Film and TV

Not even a transplant could save this half-hearted action film

Getting your car or house repossessed is one thing, but getting your new liver repossessed is quite another. In the dark, not-so-distant future of Repo Men, medical advances have led to a manufactured organs market – which is great news, but only if you omit the price tag, of course.

Burton’s 3D visuals can’t save one-dimensional characters

Considering the combination of Tim Burton, Johnny Depp, and Lewis Carroll, it’s a real shame that Alice in Wonderland falls as flat as it does. The film is not dark enough to be Burton’s, the Mad Hatter is not distinctive enough to be Depp’s, and the story is not clever enough to be Carroll’s.

Dead wives and daydreams test Leo’s sanity in Shutter Island

Shutter Island, Martin Scorsese’s new psychological thriller, has dominated the box office since its release on February 19. Grossing a mean $40.2 million, it also marks the illustrious director’s most successful opening weekend to date. Though not on par with his best films, Shutter Island reflects Scorsese’s genius simply by being meticulously put together, well-cast, and generally captivating – a feat that many films currently in theatres have failed to achieve.

Cop Out lives up to its title

Kevin Smith’s supposed comedy, Cop Out, aims to be a big-budget action movie but falls flat with a potentially talented but ultimately disappointing cast. Combine Smith’s lackluster directing efforts with a poor script written by Mark and Robb Cullen and mediocre performances by both Bruce Willis and Tracy Morgan, and you have a two-hour long movie that feels more like four, with only a handful of scenes that are laugh-out-loud-worthy.

Far from home and close to danger in the Gaza Strip

Rachel, a new documentary from French-Israeli director Simone Bitton, tells the story of Rachel Corrine, an American activist who was killed while attempting to prevent the bulldozing of a Palestinian home in 2003. To this day Israel denies responsibility for her death, claiming the bulldozer operator’s line of sight was obstructed by the mound of dirt that crushed her.

Horror flop The Wolfman begs for a silver bullet

In cinema, there’s always a fine line between the supernatural and the ridiculous, and the best horror films flirt with this boundary without crossing it. Unfortunately, director Joe Johnston’s The Wolfman was less than tactful in his approach to the werewolf genre, and the film ends up resembling more of a farce than a truly scary movie.

Valentine’s Day sucks

On Friday, I lost a bet with an A&E editor. Two days later, I was by myself, waiting in a long line of moon-eyed couples at the AMC Forum, ready to review Garry Marshall’s newest film, Love, Actually II. Wait, no, that was the working title. I mean Valentine’s Day, starring everyone you would expect.

Fear and loathing just outside of Las Vegas

It’s been said that there’s only two different types of stories: either the protagonist leaves his or her old life, or someone new enters it. Oversimplified? Yes, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t any truth to it. In the case of Saint John of Las Vegas, it’s both.

STANDing tall against genocide

Since 2003, a reported 400,000 murders have taken place in Darfur, Sudan, at the hands of the state-sponsored militia, the Janjaweed, and their campaign of ethnic cleansing. While the main violence has ended – there are few villages left to burn – the atrocity has displaced over 2.

Everybody’s a terrorist in From Paris With Love

Pierre Morel’s new film From Paris With Love is exceptionally tasteless. Admittedly, action movies are meant to be vile concoctions of guns, cars, drugs, and racial/sexual stereotypes, but From Paris With Love is so strikingly problematic that it cannot be considered a harmless testosterone-fuelled fantasy.

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