Tuesday
May 23 2017
11:42 AM

Oktay Ege Kozak is a  screenwriter and a film critic with an MFA in Film Studies.

Oktay Ege Kozak is a screenwriter and a film critic with an MFA in Film Studies. He writes for Beyazperde.com, Turkey's premier film web-site with over a million visitors every month. He also writes on his blog www.oktayegekozak.wordpress.com. His twitter name is egekozak and his email is oktayegekozak@hotmail.com. He lives in Portland, Oregon.

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Oktay Ege Kozak
  Title Rating Snapshot of Review Date
1
2 1/2 stars
10 Cloverfield Lane might be the most expensive pitch video for a director who's trying to land bigger budgeted gigs. That's fine and all, but why should the general audience be expected to pay their hard-earned money to spend two hours on what's essentially some guy's resume? Yes, this claustrophob ... [more]
Comments: 0
Mar 10, 2016    10:37 AM
2
5 stars
Hi everyone, here's a new episode of Over/Under Movies, where three Pacific Northwest-based film critics talk about one overrated and one underrated film within the same genre, style, or tone. If you enjoy our show, please write us a review on iTunes (You can find us if you search for Over/Under ... [more]
Comments: 0
Mar 3, 2016    1:06 PM
3
5 stars
Sometimes it's very hard to write about your favorite movies, because you don't even know where to start. This is certainly the case with The Manchurian Candidate, which is perhaps the greatest spy thriller ever made. There are so many amazing scenes, nuances, new details you notice every time you w ... [more]
Comments: 0
Mar 1, 2016    1:34 PM
4
5 stars
Hi everyone, here's a new episode of Over/Under Movies, where three Pacific Northwest-based film critics talk about one overrated and one underrated film within the same genre, style, or tone. If you enjoy our show, please write us a review on iTunes (You can find us if you search for Over/Under ... [more]
Comments: 0
Feb 4, 2016    9:48 AM
5
3 stars
Hail, Caesar! (To be simply referred to as Hail Caesar during the rest of the review) is basically Burn After Reading in Hollywood, and just like Burn After Reading, it's a series of great scenes in search of a movie. My love for the Coen Brothers is undeniable, but I've yet to fully appreciate thei ... [more]
Comments: 1
Feb 3, 2016    3:14 PM
6
4 stars
Even though it's perhaps not as highly regarded as other Charlie Chaplin masterpieces like City Lights, Modern Times, and The Great Dictator, The Kid can almost always be found near the top of lists ranking the best of Chaplin's work. This might have to do with the fact that, even though it's barely ... [more]
Comments: 0
Feb 2, 2016    1:20 PM
7
4 stars
For modern film audiences, Gilda is primarily known for the mesmerizing sensuality of Rita Heyworth's performance, captured primarily in two iconic moments: The famous shot where her character Gilda snaps her head into frame, her voluptuous black hair beating all men into submission, and the scene w ... [more]
Comments: 0
Jan 14, 2016    6:10 PM
8
5 stars
In a way, Inside Llewyn Davis completes an unofficial trilogy by the Coen brothers: A series of extremely dark comedies about aloof idealists who find themselves woefully underprepared to deal with the absurd and random cruelty of the real world. The other two masterpieces in the "trilogy", Barton F ... [more]
Comments: 0
Jan 13, 2016    1:48 PM
9
5 stars
Hi everyone, here's a new episode of Over/Under Movies, where three Pacific Northwest-based film critics talk about one overrated and one underrated film within the same genre, style, or tone. That being said, we have a special episode for you this time around. If you enjoy our show, please write ... [more]
Comments: 0
Jan 10, 2016    12:23 PM
10
5 stars
In early 19th Century frontier life, expert tracker Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio) leads a group of gruff men on a fur trading expedition. The primal and disheveled look and behavior of the men contrasts the pure natural beauty of the snowy mountains and the rivers that surround them. Suddenly, one ... [more]
Comments: 0
Jan 7, 2016    12:43 PM
11
2 1/2 stars
Hi everyone, here's a new episode of Over/Under Movies, where three Pacific Northwest-based film critics talk about one overrated and one underrated film within the same genre, style, or tone. That being said, we have a special episode for you this time around. If you enjoy our show, please write ... [more]
Comments: 0
Jan 2, 2016    2:35 PM
12
0 stars
10- Spectre: After Sam Mendes rewrote the Bond rulebook with the fresh and exciting Skyfall, his return to 007 was a welcome proposition. That's why Spectre turned out to be such a big disappointment. Yes, the single take opening is spectacular, but there's a pretty sizable drop in quality from t ... [more]
Comments: 1
Dec 24, 2015    2:54 PM
13
3 stars
Burroughs: The Movie has one of those production stories where a documentary about the making of the film might be more interesting than the film itself. That would have been the case if Burroughs: The Movie's subject matter wasn't so interesting, but the story of how the documentary was shot and ho ... [more]
Comments: 0
Dec 21, 2015    2:33 PM
14
2 1/2 stars
There are those great sports films that transcend the narrow fandom of the sport they depict, and become lauded as universally accessible entertainment. Of course the go-to example of this is the Rocky franchise, which is still going strong with the recent release of the excellent Creed. There are m ... [more]
Comments: 0
Dec 18, 2015    2:04 PM
15
5 stars
Hi everyone, here's a new episode of Over/Under Movies, where three Pacific Northwest-based film critics talk about one overrated and one underrated film within the same genre, style, or tone. If you enjoy our show, please write us a review on iTunes (You can find us if you search for Over/Under ... [more]
Comments: 0
Dec 16, 2015    5:43 PM
16
4 1/2 stars
We waited for 32 years, but we finally get a Star Wars film that's exciting, exhilarating, creative, and all around excellent. George Lucas' prequel trilogy, which took a bow with Revenge of the Sith ten years ago, brought us the general feel of the original trilogy on a superficial level, while sev ... [more]
Comments: 0
Dec 15, 2015    6:17 PM
17
5 stars
In Cold Blood is still the reigning champ of true crime dramas because of a simple reason: It manages to extract drama and emotion out of a fairly straightforward journalistic approach. The narrative sticks pragmatically close to the rules of a dry procedural, with every fact of the real life case b ... [more]
Comments: 1
Dec 6, 2015    4:08 PM
18
5 stars
One of the reasons Pixar is the leading animation studio in Hollywood lies in their dedication to making sure that the quality of the stories matches their groundbreaking technical achievements. For example, Wall-E is my favorite film of the last decade, and that's largely because of many years of r ... [more]
Comments: 0
Nov 25, 2015    1:47 PM
19
4 stars
The powerhouse duo of Marcello Mastroianni and Sophia Loren never saw a genre or tone they could not knock out of the park. Aside from being major stars of their time, they were consummate professionals who respected the genres and roles they were given while molding themselves into the parts instea ... [more]
Comments: 0
Nov 11, 2015    12:21 PM
20
5 stars
Even though Akira Kurosawa, the one and only Emperor of Cinema, is mostly known for his Jidaigeki, or period, films (Let's face it, most film buffs call them samurai movies), some of his best work was in contemporary dramas. For proof, look no further than his masterpiece Ikiru, a heartbreaking, inv ... [more]
Comments: 0
Nov 10, 2015    1:57 PM
21
5 stars
Hi everyone, here's a new episode of Over/Under Movies, where three Pacific Northwest-based film critics talk about one overrated and one underrated film within the same genre, style, or tone. If you enjoy our show, please write us a review on iTunes (You can find us if you search for Over/Under Mov ... [more]
Comments: 0
Nov 6, 2015    2:58 PM
22
2 1/2 stars
Skyfall, the last James Bond flick and the second best of the Daniel Craig Bonds, ended with the restart of the Bond setup fans have been accustomed to since the character's cinematic introduction in the 60s: M (Ralph Fiennes), a man again after Judi Dench's 17-year run, settled in his Connery-era B ... [more]
Comments: 0
Nov 5, 2015    9:42 PM
23
5 stars
Hi everyone, here's a new episode of Over/Under Movies, where three Pacific Northwest-based film critics talk about one overrated and one underrated film within the same genre, style, or tone. If you enjoy our show, please write us a review on iTunes (You can find us if you search for Over/Under Mov ... [more]
