Hope Springs: Your Burning Questions Answered

by Ethan Alter August 8, 2012 6:00 am
<i>Hope Springs</i>: Your Burning Questions Answered

Who says the summer movie season is exclusively home to superheroes, super spies and talking teddy bears? As formidable as Jeremy Renner looks in this week's token action picture The Bourne Legacy, I'd put my money on the dynamic duo of Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones, the stars of the new AARP-approved marital comedy Hope Springs, to take him out. (Actually, Streep could probably put him down entirely on her own. Have you ever seen The River Wild? That chick will mess you up.) I'm sure you have plenty of questions about the movie, so let's get right to it.

Indie Snapshot: Seeking a Friend For the End of the World

by Ethan Alter June 22, 2012 6:08 am
Indie Snapshot: <i>Seeking a Friend For the End of the World</i>

Like an unholy cross between Melancholia and Little Miss Sunshine, Lorene Scafaria's debut feature is a quirky road comedy set against the backdrop of the looming apocalypse. This particular end-of-the-world scenario involves an enormous asteroid that will reduce Earth to a cinder when it smashes into the planet in 21 days. But it's a sign of just how deeply annoying the movie is that you long for this planet-destroying space rock to arrive in half the time so that everyone onscreen will die sooner.

The Incredible Burt Wonderstone: The Magic is Gone

by Ethan Alter March 15, 2013 6:00 am
<i>The Incredible Burt Wonderstone</i>: The Magic is Gone

All right, let's try to keep this brief, because it's not worth putting a lot of thought into a film when the people that made it clearly didn't either. The Incredible Burt Wonderstone is a terrible movie -- a grueling endurance test disguised as a mainstream comedy. Written at maybe an eighth-grade level and directed like the hackiest sitcom around (think Two and a Half Men hacky), this DOA attempt to send up the Las Vegas magic scene wastes the considerable skills of its cast (which includes Steve Carell, Steve Buscemi, Jim Carrey and Alan Arkin) and the goodwill of moviegoers by continually lowering the bar on itself and still not being able to clear it. It's like of one of those deadly Saturday Night Live sketches where everyone involved clearly knows it isn't working, but they're forced to go through the motions anyway simply to avoid dead air.

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