“The Cold Light of Day” Offers the Warm, Urine-Scented Bath of Familiarity

PG-13 for ominous briefcases, murky abduction scenarios, the blinding gleam of a bald action hero’s head

Release Date: September 7, 2012


Bruce Willis: Did you set me up?!
Sigourney Weaver (with an incredulous laugh): Did I set you up?
Bruce Willis: DID YOU SET ME UP?!


Willis: Did you set me up?
Weaver: (with an incredulous laugh): Did I set you up? Bruce, are you ad-libbing cliches here, or what?
Willis: No, Sigourney, that’s my line. Continue reading

“The Dictator” Aims to Please – or Displease, Whichever is Easier

R for intense accents, bushy facial hair, some mild oppression

Release Date: May 18, 2012


Having already incurred the litigious wrath of Kazakhstan, Romania, Southern frat boys, and the elderly – and, probably, grown too famous for his old shtick to work anyway – Sacha Baron-Cohen here abandons the mockumentary style of his TV series and first two films.

Instead, he plays a fictional dictator from a fictional country, costarring not with hapless civilians but with actual actors following – get this! – a script. It’s almost as if Baron-Cohen is trying not to get sued. Has he lost his edge?

Well, if you ask Ryan Seacrest, no.

In “What to Expect When You’re Expecting,” Expect Only the Expected

PG-13 for toxic hormone levels, babies eating cigarettes, intimidatingly large cast

Release Date: May 18, 2012


If you’ve got a few hours to kill, go read the cast list for this movie. You’ll encounter roughly 16 overlapping plot lines, which is how all the great movies are made these days, if by “all the great movies” we mean “Love Actually and a bunch of crappy knock-offs.” Continue reading

Hasbro Blockbuster “Battleship” Evidently Horrifies Its Own Cast

PG-13 for a vast ocean, devoid of plot, with only one human standing between you and a lethal barrage of special effects

Release Date: May 18, 2012


Battleship, a new movie from Hasbro, is a loyal, scene-by-scene recreation of the board game.

Just kidding! It’s loosely inspired by the game, and more directly inspired by the idea of making a lot of money. Luckily, they’ve decided to quote the actors’ reaction to this shaky premise directly in the trailer.

Liam Neeson (with typical restraint): “I want this thing thoroughly investigated.” (0:40)

Josh Pence (urgently): “I don’t think that’s a good idea!” (0:48)

Taylor Kitsch (master of understatement): “That’s not good.” (1:01)

Rihanna (understandably hysterical): “WHAT THE HELL IS THAT?!” (1:03)

Asian Boy (turning towards the camera): [expression of irked incredulity] (1:07) Continue reading

“Dark Shadows”: Burton and Depp Continue Their Sultry Tango

PG-13 for sex-fights, tapered vampire fingers, tiny songstresses who may or may not reveal themselves

Release Date: May 11, 2012


Let’s now raise a glass and toast these two star-crossed lovers, these cinematic soul mates, this director of creepy movies and this good-looking creep who stars in them – ladies and gentlemen, Tim and Johnny. Continue reading

“The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel”: Our Recipe for Comedy Tikka Masala

PG-13 for one nation’s crippling poverty, another nation’s crotchety old people, and the instant comedy that results

Release Date: May 4, 2012


PG-13 for Ugly Cast (or, as the kids are calling it these days, PG:13-FUC) is proud to present its famous family recipe for Comedy Tikka Masala. Try it at home!


Seven (7) old Brits
One (1) fresh-faced young Indian
One (1) dilapidated hotel, not unsanitary
A handful of platitudes

Instructions: Continue reading

“The Avengers” Quiz: How Big a Fan Are You?

PG-13 for quiet, meditative scenes of intimate character drama

Release Date: May 4, 2012


Quiz: How Well Do You Know the Avengers?

1. What do you get when you throw together half a dozen strong-willed action stars and task them with saving the world?

A) A very dysfunctional Cabinet
B) A pretty cool alternative to the UN Security Council
C) A world that probably doesn’t get saved
D) $400 million Continue reading

“The Lucky One”: Just How Many Kisses Can We, the Women of America, Expect from Zac Efron?

PG-13 for tender embraces, the soft kiss of destiny, the even softer kiss of Zac Efron

Release Date: April 20, 2012


“You should be kissed every day, every hour, every minute.”

Whoa there, Zac. Let’s pin this down. Are you saying (interpretation #1) she should be kissed every minute, on the minute, as well as every hour on the hour, and every day at midnight? If so, that adds up to:

1440 minute-kisses
+24 hour-kisses
+1 day-kiss

= 1465 kisses per day. Is this really a sustainable pace, Zac? That’s 10,000 kisses per week, 44,000 per month, and an ambitious 534,000 per year. You seem unafraid of emotional commitment, but this is a different kind of commitment. Imagine the sleepless nights spent kissing her on the forehead every 60 seconds. Imagine being unable to leave her for even a day or two, because you would build up an insurmountable kiss debt. Imagine the lip balm expenses. Are you really ready for this? Continue reading

Our Poetic Response to “The Raven”

R for dim cobblestone streets, beautiful cursive ransom notes, moments of intense plumage

Release Date: April 27, 2012


[to be read aloud, preferably by Samuel L. Jackson]

Once upon a Monday dreary, as I pondered, bored and weary,
over many a quaint and curious trailer at the Apple store,
while I sat there, double-clicking, hundred films and nothing sticking,
suddenly there came a ticking, ticking from the tab before,
“‘Tis some YouTube clip,” I muttered, “ticking in the tab before–
Keyboard cat, and nothing more.”

Continue reading