Adam Foidart's Profile - Rotten Tomatoes

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Rating History

Pitch Black
Pitch Black (2000)
6 months ago via Rotten Tomatoes

"Pitch Black" is a pretty solid blend of action and horror as well as a perfect example of an anti-hero done right. The film is set sometime in the distant future and follows the crew of the ship Hunter-Gratzner on a long voyage through space. The ship's course is so long that the whole crew as well as the passengers has been put into cryo-stasis. When the ship runs into some space debris, the captain is killed and the ship's position goes from bad to worse. Docking pilot Carolyn Fry (Radha Mitchell) assumes command and when it becomes clear the ship is nearly about to crash, she makes the difficult decision to dump all of the passengers, which would kill them all but save the ship. A member of the crew, stops her but the decision has been made and the trust factor is already gone. The ship crashes and she is the only navigator left with the small handful of survivors. These include the dangerous captured murderer Richard B. Riddick (Vin Diesel). Stranded, the people will have to band together to get off the planet on which they have landed. To make things worse, there are far more dangerous elements to this world than just the heat, lack of resources and the untrustworthy survivors; the planet harbors a dark secret, which is about to be exposed.



While the plot of the film isn`t really reinventing the genre of science fiction, the characters are what have given "Pitch Black" it's cult following. You can separate the characters into 3 categories: the cannon fodder, who get very little screen time, almost no character development (some of them don't even speak English so you get even less defining characteristics) and are just set up to have more revelations of the dangers of this world our characters have been marooned on. These guys you don't really care about them, but they serve a purpose to the plot. The second category is the likeable, but not super developed characters. These people get a decent amount of screen time, some memorable moments and whether or not they make it out alive, well you really don't know. Included in this category are Rhiana Griffith as Jack, Keith David as Imam and Lewis Fitz-Geral as Paris. Each of these characters spends enough time on the screen for you to start to really care about whether or not they are going to make it and fulfill different roles in the story. Paris is the comic relief, bringing some much needed humor into the film and also being not very bright, sets up a couple of situations that show us that these people are in serious trouble if they stick around on this barren world. Jack is an avatar for the audience, admiring Riddick and confirming to everyone watching that "it isn't just you, this guy really is awesome". Imam brings a nice bridge between everyone else. He's a mature adult so he's taken seriously, compassionate so he ensures no one gets left behind, and a pacifist, meaning he doesn't bring any fighting power to the team, meaning he is just as vulnerable as the other secondary and tertiary characters.



The three principal characters are really what make the movie standout. You've got Riddick, who has a kind of superhuman ability that gives him a very stylish look and makes him a very valuable asset later in the film. He's a killer so you never quite know who's side he's on and he's desperate so he's got a reason to stick around with the other humans. Vin Diesel gives the character real personality and while he isn't actually the main character, he's the most memorable part of the film (if you hadn't already guessed that). Opposite to Riddick is Johns (played by Cole Hauser). This is the man that's responsible for Riddick's capture, so the two are opposed from the very beginning. The tricky thing is, both of these guys are valuable assets to the team, but neither can tolerate the other so you know it's just a matter of time before they start going toe-to-toe with each other. On top of that, you get the feeling that there's more to Johns than his "I'm a cop" backstory so there's that additional element of distrust going on. Finally there's the main character of Fry. At the beginning of the movie, well you don't really care for her to be honest. Sure, you can understand the decision about dumping the passengers... theoretically, but dumping all of those people to die, even when the other members of your crew oppose the decision? That's just cold. She knows this too so the whole film she's trying to redeem herself. As you follow her character you do see her evolve into a more compassionate person that genuinely gets to care about the survivors and when she's in peril, you really get worried.



