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Showing items 26 - 50 of 1,891
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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

The LEGO Movie Blu-ray Review by Tim Janson, Columnist and Critic
(June 23, 2014)

RoboCop Blu-ray Review by Tim Janson, Columnist and Critic
(June 13, 2014)

Mania Review: How to Train Your Dragon 2 by Rob Vaux, Mania Critic
(June 13, 2014)
Grown-ups. The secret is making them grown-ups. It’s a rather amazing concept, though Toy Story 2 and 3 did the same thing on a slightly subtler scale. Age your animated characters from childhood to adulthood, and let the drama write itself. That concept

Mondo: Jurassic Park Vinyl Soundtrack Review by Robert T. Trate, Columnist and Critic
(June 12, 2014)

The Summer of '84: Gremlins by Rob Vaux, Mania Critic
(June 10, 2014)
When was the last time you saw the #1 and #3 box office performers of the year open on the same day? It’s preposterous in our current blockbuster-heavy era, but it actually happened on June 8th, 1984 when Joe Dante’s Gremlins squared off against Ivan R

The Summer of '84: Ghostbusters by Rob Vaux, Mania Critic
(June 09, 2014)
It’s easy to forget what a risky venture Ghostbusters was when it first came out. Comedies and effects pictures were uneasy relations at best, and combining the two always seemed to court disaster. Ghostbusters found the sweet spot where the two could ha

Mania Review: Edge of Tomorrow by Rob Vaux, Mania Critic
(June 06, 2014)
It’s hard to come down on any new movie – especially a science fiction movie – that tells its own story without either being part of a franchise or based on a bestselling book. Once upon a time, movies like Edge of Tomorrow were summer tent poles. No

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