Oy vey, David Ayer’s “The Tax Collector” is a big let-down | REVIEW

As gangland taxman Shia Labeouf misses the mark
Bobby Soto, Cinthya Carmona and Shia LaBeouf
Directed by David Ayer

I really enjoy David Ayer’s work. His screenplays can occasionally bring about intense and powerful portrayals of cops and street criminals. When he hits, he hits hard such as with his screenplay for Ron Shelton’s excellent crooked cop drama “Dark Blue” starring Kurt Russell, and his sensational police drama “End of Watch” with Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena. I even found Ayer’s 2014 ... more >


"Transformers" actor has become (more) boring

Actor Shia LaBeouf cannot handle Germany's climate--there's something in the air there and it's gone to his head. At the Berlinale, which ends tomorrow, he's shown up at his film's premiere wearing a paper bag (which reads "I'm not famous anymore") over his head (while wearing a tuxedo, no less) and stormed out of a press conference after dribbling some nonsense about sardines and trawling. And ... more >

The company you keep

Under surveillance
Robert Redford, Shia LeBeouf and Julie Christie
Directed by Robert Redford

Things begin in the sixties in Robert Redford’s "The Company You Keep." A group of radicals rob a bank in Michigan. The ringleader, shown in dusty old FBI wanted posters, looks remarkably like The Sundance Kid. Who are those guys? That’s the question the Feds are asking, and they have asked for more than thirty years. More accurately, where are those guys? The robbers long ago blended into ... more >


Decepticon on the rise
Shia LaBeouf and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley
Directed by Michael Bay

A funny thing happened on my way to pan Michael Bay’s midsummer mega monster mash "Transformers: Dark Side of the Moon." It turned out that I liked about half of it. Strangely that would not be the gargantuan 3-D final hour of demolished Chicago skyscrapers, impossible Special Forces stunts, flying glass, metal tentacles, and super-powerful interplanetary robots that could think of no better ... more >

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

Here come the autobots. Again.
Shia LaBeouf, Megan Fox and Josh Duhamel
Directed by Michael Bay

  I won't judge you solely on the fact that you want to see Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. I'm sure there are good deeds in you past that can somewhat atone for it. But I'm not sure there is any level of sainthood that can fully cleanse yourself from this. The sole innovation of Michael Bay's giant metamorphosing alien robot epic is somehow turning a Gremlin hatchback into a ... more >