Sleazy "Hyde Park on Hudson" shows some secrets should be kept
FDR stands for Franklin Delano Roosevelt? Well color me shocked, because throughout "Hyde Park on Hudson," Roger Michell's sleazy piece of Oscar bait, I would've sworn it stood for filthy, dirty and rotten. And that's just the way the film portrays the 32nd President. The movie itself is pretty ugly in its own right.
"Zero Dark Thirty" a dark journey into America's soul
There are plenty of questions that haunt Kathryn Bigelow's "Zero Dark Thirty." They haunt the audience well after the end credits have run and the popcorn has been thrown out. They also make the terrific procedural one of the most thrilling and thought-provoking films of the year.
"Gangster Squad" takes sensationalized aim at gangland nostalgia
Classic gangsters loved a good embarrassment of riches. And for a movie like "Gangster Squad," showing off is fine. But, when the swanky style of the era meets the stylized swank of the movie's own excesses, things get out of hand.
Encore showings of "Honor Flight" offered at Marcus Theatres
A lot of us couldn't make the Aug. 11 premiere of "Honor Flight" at Miller Park, or were too busy around the holidays to catch the viewings offered by Marcus Theatres on Pearl Harbor Day in December. Luckily, we're getting another chance. This month, Marcus Theatres will show the emotional documentary at eight Wisconsin locations.
Anti-fracking drama "Promised Land" fumbles at the finish
There is a twist near the end of "Promised Land," the Matt Damon-led anti-fracking drama. I won't spoil it here, but it's dumb and preachy, a bad combination. It's quite a shame because before that audience-insulting turn of events, "Promised Land" is a modest, pleasant film about modest, small-town life.
"Texas Chainsaw 3D" a dull blade
Less than a week ago, I made some film-related resolutions, one of which was to see a good horror movie. It didn't take long - four days to be exact - for Hollywood to attempt to reinvigorate my love for horror flicks with "Texas Chainsaw 3D." Too bad that the sequel did the complete opposite.
Matt's picks for the best (and worst) movies of 2012
2012 was a great year for movies, but then again, I'd argue every year is a great year for movies. Chicago critic Richard Roeper once said saying there are no good films out is like saying there are no good books in a bookstore. Of course there are; you just need to look around sometimes. Thus, let's take one final look at the best movies 2012 had to offer.
"Chasing Ice" a chilling case for climate change
Haven't we seen "Chasing Ice" before? Why yes, in fact, we have. It came out six years ago, back when it was called "An Inconvenient Truth." Surprisingly, while Al Gore's landmark movie won Oscars and established the modern enviro-doc template, it's "Chasing Ice" that presents the more compelling and cinematic argument.
"Les Miserables" makes for a miserable movie
Merry Christmas, "Les Miz" lovers - I'm about to hate all over your musical.
"Django Unchained" is off the hook
Well, it took director Quentin Tarantino 20 years, but he finally got his Western ... kinda. Although it's fair to say he's been preparing his entire career with his raucously bloody shoot-'em-ups, Tarantino's time warming up has been well spent if "Django Unchained" is the final result
Fan-pleasing trapezing abounds in "Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away"
"Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away" would've been better off just selling itself as a greatest hits collection instead of incorporating a story that's like trying to put together a puzzle whose pieces are slowly melting into a pile of mush. That being said, it is a pretty impressive pile of mush.
"Jack Reacher" an uneasy but entertaining mix
Those walking into "Jack Reacher" with little knowledge of author Lee Child's popular book series are probably asking themselves "Who is Jack Reacher?" Moviegoers walking out of Tom Cruise's latest action romp, on the other hand, are probably asking themselves "What is `Jack Reacher'?" Because after 130 minutes, it's hard to walk out of the theater knowing what kind of movie "Jack Reacher" intends to be.
"This is 40" is a movie in mid-life crisis
Unlike most middle-aged men, Judd Apatow can afford a whole garage of Camaros and Mustangs. So, it makes sense that his mid-life crisis would manifest not with a youthful car buy, but by splurging on the production of a new movie.
"The Guilt Trip" nothing to feel bad about
The best road trip movies seat viewers with characters we're happy to spend time with, eager to see them grow and evolve by journey's end. On the other hand, the bad ones give us companions we'd rather run over with a car than share a ride in one. "The Guilt Trip" pleasantly falls somewhere in middle of those two extremes
One hour service windows for cable customers?
Time Warner Cable customers in Wisconsin, the company says, should now enjoy some of the shortest waits in the home service and delivery industry. One hour service for everyone! Have you tried it? Is it true?
10 movie winners (and five big losers) of 2012
Well, another year of movies is (almost) in the books. Full of many memorable ups and seared-in-my-brain-forever downs, here's my take on the best (and worst) of 2012.
Channel 6 newscasts focus on coping with Sandy Hook tragedy
Tonight and Tuesday in all its evening newscasts - 5, 6, 9 and 10 p.m. - WITI-FOX 6 will have mental health experts on hand to help answer questions about this and other topics related to the tragic events at Sandy Hook. Find out how to cope, how to heal, what to say. Tomorrow, the station will air an hour-long special on the shooting at 9 p.m.
"The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" is a welcome adventure
Eleven years after "Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring" introduced audiences to the majesty of director Peter Jackson's Middle-earth, "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" makes a triumphant return to the mythical land with a new trilogy based on J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Hobbit."
"Playing for Keeps" not a keeper
I've been sitting in the same spot for the past two hours attempting to come up with a nice way to put my feelings about "Playing for Keeps," the latest stalled romantic star vehicle for Gerard Butler. But I just can't. "Playing for Keeps" is soul-sucking.
"Hitchcock" delves into the mind of the master of suspense
Movies about legendary historical figures almost always carry extra weight on their shoulders. But, "Hitchcock" went there, and emerged relatively unscathed with a clever, if superficial, homage to the master of suspense, Alfred Hitchcock.
Ellen's on the East Side
Talk show host Ellen DeGeneres is calling all Milwaukeeans to be a part of "The Ellen DeGeneres Show."
"Anna Karenina": classic story smothered by style
"Anna Karenina," a retelling of Leo Tolstoy's classic novel, is packed to the limit with elaborately lavish theatrics, dressing, camera movements and choreography. The trailers call these things "a bold new vision." I call it a bunch of pretty, meticulously crafted distractions.
Cheap horror sequel "The Collection" far from vintage
In 2009, as the "Saw" series was petering out in popularity, another trap-based dose of torture porn hit theaters in the form of "The Collector." And, since it seems to be a law that all marginally successful horror films merit a sequel, we now have "The Collection."
"Killing Them Softly" more of a drawn-out cinematic death
On the outside, "Killing Them Softly" looks like the perfect respite from all the glittering Oscar bait scrambling to hit theaters before the year's out. Yeah, not so much.
"Life of Pi" a magical journey for the eye
"Life of Pi," director Ang Lee's adaptation of Yann Martel's 2001 bestselling novel, frames itself as the ultimate spiritual, religious adventure. The jury's still out on all that, but Ang Lee is an outrageously talented and inventive visual director.