G.I Joe: The Rise of Cobra: “What defies the mind is that Stephen Sommers and his writing team of Beattie, Elliot and Lovett actually harvest that asinine original movie plot to craft this film. While the new movie is clunkier than the Tin Man off-roading in a Hyundai, they juice it just enough to be mildly ridiculous instead of full on shitballs retarded. In The Rise of COBRA, McCullen — the ancestor of the original Destro — has developed nanomites. Mini-robots originally designed to eat cancer but instead can be used to devour whole cities, landmarks, and tourist destinations. He sells them to NATO to use as a weapon, but lo and behold, he’s a double crosser. The rest of the movie splits its time between origin-story flashbacks, big dizzying battle scenes where control zips back and forth between COBRA and G.I. Joe, and puppet pearl necklaces. Oops, wrong movie! But it’s not really much different. America, FUCK YEAH!” - Brian Prisco
I Love You, Beth Cooper: “I Love You, Beth Cooper opens during a high school graduation ceremony, where Dennis Cooverman (Rust), the class valedictorian, decides to make it a dare to be great situation and profess his unyielding love for Beth Cooper (Panettiere) in front of the whole class and Cooper’s older boyfriend. Beth is remarkably sanguine about it, and even decides — with her two best friends — to attend Cooverman’s graduation party, which consists of only Cooverman and his best friend, Rich, a possibly gay theater nerd who spends the entire movie quoting older movies (funny in the book; obnoxious on the screen). Of course, Beth’s military boyfriend, Kevin (Shawn Roberts, who is part Can’t Hardly Wait’s Peter Facinelli and part Weird Science’s Chet) shows up, wreaks some mayhem, beats on Cooverman, and triggers the night-long chase, from party, to high school, and finally, to a cabin in the woods. Blood is spilled. Pratfalls are had. Panties are exposed.” - Dustin Rowles
The Taking of Pelham 123: “It also weighs down The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 — it’s distracting. And it’s affected, not earned. It feels like it. It’s like buying the new Sonic Youth album at Starbucks. It’s poseurish, manufactured grittiness. It’s particularly problematic in The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 because it distracts us from an otherwise competently made film. It’s bad guy Travolta, and it’s Denzel being Denzel, and when you have those two playing off of each other, you don’t need any distractions. You need only to point and click, and let the professionals take care of the rest. If you have the Boston Symphony Orchestra doing Rachmaninoff’s “Theme of Paganini,” you don’t bring out the dude from Jackyl and his chainsaw to add the lumberjack riffs. Say what you want about Travolta — he makes some seriously shitty films — but he’s a consistently good bad guy; apparently, all his acting abilities reside in his facial hair. Without it, he’s useless. But with it, he’s got some bite. And Denzel. I think a drunk guy with half-lids I met at a bar the other night said it best: ‘Denzel. Duuuude! Denzel!’” - Dustin Rowles
Aliens In The Attic: “For a summer film with a $45 million dollar budget, Aliens in the Attic doesn’t even begin to live up to studio expectations, although one wonders why the marketing department essentially did nothing for this film. Presumably, the studio operated under the assumption that an audience who knows nothing would be driven into the theater by sheer curiosity and the lure of Ashley Tisdale, but dropping the promotional ball is rather inexcusable. After all, in the realm of the standard, live-action PG flicks, Aliens in the Attic is an enjoyable film with a brisk pace, broad physical comedy, and lots of laughs derived from amazingly few instances of bodily functions. Perhaps the warning sign for the studio was that, tellingly, the film’s eponymous aliens are merely a bunch of ridiculous CGI creations that are, at once, viciously malignant yet quite easily defeated by a group of children who use their video game skills to save the world. To make matters worse, director Director John Schultz lacks confidence in his own abilities, so the film’s semi-original premise devolves into a poorly executed mishmash of Goonies, Ghoulies, Home Alone, and The Spiderwick Chronicles. Fortunately, the film’s aliens are at least slightly more threatening than those of M. Night Shyamalan’s Signs, but the filmmakers barely manage their precarious PG-rated balance, which requires the aliens to be largely innocuous while still intending to end the human race in a most brutal fashion. Also contributing to the film’s off-kilter vibe are screenwriters Mark Burton and Adam F. Goldberg, who interrupt the story’s climax with contrived melodrama that will later lead to “stunning” character growth and a valuable lesson learned.” - Agent Bedhead
Food, Inc.: “A couple months ago, Disney released Disney’s Earth, which was basically the BBC series “Planet Earth” repackaged for stupid children who like baby ducks falling in slow motion. It wasn’t new footage, it wasn’t even extra footage. It was just animals with the soothing sounds of nature enthusiast Darth Earl Jones, and another excuse to show an elephant getting fucked up by a pride of lions. Food, Inc., a documentary by Robert Kenner, does essentially the same thing. It’s a mash up of Eric Schlosser’s Fast Food Nation and Michael Pollen’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma, featuring blurbs from both food fighters, wrapped up with the same arguments we’ve been hearing. Factory farming is bad, the government doesn’t do anything about it, fast food makes you fat and deaderer. It lauds organic foods, local farming and seasonal menus. The big name food production companies still aren’t talking to men with cameras, so we don’t get anything new on that front. It’s still a bunch of hippies telling us corn’s the devil, high fructose corn syrup will fuck your mother, and we all need to run tell it on the Hill to our congressmen, because they represent the people’s best interest. At this point, you either know this, or you don’t give a shit. I say, can’t it be both?” - Brian Prisco
Intern Rusty is a Masters student at the University of Miami. You can learn more about her at Rusty’s Ventures.