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A.J. Hakari

A.J. Hakari

A.J. Hakari is a student at UW-River Falls.

25 Sep 2008

'Igor' wastes potential, misses target audience

I really miss the days when animated films seemed more       . It’s a shame that they’ve begun focusing more on attracting viewers with big-name talent rather than with an eye-catching style or a great story. Heck, “WALL-E” worked just fine, and the lead character’s voice was nary more than a few bleeps […]

18 Sep 2008

Coens deliver another quality film with 'Burn after Reading'

Sometimes you’ll see a director who cleaned up in the movie awards season try in vain to make lightning strike twice the next time around. But such is not the case with brothers Joel and Ethan Coen, who recently racked up tons of acclaim for “No Country for Old Men” but who preserve their cinematic […]

08 May 2008

Strong cast, script lay foundation for enjoyable 'Iron Man'

Just as Iron Man the character is of a different school than super-powered characters like Spider-Man or the X-Men, “Iron Man” the film is the same as far as comic-to-screen adaptations go. Those expecting a slam-bang, explosion-a-minute blockbuster out of this flick will be sorely disappointed. “Iron Man’s” duties lie with being a character-driven yarn […]

01 May 2008

‘Harold and Kumar’ sequel presents wry view of US culture

Whoever thought that an all-night hunt for burgers would have turned into a wry commentary on American culture? Such was the case with “Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle,” an unassuming stoner comedy with a surprising amount of smarts embedded in the script.   After generating all sorts of laughs with raunchy gags and […]

24 Apr 2008

Chan, Li combine talents for ‘The Forbidden Kingdom’

The popularity of old kung fu movies in America is a little puzzling. In their native lands, these flicks represent the stuff of legend—grand cinematic representations of stories handed down across the generations.   On this side of the pond, though, the best examples a lot of people see are a bunch of people in […]

16 Apr 2008

Reeves mediocre in predictable police drama ‘Street Kings’

If there’s one thing that David Ayer and James Ellroy know, it’s dirty cops. Ayer previously penned the scripts for such flicks as “Training Day” and “S.W.A.T.,” and he and popular novelist Ellroy even collaborated on “Dark Blue” (which still features Kurt Russell’s hands-down best performance ever, but I digress).   The pair has pooled […]

10 Apr 2008

Clooney’s football comedy ‘Leatherheads’ a nostalgic treat

In recent years, George Clooney has successfully executed that all-too-risky jump from matinee movie star to skilled filmmaker. After taking on heavier topics his first two times at bat, Clooney presents his third directorial effort, “Leatherheads,” as his first foray into the arena of flat-out crowd-pleasing entertainment.   Don’t get me wrong, the flick’s not […]

03 Apr 2008

Las Vegas’ glitz, glamour shine in gambling-themed ‘21’

“At first they had everything…then it all came crashing down ...” These words can be applied to not just every episode of “Behind the Music” ever produced, but also to more movies than are humanly possible to count. It’s a time-tested formula that’s had its ups and downs, its success almost completely dependent on whether […]

27 Mar 2008

New comedy 'Drillbit Taylor' one of Wilson's worst

Judd Apatow’s recent success in the realm of comedy is no secret. “Talladega Nights,” “Superbad,” “Knocked Up”—it certainly seems that whatever the man touches turns into comic gold. But his ascent up the ladder of success hasn’t been without its missteps, the latest of which is “Drillbit Taylor.” This is a film that feels curiously […]

13 Mar 2008

New flick ‘10,000 B.C.’ fails to live up to epic hype

The epic has made something of a comeback in recent years. Thanks to the efforts of “300” and “Apocalypto,” this ambitious genre is undergoing an artistic resurgence, turning up flicks that combine spectacle and storytelling into one glorious package. Then there are movies like “10,000 B.C.” on the other end of the spectrum. To call […]