John August

John August

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John August - 2016 Writers Guild Awards at Hyatt Regency Century Plaza - Press Room at Hyatt Regency Century Plaza, Writers Guild Awards - Los Angeles, California, United States - Saturday 13th February 2016

John August
John August
John August

Andrew Lippa and John August - Opening night after party for the Broadway musical Big Fish held at Roseland ballroom. - New York, NY, United States - Monday 7th October 2013

Andrew Lippa and John August

Krystal Joy Brown and John August - Opening night curtain call for the Broadway musical Big Fish at the Neil Simon Theatre. - New York, NY, United States - Monday 7th October 2013

Krystal Joy Brown and John August

Frankenweenie Review


Extraordinary

With a snappy sense of childish curiosity and lavishly skilled animation, Tim Burton makes one of his most endearing and enjoyably offbeat movies in years. It's actually a remake of a half-hour short he shot in 1984, fleshed out with terrific side characters and a much grander plot. But it's also been painstakingly made with detailed stop-motion animation that's both artistic and witty.

Set in what looks like the suburb from Edward Scissorhands, it's about lonely teen Victor Frankenstein (voiced by Tahan), whose best friend is his dog Sparky. When Sparky dies suddenly, Victor gets an idea from his science professor (Landau) to reanimate him. And it works! Victor hides this from his parents (O'Hara and Short) and the nice girl (Ryder) next door, but chatterbox classmate Edgar (Shaffer) blabs to some other kids in school, who decide they need to make their own science projects a lot more interesting. Suddenly the whole town is under siege by undead pets.

The film looks like a classic monster movie, shot in black and white with deep shadows and expressive faces, plus a hilariously entertaining attention to detail that will make you want to see the film over and over again. It's also packed with gags about the genre, including the names of characters, sudden sight gags (like the Bride of Frankenstein hair of the zapped poodle next door), and more witty references such as Gremlin-like sea-monkeys and a Godzilla-like reanimated tortoise (named, of course, Shelley). There's even an old Christopher Lee Dracula film showing on the TV. But the best thing about this film is the way it never relies on us getting the jokes: Burton has created his own classic too.

Continue reading: Frankenweenie Review

The Nines Review


Very Good
In the opening moments of John August's The Nines, an actor (Ryan Reynolds) drinks, drives, scores some crack, hangs out with a hooker, and totals his car. This series of events reverberates through the film, not so much in its literal consequences -- the story is told through three overlapping segments, only one of which features the actor character -- but rather the scene's jittery disorientation. Barely a moment goes by when someone onscreen isn't feeling confused or ill at ease. Following his accident, the actor is confined to a quiet house arrest, supervised by a cheery PR agent (Melissa McCarthy) and eyed by a stay-at-home mom neighbor (Hope Davis), but this mundane imprisonment starts to feel more like a sort of purgatory. Is it the drugs? The lack of drugs? Are the two seemingly benign women in his life actually part of something greater or more sinister?

We leave the scene before Reynolds finds definite answers, but the three primary actors recur in each of the subsequent sections, playing different characters. In Part II, Reynolds is a TV writer trying to cast his actress friend McCarthy (playing a version of herself, a popular supporting player on Gilmore Girls) in a new series over the objections of a network executive (Davis), who wants to hire an actress with a development deal (it goes almost without saying that said actress also happens to be skinnier and more generic, and is played by frequent network TV guest-star Dahlia Salem, and that the character's name is also Dahlia Salem). Later, in Part III, we see Reynolds and McCarthy as characters in that series, with Davis popping up in another vaguely antagonistic part.

Continue reading: The Nines Review

Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle Review


OK
Angels fight in slow motion. Angels show skin in slow motion. And most importantly, Angels explode in slow motion.

Thus we have the three immutable laws of the reinvented Charlie's Angels, that most improbable crossover hit from the 1970s TV show. Alas, what made the original film such a guilty pleasure wears thin in this rehash.

Continue reading: Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle Review

Charlie And The Chocolate Factory (2005) Review


Good
For a guy who's earned a reputation for being one of the most original filmmakers on earth, Tim Burton has an awfully large fondness for remakes. And what a mixed bag they are: His hit Batman spawned a huge movie franchise, while his Planet of the Apes stands as one of the most widely trashed films in recent memory.

