Predictably inferior sequel picks up where the first one left off, even though there was nowhere to go.
Although the movie starts well enough, trying to establish a satirical high school world, you may notice the protagonist has been stripped of charisma, energy or any particular trait to make him interesting. It isn't too long before you start wishing the movie were about someone else.
They didn't change actors, so the only thing I can think of is Aaron Taylor-Johnson's…
This movie has a bad rap, and it bombed during its initial release. And that's unfair. Oh it has a couple of issues, sure. But - overall - this is an enjoyable and highly entertaining thriller.
There are specific elements in place that probably make it even more enjoyable and unusual when viewed now.
First of all, you get Mickey Rourke back when he was a handsome movie star who looked like a normal person - playing a charming, charismatic…
This should have been a "return to form" for Ron Howard, who's spent the last twenty years or so establishing himself as a full-on purveyor of slick Hollywood prestige. But, if you'll recall, the guy started out making likable mass market comedies with good actors in plum roles.
And so, we have this movie, which could have been made - I dunno - in 1993... With Michael Keaton and Rick Moranis.
Instead, Ron Howard made it twenty years after he…
Director Ariel Vromen applies an old school sense of craft to this, putting it in line with the gritty potboilers of the 1970s.
That's a good thing and the film is engaging and suspenseful most of the way through. But it's the sharp performances that take center stage.
It's a spectacular showcase for Michael Shannon in the title role - a real life New Jersey hitman personally responsible for at least 100 deaths. Even though the character is drawn in…
There's a lot to like in this elaborate and spectacularly overproduced jukebox musical.
Because, let's face it, these are all very good songs. And Julie Taymor has the theatrical sensibilities needed to dramatize them in operatic and cinematic fashion.
But you know what this movie needs? A story. Because it doesn't have one. Literally. It has about 37 stories all competing for narrative attention.
I suppose, at heart, we are supposed to take this as the decade-spanning love affair between…
Ami Canaan Mann certainly has her father's knack for atmosphere and eye for detail. And so this is a richly textured crime film with a lot of character.
The acting is terrific too - a spot on cast headlined by Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Sam Worthington, and featuring Jessica Chastain and Chloe Moretz - also excellent.
The problem is the film's deliberate pacing, which undermines what could have been a tense and involving thriller, transforming it into an excruciatingly slow…
Awkward framing device aside, this is an engaging, often absorbing slice of speculative fiction.
Yeah... About that framing device, the question is why? It was odd to me that the first shot of this film (after the production company logos) is a helicopter shot of UPTOWN MANHATTAN in all its glory, followed by Derek Jacobi waltzing into a Broadway theater. Of course it had to be Derek Jacobi. Who else would it fucking be?
Anyway, it doesn't matter. But the…
There was a time when I would have said Tim Burton was the perfect choice to make this movie; and a day when this movie could have actually been quite special.
But this is not that time, and that day has long gone.
There is an eye-popping richness to this that grabs you right away, accompanied by one of Danny Elfman's best scores - a lush soundscape, full of sweeping melodies.
Grand production design, splendid effects and an enthusiastic cast…
An odd mashup of Men In Black, Ghostbusters and...um...for that matter, Ghost. That's what this is.
It's also a mystery.
Yes. That's the best thing I can come up with: This is a mind-boggling puzzle of a movie.
It's a complete mystery to me how you can take a somewhat interesting concept, snazzy special effects and a reasonably solid cast - led by Jeff Bridges being all goofy and off-the-wall...overload the movie with all this chaotic action, visual energy and…
The Twilight Zone concept of a Southern plantation in the 1930s, where the abolition of slavery has been ignored, is a compelling avenue on which Lars Von Trier can continue exploring the chilling bureaucracies of the modern world. Using "America," in quotes, to stand in as a representation of the first world in general.
Von Trier's ideas are clear and provocative; even as he sometimes missteps in their presentation, but this is still a movie with themes that merit discussion.…
Lars Von Trier fuses three distinct narrative arts - Cinema, Theater and Literature - to create an altogether unique film experience that works on several levels extremely effectively.
On the one hand, it's an absorbing story about an insular town and the impact of a stranger coming into their midst. But Von Trier uses that framework to meditate on the human condition - on action and consequence, human nature, corruption, lust; and the catharsis of vengeance.
It also functions as…
Right off the bat, there's a lot of affection in this thing. For the genre, for the eighties... In particular for the genuinely nifty little thriller that spawned this - let's face it - inexplicable film series 25 years ago.
After two progressively shittier sequels and a detour into comedy (which, frankly, I didn't even bother with) creator Don Mancini attempts to take things back to the source, with a dark stylish edge to things that screams: BE SCARED.