Archive for category Reviews
Vin Diesel’s got the perfect vocal range for supplying voices to animated creatures like an iron giant or a massive tree, but as an on-screen personality, he just isn’t all that captivating to me. I didn’t care for the Riddick or XXX films, nor do I find much of what he does outside of fast cars worth watching. (And let’s face it, the Fast and Furious franchise didn’t get interesting until they added a Rock with a dose of logic melting, physics shattering action sequences.) Bloodshot is yet another attempt for Diesel to appear relevant. And though the film is better than most of his non-Fast adventures, it’s only because the supporting cast makes the whole intriguing premise pass muster.Read Full Review
When John Lasseter started Pixar, he made a commitment to only make movies that had a strong foundation. That meant he would only put films into production that had a great script. Some may say this hasn’t always been the case (see: Cars 2 or The Good Dinosaur), but for the majority of films produced by the animation stalwart over the last twenty-five years, the promise for strong stories and characters has flourished, even after Lasseter was forced out of the company. This tradition continues with Onward, where everything that’s made Pixar the king of animation is on full display.Read Full Review
The invisible man has been around since H.G. Wells first gave him life in 1897, an idea which has culminated in dozens of film and television iterations throughout various genres. The most famous are of course the original 1933 version (part of Universal’s original monster universe that spawned two sequels), Chevy Chase’s comedic-oriented Memoirs of the Invisible Man, and Kevin Bacon’s horror/thriller Hollow Man. Other than the main character somehow becoming invisible, the only thing that connects most of these iterations is the heavy focus on the trials and tribulations of the person that becomes invisible.
This is where writer and director Leigh Whannell smartly separates his version of The Invisible Man from the rest of the pack. Instead of putting the spotlight on the person who becomes invisible, Whannell focuses all of his attention on the victim of the invisible. By doing so, the film becomes more atmospherically chilling, adding a heavy psychological element that raises the level of the story to fresh, new heights.Read Full Review
As a big proponent for the use of practical effects over computer-generated effects, I was highly disenchanted by the trailer for The Call of the Wild. When filmmakers use CGI as a crutch, it tends to make the viewer numb to the emotional stakes of the film. There is a place for CGI, no doubt. When used to enhance what physically cannot be created or to perform tasks that may be too dangerous otherwise, it can be quite effective; when used for no other reason than because it’s there, even though something real or practical could do the job just as well (and sometimes even better), it becomes unnecessary imitation.Read Full Review
Movies based on video games have gotten a bad reputation… and for good reason. When you try to translate a video game to a film, you inherently strip away the ability to tell the same expansive story that a video game can encompass as well as what makes the game so much fun — interactivity. For Sonic the Hedgehog, the latest video game adaptation to hit the big screen, it didn’t help that early trailers for the film got massive push back because of Sonic’s less-than-stellar character design. Paramount listened, though, and made the necessary changes to give fans what they demanded. So how does Sonic the Hedgehog hold up against its small-screen counterpart?Read Full Review
The Rhythm Section is a bit of an enigma. If the title doesn’t immediately throw you as having nothing in particular to do with the actual film, the movie will. The whole way through, I couldn’t figure out if I liked the film or was somehow utterly disappointed by it. There are moments that are enticing and drive the narrative quite well, but everything else about the film — the editing, the direction, the writing and the atmosphere — all seem to contradict themselves, essentially putting up a wall to keep you from fully engaging in the exploits of this casual revenge thriller.Read Full Review
Wait. What? Um… huh? Is that it? Wait. Huh?
This is what I felt as the end credits scrolled across the screen of The Turning, the new psychological thriller/horror movie that spends plenty of time building up the odd, sometimes creepy relationships between its characters, just starts to get interesting (and a little weird — in a good way), and then abruptly ends as if the filmmakers forgot to put the last ten minutes on the reel. The more I try to put the pieces together, the more confused I am about what actually happened — and whether there was actually some clever twist at the end or if the writers just didn’t know where they wanted to go with it.Read Full Review
Is there anything worse than a fantasy-adventure movie that has all the right pieces but absolutely no adventurous spirit? That is how I felt watching Dolittle, Robert Downey, Jr.’s first post-Iron-Man gig that feels so confused about itself, it plays like a set of short vignettes from other, better adventure stories that are being recreated by a group of juvenile actors who at no time are aware of what any other actor is doing, even within the same scene. It’s like the blind directing the blind — everyone can hear what’s being said, but the visual interpretation is all scattered across the universe.Read Full Review
Underwater begins with a somber contemplation of living several miles below sea level. Kristen Stuart, in her usual worn, uninterested — bordering on haughty — gaze discusses how time can be deceiving; you can never be sure if something is real or a dream. Within a couple of minutes, noises filter throughout the locker room where Stuart’s character, Norah, is getting dressed for her shift. She forgoes putting on shoes to investigate only to come face-to-face with an unexpected leak. From then on, the movie becomes a full-steam ahead disaster flick without ever returning to the idea of dreams versus reality.Read Full Review