Greetings! Have you ever wondered if a movie's worth blowing the money on to see at the theater or what to add next to your NetFlix queue? Then you've come to the right place! Enjoy!

"All Things Must Pass" Review

Colin Hanks' wildly entertaining All Things Must Pass isn't about George Harrison's seminal solo album, but as it is subtitled, The Rise and Fall of Tower Records. Founded in Sacramento, CA in 1960 by Russ Solomon, Tower Records gradually, then rapidly, expanded into a globe-spanning retail empire which clocked a billion dollars in sales in 1999 only to go bankrupt and disappear by 2006.

Packed with interviews from almost everyone involved from the earliest days - the celebrity interview from Bruce Springsteen, Dave Grohl (who worked at the Washington D.C. store), and Elton John prominently featured in the trailer are a tiny part of the overall movie - it traces how Solomon was able to capture the music zeitgeist and sell it to rabidly loyal fans with a decidedly non-traditional approach to staffing and management. Somehow it succeeded and thrived, though unbeknownst to them, the seeds of doom were planted as the absence of only a couple of crucial people set the dominoes tumbling toward ruin.

While the MP3/Napster revolution was a contributing factor to Tower's (as well as the record industry's demise), All Things Must Pass and the participants don't make it the scapegoat. Everyone is remarkably clear-eyed as to what happened beyond the digital "free music" tsunami as the culture about collecting music changed. While some subjects become quite emotional in their recollections, they don't lash out in angry nostalgia for the bygone glory days.

Brisk, fun and informative, you shouldn't pass on All Things Must Pass.

Score: 9/10. Catch it on cable.

"Sisters" Review

Nothing makes my job easier than trailers which spell out almost the entire movie, so watch this:

That's right, Amy Poehler and Tina Fey, last seen in the unsung 2008 comedy classic Baby Mama (note: sarcasm), are back except this time Amy is the straight-laced good girl and Tina is the wild child trainwreck (this actually works well enough) with a disgusted estranged teenage daughter (Madison Davenport) who won't tell her mother where she's living. When their parents (James Brolin and Dianne Wiest) announce they're selling their childhood home, they decide to have one last rager and invite their old high school friends. Hijinks naturally ensue.

Written by SNL veteran Paula Pell (her feature debut), Sisters is the latest entry in the "raunchy women's comedy" genre following the likes of Bridesmaids and The Heat where middle-aged women swear and act obnoxious. If you like those flicks, you'll like Sisters because the laugh ratio is on the positive side even if the tropes are familiar and some gags run on too much like Bobby Moynihan's over-featured party guest.

Of course it gets sappy at the end and Everyone Learns Something, but despite the laxness of the ending which makes The Lord of the Rings seem taut in comparison, you'll have a decent time partying with these Sisters.

Score: 6.5/10. Catch it on cable.

"The Man From U.N.C.L.E." Review

After the dreadful tag team of Revolver and RocknRolla I demanded that Guy Ritchie's career be ended. Yeah, Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch were pretty good, but these two were whack and his former producer, Matthew Vaughn, had become a much more interesting filmmaker directing Kick-Ass and X-Men: First Class (and the lesser Kingsmen: The Secret Service).

Unfortunately for my wishes, Ritchie had a pair of hits with the Robert Downey, Jr. Sherlock Holmes movies and thus got to make this stylish and dull rehash of the Sixties TV series The Man From U.N.C.L.E. with Superman Henry Cavill as former thief-turned-spy Napoleon Solo and The Lone Ranger/Winklevoss Twin Armie Hammer as KGB agent Illya Kuryakin who first encounter each other when Solo is helping an East German auto mechanic (Hollywood's hot It Girl Alicia Vikander, star of Ex Machina and The Danish Girl) defect from 1963 East Berlin.

Facing some sort of threat from nuclear weapons or something - the actual plot is so slapdash and thin - the foes are forced to bro-team up with Vikander posing as Hammer's fiancee and something involving a beautiful shipping heiress or something; it's all quite forgettable as Ritchie pours on the period style.

There are a handful of laughs from throwaway gags like when the pair are told they'll be working together and when their bosses get up to leave the cafe, everyone else gets up as well because they were all agents, too, but they're not enough to compensate for an unengaging plot and cheesy one-upping dick-measuring by the leads. It's also clearly intended to set up a series of films because we can't possibly not want more of these wacky brotagonists, right? Fortunately, the lackluster box office take will probably prevent that from occurring.

Score: 3/10. Skip it.

The exceedingly long and give-the-whole-movie-away Comic-Con trailer:

"Time Lapse" Review

While perusing my Netflix app I spotted Time Lapse co-starring Danielle Panabaker (Caitlin Snow from The Flash) as a young woman living with her artist boyfriend and their slackerish roommate. The boyfriend is also the super for their seemingly unpopulated apartment complex and as such as keys to the units including that of their neighbor across the way.

When his mail piles up, Panabaker goes into his place and discovers a huge camera which is pointed out the window into their place's window and thanks to no one ever closing curtains is spitting out Polaroids which they determine as being from the next day. The man's mysteriously burned body - he clothes are untouched - is found in a store room and combined with a diary entry about attempting to change the future they are afraid to deviate from what is portrayed in the photos.

As anyone who would have knowledge of the future and has seen Back to the Future II would do, they start making bets on dog races to make all sorts of easy money. Of course, things start taking a turn for the worse as the suspicious bookie comes around wondering why the slacker is always winning and tensions rise as more disturbing images start issuing from the Magic Camera like Panabaker getting physically involved with the slacker while her boyfriend appears to be sleeping. (Again, open curtains?)

Time Lapse is a frustrating movie because the premise is intriguing, but the execution is weak. The performances by the men are flat and unnatural, hampered by unrealistic dialog and increasingly ludicrous behavior. A character appears about 2/3rds of the way through who seems to know what the man was doing, but just as those possibilities are presented, that plot thread is ended. There is a security guard character occasionally patrolling the grounds of this tiny complex where we never see another tenant only to have him become a plot detail later. (I live in a bigger complex than seen in this movie and there's no roving security man and I see my neighbors even if I don't interact with them.)

Then there's the usual bugbear of time travel movies, causality, as the characters are slavishly living to end up where the pictures portray them being even if they mean she's got to kiss someone she's not dating "because that's what's in the picture." The artist has been creatively blocked, so he solves that by painting what's in the photo even if he doesn't know what the images mean. They have to post the winners of that day's dog races in order to appear in yesterday's photo; it's all a confusing mess, but may've worked if the execution was better.

Score: 4/10. Skip it.

"The Transporter Refueled" Review

Let's make this quick: the first Transporter film was a fun lark with Jason Statham kicking ass and a hot Asian babe; the second one was sillier, but had Jason Statham kicking ass and a crazy machine gun hooker chick who looked like Pink and barely worked again in it and was also fun. The third time wasn't a charm as they forgot to bother getting Statham's shirt off when he fought (as my girlfriend complained) and the leading lady was such an annoying twit that we were both rooting for her to be run over by Statham.

Well, Luc Besson and company apparently thought that all we needed was a new guy in a suit and some silly plot about hookers ripping off their Russian mob pimps and car chases - it's a glorified Audi commercial half the time - to restart the franchise. They were wrong and The Transporter Refueled is out of gas and up on blocks pretty much the whole time. Go watch the first two again instead.

Score: 2/10. Skip it.

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