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"Usually an English language remake follows a foreign film, not vice versa!"
4 stars
Charles Tatum says... "This Dutch remake of "The Disappearance of Alice Creed" is a nicely paced thriller that falls short of perfect thanks to a few too many false endings and convolutions." (more)
"I know now why you cry."
2 stars
Brett Gallman says... "Considering we’re dealing with a franchise is built on paradoxes, it’s appropriate to open with one here: while it’s one of the most impressive sequels ever, “Terminator 2” was the worst thing that could have happened to “The Terminator”. It proved that a follow-up could be viable, but only with what was already a gimmicky, script-flipping twist—and it took James Cameron to pull that one off at that. Without him at the helm, you end up with something like “Terminator: Genisys,” a fourth sequel that goes through what are now very tired motions: what was once a clever hook has degenerated into the stuff of over-caffeinated teenage fan-fiction, where the guiding principle always involves the phrase “wouldn’t it be cool if…?”" (more)
"No Shirley Manson But Plenty Of Garbage"
1 stars
Peter Sobczynski says... "If I had to choose one word to sum up the experience that is "Terminator Genisys," it would be "lazy." This may sound like an odd word to choose to describe a film that begins with a full-scale nuclear holocaust, rends the very fabric of space and time willy-nilly and deploys all the firepower, explosions and car chases that can be bought with a nearly $200 million budget but I cannot think of a better way to describe this leaden and utterly perfunctory exercise in cinematic water-treading that fails to offer longtime fans of the franchise a single thing that is new or exciting or newcomers any reason to get them interested in the first place. As a result, the film that was supposed to supply the big-screen fireworks this holiday weekend instead demonstrates all of the firepower of a few wet squibs." (more)
"The term climax applies in more ways than one."
4 stars
Brett Gallman says... "For better and for worse, “Magic Mike XXL” is the film most people likely expected its predecessor to be." (more)
"They're Playing Our Thong"
2 stars
Peter Sobczynski says... "When it arrived in theaters in the summer of 2012, many observers assumed that "Magic Mike" was going to be little more than a salacious romp about male strippers designed to do nothing more than to show off the abs and dance moves of such hunks as Channing Tatum (who helped to devise the story that was inspired by his own experiences before becoming a movie star), Matthew McConaughey, Joe Manganiello, Matt Bomer and Alex Pettyfer. Others wondered why director Steven Soderbergh would attach himself to a project that, at least on the surface, made "Ocean's 13" look like "Che" by comparison. As it turned out, the film turned out to be one of the more pleasant surprises of that summer because while it more than satisfied viewers who were lured in by the sexy ad campaign promising gyrating pelvises a-plenty, it also gave them a surprisingly strong screenplay that examined the plight of someone who had excelled in a rarefied field but who was getting to that scary point where it was time to move on to something new (after all, there are relatively few old-timers days at strip clubs), a stylish presentation of the material by Soderbergh and enormously winning and charismatic performances by Tatum, once again showing off his often-underrated acting talents alongside his chest, and McConaughey, who practically stole the show in his supporting turn." (more)
"As Disposable and Generic As Its Title"
1 stars
Jack Sommersby says... "It's easy to see why this turkey went straight to home video in that it hasn't a single good scene to its credit." (more)
"C. Thomas Howell Kicks Some Redneck Ass"
3 stars
Jack Sommersby says... "Oh, it's not the kind of thing that warrants racing out to the video store to find, but it's perfectly pleasing viewing for the undemanding." (more)
"A Hypnotic Meg Tilly is By Far Its Best Asset"
2 stars
Jack Sommersby says... "Having grossed just $747,013 during its limited U.S. release, it's not exactly ripe for rediscovery." (more)
1 stars
Rob Gonsalves says... "The horror/satire "L.A. Slasher" is the kind of film that has no character names, just generic labels: The Actress, The Reality Star, etc. They don’t matter as people, just as abstract concepts symbolizing how TV is ruining culture and society. Well, not if you don’t watch it, but never mind." (more)
"A.K.A. Does A Bear S--- In A Multiplex?"
1 stars
Peter Sobczynski says... "The original "Ted," you will recall, told the story of an ordinary teddy bear that came to life thanks to the wish of John, the little boy that received him as a Christmas present, and developed into a foul-mouthed, pot-smoking horndog who was still hanging out with his now-grown buddy nearly 30 years later. Essentially a exceptionally perverse riff on what might have otherwise been a mid-level Amblin Entertainment production of the mid-Eighties (landing somewhere between "Harry and the Hendersons" and "batteries not included" on the qualitative scale), the film had a few funny bits here and there but was essentially a one-joke proposition that was shakily buttressed by the shock humor and pop cultural references that have long been the stock-in-trade of creator Seth MacFarlane, the man behind the likes of "Family Guy," "American Dad" and countless impersonations by drunken frat boys every Saturday night. I admit that I laughed a few times--so many jokes were thrown at the screen that a few of them eventually had to hit--but as someone who has never found MacFarlane and his output to be that amusing, I found the whole enterprise to be more tedious than anything else." (more)

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