Philip Price's Profile - Rotten Tomatoes

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Rating History

Alien: Covenant
3 days ago via Rotten Tomatoes
½

As a human male who wasn't born until 1987, the year after James Cameron's seven-year-later sequel to Ridley Scott's 1979 masterpiece debuted, I was never overly inclined to invest much of my adolescence in Xenomophs or the lore of the talented Ms. Ripley. As someone who would unknowingly be lumped in with the millennial generation I didn't grow up with a fondness for those original films and thus they never became a critical part of the cultural landscape for me until much later in life. It might even be difficult for viewers with older tastes and dated perspectives to understand how such a film as restrained and measured as Alien might play for today's ADD audiences, but despite the fact I didn't end up seeing Scott's original film until a college scriptwriting class doesn't mean I didn't understand the how and why of its effectiveness. Still, because of the life experiences that shaped who I was up until the point when I saw Prometheus in the summer of 2012 I didn't mind that it felt completely different from what Scott had established as his Alien universe in the past. Like with music and most things in life if something works and people crave more of it the artist must find a way to strike a balance between what has come before while also reinventing themselves so as not to repeat the same old shtick over and over again. While many complained about Prometheus for being too heady and not so reliant on thrills or action Scott, along with screenwriters John Logan and Dante Harper, have seemingly course corrected for the sake of the fans with Alien: Covenant as the film more or less meshes what Prometheus started and what fans seemingly wanted in a new Alien movie. That isn't to say it all melds seamlessly or that Covenant is all the better for attempting to strike such a balance, but rather that it wants to have its cake and eat it too. As an individual who has no vested interest in continuing the Alien franchise as it once was, but who dug the hell out of Prometheus, I was slightly disappointed the more philosophical aspects of the film were traded in for more formulaic action beats and scares, but while Covenant may be a safer movie than Prometheus as well as a less effective film than Alien it is still very much an entertaining one that does enough good to earn its place among the ranks of a series that seems to be more well regarded out of nostalgia and a couple strong entries than a consistent quality in the films overall.

read the whole review at www.reviewsfromabed.com

Snatched
Snatched (2017)
3 days ago via Rotten Tomatoes
½

If Snatched is what you expect it to be is that necessarily a good thing? Probably not, but if it's better than you expected does that make it a good movie or, just, not a terrible one? It's a tough line to walk and an even more difficult one to decipher, but at the end of the day it can't help but to feel as if Snatched, overall, is more of a missed opportunity than a success by the standards of its genre tropes. Missed opportunity due to the fact that not only was it written by a single screenwriter in Katie Dippold (The Heat, Ghostbusters) and directed by Jonathan Levine (50/50, Warm Bodies), but that it also stars one of the world's most popular stand-up comedians (like it or not) while being able to pull seventy-one year old Goldie Hawn out of a fifteen year semi-retirement. If one is able to rope in a comedic legend like Hawn for your project one might imagine that individual or team would utilize her and her talents to their greatest effect, but in Snatched it seems Levine and everyone around him were afraid to ask Hawn to do anything too uncomfortable and instead kept her tasks in as safe and as easy a box as possible. This only stands to resort the movie to Hawn playing an overly-cautious mother figure while Amy Schumer is the irresponsible, narcissist of a daughter that exemplifies every negative stereotype one could come up with about millennials and then throws them into a hostage situation where balance in the two competing personalities is supposed to be found. Alas, that is what the movie goes for, but none of it ever feels natural or authentic, but rather very much like a movie. Everything about Snatched is very movie-like and while that isn't always a bad thing, especially when as much is intentional, this technique only bodes well for Snatched part of the time and most of that time is when the film is actually being funny. In short, when the film owns up to its promise and delivers on the capabilities of its talented cast and creative teams, but more often than not Snatched feels like a given of a movie where, after it was decided Schumer and Hawn would play a bickering mother/daughter pair, the rest was left up to that chemistry to make the ship sail successfully. Schumer and Hawn more anchor the film than anything though; holding the antics steady despite the fact the ship itself hasn't been that well-constructed.