Comments: 0
Oct 30, 2015    12:19 PM
24
5 stars
I liked Frank, director Lenny Abrahamson's 2014 indie dramedy about a quirky experimental band, with Michael Fassbender in a giant papier mache head as the lead singer with serious mental health issues. After my white Portland friends sang its praises, I dismissed it as yet another one of those hips ... [more]
Comments: 0
Oct 29, 2015    2:14 PM
25
5 stars
Mulholland Drive (I'm going to forego the spelling of the original title to make things easier) represents the peak in quality for David Lynch's surreal "nightmare" films. A truly unnerving, disturbing, and fascinating Hollywood horror story (Yes, I think it counts as a member of the genre. Not only ... [more]
Comments: 0
Oct 16, 2015    1:30 PM
26
5 stars
Hi everyone, here's a new episode of Over/Under Movies, where three Pacific Northwest-based film critics talk about one overrated and one underrated film within the same genre, style, or tone. If you enjoy our show, please write us a review on iTunes (You can find us if you search for Over/Under Mov ... [more]
Comments: 0
Oct 14, 2015    10:51 AM
27
5 stars
Hi everyone, here's a new episode of Over/Under Movies, where three Pacific Northwest-based film critics talk about one overrated and one underrated film within the same genre, style, or tone. If you enjoy our show, please write us a review on iTunes (You can find us if you search for Over/Under Mov ... [more]
Comments: 0
Sep 23, 2015    9:07 AM
28
4 stars
The Martian is a tense, smart, and thoughtful sci-fi thriller that should also prove to be a massive crowd pleaser. Pretty much everyone should get what they wanted out of the experience. The general audience looking to be thrilled and entertained should be more than satisfied with a tautly structur ... [more]
Comments: 1
Sep 22, 2015    11:28 AM
29
2 stars
There's a reason I call Wes Anderson "The AC/DC of hipster cinema". As enjoyable as his unique style may be, and as hypnotic to those who can intimately tune into it, you will not find much versatility in his work. It makes sense that Anderson is one of the most parodied contemporary filmmakers, alo ... [more]
Comments: 0
Sep 14, 2015    11:55 AM
30
4 stars
Bruce Beresford is one of the Australian directors who came into prominence during the 70s and became known as one of the members of the then new age of Australian cinema along with revered names like Nicholas Roeg and Peter Weir. Yet he doesn't get as much respect from film buffs as Roeg and Weir, ... [more]
Comments: 0
Sep 14, 2015    11:17 AM
31
5 stars
Hi everyone, here's a new episode of Over/Under Movies, and we wanted to remind everyone to please write us a review on iTunes (You can find us if you search for Over/Under Movies) if you enjoy our show so we can get more people like you to listen to us complain about or praise overrated and underra ... [more]
Comments: 0
Sep 10, 2015    10:53 AM
Over/Under Movies Episode 33: Lucy/Hanna
5 stars
Hi everyone, here's a new episode of Over/Under Movies, and we wanted to remind everyone to please write us a review on iTunes (You can find us if you search for Over/Under Movies) if you enjoy our show so we can get more people like you to listen to us complain about or praise overrated and underra ... [more]
Comments: 0
Aug 20, 2015    10:09 AM
Criterion Collection Reviews: Day for Night
5 stars
"Making a film is like a stagecoach ride in the old west. When you start, you are hoping for a pleasant trip. By the halfway point, you just hope to survive." This is what Ferrand, the director of a high profile melodramatic film tells the audience while he’s in the middle of production. As Ferra ... [more]
Comments: 0
Aug 10, 2015    8:16 PM
Criterion Collection Reviews: Dressed to Kill
3 1/2 stars
Dressed to Kill is a ridiculous, over-the-top, transphobic, atonal mess of an attempt at putting a Hitchcockian twist on an 80s erotic thriller. It’s also compulsively watchable and an excellent exercise in pure style and tension. All of these contrarian reactions eventually lead to one obvious take ... [more]
Comments: 1
Aug 4, 2015    4:05 PM
Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation
4 stars
Apart from Mission: Impossible, I can’t think of another big budget action franchise that started off mediocre to bad, only to get better and more exhilarating with later installments. What other action franchise can you think of where the fourth and fifth episodes are better than the first three? A ... [more]
Comments: 1
Jul 28, 2015    3:55 PM
Criterion Collection Reviews: The Killers (1946 & 1964)
3 1/2 stars
Ernest Hemingway’s short story The Killers is as sparse in plot as stories get. It’s a mood piece that’s basically about two hit men showing up at a small town diner, asking for the location of a washed-up boxer. We never find out what the boxer did for the killers to come after him. At the end of t ... [more]
Comments: 0
Jul 23, 2015    5:56 PM
Over/Under Movies: Joe Dante Bonus Episode
5 stars
After Erik came up with Gremlins 2 as his underrated pick, we decided to watch as much as director Joe Dante's filmography as possible and thought that he was underrated enough to warrant a bonus episode discussion. An integral part of the 80s Blockbuster movement along with Steven Spielberg, Geo ... [more]
Comments: 0
Jul 23, 2015    10:07 AM
Over/Under Movies Episode 32: Back to the Future Part II/Gremlins 2: The New Batch
5 stars
In this new episode of Over/Under Movies, a podcast where we review one overrated and one underrated film, Erik, Ryan, and Oktay catches sequel fever and dig into two blockbuster sequels from the very late 80s (One of them technically counts as being from the very early 90s, but whatevs). The movie ... [more]
Comments: 0
Jul 23, 2015    10:04 AM
Criterion Collection Reviews: My Beautiful Laundrette
4 stars
My Beautiful Laundrette is one of the best of Stephen Frears’ realistic, gritty, and character-driven films about the London working class, a melting pot of different races, cultures, and ideologies coexisting within a dog-eat-dog world where everyone tries to get to the next level in socioeconomic ... [more]
Comments: 0
Jul 22, 2015    2:14 PM
Ant-Man
4 stars
There are many reasons to praise Ant-Man, but there’s one that stands above the rest. Forget that it’s a delightful sendoff to 1950s B-movies in a scale and budget the likes of Corman and Castle could’ve never dreamed about. Forget that it’s an excellent example of ditzy popcorn entertainment that f ... [more]
Comments: 0
Jul 15, 2015    3:50 PM
Over/Under Movies Episode 30: True Grit (1969 & 2010)/The Homesman
5 stars
For this new episode, Erik, Ryan, and Oktay head into the unforgiving American frontier as they discuss three Westerns told from a female perspective. First off, instead of one overrated pick, our critics offer two films for the price of one. They delve into both the 1969 and the 2010 versions of ... [more]
Comments: 0
Jul 3, 2015    10:41 AM
Terminator Genisys
1/2 stars
Imagine a ten-year-old bratty kid of a multi-billionaire whose favorite movies are The Terminator and Terminator 2, who decides to use the 200 million dollars he got from daddy as a birthday present to make his own Terminator movie. He takes his favorite moments from the first two films and awkwardl ... [more]
Comments: 1
Jun 30, 2015    10:05 AM
Inside Out
4 1/2 stars
As far as I’m concerned, the golden age of Pixar will always be the hat trick of three masterpieces they pulled off during the late 00s with Ratatouille, Wall-E, and Up. The animation giants’ 2010s efforts have mostly consisted of sequels to their biggest hits, along with a return to original conten ... [more]
Comments: 0
Jun 16, 2015    11:09 AM
Over/Under Movies Episode 30: I Am Legend/The Quiet Earth
5 stars
Welcome to another episode of Over/Under Movies, a podcast where we pick one overrated and one underrated movie and discuss them. You can listen to the episode by playing the embedded player below. "The last man on Earth sat alone in a room. There was a knock on the door." - Fredrick Brown It' ... [more]
Comments: 0
Jun 10, 2015    11:00 AM
Spy
4 1/2 stars
Spy is an excellent action/comedy that’s equal parts thrilling and funny (How’s that for a hacky opening line?). It’s hard to pull off an efficient balance when putting together a non-parody example of this delicate genre. More than often, we either get an action movie with a few more chuckles than ... [more]
Comments: 1
Jun 3, 2015    12:41 PM
Tomorrowland
4 stars
As someone who grew up on Disney’s 50s and 60s live-action movies, full of innocent adventure-seeking and charming idealism, I have to admit that Tomorrowland filled me with a warm and fuzzy feeling of nostalgia. Even though it’s technically about the future, or at least a futuristic utopian alterna ... [more]
