Posts by Phil Brown

Home Entertainment Review: Sleeping Beauty (1959)

Sleeping Beauty (Clyde Geronimi, 1959) – Sleeping Beauty slipped out of the magic kingdom animation in the midst of a strange period for Disney. The company had started spreading its resources into television and live action feature production, while much of uncle Walt’s attention was focused on launching a certain theme park that would go […]

Home Entertainment Review: Edge of Tomorrow (or, Live, Die, Repeat)

Live, Die, Repeat (or, Edge Of Tomorrow) (Doug Liman, 2014) - It’s been a while since there’s been reason to get excited about a Tom Cruise movie. Though his last decade included the underrated War of the Worlds and the wonderfully goofy Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, good Tom Cruise movies have become the exception and not […]

Home Entertainment Review: A Million Ways to Die in the West

A Million Ways to Die in the West (Seth MacFarlane, 2014) – The weird thing about Seth MacFarlane is that even though he’s been at the center of pop culture comedy for about a decade, the guy has really old fashion tastes. If it were somehow possible to bring back vaudeville, I’m sure he would […]

Home Entertainment Review: Godzilla (2014)

Godzilla (Gareth Edwards, 2014) – When Roland Emmerich’s god-awful Godzilla hit screens in 1998, it was preceded by an ad campaign hinged entirely around size and scale. The movie itself featured a silly square faced cartoon that seemed to have no weight beyond that of failed expectations (zing!). Gareth Edwards’ drastically better Godzilla hit screens […]

Home Entertainment Review: Neighbors (2014)

Neighbors (Nick Stoller, 2014) - If nothing else, you’ve gotta give Seth Rogen credit for acknowledging his age. Sure, in his latest movie he plays a stoner with a heart of gold who feuds with frat kids, but at least this time he’s playing a thirty-something stoner with a heart of gold feuding with frat kids. […]

Home Entertainment Review: Million Dollar Arm

Million Dollar Arm (Craig Gillespie, 2014) – Million Dollar Arm is one of those gently racist inspirational Hollywood stories that pop up every few years. One that mines laughter out of how ridiculous, silly, and different other cultures are before proving that folks from those fantastical foreign lands can get on just fine in America […]

Home Entertainment Review: All That Jazz

All That Jazz (Bob Fosse, 1979) – It’s seems ridiculous to use the word “underrated” to describe a groundbreaking, show business legend like Bob Fosse, yet as a filmmaker that’s sadly true. As a choreographer and Broadway director, Fosse’s name is practically a brand. Yet, a filmmaker he never quite gets the respect he deserves. […]

Home Entertainment Review: MacBeth (1971)

MacBeth (Roman Polanski, 1971) – Roman Polanski’s cinematic adaptation of Macbeth is a fascinating movie for a number of reasons beyond its actual content. It was (along with the Monty Python greatest hits project And Now For Something Completely Different) the first film produced by Playboy despite a complete lack of eroticism. It’s also the […]

Left Behind Review

Not even Nicolas Cage can help make the Christian thriller Left Behind into anything more than a dull, rote, tedious experience.

Altman Review

A great primer on one of the greatest directors to ever live, but also a missed opportunity.

TIFF 2014: Pasolini Review

Pasolini Special Presentations Pier Paolo Pasolini was one of finest and most outrageous directors during the golden age of Italian cinema. Then his life ended in a sordid murder that wouldn’t have been out of place in one of his own movies. He’s been a figure of fascination amongst film geeks for that very reason […]

TIFF 2014: Top Five Review

Top Five Special Presentations Chris Rock has been appearing in films since the 80s, but they’ve rarely ever managed to capture what it is that makes him special. Much like Richard Pryor before him, Hollywood producers saw a brilliant, honest, and vicious stand-up comic and cast Rock in mugging slapstick roles unsuited to his talents. […]

TIFF 2014: While We’re Young Review

While We’re Young Special Presentations Noah Baumbach’s bitter little filmmaking pill has never been wildly popular, but he’s been surprisingly consistent enough to earn and maintain a healthy cult of support. That small audience of angry people with a sweet tooth for bitter comedy should be quite pleased by the writer/director’s latest effort, particularly after […]

TIFF 2014: Tales of the Grim Sleeper Review

Tales of the Grim Sleeper TIFF Docs By now, the Nick Broomfield documentary formula is set in stone. He picks a subject, heads to where it happened with minimal research, shoots everything, and ends up with a movie that is about his discoveries where even the failures are part of the story. Tales of the […]

TIFF 2014: The Riot Club Review

The Riot Club Gala Hey, you know how there’s some sort of class warfare thing that they do in Britain? Well, so do the people behind The Riot Club and they sure are pissy about it. Perhaps I’m being unkind. It’s not a bad movie by any means. Just one that is very, very on […]

TIFF 2014: The Humbling Review

The Humbling Special Presentations These days, the news that a bunch of grizzled old Hollywood types have gotten together to make a film about aging should be received with a mixture of abject terror and disgust. The world needs another Bucket List or Last Vegas about as much as it needs nuclear warfare. Thankfully, the […]

TIFF 2014: Haemoo Review

Haemoo Gala With Snowpiercer finally out and as beloved as all assumed it would be, the time has come to appreciate Joon-ho Bong’s next movie….kind of. He produced and co-wrote Haemoo, while directing duties fell into the hands of his longtime writing partner Sung-Bo Shim. Bong’s fingerprints remain on the film in its radical tonal […]