‘Promised Land’

A small town in southwestern Pennsylvania is the setting of Promised Land. It’s not exactly flowing with milk and honey—it’s a broke, fading farm...

‘Arthur Christmas’ pokes fun at some of Santa’s most enduring myths

Literalism is the joke behind the 2011 computer-animated feature Arthur Christmas. It’s right there in the poster: “Ever wonder how 2 Billion presents get...

Actor’s wide-ranging genius balanced comedy, drama

It’s claimed that Larry Hagman despised I Dream of Jeannie, the hit show in which he starred from 1965 to 1970. It’s a shame...

Stuffing your Turkey Day with some DVDs? Try these tasty treats.

There are countless well-loved Christmas movies, but Thanksgiving movies are a rarity. I’m not much of a fan of 1995’s Home for the Holidays,...

Animated ‘Ralph’ one of genre’s 2012 bests

When your name is Wreck-It Ralph and you no longer want to wreck things—well, what you got there is an existential drama. The title character...

Could your prof be a zombie?

Suppose one day the dead arise and come plodding through the streets, driven by a ghastly, inexplicable compulsion to devour the flesh of the...

Monster mash-up stars season’s usual favorites

October is here at last—my favorite month, when the weather in Arizona at long last cools down, and monster-movie season heats up. This season,...

McConaughey lethally convincing as ‘Killer Joe’

What happens when the hit man you hire to murder your mother falls in love with your younger sister? That’s the major dramatic question...

‘Super-villainy’ as real in life as in film depiction

Just as it was difficult to discuss 2008’s The Dark Knight out of the shadow of the heartbreaking loss of Heath Ledger, so it’s...

Spider-man spins a new web of intrigue

Andrew Garfield looks like a spider—a daddy longlegs. That is to say, he looks like a daddy longlegs with the head of a Byronic...
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