Comments: 1
May 20, 2015    7:00 PM
Over/Under Movies Episode 29: Ben Wheatley Special Episode
5 stars
We're changing things up a bit at Over/Under Movies this time around so instead of talking about one overrated and one underrated movie as usual, we're focusing on the early work of a lesser-known but talented director that at least one of our co-hosts thinks is underrated. That director is Ben W ... [more]
Comments: 0
May 20, 2015    11:10 AM
Mad Max: Fury Road
4 1/2 stars
Mad Max: Fury Road is basically a roided-up remake of The Road Warrior, and that’s very, very good news. Returning to the franchise he created after a thirty-year hiatus, co-writer/director George Miller not only fully embraces the goofy excess of the original films, but he goes above and beyond in ... [more]
Comments: 0
May 12, 2015    10:34 AM
Nick Kroll Interview
5 stars
Nick Kroll's been busy recently. His hit Comedy Central sketch comedy Kroll Show just came to an end, and he's been stretching his acting chops as an entitled brother/uncle/babysitter in the new family dramedy Adult Beginners. The film itself is a surprisingly tender and unsurprisingly funny look in ... [more]
Comments: 0
Apr 29, 2015    10:10 AM
Over/Under Movies Episode 28: Safety Not Guaranteed/Slaughterhouse-Five
5 stars
"It's time to go back... To the future!"... Or, to the past, or, to randomly jump back and forth through moments in a WWII vet's life as an allegory on the absurdities of evil. In this new episode of Over/Under Movies, where we discuss one overrated and one underrated film, our panel of critics d ... [more]
Comments: 0
Apr 22, 2015    9:25 AM
Ex Machina
4 1/2 stars
Depictions of highly advanced artificial intelligence in science-fiction usually fall into two extremes: Either they are benign and lovable, like David in A.I. and Wall-E, or evil, ruthless killing machines, like the many models of the T-line across the entire Terminator franchise. The essential ele ... [more]
Comments: 0
Apr 20, 2015    11:16 AM
Over/Under Movies Episode 27: Shallow Grave/Slumdog Millionaire
5 stars
(Sing to the tune of Danny Boy) Oh Danny Boyle, the snobs, the snobs are talking, all about you, on this episode. In this new episode of Over/Under Movies, a podcast where we discuss one overrated and one underrated film, we talk about two films by Danny Boyle, one from very early in his career, ... [more]
Comments: 0
Apr 8, 2015    9:26 AM
Furious 7
2 1/2 stars
A critic friend recently asked for advice on Facebook on how to write reviews for genres she’s not familiar with, or particularly like. I answered with the philosophy I try to bring to this situation, which is to find a delicate balance between being honest about my feelings for the genre, while try ... [more]
Comments: 0
Apr 1, 2015    11:05 AM
Over/Under Movies Episode 26
5 stars
In this new episode of Over/Under Movies, where we pick apart one overrated and one underrated film, we dive into the criminal underbelly of 70s Harlem. And who better to do that than three film critics from the Pacific Northwest? First off, we talk about 1972's Across 110th Street, which grittil ... [more]
Comments: 0
Mar 18, 2015    5:43 PM
Chappie
2 1/2 stars
The South African wunderkind writer/director Neill Blomkamp, who’s seen by many a geek as the savior of modern science-fiction, recently said that he "f---ed up" his unfairly maligned sophomore effort Elysium. He stated that he made a lot of mistakes with the story as well as the production, and tha ... [more]
Comments: 0
Mar 5, 2015    11:54 AM
Over/Under Movies Episode 25
5 stars
Hi Everyone! Here's a new episode of our podcast Over/Under Movies, where we pick one underrated and one overrated movie and discuss them. It's Spielberg vs Spielberg in this episode of Over/Under Movies, as the gang dig deep into two Spielberg sci-fi efforts in hopes of finding either a tripod t ... [more]
Comments: 2
Feb 19, 2015    9:02 AM
Kingsman: The Secret Service
4 1/2 stars
Kingsman: The Secret Service is yet another hyper-violent and uber-stylized action porn based on a comic book co-created by Mark Millar. So why did I have a blast watching it and am now singing its praises when I despised 2008’s Wanted and was thoroughly underwhelmed by 2010’s Kick-Ass? The reason c ... [more]
Comments: 0
Feb 11, 2015    11:10 AM
Jupiter Ascending
1/2 stars
I’ve been staring at a blank Word document for almost an hour, trying to come up with a coherent, structured and layered review for The Wachowski Sibling’s latest hackneyed, self-important and insanely incoherent cinematic new age sci-fi turd. That was, until I came to the conclusion that a film whi ... [more]
Comments: 0
Feb 4, 2015    1:19 PM
Over/Under Movies Episode 24
5 stars
Hi Everyone! Here's a new episode of our podcast Over/Under Movies, where we pick one underrated and one overrated movie and discuss them. It gets hot and steamy in the podcast room as Erik, Ryan, and Oktay discuss two erotic thrillers from the 90s. First, we buy an icepick from K-Mart and cra ... [more]
Comments: 0
Jan 29, 2015    3:38 PM
Blackhat
1 1/2 stars
Blackhat offers a million dollar direction to a screenplay that’s not worth ten cents. For a cyber action/thriller that’s supposed to exploit groundbreaking cyber terrorism tech in our overwhelmingly digital age, its story, characters and performances are all made out of old-school wood. This is the ... [more]
Comments: 1
Jan 14, 2015    10:03 AM
Selma
5 stars
Every time a historical film about racism in America is about to be released, the same whiny talking points emerge from the predominantly (By a stupendously wide margin) Caucasian right wing: "Here we go again, just another race-baiting white guilt movie designed to snatch some money out of the w ... [more]
Comments: 0
Jan 8, 2015    7:00 PM
Over/Under Movies Episodes 22 & 23
5 stars
Hi Everyone! Here's a new episode of our podcast Over/Under Movies, where we pick one underrated and one overrated movie and discuss them. However, this time around we talk about the most overrated and underrated films of 2014. Our recording session was split into two episodes, Episode 22 for our ov ... [more]
Comments: 0
Jan 8, 2015    10:29 AM
Inherent Vice
4 stars
I’ve never dropped acid, but I have a feeling that watching Inherent Vice is akin to attempting to sit through Chinatown while tripping major balls on LSD. One of the criticisms directed at Paul Thomas Anderson’s latest is that the labyrinthine drugged-out noir plot is incredibly hard to follow or p ... [more]
Comments: 0
Jan 6, 2015    11:48 AM
Ten Worst Films of 2014
0 stars
10 - The Bag Man: The horribly misguided and strictly amateur-hour The Bag Man stinks of one of those late 90s Tarantino rip-offs that somehow got put into production fifteen years too late. The shocking part is that A-listers like Robert DeNiro and John Cusack are in it. They both act like they’ ... [more]
Comments: 1
Dec 19, 2014    2:59 PM
Wild - Premiere
5 stars
The premiere for "Wild", adapted from Cheryl Strayed's best-selling book "Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail", starring Reese Witherspoon and Laura Dern, was held at Cinema 21 in Portland, Oregon on 12/08/2014. Oregon Herald film critic Oktay Ege Kozak was there to record some fo ... [more]
Comments: 0
Dec 9, 2014    1:01 PM
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
2 1/2 stars
As far as truth in advertising is concerned, I can’t think of another instance where the title of the franchise and the subtitle of the particular film within it are so far apart. Let’s start with "The Hobbit": Was there a reason why the last two installments in Peter Jackson’s bloated Middle-Earth ... [more]
Comments: 0
Dec 5, 2014    7:15 PM
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1
2 1/2 stars
Thanks to Warner Bros’ greedy attempts to squeeze the last possible dime out of their lucrative Harry Potter franchise, we now have a new sub-genre that can be titled "First movie of the two-part finale based on the last book of a popular Young Adult series". After Warner Bros decided to split th ... [more]
Comments: 0
Nov 19, 2014    1:31 PM
Rosewater
4 stars
Rosewater has many technical issues usually found in films from first-time directors, especially if said director doesn’t have much of a background in filmmaking to begin with. The flat cinematography, some awkward uses of music, and an adequate yet generic approach to visual storytelling are all ob ... [more]
Comments: 0
Nov 11, 2014    10:40 AM
Interstellar
5 stars
It’s already a miracle when any filmmaker, regardless of reputation or clout, manages to bring a big-budget hard sci-fi film to the big screen. The Catch-22 is attempting to compose an intellectually complex science-fiction story that deftly examines what it means to be human in our vast and unpredi ... [more]
