This movie is just wonderful. I don't even like video games and Ioved it. Ralph is such an endearing character and his motivation is so pure: he wants a little appreciation. That's it. He's spent 30 years smashing things, because that's what his game requires, and no one gives him any respect. Ogres have feeling too, but apparently none of the cast of Fix-It Felix Jr. have seen Shrek, and Ralph feels so unloved that he ventures out to seek validation in another game. Besides the characters, all of whom I absolutely love, the movie's plot of this brilliantly cohesive pretzel and it takes a really long time for a villain to emerge. It's such great writing that the conflict arises, for the most part, from the conflicting goals of the characters. Another delicious thing is how flawlessly sound the video-game-logic that governs the movie world is. They set a rule and enforce it with Draconian stringency, and as a result, everything flows and makes sense. One of the touches I love is how Felix' hammer does the exact opposite of what every other hammer on planet Earth does. Remember kids: double-stripe branches break, never mess with the first-person shooter and up-up-down-down-left-right-left-right-A-B-start lets you see through walls. God, children's movies in recent years have gotten so much better than they used to be. You'd never see this much attention to detail in the Disney movies of the sixties.
This would have made a great short film. Sinister's got about enough plot for a good episode of Supernatural. They took all this time to build a really wonderful, (and wonderfully evil villain) and they didn't do anything with him! I hate it when novel ideas are wasted in movies. I also think it was a bit of a narrative mistake to give all the detective work to a police officer who doesn't do any of it on screen. The main character is a true crime novelist, for Pete's sake! For shame. Apart from all the times it disappointed me with its red herrings and promises of a brilliant payoff, a lot of Sinister's scare gags really connected. It succeeded in recreated those alone-at-night willies that make old-school slashers so delicious. If you liked those back in the day, this one is good for the same reason. I liked them too, but they're not my favorite.
This movie isn't bad; It's very pretty, but it's just dumb and never connects. I figured this movie's problem out about halfway through: none of the characters have sound motivation for anything they do. Nothing anyone does makes sense, because this damn movie never took the time to hash out why anyone would behave the way they do. Are all Lantern recruits treated with such hostility by Sinestro and their trainers? How did the guardian who became Paralax make the jump between trying to harness fear to becoming an evil fear engine? Why is Hector on his side? How do you become physically infected by an abstract concept, and how do you then throw it into the sun? If the screenwriters had taken a little more time to answer questions like these, this movie might not have lost everybody. Those questions are important, you guys. Ryan Reynolds is endearing, but only to a point.
Did I ever tell you how much less scary The Descent seems when you remember what those monsters, those humanoid, underground dwelling cannibals are called? I'm kind of glad I realized what was going on once the movie was over, since it might have ruined some of the burn for me. I liked this movie very much; it's got very human characters and it's never quite clear where the story is going. That, and there are some really hot sex scenes at the beginning. A married couple loses their kids on a day trip to this rocky mountain park, and when they find them again, the kids aren't quite the same. The blanks are never quite filled in all the way for you as you watch this movie and if there's a monster in this story, I'm still not sure what it is or what it wants. There's also a 70s flavour to this movie, most evident in the cheesy quick-zooms the director likes to use while shooting the mountain.
The filmmakers have said in interviews that when they watched Stand By Me and Goonies, they really felt like those filmmakers really remembered what it was like to be kids. That's the type of film they set out of make and they succeeded with flying colours. It's about a bunch of kids playing capture the flag in the woods one weekend. I loved it so much, mostly because I totally used to play war like this when I was younger, and I imagine my games with the neighbour kids would probably have gotten this out of hand if A) I could have gotten more people to participate and B) we were unsupervised for long enough. The way the kids play is coloured entirely by who they are individually and pretty much magnifies the best and worst of them. Strange and arbitrary things are important to you when you're in elementary school and I Declare War never forgets this. As a profoundly immature, overgrown kid I know exactly where this movie is coming from. I enjoyed it as much today as I would have if I'd seen it when I was twelve. Great movie. May yet become a classic.
I was verrrry disappointed by this movie. I guess Rob Zombie is through making fun horror flicks like 1000 Corpses and has decided he wants to be Roman Polanski. This movie isn't about character or story but about mood, and I really don't like movies like that. That's why I hate Kubrick and didn't enjoy this film. Zombie totally nails that 1970s tone of evil conspiracy, and if that's all he wanted to do, then good for him. It was such a damned pity though since this movie's story could have been so cool. He takes pains to establish this great mythos of these real evil witches that throw Sabbaths, just like the Witchfinder Generals believed and then throws it away. I wish I knew what the hell was going on in this movie. I wish the focus had been a little bit different. This movie is moody and dull, which makes it seem long, too. I actually started nodding off toward the end.
