San Francisco Examiner
Lars and the Real Girl (2007)
Alone in the Dark (2005)
"The late Gene Siskel once devised a simple method of measuring a film's worth: 'Is this film more interesting than a documentary of the same actors having lunch?' 'Alone in the Dark' doesn't come close to matching that standard."
Paranoid Park (2007)
"In a film where dialogue comes at a premium, Van Sant allows his camera to do the talking, and when it rests too long on one subject, the commentary feels like overstatement. Elsewhere, 'Paranoid Park' is eloquent in its terseness."
The Strangers (2008)
Iron Man (2008)
Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008)
The Ten (2007)
"Rudd, whose wry deadpan proved indispensable in Judd Apatow comedies like 'The 40 Year-Old Virgin' and 'Knocked Up,' is used here mostly as a straight man, the host in charge of introducing stories that drift along without any real destination."
Casino Royale (2006)
"Gone are the clichés of recent Bond adventures - the too-clever quips, the loveless conquests, the gaudy gadgetry and the BMW-sponsored sports cars. 'Casino Royale' ambitiously explores the origins of the character's pathos, stripping him of all the"
I Am Legend (2007)
The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)
"It twists and turns without losing its footing, and its hero, an international man of mystery even to himself, is always ahead of the game, daring his would-be assailants - and the audience - to guess his next move. The trick is to try and keep up."
Rocky Balboa (2006)
Spider-Man 3 (2007)
The Bucket List (2007)
Run Fatboy Run (2007)
"It is neither as funny nor as wickedly subversive as 'Shaun of the Dead,' but it respects its characters enough to make them thoughtful and surprisingly complex, unlike the sitcom stereotypes inhabiting lesser romantic comedies."
Shrek the Third (2007)
"Though the devious wit of the original remains, it is obscured by too many classic-rock interludes (courtesy of Led Zeppelin, Heart and Paul McCartney) and nudging pop-culture references that seem by now just part of the formula."
The Simpsons Movie (2007)
"'The Simpsons Movie' only sporadically harnesses the boundless creative energy and satirical edge that earned Groening's series its reputation as one of the most sophisticated comedies in TV history. For fans, however, it is a gift long overdue."
"Gordon invites us to snicker at his cast of hardcore gamers, for whom 'Donkey Kong' tournaments are as vital as Super Bowls and as divisive as the war on abortion. But once embedded in their strange world, he finds a compelling story to tell."
3:10 to Yuma (2007)
Into the Wild (2007)
"A tale of life needlessly lost by a young man who realizes too late that reckless self-reliance is not necessarily the path to self-awareness. That he fails to realize this sooner is tragic; that the film celebrates the misunderstanding is bewildering."
Elizabeth: The Golden Age (2007)
"Blanchett is again director Shekhar Kapur's greatest asset. His weakness is his tendency to fall back on silly, melodramatic contrivance better suited to popcorn fare than to a believable meditation on Elizabethan England."
Saw IV (2007)
"Poor Jigsaw. The architect of the most deadly traps ever committed to celluloid has endured inoperable cancer, a debilitating car crash and even the premature death of his son, but nothing as painful or degrading as 'Saw IV.'"
Vantage Point (2008)
The Eye (2008)
"The latest American remake of an Eastern import in which the thrills have been hopelessly squandered in translation, replaced with distracting, rapid-fire camerawork and thunderous bumps in the night that reflect a kind of creative desperation."
Taxi to the Dark Side (2007)
"For those willing to go along for the ride, it is a harrowing experience, as Gibney makes his case that the United States, in its haste to retaliate for the atrocities of 9/11, has itself crossed a bloody line in the sand."
Across the Universe (2007)
Fred Claus (2007)
"Rather than creating imaginative situations for Vaughn to explore, director David Dobkin merely asks that Vaughn be himself, as if his personality were big enough to wring humor out of a comic vacuum."
The Golden Compass (2007)
"Will it be enough to satisfy fans of Philip Pullman's widely read 'His Dark Materials' trilogy? Hard to say. But for the uninitiated this is an engaging adventure, even when Chris Weitz's screenplay lacks the compelling clarity of Pullman's prose."
"'Cloverfield' is a sleek, silly product of green filmmaking: It recycles old ideas and molds them into a lean, briskly paced thriller that owes as much to classic monster movies like 'Godzilla' as gimmick-driven misfires like 'The Blair Witch Project.'"
U2 3D (2007)
"By the time Bono turns to the camera, reaching out to his audience in a typically theatrical plea for peace, love and understanding, one half expects his outstretched hand to surge through the screen and seize one of your own."
Kurt Cobain: About a Son (2007)
"As an illustrated audio tour through the life of a gifted but self-destructive performer, 'About a Son' is enlightening to a point, but one has to wonder when filmmakers will stop exhuming the corpse of a man who desperately craved privacy."
30 Days of Night (2007)
"The action is fast and gruesome, but beyond Niles and Templesmith's unique setting, in which the typical race to daylight is stretched out to an agonizing marathon, '30 Days of Night' offers little to stir the imagination."
The Mist (2007)
Good Luck Chuck (2007)
Diary of the Dead (2007)
"The results are about what you might expect from a student filmmaker operating without a budget or a script - crude and amateurish, with occasional (and possibly unintentional) flashes of brilliance. 'Diary' is no different."
Rambo (Rambo IV) (2008)
The Hammer (2007)
"To his credit, Carolla carries 'The Hammer' with self-assured ease, hoisting the film on his broad shoulders while making sure, as screenwriter, to leave some of its sharpest one-liners to his supporting cast."
Be Kind Rewind (2008)
Funny Games (2008)