ATM desperately wants to be a high concept thriller in the vein of Phone Booth, but lacks the good performances and thrills of that movie to be successful. The writing and acting are terrible, the characters continually do remarkably dumb things, and the "set-up" phase of the story to get you involved with the characters is downright atrocious. I didn't like any of these characters at all and some of the things that come out of their mouth make you shake your head. There's a scene or two that pack a punch viscerally, but they are too separated and are following by stupefying actions. They do one thing right not showing who the villain is or what his motivations are, but the ending just felt tacked on to me. I mainly watched this because I thought the concept sounded really cool, but beyond that there's nothing to recommend about this film. It lacks the brain, story, and thrills required of this genre to succeed.
Highly entertaining, although it goes through the same motions as the reboot for the most part and therefore does not feel as fresh & inventive. The actors as just as good here as they were in the first, continuing to bring Trek to a new era with gusto and the newcomers do a good job as well. Benedict Cumberbatch isn't going to be getting any Oscar nominations like Heath Ledger for The Joker, but he's solid. The special effects continue to be first rate. There are plenty of homages to the original series that hardcore fans will love (although a couple might be controversial). The movie is very funny, engaging, with enough twists to keep you guessing, but it didn't have the same impact to me as the first. It's perfectly acceptable popcorn entertainment and highly polished, but it doesn't reinvent the wheel. It's just a good 2 hours of space opera fun. I absolutely loved the first and walked out of the theater with glee about how well done it was. I didn't leave this one with that feeling. The future of Star Trek still looks very bright. Hopefully Abrams working on the next Star Wars doesn't mean we'll have to wait 4+ years for another installment again. It was far too long!
One of the worst movies I've ever seen horror or not. Why they continue to destroy this franchise is beyond me. I actually thought the 2003 remake was much, much better than this trash and at least watchable. I had to torture myself into finishing this because I wanted to shut it off after 30 minutes, but I stuck out the full 90 minutes. The plot is just beyond terrible. They seriously want us to sympathize with these characters? Please, I have more sympathy for myself for having to watch this. The acting is awful, the script is laughably bad, and the movie is just plain ugly. There's not a hint of intelligence in this. There's lots of gore, though. Obviously the movie does not even begin to approach being scary either. This is absolutely everything wrong with the horror genre these days. I only recommend watching this is you want to have the perfect example of what not do to. The worst part is that they wanted this story to be a sequel to the groundbreaking original film. Talk about disgraceful!
Mama is a unique entry in a genre that has started to become stagnant and all about the gore and deserves praise for sticking to its guns. That said, it isn't particularly scary after the initial set-up and enters more into fantasy territory than horror by the end. They make the cardinal horror sin of showing the creature too much. It makes it less scary and intriguing when you know why something is happening and what it looks like. The best horror movies keep these things secret at least until the end, but Mama does it long before that. I will say the acting is rather good, especially Jessica Chastain and the kids who don't make you cringe (my determining factor of whether a child actor is effective). The film has great atmosphere & visuals clearly influenced by executive producer Guillermo Del Toro. I really enjoyed those aspects of the film. The film never lost my interest either, despite overuse of boo! moments and a lack of scares. It just didn't mesh the fantasy and horror as well as other Del Toro films have. It's still worth a look for horror aficionados, but everyone else can probably skip it.
Safe Haven is an overly melodramatic, over the top Nicholas Sparks adaption of his novel and continues his streak of bad movie adaptations. I've never read a single one of his books, but based on the movies I certainly wouldn't want to. Safe Haven isn't the worst one yet (I still think that is The Last Song), but it's still not very good. I'll go over the positives first. The scenery in particular is gorgeous and postcard worthy. The couple looks good together. Josh Duhamel is charming and likable. The first 45 minutes are actually solid and entertaining. Things take a turn for the worst at about that point, though and they never recover. Characters motivations make no sense, the abusive husband goes so far over the top it is completely laughable, and the final twist is manipulative. I've said it before in other reviews and I'll say it again: manipulation just to do it is awful and incredibly annoying. I've never liked movies that do this, even critically acclaimed ones like The Usual Suspects. I just see no point in trying to fool the audience just because. I'm sure there will be an audience out there that digs this movie (females in particular), but even my fiancÚ thought it was all ridiculous and too much.