Sofia Lopez

Seeking in movies meaning and reflection in real-time. On the look out for biography, thriller & drama best pieces.

Day Watch

Night Watch was just interesting enough to be irritating: taking place in a vast, deep universe and unveiling an elaborate mythology, it spun an overwhelming amount of exposition but still seemed to only skim the surface. Freed of the unenviable task of trying to get a franchise off the ground, Day Watch is free to tell a tighter, concrete story, and in the process develops its world more than any...[Read More]

Zathura A Space Adventure

After Jumanji, The Polar Express, and now Zathura: A Space Adventure, I think of Chris Van Allsburg as someone whose mostly inane stories are somehow turned into decent movies. So be it. Their appeal is easy to see: each is based on a nifty, undemanding, cinematic gimmick, and in the case of Jumanji and Zathura, it’s the same gimmick. A group of kids discover a mysterious board game, and bef...[Read More]

Zack and Miri Make a Porno

There is a certain tonal integrity to Kevin Smith’s Zack and Miri Make a Porno, which might wind up as ammunition for arguments against tonal integrity. It’s hugely, ridiculously raunchy, banned by Utah’s major theater chain and narrowly escaping an NC-17 rating. It’s also hugely, ridiculously sentimental, the sweetness and sap practically dripping off of it by the last thi...[Read More]

Young Adult

Mavis Gary, the anti-heroine of Jason Reitman’s Young Adult, is an impressive creation, a real piece of work. A former high school prom queen in small-town Minnesota, now the largely-uncredited author of a trashy series of teen soap novels, she is a walking petri dish of insecurity and self-loathing – a pathological hair-puller and an alcoholic most likely to be found passed out face-down in the b...[Read More]

You, Me and Dupree

You, Me and Dupree snuck up on me after I had essentially written it off, after Lame Relationship Comedy fatigue had begun to set in. The about-face occurs around the end of the first act, by which time I had resigned myself to what I felt sure I was in for: another hour (or more!) of Owen Wilson’s grating “free spirit” houseguest wreaking havoc on his hosts until they realize th...[Read More]

You Don’t Mess with the Zohan

You Don’t Mess with the Zohan is imbued with a spirit of anarchy that, in theory, appeals to me. In theory, I like its willingness to plunge headlong into the surreal and the absurd without apology or justification, its (PG-13) disdain for political correctness, and its tendency to squeeze every bit of juice out of every joke the writers come up with. And I appreciate — in theory ̵...[Read More]

Yes Man

Yes Man wants badly to be a raucous, conventional Hollywood comedy, but the shoe doesn’t fit. There’s a thoughtful story here struggling to bloom, and the movie stamps it down at every opportunity. Even Jim Carrey’s classic manic energy, usually so welcome, is oppressive. This is a woefully unimaginative treatment of material that deserved better. I’m immensely sympathetic ...[Read More]

X-Men The Last Stand

I appreciate X-Men: The Last Stand more than I should, more than it probably deserves, because it’s so clearly thinking. It is, in the final estimation, as clunky and inefficient as it is breezy and enjoyable. Certainly the cold, ruthless elegance of the previous films, both directed by the very talented Bryan Singer, is forgotten, with Singer replaced by Rush Hour‘s Brett Ratner. Ratn...[Read More]

Wolf Creek

This review is intended primarily as a response to Roger Ebert’s silly, thoughtless take on Wolf Creek. As such, you should probably read that first. Go ahead, read it. I’ll wait here. All done? Good. If that piece seems familiar, that’s because it’s not the first time Ebert has written it: see also here (attacking one of my favorite horror films of the decade) and here. Th...[Read More]

Winter Solstice

Winter Solstice is one of those pathetically contrived titles that pun on a character’s name, as if it were some very clever accomplishment to make up a character name that puns. It is only a half a rung more elegant than clunkers like Saving Grace or Raising Helen, but at least it has the dignity not to simply precede the name with a carefully selected gerund. A title like that does not bod...[Read More]

William and the Windmill

A few years ago, William Kamkwamba, a poor teenager from a rural village in Malawi, went to his tiny local library, found a textbook with a diagram explaining how a windmill works, and set out to build one himself. The resulting windmill looked ramshackle and fragile, made of wood and spare parts, but it worked. Word of this spread, and some prominent locals recruited William to give a talk at a T...[Read More]

What Maisie Knew

What Maisie Knew is a gimmick and also kind of a wonder: a story of the dissolution of a relationship told entirely through the eyes of the couple’s six year-old daughter. Maisie (played by a remarkable Onata Aprile) is in every single scene, absorbing and reflecting the selfishness and cruelty of her parents, and the remarkable thing about the film is how entirely non-precocious she is. Movie kid...[Read More]

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