beifuss

25 68%

The Fog (1979)

"Released four years after the Bicentennial, 'The Fog' might be a jaundiced corrective to the often uncritical self-congratulation of America's birthday celebration, with the ghosts as manfestations of manifest destiny's bloody heritage."

Posted Aug 1, 2013

John Beifuss

26 88%

The Angels' Share (2013)

"As unlikely a fable of redemption as any that Hollywood might deliver, elevated by Loach's insistence on naturalism."

Posted Aug 1, 2013

John Beifuss

27 ——

El fantástico mundo de Juan Orol ()

"Unlike Tim Burton's 'Ed Wood,' it doesn't make a convincing case for Orol as an artist, even a demented or incompetent one. The film shows us little of Orol's work; we don't know why critics hated his movies, or why the public liked them."

Posted Jul 29, 2013

John Beifuss

28 42%

Red 2 (2013)

"It's witty and satisfying, but I wish it was not so gleefully gun happy and that it did not treat the loss of life entirely as a joke."

Posted Jul 22, 2013

John Beifuss

29 85%

The Way Way Back (2013)

"If 'Meatballs' were relocated from a summer camp to a water park and reworked into a semi-'serious' film, with half its running time devoted to Chris Makepeace's poignant back story and dysfunctional home life, it would be something like this."

Posted Jul 22, 2013

John Beifuss

30 99%

20 Feet From Stardom (2013)

"Although a few white and male backup singers appear, the film becomes a de facto chronicle of the experiences of many African-American women in show business, who -- like their counterparts in less high-profile jobs -- often are undervalued and exploited."

Posted Jul 22, 2013

John Beifuss

31 81%

Something in the Air (2013)

"Accumulates a heady, almost trippy power, like the often lengthy psychedelic recordings by the Soft Machine and Kevin Ayers heard on the soundtrack."

Posted Jul 22, 2013

John Beifuss

32 93%

No (2013)

"Writer-director Pablo Larraín includes much authentic footage from the 'No' and 'Yes' campaign ads, and adopts a complementary 1980s TV-video design."

Posted Jul 22, 2013

John Beifuss

33 85%

Sightseers (2013)

"Would make an apt double feature with director Bobcat Goldthwait's recent 'God Bless America,' a similar road trip-as-murder rampage comedy in which people with bad taste and annnoying habits are targeted for 'deserved' extinction."

Posted Jul 15, 2013

John Beifuss

34 ——

Beijing Flickers ()

"In despair at a rock club, San Bao tries to eat a drinking glass. Later, in his hospital room, his bandaged mouth becomes a nice visual metaphor for the silencing of the unmonied, the voicelessness of the dispossessed."

Posted Jul 15, 2013

John Beifuss

35 50%

The Town That Dreaded Sundown (1995)

"Uses simple period detail and underpopulated settings to convey an anti-Mayberry notion of the South as a place haunted by unsolved, unavenged murder -- an idea that ties this fact-based tale to the genuine horror of the region's civil rights murders."

Posted Jul 12, 2013

John Beifuss

36 ——

The Evictors (1979)

"Could be a metaphor for the notion that the insular, suspicious South would rather evict -- exterminate -- a stranger or outsider than risk being contaminated by alien, progressive ideas."

Posted Jul 12, 2013

John Beifuss

37 100%

Intruder in the Dust (1949)

"Paula Deen apologists, take note: This MGM adaptation of Faulkner's novel demonstrates that the N-word was recognized as ugly and hurtful even in 1949 -- even in Mississippi, where it certainly was heard with some frequency."

Posted Jul 12, 2013

John Beifuss

38 74%

Love Is All You Need (2013)

"Lead actress Trine Dyrholm is the best thing about this pat, conventional comedy-drama of romantic reassurance for middle-aged moviegoers and their mothers."

Posted Jul 12, 2013

John Beifuss

39 30%

The Lone Ranger (2013)

"This irreverent and eccentric epic spoof/critique of American (and movie) history ignores Clayton Moore while embracing the unholy Mad Magazine cinephilia of the animated 'Rango,' the previous Western collaboration between Depp and Verbinski..."

Posted Jul 12, 2013

John Beifuss

40 78%

42 (2013)

"The Western and musical may be all but dead, but the relatively recent 'civil rights' genre thrives. Americans apparently crave reassuring re-enactments of racial progress and inspiring and shameful history lessons, coated in the honey glaze of nostalgia."

Posted Jul 12, 2013

John Beifuss

41 84%

Much Ado About Nothing (2013)

"A delightful celebration of Shakespeare's rapier wit..."

Posted Jul 12, 2013

John Beifuss

42 56%

Man of Steel (2013)

"The battles between Superman and the evil Kryptonians set a new standard for on-screen urban destruction, but they also give us pause: Aren't hundreds, even thousands being killed in the riveting, spectacular smashing of skyscraper after skyscraper?"

Posted Jul 8, 2013

John Beifuss

43 67%

World War Z (2013)

"The spectacular set-piece highlights were revealed in the trailers; what's left is nothing that hasn't been done much better many times before by Romero, Danny Boyle, even AMC."

Posted Jul 8, 2013

John Beifuss

44 78%

Monsters University (2013)

"Lacks the grandeur and ambition that characterize the company's most impressive work but succeeds absolutely as a clever, beautifully rendered 'Revenge of the Nerds' campus comedy and origin story..."

Posted Jul 8, 2013

John Beifuss

45 51%

White House Down (2013)

"Smart and spunky, young Emily suggests a potentially more amusing rewrite in which a rogue urchin does to the White House invaders what Macaulay Culkin did to those burglars in 'Home Alone.'"

Posted Jul 1, 2013

John Beifuss

46 60%

The Bling Ring (2013)

"Coppola's movie is not unsympathetic to the teens' desires, misapprehensions and bad choices, even as it presents itself as a deadpan spoof of their shallow aspirations and thoughtless materialism. The movie's gaze suggests sadness, not scorn."

Posted Jul 1, 2013

John Beifuss

47 74%

The East (2013)

"The filmmakers seem to believe the mere fact of their earnestness makes their movie more worthwhile than a more exciting 'escapist' spy thriller."

Posted Jul 1, 2013

John Beifuss

48 92%

Gimme The Loot (2013)

"Has the mischievous energy and vivid sense of place that distinguished an earlier era of New York cinema..."

Posted Jul 1, 2013

John Beifuss

49 98%

Before Midnight (2013)

"Nine-year gaps between films would sink a studio franchise, but the unforgiving impact of time and the slipperiness of its mysterious mental record, memory, are the very subjects of 'Before Midnight.'"

Posted Jun 18, 2013

John Beifuss

50 83%

This Is the End (2013)

"Depicts the end of the world with such drug-addled, potty-mouthed, over-the-top and below-the-belt enthusiasm that it also might signal Armageddon for a certain type of boys' club comedy."

Posted Jun 18, 2013

John Beifuss

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