Comments: 1
Nov 4, 2014    3:35 PM
Big Hero 6
4 1/2 stars
While Pixar’s taking a year off from their annual Oscar-guaranteed features, 2014 became an impressive testing ground for other studios to come out with genuinely impressive and groundbreaking animated fare. The Lego Movie was an endlessly creative and refreshing take on breaking through the limits ... [more]
Comments: 0
Oct 31, 2014    11:09 AM
Nightcrawler
5 stars
The famous Citizen Kane quote "It’s no trick to make a lot of money, if what you want to do is make a lot of money" has never been truer now, over 70 years after its production. America’s always been shameless about its love for capitalism, but what we have now is a monster out of control, where soc ... [more]
Comments: 0
Oct 29, 2014    12:37 PM
Birdman
5 stars
I have to be honest with you, the only reason this review exists is because I have to send a link to it to the PR company that let me attend the press screening, a link they’ll more than likely ignore anyway. Otherwise, I would have been perfectly happy with enjoying the manic yet profound honestly ... [more]
Comments: 1
Oct 24, 2014    2:19 PM
Over/Under Movies Episode 19
5 stars
Hi Everyone! Here's a new episode of our podcast Over/Under Movies, where we pick one underrated and one overrated movie and discuss them. You can listen to the episode by pressing play on the embedded player below, or you can download it by clicking on the download button. In this episode, Erik, ... [more]
Comments: 0
Oct 22, 2014    11:18 AM
Gone Girl
4 stars
Gone Girl is part of what I like to call "David Fincher One-offs". There are those Fincher films that are timeless, layered and taut masterworks, like Seven, Fight Club and Zodiac, which become more rewarding with each consecutive viewing as I find more and more details to enjoy within their intrica ... [more]
Comments: 0
Sep 30, 2014    4:02 PM
Over/Under Movies Episode 18
5 stars
Hi Everyone! The September theatrical schedule is always a dud so before we begin the awards season with early October releases, here's another episode of our podcast Over/Under Movies, where we pick one underrated and one overrated movie and discuss them. You can listen to the episode by pressing p ... [more]
Comments: 0
Sep 10, 2014    10:12 AM
Mark Duplass Interview
5 stars
Hi Everyone, This is my interview with writer/director/actor Mark Duplass, producer and star of The One I Love: Struggling with a marriage on the brink of falling apart, a couple escapes for a weekend in pursuit of their better selves, only to discover an unusual dilemma that awaits them. It's ... [more]
Comments: 0
Aug 22, 2014    12:35 PM
The Expendables 3
2 1/2 stars
While writing the review for the third installment of a supposed 80s throwback action franchise that collects action stars of yesteryear as if they were Pokemon cards, it’s a bit weird to mention a film that couldn’t be more different from it in every way imaginable: In Charlie Kaufman’s drab study ... [more]
Comments: 0
Aug 14, 2014    1:28 PM
Over/Under Movies Episode 17
5 stars
Hi Everyone! Here's another episode of our podcast Over/Under Movies, where we pick one underrated and one overrated movie and discuss them. You can listen to the episode by pressing play on the embedded player below, or you can download it in mp3 by clicking on the download button. It's exploita ... [more]
Comments: 0
Aug 13, 2014    11:16 AM
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
1 stars
Remember "fun"? You know, that thing you used to have while attending a mainstream popcorn movie that offered some goofy entertainment? When you were invited into an escapist world full of wonder, excitement and action so you could forget about your earthly problems for a mere couple of hours while ... [more]
Comments: 1
Aug 7, 2014    11:59 AM
Throne of Blood
5 stars
Shakespeare adaptations are a dime a dozen in film history. Most of them remain faithful to Shakespeare’s text as well as his stories while presenting their own visions of his plays. Some stick close to the bare-bones presentations of the original performances, focusing almost entirely on the perfor ... [more]
Comments: 1
Jul 31, 2014    4:42 PM
Guardians of the Galaxy
5 stars
Defenders of insulting dreck like Transformers and Battleship always present their opening statement with "Why are you thinking too hard while criticizing these films? These are dumb popcorn movies where you’re supposed to check your brain at the door and enjoy yourself." However, I come from the un ... [more]
Comments: 0
Jul 30, 2014    11:38 AM
Boyhood
5 stars
Apart from being one of the most underrated filmmakers of modern American cinema, Richard Linklater also fashioned himself into sort of a fiction version of Michael Apted. Apted’s Up documentary series has been following the same group of Brits since they were seven years old. He comes out with a ne ... [more]
Comments: 0
Jul 14, 2014    7:49 PM
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
4 1/2 stars
Now this is how you pull of an excellent remake and a sequel at the same time. Even though Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is officially a sequel to a reboot, it’s also a surprisingly faithful remake of arguably the crappiest installment in the original Planet of the Apes series, Battle for the Plane ... [more]
Comments: 0
Jul 11, 2014    11:46 AM
Snowpiercer
5 stars
The optimist inside us would love to believe that in the event of an actual apocalypse, the few surviving members of the human race would leave behind all of the crippling aspects of modern society and pull together as a team regardless of race or class in order to ensure the survival of the species ... [more]
Comments: 0
Jul 1, 2014    1:24 PM
Over/Under Movies Episode 16
5 stars
Hi Everyone! Here's another episode of our podcast Over/Under Movies, where we pick one underrated and one overrated movie and discuss them. You can listen to the episode by pressing play on the embedded player below, or you can download it in mp3 by clicking on the download button. In this episo ... [more]
Comments: 0
Jun 29, 2014    6:42 PM
Walk of Shame
1 stars
Walk of Shame is a so-called comedy that attempts to stretch out a 22-minute sit-com episode concept into a 90-minute feature. The title refers to a slang term describing a woman who has to walk back to her house wearing the clothes she wore the night before after a one-night stand. Apart from remin ... [more]
Comments: 0
Jun 26, 2014    7:41 PM
How to Train Your Dragon 2
4 1/2 stars
2010’s How to Train Your Dragon took a predictable story structure and turned it into an excellent piece of family entertainment as well as a massive hit for Dreamworks. The premise was one we’d seen many times before, especially in family entertainment: The nerdy and cowardly black sheep of a macho ... [more]
Comments: 0
Jun 11, 2014    4:12 PM
Over/Under Movies Episode 15
5 stars
Hi Everyone! Here's another episode of our podcast Over/Under Movies, where we pick one underrated and one overrated movie and discuss them. You can listen to the episode by pressing play on the embedded player below, or you can download it in mp3 by clicking on the download button. In this episo ... [more]
Comments: 2
Jun 8, 2014    2:53 PM
A Million Ways to Die in the West
2 1/2 stars
A Million Ways to Die in the West opens with a classic western title sequence, complete with the giant swirly type font that covers sweeping golden hour shots of Monument Valley accompanied by a bombastic score where the string section is pushed to its dramatic limits. You couldn’t get more classic ... [more]
Comments: 0
May 28, 2014    4:22 PM
X-Men: Days of Future Past
4 stars
Either in comic book or visual media form, The X-Men have always managed to use the delicate and sometimes volatile relationship between the humans and the mutants to comment on the socio-political issues in the real world. In between the impressive action set pieces full of mutants with different a ... [more]
Comments: 0
May 21, 2014    3:05 PM
Locke
4 stars
Locke is another example of the single actor, single location approach in features, which seem to be gaining steam recently. Like Buried, 127 Hours, Wrecked and even Phone Booth, the entire runtime takes place in one small location while the story revolves around a single character. These projects a ... [more]
Comments: 0
May 13, 2014    9:33 PM
Neighbors
3 1/2 stars
Neighbors reminded me of the 70s and 80s heyday of National Lampoon sex comedies. Its only mission is to string together as many dick jokes as possible for ninety minutes and gracefully send you on your way. Free from the James L. Brooks-inspired Judd Apatow school of dramedy that mixes crass hum ... [more]
