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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.

Star Wars Is Back On Brand In 'The Force Awakens'

12/16/2015 8:40am EST
'Star Wars' Franchise Returns To Form In 'The Force Awakens' As
You can finally forget about those awful prequels because Star Wars is back on brand thanks to director J.J. Abrams. With Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Abrams accomplishes the herculean feat of transitioning George Lucas’s original Star Wars films into a new series, while still making his movie feel like a part of the same cinematic universe.

The picture’s main task is to act as a bridge between films. And in that task, The Force Awakens succeeds impressively, because Abrams perfectly balances the old with the new. He returns to basics, delivering the elements that made Star Wars entertain...

'Time Out Of Mind’ Makes An Important Message About The Homeless

10/2/2015 1:30pm EDT
Time Out of Mind
Writer/director Oren Moverman's drama Time Out of Mind makes a definitive artistic statement about how we treat the homeless in the United States. His film contends that we view the homeless as inhuman and willfully ignore their existence. It also argues that our indifference has created a societal system that prevents them from breaking out of their situation. These main points are thoroughly reinforced by the movie's story and by how it is shot and edited.

Moverman shoots much of the film with hidden cameras, where we either observe the lead character (Richard Gere) from a distance. Your...

Get Ready For A Suspenseful Thrill Ride With 'Sicario'

10/2/2015 9:22am EDT
'Sicario' Is A Dark Exciting Tale About The War On Drugs
So far Sicario is the closest director Denis Villeneuve has come to mastering the slow burn thriller. His films Prisoners and Enemy show promise, although they don’t hit the mark like this one does. Despite the engaging crime story at its center, Prisoners is bloated and glacial. Enemy on the other hand, is super suspenseful, but has confusing symbolism and a total WTF ending. Sicario splits the difference between them as a swift, straightforward crime tale.

Just because Sicario is less complicated though, that doesn’t mean it’s any less thrilling. What sets it apart from Prisoners and Ene...

Robert De Niro Digs Deep In 'The Intern'

9/25/2015 10:00am EDT
Robert De Niro Digs Deep For His Character In 'The Intern'
Robert De Niro's work in the Nancy Meyers comedy The Intern might be his best of this millennium. For the first time in many years, he strips away his usual De Niro mannerisms and digs deep to inhabit the role of Ben Whittaker, a sweet widower who comes out of retirement to intern at a startup company.

De Niro's Ben is sensitive, funny, and charming with an old-fashioned sense of professionalism. He thrives on maintaining his independence and finding purpose in his old age, which comes across in his self-assured, yet humble personality. Given his nature, it’s no surprise that Ben immediate...

'The Lazarus Effect' Is Mediocre, But Mercifully Short

3/2/2015 12:28pm EST
'The Lazarus Effect' Is Mediocre, But Mercifully Short
Here’s four actors you wouldn’t expect to find in a mediocre horror flick: Olivia Wilde, Mark Duplass, Evan Peters, and Donald Glover. Surprisingly they’re all in The Lazarus Effect and they’re actually believable as the scientific team that’s developing a serum to revive recently deceased organisms. The movie starts out strong because it explores relevant concepts like the religious implications of death and whether people should try to play god, but it quickly becomes average once the team succeeds in reviving a dead human.

That’s because the filmmakers do some resurrecting of their own ...

10 Films We’re Looking Forward To Seeing In 2015

1/11/2015 5:00pm EST
10 Films We’re Looking Forward To Seeing In 2015
Now that we’re a couple days into January, we thought it would be a good time to talk about the movies we’re looking forward to seeing in 2015. There are plenty we’re excited about like Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Jurassic World, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Mad Max: Fury Road, Furious 7, Spectre, and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2. Franchise films like these aren’t challenging to think of though, and if we just stuck with them, our list could easily balloon to 15 or more.

Rather than take the easy way out, we decided to come up with a list of 10 films we’re looking forward to in 2015...

'If I Stay' Squanders a Chance to Explore the Place Between Life and Death

8/25/2014 11:20am EDT
'If I Stay' Squanders a Chance to Explore the Place Between Life
R.J. Cutler’s teen drama If I Stay has the pretentiousness you’d expect from a movie about people from Portland, Oregon. That’s because it embodies the holier-than-thou Portland attitude frequently skewered on the hilarious show Portlandia. Since If I Stay shares this arrogant mindset, it’s hard to watch it without laughing, especially when the lead character grapples with insignificant problems instead of serious ones.

Mia Hall (Chlöe Grace Moretz) is a talented cellist caught between worlds. She doesn’t fit in with her peers, but she doesn’t identify with her family either. Things chang...

‘Sin City: A Dame To Kill For’ Is Another Fun Outing, But Lacks Creativity

8/23/2014 5:42am EDT
‘Sin City: A Dame To Kill For’ Is Another Fun Outing, But Lacks
If you’ve seen 2005's Sin City, there’s not much that will surprise you about its sequel Sin City: A Dame to Kill For. Aside from using 3D and telling two new stories not found in Frank Miller’s pulp comic series, Robert Rodriguez covers almost exactly the same ground he did in his previous movie. There are more subtle differences between A Dame to Kill For and its predecessor, although they’re not positive ones.

A Dame to Kill For’s strongest segment is its opening “Just Another Saturday Night,” because it perfectly captures the comic’s brutal sarcastic tone. This funny tale featuring Mic...

Review: Quale's 'Into The Storm' is a Boring Turdnado

8/8/2014 1:52pm EDT
Review: Quale's 'Into The Storm' is a Boring Turdnado
The best part of Steven Quale’s disaster movie Into the Storm can be summed up in two words: fire tornado. Seeing a massive explosion transform into a flaming twister is fantastic because it’s an entertaining visual and the most unique trick that this picture attempts. It’s too bad that everything else in it has been done before and done better by other films.

Usually when judging disaster movies, there are concessions you make ahead of time, which make it easier to accept their foibles. Since most films in the genre devote the majority of their budgets to special effects, you can assume t...

Get Absorbed by Apes in ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’

7/14/2014 3:00pm EDT
Get Absorbed by Apes in ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’
You’d never expect to be emotionally engrossed by a film about computer-generated apes, which is why Dawn of the Planet of the Apes genuinely surprises you. Because it gets you invested in these characters early on and keeps them sympathetic throughout the picture, you unwittingly become wrapped up in their story. As a result, there are times when you’re shocked to realize that you’re rooting more for the apes than for the movie’s humans.

Set 10 years after Rise of the Planet of the Apes, this film picks up in a world where disease wiped out most the Earth’s population. This same virus tu...