This interlude for the now powerhouse series is reasonably fun to watch. And it gets a lot of mileage out of its culture shock, fish-out-of-water premise.
But, in all fairness, this is a kid's film. It really is. While you could say the other film's in the series have the feeling of adolescents playing at being grown ups, this film is absolutely a teen movie through and through.
For some, that quality might give it a certain kick, but there…
I don't throw this word around too often. Because it's a dangerous word. But I also have to be honest and say that this picture is...masterful.
It is absolutely unheard of that the best entry turns out to be the fifth one. I can't think of any other series that can claim that. In this case, not only is it the best, it injects new life into the franchise - sending it into a remarkable second wind.
If the fourth…
For some, it's Wizard of Oz. For me, and many of my generation, it will always be David Bowie as The Goblin King Jareth.
This movie continues to be a triumph of imagination and sheer craftsmanship. Watching it now, in an age where technology has seemingly overshadowed old fashioned artistry, is an extremely refreshing experience.
Fantasy films of this type are still popular. Some would even say they're in a kind of renaissance period. But, were they to remake this…
The second was better than the first. But the series actually begins to hit its stride here, in the fourth installment.
That's pretty much unheard of, right?
But I think the reason this works is because the filmmakers (headed by director Justin Lin) finally get a handle on the material and on what works. This is supposed to be a stupid action movie. As bombastic, silly and stupid as you can possibly make it.
And make sure the characters are…
Basically a spiritual sequel to The In-Laws, this wacky comedy has a great cast and a lot of good, hearty laughs on its way to a complete self-destruction.
Alan Arkin and Peter Falk really make a great comedy team. But what makes The In-Laws such a special film is how, no matter how crazy things get, it never fails to make sense. There is a clear cut logic to its sense of escalation, leading to an entirely satisfying ending.
The novelty of the reboot concept has worn off and this new re-imagining is now firmly established and left to its own devices.
It's testament to how well equipped this machine is, that they are able to pull this off so well. Because there are a couple of issues, sure, but - for the most part - this is a solid sequel. First, there is an engaging storyline with a strong and memorable villain. No shit. Benedict Cumberbatch is wonderful…
What we have here is three movies for the price of one.
You get an Arnold Schwarzenegger Western, a Forest Whitaker police procedural and a remake of Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry starring the Spanish Tom Cruise.
The problem, I suppose, is that this was sold to audiences as Arnold's big comeback. But your enjoyment of it will depend entirely on how much you enjoy the other two films in this little buffet. For the most part, they each have their…
John Cassavetes' final film (in a canonical sense, anyway) is a rich and surreal tapestry of emotions. It finds him returning to form in grand fashion after the misstep of GLORIA.
He explores love as seen through the eyes of two characters at opposite ends of the spectrum. Robert Harmon (Cassavetes) is a cynical writer keeping himself shut down and disconnected from everyone - and the possibility of making any sort of real human connections. For him, love is purely…
A slick, sleazy and totally trashy 90s psycho-thriller that believes it's a hell of a lot more interesting than the borderline harlequin romance/Lifetime movie of the week it really is,
Annabella Sciorra stars as a dreadfully conflicted shrink whose patients (only two as far as we can tell - played by Deborah Kara Unger and John Leguizamo) constantly get her hot with their tales of sexual obsession. Alan Alda is her mentor - always there to lend a sympathetic ear…
This is nicely textured. It has a lot of personality to it; and Gena Rowlands is a commanding presence as the title character. Shot on location, in New York and Pittsburgh, the film is packed to the gills with atmosphere and a sense of time and place that is as palpable as any of the celebrated pictures Scorsese and Lumet put out in the 70s. There is also an effective, if slightly bombastic, musical score by Bill Conti.
You can get hung up on whether or not the concept entirely works. And I suppose there is a bit of a plot hole regarding the villain's plan. But, really, the important thing is how J.J. Abrams is able to inject such a pure sense of adventure and fun into this thing. After a film series that had gotten progressively more self-important and dreary, this was a welcome shot in the arm for the franchise.
And it still is.
So, how about a road movie comedy starring Seth Rogen and Barbra Streisand as his mom?
Does that sound like fun?
Yeah, I get you. But you might want to give this one a shot anyway because it's actually kind of fun. It manages to work in road movie clichés AND Jewish mother clichés into the same movie, while somehow managing to not make that particular mix insufferable.
I think it's mainly because Rogen and Streisand have genuinely good…