In Theaters

Daniel Barnes @ the SNR


*The Raid 2 (pictured left): Writer-director Gareth Evans offers an ambitious story arc that spans several years, rather than several flights of stairs. And yet the show-stopping fight scenes of the original are if anything amplified here, and are mostly announced with an operatic fanfare worthy of a Sergio Leone gunfight. The success of Evans’ ballsy vision suggests that he has the chops to also direct romantic comedies, costume dramas, and jukebox musicals where everyone beats the living shit out of each other.images

*Jodorowsky’s Dune (pictured right): This affectionate documentary from director Frank Pavich tells the story of a lost film, offering copious storyboards and conceptual art, and yet it wisely makes the lively 80-something Jodorowsky the centerpiece.


*Veronica Mars (pictured below): With visuals that mimic the perfunctory, shot-reverse-shot efficiency of a TV show, Veronica Mars never feels like anything more than a Very Special Episode, a treat for hardcore fans and a curiosity for everyone else.


*Draft Day: Costner is surrounded by a solid supporting cast, including Frank Langella, Jennifer Garner, and Ellen Burstyn, but their only function is to bask in the glow of his masculine decency and comment on the magnificence of his balls.