Comments: 1
May 7, 2014    5:44 PM
Under the Skin
4 stars
If you ever wondered what 1995’s craptastic erotic sci-fi/horror Species would look like as an art-house flick, you’ve come to the right place. Jonathan Glazer is the director extraordinaire of extremely unsettling moments captured on film. He helmed Sexy Beast, Birth, that Radiohead video that l ... [more]
Comments: 2
Apr 7, 2014    4:30 PM
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
4 1/2 stars
I have to admit, I wasn’t looking forward to sitting through Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Over the last couple of years, as a critic who ends up having to see most major releases, I developed a sort of Marvel ennui as we’re bombarded with yet another installment taking place in that superher ... [more]
Comments: 0
Mar 31, 2014    3:44 PM
Sabotage
2 1/2 stars
Sabotage had so much potential to turn into an uber-violent DEA version of End of Watch, too bad it ends up as kind of a stale slasher flick for the gun nut crowd. We already know from watching an excellent film like End of Watch and even a terrible one like Street Kings that writer/director/cop dia ... [more]
Comments: 0
Mar 27, 2014    1:58 PM
Over/Under Movies Episode 13
5 stars
Ryan and Oktay find religion in the new episode of Over/Under Movies where we pick one overrated and one underrated movie and discuss them in detail. First up on the chopping block is the shameless, blatantly anti-semitic Passion of The Christ. We then move on to Martin Scorsese's often misunders ... [more]
Comments: 0
Mar 27, 2014    11:19 AM
Divergent
2 stars
It’s been almost a month since another female young adult fantasy/sci-fi book series was adapted into a big-budget movie with hopes of sparking a massive franchise and making Twilight and Hunger Games money only to tank at the box-office because it got lost in the shuffle of other identical efforts ... [more]
Comments: 0
Mar 19, 2014    2:39 PM
Need for Speed
2 stars
I’ve been playing Need For Speed since the franchise’s inception in 1994. That’s right, "I was there at the beginning, man! I liked Need for Speed before it was cool to like Need for Speed, man!" For a franchise of generic street-racing games with over twenty pretty much interchangeable installments ... [more]
Comments: 0
Mar 17, 2014    11:57 AM
Over/Under Movies Episode 12
5 stars
In the new episode of Over/Under Movies where we pick one overrated and one underrated film, we tackle two "Battle in the arena to death on live TV" movies. Oktay and Ryan discuss The Running Man, which they find to be an under-appreciated satire within Arnold's 80s oeuvre and the first Hunger Ga ... [more]
Comments: 0
Mar 7, 2014    12:51 PM
The Past (By Guest Critic)
2 1/2 stars
Hi everyone! This review of The Past was written by Arzu Cevikalp, a renowned Turkish film critic who writes for Haberturk.com and Beyazperde.com: Due to political and ethical issues, Farhadi shot this film, which has a half dramatic, half melodramatic storyline, in France. Therefore the film has ... [more]
Comments: 0
Mar 3, 2014    5:23 PM
Non-Stop
3 1/2 stars
First things first: Non-Stop isn’t nearly as ludicrous and howlingly inept as the similarly plotted Jodie Foster vehicle Flightplan. Even though it’s a high-concept thriller that takes place entirely during a long plane ride, the premise and the execution are nowhere near as unintentionally absurd. ... [more]
Comments: 0
Feb 26, 2014    2:16 PM
The Monuments Men
2 1/2 stars
The Monuments Men is a series of anecdotes in search of a movie. Based on one of those World War II true stories full of sacrifice and courage, it piles one scene on top of another, unrelated to each other until it simple reaches the end of the running time. The ensemble cast is superb and deserving ... [more]
Comments: 0
Feb 5, 2014    11:33 AM
Over/Under Movies Episode 11
5 stars
It's polar opposites day at Over/Under Movies as Oktay and Ryan discuss a movie they truly hate and a film they truly love. First off we got Napoleon Dynamite, the flash-in-the-pants 2004 hit that proved everyone involved were lucky one-hit wonders. Then we delve into how to take similar subje ... [more]
Comments: 0
Feb 4, 2014    4:00 PM
Her
5 stars
Coming out of the multiplex after seeing Her, I entered directions for my house into Apple Maps. As the artificial female sound gave me turn-by-turn directions in that familiar monotone voice, I couldn’t help but wonder how I’d feel about "her" if the software was slightly more advanced. I’m not ... [more]
Comments: 3
Jan 27, 2014    1:56 PM
Over/Under Movies Episode 10
5 stars
Hi everyone and welcome Over/Under Movies' (hopefully) triumphant return, an in-depth film discussion podcast where we pick an overrated and an underrated film and talk about them in detail. Oktay Ege Kozak, film critic for Oregon Herald, Beyazperde.com and Bitch Magazine is still here as your ho ... [more]
Comments: 0
Jan 22, 2014    3:53 PM
Ten Worst Films of 2013
0 stars
10- World War Z: World War Z belongs more in the bafflingly overrated category than outright bad or incompetent. As summer action fare, it’s executed with an expected level of professionalism. But as a genre effort, it’s too timid and safe. For the generic Brad Pitt fan who thinks George Romero i ... [more]
Comments: 1
Dec 28, 2013    9:12 PM
10 Best Films of 2013
5 stars
10- The Act of Killing: What if the Nazis won World War II and decided to re-enact the holocaust forty years later as a way of dealing with their demons? Equal parts bizarre and horrifying, The Act of Killing was the hardest two hours to sit through in 2013 while being essential viewing for absol ... [more]
Comments: 1
Dec 24, 2013    12:17 PM
The Wolf of Wall Street
5 stars
It’s been a long time since a movie made me feel genuine ill will towards its protagonists. Considering I sat through Spring Breakers and Grown Ups 2 in 2013, that’s quite a feat. There’s a scene in Martin Scorsese’s latest gangster opus where one of the main characters almost chokes to death on a p ... [more]
Comments: 0
Dec 19, 2013    10:09 PM
American Hustle
2 1/2 stars
If you’re going to open your film with a text as cheeky as "Some of this actually happened", you better back that up with a story that’s as outlandish and "stranger than fiction" as you claim. After Costa-Gavras’ masterpiece about political corruption opened with the text "This is all based on re ... [more]
Comments: 1
Dec 4, 2013    11:45 AM
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
4 stars
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is quite an improvement over the tepid and weak first entry in the proposed trilogy. Even though the best thing I could say about the first Hunger Games was "At least it wasn’t as horrid as Twilight", I could still fully understand the challenges that came with adapti ... [more]
Comments: 2
Nov 19, 2013    7:40 PM
Nebraska
4 stars
Even though this is the first film he’s worked on where he doesn’t get any writing credit, Nebraska has Alexander Payne written all over it. After About Schmidt and The Descendants, we get another dark comedy about a dysfunctional family that could have only come from Payne’s delicate balance betwee ... [more]
Comments: 1
Nov 12, 2013    9:47 PM
Thor: The Dark World
2 1/2 stars
Out of the recent movie line-up of The Avengers, I find Thor to be the least interesting. Yes, Hawkeye’s only power is extreme archery but at least an actor who can show a bit of depth portrays him and the character has a semblance of humanity. Also, Marvel Studios hasn’t made the mistake of giving ... [more]
Comments: 0
Nov 5, 2013    4:32 PM
About Time
2 1/2 stars
It’s hard to underestimate writer/director Richard Curtis’ importance when it comes to modern romantic comedies. During the last thirty years, Curtis penned the screenplays for rom-com classics such as Four Weddings and a Funeral and Notting Hill, as well as writing and directing the one movie you’r ... [more]
Comments: 0
Nov 4, 2013    5:24 PM
12 Years a Slave
5 stars
This is the third time I’m attempting to write a review for 12 Years a Slave. Usually it takes me two to four hours at most to complete a review, one if it’s a film I don’t particularly care about and wish to be done with by going through the expected template of a film review. After all, there’s on ... [more]
Comments: 4
Oct 25, 2013    1:26 PM
The Summit Interview
5 stars
Hi everyone! Here's my interview with director Nick Ryan, who helmed the impressive and haunting mountain climbing documentary The Summit. The film tells the story of the deadliest day on the world's most dangerous mountain, in 2008, when 11 climbers mysteriously perished on K2. Sherpa Pemba, ... [more]
