ANNOUNCEMENT: Cable 14 Special

Photo: Chris Luckett

Photo: Chris Luckett

Chris Luckett

You may have seen the occasional review of mine shown on Cable 14, alongside news reports from Ignite News and Mohawk College. Well, this weekend, Cable 14 is showing a full half-hour of them, as a special on Oscar movies. If you like my reviews, please tune in!

My Oscar reviews special airs tomorrow morning at 6:30am, tomorrow evening at 10:00pm, and Monday morning at 6:30am. And for those of you not in the Hamilton area or who don’t get Cable 14, you can also stream it online at http://www.cable14.com.

IN MEMORIAM: Philip Seymour Hoffman’s Legacy

Photo: George Biard

Photo: George Biard

R.I.P. Philip Seymour Hoffman, 1967-2014


Chris Luckett

Much has already been written about Philip Seymour Hoffman since word of his death spread yesterday, and even more will be written about him in the coming weeks. He was that rare actor who you sympathized with as a protagonist and gleefully relished as a villain.

Continue reading

OPINION: Remembering Roger Ebert

Photo: Buena Vista Television

Photo: Buena Vista Television

Chris Luckett

I met Roger Ebert once. It was in the fall of 2008, on the heels of the release of his book “Scorsese.” I went to a book signing of his with a friend of mine, and after a long wait in line, I found myself face-to-face with the man who’d shaped my love of movies more than any other and who ultimately inspired me to become a film critic. Continue reading

OPINION: Facts in Flux

Photo: Universal Pictures

Photo: Universal Pictures

Chris Luckett

If you were fooled by the picture circulating around yesterday, you weren’t alone. Many unsuspecting web surfers were duped into thinking Doc Emmett Brown and Marty McFly travelled to June 27, 2012 in Back to the Future, Part II. Unfortunately, to quote the Clerks animated series, it was just a hoax played by an idiot with too much time on his hands. Here’s why. Continue reading

OPINION: The Tetralogy Trend

Photo: Universal Pictures

Photo: Universal Pictures

Chris Luckett

There once was a time when “3” was the magic number for movie series. If a film was successful, it likely would get a sequel. If it was very fortunate, it could get a third entry, rounding out the series into a trilogy.

 Many classic film stories were made into trilogies and concluded, with nary a thought of continuing into the unknown territory of “4.” Any series that did get a fourth entry, like RockyLethal Weapon, or Police Academy, managed it by learning a formula and simply replicating the recipe with slightly different ingredients each time. There often was an air of desperation about the idea of a film series continuing past a trilogy and a derision of sorts from many audience members.

Such times, as long ago as the mid-‘90s, now seem antiquated. So far, 2012 has already brought us fourth entries in the Underworld and American Pie franchises. As this summer season brings audiences to the multiplex in droves, we’re also getting fourth Spider-ManIce AgeStep Up, and Bourne movies. Then, to close out the year, studios are giving us Paranormal Activity 4 and what many consider to be a fourth movie in the Peter Jackson-J.R.R. Tolkien partnership, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. Continue reading

DEVIL’S ADVOCATE: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

Photo: Paramount Pictures

Photo: Paramount Pictures

Chris Luckett

This is the first in a new series of columns I’ll be occasionally writing. Each time, I’m going to defend a movie that is often derided and explain why it deserves more respect. Perhaps if I get bold enough, I may also go after a few “classics” I consider to be overrated. Keeping things recent, though, I’ll turn my focus back just a few years to begin.


Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is not the best Indiana Jones movie. No one would claim it is. Hell, even Shia LaBeouf said in a 2010 interview with the Los Angeles Times that he felt they “dropped the ball” with it.

It’s better than people gave it credit for, though, in the same way and for the same reasons that The Phantom Menace is. When both movies were released, people had such adoration for the original trilogies and had over a decade of anticipation and expectations to live up to, which is a burden no film series is strong enough to overcome. Continue reading

OSCARS 2012: Predictions, or The Most Unpredictable Oscar Nominations Yet?

Photo: The Weinstein Company

Photo: The Weinstein Company

Chris Luckett

There are less than 48 hours until the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announces their nominations for the 84th Academy Awards. Normally, I’d have a definitive list of nominee predictions ready, to match up against the names being read this coming Tuesday morning. Not this year, though. This year, I’m finding it incredibly difficult to nail down my definitive guesses. And bizarrely, it’s all The Dark Knight’s fault. Continue reading

OPINION: Ricky Gervais was doomed before began

Photo: NBC Universal

Photo: NBC Universal

Chris Luckett

Last year, Gervais hosted the Golden Globes and shocked the celebrity world by — heaven forbid! — mocking movie stars. What would have seemed tame on a Celebrity Roast was deemed savage and insulting simply because it was said at an awards show.

Even Gervais himself was shocked at the harsh reaction his jokes caused. Pundits and actors said he had ruined any chance of coming back and hosting again. Of course, when people were still talking about Gervais’ hosting a month later, it became obvious that despite the offense taken by the jokes’ subjects and despite the staunch stance of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association that Gervais would not be invited back, we all knew he was going to be. The question was whether he would accept. Continue reading

That Magic Moment of Movies

Photo: Universal Pictures

Photo: Universal Pictures

Chris Luckett

In Martin Scorsese’s recent movie Hugo, characters bandy about that old phrase “the magic of movies.” The titular hero talks repeatedly about the power of films, about their ability to create dreams and magic. We witness another character in Hugo watching a movie for the very first time. The look of sheer wonder on her face is a thing of true beauty.

A century ago or so, every person who had seen a motion picture could describe the first time they witnessed the magic of movies. Even up until the mid-20th century, children knew the exact “first time” when they saw moving pictures. With the spread of television, though, everything changed. The first movie a child eventually saw didn’t often have the same impact such an occasion once did, because most children had already seen the wonder of moving pictures on their television sets before ever setting foot in a movie theatre. Continue reading