THE LAST MOUNTAIN

4 Stars
Year Released: 2011
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 95 minutes

This film is a case where content trumps any criticisms about the style. Haney’s film relates information with clarity sans any special flourish…


Posted on June 26, 2011 by

FERRELL WAS FINE WHEN THEY SAID “EVERYTHING MUST GO”

The film allows Ferrell the chance work on his own, discovering nuance in the quiet out beyond Nick’s stormy mind. It’s a triumphant performance that promises much range from what seemed a one-burner hot plate of an actor…



Posted on May 27, 2011 by

THE HANGOVER PART II

4 Stars
Year Released: 2011
MPAA Rating: R
Running Time: 102 minutes

Phillips wants us to feel like the drunk guy wedged between two others in a backseat, with the car seeming to whip by, even if it’s probably a beater doing 30 mph…


Posted on May 25, 2011 by

VISION: FROM THE LIFE OF HILDEGARD VON BINGEN (DVD)

4 Stars
Year Released: 2009
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 110 minutes

When it comes to nuns onscreen, more viewers are wary than curious. Today, they too easily embody repression, their habits suggesting all they restrict from themselves and stifle within…


Posted on May 18, 2011 by

CRACKS

2.5 Stars
Year Released: 2011
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 104 minutes

From a Scott, especially a young one, we expect snappy scenes and editing down the high school hallways. “Cracks” begins on a quieter tone, though perversion and rivalry will find their way in…


Posted on May 16, 2011 by

TRICKED BY THE SURFACE; OR, WHY “INSIDIOUS” WORKS

“Insidious” still works on the surface of horror by tossing clichés in a well orchestrated attack. But the film grows most powerful when leaving the topical and reaching to the mythical roots of the genre…



Posted on May 1, 2011 by

CAVE OF FORGOTTEN DREAMS

3.5 Stars
Year Released: 2011
MPAA Rating: G
Running Time: 90 minutes

Werner Herzog may be obsessed with filming extremes – personalities or natural phenomena – but he finds the grandeur in style to do them justice…


Posted on April 29, 2011 by

THE HUMAN RESOURCES MANAGER

3.5 Stars
Year Released: 2010
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 103 minutes

2011 PHILADELPHIA CINEFEST SELECTION! “Manager’s” power, like many works of art, lies in its ability to see the larger truth through the minimal, in character, setting, and visual style. It’s a well-made piece we must admire, even if it doesn’t grab us by the heart.


Posted on April 18, 2011 by

EXPORTING RAYMOND

3 Stars
Year Released: 2010
MPAA Rating: PG
Running Time: 86 minutes

2011 PHILADELPHIA CINEFEST SELECTION! “Exporting” delivers humor and emotion to a broader audience. When trying to take the lead in another culture, we’re all fish out of water…


Posted on April 14, 2011 by

FILM THREAT AT 2011 PHILADELPHIA CINEFEST

I hope it won’t disappoint you to learn that yours truly, FT writer since 2005, will be frequenting Cinefest screenings from April 7-14, 2011…



Posted on April 10, 2011 by

JOHN CARPENTER’S THE WARD

3.5 Stars
Year Released: 2010
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 88 minutes

2011 PHILADELPHIA CINEFEST DANGER AFTER DARK FEATURE! It won’t be a spoiler to reveal that “The Ward” is John Carpenter’s entry in explain-it-away psychological horror…


Posted on April 10, 2011 by

BASTARD SON OF A PRODIGAL SON: INTERVIEW ON “THE COMPLETE HISTORY OF THE RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD”

The story behind Romero’s “Dead” series, as grand as it is, has become overwritten. Authors Christian Sellers and Gary Smart consider an unsung offshoot, the “Return of the Living Dead” series…



Posted on March 30, 2011 by

SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS: CRITERION COLLECTION (DVD)

5 Stars
Year Released: 2011
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 96 minutes

It all begins with the title. The irony aside, its lightness and alliteration suggest the last breaths of one of the film’s victims…


Posted on March 7, 2011 by

RANGO

3 Stars
Year Released: 2011
MPAA Rating: PG
Running Time: 107 minutes

A film so committed (and respectful) to the western flubs by basing itself off another style…


Posted on March 4, 2011 by

I AM NUMBER FOUR

1.5 Stars
Year Released: 2011
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 104 minutes

Perhaps it’s best that Caruso kept his hero locked down in high school. This film has the imaginative power of concrete walls and rows of lockers…


Posted on February 18, 2011 by

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