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Articles by Derek Austin Johnson

MOVIE REVIEW: Ender’s Game (2013)

REVIEW SYNOPSIS: Stiff, surprisingly bloodless adaptation of a classic science fiction novel, maintaining a certain fidelity to details but neutering much of the source [...more]

November 3, 2013 // 14 Comments

FILM REVIEW: Gravity (2013)

REVIEW SYNOPSIS: More technically adept and visually breathtaking than emotionally compelling, Alfonso Cuarón’s follow-up to Children of Men immerses without ever fully [...more]

October 7, 2013 // 6 Comments

MOVIE REVIEW: The World’s End (2013)

REVIEW SYNOPSIS: Director Edgar Wright concludes the Cornetto Trilogy with the tastiest morsel of all, a lean yet loving tribute to John Wyndham, Jack Finney, and Ira Levin [...more]

August 25, 2013 // 1 Comment

MOVIE REVIEW: Elysium (2013)

REVIEW SYNOPSIS: Despite an interesting heist element, above average action, and glimpses of an intriguing future, Neill Blomkamp’s follow-up to his surprise hit [...more]

August 11, 2013 // 8 Comments

MOVIE REVIEW: The Wolverine (2013)

REVIEW SYNOPSIS: Enjoyable if forgettable, The Wolverine’s balancing of comic book superhero adventure and existential thriller never fully engages as either. MY RATING: [...more]

July 26, 2013 // 1 Comment

MOVIE REVIEW: Pacific Rim (2013)

REVIEW SYNOPSIS: Despite impressive action and effects, Guillermo Del Toro sends a labored, often lifeless love letter to the giant monster genre. MY REVIEW: SYNOPSIS: When [...more]

July 12, 2013 // 17 Comments

MOVIE REVIEW: Man of Steel (2013)

REVIEW SYNOPSIS: Overly long, sloppily scripted, needlessly violent, with changes that need not—and in some instances, should not—have been made, Zack Snyder’s [...more]

June 14, 2013 // 11 Comments

MOVIE REVIEW: Iron Man 3 (2013)

REVIEW SUMMARY: Messy and needlessly convoluted, lacking much of the cleverness and insight of Iron Man and Marvel’s The Avengers, Iron Man 3 still engages thanks to [...more]

May 3, 2013 // 2 Comments

FILM REVIEW: Oblivion (2013)

REVIEW SUMMARY: Often visually arresting sequences never save this homage to 1970s science fiction films from flat characters, routine action, and uninspired direction. MY [...more]

April 19, 2013 // 35 Comments

FILM REVIEW: Evil Dead (2013)

REVIEW SUMMARY: Dumb, noisy, and ultimately pointless reboot of Sam Raimi’s groundbreaking picture shows as much life as the revenants shambling across the screen. MY [...more]

April 8, 2013 // 1 Comment

FILM REVIEW: Jack the Giant Slayer (2013)

REVIEW SUMMARY: Well-executed set pieces, clever touches, and tongue-in-cheek manner manage to save Bryan Singer’s mostly by-the-numbers fantasy adventure. MY RATING: BRIEF [...more]

March 1, 2013 // 6 Comments

FILM REVIEW: Skyfall (2012)

MY RATING: BRIEF SYNOPSIS: James Bond returns in a visually lush and emotionally involving adventure that benefits from a strong script and one of the best casts the series [...more]

November 9, 2012 // 5 Comments

MOVIE REVIEW: Cloud Atlas (2012)

MY RATING: SUMMARY: Audacious, daring, and never uninteresting, yet the execution falls far short of its visionary ambitions. MY REVIEW: PROS: Visually absorbing and lush; [...more]

October 26, 2012 // 5 Comments

MOVIE REVIEW: Looper (2012)

REVIEW SUMMARY: Ambitious and often clever, Rian Johnson’s first foray into science fiction never quite pieces its philosophical content together with its thriller [...more]

September 28, 2012 // 6 Comments

FILM REVIEW: Dredd (2012)

REVIEW SUMMARY: Covering almost no new cinematic ground, director Pete Travis and screenwriter Alex Garland nonetheless concoct a tight, gritty, and resiliently dark picture [...more]

September 24, 2012 // 6 Comments

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