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Blu-Ray Review: Sabotage by Rob Vaux, Mania Critic
(July 28, 2014)
I missed Sabotage when it first hit theaters. It falls into that sort of no-man’s land of films that may or may not qualify as “genre,” and coupled with scathingly negative word-of-mouth, we weren’t too put out to see it pass on by. The recent Blu-

Mania Review: Hercules by Rob Vaux, Mania Critic
(July 26, 2014)
You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone not at least a little interested in seeing The Rock play Hercules. In terms of casting, it’s as absolute a no-brainer as one can imagine, and even at its worst, the concept promises a little cheesy sword-and-sandal

Mania Review: Lucy by Rob Vaux, Mania Critic
(July 25, 2014)
Lucy is either the dumbest smart film or the smartest dumb film I’ve ever seen. I don’t think it would be quite as fabulous if it were anything else. Only Luc Besson could conceive of such a wild ride, crafted in the manner of high-end cheese, then sla

Book Review: Planet of the Apes Saga: The Poster Collection by Robert T. Trate, Columnist and Critic
(July 23, 2014)


The Summer of '84: Electric Dreams by Rob Vaux, Mania Critic
(July 23, 2014)
No one born before the mid-1980s can possibly understand how terrifying home computers were at the time. No social change as fundamentally transformative as the computer revolution takes place without spooking the herd at least a little bit, and Hollywood

The Summer of '84: Revenge of the Nerds by Rob Vaux, Mania Critic
(July 22, 2014)
Nostalgia can be a tricky thing. Case in point: looking forward to re-experiencing a film you haven’t seen in twenty-five years, only to realize in one ghastly moment why you took a quarter century to get around to it again. Revenge of the Nerds is exact

The Summer of '84: The Neverending Story by Rob Vaux, Mania Critic
(July 21, 2014)
I didn’t realize that this film was about grief when I first saw it at the tender age of 12. Back then, it was about luck dragons! And racing snails! And a lonely kid (Barrett Oliver) who discovers the coolest book in the whole wide world! But even then,

Mania Review: Planes: Fire and Rescue by Rob Vaux, Mania Critic
(July 18, 2014)
“Disposable” never applied more aptly to a movie than it does to Planes: Fire and Rescue. Believe it or not, that’s actually a big step up from the first Planes, which wore its cheapness like a badge of honor. This one doesn’t actually have the gal

Mania Review: The Purge: Anarchy by Rob Vaux, Mania Critic
(July 18, 2014)
I want to kill that asshole. I want that fucker dead. The jerk who cut me off. That creep down the hall. My boss. My ex. That liberal sissy. That Tea Party lunatic. I’d make him pay. I’d make them all pay. Just one day is all I ask…

The Summer of '84: The Muppets Take Manhattan by Rob Vaux, Mania Critic
(July 15, 2014)
The most interesting thing about The Muppets Take Manhattan is the name on the directing credits. Jim Henson’s longtime creative partner Frank Oz took over the reins for the first time (though he co-directed 1982’s The Dark Crystal with Henson), which

The Summer of '84: The Last Starfighter by Rob Vaux, Mania Critic
(July 14, 2014)
The late Gene Siskel once opined of The Last Starfighter, “of all the Star Wars ripoffs out there, this one is the best.” It sounds like a backhanded compliment, but it actually proves to be the only praise that matters. The film took the Star Wars for

Mania Review: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes by Rob Vaux, Mania Critic
(July 10, 2014)
When they do science fiction right, it takes the breath away. Even if you’re the sequel to a surprisingly effective reboot of a franchise whose origins are 40-plus years in the rearview mirror. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes demonstrates how much potenti

The Raid 2 Blu-ray Review by Tim Janson, Columnist and CCritic
(July 05, 2014)


Mania Review: Life Itself by Rob Vaux, Mania Critic
(July 04, 2014)
Roger Ebert was a hero of mine (try to contain your surprise), but it was only in the waning years of his life that the full breadth of the man become publicly apparent. A philosopher, a humanitarian and a writer of breathtaking skill, he and his late par

Mania Review: Deliver Us from Evil by Rob Vaux, Mania Critic
(July 04, 2014)
Exorcism movies, it must be noted, are surprisingly common. And with one glorious exception, they don’t usually come off very well. Deliver Us from Evil can’t escape the clichés and silliness that the subgenre inevitably holds, though for a while, dir

Mania Review: Earth to Echo by Rob Vaux, Mania Critic
(July 02, 2014)
Earth to Echo suffers from the problems you might expect: namely, adhering to the E.T. formula a little too closely for its own good. It also uses found footage techniques, which means you should probably pack your Dramamine. Combining these two ideas make

The Summer of '84: Conan the Destroyer by Rob Vaux, Manua Critic
(June 30, 2014)
The original Conan the Barbarian displayed a fiendish paradox. It was geared towards adolescent boys, but the crux of its appeal – gratuitous violence and lots of boobies – barred those self-same boys from entering the theater. In an era where Netflix

Mania Review: Transformers: Age of Extinction by Rob Vaux, Mania Critic
(June 28, 2014)
The Transformers movies present an eternal conundrum for me, one I’ve grappled with three times before and return again for a fourth. Rarely has criticism been more irrelevant that it has with this franchise. Look at the film’s Rotten Tomatoes page if

In the Blood: Blu-ray Review by Tim Janson, Columnist and Critic
(June 27, 2014)


Mania Review: Snowpiercer by Rob Vaux, Mania Critic
(June 27, 2014)
I’m sure everyone is expecting a Transformers review, and we’ll have one presently, but we wanted to wait on it a bit… mostly because of the superior film opening opposite it. Snowpiercer deserves your money infinitely more than Michael Bay’s lates

Blu-ray Review: The Grand Budapest Hotel by Rob Vaux, Mania Critic
(June 26, 2014)
We don't cover a lot of Wes Anderson movies out here, with the exception of the animated Fantastic Mr. Fox. And yet his work constitutes a strange sort of science fiction, parallel universes populated by hapless heroes who aptly reflect their surreal surro

The Summer of '84: Top Secret! by Rob Vaux, Mania Critic
(June 25, 2014)
We generally regard Airplane! as the masterpiece of the Zucker-Abrahams-Zucker school of filmmaking: the kind where you just machine-gun gags at the audience with no thought for plausibility or causality. It’s a brilliant film, and certainly looks a lot

Edge of Tomorrow Soundtrack Review by Robert T. Trate, News Editor
(June 24, 2014)


The Summer of '84: The Karate Kid by Rob Vaux, Mania Critic
(June 24, 2014)
The Karate Kid kills us with sweetness, The story of a teenage boy who gets revenge on the local bullies by learning karate from a wizened neighborhood handyman could have been Death Wish: The High School Years. And for a few shaky moments, it is, as those

The 25th Anniversary of Batman by Rob Vaux, Mania Critic
(June 23, 2014)
We're largely focused on 30th anniversary retrospectives around here, but today we're going to make an exception. 25 years ago, the world saw the release of Tim Burton's Batman: a multi-jillion-dollar-grossing, product-tie-in-from-hell, every-teenager-in-A

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