Jim Erickson

Movie reviewer

Jim Erickson has been KMUW's film reviewer since 1974. He came to Wichita State University in 1964 from the University of Texas in Austin. He taught narrative in literature and film from 1966 until his retirement in 1997. His favorite film is Citizen Kane.

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Commentary
5:00 am
Thu July 18, 2013

Movie Review: Pacific Rim

Our heroes prepare to battle the dragons, or fish, or whatever they're supposed to be, in 'Pacific Rim'
Credit rottentomatoes.com

Pacific Rim qualifies as almost the ultimate special-effects sci-fi movie in that it involves almost no plot and includes almost nothing but robots and monsters the size of 25-story buildings. And it proves that you don’t need a plot to be illogical and inconsistent.

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Commentary
5:00 am
Thu July 11, 2013

Movie Review: The Lone Ranger

Credit rottentomatoes.com

The Lone Ranger is first-rate for comedy in the beginning, action at the end, and a totally new interpretation of Tonto by Johnny Depp.

It falls short because its main plot seems intended to be separate revenge stories of the Lone Ranger's and Tonto's, but in the end turns into a railroad story; the interpretation of the Lone Ranger is lame; and it is inconsistent in tone and even topic.

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Commentary
5:00 am
Thu July 4, 2013

Movie Review: The Heat

Biff-- er, Captain Woods-- tries to separate our heroes in 'The Heat'
Credit rottentomatoes.com

The Heat is an unusual buddy-cop movie in that the odd couple cops are women-- it's also unusual in being very funny indeed, and has a plot that pretty clearly hangs together, though it does not particularly feature credibility.

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Commentary
6:00 am
Thu June 27, 2013

Movie Review: The East

The East is a superior movie partly because it is somewhat original, but mostly because it takes its subject and its characters seriously and skirts what would seem to be almost inevitable clichés.

There is nothing particularly new about Brit Marling, who also co-wrote the screenplay with director Zal Batmanglij, taking a job as an infiltrator of a subversive group that is sabotaging the efforts of a big corporation; but the treatment of the group is unusually and very effectively objective and serious.

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Commentary
5:00 am
Thu June 20, 2013

Movie Review: Before Midnight

Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke continue their long talk in 'Before Midnight.'
Credit rottentomatoes.com

In 1995, in Before Sunrise, Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy met in Vienna and parted under the romantic idea that if they were intended for each other, they would meet again.

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Commentary
2:00 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

Movie Review: Man Of Steel

Credit rottentomatoes.com

What's the point of reviewing Man of Steel beyond saying it is, one, typical of the comic book genre; and, two, disappointing in all aspects except special effects?

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Commentary
5:00 am
Thu June 13, 2013

Movie Review: The Internship

Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn stare into the abyss
Credit rottentomatoes.com

Many moons ago, I read somewhere about Google's way of treating its employees, which was almost like pampered children-- with free food, and weight rooms, and office compounds very much like amusement parks.

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Commentary
6:26 am
Thu May 30, 2013

Movie Review: Epic

Credit rottentomatoes.com

There are animators who could give Pixar a run for its money, and among them are the makers of Epic.

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Commentary
5:00 am
Thu May 23, 2013

Movie Review: Star Trek Into Darkness

Spock and Kirk assess the situation in 'Star Trek Into Darkness'
Credit rottentomatoes.com

Science fiction movies always are hard for me to discuss, because they go by rules that are obscure to me, such as those allowing amputations—and even death—to be temporary conditions. But let’s see what can be done with Star Trek Into Darkness.

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Commentary
5:00 am
Thu May 16, 2013

Movie Review: The Great Gatsby

Baz Luhrmann expresses his 'Gatsby' vision to Carey Mulligan and Leonardo DiCaprio
Credit rottentomatoes.com

The Great Gatsby is so good that I am required to give up my dislike of writer-director Baz Luhrmann for his William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet and Moulin Rouge, because in The Great Gatsby Luhrmann forgets about calling attention to himself and devotes himself to his material, and comes as close to doing justice to F. Scott Fitzgerald's classic novel as I expect any movie director ever can.

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