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Reviews

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Displaying items 1-11
  • Film Review: Jason Statham's 'Wild Card' doesn't pay off

    Film Review: Jason Statham's 'Wild Card' doesn't pay off
    It's been roughly 15 years since Jason Statham surfaced in Guy Ritchie's first two films, “Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels” and “Snatch,” and he hasn't looked back since. With Stallone, Schwarzenegger and Willis reaching a...
  • DVD Review: First-time director shines with 'January'

    DVD Review: First-time director shines with 'January'
    Screenwriter Hossein Amini (“Drive”) makes a sure-handed directorial debut with this suspenseful adaptation of the Patricia Highsmith novel of the same name. For a “genre” writer, Highsmith generally presented her characters in...
  • 'Fortitude' features polar bears and cold-blooded murder

    Sometimes a polar bear is just a polar bear, especially when it appears in a nature or reality series. The scripted version, on the other hand, is almost always a metaphor, the symbol of opposing forces (cuddly looks, predatory nature) or mystical...
  • 'Backstreet Boys' touts band's resilience, has little insight

    'Backstreet Boys' touts band's resilience, has little insight
    With 130 million albums sold, the Backstreet Boys are the bestselling boy band in history — not counting the Beatles, of course. But as member AJ McLean wonders, "What do you do when you're a full-grown man in a boy band?" McLean's earnest...
  • Dame Edna offers 'Glorious,' cheeky zaniness at Ahmanson

    Dame Edna offers 'Glorious,' cheeky zaniness at Ahmanson
    Dame Edna, the imperious suburban Melbourne, Australia, hausfrau with the purple wig and lacerating tongue, has never seen any connection between winning friends and influencing people. Her fans flock to her performances for the privilege of being...
  • 'Project Almanac' a leap back in time, not forward

    In Hollywood's seemingly endless quest to use the found-footage gimmick to resuscitate any subgenre, we have the new time-travel movie "Project Almanac." The film self-consciously name-drops "Looper," although it probably has more in common with the...
  • Hunters become the hunted in uneven thriller 'Preservation'

    Hunters become the hunted in uneven thriller 'Preservation'
    Until its characters behave illogically in the third act and the direction shows suspense fatigue, "Preservation" displays a flinty resolve to be better than your average woodsy-nightmare thriller. Writer-director Christopher Denham sets up his trio...
  • 'Timbuktu' a compelling exploration of extremism's absurdities

     'Timbuktu' a compelling exploration of extremism's absurdities
    The intriguingly unorthodox "Timbuktu," one of five films vying for a foreign-language Oscar, is a provocative, sometimes satiric drama about the sort of Islamic extremists who make life, especially in the outer reaches, so treacherous these days....
  • Sci-fi thriller 'Alien Outpost' plays out like a video game

    Sci-fi thriller 'Alien Outpost' plays out like a video game
    Looking and feeling like it would have been more at home on Xbox than on a movie theater screen, "Alien Outpost," is a faux documentary that follows a team of soldiers fending off alien invaders. Set in 2031, the sci-fi thriller follows a pair of...
  • Tension winds tight in 'Supremacy' Aryan home-invasion drama

    Tension winds tight in 'Supremacy' Aryan home-invasion drama
    Even though "Supremacy" draws from actual events in Sonoma County two decades ago, the film plays out almost like a conventional Hollywood hostage thriller but for the incendiary, racially charged subtext. Soon after Doreen (Dawn Olivieri) picks up...
  • Oscar short-film nominees marked by variety in subject and quality

    Oscar short-film nominees marked by variety in subject and quality
    As in previous years, the variety of the Oscar-nominated short films — animation, live action and documentary, presented in theaters as separate programs — keeps each collection interesting, even when the quality varies. A rundown of the...