Posted on 1/12/13 08:12 PM
In a nutshell: I wish I could go to Rekall and have a memory implanted in me that had me avoid this film altogether.
Posted on 12/05/12 01:07 PM
I had been interested in this film since I heard it was being made. It was touted as a departure from Kevin Smith's comedic roots and that alone piqued my interest. Sadly, the final product failed to deliver.
The opening had me interested - a Westboro-like church protesting a funeral and then the three high schoolers get lured into the nearby town by the promise of sex only to be taken hostage by the very church we saw at the beginning. Michael Parks delivers a very good performance but it all revolves around one sermon and from there we don't see that rage, passion or fire & brimstone. He almost disappears into the background.
From there it all devolves into what felt like 20 minutes of John Goodman talking explaining the history of the church and how the ATF, FBI and various government agencies had been pursuing them.
Show don't tell.
It devolves further into a shootout with various bloody kill shots. None of it was interesting or exciting. Just boring and I couldn't wait for the ending which was with a whimper.
Smith has shown that he is a master with dialogue but I believe he was out of his comfort zone here - and maybe this experience will make him realize his mistakes - but ultimately this is a movie to forget.
Posted on 10/17/12 08:43 PM
My thoughts on this film are summed up in one dialogue exchange that happens in the film. It's a line that my friends and I constantly quote because it's a little ridiculous and poorly acted/read.
John Connor: "WHAT ARE YOU!?"
Marcus Wright: "I don't know..."
I don't know either.
Posted on 10/17/12 08:40 PM
I know it's poor form to refer to other reviews but for this film I feel it might be necessary.
I notice most of the negative reviews link back to the 'Alien Prequel' element which isn't fair. This is a stand alone film that takes place within the same universe with events that happen before those films occur. Thus, a prequel (duh). But people loved those earlier films (Alien, and Aliens mostly) and I am one of those people and their expectations might have been a bit too high. Scratch that, they were too high.
I went in with an open mind and was blown away. I think everyone can agree that the set design, costuming, and visuals are all top notch. The music is equally good as it gives the film the right mood. Michael Fassbender is terrific as David as he blends equal parts inquisitive and malicious in such a mysterious and engaging way.
The other actors surrounding him are all up to the task. Charlize Theron, Idris Elba, Logan Marshall-Green, and Noomi Rapace round out a great cast. I found this to be one of the best films of the year on first viewing back in June and upon further review - I stand by my original statement.
Posted on 9/02/11 09:29 PM
I have been meaning to get around to this film since it came out on DVD. Which was a long time ago. All it took for me to see this wonderful film was a lazy afternoon and my undivided attention. I am sure glad I finally got the chance.
"Kissing Jessica Stein" is a terrific romantic comedy that plays to it's strengths: it's leads chemistry and the comedy. Jennifer Westfeldt and Heather Juergensen are extremely likable and both provide the necessary dichotomy to their relationship. This is a well written film that finds comedy in action, reaction, and wordplay but it never overdoes it. When the time comes for the dramatic moment, it feels natural and not out of place.
I could not help but smile throughout this film as it is a feel-good film that provides a new dynamic to the 'boy-meets-girl' er, I mean 'girl-meets-girl' story line.
Posted on 8/31/11 09:29 AM
In 30 Words or Less:
Funny film, not hilarious, the actors have great comedic timing, Michael Pena should do more comedy - was great in "Observe and Report", enjoyable summer escapism.
Posted on 2/22/11 05:24 PM
"I Am Number Four" starts out promisingly enough with an intriguing concept and the right blend of beautiful people and science-fiction. Sadly, it never comes to fruition.
The dialogue is disappointing and fairly paper-thin given the gravity of what these kids are dealing with (only survivors of their home world, chosen to defend it etc). Alex Pettyfer's Number Four has enough muscles, blonde hair, and good looks to fill the screen but he is let down by pedestrian story-telling that relies too much on CGI and stunt work (which is quite good) than actual drama. Timothy Olyphant's Henri is an interesting character but we barely get to know him and he is ultimately underutilized. Dianna Agron has zero charm, is bland all the way around and we're supposed to believe that Number Four is in love with her? Then there's the lovable sci-fi nerd Sam who is befriended by Number Four and who coincidentally had a father that was researching Number Four's people.
