Author: Jesse Hassenger Page 3

Let's Go to Prison

Let's Go to Prison

I can attest first-hand that there are certain facts about Let's Go to Prison that might make it seem worthwhile. It was directed by Bob Odenkirk, the "Bob" half of the sometimes brilliant sketch comedy...

Movie Review posted on 16th January 2007

Garden State

Garden State

Even before he finds out his mother has died, Andrew Largeman (Zach Braff) is depressed -- that much we can tell. His medicine cabinet is stocked with seemingly infinite amounts of antidepressants, which seem to...

Movie Review posted on 15th January 2007

Sherrybaby

Sherrybaby

It struck me while watching Sherrybaby that one of Maggie Gyllenhaal's greatest strengths as an actress is an ability to cross class lines effortlessly and often. There are some great, versatile actresses -- Nicole Kidman,...

Movie Review posted on 15th January 2007

Sarah Silverman: Jesus is Magic

Sarah Silverman: Jesus is Magic

Sarah Silverman: Jesus is Magic is like sweet, feature-length revenge for the relatively small,l but almost assuredly scarred, minority of comics and actors who didn't quite make it on Saturday Night Live. Indeed, my first...

Movie Review posted on 15th January 2007

Mulan

Mulan

In the rush to contrast the early-nineties Disney golden age (Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, The Lion King) with the current crop of underperformers (Treasure Planet, Brother Bear, Home on the Range) that have resulted...

Movie Review posted on 15th January 2007

Airplane!

Airplane!

If Airplane! isn't the funniest English-language movie ever made, it could at least get into some spirited comedy fisticuffs with Monty Python and the Holy Grail, A Fish Called Wanda, or Wayne's World for the...

Movie Review posted on 15th January 2007

Aladdin

Aladdin

Disney's version of Aladdin and his magic lamp is one of its best animated features -- or features, period -- with terrific songs and gorgeous colors, thrilling action sequences and big laughs. It doesn't have...

Movie Review posted on 15th January 2007

Saw III

Saw III

The Saw series, like most horror franchises, uses a lot of constants in its formula -- even when those constants don't seem particularly vital to the quality of the series. Saw III, for example, matches...

Movie Review posted on 12th January 2007

Con Air

Con Air

It wasn't necessarily obvious (or even possible to know) at the time of its 1997 release, but Jerry Bruckheimer's Con Air would represent his finest hour. Bruckheimer isn't the director, of course, but rather the...

Movie Review posted on 4th January 2007

Arrested Development: Season Three

Arrested Development: Season Three

The only real flaw in the third season of Mitch Hurwitz's flat-out brilliant sitcom Arrested Development is its unfortunate abbreviation. Fox delighted the show's fan base with a surprise pickup at the end of its...

Movie Review posted on 23rd November 2006

Evil

Evil

Evil exemplifies the benefit of the doubt sometimes afforded to films simply because they arrive in this country with subtitles. Had this movie about a troubled teenager sent to a strict, cultish boarding school been...

Movie Review posted on 21st November 2006

The Wizard

The Wizard

I know a whole lot of people with vivid memories of The Wizard. It came out in 1989, during the heyday of the original eight-bit Nintendo videogame system, and, like a lot of Nintendo commercials,...

Movie Review posted on 21st November 2006

Saw III

Saw III

The Saw series, like most horror franchises, uses a lot of constants in its formula -- even when those constants don't seem particularly vital to the quality of the series. Saw III, for example, matches...

Movie Review posted on 28th October 2006

The Marine

The Marine

When The Rock unofficially decided, several years ago, that he'd like to be the next Arnold Schwarzenegger, someone must've sensed an opening down the action-hero totem pole; who's going to be the next Jean-Claude Van...

Movie Review posted on 16th October 2006

A Guide To Recognizing Your Saints

A Guide To Recognizing Your Saints

Dito Montiel grew up in an ungentrified Astoria, Queens, in the '80s, running with semi-hoodlums and raising misdemeanor-sized hell. But unlike a lot of teenage thugs-in-training, Montiel escaped his neighborhood to become a writer. His...

