Kurt Loder on John Carter and Silent House

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The most awesome of the many special effects on view in the new John Carter is pyrotechnic in nature. As Kurt Loder observes, how often do you get to watch $250-million (the movie's reported budget) go straight up in flames? Making his first live-action feature, Finding Nemo director Andrew Stanton seems to have been swamped by the picture's sprawling source material. Watching the film is like sinking into a 3D bog of unending—and surprisingly dull—confusion. Silent House, on the the other hand, is a new haunted house movie allegedly filmed in one take. It could have been a snappy little horror film, Loder writes. But it's constricted by its gimmicky concept. When you have a story of any interest at all, why not just tell it? Loder reviews them both.

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