China Rules the Weekend with “After Earth” and “Pacific Rim”

Some interesting news out of Hollywood today. After Earth, the Will Smith-M. Night Shyamalan sci-fi flick that bombed with American audiences, is a surprise hit in China. The Hollywood Reporter noted that the film won the weekend in the People’s Republic, earning $13.8 million in ticket sales and even outperforming Chinese martial arts star Jay…

Why I Walked Out of “Pacific Rim”

I walked out of Pacific Rim before it ended. Before you assume that I did this out of solidarity for Rex Reed, who I sort of defended last week, let me say that the situation couldn’t be more different. Reed walked out of V/H/S/2 after twenty minutes; although my eyes were glazed over with boredom…

Why We Should Leave Rex Reed Alone

If you are like me and you follow a lot of movie writers on Twitter, you probably found yourself observing something akin to a virtual stoning yesterday afternoon. And for the target, it wasn’t the first time. On Wednesday, Rex Reed of the New York Observer published a short review of V/H/S/2 in which he…

Rockwell and Company Elevate “The Way, Way Back”

If you ask me – and you’re reading this post, so let’s assume you did – one of the great Hollywood mysteries of our era is why Sam Rockwell is not a bigger star. He’s funny and charismatic, he can do nuanced dramatic roles, and the man can dance like nobody’s business. Most of all,…

Movies That Matter: “Anatomy of a Murder”

In this series, Movies That Matter, we examine films that have pushed boundaries and impacted public policy or society. See the recent entries in the MTM series here and here. *               *               * If you’re watching it for the first time, you’ll only get a few minutes into Otto Preminger’s Anatomy of a Murder (1959)…

How to Watch “The Lone Ranger”

So The Lone Ranger comes out today, and I kind of feel like I already saw it. It’s a western by way of Pirates of the Caribbean, right? Same director (Gore Verbinksi), same producer (Jerry Bruckheimer), same star (Johnny Depp), and if the trailer is any indication, it will feature the same type of breathtaking,…