Tom Cruise Oblivion

Summer Comes Early with “Oblivion”

Is it too much to expect originality from a summer blockbuster these days? At this point in our era of poll-testing and demographics-driven production, we should accept this simple fact: no studio is going to spend $120 million, the cost of the new sci-fi blockbuster Oblivion, on an idea that has not already been demonstrated…

Val Kilmer

Why the Homoeroticism in “Top Gun” Matters

When I told my friends I was going to see Top Gun during its brief 3D theatrical re-release (which ends this week), nobody was particularly impressed. When I mentioned that I had never seen it before, their eyes widened, and each put forth some variation of the same question: “How is that possible?” The film…

Sean Penn

“Gangster Squad” and Why Winter is the New Summer

In the wake of the shootings last year in Aurora and Newtown, movie violence is under heavier scrutiny than we have seen in years. Many pundits and elected officials have raised the issue as a potential part of the problem of gun violence, but due to Wayne LaPierre’s polarizing press conference, it seems less likely…

Jack Reacher

Tom Cruise is “Jack Reacher”

Do not bother to care about Jack Reacher because he doesn’t care about you. This is not the modern-day action hero; the Jason Bourne, the Bruce Wayne, even the Iron Man. Reacher is not here to protect you, and he is not looking for redemption. Reacher is here to punish the bad guys, and he…