New comedy fails to reach its potential

These days, comedy’s best friend is your average Joe. Writer-producer-director Mike Judge taps into this phenomenon with his own quirky rendition of ordinary people living their ordinary lives. Judge’s latest film, Extract, is being promoted as the unofficial sequel to his box-office-flop-turned-cult-classic Office Space, harnessing the same “stick-it-to-the-man” attitude. The emphasis here, however, isn’t on […]

Foreign film depicts an honest, intimate portrait of family life

F. Scott Fitzgerald once famously said, “Family quarrels are bitter things. They don’t go according to any rules. They’re more like splits in the skin that won’t heal because there’s not enough material.” Still Walking, the new film by the modern Japanese master Hirokazu Kore-eda, is about just that kind of wound, the sort that […]

Rob Zombie revitalizes gore of Halloweens past

Writer-director Rob Zombie possesses a lot of ambition that has yet to be perfected. His new film, Halloween 2, which itself is a sequel to his 2007 remake of John Carpenter’s 1978 slasher classic Halloween, clearly illustrates that while Zombie has a long way to go, he is certainly heading in the right direction. Zombie’s […]

‘Woodstock’ captures spirit of era, but lacks energy

In the bathroom of the Arclight Cinema in Hollywood, two women with graying hair and beaded scarves draped over their shoulders chatted excitedly 15 minutes prior to the screening of Taking Woodstock. “Where were you during Woodstock?” one asked the other, to which she replied with a detailed description of a weekend 40 years past. […]

‘Basterds’ showcases Tarantino’s quirks

Inglourious Basterds marks Academy Award-winner Quentin Tarantino’s war film debut. Set in France during World War II, the film follows a group of Jewish-American soldiers, led by Lt. Aldo Raine (Brad Pitt) as they seek brutal revenge on the Nazi regime.