John Hanlon

John P. Hanlon

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'Red 2' Review: Inferior Sequel Still Slings Sexy Lead

 The original Red (2010) was a fun escapist action comedy featuring an A-list cast willing to act silly to earn a few good laughs. Some of the original's plot was absurd and the conspiracy at its heart underwhelming but the story worked and the actors did well in their goofy but satisfying roles. Its sequel— unsurprisingly titled “Red 2”— attempts to follow that formula and does so in a highly-watchable but admittedly complacent follow-up. Jul 19, 2013 4:58 AM PT

'Pacific Rim' Review: Robots vs. Monsters, Rain and Engaging Characters

It would likely come as a surprise to those who have studied the layers of the planet Earth that one of the deepest layers underneath the ground is packed with monsters. Lots and lots of monsters. That’s one of the key ideas behind the new sci-fi action pic Pacific Rim (which could have been easily been titled Monsters versus Robots).   Jul 12, 2013 5:38 AM PT

'The Lone Ranger' Review: Split Personality Yields Shallow Summer Escapism

Disney’s The Lone Ranger is a strange concoction. At times, it plays like a goofy blockbuster but at other times, it feels like a self-important story. Bloated beyond belief, the Johnny Depp vehicle accomplishes some of what it set out to do and ends up being a decent—though not spectacular—summer spectacle. Jul 3, 2013 5:58 AM PT

'The Heat' Review: Hysterical Comedy a Worthy 'Bridesmaids' Successor

When a director helms a major hit, it sometimes overshadows much of his career. M. Night Shyamalan, for one, was inevitably hurt by the fact that nothing he did after The Sixth Sense (1999) compared to that Oscar-nominated drama. The auteur has made a few strong pictures since then-- it's been a while though-- but the excitement of his earlier work was never replicated for audiences. Jun 28, 2013 6:45 AM PT

'World War Z' Review: Zombie Thriller Has Brains, Global Scope

"Movement is life," says Brad Pitt's character in "World War Z." He's referring to the best way to survive the apocalyptic zombie attacks that are quickly destroying the human race. The quote could actually refer to one aspect of this film's success but ironically neglects the film's other great quality. Along with a few sharp action sequences, the story also knows when to stand still. Jun 21, 2013 5:00 AM PT

'The Internship' Review: Vince Vaughn's Comic Bravado Makes Workplace Comedy Click

Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson made a strong team in the 2005 comedy Wedding Crashers. They invaded nuptial ceremonies together, partied together and took on false personalities together. In The Internship, the two have invaded a new world: the offices of Google. Here again, they spend much of their time pretending to be something that they are not: computer whizzes. In this story, the two immature adults have been hired as interns at the giant company, where they are constantly forced into situations where they must pretend to know what they are doing. Jun 7, 2013 9:32 AM PT

'Pain & Gain' Review: 'Roid-Fueled Farce Fails to Live Up to True Story

Pain and Gain is an oddly disconcerting film. At the same time that it mocks the dimness of its leads (and admittedly, they are quite dumb), it also unabashedly embraces the violence and relentless energy of a Michael Bay blockbuster. By the time the story ends, audiences could be left wondering if they just witnessed a train-wreck or a satisfying comedy. My feelings are mixed but I can’t help but wonder if this story could’ve--in the right hands--been the subject of a truly great film. Apr 26, 2013 6:32 AM PT

'Disconnect' Review: Cautionary Tales of Internet Abuse Alarm, Enlighten

If you’ve ever been at a dining room table with a friend or family member who won’t get off their phone, you know the importance of the word “disconnect.” It seems that more and more often, we are sadly seeing people having conversations physically with one person while electronically communicating with another. The new drama "Disconnect" seems firmly aware of that concept and delves deeply and painfully into the world of electronic communication. Apr 19, 2013 9:48 AM PT

'Trance' Review ' Hypnotic Drama Worthy of Discussion, Debate

The new psychological thriller "Trance" stars James McAvoy as a man who understands the value of self-preservation and security when it comes to both artwork and his own life. Multi-layered and beautifully-filmed by Oscar winner Danny Boyle, the film lets viewers into the world of art and hypnosis in a tale that deserves to be talked about long after the credits roll. Apr 12, 2013 5:01 AM PT

'The Place Beyond the Pines' Review: Fatherhood and Fate Collide in Engaging, Thorny Drama

In the first scene of the new drama "The Place Beyond the Pines," the camera follows the character portrayed by Ryan Gosling along a route to his day job. The film isn't judging the character's actions but embracing them and seeing the world as he sees it, if only for a moment. For approximately the next two hours and twenty minutes, viewers will watch fates unfold--in much the same way--over a series of several decades as we follow several characters down their chosen paths. Apr 5, 2013 10:59 AM PT

The Sapphires' Review: True Tale of Aussie Quartet Singing for Soldiers in Vietnam

Many—if not most of the movies about Vietnam—focus on the war itself, seeing the conflict from the perspective of the soldiers in combat. The new inspiring film The Sapphires takes a new and distinct look at the bloody conflict. It sees the war through the prism of four young women and their manager, who are hired to entertain the weary soldiers. Mar 29, 2013 5:52 AM PT


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