AltWeeklies Wire

There are no heroes in The Dark Knight Risesnew

The Dark Knight Rises may be the darkest, the grimmest, the most depressing summer popcorn movie ever. It is not summery. It is not popcorny. There is no adventure here. There is no escapism. There is only grinding reality to be endured in the harsh mirror it holds up to the audience.
Charleston City Paper  |  MaryAnn Johanson  |  07-15-2012  |  Reviews

The Ryan Gosling-led Drive is in a Class by Itselfnew

This is Drive Calm. This is Drive Cool. This is Ryan Gosling as a soft-spoken, sensitive soul, a guy extremely proficient at driving fast cars but who doesn't seem to get much of a thrill out of it, and neither, it seems, does Drive the movie wish to turn you on.
Charleston City Paper  |  MaryAnn Johanson  |  09-14-2011  |  Reviews

If You Think Kicks to the Crotch Are Funny, 'Your Highness' is For Younew

There is no point to this unforgivable excuse for a comedy, except, obviously, for Danny McBride to make his buddies (director Green, co-star James Franco) chortle over pot jokes and at least pretend to get himself laid.
Charleston City Paper  |  MaryAnn Johanson  |  04-06-2011  |  Reviews

The Outlaw is an Assnew

The Green Hornet spoofs dark vigilante drama.
Charleston City Paper  |  MaryAnn Johanson  |  01-20-2011  |  Reviews

Little Fockers is a Viagra-Induced Four-Hour Hard-Onnew

It astonishes me that people -- many people -- proudly put their names on Little Fockers, even the ones who aren't on screen who could have escaped unknown.
Charleston City Paper  |  MaryAnn Johanson  |  12-28-2010  |  Reviews

The Latest Installment In The Narnia Saga Is A Real Snoozernew

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. Ha. The most recent installment in The Chronicles of Narnia series should've been called The Voyage of the Yawn Treader.
Charleston City Paper  |  MaryAnn Johanson  |  12-08-2010  |  Reviews

Love and Other Drugs Brings Us Sociopathic Sex Fiendsnew

There's a word for people who are very clever at manipulating other people emotionally while feeling nothing themselves. That word is "sociopath."
Charleston City Paper  |  MaryAnn Johanson  |  11-30-2010  |  Reviews

Annette Bening and Julianne Moore play housenew

We have two mommies.
Charleston City Paper  |  MaryAnn Johanson  |  08-13-2010  |  Reviews

Sacha Baron Cohen Hunts for Narrow-Minded Bigots in 'Bruno'new

While so many public figures are deliberately shocking and offensive because they want us to join them in being small and mean and petty and tribal, Baron Cohen does the same thing but for the very opposite reasons. That is a good thing, and a thing very much worth celebrating -- and it's also outrageously funny to watch, too.
Charleston City Paper  |  MaryAnn Johanson  |  07-08-2009  |  Reviews

Sam Raimi Returns to His Horror Roots with 'Drag Me to Hell'new

Not only is Sam Raimi daring to push the mainstream studio horror movie to a new and uncomfortable place, he may even be daring his longtime fans to come along with him.
Charleston City Paper  |  Maryann Johanson  |  05-27-2009  |  Reviews

Hollywood Explains the Fall of Real Journalismnew

I am a profound fan of State of Play, the tele-cinematical crumpet of solemn and fervent perfection the BBC offered us in 2003. Therefore, I am so glad to be able to say Hollywood didn't fuck up boiling down that six-hour story into a two-hour, 2009 version.
Charleston City Paper  |  Maryann Johanson  |  04-15-2009  |  Reviews

Bad Banks Are Back: Clive Owen and Naomi Watts Sizzle in 'The International'new

The timing of this smart, savvy thriller couldn't be better, what with its corporate-banks-are-evil theme and a hero who yells at banksters that he wants "some fucking justice." And, of course, Clive Owen is always welcome on my movie screen.
Charleston City Paper  |  Maryann Johanson  |  02-11-2009  |  Reviews

'American Teen' Documents High School's 'Total Caste System' and Morenew

Documentarian Nanette Burstein spent an entire school year at the only high school in tiny Warsaw, Ind., where there is no escape from the pressure cooker of adolescence or from conservative small-town conformity.
Charleston City Paper  |  Maryann Johanson  |  09-03-2008  |  Reviews

Darned to Heck: 'Hellboy II' Comes to You Streamlined and Franchisednew

Watching Hellboy II is a process. It feels like it's been tamed and corralled and commodified. Hellboy was rowdy and feral and dangerous, and already, in only its second outing, the franchise has been herded into the slaughterhouse and ground up in chuck chop and wrapped in sanitary plastic.
Charleston City Paper  |  MaryAnn Johanson  |  07-09-2008  |  Reviews

Women's Lib in the Form of a Jewel Heistnew

It's gotta mean something, right? In only the first few months of 2008 we've seen more than two movies about daring robberies pulled off by little people who feel, perhaps justifiably so, that they've been cheated by life while other fat lucky bastards have made out at their expense.
Charleston City Paper  |  MaryAnn Johanson  |  04-02-2008  |  Reviews

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