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Evan Crean Evan Crean
Starpulse Contributing Writer
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Evan is a film critic in Boston, MA and a founding member of the Boston Online Film Critics Association. He writes reviews for his blog Reel Recon and co-hosts the weekly podcast Spoilerpiece Theatre.

Blomkamp's 'Elysium' Is Sci-Fi With Something To Say

8/10/2013 1:00am EDT
Matt Damon in Elysium
In 2009, Neill Blomkamp’s directorial debut “District 9” punched audiences in the stomach with its gut-wrenching realism and gripping social commentary. The emotional bruising left in its wake didn’t just seize viewer attention though, it captured Hollywood’s too. Struck by Blomkamp’s creativity with a smaller budget, the industry decided to offer him a larger one for his sophomore effort “Elysium.” Working inside the Hollywood machine can be tricky however, since directors often compensate for greater resources with major creative compromises. What’s miraculous about Blomkamp’s flick is th...
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'The Wolverine' Takes The Character To Captivating New Places

7/29/2013 1:12pm EDT
The Wolverine
After three busy “X-Men” films where Wolverine struggled to stand out, and one trainwreck solo picture, James Mangold’s “The Wolverine” finally does the character justice. Mangold not only satisfies us by providing depth to Wolverine’s familiar traits, but he surprises us by taking the character to captivating new places. Although his flick isn’t Oscar-worthy, the film is good enough to make its terrible predecessor “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” seem like a candidate for “Mystery Science Theater 3000.”

Thankfully, “The Wolverine” seems to pretend that Gavin Hood’s “X-Men Origins” didn’t even ...
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Great Talent And Chemistry Compensate For The Stale Premise In 'Red 2'

7/21/2013 5:06pm EDT
Helen Mirren in Red 2
Even when junk food has expired, sometimes it’s so freakin’ delicious that you can’t help eating it anyway. Certain sugary snacks have enough flavor, that they are totally worth the digestive consequences later. Dean Parisot’s action comedy “Red 2” is exactly like one of those treats: an old Twinkie that you just can’t deny yourself.

Actually, a more apt analogy in this case, is probably an irresistible ancient Moon Pie, because there’s a scene in “Red 2” where Marvin (John Malkovich) literally dusts one off for consumption. When someone gives him an incredulous look, he shrugs, saying “It...
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Book Review: Stephen King's 'Joyland'

7/19/2013 9:25am EDT
Joyland Book Cover
Don't let the upbeat title of Stephen King's "Joyland" fool you; his novel is no lighthearted tale of youthful exuberance. Although the book shares its name with a fictional amusement park where happy memories are made for children, the titular grounds in this paranormal, coming-of-age crime thriller have a much more tragic history for adults. Would you expect anything less from The Master of Horror?

After King’s 2012 testimonials for “The Twenty-Year Death” and “The Cocktail Waitress,” it seemed like only a matter of time before he penned his own entry in Titan Books’ pulp series “Hard Ca...
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Briskly-Paced 'Pacific Rim' Enthralls with Giant Robots Fighting Angry Monsters

7/13/2013 11:00am EDT
Giant Robot in Pacific Rim
Guillermo del Toro’s “Pacific Rim” is the BEST giant-robots-fighting-things flick of all time. Considering how low movies like “Transformers” and “Robot Jox” set the bar, that statement may sound like a backhanded compliment. It’s not though, because “Pacific Rim” is truly this genre’s highest caliber film to-date. The picture’s exemplary special effects, editing, camerawork, and implementation of 3D cooperate to create a miraculous, yet convincing world where humans pilot massive mechanical men to combat mammoth monsters.  

In this sci-fi tale written by del Toro and “Clash of the Titans”...
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Q&A: Jim Rash and Nat Faxon Chat About ‘The Way, Way Back,’ Adolescence, and Prep School

7/7/2013 11:35am EDT
The Way Way Back
Actors Jim Rash and Nat Faxon wowed us with their Academy Award-winning screenplay for “The Descendants” in 2012. Now they’re poised to enthrall us again with their follow up: the summer coming-of-age flick “The Way, Way Back,” a passion project that they’ve been developing for years. Not only do they make their co-directorial debut with this film, but they co-write, co-produce, and co-star in it as well.

“The Way, Way Back” focuses on Duncan (Liam James), a shy teenager forced on vacation with with his mom (Toni Collette), her mean boyfriend Trent (Steve Carell), and Trent’s daughter Step...
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Weekend Movie Preview: 'Man of Steel' & 'This Is the End'

6/16/2013 2:33am EDT
Man of Steel Movie Poster
Hi all. It’s been a while since my last “Weekend Movie Preview” column, I know. Things have been busy for me, so I’ve been publishing one review at a time lately. However, I was thinking it would be nice to spice things up and use this format to share my reviews of two films that came out this weekend. Check out my thoughts on the Superman reboot “Man of Steel” and the apocalyptic comedy “This Is the End.”

MAN OF STEEL

Clark Kent is no ordinary boy. After the shocking discovery that he’s an extraterrestrial with extraordinary powers, Clark (Henry Cavill) grows up carefully hiding his ab...
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Leterrier's ‘Now You See Me’ is a Magnificent Illusion

6/2/2013 9:10pm EDT
Isla Fisher, Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harelson, and Dave Franco in
The greatest weapon in a successful magician’s arsenal is misdirection, an arm wielded with razor-sharp precision by Louis Leterrier’s crime thriller “Now You See Me.” Like a talented illusionist, Leterrier’s film brandishes distraction, so that you only focus on elements in your line of sight. While your attention is locked on what Leterrier and his writers want you to see, the picture deftly maneuvers in the background, plotting to catch you off-guard with a masterful trick.

"Now You See Me" follows four quirky, yet skilled magicians who forge a partnership: J. Daniel Atlas (Jesse Eisenb...
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Family is Paramount in Behari's Tedious Drama 'At Any Price'

5/30/2013 6:35am EDT
At Any Price 1
You’ve probably heard the common expression, that “Blood is thicker than water.” Even if you haven’t though, its meaning is simple: the bonds of family are stronger than those to everyone else in a community. As such, most people are willing to do anything to protect their clan’s good name and to keep their kin safe from danger. This easy-to-grasp concept is the core message of writer/director Ramin Bahari’s familial drama “At Any Price,” yet for some reason he chooses an unnecessarily tedious route to arrive at that point.

“At Any Price” takes place in small-town Iowa, where it centers on...
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Review: Luhrmann's 'Great Gatsby' Tramples The Novel's Intentions

5/12/2013 9:26am EDT
Leonardo DiCaprio in The Great Gatsby
Baz Luhrmann’s bombastic big screen adaptation of “The Great Gatsby,” is like drinking cheap booze to excess. It’s unpleasant going down, and even worse coming back up, but when the experience is over, you’ll feel much better.   

Speaking of bad alcohol, Luhrmann’s film is a nasty homemade concoction. With his take on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s famous novel, he creates anachronistic moonshine that doesn’t mix effectively with the story’s Prohibition Era setting. His predilection for combining the old and new isn’t surprising, considering previous brazen films “Moulin Rouge” and “Romeo + Juliet....
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