Comments: 0
Oct 22, 2013    2:57 PM
Captain Phillips
4 1/2 stars
Captain Phillips is based on a real-life hostage situation that’s a goldmine for a hokey 90s-style action flick. In 2009, the American cargo ship Maersk Alabama was hijacked by Somali pirates and its captain Richard Phillips was taken hostage in a tiny rescue boat for days while the US Navy worked a ... [more]
Comments: 1
Oct 7, 2013    6:32 PM
Interview with Greg Sestero
5 stars
The Room might be the most notorious cult film of the last decade. Written, directed and starring the incomparable Tommy Wiseau, it's been a midnight screening favorite for almost ten years now. If you have never seen it, please do yourself a favor and get your hands on it. From there, you'll be ... [more]
Comments: 0
Oct 4, 2013    12:32 PM
Gravity
5 stars
Hollywood and cinema in general have been struggling of late when it comes to getting people into movie theaters. After the television scare of the 1950s, when Hollywood was desperate to compete with the instant allure of the idiot box, we’re now in a second similar crisis, a streaming scare, if you ... [more]
Comments: 0
Oct 1, 2013    4:09 PM
Don Jon
4 stars
Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s Don Jon taps on a point that almost all men and an ever-rising number of women already know, but will rarely admit to in public: Pornography is over-the-top, exaggerated fantasy fulfillment in the same way "legitimate" genre pictures are. Earlier in this honest and engaging ... [more]
Comments: 0
Sep 23, 2013    2:40 PM
Prisoners
2 1/2 stars
Watching Prisoners is like reading a bus stop mystery novel written by someone who still thinks his work is worthy of a Pulitzer someday. It’s dark, brooding, heavy, emotionally draining and tries desperately for a grand thematic payoff as it delves valiantly into, I don’t know, the duality of man? ... [more]
Comments: 0
Sep 17, 2013    4:02 PM
Rush
3 1/2 stars
If you’re a fan of racing or better yet Formula 1, I suspect Rush will top your list of best films of the year. Hell, it might even turn into one of your favorite films of all time. For laypeople who don’t become visibly sexually aroused at the sight of a top-tier Formula 1 engine, whatever that ... [more]
Comments: 3
Sep 13, 2013    5:04 PM
Getaway
2 1/2 stars
Getaway’s one of those films where I appreciated the intent a lot more than the execution. Essentially a feature-length car chase scene shot entirely in Bulgaria using hundreds of consumer digital cameras set up every which way, it aims to show breathtaking car crashes, expert stunt driving and kick ... [more]
Comments: 1
Aug 27, 2013    11:04 PM
The Mortal Intruments: City of Bones
2 stars
The term "Too many cooks in the kitchen" doesn’t do it justice when describing Mortal Instruments: City of Bones. Due to the sheer density of cooks, the kitchen explodes and between the ashes rise a rare breed of phoenix called Mediocris Cashgrabitus. Anyone who laid their unfortunate eyes on a t ... [more]
Comments: 0
Aug 27, 2013    5:21 PM
The World's End
5 stars
With The World’s End, Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright’s "Cornetto Trilogy" comes to an end and what a ride this has been. It first started in 2004 with Shaun of the Dead, an imperfect yet hysterical take on a George A. Romero zombie film that managed to bring on the blood and guts as well as the chuckle ... [more]
Comments: 0
Aug 15, 2013    5:15 PM
Kick-Ass 2
1 stars
The first Kick-Ass was an easily forgettable ultra-violent schlockfest. As far as I was concerned, the two selling points of the film were Nicolas Cage’s typical bat-crap crazy over-the-top performance as Batman-like "superhero" Big Daddy and the simple shock value of watching a 12-year-old Chloe Mo ... [more]
Comments: 2
Aug 14, 2013    12:02 PM
Elysium
5 stars
There is a reason why science fiction is still one of the most popular narrative genres, and not just because we get to see badass boss fights between souped-up robots and angry androids. Science fiction allows the author, as well as the audience, to vent their frustrations about the current politic ... [more]
Comments: 2
Aug 5, 2013    10:07 PM
The Wolverine
3 1/2 stars
After the disappointing X-Men Origins: Wolverine, the new film focused on the Adamantium Clawed One makes two right decisions: First, it doesn’t try to present yet another prequel story and sets it after the events of the horribly mediocre Ratner-fied X-Men: The Last Stand. This way the screenpla ... [more]
Comments: 0
Jul 24, 2013    11:43 AM
Red 2
3 stars
I’d call the Red franchise "Expendables with geriatrics" if I didn’t know the average age of yester-year action stars in The Expendables is sixty, and that’s when they cleverly hire young blood like Liam Hemsworth to get the number down. Perhaps a better comparison would be "Expendables without as m ... [more]
Comments: 0
Jul 18, 2013    1:22 PM
Pacific Rim
4 stars
If I were twelve-years-old, Pacific Rim Would probably top my short list of favorite films of all time. Now that I’m a cranky and snobby thirty-three-year-old "adult" who lost his childhood innocence, it’ll have to settle with being one of the most entertaining summer movies of 2013. If you’re on ... [more]
Comments: 0
Jul 16, 2013    9:40 PM
The Lone Ranger
3 stars
The best thing that can be said about The Lone Ranger is that it’s nowhere near as bad as the abysmal, nightmare-inducing, western-that-borderlines-on-fantasy Will Smith vehicle Wild Wild West. It’s also less juvenile and more entertaining than the Seth Rogen stoner adaptation of The Green Hornet, w ... [more]
Comments: 1
Jun 27, 2013    5:53 PM
The Heat
4 stars
The Heat takes the tired 80s buddy-cop movie mold and breathes new life into it. And no, it’s not because the cops in this case are women, although it would have been easy for screenwriter Katie Dippold, director Paul Feig and stars Melissa McCarthy and Sandra Bullock to simply milk that twist and c ... [more]
Comments: 0
Jun 26, 2013    3:27 PM
World War Z
2 stars
World War Z is your typical mixed bag of blockbuster mediocrity. As John Hammond would say, they obviously "Spared no expense" in bringing a genre usually reserved for low-budget horror films to the yearning masses via the casting of Brad Pitt and shoehorning as many over-CGI’d set pieces as humanly ... [more]
Comments: 3
Jun 19, 2013    12:00 PM
Monsters University
4 1/2 stars
It’s time to accept that Pixar’s hat trick of three timeless masterpieces in a row, Ratatouille, Wall-E and Up is unlikely to happen again. Yet this doesn’t mean that they stopped churning out top quality animated films every year. Toy Story 3 was perhaps the best of the trilogy, Brave was a flawed ... [more]
Comments: 0
Jun 14, 2013    1:32 PM
Man of Steel
4 stars
You have to give Christopher Nolan, David Goyer and Zach Snyder an A for effort. Man of Steel, the second attempt to drag the Superman legend into the 21st century may be a bit unfocused and reliant on too much CGI eye candy, but it really takes a shot at extracting some originality and edge from th ... [more]
Comments: 3
Jun 11, 2013    7:25 PM
Before Midnight
5 stars
The team of Ethan Hawke, Julie Delphy and Richard Linklater has done the impossible and made us fall in love with two fictional characters three times in a row, for completely different reasons. When Celine (Delphy) and Jesse (Hawke) first met in 1995’s Before Sunrise, we watched two idealist twenty ... [more]
Comments: 0
May 30, 2013    4:17 PM
After Earth
1 1/2 stars
Some fathers get their sons bikes, or PS3s, some get them major motion picture careers. It’s very sweet that Will Smith shows his son Jaden how much he loves him by giving him a gift no other father can bestow on their offspring, but why do we have to suffer as the audience? I have unfortunate news ... [more]
Comments: 0
May 30, 2013    10:56 AM
Fast & Furious 6
1 1/2 stars
Is it time already to call the never-ending Fast & Furious franchise Star Trek for petrosexuals? With its ever-expanding canonical mythology full of meatheads driving sweet souped-up rides while spewing shameless soap opera dialogue that would be rejected by Days of Our Lives while performing the ki ... [more]
Comments: 0
May 22, 2013    2:58 PM
Star Trek Into Darkness
5 stars
Star Trek Into Darkness is an excellent piece of entertainment that manages to find that elusive sweet spot between old-school Trek and breathtaking blockbuster summer fare. Even more so than the first reboot movie from 2009, director J.J. Abrams has found a way to make Trek exciting and interesting ... [more]
Comments: 0
May 20, 2013    3:16 PM
The Iceman
2 1/2 stars
