Archive for category: by Robert Horton

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Film Review: ‘Sin City: A Dame to Kill For’

22 August, 2014 (08:30) | by Robert Horton, Film Reviews | By: Robert Horton

In the hard-boiled narration describing the gnarly nighttime world of Sin City, people are constantly talking about how rough it is and how lethal the people are. They left out one thing: You could also die of boredom here. Or so it seems in Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, a sequel to the […]

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Film Review: ‘Life After Beth’

21 August, 2014 (05:38) | by Robert Horton, Film Reviews | By: Robert Horton

It is reassuring to know that even after the zombie plague begins in earnest, a strong vein of Jewish humor will thrive. This is the best news to come out of the superbly titled Life After Beth, a comedy that kneads together the relationship movie with the zombie genre. After opening with a brief glimpse […]

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Film Review: ‘Alive Inside’

21 August, 2014 (05:35) | by Robert Horton, Film Reviews | By: Robert Horton

Everything you always suspected about music is true. Scientists can point to the parts of the brain that music stimulates, where our deepest memories and feelings reside. The phenomenon even stretches back to before birth, when the sound of a heartbeat establishes our sensory proclivity toward music. This scientific material is offered in Alive Inside […]

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Film Review: ‘If I Stay’

21 August, 2014 (05:30) | by Robert Horton, Film Reviews | By: Robert Horton

Young couples in movies are customarily given obstacles to overcome, but If I Stay seems unnecessarily cruel in its dramatic contrivances. Most of the film unfolds in the flashbacks that follow a terrible car accident; all the members of a family have been seriously injured, and our narrator, Mia (Chloë Grace Moretz), is in a […]

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Film Review: ‘The Giver’

17 August, 2014 (17:34) | by Robert Horton, Film Reviews, Science Fiction | By: Robert Horton

“Thank you for your childhood,” says the Chief Elder to each graduating 16-year-old. In this society, that’s not as weird as it sounds; all children who reach 16 are given life assignments and launched into adulthood at a public ceremony. Childhood’s end, indeed. The Giver tells the tale of one such teen, Jonas (played by […]

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Film Review: ‘The Dog’

14 August, 2014 (06:52) | by Robert Horton, Documentary, Film Reviews | By: Robert Horton

It would be easier to enjoy the madcap, stranger-than-fiction revelations of The Dog if it weren’t for the queasy awareness that its central subject is getting such a great kick out of all this. He is John Wojtowicz, the real-life guy whose botched 1972 bank robbery later became the basis for the Al Pacino film […]

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Film Review: ‘The Kill Team’

14 August, 2014 (06:48) | by Robert Horton, Film Reviews | By: Robert Horton

Is the story of The Kill Team singular? That’s the unspoken question that hangs over this award-winning documentary, another artifact from the “war on terror.” In 2010 a group of soldiers from Joint Base Lewis-McChord was arrested and charged with murdering Afghan civilians for fun while stationed in Kandahar Province. The accused had taken photographs […]

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Film Review: ‘Magic in the Moonlight’

8 August, 2014 (07:07) | by Robert Horton, Film Reviews | By: Robert Horton

The new Woody Allen movie has the flaws that have become familiar in the latter part of his career: slack pacing, too much exposition, and a big age discrepancy between leading man and lady. I must be worn down by all that, because I truly enjoyed Magic in the Moonlight. The exposition’s still a problem […]

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Film Review: ‘Into the Storm’

8 August, 2014 (05:53) | by Robert Horton, Film Reviews | By: Robert Horton

If you ever sat around daydreaming and thought, “I wonder what a tornado looks like on fire?”, the movie you’ve been waiting for is here. No, this is not a Syfy original TV-film, and there are neither sharks nor wicked witches in the waterspout. (Every review of Into the Storm is obligated to mention Sharknado […]

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Film Review: ‘Double Play’

7 August, 2014 (06:26) | by Robert Horton, Documentary, Film Reviews | By: Robert Horton

Watching two film directors play catch is not a guarantee of interest. Put Brett Ratner and Jean-Luc Godard in a field with a couple of mitts and a baseball, and things could get ugly fast. But when the players are Richard Linklater and James Benning, the back-and-forth tossing becomes contemplative, a spur to ideas, and […]

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Film Review: ‘The Hundred-Foot Journey’

7 August, 2014 (06:21) | by Robert Horton, Film Reviews | By: Robert Horton

If you were working from a menu of “crowd-pleasing movie conventions,” you could do worse than to mark these boxes: the South of France, food, Indian culture, Helen Mirren. Mix with a generous amount of sugar and a brief nod to social concern, and you’ll have a surefire profit machine that goes by the title […]

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Film Review: ‘What If’

7 August, 2014 (06:19) | by Robert Horton, Film Reviews | By: Robert Horton

The underlying subject of many romantic comedies is chemistry, the mysterious rapport that draws people together despite whatever circumstances—being already married, having different sexual orientations—might be working against them. It’s a tough thing to simulate in movies because, well, that’s the nature of chemistry. So What If has a sizable gift in the casting of […]

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Film Review: ‘Get On Up’

1 August, 2014 (08:10) | by Robert Horton, Film Reviews, Musicals | By: Robert Horton

No screenwriter or director could possibly tie together the unlikely, turbulent life of James Brown — Soul Brother No. 1, the Godfather of Soul, the hardest-working man in show business. But maybe an actor could. As though to acknowledge Brown’s brilliant and bizarre life, the makers of Get on Up present their story in a […]

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Film Review: ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’

31 July, 2014 (06:58) | by Robert Horton, Film Reviews, Science Fiction | By: Sean Axmaker

The giant apparatus required to create a 21st-century comic-book/sci-fi/action movie is expensive and unwieldy. Little wonder so many of these behemoths eventually collapse under their own weight, content to destroy a city while laboriously setting up the next installment in the franchise. Even the good stuff—Robert Downey Jr.’s antic presence in the first Iron Man, […]

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Film Review: ‘Mood Indigo’

31 July, 2014 (06:53) | by Robert Horton, Film Reviews | By: Robert Horton

Michel Gondry’s capacity for imagining wacky designs and adorable contraptions is so boundless he makes Santa’s elves look like dull-witted slackers. The French director of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Be Kind Rewind is on some kind of perpetual adolescent overdrive, his brain inventing new bits of business as though nobody’d ever asked […]

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