Author: Chris Barsanti

Fast & Furious

Fast & Furious

Doing its best to further erase whatever pleasant memories (guilty or no) people may still have had from the 2001 original, Fast & Furious reunites The Fast and the Furious cast with much ballyhoo, only...

Movie Review posted on 3rd April 2009

Generation Kill

Generation Kill

In their seven-part Iraq War miniseries adaptation of Evan Wright's book Generation Kill, David Simon and Ed Burns roll up a quiverful of arrows to fire off at various topics, ranging from the rampaging adrenaline...

Movie Review posted on 3rd January 2009

Heidi Fleiss: The Would-Be Madam of Crystal

Heidi Fleiss: The Would-Be Madam of Crystal

Sitting for an interview and looking, glaze-eyed, through the soft-focus filter the camera has wrapped her in, a dull-voiced Heidi Fleiss blurts out, "I'm eight days sober." This comes not long after she's rhapsodized about...

Movie Review posted on 7th September 2008

Kung Fu Panda

Kung Fu Panda

It's surprising that Hollywood has taken until 2008 to come up with Kung Fu Panda. Taking your factory-issue period-piece martial arts plot -- wherein schlubby protagonist finds his inner warrior as a means of expressing...

Movie Review posted on 6th June 2008

Untraceable

Untraceable

It would be wonderful if this review of the newest cyber-torture-stalker-thriller could begin with the words "Untraceable is unwatchable," but sadly that would be a lie. Our tastes have very simply become too degraded over...

Movie Review posted on 25th January 2008

The Kite Runner

The Kite Runner

Practically no other nation's modern history has been so rife with grief and shattered expectations as that of Afghanistan; a fact utilized to maximum effect by Marc Foster in his adaptation of Khaled Hosseini's book...

Movie Review posted on 14th December 2007

American Gangster

American Gangster

There's something dead in Denzel Washington's eyes nearly all of the way through Ridley Scott's American Gangster, which takes what should have been a mesmerizing slice of urban historical grit and grinds it into roughly...

Movie Review posted on 2nd November 2007

Crazy Love

Crazy Love

The eyeglasses are horrible. As is the hair. She's loud, and her painted-on eyebrows twitch while she's nattering away at the camera, stopping only to light one of the lady-long cigarettes she chain smokes. You...

Movie Review posted on 1st June 2007

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End

An honest-to-God, brawling, hooting, big ball of popcorn spectacle of a movie, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End fully embraces its ludicrous sense of summer season overkill without succumbing to the bloated tedium that...

Movie Review posted on 24th May 2007

Fracture

Fracture

It is hardly a reassuring sign when one of the more interesting things in a film is not even sentient. Over the title sequence of Fracture, and in the midst of some of the duller...

Movie Review posted on 22nd April 2007

Beyond The Gates

Beyond The Gates

The enormity of what is depicted in Beyond the Gates is hard to even comprehend, but unlike many works of art about atrocity, the film makes a good faith effort to bring it across with...

Movie Review posted on 9th March 2007

Bridge To Terabithia

Bridge To Terabithia

One wonders if the makers of Bridge to Terabithia actually have something against all the people who loved reading Katherine Paterson's award-winning book as children. The original story, which deals with loneliness, isolation, and the...

Movie Review posted on 16th February 2007

Monster (2003)

Monster (2003)

Thank God that Monster, the fictionalized story of serial killer Aileen Wuornos, wasn't made back in the 1990s, when filmmakers just couldn't fetishize mass murder enough. Wuornos's story would have been "loosely adapted" so that...

Movie Review posted on 5th February 2007

Babel

Babel

The Bible gives us the story of the tower of Babel, the magnificently tall structure whose height was deemed offensive and impertinent by God. To punish humanity for its architectural hubris, God then decided to...

Movie Review posted on 15th January 2007

A Sound Of Thunder

A Sound Of Thunder

The best thing that can be said for the embarrassing A Sound of Thunder is that at least it presupposes an audience whose belief in evolution is ironclad, sadly a minor triumph in these increasingly...

