Movie Reviews

'Dawn of the Planet of the Apes' Is the Perfect Remedy For the 'Transformers' Blues

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by Mike Ryan July 07, 2014 10:23 AM
Fox
A movie like ‘Transformers: Age of Extinction’ exists only to make money. And it did make money -- a lot of money. And there are a lot of movies that fit into this supposed “blockbuster” (or, if at Blockbuster, the “box office buster”) category. These movie don’t have to be good. People just see them. That’s why it is really notable when one of these movies is as good as ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes' is.

Is 'Tammy' Secretly a Drama? (And 24 Other Urgent Questions)

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by Mike Ryan July 01, 2014 09:57 AM
Warner Bros.
Melissa McCarthy (‘White Oleander’) stars in this holiday weekend’s new release, ‘Tammy,’ opening on Wednesday. Who is this Tammy we speak of? Is ‘Tammy’ more of a drama than it is a comedy? As a service to all of humankind, we answer every question that you could possibly have about Tammy (the character) and ‘Tammy’ (the movie).

Does ‘Transformers: Age of Extinction’ Make Any Sense Whatsoever? (And 25 Other Urgent Questions)

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by Mike Ryan June 25, 2014 09:33 PM
Paramount Pictures
So, a fourth ‘Transformers’ movie is coming out this week. It will make a ton of money. This ‘Transformers’ movie, titled ‘Transformers: Age of Extinction,’ stars Mark Wahlberg (‘The Big Hit’) as an inventor… You know what, it doesn’t matter! But we still answered every question that you could possibly have about ‘Transformers: Age of Extinction.’

Will 'Jersey Boys' Inspire Me to Start a Doo-Wop Group? (And 24 Other Urgent Questions)

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by Mike Ryan June 20, 2014 12:48 PM
Warner Bros.
Clint Eastwood (‘Any Which Way You Can’; ‘Firefox’) is back in the director’s chair for this week’s new release, ‘Jersey Boys,’ a biopic for the legendary Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. Will ‘Jersey Boys’ have you dancing up and down the aisles? Will ‘Jersey Boys’ inspire you to finally start that doo-wop group you’ve been planning for years? As a service to you, we answer every question that you could possibly have about ‘Jersey Boys.’

Is '22 Jump Street' As Good As '21 Jump Street'? (And 24 Other Urgent Questions)

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by Mike Ryan June 03, 2014 10:17 AM
Sony Pictures
Jonah Hill (‘Evan Almighty’) and Channing Tatum (‘G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra’) are back as Schmidt and Jenko in the sequel to '21 Jump Street,' titled '22 Jump Street.' Is '22 Jump Street' as funny as the first movie? As a service to you – yes, you – we answer every question that you could possibly have about '22 Jump Street.'

How Long Does Sleeping Beauty Actually Sleep in 'Maleficent'? (And 24 Other Urgent Questions)

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by Mike Ryan May 28, 2014 01:21 PM
‘Maleficent,’ starring Angelina Jolie (‘The Bone Collector’), brings us the story of Sleeping Beauty, only from the villain’s point of view. At it turns out, maybe she’s just misunderstood? Have we misjudged Maleficent for putting that curse on poor Sleeping Beauty? Will it feel like there’s been a curse put on us after watching ‘Maleficent’? As a service to you, we answer every question that you could possibly have about ‘Maleficent.’

'The Signal' Review

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by Jordan Hoffman May 28, 2014 12:22 PM
Focus Features
One might exit the theater after seeing 'The Signal' and feel compelled to run down a list of its seeming influences. 'Chronicle,' 'Dark City,' 'The Island' and John Byrne's acclaimed 'Next Men' comic of the early 1990s all spring to mind, not to mention scores of movies where a bunch of teens foolishly go somewhere dangerous and isolated when logic says they should turn around and run. But in the thick of it, William Eubank's low-budget sci-fi/horror/thriller is so focused on keeping you in the dark (despite its bright white walls) that these influences don't seem so obvious. The simplicity and elliptical nature of the script and the empathy from the actors (namely relative newcomer Brenton Thwaites) sustains this crafty and modestly budgeted film's hook. You kinda sorta know what's going on from the start, but the movie is sharp enough to toy with you, making it a good deal of fun.

'A Million Ways To Die In The West' Review: The Most Important Movie Ever Made

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by Mike Ryan May 28, 2014 07:51 AM
It’s interesting that Universal is promoting ‘A Million Ways to Die in the West,’ a film that is not funny, as a comedy. I suspect it has a lot to do with the human carnage we witness on screen being unbearable to watch, so the only way to desensitize an audience’s eyes to what they're about to witness is to somehow convince the viewer that what their about to see is a comedy – even though there is not one laugh to be had.

Is 'Edge Of Tomorrow' The 'Groundhog Day' Of Alien Movies? (And 24 Other Urgent Questions)

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by Mike Ryan May 22, 2014 04:00 PM
Warner Bros.
Tom Cruise (‘Taps’) will be back in theaters, with his image projected onto a giant screen, on June 6 with a new movie titled ‘Edge of Tomorrow.’ In ‘Edge of Tomorrow,’ Cruise plays a soldier who finds himself in a time loop, who keeps reliving the same day. While watching, will you feel like you’re reliving the same day? Is ‘Edge of Tomorrow’ the best movie of the summer so far? How would that be possible when summer doesn’t even start for another month? Are we in a time loop? As a service to you, we answer every question that you could possibly have about ‘Edge of Tomorrow.’