The Grand Budapest Hotel: A review and study

*Author's note: As always, I have avoided spoilers – so there will be little discussion of the story itself. *   Wes Anderson’s work has a tendency to rub some people the wrong way. I will never understand them. They must see the world weirdly, in a different hue, to a different score. So does Wes, [...]

Review: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

It’s long – too long by a good hour. And the chroma key (green screen) moments still fly in the face of otherwise sterling production values. Why? Who knows. It deviates from the core story with lumpy stretches of exposition and wholly invents action scenes solely to provide popcorn-chewing moments late in the film. The [...]

Review: ‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey’

A decade after Peter Jackson became a household name with his (and partner Fran Walsh’s) screen adaptation of ‘The Lord of the Rings’, the duo are preparing for another trilogy. This time, after years of on-again, off-again production woes and collaboration with one-time confirmed director Guillermo Del Toro, we’ve seen ‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey’ [...]

Review: ‘Dredd 3D’

Verdict: awesome. You can pretty much stop reading at this point if you want. ‘Dredd 3D’ is undoubtedly one of the strongest action movies of 2012, inventive in ways that will surprise you and pleasingly gritty and violent for fans of the 1970s comic book series on which it’s based. It also shares a plot [...]

Review: ‘The Watch’

What makes you laugh? What makes a comedy actually funny? How do you quantify humour? These are hard questions – and ones that I’m stuck on, because I didn’t think ‘The Watch’, ostensibly a harmless, if provocative, comedy film, was very funny. It wasn’t humourless (I mean, everybody knows the money is in dick and [...]

Review: ‘The Expendables 2’

Oh, look, Sly – you did okay here. The first movie was a dog and, I mean, this one is too—but if that first one was a greying and humourless pit bull, this one’s more like a yappy schnauzer or a chubby corgi. All of this is to say, ‘The Expendables 2’ isn’t awful; it’s [...]

Review: ‘Painted Skin: The Resurrection’

Chinese cinema has, in some ways, come a staggering distance over a few short years. In other ways, it hasn’t moved on in decades and decades. ‘Painted Skin: The Resurrection’ has more breathy outbursts from wronged lovers and strange pseudo-sexual and homoerotic encounters than a late-night soap opera, matched with a visual style that points [...]