Alex Gartner

Alex Gartner

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Warcraft Review

OK

Based on the iconic strategy game, this fantasy battle epic will appeal mainly to either the gamers themselves or audiences that love wildly detailed fantasy worlds. Everyone else will probably feel a bit lost when faced with the stream of confusing names, spells and magical phenomena that fill every scene. It looks terrific, and is directed with plenty of energy and personality. But it feels both overcrowded and superficial.

With their home world Draenor dying, the orcs need to travel through a portal to the human realm Azeroth to find more life force to steal. One orc chieftan, Durotan (Toby Kebbell), is having doubts about this murderous plan, and thinks peace with humans might be a better option. His rival chief Blackhand (Clancy Brown) and the cackling orc shaman Gul-dan (Daniel Wu) disagree, and set a massacre in motion. Preparing for the attack, human King Llane (Dominic Cooper) turns for help to his top knight Lothar (Travis Fimmel), sorcerer Medivh (Ben Foster) and apprentice wizard Khadgar (Ben Schnetzer). Then they meet outcast half-caste Garona (Paula Patton), and she offers another way to take on the invaders.

For the uninitiated, the elaborate mythology is so detailed that it blurs together into something rather incomprehensible. Director Duncan Jones doesn't have time to explain everything, so he charges ahead and just lets the dialogue overflow with references that may or may not be needed to work out what's happening. The film leaps from one strikingly staged battle to another, all cleverly designed to mix digital animation with gothic costumes. It looks pretty amazing in 3D, but the only characters who emerge with any depth are Durotan and Garona, nicely played by Kebbell and Patton under mounds of effects, makeup, fur and teeth.

Continue reading: Warcraft Review

Season Of The Witch Review


Weak
It's not easy to understand why anyone agreed to fund this film, as the box office drawing power of Nicolas Cage is a bit suspect after a string of stinkers like this bizarre, unscary medieval thriller.

After 12 years murdering men, women and children in the Crusades, Behman (Cage) and Felson (Perlman) have a crisis of conscience and desert the army. They end up in a remote town, where they agree to escort an accused witch (Foy) to a distant monastery that has the only incantation that can destroy her and halt the Black Death. They're accompanied by a resolute priest (Moore) and his sidekick (Thomsen), then joined by an altar boy (Sheehan) determined to become a knight. Of course the journey is fraught with surprises.

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The Upside Of Anger Review


Excellent
There's an upside to Mike Binder's intelligent film about the torrent of anger one woman feels toward life. And depending on who you ask, you're likely to get a different response on exactly what that upside is. Easily characterized as a "chick-flick," The Upside of Anger deals mostly in the complicated world of relationships. My wife found it powerful and enlightening; I found it tedious and long. She yearned for more Joan Allen; I prayed for more Kevin Costner. And yet, despite our differences, the one thing we could agree on is that Anger packs an undeniably genuine, emotional punch.

In yet another robust female role, Allen plays Terry Wolfmeyer, a mother of four grown daughters who is consumed with anger after her husband mysteriously abandons his family. Terry's convinced that he's left her for his younger, more beautiful Swedish secretary. Paralyzed by her outrage, the only way Terry is able to deal with the situation is by drinking. Each day, from the time she takes her morning shower to the time goes to bed, Terry has a glass of vodka in her hand ready to drown her sorrows.

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Out Of Time Review


OK
Approximately 106 times over the course of 106 playfully passionate minutes, Carl Franklin's Out of Time threatens to jump the rails of logic and careen off course. With a steady Denzel Washington at the helm, the film never does. But after a while, you start to realize there are only so many grains of salt we can swallow to help a sultry suspense picture like this go down.

Chief of Police Matt Lee Whitlock (Washington) monitors the comings and goings of Banyan Key, an intimate beach community located several miles south of Miami. His private life is plagued by failed relationships and love triangles. A pending separation from his wife Alex (Eva Mendes) doesn't stop Whitlock from sleeping with Anne (Sanaa Lathan), a married townie with an abusive husband (Dean Cain).

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Barbershop 2: Back In Business Review


Excellent
The first Barbershop was a pleasant surprise, an easygoing comedy that had its ear turned toward the community and its heart in the right place. The sequel doesn't surprise us - we know what to expect by now - but that doesn't make the visit any less pleasant.

Because movies are filmed months in advance, though, the topics tackled in the barbershop's open forum are dated. Rants regarding the D.C. sniper and Bill Clinton might have fit better in the first film, which came out two years ago. The old material eventually gives way to new challenges for barbershop owner Calvin Palmer (Ice Cube) and his faithful crew of haircutters.

Continue reading: Barbershop 2: Back In Business Review

Alex Gartner

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Kit Harington And Maisie Williams Tease 'Game Of Thrones' Season 7

Kit Harington And Maisie Williams Tease 'Game Of Thrones' Season 7

Without giving away any spoilers, both the British actors hinted that season seven of 'Game of Thrones' would be eventful, shall we say.

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Alex Gartner Movies

Warcraft Movie Review

Warcraft Movie Review

Based on the iconic strategy game, this fantasy battle epic will appeal mainly to either...

Season of the Witch Movie Review

Season of the Witch Movie Review

It's not easy to understand why anyone agreed to fund this film, as the box...

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The Upside of Anger Movie Review

The Upside of Anger Movie Review

There's an upside to Mike Binder's intelligent film about the torrent of anger one woman...

Out of Time Movie Review

Out of Time Movie Review

Approximately 106 times over the course of 106 playfully passionate minutes, Carl Franklin's Out of...

Barbershop 2: Back In Business Movie Review

Barbershop 2: Back In Business Movie Review

The first Barbershop was a pleasant surprise, an easygoing comedy that had its ear turned...

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