David Lowery’s 2016 version of Pete’s Dragon adapts the 1977 musical and by and large maintains the spirit of the original. With a screenplay by Lowery and Toby Halbrooks and cinematography by Bojan Bazelli, this movie succeeds in crafting an environment of tenderness and compassion.Read more "Pete’s Dragon (2016)"
David Cronenberg’s interpretation of William S. Burroughs’ Naked Lunch is the kind of transgressive and absurd thing it has to be. The 1991 film is kind of an adaptation of the 1959 book of the same name, with a screenplay by Cronenberg and Bill Strait. This is wild-ass, severed stuff. It’s weird, gloriously so.Read more "Naked Lunch (1991)"
David Cronenberg tackles Stephen King with The Dead Zone, a conventional 1983 thriller that is not without deeper meaning. The screenplay Jeffrey Boam turns the 1979 novel of the same name into an episodic yarn and Michael Kamen’s pronounced but isolated score encapsulates the frosty environs.Read more "The Dead Zone (1983)"
David Cronenberg’s Shivers is a gloriously bizarre and haunting horror picture, one that really gets under the skin. Part fever dream and part snarky satire, this 1975 Canadian movie earned the attention of the government because of its federal arts funding. The hubbub over the subject matter blew over quickly, but there were some ripples […]Read more "Shivers (1975)"
Ron Clements and John Musker helm Moana, the 56th entry in the Disney animated feature pantheon (probably) and a vibrant showcase of what the House of Mouse does well. The story is one of those by-committee jobs, but there’s a beating heart within that takes popular filmmaking and classic folklore into account.Read more "Moana (2016)"
Anna Foerster makes her directorial debut with Underworld: Blood Wars, the fifth movie in the Underworld series. As the follow-up to 2012’s Underworld: Awakening, this 2016 motion picture hits the ground running and barrels through about 91 minutes of leather and latex.Read more "Underworld: Blood Wars (2016)"
The popularity of Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl goes without saying. The 2003 feature may be based on the Disney theme park attraction of the same name, but Gore Verbinski’s jam-packed blockbuster is full of enough padding to lift a Jolly Roger.Read more "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)"
Given the catastrophic acid bath that has been 2016, it may be hard for some to get into the holiday spirit. 1997’s Jack Frost may be just the ticket, with its derision and weirdness and general disregard for Christmas cheer.Read more "Jack Frost (1997)"
The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause is a tepid and troubling movie that brims with a special kind of banality, even for a Christmas feature. Michael Lembeck is again in the director’s chair, while the screenplay by Ed Decter and John J. Strauss is less busy but less entertaining than what was offered in […]Read more "The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause (2006)"
Tim Allen dons the red and white suit again for The Santa Clause 2, the 2002 sequel to the 1994 original. This outing is directed by Michael Lembeck from a busy by-committee screenplay. It is filled to the brim with stuff and often suffers under the burden of its multiple plots, especially when the movie […]Read more "The Santa Clause 2 (2002)"
John Pasquin directs The Santa Clause, a Christmas movie that from Disney that sits just on the edge of true curiosity. This 1994 film sprouted two sequels and plunked Tim Allen and his Home Improvement trappings in the driver’s seat, but it’s really more interesting to consider from an adult perspective.Read more "The Santa Clause (1994)"
Those with an aversion to schmaltz should steer well clear of Fred Claus, a 2007 Christmas movie so loaded with unstable sweetness it’s nearly unbearable. On the other hand, there’s somewhat of a remarkable quality to the David Dobkin comedy that suggests magic in the David Fogelman and Jessie Nelson screenplay and several surprises from […]Read more "Fred Claus (2007)"
Directed by John Murlowski from a screenplay by Jonathan Bond, Fred Mata and Dorrie Krum Raymond, Santa with Muscles has the honour of landing in the bottom rated movies over at IMDb and is often found on many a “worst movies” list. That assessment seems a little excessive, especially considering the context of such a […]Read more "Santa with Muscles (1996)"
A jumbled but entertaining effort, the 2016 incarnation of Ghostbusters luckily has enough juice in the proton pack to overcome the overblown trappings of Paul Feig’s approach. The director also wrote the screenplay with Katie Dippold, who wrote Feig’s The Heat in 2013.Read more "Ghostbusters (2016)"
A scrambled, desperate film, Suicide Squad is another entry in the DC extended universe and another advertisement for a franchise. Like Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, this 2016 movie is a link in a longer chain. And like Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Suicide Squad is pretty bad.Read more "Suicide Squad (2016)"
Zack Snyder’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is less a movie and more an advertisement for the extended universe it represents. The 2016 picture represents the way of things in the superhero realm, where each film is a link in the chain and a preview for the next coming attraction.Read more "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)"
Directed by Chris Renaud and Yarrow Cheney, The Secret Life of Pets is pretty standard animated fare from Illumination Entertainment. Featuring a screenplay by Brian Lynch, Cinco Paul and Ken Daurio, the 2016 animated feature runs a Toy Story template but with pets and other miscellaneous animals.Read more "The Secret Life of Pets (2016)"
Jon Favreau’s The Jungle Book is a treat. The 2016 movie is another in what is becoming a long line of live-action remakes of Walt Disney classics, with this one based on the 1967 Wolfgang Reitherman animated film of the same name and on the eponymous Rudyard Kipling works.Read more "The Jungle Book (2016)"
Back in 1990, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles introduced Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird’s characters in living, moving animatronics. In 1991, a sequel furthered the gambit with lesser results. 1993’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III fudges just about everything, with Jim Henson’s Creature Shop no longer responsible for the Turtles and director Stuart Gillard trying to […]Read more "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III (1993)"
As the sequel to 1990’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze is an entertaining trifle. It’s directed by Michael Pressman and features a screenplay by Todd W. Langen, with characters created by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird. As with its predecessor, this 1991 picture features animatronic creatures […]Read more "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze (1991)"