Movie Review posted on 6th October 2006

Sherrybaby

Sherrybaby

It struck me while watching Sherrybaby that one of Maggie Gyllenhaal's greatest strengths as an actress is an ability to cross class lines effortlessly and often. There are some great, versatile actresses -- Nicole Kidman,...

Movie Review posted on 11th September 2006

The Wicker Man (2006)

The Wicker Man (2006)

The new version of The Wicker Man is a surprisingly tony addition to the new class of horror remakes, adapted and directed not by a disgraced former action director or a newbie music-video director but...

Movie Review posted on 5th September 2006

Material Girls

Material Girls

I confess a fascination -- perhaps unhealthy by definition -- with the actress/singer/empire Hilary Duff. She's in no way a better actress than, say, Lindsay Lohan and her career doesn't have the occasional bursts of...

Movie Review posted on 20th August 2006

Snakes on a Plane

Snakes on a Plane

Snakes on a Plane arrives riding a wave of internet-generated hype and, I gather, a massive confusion of expectations. The pre-release proliferation of art, videos, songs, t-shirts, and other DIY media celebrating the film's unabashed...

Movie Review posted on 20th August 2006

Pulse (2006)

Pulse (2006)

Earlier in 2006, a killer videogame stalked teenagers in Stay Alive; Pulse ups the ante with ghostly wireless signals stalking college students. The latest J-horror remake never pitches itself over the top, refusing to pile...

Movie Review posted on 12th August 2006

The Great New Wonderful

The Great New Wonderful

The Great New Wonderful represents a major departure for director Danny Leiner in that it doesn't feature two perpetually stoned young men having outlandish adventures - or even one, for that matter. But the characters...

Movie Review posted on 27th June 2006

Stay Alive

Stay Alive

It's a horror plot so surefire that you wonder why it hasn't been done before: Young people play a mysterious new videogame and start to die, one by one, in grisly scenes mimicking their game...

Movie Review posted on 28th March 2006

My Date with Drew

My Date with Drew

My Date with Drew is a sunny alternative to the two genres that inspire it: the DIY indie documentary, and reality TV programming. It follows Brian Herzlinger, a nebbish aspiring filmmaker who has had a...

Movie Review posted on 5th January 2006

In the Mix

In the Mix

Let's get In the Mix's merits out of the way: It actually depicts a young-adult interracial romance onscreen, and with a light touch, avoiding any temptation to make into a social drama. It would be...

Movie Review posted on 21st December 2005

Man with the Screaming Brain

Man with the Screaming Brain

After years - decades, actually - of starring, co-starring, and cameoing in other people's B-movies, Bruce Campbell has gone and made one for himself. In Man with the Screaming Brain, a Sci-Fi Channel production that...

Movie Review posted on 9th December 2005

Sarah Silverman: Jesus is Magic

Sarah Silverman: Jesus is Magic

Sarah Silverman: Jesus is Magic is like sweet, feature-length revenge for the relatively small,l but almost assuredly scarred, minority of comics and actors who didn't quite make it on Saturday Night Live. Indeed, my first...

Movie Review posted on 15th November 2005

Starsky & Hutch

Starsky & Hutch

How gratifying to laugh at a movie starring Ben Stiller again. Not just occasional chuckles, as in Duplex or Along Came Polly, but big, genuine, generous laughs. A solid, well-timed comedy can be such a...

Movie Review posted on 1st November 2005

The Fly

The Fly

The most horrific aspect of David Cronenberg's version of The Fly is that it's a pretty earnest relationship drama. Not because the hindered courtship of girl reporter Geena Davis by scientist-fly hybrid Jeff Goldblum (what,...

Movie Review posted on 1st November 2005

The Matrix

The Matrix

What many people forget when comparing The Matrix to its own sequels (or the Star Wars prequels, or any other maligned sci-fi epic) is that this 1999 original has bad dialogue too. In fact, search...

Movie Review posted on 1st November 2005

Prozac Nation

Prozac Nation

Some films lead a long and storied journey to the big screen; Prozac Nation led a long and vague journey to any screen at all. It was filmed back in the year 2000, scheduled for...

Movie Review posted on 1st November 2005

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