RSS feed for richardfeder
  • Terminator Genisys

    Terminator Genisys 2015

    ★★★ Added

    This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    Not terrible!

    "Terminator Genisys" seems that it was made with care and love for the franchise. But, as Part 5 of a time travel saga, to say the story is convoluted is an understatement. It's way too long, and worst of all, it feels long, especially going into the third act.

    Genisys itself is a puzzling, passive antagonist. It's an upcoming civilian computer operating system that is actually the early version of Skynet, but people (and even kids) in 2017…

  • Terminator Salvation

    Terminator Salvation 2009

    ★★★ Added

    This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    "Terminator 2" felt like it was building on the original film, while "Terminator 3" felt like more of an inferior repeat of "T2" than a genuine progression in its own right. The problem with the "Terminator" sequels is that eventually the modern day stalking thriller aspect will have to be dropped in favor of a more futuristic war movie theme.

    "Terminator Salvation" does take a left turn and is that futuristic war movie, yet in being so plows straight into…

  • Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines

    Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines 2003

    ★★★ Added

    Ah, it's really not that bad of a movie. It just looks terrible when compared with the first two Terminator movies, which are genuine action/sci-fi classics. "T2" also pulled off a neat trick by feeling like a expansion of the story while still retaining themes established in the original. "T3" feels much more like an attempt at making "Terminator 2: Part 2" than a logical continuation of the timeline.

    "T3" does continue the story fairly well, though. It shows the…

  • The Paper Chase

    The Paper Chase 1973

    ★★ Added

    John Houseman was good, and his character consistently (and refreshingly) unsentimental. Timothy Bottoms and Lindsay Wagner are attractive actors. But, this story was just too dry and lacking in interesting dramatic conflict. The whole film seems to be aiming at a big teacher/student showdown at the end, but the final confrontation seemed strangely anticlimactic.

    The romance subplot of the story was extraordinarily weak. Lindsay Wagner gets maybe the worst introduction of any character in film, as she literally just walks…

  • Project Almanac

    Project Almanac 2015

    ★★★★ Added

    This is a Platinum Dunes movie? Wow.

    I enjoyed "Project Almanac" very much. It's an entertaining low budget time travel movie that seemed to hit all the bases for this type of story, yet didn't get caught up in too much self-imposed complexity and confusion. I believe that's a pitfall inherent in time travel movies, so the fact that it was able to tell the story without getting muddled is a huge plus.

    The characters seemed intelligent and acted logically…

  • The Apple

    The Apple 1980

    ★★½ Added

    This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    This is a terrible movie, a deservedly forgotten relic of the disco era, but for those who love bad movies (especially bad musicals) "The Apple" could very well become a beloved classic. At times I could imagine a young Baz Luhrmann watching this and being changed forever.

    The music is awful, but sometimes entertaining in a perverse way. You'll see better acting at a bad acting contest, but again, it's sometimes so bad you can't help but genuinely laugh. It's…

  • Going Attractions: The Definitive Story of the American Drive-in Movie

    Going Attractions: The Definitive Story of the American Drive-in Movie 2013

    ★★★★ Added

    I totally love drive in movie theaters, and I found "Going Attractions" to be interesting and informative. The music is a little loud in the mix at times, and a few interview subjects don't have the greatest audio (or speaking voices, which isn't really the fault of the filmmakers), but it doesn't make the movie unwatchable at all. More variety in the interview subjects would have been nice, but having Roger Corman among them is a huge plus and a…

  • Fantasia

    Fantasia 1940

    ★★½ Added

    I admire the hell out of "Fantasia." It's incredibly ambitious, technically brilliant, and has become a true cinema classic. It's also a courageous attempt to expand upon the potential of animated film. It's far ahead of its time, and many images and scenes are undeniably beautiful. The iconic "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" will probably remain the pinnacle of Mickey Mouse's onscreen career.

    "Fantasia" was also never meant to be a conventional narrative, but a new form of entertainment of its own.…

  • Nightcrawler

    Nightcrawler 2014

    ★★★★ Added

    This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    Definitely a solid movie all the way around. Almost as much of a clever media satire as it is a dramatic thriller. There's definitely a vein of humor that runs throughout the film, but it never seems to spoil the realistic mood.

    I was kind of hoping for a more poetic conclusion for Jake Gyllenhaal's character. Instead, the ending sort of hints that he won't get away with it forever, but overall "Nightcrawler" ended more ambiguously than I was hoping.…

  • Jurassic World

    Jurassic World 2015

    Added

    No star rating on this one, because I had to leave the theater before the ending. On the 3/4th of the movie I saw, it was heading toward 2 stars. I'd put it on par with any of the other "Jurassic Park" sequels, and nowhere near the original.

    For me, it's just too much suspension of disbelief required to buy the basic concept anymore. In the first film, you could accept the idea that scientists would want to clone dinosaurs,…

  • The Fly

    The Fly 1986

    ★★★★★ Added

    Seriously, one of the greatest horror films ever made. The story builds at just the right pace and arcs brilliantly, and the climax is truly tragic. There's a lot more emotional investment in the characters in this film than in many mainstream dramas, much less other horror movies.

    It's really a brilliant exploration of the fear of disease, with well drawn characters acted superbly. Great direction, editing, writing, and an unobtrusive score. "The Fly" should be on the short list of movies to emulate when you're trying to make a great genre film.

  • Killing Them Softly

    Killing Them Softly 2012

    ★★★½ Added

    Entertaining crime movie. Other than the opening titles, it's unpretentious and well made. The film kind of runs at its own unusual rhythm, defying convention many times. I liked the unconventional approach. The political angle seems a bit heavy handed and on the nose. James Gandolfini's character is very interesting, but is one of the major unresolved threads. The care taken to build him up as dangerously unreliable unfortunately leads nowhere. But I liked the characters and the actors playing…