James Sanford

Film Critic

James Sanford has been reviewing films since he was hired by the Grand Rapids Press at the age of 16. Since then, he's written for many publications and websites, including WMUK. He's current a staff reporter at the Battle Creek Enquirer. Sanford has also appeared om stage at the API, New Vic, and Whole Art theaters in Kalamazoo. He was a member of the Crawlspace Eviction comedy troupe for six years and starred and co-wrote the feature film "Comic Evangelists," which was showcased at the American Film Instutute's 2006 festival in Hollywood. He's also the author of two memoirs: The Sum of My Parts and Au Naturel: A Summer on Martha’s Vineyard".

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I’ve got to make a confession. When I was 10, 11, 12, my friends and I spent many a Saturday afternoon sitting through matinee shows of such classics like Yongary, Monster from the Deep or Godzilla versus the Smog Monster We could never get enough, even though the special effects were often laughably tacky, the plots were painfully predictable and the dialogue was unspeakably awful. 

You’d expect to see Melissa McCarthy in a raucous comedy like The Heat, which opens Friday. Even Sandra Bullock’s name above the title is no great surprise. But who would expect the cast to include Joey McIntyre, best known as the youngest of the new Kids on the Block?

It’s the question the world has been asking for more than 20 years: What was it really like to work with Vanilla Ice on his ill-fated Cool as Ice movie? Actress Kristin Minter will tell all as part of this year’s Waterfront Film Festival, which kicks off Thursday evening in downtown South Haven.

It’s easy to see how The Internship could have turned into a bitter, unsettling slice-of-life drama about two forty-something men who lose their jobs, tumble down the socio-economic ladder and find themselves desperately trying to reinvent and rejuvenate themselves in order to compete against legions of tech-savvy recent college graduates in the kill-or-be-killed job market jungle.

If the old saying that nothing succeeds like excess were true, director Baz Luhrmann’s movies would have out-grossed Avatar, Titanic and everything in the Star Wars catalog. Over the past 20 years, the Australian has built a reputation as a filmmaker who always buys in bulk when it comes to sets, costumes, music and emotions.