I kinda liked this movie, but I really don't know what to make of it. It wasn't so much scary as gritty and tragic. It was two parallel stories; one about a man who recently lost his pregnant wife, gained a premature infant son and the knowledge that he's got a rare form of cancer. This sets him on a course to discover his roots. The other story centers on a group of children who can't feel pain, and their childhood of isolation during the Spanish Civil war. They are studied by a team of doctors and nurses in a modified prison, a location caught in the crossfire between the rebels and the fascists.
I found this movie really really sad. The story was engaging and it's interesting seeing one character turn into what appears to be a slasher movie killer and still not be the villain of this picture. I'm not even sure what to make of the ending. Enh. This was fine, but lacked closure.
This one is special. As horror movies go, this one's got it all: great gore effects, a real curveball of a story and a wonderfully evil villain. He is the Man Death; he brings violence, butchery and pain to everything he touches, everywhere he goes and all those he meets. But I defy you to spot him at the beginning of the film.
The less I tell you about this film, the better. It starts with a couple in a car, having a series of rather frosty exchanges. The longer you watch, the clearer it becomes that the nature of thier relationship is more complex than meets the eye. Meanwhile, a small-time gang of murdering, burgling lowlives is coming off a botched job. And then they cross paths. And then a female survivor of a college-co-ed-massacre turns up again, and she knows, before anyone else does, who the greater evil is; who to really be afraid of. The Man Death is like a slightly warmer version of Anton Chighur from No Country; a truly fascinating character, but to tell you why would ruin some of the pleasure of this movie. See it. Even if not no other reason than to see Ryuhei Kitamura's ingenious, novel and jaw-dropping gore gags. See it before anyone ruins the big blockbuster effect. My only gripe about this movie is that the dialogue is a little uneven: it's kind of clunky in places, and delightfully apt in others. "You just killed the one person who had a soul."
I was really impressed by this movie. In the world of superhero movies, it's very hard to find something genuinely new and novel, and Chronicle hits the nail right on the head. It's a very small, character driven movie that reminded me a little of Moon. You really don't need a lot of bluster to make people care about superpowers; this movie does it with fascinating characters, run-of-the-mill circumstances, a clever premise and strategic, sparing and seamless special effects. Andrew decides to document his life with his video camera, maybe to find some solace in his grim high school existence. Then he and his friends find a meteor and everything changes, and the story unfolds as Andrew, Steve and Matt explore their new powers. The sharper they hone thier skills, the greater the temptation to use them and the greater the consequences. It's a simple story told with a very inventive lens; I especially like the way the telekinetic kid uses his power to create diegetic crane shots. Ingenious.
This movie sucks so so so hard. It fucks everything up. It's embarrassing. The main character keeps saying things like "don't be so cliche" and "you know jack shit about vampires", while being the worst offender herself. Lilith Silver is an utterly unlikeable, shallow, egomaniacal vampire hitwoman with hilariously curved fangs and an all black latex wardrobe. She does everything wrong and spends all her time complaining, rolling her eyes and exposing her fangs and hissing. Her mouth must get really dry. I have no idea what this dumbass story is supposed to be about. Lilith finds out that all the recent targets of her clusterbungle assassinations have been members of the same evil club. Possibly the Illuminati, or something? Heehee, oh yeah! She likes to nail her hitwoman-handler-guy and they have long discussions about the current state of the contract killer industry during and after sex. There is a lot of fangs and hissing and pretty people. And guns. Way too many guns for a vampire movie. What is this, a really inept and brainless Underworld? You can actually see someone bump into the camera during a few shots.
WHYYYY? Why did this movie have to be so crummy? Why do I keep doing this to myself? It didn't make any damn sense, which would have been okay if its crazy foolishness had been fun to watch. Despite the animation being really rather impressive, the script is really weak and even actors of this calibre can't make it entertaining. Minotaur remains just on this side of enjoyability - neither sincerely good nor ironically hilarious. The actors are all milling around, not knowing what to do with themselves. And then there's Tom Hardy, the gem, buried like a raisin in a cookie, being way better than he needs to be, perhaps under the impression that he's in a real movie. I found it hilarious how much effort makeup and wardrobe had to go to to make him look frumpy. Sorry guys, even with that ridiculous haircut, the stubble and the ratty tunic, I still think he's yummy.
Have you ever wondered what Alien would be like if the entire crew of the Nostromo was a bunch of easily-distracted, silly drunken jackasses? Well I've got the movie for you! Ever since I heard the plans for this movie, I've been itching to see it. In fact, I might have skipped TIFF this year entirely if this hadn't been part of the roster. It's about an interdimensional monster that is trying to infiltrate our world by tricking people into taking a drug and then inducing hallucinations. The only ones who can stop it are a pair of slackers who aren't particularly motivated. John and Dave are two regular guys who'd much rather get back to their game of Mario Kart than be action movie heroes and save the world. It's like watching a horror movie starring my best friends. This movie is pretty surreal and the story gets a little muddled a few times, but that is kind of the point. I love the book, and I think Don Coscarelli's greatest triumph here is completely nailing the tone; it's a horror movie that has the potential to be oppressively terrifying and nihilistically grim, if not for the two main characters laughing and saying "can you believe this shit"?
