Welcome to Adventures in Poor Taste’s movie review roundup. These short but sweet reviews give folks a healthy helping of what’s good and not so good. New and old, the reviews cover anything from the pleasantly innocent Monster’s Inc. to the disturbingly twisted The Machinist with some of the biggest recent releases as well.


In Theaters Now


Dredd, (September 2012)


Genre: Action



Better motorcycle


Better sneer.


Better movie. Which isn’t sayin much, but still.

For an action movie there sure is some flat gun fighting in this flick. Dredd moves around in a stiff manner, with very stiff camera work that doesn’t get much help from the digital blood and gore. The super slow motion that was developed for this film are cool, but used sparingly and the science fiction stuff (like self closing stitches) are few and far between. Surprisingly it’s Dredd’s rookie sidekick that’s the most entertaining as she harbors an interesting take on mind reading. Still, this is a good adaptation of the comic. A rental at best.

Side note: how can he see through the red “x” on his helmet? You never get to see what he see’s and I’m pretty sure he should be walking into walls.

Grade: C+


The Master, (September 2012)


Genre: Drama


I’m just a poor boy/nobody loves me.

This is an actors’ film first and a resounding purposeful film a far third. The actors are phenomenal and their characters remorseful monsters. About 30 minutes into the film you’ll realize the film is a chore to understand as the impressive cinematography (the second best thing) starts to wear off. It’s a film to be processed and thought about methodically because there are no easy answers. That said this essay by Jim Emerson, while it agrees with my point of view, does at the very least try to break this puppy down.

Grade: B


Recently Released on Disc


Batman: The Dark Knight Returns Part 1 (September 2012)


Genre: Animation


Swagger: It’s all in the chin.

It’s a shame this is broken into two parts as the run time doesn’t allow for a fulfilling experience at only an hour and 15 minutes. Instead of improving on the source material it feels more like a port. A shot for shot comparison between the comic book and this film with a longer review for good measure can be read here.

Grade: B-


The Avengers, (May 2012)


Genre: Action


”What say you Loki…by the girth of Volstag, verily jump into the sexy man’s arms or thou behest the biggest puss of all!”

The character tinges are great, but is there character development? Not really, but that’s not the point. The point is fun, laughs and exciting scenes. You’d be hard pressed not to enjoy this film largely because every character is humanized and the stakes are clear. The heroes journey wasn’t a magic elixir in this little tale but learning to become a team. That said, call me when the cast looks something like this.

Grade: A-


The Cabin in the Woods, (April 2012)


Genre: Horror, Mystery, Comedy


”You’re telling me they are going to delay this film and Red Dawn for three years and my break-out film is going to be Avengers? But I hate British TV!” Hemsworth said on the set of Cabin in the Woods May 2009.

This is a movie that’s built on playing with expectations rather than plot or scares. I’d say this is similar to Unusual Suspects where there are layers to decipher and once it’s all said and done you’ll love it but probably not watch it again. I found the movie hilarious and fun, but walking out of the theater a lot of folks thought it was stupid. Probably because they were expecting a cliched horror flick. A lot of fun.

Grade: B+


Goats, (August 2012)


Genre: Comedy, Drama


And they said X-Files would be his last hit…oh…wait…

If this film does anything right it’s ability to show how worthless and obnoxious 50 something trust fund babies are. There’s a lot of ideas here that work, but most times don’t work, be it the balance or genuine feel to them. Blame the director for not bringing it all together, but take this for a spin if you like indie dramas. Just don’t expect there to be a strong feeling once completed.

Grade: C


Safe, (April 2012)


Genre: Action, Drama


I’m pretty sure Jason Statham’s entire career could be summed up with the image above…


…and this facial expression.

It takes this flick 30 full minutes to get to the action. Snoozarific setup with a cliched plot, but hell, we get some Statham kung-fu. That’s worth something…right? Not when there is so little of it.

Grade: D+


Jiro Dreams of Sushi, (March 2012)


Genre: Documentary


This is the follow up to the film “Jiro’s Nightmare Sushi Explosion Fun Time”.

Beautifully shot and impeccably well paced, if you like food TV shows give this one a try. Aside from being brought into the kitchen the story between 85 year old father and owner Jiro and his sons is fascinating as it deals with Japanese custom and father/son issues.

Grade: A-


Oldy, But Goody?


Last Night, (May 2011)


Genre: Drama, Romance?


Nobody was a fan of the original title, “Pillow Talk: Kill Me Now”.

This should be subtitled: a funny thing happened on the way to the adulterous bed. The acting by Keira Knightley and Sam Worthington is top notch, but cross cutting stories and a bunch of conversations that lead nowhere a film does not make. I suppose it thinks it’s art because of some story choices, but it’s basically a blah film with lovers floating about.

Grade: C-


Prime, (October 2005)


Genre: Drama, Comedy


Question: Who is more manly. The giant jawed thing on the right or the spindly armed thing on the left?

Meryl Streep has 3 laugh out loud moments in this middle of the road romantic…comedy? Not very funny. Uma Thurman is her usual awkward weird self. Kind of forgettable.

Grade: B-


Another Year, (December 2010)


Genre:Drama


If this picture doesn’t turn you on you pass the heartbeat test.

This is a surprisingly sad but very well acted film. The reason this should be watched is just how powerful it makes you feel about a very sad person.

Grade: A