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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.

Tony Stark Gets A Much-Needed Dose Of Humility In ‘Iron Man 3’

5/5/2013 7:40am EDT
Robert Downey Jr. in Iron Man 3
Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) figures out how to play nice with others in “The Avengers,” but our smug, self-assured hero finally learns humility in Shane Black’s “Iron Man 3.” For the first time Stark can’t come up with all the answers immediately, he’s not always wearing his armor, and he doesn’t have jokes for every occasion. His struggle is actually quite refreshing, and endearing because watching this cocky character become so humbled over the course of Black’s story, is more engaging than any epic act of heroism that Iron Man performs in the film.

Black’s Tony Stark is a darker, mor...

IFFBoston Review: 'Willow Creek'

5/3/2013 7:48am EDT
Bobcat Goldthwait
It’s fairly safe to say, that few filmmakers would attempt to shoot a found footage movie like Bobcat Goldthwait’s “Willow Creek.” There aren’t many writer/directors who could make an absurd combination mockumentary/horror flick even remotely watchable. That’s why Goldthwait is one of the bravest, most uncompromising voices in independent film right now. When he decides to experiment with a specific type of story, he’s dedicated to seeing the project through, no matter how strange the idea is. He gracefully accepts that not everyone loves what he’s doing, and focuses on creating fresh pictu...

IFFBoston Review: ‘V/H/S/2’

5/1/2013 10:00pm EDT
Woman with TV Screens in VHS 2
When the creators of last year’s wicked horror anthology “V/H/S” sat down to make a sequel, it seems like they were reading from an audience suggestion box. That’s because “V/H/S/2” addresses many of the major complaints people had with its predecessor. And although the movie still isn’t perfect, it vastly improves upon the formula established by the first film, to tell more engaging stories.

For those who missed “V/H/S,” here’s the setup: People break into a house and stumble upon piles of mysterious VHS tapes. In this particular case they’re a couple of private investigators checking on ...

IFFBoston Review: Joss Whedon's 'Much Ado About Nothing'

4/30/2013 7:41am EDT
Alexis Denisof and Amy Acker in Much Ado About Nothing
Shakespeare has never been as accessible on the big screen as he is in Joss Whedon’s “Much Ado About Nothing.” Sure, there have been plenty of modern Shakespearean film adaptations, but they often rely on well-known actors or massive stylistic updates to connect with audiences. Whedon’s version bridges that gap because it features his stable of performers and includes modern technology, while maintaining the essence of The Bard’s work.  

Just because Whedon changes some aspects of the tale to suit our time however, doesn’t mean that he throws tradition completely out the window. If you’re ...

IFFBoston Review: 'Sightseers'

4/28/2013 6:01pm EDT
Sightseers 1
The British can make almost anything funny with their dry, cheeky sense of humor, including murder. Sounds messed up, right? You might be wondering, “How could murder ever be humorous?” Well, it can be hilarious, if it’s for all the wrong, outrageous reasons in Ben Wheatley’s dark road-comedy “Sightseers.”

All of the violence and chaos in the film seems logical and amusing, because you find out quickly, that the main characters each have a screw loose. First there’s Carol (Eileen Davis), an overbearing, melodramatic, mother who can’t stand the thought of her 34-year-old daughter Tina (Alic...

IFFBoston Review: 'The Way, Way Back'

4/27/2013 4:25pm EDT
Liam James and Sam Rockwell in The Way Way Back
If Nat Faxon and Jim Rash’s directorial debut “The Way, Way Back” had a theme song, it would be Bonnie Tyler’s “I Need a Hero.” Why a tune from the ‘80s film “Footloose?” A couple of reasons.

First, when facing a ridiculous dilemma in the movie, the character Owen (Sam Rockwell) looks out into a crowd, and jokingly asks for assistance by quoting it. The amusing kicker is that no one gets the reference, even after he tries to mention the recent “Footloose” remake. The gag and the impending laughs from its failure are indicative of this picture’s delightful retro style.

Second, and more imp...

IFFBoston Opening Night Review: 'The Spectacular Now'

4/26/2013 9:12am EDT
The Spectacular Now
Independent Film Festival Boston opened Wednesday night with a screening of “The Spectacular Now,” which I was lucky enough to attend.

James Ponsoldt’s film “The Spectacular Now,” draws inspiration from John Hughes and Cameron Crowe ‘80s teen flicks, to tell an unabashedly earnest tale of young love. In fact, Ponsoldt’s movie is so unapologetically honest, that his lead actors don’t even wear make-up. This decision keeps the picture grounded and relatable though, because when you see their imperfections up close, you actually feel like you’re watching real kids in high school.

One of thos...

IFFBoston Preview: 'Lonely Boy'

4/24/2013 12:35pm EDT
Lonely Boy 1
Independent Film Fest Boston starts tonight, so I thought I’d kick off my coverage with an early review of “Lonely Boy,” a film playing at the festival that I think is definitely worth checking out.

If you think "Silver Linings Playbook" takes an overly cutesy, unrealistic approach to mental illness, you’ll probably appreciate Dale Fabrigar’s indie drama "Lonely Boy." In this movie, there’s nothing humorous or endearing about mental disease, for the person who’s sick or the people who care about him.

"Lonely Boy" follows Franky (Alev Aydin) a schizophrenic young man stuck in a downward sp...

Book Review: 'Plague Nation'

4/22/2013 9:59am EDT
Plague Nation Cover
Ever since I devoured Dana Fredsti’s thrilling zombie novel Plague Town last April, I’ve been anxiously awaiting its sequel Plague Nation. Thankfully I was rewarded with it earlier this month, and got a chance to start it during my morning commute. I found myself on the edge of my seat, literally so absorbed, that I didn’t even realize I had gotten on the wrong train. Now that’s gripping zombie literature!

For those that missed Plague Town, here’s a quick recap: our heroine Ashley Parker, is a smart, strong, sarcastic young woman from northern California who helped contain a zombie outbrea...

Review: Sci-Fi Cinema Did It Better Before 'Oblivion'

4/20/2013 10:02am EDT
Olga Kurylenko and Tom Cruise in Oblivion
Joseph Kosinski’s sci-fi flick “Oblivion” is like the South Park episode “Simpsons Already Did It,” where Butters tries to cause havoc, and is continually foiled when he learns that “The Simpsons did it!” first. With Kosinski’s film though, you might say, “Cinema did it!” repeatedly after the introduction of each well-traveled science fiction theme in the movie.  

In “Oblivion,” Jack (Tom Cruise) is one of the last remaining people on an Earth scorched by war with alien invaders. Mankind is colonizing a new home, so most humans are preparing for the voyage, on a giant space station orbitin...