Author Mel Valentin

Mel Valentin hails from the great state of New Jersey. After attending New York University as an undergrad (politics and economics double major, religious studies minor) and grad school (law), he relocated from the East Coast to San Francisco, California, where he's been ever since. Since Mel began writing about film nine years ago, he's written more than 1,600 reviews and articles. He's a member of the San Francisco Film Critics Circle and the Online Film Critics Society.

Reviews the promise
6.5
0

The “promise” in The Promise, an unengaging, dull Doctor Zhivago meets Titanic retread starring Oscar Isaac, Christian Bale, and Charlotte Le Bon as the three sides of an uninteresting romantic triangle set against the Armenian genocide perpetuated by the collapsing Ottoman Empire during the First World War, isn’t a promise…

Reviews unforgettable
5.0
0

We can call off the search party for Katherine Heigl’s career (We found Zach Braff’s just two weeks ago, directing the already forgotten Going in Style remake). A solid start on TV (Grey’s Anatomy), a big box-office win (Knocked Up), followed by a series of increasingly dire, desperate rom-coms and two back-to-back failed TV…

Reviews Screen Shot 2017-04-14 at 1.18.49 PM
7.5
0

Not all superheroes wear capes, cowls, or even spandex. Some superheroes wear sleeveless tees, shave their heads, and drive muscle cars into gravity- and logic-defying leaps of faith over and across a moving submarine. That ridiculous money shot, of course, comes courtesy of director F. Gary Gray (The Italian Job, The Negotiator, Set It Off, Friday) …

Reviews gifted
6.5
0

We might not have hit peak superhero yet – and at this rate, it probably won’t happen for another half-decade – but that doesn’t mean we can’t venture into multiplexes this weekend for another kind of heroism, the kind minus “super” in the description, but the kind of heroism that still features a familiar…

Reviews going in style
6.5
0

Call off the search party. Zach Braff has been found, alive and still making films. After what many considered a quality first-time effort, Garden State, thirteen years ago, Braff went into hibernation – acting wise he was still around, but writing and directing wise, he wasn’t – returning three years ago with…

Reviews ghost in the shell
7.0
0

A live-action remake, re-adaptation, or reimagining of director Mamoru Oshii’s (The Sky Crawlers, Avalon, Patlabor 2: The Movie) 1995 cyberpunk classic, Ghost in the Shell, has long been on the wish-list of anime enthusiasts. As always, be careful what you wish for. Given the production budget needed to give Masamune…

NP Approved t2 trainspotting
9.0
0

It’s hard to imagine anyone outside of Danny Boyle, Ewan McGregor, Ewen Bremner, Jonny Lee Miller, or Robert Carlyle who wanted, let alone demanded, a sequel to the 1996 adaptation of Irvine Welsh’s blackly comic, transgressive, subversive satire, Trainspotting, but here we are 21 years later with T2 Trainspotting, a near…

Reviews Song to Song
7.0
0

There might be something to that quitting while you’re ahead thing. An auteur’s auteur, Terence Malick crafted an indelible, unimpeachable reputation as a visionary filmmaker with just two films, Badlands (1972) and Days of Heaven (1978), both made in the 1970s. For the better part of two decades, rumors swirled around new projects…

Reviews Life
7.0
0

If we’ve learned anything – anything at all – from Jurassic Park I-III, Jurassic World, and no doubt, the forthcoming sequel, Jurassic World II, it’s this simple message: Life always finds a way and by way, we mean, mess with Mother Nature – or in the case of Life: The Movie, a science-fiction/horror film directed by Daniel…

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