read the whole review at www.reviewsfromabed.com

King Arthur: Legend Of The Sword
3 days ago via Rotten Tomatoes
½

I like Guy Ritchie, I like his style, and I enjoy his approach to storytelling. The writer/director understands the unique ways in which one can convey something as simple as a montage and how such interpretive change can alter the reception and/or investment of an audience in something as simple as a montage. If you've seen any of Ritchie's s previous films, such as Snatch, RocknRolla, or either of the two Robert Downey Jr. Sherlock Holmes adventures, then you'll certainly recognize the marks of the director in his latest film; another re-telling of the King Arthur story. It was inevitable the legend of Arthur and his knights of the roundtable would eventually get their own gritty re-boot, but when it was announced Ritchie would be the one bringing said gritty reboot to the big screen the trend all of a sudden didn't feel so tired. Too bad we spoke too soon for despite the fact Ritchie gets a director, co-writer, and producer credit on this $175 million flick-it reeks of studio intervention and countless pacing issues due to as much. Before we get too far into this though, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword isn't an outright train wreck and has some rather inspired and interesting moments whether that be in character and set design, some of the performances, or of course the notable editing and inventive storytelling. Still, at the end of the day, this is a film whose parts are greater than its (overlong) summation and unfortunately that leaves a rather forgettable taste. Bland. Bland is the word I'm looking for. And while one might have advised Ritchie and the gang against rebooting a brand name no one seemed to be particularly interested in (the last incarnation of King Arthur came just over a decade ago and only delivered $200 million worldwide) there was always that hope Ritchie might put enough of a directorial stamp on the material that this new version might come to be more than justified. There are hints of Ritchie's British blue collar mentality and sense of humor that pop up throughout that hint at what could have been, a medieval Lock, Stock if you will, but more often than not King Arthur: Legend of the Sword becomes a bloated, CGI-fest that is more hollow spectacle than engaging character drama.

read the whole review at www.reviewsfromabed.com

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
13 days ago via Rotten Tomatoes

With the first Guardians of the Galaxy I went (or at least wanted to go) into the film with little to no expectations. Of course, with Vol. 2 it would be next to impossible to do the same unless one had skipped the first which, of course, would then only mean it would be next to impossible to fully understand or better yet, appreciate, what this second film has to offer. And so, despite having some expectation for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 there wasn't much beyond suspecting that writer/director James Gunn might hand pick a new list of late seventies/early eighties hits to set something of a remixed version of the original's events to while pushing whatever story points the Marvel overlords needed pushed forward. If this sequel teaches us anything though (and it does try to teach if not at least say something significant) it's that sometimes expectations aren't detrimental to the overall effect a piece of art can have. That's right-I'm calling a Marvel movie, and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 specifically, a piece of art as well as stating that it surpasses all expectations. I'm saying this loud and clear because I feel like it would be easy to think otherwise about the rather unconventional super hero movie that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 actually is. It seems it might be easy to be disappointed in the sequel because it doesn't exactly fit into the conventions we've become conditioned to expect. How does Guardians numero dos buck this trend that Marvel has so perfectly perfected as of late? Well, the first thing it changes is that of setting up a convenient villain in the form of another Thanos crony looking for world domination (Gunn literally thought bigger this time, going for galactic domination) while also giving our heroes a real and emotional investment in the plight of the antagonist. Sure, the film opens with the guardians on a for hire mission that sees them doing battle with a large CGI monster for the purposes of getting paid handsomely by a race of snobby and rather pretentious Goldfinger/Goldmember lookalikes, but this is essentially only a framing device and reason to usher Michael Rooker's Yondu back into the fray. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is instead mostly about the relationships between the members of the titular team and developing those dynamics in exchange for progressing the overall Marvel arc. Where Vol. 2 really exceeds though, is in balancing the exploration of these relationships with that of still telling an effective story, the guardians story, and there's just something special about a ginormous, big-budget, special-effects extravaganza that feels this personal.

read the whole review at www.reviewsfromabed.com

The Circle
The Circle (2017)
24 days ago via Rotten Tomatoes

Not everyone is going to like you. That is a lesson today's society could stand to appreciate a little more if not learn, but that doesn't mean that's going to stop people from trying. Wanting to be liked isn't inherently a bad thing, but when we depend on "Likes" to sustain our own sense of self-worth, when we're living off "Likes" there could certainly be one or two issues pop up. When we live through the persona we've created online and reach a point we can't identify our true selves then what people like isn't actually the individual anymore anyway, so where do we draw the line? How can this age of transparency be utilized in positive ways rather than resorting to fake or devious methods to again try and prove that some lives are more valuable or more special than others? In The Circle Emma Watson plays a young, presumably middle glass girl in her early twenties who goes to work for a tech company a la Google called The Circle and essentially becomes their poster child for transparency. Submitting herself to the line of thinking that she can only be her best self when she knows people are watching her; that to leave her to her own devices would mean that she would develop and keep secrets and to harbor secrets is to have something to lie about to the world. Sound slightly cult-ish? It's supposed to, but while the tech company that is The Circle clearly has ulterior motives for their extreme invasions of privacy that they so lovingly convey as being concerns for the greater good of mankind The Circle the movie doesn't seem as clear on what its motives or meanings are supposed to be. On one hand there is certainly an analogy at play for the world as presented in the film when compared to that of the social media-driven culture we're all currently a part of, but while Facebook can still plead connection and bringing people together as their main objective it is so blatantly obvious that The Circle seeks world domination that it's past the point of believable someone hasn't called them on their bluff already. Furthermore, the film builds in a fashion where the audience is led to believe there is going to be a major twist, a serious maneuver of innovation over intelligence, a battle of wits for the ages, but when such metaphoric beans come to be spilled there is hardly any cohesion to the point our protagonist makes. Watson's Mae Holland uses The Circle's tools against its nefarious leaders, but she has no point, no position, and all we're left with is a clouded message of a movie that goes nowhere.

read the whole review at www.reviewsfromabed.com