"Crystal Fairy and the Magical Cactus" 10 Scale Rating: 1.5 (Terrible) ...
The Good: Nothing, really. Well, OK ... Michael Cera stepping out of his comfort zone was good to see.
The Bad: Pretty much everything. Typically a group of people wandering through the desert in a drug induced stupor is an entertaining premise ... if it's funny. Too stupid for words and chock full of rambling dialogue that feels like it was made up on the fly, "Crystal Fairy" fails at every level in trying to become a cult classic. "Fear and Loathing" it's not.
"300: Rise of an Empire" 10 Scale Rating: 4.0 (Bad) ...
The Good: As expected, the fights were well choreographed and the battles were on an epic scale. The blood and guts are gleefully over-the-top, but not to the point where it becomes too much. Eva Green was excellent as the film's main villain.
The Bad: The film just feels hollow without Leonidas and the 300. They try very hard to re-create the magic of the first film and they just fall way short. They even copied a few of the scenes and story lines, which felt cheap. There was an odd sexual tension between the main protagonist and antagonist that felt forced, complete with an awkward sex scene. While the first film's grand speeches were well timed and powerful, the sequel has speeches galore. In fact, half the film is a series of rousing speeches. Ultimately, I didn't really care about the majority of the characters in the film and their inevitable deaths were meaningless.
The Good: The cast was solid and did a good job with what they had to work with. Sarah Bolger was absolutely fantastic. I have seen very little of her, but if she turns in performances like this one, then I look forward to seeing more of her. The story is a solid one and the first half is extremely interesting and thought provoking.
The Bad: It falls apart in the second act and goes from pretty good to bad. Parts of the story stop making sense and several characters suddenly become downright unlikeable. The ending was poorly done and abrupt. A lot of buildup with no pay off.
The Good: How great is Robert Redford? He keeps your interest without saying a word. Through action, facial expressions, and body language Redford puts on an absolute show. While I went in thinking I wouldn't like it much, "All Is Lost" ended up being a pretty good film.
The Bad: Ultimately though, a solitary man alone and at sea is only so interesting. Eventually, the film succumbs to the slow pacing that occurs in-between dilemmas.
The Good: The voice cast is solid and it isn't a bad idea.
The Bad: Initially meant to be a direct-to-DVD film, they probably should have stuck with that as this never feels like a feature film. Bland and more predictable than any kids film I've ever seen, Planes just feels like a heartless offering. The animation is decent, but nothing to write home about. It just comes across as if Disney sort of mailed it in here.