There are actors who are so compelling, I can watch them rearrange their sock drawer for two hours and not be bored. Michael Shannon is one of them. Here’s an actor who caught my eye even in the bit parts he played as he was coming up in the Hollywood scene. His brief appearance in Sidney Lumet’s ... [more]
Comments: 0
May 14, 2013    9:50 PM
The Great Gatsby
1 stars
After five unsuccessful attempts over the last eighty-odd years, perhaps it’s time to give up on a movie adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s great American novel The Great Gatsby. If we were to look for a final nail in that cinematic coffin, Baz Luhrmann’s subtlety-raping wank-fest should provide on ... [more]
Comments: 1
May 7, 2013    4:40 PM
Iron Man 3
4 stars
After a disappointing second outing, the Iron Man superhero mythology returns with a highly satisfying third film that remembers what made the first one so good in the first place. After losing some steam with Iron Man 2 and the dreadfully mediocre Cowboys & Aliens, Jon Favreau cleverly decided not ... [more]
Comments: 0
Apr 30, 2013    2:57 PM
Pain & Gain
4 stars
Pain & Gain tells the true story of a series of crimes perpetrated by extremely dim-witted bodybuilders that’s so excessive, over-the-top, absurd and batcrap crazy, that only Michael Bay’s signature non-stop, over-indulgent, ADD-addled style could have done it justice. It’s so crazy, atonal, wildly ... [more]
Comments: 0
Apr 24, 2013    1:48 PM
Mud
3 stars
It’s surprising how much our preconceived notions about an actor or a director can alter the way we perceive their new work. When I went to see Mud at a press screening, I didn’t have much time to do research on the film beforehand. All I knew was that this was to be another step in the Matthew M ... [more]
Comments: 0
Apr 23, 2013    2:43 PM
Oblivion
3 1/2 stars
I’m always pleased whenever I walk into what looks like typical blockbuster fare, the kind of sci-fi action extravaganza that almost specifically asks from me to lower my IQ by a considerable amount of digits in order to even begin to enjoy it. Most films on this level do not disappoint when I use t ... [more]
Comments: 0
Apr 17, 2013    2:57 PM
To The Wonder
2 1/2 stars
To The Wonder might be the first art-house Lifetime Channel movie of the week. As someone who loves all of Terence Malick’s work (Including The New World), I’m sad to report that he’s produced his first mediocre film. I would have preferred it if it was an outright failure of grand proportions, an a ... [more]
Comments: 0
Apr 10, 2013    3:51 PM
42
2 1/2 stars
42 stands somewhere between the dry, technical approach or Moneyball and the shameless pandering of The Blind Side. When I reviewed Moneyball, I gave it 5 stars, and Blind Side deserves 1 star or even lower. So I find the middle ground and give this one 2.5. It’s not particularly offensive, but it’s ... [more]
Comments: 0
Apr 9, 2013    1:39 PM
Evil Dead
4 stars
After ten friggin’ years, we finally get a good remake of a bona-fide American horror classic. After the slick MTV-style horror remake fad began with the abysmal Texas Chainsaw Massacre in 2003, Hollywood gladly kept taking huge dumps on hard-core horror fans with watered-down, soulless, cynical cas ... [more]
Comments: 0
Apr 4, 2013    10:55 PM
Fede Alvarez Interview
5 stars
Hi everyone. Below is the transcript of my interview with Fede Alvarez, the co-writer and director of Evil Dead, in theaters Friday, April 5. You can read my review of the film at http://www.oregonherald.com/reviews/show-review.cfm?id=46 Oktay Ege Kozak: How are you feeling? Are you excited about ... [more]
Comments: 0
Apr 4, 2013    11:59 AM
My Child (Benim Cocugum)
5 stars
It’s a given that The Middle-East has a long way to go as far as LGBT acceptance is concerned. Remember that sound byte of Ahmadinejad claiming that Iran doesn’t have any homosexuals? Turkey is supposed to be the most secular and liberal Muslim country in the Midlle-East, yet its religious, right wi ... [more]
Comments: 0
Apr 1, 2013    4:29 PM
Olympus Has Fallen
2 1/2 stars
Take a trip back in time to 1991 with Olympus Has Fallen. In a world where even John McClane has branched all the way out to Russia, Olympus Has Fallen is content with sticking to a straight rip-off of the very first Die Hard film. I bet you it’s been almost twenty years since a critic summarized an ... [more]
Comments: 0
Mar 22, 2013    1:48 PM
Spring Breakers
0 stars
There's a short sketch in an episode of the comedy show Key & Peele that I think explains why Spring Breakers colossally failed in its mission. A Mos Def-like socially conscious rapper stoically rhymes on the tough streets pointing out the social injustices and ugliness in our society through a blac ... [more]
Comments: 0
Mar 18, 2013    5:16 PM
Admission
3 1/2 stars
Admission gave me that fuzzy dramedy feeling you get from James L. Brooks films from the 80s and 90s. Brooks’ films Terms of Endearment, Broadcast News, As Good As It Gets and even the underrated Spanglish were all able to find that elusive sweet spot between comedy and drama. The witty banter be ... [more]
Comments: 0
Mar 18, 2013    2:37 PM
The Call
2 stars
The Call is a halfway decent thriller during the first and second act before it takes a nosedive into the land of ridiculousness and improbability. It’s been a while since I’ve seen a film so eager to self-destruct during its last twenty minutes. I sincerely hope the ending is the product of coke ... [more]
Comments: 0
Mar 17, 2013    11:53 PM
The Incredible Burt Wonderstone
2 1/2 stars
The Incredible Burt Wonderstone reminds me of the early 90s entitled scoundrel-turned-decent human being comedies starring Steve Martin or Bill Murray. Our protagonist is successful in his field but is an unbearable, smug a-hole whose sudden downfall provides him with much-needed humility and catapu ... [more]
Comments: 0
Mar 12, 2013    3:08 PM
Stoker
2 stars
If Hitchcock’s classic Shadow of a Doubt was a family thriller with incestuous undertones, Stoker is a family thriller with incestuous overtones. And that’s part of its problem. As uncompromisingly stylized and seemingly creative Stoker is, subtlety never enters the equation and any depth within the ... [more]
Comments: 0
Mar 11, 2013    4:00 PM
Oz the Great and Powerful
1 stars
This one should have been called Oz the Great Pimp, because the titular character (James Franco, asleep at the wheel) beds more hot women than the average Bond fare. He even sports a pimp hat and cane, weasels his way into innocent witches' pants (or gingham skirts) and dumps them summarily so they ... [more]
Comments: 2
Mar 8, 2013    7:05 AM
Jack the Giant Slayer
2 1/2 stars
Jack the Giant Slayer starts off as a fairly straightforward fairy tale without an ironic bone in its giant body, and then turns into a knock-off of the Battle for Helm’s Deep with oversized CGI orcs. In a time when for some reason every classic fairy tale has to be given an ironic, contemporary ... [more]
Comments: 0
Feb 26, 2013    2:15 PM
Interview with Ashley Bell
5 stars
Hi Everyone! This is my interview with Ashley Bell, star of The Last Exorcism 1 & 2 and The Day. We talked about her experiences filming The Last Exorcism films, her voice-over career and her future projects, which involves a comic book adaptation called Sparks. http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0068 ... [more]
Comments: 0
Feb 25, 2013    11:30 PM
Searching for Sugar Man
5 stars
If Searching for Sugar Man was a fictional effort, it would go down in film history as one of the most shamelessly pandering films that doesn’t shy away from tugging at the audience’s heart strings in every conceivably condescending way, with a shameless twist ending that’s so hackneyed, it would ma ... [more]
Comments: 0
Feb 20, 2013    4:31 PM
Identity Thief
4 stars
When it comes to send-ups to 80s style action-comedy road movies, Hollywood seems to keep remaking either Planes, Trains & Automobiles or Midnight Run. 2010’s Due Date hung its hopes on the Plains, Trains formula and after a promising first half hour, crashed and burned as a bland and annoying re ... [more]
Comments: 0
Feb 14, 2013    6:36 PM
Beautiful Creatures
4 stars
Beautiful Creatures manages to accomplish within one movie what the dumbass Twilight franchise couldn’t with five. It’s far from a masterpiece but when it comes to supernatural young adult romance entertainment, it does a lot better job than the dull, lifeless and groan-inducing Twilight films. I ... [more]
Comments: 0
Feb 11, 2013    9:27 PM
Warm Bodies
4 stars
What makes Warm Bodies work so well is that it’s not a zombie movie with a romantic comedy premise; it’s a romantic comedy that just happens to take place in a post-apocalyptic zombie wasteland. Adapted from Isaac Marion’s novel, which creatively mish-mashes Romeo and Juliet with Dawn of The Dead, t ... [more]
