Monday, December 31, 2012
A U.S. Marshal tracks a killer in Antarctica, as the sun is about to set for six months.
Mediocre crime mystery in an unusual setting, but with an uninteresting plot and a disappointing ending.
Maltin **: "Good-looking but paper-thin thriller...Even though her character is constantly in danger, Beckinsale is always perfectly coiffed; early on, she even peels off her clothes and takes a steamy shower. Only in the movies..."
A young woman is the awkward and insecure manager of Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium, the strangest, most fantastic, most wonderful toy store in the world.
Likable children's fantasy, the greatest magic, however, is Natalie Portman's participation.
Maltin **1/2: "Harmless family fare with amusing, old-fashioned toy creations will appeal primarily to the under-8 set, but the sugar-coated plot may find adults wanting to fast-forward. Hoffman seem to be channeling Ed Wynn."
After being set-up and betrayed by the man who hired him to assassinate a Texas Senator, an ex-Federale launches a brutal rampage of revenge against his former boss.
Intelligently made pulp actioner, tongue-in cheek and ultra-violent, a movie in the wake of Quentin Tarantino's exploits you might call 'quality trash'.
Maltin **: "It's fun to see the imposing Trejo in a leading role, but cowriter-codirector-coeditor Rodriguez's usual over-the-top mock-exploitation genre excesses - and undernourished plot - quickly become wearying. Amusing casting choices, although De Niro is wasted in a no-account part."
Sunday, December 30, 2012
A married woman realizes how unhappy her marriage really is, and that her life needs to go in a different direction.
Unbearably cliche-ridden travelogue of a spoilt and rich woman who imagines having a 'problem' and ignores the rest of the world.
Maltin **1/2: "Roberts is ideally cast, but without having read Elizabeth Gilbert's best-selling memoir it's tough to understand her restlessness and angst. But as a travelogue and paean to Italian food, the film is easy on the eyes."
An escaped maniac returns to his childhood home on Christmas Eve, which is now a sorority house, and begins to murder the sorority sisters one by one.
Standard slasher horror movie with a typically confusing plot and some nastier moments.
Maltin BOMB: "Someone just had to remake the 1975 frightfest for the blood-and-gore generation. With no fresh ideas, (...).Might have been bearableif we hadn't seen it all a hundred times before. At least the diabolical elf of terror makes clever use of ornaments."
Now out of prison but still disgraced by his peers, Gordon Gekko works his future son-in-law, an idealistic stock broker, when he sees an opportunity to take down a Wall Street enemy and rebuild his empire.
Essentially, the same story all over again, but with far less panache, and the allusions to the current economic crisis don't help a bit.
Maltin **1/2: "The high-stakes power games are undeniably compelling in this slick production, which is filled with good performances (including 94-year-old Wallach). Too bad the ending is weak."