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Articles by Derek Austin Johnson

MOVIE REVIEW: Star Trek Into Darkness (2013)

REVIEW SYNOPSIS: Though it starts strongly, the sophomore journey of the fresh-faced crew of the starship Enterprise covers too little new ground. MY REVIEW: SYNOPSIS:  When [...]

May 17, 2013 // 7 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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

March 1, 2013 // 6 Comments

FILM REVIEW: Beyond the Black Rainbow (2010)

REVIEW SUMMARY: A pretentious, self-indulgent, and ultimately silly first feature from director Panos Cosmatos that never captures the erratic grace or fitful elegance of [...]

February 21, 2013 // 2 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 [...]

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; [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

September 24, 2012 // 6 Comments

MOVIE REVIEW: The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

REVIEW SUMMARY: Messy, way too long, and with far too many missteps and misguided elements, Nolan’s final chapter in the rebooted Batman franchise still remains watchable [...]

July 20, 2012 // 14 Comments

MOVIE REVIEW: The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)

REVIEW SUMMARY: Marc Webb’s updating of Spider-Man’s origin story looks good but feels flat and, ultimately, too familiar. MY RATING: BRIEF SYNOPSIS: High school student [...]

July 3, 2012 // 3 Comments

MOVIE REVIEW: Brave (2012)

REVIEW SUMMARY: Beautifully shot, as one would expect from Pixar, but only intermittently engaging and sputters badly as it moves toward its climax. MY RATING: BRIEF [...]

June 23, 2012 // 4 Comments

MOVIE REVIEW: Safety Not Guaranteed (2012)

REVIEW SUMMARY: A touching romantic comedy supported by a great cast, Derek Connolly’s smart script, and Colin Trevorrow’s understated direction. MY RATING: BRIEF [...]

June 15, 2012 // 1 Comment

MOVIE REVIEW: Prometheus (2012)

REVIEW SUMMARY: Ridley Scott returns to science fiction with a lifeless, derivative prequel to one of his most famous movies. MY RATING: BRIEF SYNOPSIS: After finding [...]

June 8, 2012 // 35 Comments

MOVIE REVIEW: Men in Black III

REVIEW SUMMARY: Occasionally clever touches and a strong turn by Josh Brolin as a young Agent K cannot hide the listlessness of the third entry in a series that should have [...]

May 25, 2012 // 5 Comments

MOVIE REVIEW: Dark Shadows (2012)

REVIEW SUMMARY: Despite good casting and one or two promising scenes, Burton’s sendup of the classic supernatural soap opera only manages to be an incoherent mess. MY [...]

May 11, 2012 // 1 Comment

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