The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part
The Walking Dead
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All Critics (5)
| Fresh (2)
| Rotten (3)
The dialogue is atrocious... it's truly terrible. I actually paused, hit rewind, and rewatched a couple scenes because I thought SURELY I must be hearing that wrong. I was not.
Tremors: A Cold Day In Hell is a frosty Graboid rehash that's running on franchise fumes at this point.
Either way, as long as they can devise clever sequences of graboid attacks, Tremors can rumble along forever.
If you catch it on cable, you won't be missing much. But you should have at least a little bit of fun.
The series is officially out of charm, even charm we will it out of love for the original.
I will always give a Tremors movie a chance, but these last two movies have been very disappointing, and Cold Day in Hell made me feel especially let down. Could not deliver on even its own incredibly weak promise of "Graboids but there's snow now".
In my review for Cult of Chucky, I wondered if there had been a horror franchise to make the comeback as successfully as the recent Chucky movies had. And what I mean by that is creatively, since the Evil Dead series has always been high-quality and it can't really make a comeback if there was never any drop-off in quality, in my opinion at least. For B-tier horror franchises, the recent Chucky movies has provided solid and enjoyable horror. It's obviously not stuff that's gonna reinvent the wheel in any way, but it's not relying on the nostalgia attached to the name. It's actually trying to continue the franchise. Having said that, maybe you could make the argument that the last two Tremors movies fit in with that same successful comeback, at least on a relatively smaller scale. I would disagree with that, honestly, because while I thought that Bloodlines (the film prior to this one) was a perfectly decent movie, it didn't really blow my mind nor did I feel it was good. They certainly put more effort into it than I would have expected and, again, I was surprised by how decent it was, but there was something missing. But, here we are, three years after Bloodlines came out and we have another Tremors movie on our hands. I'm certain that fans of the franchise a lot of people were down on Jamie Kennedy being cast in a co-starring role as Burt Gummer's son. But, honestly, Jamie Kennedy was absolutely fine in the role. In fact, and this may not really say much about the guy's choice of roles, it may have been one of his best roles to date. Again, I realize that that's not saying much. But I feel that Kennedy's tongue-in-cheek style works perfectly for the franchise. I even remember saying that, with Kennedy and Gross as the leads, they could continue the franchise for the foreseeable future, with Travis and Burt teaming up as a father-son duo that goes wherever they are needed to get rid of the graboids. With that said, this is another decent little movie all things considered. I hate to repeat myself, but they're obviously not trying to reinvent the wheel with anything that they do here. I guess first things first, the title is absolutely misleading. It seems to suggest that the graboids, for the first time ever, have been found in the arctic, whereas they normally seemed to thrive in warmer climates. But the movie doesn't actually take place IN the Canadian arctic, I mean it does, but it takes place on a research center some miles away from where the first attack took place. The problem with the film taking place in this research center, there's an arctic heatwave too, is that it looks exactly the same as it would if it took place in the in a different part of Nevada that was a little less deserted than Perfection. There's no snow to be seen anywhere. The reason I bring this up is because I feel that it would have been a little more interesting to see how Burt, Travis and the rest of the people they meet adjust to the differences in setting. What if there's a snowstorm? That's obviously gonna limit visibility and, maybe, the noise from the storm also keeps them from hearing the graboids from under the earth. It might not have been enough to make this a good movie, but it would have offered something different from what the franchise has offered. I don't feel that this is too big of an issue, in the long-run, as I feel we would have gotten the same movie with only a few minor adjustments. I feel that the movie was the way it due to budgetary reasons, because the lone scene in the arctic feels like it was shot in Nevada, but some post-production trickery made the sand look as if it was snow. There's just something unnatural about it and that had to have been it. Maybe I'm wrong. Moving on, however. As far as Burt Gummer goes, Michael Gross truly embodies the role. I'm not saying that he gives the best performance I've ever seen, but Burt almost feels like an extension of Michael's real personality. That may not be the case, for all I know, but that's how intrinsic Gross is to that role. Jamie Kennedy, again, does a perfectly solid job here. And the rest of the cast is fine as well, nothing to write home about, but certainly serviceable. The movie keeps that same tongue-in-cheek tone that has been a trademark of the last few movies. There's also, for some reason, a subplot of Burt being infected by a parasite back in the earlier movies, when he found himself inside the belly of a graboid, and how its gestation period is slow as fuck. Once it...fully gestates, I guess, Burt will die. So the movie deals with whether or not Burt will beat his toughest challenge. And, honestly, it just feels a little forced. Like they're just reaching for something. They can make up the rules as they go along, it's their own mythology, but it feels like a contrived way to bring up some father-son issues between Travis and Burt. Which would be fine in a movie much more serious than the one we have here. Who knows, maybe it wouldn't have worked in a more serious movie anyway. There's a lot of usage of slo-mo here, to the point that it becomes a parody of itself. The slo-mo is used for, almost, every instance the graboids, underneath the earth, head towards one of the characters. I think that it was cool once, seeing the dirt being kicked up as the graboid heads in whatever direction it's heading, like an alien Bugs Bunny, but once you see it for the 17th time, you're like 'ok, enough'. I also lament the fact that there wasn't as much practical effects used here. There are some, but not enough to make one lick of difference. The movie uses some Jaws-esque techniques in that it holds back on showing you the big-ass graboid too much. And I don't know how I felt about that. I think it works in a movie like Jaws, where the suspense is built through that. You don't get to see the fucking shark, so that creates an image in your mind of something truly monstrous. 2014 Godzilla also employed this approach and, in my opinion, it worked perfectly, even if not everyone liked the lack of Godzilla in a Godzilla movie. It doesn't work when you're six movies into your franchise. We've already seen the graboids, so there's no need to show restraint. And, again, this is probably the budgetary restrictions rearing its head again, but it's still worth pointing out. Don't know what else I can say about this. Now that I think about it, I'm not sure about giving this the same rating as I gave Bloodlines (on RT, at least, since I haven't posted that review on Letterboxd). Look, I'll be honest, as far as effort is concerned, this may be a B-tier franchise (and there's nothing wrong with that), but I can tell that the people behind the camera are at least trying to make an effort to produce an enjoyable movie. And I'm certainly not gonna fault them or shit on their efforts. It's just that sometimes those efforts don't pay off. And, in my opinion, this is one of those times where it didn't pay off. But, and this might sound stupid, but this is probably the best two-star movie I've ever seen. It's got its charms, some funny lines and the casting is solid. It's just that the big picture doesn't really add up to a good, or even decent, movie. I had no problem watching this and, again, I can tell that they're trying, but it just didn't come together as well as Bloodlines did. Still, if they make another one, you know I'm gonna watch it. So here's to hoping the next go-around manages to improve on what went wrong here. Watchable, but there's nothing truly memorable here to warrant a recommendation.
PS: Why does Jamie Kennedy, in the poster, look like Robert Downey Jr's character from Tropic Thunder?
Not even a B-movie, but maybe a C-movie, and yet nonetheless razor sharp writing and capable actors lend more zest to this than I've seen in many a while. Hokey, corny, irreverent and blazingly self-aware, this is far better than many "serious" films I've seen in at least a year. It's meant to be fun and snarky I invite you to roast some bud over this triumph of schlock.
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