Jun
03

Hour of the Wolf Catch-Up: THE RECONSTRUCTION OF WILLIAM ZERO

CATCH-UP WEDNESDAY! Bringing you the Hour of the Wolf review segments that were not posted on their air dates.

From 4/16/15: Sorry, Orphan Black, not all clones are twenty-something and kinda hot. Sometimes they’re middle-aged and come with a lot of baggage. Here’s my review of The Reconstruction of William Zero.

Jun
02

Hour of the Wolf Catch-Up: CHEATIN’

CATCH-UP TUESDAY! Bringing you the Hour of the Wolf review segments that were not posted on their air dates.

From 4/9/15: The course of true love never runs smooth. When cartoonist Bill Plympton is presiding, it can get downright kinky. Here’s my review of Cheatin’.

May
31

Hour of the Wolf Catch-Up: SPRING

CATCH-UP SUNDAY! Bringing you the Hour of the Wolf review segments that were not posted on their air dates.

From 4/2/15: Imagine if Richard Linklater called Julie Delpy in just before the cameras rolled on Before Sunrise and said, “I’ve got a bit of a twist for your character…” That’s the basic concept behind Spring, a film that mixes beautiful location filming in Italy, idyllic romance, and mutant horror. An usual combo, to be sure, and my review for Hour of the Wolf evaluates how smoothly all the pieces mesh. Click on the player to hear the segment, or right-click the link to download.

May
27

Hour of the Wolf Movie Review: TOMORROWLAND

Disney's TOMORROWLAND Casey (Britt Robertson)  Ph: Film Frame ©Disney 2015Upon reflection, it turns out I’ve been looking forward to Tomorrowland more than I’ve been looking forward to any actual tomorrows. Which is ironic, because that is pretty much what this film — directed by Brad Bird, who co-scripted with Damon Lindelof — is about. It is, of course, easier to get excited about the future when you know George Clooney is going to waiting around there for you; but a well-sculpted profile can go only so far in making the dream of jet-packs, hover trains, and interplanetary commuter runs a reality. I give some thought to how well Bird and Lindelof succeed in getting us to believe in that Great, Big, Beautiful Tomorrow in my review for Jim Freund’s Hour of the Wolf. Click on the player to hear the segment, or right-click the link to download.

May
26

Hour of the Wolf Catch-Up: PADDINGTON

CATCH-UP TUESDAY! Bringing you the Hour of the Wolf review segments that were not posted on their air dates.

Remember Paddington, from this past January? Hey, that was a pretty good film, right? I thought so, too, with a few reservations, and I cover it all in this review, which aired 1/22/15.

May
24

Hour of the Wolf Movie Review: MAD MAX: FURY ROAD

Mad_Max_FRD-DS-00668_350Well, here I am, once again hanging alone around the perimeter while the vast majority of critics and fans are having a veritable orgy of delight over Mad Max: Fury Road. Yes it’s a crazy, inventive film. Yes, the action is outsized and breathtaking. And yet my reaction is a resounding, “Meh.” How did it come to this? I’m tempted to level that blame at a delayed onset of anhedonia — the inability to experience pleasure — but I had a green chile cheeseburger at Bobby’s Burger Palace a few days ago and was convinced that there still exists miracles in this universe, so that can’t be it. Listen in on my review for Jim Freund’s Hour of the Wolf as I try to figure this out. Click on the player to hear the review, or right-click the link to download.

May
11

INVASION OF THE STAR CREATURES – Temple of Bad

Invasion_of_the_Star_Creatures_22644_4_350The good often travels along with the bad. The good in this case: Yours truly has made the move to the lovely city of Philadelphia, a process that led to the extended delay of this episode. The bad: the film we’re discussing, of course. The SF-comedy Invasion of the Star Creatures tries to mimic the slapped-together-fast-n-cheap success of Little Shop of Horrors — with Horrors star Jonathan Haze stepping into the role of screenwriter — but pretty much blows everything it attempts, most prominently any attempt at humor (unless you think grievously stereotyped Native Americans and a subterranean rewrite of an old Scooby-Doo chase gag repeated ad nauseum are downright high-larious).

Come join Andrea Lipinski, Kevin Lauderdale, Orenthal V. Hawkins, and myself, Dan Persons, as we explore why, if the alien invasion does come, we’re hoping it’s the face-huggers that get to us first.

NEXT EPISODE: We go into space to endure the terrors, and the bad acting, of Journey to the Seventh Planet.

May
07

Hour of the Wolf Movie Review: AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON

They're there because they're there because they're there because they're gonna kick butt. Marvel's mightiest reassemble for AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON

They’re there because they’re there because they’re there because they’re gonna kick butt. Marvel’s mightiest reassemble for AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON

We’re back! D’ja miss us? There will be several posts forthcoming to catch up on the HotWolf reviews we’ve aired over the past few weeks but haven’t released to the Web. But for now, it makes sense get things restarted with the first big blockbuster of the summer, and maybe — judging by what will be following in the next few months — something we can already call the biggest blockbuster of the summer (because are you really champing at the bit for Terminator: Genisys?). Avengers: Age of Ultron gets the consortium of Marvel superheroes back together to face down a psychotic android hell-bent on (PLOT SPOILER!) worldwide annihilation. Joss Whedon is once again doing the honors as writer/director, but is this next installment a fitting follow-up to the justifiably praised first film? Check out my review by clicking on the player or right-clicking the link to download.

Jan
19

Hour of the Wolf Movie Review: PREDESTINATION

Ethan Hawke warps the time-lines in PREDESTINATION.

Ethan Hawke warps the time-lines in PREDESTINATION.

It’s January Mysteries time! Usually it’s no secret why a film gets given a January release date. The month’s largely a dumping ground, a catch-all for films that, for one reason or another, have been found wanting. But occasionally a film lands in the month that, from all on-screen evidence, should have received better treatment. Hence, the mystery.

Such is the case with PREDESTINATION, a science fiction tale based on Robert Heinlein’s classic, time paradox story, All You Zombies, and starring Ethan Hawke as a time-travelling cop going undercover as a bartender for a crucial recruitment mission. Despite a few narrative bumps — including a not-all-that necessary b-plot about a mad bomber — the film, directed by the twin Spierig Brothers, is handsomely mounted and nicely told. So what got the film shunted to the armpit of the release year? More, why didn’t anyone think it deserved better than the handful of theaters it was released to? I cannot explain, but I can tell you why I think the distributors in this case were wrong-wrong-wrongedy-wrong, and I do in my latest review for Jim Freund’s HOUR OF THE WOLF. Click on the player to hear the segment, or right-click the link to download.

Jan
09

Hour of the Wolf Movie Review: INTO THE WOODS

Atmosphere doesn't completely make up for a filmic outlook in INTO THE WOODS, but it helps lots.

Atmosphere doesn’t completely make up for a filmic outlook in INTO THE WOODS, but it helps lots.

Loyalty. It’s a quality much to be desired, in how we treat our loved ones, the way we deal with our co-workers, in how those entrusted with the public welfare respect their responsibilities (we’re looking at you, Congress). And there’s a lot to be said for loyalty when it comes to adapting a film from another source, be it a novel, a play, or a musical. But it can be impediment as well, especially when loyalty to the original material gets in the way of letting a filmmaker do what the medium is best suited for.

All told, Rob Marshall’s adaptation of Stephen Sondheim’s INTO THE WOODS is a beautiful, smart, and engaging experience, occasionally marred by a decision to adhere to what played on the stage as opposed to what might work on-screen. I explore the issue in my review for Jim Freund’s HOUR OF THE WOLF. Click on the player to hear the segment, or right-click the link to download.

 

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