And so Burton takes a third stab at the remake game with Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, an update/remake (call it what you want) of the beloved 1971 movie Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and Roald Dahl's classic children's novel. But the stakes here are far greater than they were with Apes. That was a campy sci-fi movie that no one really cared about. In fact, the original Apes had long since killed itself under the weight of four increasingly awful sequels. Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory frequently tops "Favorite Movie Ever" lists, and news of the remake has met with nothing but scorn from fans (including 1971 star Gene Wilder, who later retracted his scathing remarks).

Continue reading: Charlie And The Chocolate Factory (2005) Review

Go Review


Essential
Believe it or not, this is a Christmas movie! And here it is, the middle of April, and there's nothing else I'd rather see.

Let me put it this way: Go is the best movie I've seen since Fargo. Doug Liman, the man behind the brilliant Swingers, (which, I realized, came out much too long ago, in 1996), has concocted such a film that I'm almost compelled to pay the whopping $8.50 to see it again.

Continue reading: Go Review

Big Fish Review


Very Good
Tim Burton's Big Fish tells the story about a man, Edward Bloom (Albert Finney), whose life is best told in the context of tall-tales and glorified fables. When looking at our own lives, it's easy to see that all of us have a Bloom-type somewhere in our families. You know, the person that's able to take the complexities of life and turn them into the wild fantasies appreciated mostly by the young at heart.

In the film, Bloom's grown son, Will (Billy Crudup) is tired of the imaginative stories his dad has told him since he was young, and decides to only communicate with his mom (Jessica Lange). But, as the elder Bloom approaches the end of his life, Will puts aside his differences and chooses to find the truth behind all the stories in hopes of learning more about his dad. The only way Will knows how to find the answers he seeks is to retell the stories and let us be the judge.

Continue reading: Big Fish Review

Corpse Bride Review


Good
Comparisons between Tim Burton's stop-motion endeavors The Nightmare Before Christmas (which he co-wrote) and Corpse Bride (which he co-directed) are inevitable and unfair. The former will always be the Neil Armstrong of this particular animation genre, the first feature-length example of its kind that injects a challenging medium with creativity and heart.

Bride, now the Buzz Aldrin of Burton's stop-motion movies, strains under the effort to duplicate Nightmare's success, but it simply lacks that new-car smell. While still inventive in parts, it's nowhere near as innovative. Burton and collaborator Mike Johnson are content to walk an established path where the superior Nightmare feverishly broke hallowed ground.

Continue reading: Corpse Bride Review

Charlie's Angels Review


Weak
The spy game is up. You can thank Charlie's Angels -- the movie -- for that.

When did banality and pandering become okay? Just steal from Hong Kong, The Matrix, and a kitschy TV show from the mid-1970s and that's a movie? Charlie's Angels is one of the worst examples of action film homogeneity and shameless duplicity in any film I've seen in ages.

Continue reading: Charlie's Angels Review

John August

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John August Movies

Frankenweenie Movie Review

Frankenweenie Movie Review

With a snappy sense of childish curiosity and lavishly skilled animation, Tim Burton makes one...

The Nines Movie Review

The Nines Movie Review

In the opening moments of John August's The Nines, an actor (Ryan Reynolds) drinks, drives,...

Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle Movie Review

Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle Movie Review

Angels fight in slow motion. Angels show skin in slow motion. And most importantly, Angels...

Charlie And The Chocolate Factory (2005) Movie Review

Charlie And The Chocolate Factory (2005) Movie Review

For a guy who's earned a reputation for being one of the most original filmmakers...

Advertisement
Go Movie Review

Go Movie Review

Believe it or not, this is a Christmas movie! And here it is, the...

Big Fish Movie Review

Big Fish Movie Review

Tim Burton's Big Fish tells the story about a man, Edward Bloom (Albert Finney), whose...

Corpse Bride Movie Review

Corpse Bride Movie Review

Comparisons between Tim Burton's stop-motion endeavors The Nightmare Before Christmas (which he co-wrote) and Corpse...

Charlie's Angels Movie Review

Charlie's Angels Movie Review

The spy game is up. You can thank Charlie's Angels -- the movie --...

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