New Releases

Annabelle (2014)
Oh, You Frightening Doll

If you can think back a year to James Wan’s The Conjuring, a horror movie supposedly drawn from the true-life accounts of paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren, you’ll remember a brief subplot involving a doll with possible ties to demonic occurrences. That doll, being so memorably creepy, now serves as the basis for a spinoff film, Annabelle, for which Wan remains on board as one of the producers but relinquishes his position as director.
The Mystery of the Missing Wife

One of the most praised aspects of Gillian Flynn’s novel Gone Girl was the utilization of the unreliable narrator, the first half written in the first person from the perspective of both lead characters, neither of whom, the second half reveals, divulges everything there is to know about them. I haven’t read the novel, but I have seen David Fincher’s film adaptation, penned by Flynn herself; the unreliable narrator concept has been retained, although I don’t know if it will fare as well from a critical standpoint.
Read More!
Talking Crayons Save the Day

Much like Curious George and The Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure, The Hero of Color City is a film that intentionally caters to very young audiences. If you’re reading this review right now, you’re definitely too old for it – and this is in spite of strategically placed jokes that children are very unlikely to get.
Read More!
British Humor Isn't Everyone's Cup of Tea

I try my best to avoid anything involving Ricky Gervais, his acerbic comedic style and cynical public persona not exactly being, and you’ll have to excuse the expression, my cup of tea. In November of 2011, however, he did write an intriguing article for Time magazine discussing the general differences between British and American humor, which, according to him, are directly correlated to how each nationality is raised on a sociological level.
Read More!
Winter Gets a Friend

“You must concede that movies like this follow a very specific formula, and that they’ve done so for a very long time, and that they will continue to do so, not only because that’s what audiences have come to expect from them, but also because they actually demand it of them.” These words were part of my closing thoughts for my review of Dolphin Tale, a 2011 film that dramatized the true story of Winter, an injured dolphin that was rescued off the coast of Florida and eventually fitted with a specially-made prosthetic tail.
Read More!
The 4K Is a Disaster of Biblical Proportions

The 2011 rerelease of Ivan Reitman’s Ghostbusters had no selling point, apart from the opportunity to see the film on the big screen after twenty-seven years. That was, for me, more than enough of a reason to go see it; being less than a year old upon the film’s premiere in June of 1984, I had no choice but to grow up experiencing it through television and home video viewings. It’s now 2014, and it has been rereleased again for an exclusive week-long run, only this time with not one but two selling points.
Read More!
Sticking to What Works

I’m all for cinematic surprises, but sometimes, it’s a real pleasure going into a movie knowing exactly what you’ll end up getting. Frank Miller’s Sin City: A Dame to Kill For stirred within me the same sense of excitement, awe, and even revulsion I felt nine years ago watching the original Sin City, a spectacular achievement that merged the narrative sensibilities of a crime thriller and film noir with the visual sensibilities of a comic book. This follow-up keeps to that atmospheric tradition in tremendous fashion.
Read More!
At Last, an Effort Is Made

The Expendables 3 showed me something I never thought I’d see in an Expendables movie: An effort being made. Here is a textbook example of how, with just a little thought put into important elements like story, character, theme, and dialogue, even the most tiresome and gratuitous genres can be entertaining.
Read More!
A Horrific Cesspool

Septic Man is a mess in more ways than one – a horror movie that’s not only nauseating to look at but also a narrative catastrophe, all potential emphasis on character development and theme lost amongst the wreckage of what is surely one of the year’s most haphazard, awkwardly structured screenplays.
Read More!
The '80s Called – They Want Their Movie Back

Even though the technology wouldn’t have been available to do the visuals justice, the attitude and atmosphere of Guardians of the Galaxy strongly suggest it would have been better had it been made thirty years ago, when audiences were far more willing to embrace goofy action/sci-fi films in which emphasis was placed on stunts and special effects rather than plot and character development.
Read More!

From The Movie Vault Archives


The Wiz (1978)
Baum's Vision Gets Urbanized

Sidney Lumet’s The Wiz is an adaptation not just of the Tony-winning Broadway musical but also of L. Frank Baum’s novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, which means it already has three strikes against it from a sizeable audience of fans and purists. Those who loved the novel – and, it cannot be denied, the 1939 MGM musical it spawned – may not respond well to the story’s urbanized updates, the cast consisting entirely of African American actors, the songs peppered with Motown, funk, and gospel influences.
Oh, You Frightening Doll
Read More!
The Mystery of the Missing Wife
Read More!
Talking Crayons Save the Day
Read More!
British Humor Isn't Everyone's Cup of Tea
Read More!
Winter Gets a Friend
Read More!
The 4K Is a Disaster of Biblical Proportions
Read More!
Sticking to What Works
Read More!
At Last, an Effort Is Made
Read More!
A Horrific Cesspool
Read More!
The '80s Called – They Want Their Movie Back
Read More!
Baum's Vision Gets Urbanized
Read More!
A Camp Horror Movie, Minus the Camp
Read More!
A Dizzying Whirlwind of Conflict
Read More!
Corman’s Horticultural Farce
Read More!
What Lies Waiting Beyond That Corridor?
Read More!
Chris Pandolfi makes his picks for The Best Films of 2012. See his full list of favorite films right here!
Read More!
Chris Pandolfi makes his picks for The Worst Films of 2012. See the full list of dispicable films right here…
Read More!
Chris Pandolfi Talks with the Author of Enemies, A Love Story
Read More!
San Diego's Biggest Convention as Seen Through the Eyes of The Massie Twins
Read More!
The reasoning behind my review of Act of Valor, supporting our troops, and the meaning of real patriotism
Read More!