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Jonah Hill

Sausage Party Review

Sausage Party Review

RATING: (3 STARS) Sausage Party follows in the tradition of so many animated films — either starting with or primarily popularized by Toy Story — wherein everyday objects are personified and an audience gets to take a glimpse of what their day-to-day world might look and feel like. After taking that glimpse of the day-to-day […]

22 Jump Street Review

22 Jump Street Review

RATING: (3 STARS) 22 Jump Street—the sequel to the hilarious film adaptation of the popular 1980s TV show 21 Jump Street—spits in the face of its very existence. Not unlike The LEGO Movie—which also came from the brains of this film’s directors, Phil Lord and Christopher Miller—it comes from greedy, vain, and uninspired origins, but […]

The LEGO Movie Review

The LEGO Movie Review

RATING: (3.5 STARS) The very idea that something called The LEGO Movie was being made was enough to send shivers down the spine of anyone with good cinematic taste or a mind for originality. You know those critics who think they need to write to save cinema? The announcement of a feature-length LEGO movie was […]

Django Unchained Review

Django Unchained Review

RATING: (4 STARS) With Django Unchained, Quentin Tarantino has turned wholly satisfying filmmaking into a science. Sure, this film might not be as emotionally affecting as Jackie Brown. It might not be as novel as Reservoir Dogs, as ambitious as Pulp Fiction, as playful as Kill Bill, or as bold and audacious as Inglourious Basterds. […]

21 Jump Street Review

21 Jump Street Review

RATING: (3.5 STARS) If you groaned upon hearing the news that the short-lived 1980s detective series 21 Jump Street was getting a big screen remake, prepare to be surprised. Not only does the film depart greatly from the series (the latter was a drama, while the former is 100% action-comedy), but it’s actually good—really good. […]

Moneyball Review

Moneyball Review

RATING: (4 STARS) While Moneyball might seem like an odd cinematic fit, the dream writing team of Aaron Sorkin and Steven Zailian transform the story of the 2002 Oakland A’s into something exciting, emotionally-involving, and surprisingly thoughtful. Though the film (thankfully) doesn’t shy away from the nuts and bolts of building a successful baseball team, […]

Superbad Review

Superbad Review

RATING: (4 STARS) Because comedy is so subjective, I find it the most hit-and-miss of all the film genres. Too often I’ve sat down expecting a laugh riot and found a film completely devoid of humor. Perhaps that’s why I typically revisit one of my old standbys when I’m in the mood to laugh. And […]

How to Train Your Dragon Review

How to Train Your Dragon Review

RATING: (3.5 STARS) For the most part, I find Dreamworks animation quite underwhelming. Maybe the tendency to compare their films to Pixar’s far-superior efforts clouds my objectivity, but other than the first Shrek and, to a lesser extent, Kung Fu Panda, I can’t even say I enjoy their films. It’s hard to say whether How […]

Get Him to the Greek Review

Get Him to the Greek Review

RATING: (1.5 STARS) I’m generally a fan of anything that comes out of the Judd Apatow school of comedy. The 40-Year-Old Virgin was one of the best and most refreshing comedies of the last decade, and Knocked Up, Superbad, and even Funny People are worthy successors. I thought Forgetting Sarah Marshall was pretty weak, however. […]

The Invention of Lying Review

The Invention of Lying Review

RATING: (3 STARS) I remember watching “Ghost Town” in 2008 and thinking, “Is this really the best Ricky Gervais could do?” Granted, he wasn’t responsible for the material, but I don’t think there are many people funnier than the man who created the original “The Office,” and his major film debut was just so ordinary. […]

Cyrus Review

Cyrus Review

RATING: (2.5 STARS) Few films received as much positive buzz out of Sundance as “Cyrus,” the latest from the Duplass Brothers, Jay and Mark. Many hailed it as a film of rare emotional honesty. Festival-goers in Austin for South by Southwest responded in kind, but I couldn’t help but think the film didn’t live up […]

SXSW 2010: Day 2

SXSW 2010: Day 2

SXSW Day 2, the first full day of the film festival (and sadly my last) began early for me with a panel discussion featuring acclaimed horror directors Neil Marshall (“The Descent”), Ruben Fleischer (“Zombieland”), Matt Reeves (“Cloverfield”), Ti West (“The House of the Dead”), and Robert Rodriguez (“Desperado”). The participation of Marshall and Rodriguez was […]