Friday, December 21, 2012

Jack Reacher

Adapting the story from Lee Child's novel "One Shot," writer/director Christopher McQuarrie reteams with his frequent collaborator Tom Cruise for Jack Reacher, a murder mystery with a morally murky protagonist at the center. It's a decent thriller with an interesting story, and though it features the occasional shining moment, it's mostly just a by-the-numbers procedural tale that will keep you entertained for a couple of hours. The movie isn't nearly as boring as its idiotic and generic title, but when all is said and done, it'll be lost in the hoopla of more prestigious films as 2012 comes to an end.

Jack Reacher
Writer/Director: Christopher McQuarrie
Starring: Tom Cruise, Rosamund Pike, Jai Courtney, Werner Herzog




Sunday, December 16, 2012

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Nearly ten years after Peter Jackson wrapped up his vision of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings trilogy with the Best Picture-winning Return of the King, he's taking us back to Middle Earth with the first entry in The Hobbit trilogy, An Unexpected Journey. With a few familiar faces in front of the camera and a handful of fresh ones to lead the adventure, Jackson manages to capture some fantastic moments here but still can't shake the feeling that this story didn't need to be stretched over three movies.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Director: Peter Jackson
Starring: Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, Richard Armitage



Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Django Unchained

Following up his wildly acclaimed 2009 film Inglourious Basterds, Quentin Tarantino returns to the big screen in 2012 with Django Unchained, a sizzling genre exercise that allows the filmmaker to check off a box that has eluded him thus far in his career: the western. It's one of QT's most direct and linear productions to date, but as you might suspect, this isn't your average cowboy tale. Stuffed with great performances, impeccable direction, and an amazing screenplay, the film might be a bit too stuffed; it drags a bit in some sections, but don't let its runtime scare you away. This is one of the very best movies to hit theaters this year.

Django Unchained
Writer/Director: Quentin Tarantino
Starring: Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kerry Washington, Samuel L. Jackson



Saturday, December 8, 2012

Zero Dark Thirty

After winning the Academy Award for Best Picture for The Hurt Locker in 2010, Kathryn Bigelow and writer Mark Boal are back with a film about the United States' ten year hunt for Osama bin Laden. Though we already know the outcome, Boal and Bigelow manage to make the film riveting, suspenseful, and intense throughout, similar to the way Ben Affleck thrilled audiences with his own political period piece, Argo, earlier this year. Based on firsthand accounts from people who were involved at every step of the real story, Boal uses his background as an investigative journalist to take us inside the search for the world's most dangerous man and, though a bit of dramatic license is occasionally taken, show how finding him came down to the fortitude of a single woman.

Zero Dark Thirty
Director: Kathryn Bigelow
Starring: Jessica Chastain, Jason Clarke, Kyle Chandler, Mark Strong