This is intended on being the first part in a series of films, given it's ending, and there is a promise with the introduction of Teresa Palmer's Number Six who breathes some life into the film as the rebel without a cause (except she has a cause - survival) who helps save the day. Other than that, this film is a miss from D.J. Caruso who helmed the under appreciated 'Disturbia' and it's a shame because there are some fun moments in the film. Ultimately wait until this is out on video or one of the movie channels because it is easily digestible but also as easy to forget.
Posted on 1/12/11 04:09 PM
I have no idea why I decided to sit down and watch this film today. Other than the fact that I have the day off and it was one of the few things, of interest, on television.
The locations are beautiful and ideal but the acting, writing and ultimately the movie as a whole adds up to next to nothing. I cannot quite place where Matthew Modine's or Genna Davis' accents come from. I heard some British, some American, and some good ol' fashioned Pirate-talk. It's baffling to say the least.
Frank Langella seems to be the only one in the entire film who knows what type of film he is in. He is grandiose in his delivery, equal parts menacing and humourous, but the people around him play it straight which makes the film less fun.
Ultimately the problem lies with the lead. Davis has been great in other films (A League of Their Own and Beetlejuice) but she seems out of place. It's her delivery of lines and lack of charisma that took me out of the film and had me focusing on her flaws in the part.
Luckily I didn't pay to see this film so I cannot complain there but I wouldn't pick this one up at the video store. If you're looking for a pirate film NOT starring Johnny Depp, I suggest "Muppet Treasure Island".
Posted on 12/16/10 09:12 PM
"Black Swan" is an intimate psychological erotic thriller featuring a stellar cast and music and sounds that pounds the senses.
Continuing with what made "The Wrestler" great, Darren Aronofsky crafts another film around a fragile figure yearning to be great. In this story it's Nina Sayers, a ballerina yearning for the recognition she feels she rightfully deserves but is too afraid/shy to speak up for herself. Natalie Portman immerses herself entirely in the role and we see and hear her frustration and disappointment of not living up the expectations set upon her by mother and her director.
There are moments of terror, sensual pleasure, humour, gore, love, anger, retribution and triumph. They are all blended seamlessly and even at times when it feels the most fantastical it feels the most real.
I have to take a moment and mention the sound mixing because it is superb. The crunches and cracks of the knuckles and slow drag of the toes against the hard wood floor echoed through my brain and illustrated the pain these dancers go through for the sake of performance art. The sound adds another layer to an already deep film.
There is great visual imagery in the costuming, the rooms of various characters, and with the dance itself. This film will test your mind of what is real and what is not. The first half is a bit slow but once the pieces start to fall into place and Nina begins to obsess over the dance and her performance does the film really start to kick into high gear. The final dance sequence coupled with the timeless Swan Lake music is one of the best scenes of any film this year. It is raw emotion put on display that comes from a visceral place in Nina's heart and she taps into it and the result is a fantastic scene in an exceptional film.
Posted on 11/06/10 03:57 PM
I don't know why thousands, if not millions, of people saw this film - and spent money to see it in theatres.
In short, the dialogue - clunky; the visuals - stunning but not fully refined as best exhibited with Crispin Glover's character and his movements within his computer-generated costume; Alice - not very interesting, quite boring, monotoned and unlikable, almost like she sleepwalked through the whole film (which is strange having seen "The Kids Are All Right" and seeing a much more complete/engaging performance); my initial reaction - ended with a thud and a whimper trying to create a pleasing ending - not to mention that uncomfortable dance by the Mad Hatter and Alice's imitation of that dance (I felt bad for the parties involved who thought that dance was a good idea) - and ultimately failing on many levels.