ongbak September 28

Ong-Bak: Muay Thai Warrior (2003)

Prachya Pinkaew’s Ong-Bak: Muay Thai Warrior is the type of movie that could be described as a showcase. On display is the incredible Tony Jaa, the Thai martial artists born in the Surin province. He is the centrepiece of this 2003 action film and he rumbles with kinetic, bone-shattering style. Jaa’s talents are mostly of […]

22 September 27

22 Jump Street (2014)

Self-awareness is the ticket in 22 Jump Street, the sequel to the surprisingly entertaining 21 Jump Street from 2012. This 2014 action comedy is once again directed by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller. It features a screenplay by Michael Bacall, Oren Uziel and Rodney Rothman and it’s of course based on the television series of […]

arnie September 25

Sabotage (2014)

Watching Sabotage, the 2014 action movie starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, is a little like being hit in the head over and over again with a blunt object that curses a lot. This picture is directed by David Ayer, who wrote Training Day and directed End of Watch. The darker side of law enforcement is certainly one […]

seagal September 24

Pistol Whipped (2008)

Steven Seagal is a bad, bad man in Pistol Whipped. This 2008 direct-to-video actioner is directed by Roel Reiné and continues the slight uptick the star’s career that began with 2007’s Urban Justice. This is good news for those few Seagal fans left, as it’s been a bit of a long slog. Nearly everything from […]

accused September 23

Wrongfully Accused (1998)

Pat Proft’s Wrongfully Accused has no designs on being a good movie. It, like all spoof flicks, doesn’t set out with a serious bone in its body and is armed with the sort of jokes and gags that deter many. Indeed, the critical reception for this 1998 motion picture is far from warm as is […]

transformers41 September 22

Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014)

Friedrich Nietzsche once said that “The mother of excess is not joy but joylessness.” This is certainly the case with Michael Bay’s alarmingly miserable Transformers: Age of Extinction, the fourth entry in the series based on the Hasbro toys and the very worst outing of the bunch. Making this 2014 film the very worst outing […]

transformers31 September 21

Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011)

Yet another concerto of clatter and excess can be found in Transformers: Dark of the Moon, the third entry in the series based on the toys of the same name. Michael Bay’s 2011 outing once again receives a nod for doing what it says it’s going to do, but the laws of cinema and taste […]

transformers21 September 20

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009)

Michael Bay returns to the well with 2009’s Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. This is the sequel to the 2007 toy commercial. Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman are once again responsible for the screenplay, but this time Reindeer Games scribe Ehren Kruger is also in the mix. And once again, the screenplay articulates a plot […]

transformers1 September 19

Transformers (2007)

Michael Bay unabashedly makes movies for teenage boys. There’s nothing inherently wrong with this, apart from the fact that perhaps teenage boys have enough movies geared toward them at the box office. That digression aside, Transformers is perhaps the pinnacle of filmmaking for teenage boys. It piles clichés on top of clichés, combining several different […]

fault1 September 18

The Fault in Our Stars (2014)

While it’s based on John Green’s novel of the same name, The Fault in Our Stars feels a lot like a Tumblr account come to cinematic life. The dialogue is constructed of piles of clichés and cloying sentiment, with characters sputtering lines like “And I know that love is just a shout into the void, […]

seagal September 17

Urban Justice (2007)

Without question, Urban Justice is the sort of movie Steven Seagal should be making regularly. This 2007 entry is a blistering, scorching, violent B-movie that is without the glitches of his direct-to-video output. It’s directed by Don E. Fauntleroy, who handled Seagal in Today You Die and Mercenary for Justice. In this instance, the filmmaker […]

screw September 16

Screwballs (1983)

Hot on the heels of Porky’s is Screwballs, a 1983 teen sex romp from Canada. This is a downright puerile entry that’s either a riot or a travesty depending on one’s reasons for viewing. Rafal Zielinski hasn’t designed a frame of this comedy to be taken seriously and its 80 minutes drift by briskly thanks […]

queenie September 14

Queen of the Amazons (1947)

A pointless cheapie, Queen of the Amazons is a 1947 picture directed by Edward Finney. It only runs about an hour in length, overstaying its welcome even with so little time to fill. In theory, there should be something rather snappy about the prospect of a “torrid temptress” roaming the wilderness in Africa somewhere, but […]

raiden September 13

Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (1997)

Somehow director Paul W. S. Anderson made things work in 1995 with Mortal Kombat, the film adaptation of the video game series of the same name. Unfortunately, Anderson is nowhere to be found on the slate of the 1997 sequel and Mortal Kombat: Annihilation is a terrible movie for all the wrong reasons.

robin September 12

World’s Greatest Dad (2009)

It’s hard to imagine anything more magnificently liberating than the scene toward the end of World’s Greatest Dad that finds the late, great Robin Williams diving nude into the school pool. It could perhaps be argued that this moment from Bobcat Goldthwait’s 2009 comedy becomes all the more poignant given the recent loss of the […]

frank1 September 12

Frank (2014)

A quirky and invigorating motion picture, Frank is a whimsical and weird delight from Lenny Abrahamson. This 2014 film is inspired by Chris Sievey’s persona Frank Sidebottom, who was a character noted for his huge, spheroidal head. Frank explores the freedom possible under such a “mask,” but it wisely presents itself through the eyes of […]

fed up1 September 11

Fed Up (2014)

The subject of Stephanie Soechtig’s Fed Up could not be more pressing. The numbers presented in this 2014 documentary are staggering, exploring the root causes of obesity as being significantly more complex than the “calories in, calories out” claptrap often suggested. When one considers that it takes an hour and a half of swimming to […]

seagal September 10

Flight of Fury (2007)

It’s hard to get behind Flight of Fury, the 2007 Steven Seagal effort, because it’s such a tedious and pointless affair. It’s an unofficial and uncredited remake of the 1998 film Black Thunder, with the glorious Catherine Bell and Michael Dudikoff. Flight of Fury is essentially the same movie with minimal changes, leaving Black Thunder […]

8mile1 September 08

8 Mile (2002)

Directed by Curtis Hanson with a screenplay by Scott Silver, 8 Mile is an effective biopic because it’s punk rock. Its aesthetic is almost grimy and its “action scenes” are filled with sharp, raw barbs from emcee to emcee. It weaves the myth of Eminem and explores the desolation of an American city at the […]

raiden September 06

Mortal Kombat (1995)

Directed by Paul W. S. Anderson and based on the video game series of the same name, Mortal Kombat is a surprise because it’s actually not that bad. Make no mistake, this is no masterwork of the action or martial arts genre. But as far as video game films go, this 1995 outing has some […]


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