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 February 14, 2013

Movie Review: Side Effects

Among more important things, Side Effects is a first-rate mystery of the classic school in which all the clues are out in sight and the solution links everything together into a single coherent story. The story is usually not particularly credible, because crime is more banal than the mystery story form likes to suggest; but it does fit together into a logical pattern with no loose ends. This is a very rare situation these days, on film, and congratulations for it.

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Commentary
5:00 am
Thu February 7, 2013

Movie Review: Quartet

I thought Quartet was a short-story movie, like the 1948 classic of Somerset Maugham stories. I was delighted to find that it is one of those multi-starred character studies that the British are so good at, but Americans hardly touch except on television like "Seinfeld," which is famously about nothing.

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Commentary
5:00 am
Thu January 31, 2013

Movie Review: Parker

Parker is one of those standard violence thrillers, with Jason Statham as one of those heroes who can push a knife blade through the palm of his hand in order to get a grip on the villain, and Michael Chiklis, who can take six bullets in the chest at close range and not even be slowed down.

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Commentary
5:00 am
Thu January 24, 2013

Movie Review: Mama

Mama is a horror movie that is not a "splatter" movie, which means it does not rely on blood and pain and sadism for its effects, and that's all to its credit. How often do you see a horror movie rated PG-13?

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Commentary
5:00 am
Thu January 17, 2013

Movie Review: Zero Dark Thirty

Those who protest the violence and brutality of the torture scenes in Zero Dark Thirty are apparently not familiar with the standards set by current splatter movies like the Saw series. Those who object to the subject itself may not be considering that the government does not deny using torture so much as it denies that it worked.

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Commentary
5:00 am
Thu January 10, 2013

Movie Review: Promised Land

Promised Land, startting Matt Damon as the agent of the energy company and John Krasinski as the environmentalist, is a fairly good introduction to the "fracking" process of getting natural gas out of the ground, but it falls a bit into the stereotypes of entertainment movies, and seriously dilutes its message about the pros and cons of the fracking process.

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Commentary
5:00 am
Thu January 3, 2013

Movie Review: Django Unchained

The biggest problem with Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained is that it is made up largely of two pretty ordinary short bits and then a main story that is interesting but stretches the movie out to two-and-a-half hours plus.

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Commentary
5:00 am
Thu December 20, 2012

Movie Review: Hitchcock

The movie Hitchcock tries to tell the story of the making of the movie Psycho along with two other stories, but fails to tell any of them well.

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Commentary
5:00 am
Thu December 13, 2012

Movie Review: The Paperboy

The Paperboy is the latest of a series of movies about a class of people lower economically, culturally and sometimes morally. Winter's Bone and Beasts of the Southern Wild included people we could admire, but Killing Them Softly, Killer Joe, and now The Paperboy feature characters we would not care to spend time with in real life.

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Movie Review
3:00 am
Thu December 6, 2012

Movie Review: Killing them Softly


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