Comments: 0
Jan 29, 2013    5:22 PM
A Liar's Autobiography
3 1/2 stars
Graham Chapman was perhaps the most underrated member of the groundbreaking Monty Python troupe. If I have to explain to you what Monty Python is, frankly you have no business even considering renting this trippy feature animation project. Just start with the three features Holy Grail, Life of Br ... [more]
Comments: 0
Jan 28, 2013    7:14 PM
Interview with Isaac Marion
5 stars
Hi everyone! This is my interview with Isaac Marion, who wrote the novel Warm Bodies, which was adapted into a movie starring Nicholas Hoult and John Malkovich, in theaters February 1st. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1588173/ I'm sorry about my schlubby look, I thought I was only recording Isaac ... [more]
Comments: 0
Jan 22, 2013    4:52 PM
The Last Stand
4 stars
The Last Stand is a dumbed-down, ass-kicking version of High Noon, and that’s a good thing. After a ten-year absence as a muscle-bound, machine-gun-wielding, king of the one-liners leading man, during which time he served as the Governator of California and fathered a child with his maid (Yes, I had ... [more]
Comments: 0
Jan 17, 2013    10:56 AM
Broken City
2 stars
Broken City feels like a two hour premiere of a TV show networks love to plaster all over the brand new fall schedule, full of slick TV visuals, promising all kinds of political intrigue, scandals, backstabbing and a bunch of good looking people. The teaser for the show, produced for three times the ... [more]
Comments: 0
Jan 15, 2013    10:02 PM
The Queen of Versailles
4 stars
Many reviews of the Queen of Versailles confess that even though they ridiculed the über-tacky billionaire couple during the first half of this fascinating documentary, they felt sorry for them and even identified with them towards the end as the subjects started losing their money after the stock m ... [more]
Comments: 0
Jan 8, 2013    12:09 AM
Zero Dark Thirty
4 stars
Is it really that surprising that a movie based on one of the most infamous manhunts in American history is attracting a ton of controversy? Before it even had a go at a wide release, Zero Dark Thirty, director Kathryn Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal’s follow up to the excellent Hurt Locker, is b ... [more]
Comments: 0
Jan 4, 2013    11:39 AM
Django Unchained
5 stars
Finally, a Tarantino steal-fest I can completely support. Ever since he became the hotshot American director in the 90s, I’ve always had a problem with Tarantino’s “no-obscure-movie-left-to-steal-from” style. His constant mish-mashing of his childhood favorites like Leone, Peckinpah, 70s Grindhouse, ... [more]
Comments: 0
Dec 21, 2012    12:34 PM
The Guilt Trip
3 1/2 stars
The Guilt Trip is a perfect movie for mothers and their sons to finally go out together on that movie night. It's very simple and unassuming, and that's where its charm comes from. The fact that it's the first mother-son film in decades that doesn't involve incest like Loverboy, Savage Grace and eve ... [more]
Comments: 0
Dec 19, 2012    12:12 PM
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
3 1/2 stars
First of all, DO NOT see the Hobbit projected in the overhyped 48 frames a second and in 3D. The 3D is already an unwelcome distraction; the 48-frame projection makes it very hard to ignore the headache and the nausea caused by the disorientation. Peter Jackson and his gang keep reminding us on t ... [more]
Comments: 1
Dec 13, 2012    8:54 PM
Killing Them Softly
2 1/2 stars
Killing Them Softly is a series of good to decent scenes in search for a complete movie. As much as I found it to be plodding, at times incoherent and somewhat unnecessary, you still have to give credit to director Andrew Dominik, who at least try to stretch his prolific muscles and give the audienc ... [more]
Comments: 0
Dec 5, 2012    3:24 PM
Life of Pi
4 stars
I don’t believe there will be many audience members who will not agree that Life of Pi is the most gorgeous-looking film of the year. However, the amount of personal satisfaction you will get from its story completely depends upon your own views of mythology, religion and spirituality. Ang Lee ha ... [more]
Comments: 0
Nov 20, 2012    5:58 PM
Silver Linings Playbook
5 stars
It is truly refreshing to finally see a romantic comedy about real messed-up people instead of forced whimsy messed-up caricatures. Yes, as raw and disturbing Silver Linings Playbook can be at times with its true to life depiction of mental illness, I still consider it to be a romantic comedy becaus ... [more]
Comments: 0
Nov 16, 2012    12:33 AM
Lincoln
4 1/2 stars
It was a blessing to be able to see Lincoln a day before the presidential election. In the middle of this year's long madness that turned into a popularity contest, it's refreshing to see that true leadership is anything but. It takes an overwhelming amount of strength, tenacity and faith to defend ... [more]
Comments: 1
Nov 16, 2012    12:27 AM
Celebration Day
4 1/2 stars
Celebration Day is a concert film for hard-core Led Zeppelin fans only, and since I consider myself one of them it was a great thrill to watch Plant, Page, Jones and Bonham (John’s son Jason takes over, since John Bonham died in 1980 from an illness that took many a drummer called Drowninginyourownv ... [more]
Comments: 0
Nov 14, 2012    12:47 AM
The Amazing Spider-Man
2 stars
The first time I found out Sony decided to reboot their incredibly successful Spider-Man franchise, the first and only thought that went through my mind was "What's the point?" Sam Raimi's colorful, somewhat campy yet surprisingly grounded trilogy made tons of money, and even though the underwhelmin ... [more]
Comments: 2
Nov 11, 2012    7:36 PM
Flight
5 stars
The first act of flight depicts a plane crash in such vivid detail and intensity that I don’t think an in-flight movie deal is in the cards for the distributors. Director Robert Zemeckis, who isn’t a stranger to masterfully executed grand special effects sequences, creates a set piece that rivals hi ... [more]
Comments: 0
Nov 2, 2012    10:27 AM
Into the Abyss
5 stars
Into the Abyss is the best film about capital punishment since Krzysztof Kieslowski’s A Short Film About Killing. Kieslowski chose to give as little information into his killer’s past and motivations as possible as a tool for focusing more on the punishment and less on the crime. Into the Abyss make ... [more]
Comments: 0
Oct 23, 2012    2:06 PM
Moonrise Kingdom
2 stars
There should be a new condition in medical books called Wes Anderson Fatigue. If it ever makes it in, I can be their first test subject. I remember watching Rushmore in 1998, having no idea who directed it, and I remember being impressed by its sheer creativity and quirky energy. Then came 2001's Ro ... [more]
Comments: 0
Oct 17, 2012    6:19 PM
Total Recall
5 stars
Every time I reach for the original Total Recall on DVD or Blu-Ray when I'm in the mood to enjoy one of my favorite dumb action movies, I'm always surprised by how layered and intricate the screenplay is. In fact, it might contain one of the best-structured and written scripts for any action movie. ... [more]
Comments: 0
Oct 4, 2012    6:43 PM
The Master
5 stars
When Howard Hawks was asked what his definition of a great movie was, he replied with a simple "Three great scenes, no bad scenes." The Master more than fits this bill; therefore it's a great American film, perhaps the best of the year so far. Yes, it is cold and distant to its characters and almost ... [more]
Comments: 0
Sep 25, 2012    1:13 PM
Au Revoir Les Enfants
5 stars
Based on a real incident that took place while director Louis Malle was a student at a French boarding school during World War II, 1987’s Au Revoir Les Enfants tells the story of the friendship between Julien (Gaspard Manesse) and the mysterious Jean (Raphael Mejto), who’s hiding his real identity u ... [more]
Comments: 0
Sep 24, 2012    12:55 AM
The Samurai Trilogy
3 stars
Not to sound like a spokesperson who’s getting paid to write this, but apart from Hulu’s premium subscription package Hulu Plus letting you watch your favorite shows on your TV or media player, they also made a deal with any film buff’s gold mine, The Criterion Collection. Most of the titles in ... [more]
Comments: 0
Sep 24, 2012    12:51 AM
Battleship
1 stars
So, it has come to this. After the incoherent mess of Transformers movies and G.I. Joe, Hollywood’s recent love affair with toy giant and Y-generation childhood nostalgia exploiter Hasbro finally ran out of steam and they started to look into their board games as material for actual feature films. ... [more]
Comments: 0
Sep 23, 2012    7:34 PM