And to think, I never used to much care for superheroes. The only thing I can think of that I didn't like about this film was how they made Asgaard another planet (I think), rather than an alternate terrestrial plane or something. I really love the elements that drive this story: the classic imperialistic bloodlust that typifies all famous mythological warriors is what leads the characters to create problems for themselves, and Thor can really only grow and mature as a character once he gets past it. I was really impressed how they succeeded in making Thor seem really alien on Earth, which is really hard to do to handsome humanoid characters. My favorite element, among many gems, was definitely Loki. He is really far from a one-dimensional villain; he's got depth, motivation and a real heart, so much so that there were times I found myself rooting for him. You can tell you've got a good thing going when it seems like a shame for either side to prevail over the other in the end. If anyone understands how vital it is to have a strong villain it's Kenneth Branaugh, a man who's excelled in the past by playing Iago onscreen. Even the Forst Giants were interesting. What a wonderful film.
Very big, very exciting, huge fun. But most important, well-plotted and driven by its interesting and endearing characters. The biggest pleasure to be had in this movie, I think, is the chemistry between the already familiar characters. As a fan, I really appreciate all the time and effort they spent in hashing out the continuity of this world throughout the films that led up to this one, and all the characters and storylines culminate beautifully. I loved seeing which characters clash and which ones mesh. Bruce Banner and Tony Stark get along like a house on fire, while Steve Rogers finds Stark relentlessly antagonizing. It's a little counterintuitive to see Sam Jackson playing the straightman and Scarlett Johansson playing someone really competant, but the whole thing makes it work. I really can't think of a single weak link in this movie, except that Hawkeye was a bit of a waste of Jeremy Renner. Man, this was like the perfect summer superhero blockbuster. Joss Whedon really cares about good movies. I hope he stays on with this franchise.
Best Worst Movie is a documentary about the cult that's grown around Troll 2 and where the actors are now. George Hardy drives this movie, an affable dentist from Alabama who loves the weird new fandom he finds himself the centre of. At times it's a little bit sad when you see what's become of Margo Prey or that Robert Ormsby seems disappointed with his life. If Hardy is the hero, then Claudio Fragasso, the director of Troll 2 is the villain, a humourless pompous pseudo-arteeste who doesn't understand what good movie-making is, doesn't understand America, can't take criticism and doesn't want you to enjoy his movie wrong. As a whole, it makes you want to see Troll 2, which is kinda cool, I guess, I'd have liked to see more of Michael Stephenson, the grown up child actor who's behind the camera.
Troll really isn't half-bad. If I'd seen it when I was 7, it probably would have become one of my favorite movies. A family moves into a building and some evil replicant troll in the basement takes over their daughter's body. From then the Troll starts to assimilate the other neighbours in a scheme that turns out to be some sort of bid for power, according to the mysterious hermit woman. As witches go, she totally fell down on the job of keeping tabs on the troll. The effects are quite impressive, and despite the silliness of the story they really run with it with gusto. It's funny; even though it's dumb, it makes the effort to kinda make sense, so it's okay.
I can't honestly say that I was disappointed by this movie, because going in I didn't know what to expect. I don't think that David Cronenberg actually puts any stock in psychoanalysis, but he believes in sexual perversion, and how psychological and personal each person's deviant little kink can be. I really like the way that sexuality underpins everything about the characters in this movie, just like it would if the world existed exactly the way Freud and Jung describe. No wonder they think it does. I should say that I have a bit of a soft spot for period pieces about repressed horndogs (a huge genre, it turns out), but this movie was neither stupendous nor terrible.
This is such a great documentary, since it perfectly covers and conveys the love hate relationships inherent in Star Wars fandom. This movie is specifically about fans of the first trilogy, and the ways in which George has changed the movies over the years. It's a perfect expression of the deep love and equally deep resentment that the fans have toward Lucas for A) creating something they love and B) relentlessly tampering with it and diminishing its resemblance to the original they loved. It's ironic that the more ownership Lucas takes over his creation, the more detached he becomes from what it was he created in the first place. What's really remarkable about this movie is that it doesn't take sides, really, because it gives equal voice to fans of all different opinions. Why is it that the prequel trilogy is so hated by fans of the originals - is it because they're bad, because they're different, or is it because the original fans have grown up? The fans included in the film fall all over the spectrum in their feelings: from blind anger to bitterness to reluctant admiration. Their love for the movies is undeniable, but their opinion of its creator is considerably more contested. I kind of wish that George Lucas had been interviewed for this film, since his voice is the one missing from this dialogue. He's present in archived interview footage, though. This documentary is insightful, affectionate and really rather balanced.