Movie Review posted on 15th January 2007

I Love You to Death

I Love You to Death

It's a film never particularly loved by audiences and unlikely to be rehabilitated by critics in the future, but I Love You to Death is nevertheless the perfect example of an overlooked gem. Coming right...

Movie Review posted on 15th January 2007

The Chronicles of Riddick

The Chronicles of Riddick

A befuddled attempt to give Vin Diesel his own franchise series - now that he's ditched giving the XXX thing another whirl - The Chronicles of Riddick stomps onto screens with an attitude that's somehow...

Movie Review posted on 15th January 2007

Verdict on Auschwitz

Verdict on Auschwitz

It would always be important, but in the wake of the sectarian lynching that was the execution of Saddam Hussein, a film document like Verdict on Auschwitz: The Frankfurt Auschwitz Trial 1963-1965 takes on a...

Movie Review posted on 15th January 2007

Scarface

Scarface

To say that Al Pacino chews the scenery as Tony Montana, Cuban drug lord par excellence, doesn't really do justice to the performance. Pacino tears into his lines with a lust approaching frenzy, ripping through...

Movie Review posted on 15th January 2007

Alpha Dog

Alpha Dog

Nick Cassavetes' Alpha Dog is an infuriating misfire that would have been much more easily overlooked had it managed to stay true to one vision or the other; instead, Cassavetes (who also wrote the screenplay)...

Movie Review posted on 12th January 2007

The L.A. Riot Spectacular

The L.A. Riot Spectacular

A film that works overtime to offend each and every ethnic group and economic class that makes up the smoggy purgatory of Los Angeles while simultaneously patting itself on the back for being so putatively...

Movie Review posted on 4th January 2007

Piccadilly Jim

Piccadilly Jim

A rather hysterical oddity that can't decide what era it's set in or what mood to play, Piccadilly Jim just chucks it all at the screen and hopes that some wit will come through and...

Movie Review posted on 4th January 2007

Dreamgirls

Dreamgirls

If only they had let Bill Condon direct Chicago instead of just writing the screenplay. As Condon shows with his razzle-dazzle adaptation of the 1981 Tony-winning musical Dreamgirls, he would have been quite an improvement...

Movie Review posted on 21st December 2006

Pan's Labyrinth

Pan's Labyrinth

Unfolding before viewers' eyes like luxuriantly blooming nightshade, Guillermo del Toro's Pan's Labyrinth is a dark treat that delivers a powerful sting. The nightmare conventions are here in his story of a young girl whose...

Movie Review posted on 12th October 2006

The Black Dahlia

The Black Dahlia

Sure, the man's had a bad run of things. When Brian de Palma directed Snake Eyes, a corker of a plot that went nowhere, it seemed like a fluke. When he did Femme Fatale, that...

Movie Review posted on 15th September 2006

The Bridesmaid

The Bridesmaid

At first glance, she doesn't seem like much -- maybe it's the dress. When Philippe (Benoit Magimel) -- the slim, self-satisfied, smart-but-stupid chump in Claude Chabrol's psycho-drama The Bridesmaid -- sees Senta (Laura Smet), a...

Movie Review posted on 28th July 2006

The Oh in Ohio

The Oh in Ohio

First, there's that cast that looks pretty good -- Parker Posey, Paul Rudd, Keith David -- even though it's being distributed by some no-name outfit. Then there's the title, a sad little bad joke that...

Movie Review posted on 17th July 2006

Yo Soy Boricua, Pa'que tu lo Sepas!

Yo Soy Boricua, Pa'que tu lo Sepas!

Puerto Rico is a special case in American history, neither fish nor fowl, and so off the radar of the average citizen as to almost not exist. Taken as a prize in the 1898 Spanish-American...

Movie Review posted on 1st May 2006

Another Gay Movie

Another Gay Movie

If one must find something nice to say about Todd Stephens' Another Gay Movie, then it could be that at the very least this is a film that shows gay teens not suffering through identity...

Movie Review posted on 1st May 2006

The Best of Youth

The Best of Youth

There's a moment early on in the bright, roomy Italian melodrama Best of Youth that doesn't auger well for the rest of the film. In Turin, circa 1974, a medical student and his girlfriend have...

Movie Review posted on 8th February 2006

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