Articles by Dan Franzen

The Critical Movie Critics

For more reviews, visit Frothy Ruminations, the oldest review site you've never, ever heard of. Now in color!Remember - there's no need not to be critical. Kittens are critical of you; we should learn from them. And who doesn't love kittens? Ergo, cogit sum! QED! Whatever. I'm going to go have a kitten sandwich. Don't wait up.


Movie Review: Downhill (2016)

In a scene near the end of Downhill, a scowly, bald-headed ruffian mutters, “What a waste” just before blowing someone’s head off. The statement could also serve as an unfortunate slogan for the movie itself: An interesting premise and a gorgeous setting undermined by spotty writing and hysterical overacting. It’s almost bad enough to someday…

Movie Review: ClownTown (2016)

ClownTown is definitely not a movie for all you coulrophobics out there. It is, after all, a movie about killer clowns, and they’re not even from outer space this time. There’s no humor to be found here either, because they’re, well, killer clowns. It’s intended to be a scary, scary film, and it largely succeeds….

Movie Review: Der Bunker (2015)

In Der Bunker, a young student heads to an isolated home to carry out research in solitude. When he arrives, however, he finds that the lake-view home is actually a bunker. That turns out to be the least weird turn of events in the film, a gleefully oddball drama-comedy that seems to crib from both…

Movie Review: Bite (2015)

There’s a scene in Bite in which a young man, frustrated by the actions of his bride to be, takes a gulp of whiskey, stares into the mirror, and then smashes the glass against the wall in angst-filled rage. The man’s anger is not misplaced, because his betrothed appears to be getting cold feet, which…

Movie Review: Maggie’s Plan (2015)

Greta Gerwig plays Maggie, a young woman who wants to have a baby, but without the icky complications of the normal method. It’s artificial insemination all the way for her, and she has a guy picked out. His name is Guy, which is a good example of the offbeat humor in Maggie’s Plan. The plan…

Movie Review: He Never Died (2015)

He Never Died was recently shown as part of the Spooky Movie International Film Festival, currently ongoing at the AFI Silver theater in Silver Spring, Maryland. In it, Henry Rollins plays a solitary grump who’s trying to escape from his past. That grump, Jack (Rollins, “Wrong Turn 2: Dead End”), lives in a beat-up apartment…

Movie Review: Crush the Skull (2015)

On the third day of the Spooky Movie International Film Festival, showing at the AFI Silver Theater in Silver Spring, Maryland, I caught the home-invasion thriller Crush the Skull, directed (and cowritten) by Viet Nguyen. It’s a reasonably solid movie, with agreeable performances and some slick dialog, but it begins to fall apart about halfway…

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