John Williams

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Review

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Review

RATING: (3.5 STARS) “It’s good.” “I need more than that, buddy.” “It’s enjoyable.” “OK, that’s a start.” That was a conversation I had with my 12-year-old brother-in-law immediately following our viewing of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. He wanted to help me craft my review. They’re simple adjectives but also perfectly appropriate for the film […]

Jurassic World Review

Jurassic World Review

RATING: (3 STARS) For the third straight Jurassic film, no one has a good answer to the obvious question: Why are we doing this to ourselves? Why is Isla Nublar a place human beings want to visit? Why are parents putting their kids on planes in order to be in the immediate vicinity of giant, […]

Predicting the 2014 Golden Globes Winners

Predicting the 2014 Golden Globes Winners

This Sunday, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association will carve for itself a unique place in the 2013/2014 awards season. How do I know? Because it must. There still isn’t much consensus among this year’s major categories. The critics groups like 12 Years a Slave and Her. American Hustle and Gravity have loads of support—some from […]

Superman Review

Superman Review

RATING: (3 STARS) Richard Donner’s Superman is very much a product of the Star Wars school of blockbuster filmmaking—big, ambitious themes masked in a familiar, satisfying story with sometimes spotty (by today’s standard), sometimes dazzling (by any standard) special effects that hide narrative deficiencies at every turn. The ink was hardly dry on the school’s […]

Lincoln Review

Lincoln Review

RATING: (3 STARS) The way Daniel Day-Lewis towers over Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln is almost a shame. His performance is one of such immersion that you’ll occasionally lose sight of what’s going on around him—even the words he’s speaking. Or maybe that has to do with Tony Kushner’s drier-than-desert-sand screenplay. Abraham Lincoln’s life and presidency are […]

The Adventures of Tintin Review

The Adventures of Tintin Review

RATING: (3 STARS) Though The Adventures of Tintin is breezy fun, one can’t help but think the pairing of Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson should have turned out something more exciting than this. Much has been made of the meeting of the minds of Indiana Jones and The Lord of the Rings, but not a […]

War Horse Review

War Horse Review

RATING: (3 STARS) Steven Spielberg’s films are often so recognizable that they could make up their own genre. They’re always impeccably crafted, and you can usually see him trying very hard—sometimes painfully so—to make you feel something. I tend to think part of the reason films like Munich and Minority Report were so admired was […]

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Review

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Review

RATING: (3 STARS) For many, Prisoner of Azkaban marks the apex of the Harry Potter film series. I don’t share that belief, but I do think it’s one of the series’ better entries. Somewhat ironically, most of my issues stem from the narrative itself. I think Prisoner of Azkaban is easily the weakest novel in […]

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Review

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Review

RATING: (2 STARS) After Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, one would think it was time for the Harry Potter series to dispense of introductions and the real childlike qualities that, while necessary, held the first film back a bit. I guess director Chris Columbus (back for some reason after the first film) didn’t get […]

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone Review

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone Review

RATING: (3 STARS) In 2001, the Harry Potter phenomenon finally hit the big screen. The first book in the series, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, perfectly captures the sense of childlike wonder any of us would feel if we went to a school of magic. The film adaptation, directed by Chris Columbus, does the […]

A.I. Artificial Intelligence Review

A.I. Artificial Intelligence Review

RATING: (3.5 STARS) The origins of A.I. are well-known. The story was the brainchild of Stanley Kubrick, but he refused to make it into a film until technology was advanced enough to do it justice. He died before ever getting the chance to make the film. Enter Steven Spielberg, who was entranced by Kubrick’s story. […]