On top of all these guys, you've got a pretty decent, if not familiar premise that's fun to follow, some interesting settings, some cool creatures and some decent action, scares and tension too. This could have easily been a forgettable film but somehow all of the crew involved in the film making process and particularly the actors just managed to hit that sweet spot and make it click. Sometimes the low budget does show, particularly when it comes to the computer-generated images, which haven't really aged that well and as I mentioned, the movie is reminiscent of many others. If you get into the movie those will feel like minor quips though so the movie is more than worth a shot, it earns itself a 4 out of 5 stars. (Unrated version on Dvd, August 22, 2013)

Death Race 3: Inferno
6 months ago via Rotten Tomatoes
½

Alright so under any other terms, "Death Race 3: Inferno" wouldn't be a good movie.... BUT if you're a fan of the franchise, or even if you liked them a little bit this is actually a pretty fun experience. This instalment is actually a direct sequel to the previous film and it keeps on going with the same characters. That means we actually get something we've never seen before in any of the "Death Race" movies, character development! We get to see how the relationships between the characters have evolved since the last time and they keep changing during this movie as the team have to work together to confront a new villain and hopefully get out of "Death Race" permanently by winning a fifth race. The film also improves on the vehicles used in the races, by making them all pretty distinct from each other. They're all still just browns and greys but they use really distinct models as the base and the massive weapons used on top of the frames help make them visually different. It's actually a pretty big improvement on the second film, which was very badly edited and only got to the racing about an hour into the movie. This time, we get to the racing pretty much right away and we also get a decent plot to keep us interested when we're on the sidelines.

The other racers that are introduced in the film aren't super interesting (even if they're given more interesting things to do than simply drive around because they have to interact with each other more and this time around we get to see them confront crowds of civilians too). What's worse is that the other racers aren't even really "introduced" to us. We get a screen where the narrator presents them, but all we get is a name. No reason for why they're in prison, how many kills they've got or anything and that's a big disappointment. There are other problems in the film, like some plot holes and elements that don't quite work but it's still a lot of fun and it's a pretty coherent story overall. If you're tempted by "Death Race 3: Inferno" you should check it out because even though it isn't high-grade cinema it's fun shlock and you'll have a great time. (Unrated cut on Blu-ray, March 8, 2013)

Green Lantern
Green Lantern (2011)
6 months ago via Rotten Tomatoes

The extended cut of "Green Lantern" is an improvement over the theatrical one, with more backstory on "Carol", "Hal" and "Hector's" backgrounds together as children and this does add more dynamic to the human side of the story, but this was the least exciting and interesting part of the film in the first place so it's only a marginal improvement and doesn't raise the movie up much. If you like the film this is the version to see over the theatrical cut and if you have the choice this is the better film but it still has all of the same problems as before. (Blu-ray, December 27, 2012)

Secret Window
Secret Window (2004)
14 months ago via Rotten Tomatoes

"Secret Window" is well acted and there are some genuinely creepy moments but you can tell it's based on a short story because the movie feels padded out.

Mort Rainey (Johnny Depp) is a stressed and depressed writer hiding in a secluded cabin to "working" while avoiding his impending divorce. Mort is surprised when John Shooter (John Turturro), a Mississippi dairy farmer suddenly confronts him and accuses him of plagiarism. Mort dismisses the man until it becomes clear that Shooter's threats are genuine.

Johnny Depp is convincing as an author who's circling the drain, wasting his time on the couch instead of writing, basically washed up and very bitter about his failed marriage. He makes for an interesting protagonist because just when you think it can't get any worse for him, it does. John Turturro is truly awesome as John Shooter, who comes out of the blue one day with some accusations of plagiarism. He comes off as really creepy when he asks not for money, but for a technical compensation. It's something to do with the story itself. I won't say any more. Turturro looks and sounds threatening in a creepy, offbeat way that gets you hooked.

The problem is in the way the characters' reactions are written. Everyone is taking this news of death threats and impending violence like it's accusations of witchcraft. The town sheriff doesn't seem very concerned after things start to escalate, Mort's wife Amy (Maria Bello) doesn't even try to be cautious even when things are clearly spinning out of control. When threatened with death you still never sense that she realizes how dire the situation is. Mort even hires a bodyguard who treats the whole thing like it's a joke. All of these low-key responses take away a lot of the tension. It's too bad because it builds up tremendously whenever Mort and John are on-screen.

There are some good parts here and there in "Secret Window". I liked the ending so overall it's an ok thriller. It's not great but worth taking a look to see if it will be your thing. (On Dvd, February 28, 2013)

Corrina, Corrina
14 months ago via Rotten Tomatoes

"Corinna, Corinna" is a bit sappy at times but it's heartwarming and Whoopi Goldberg plays her part very well. Most of the performances in the film are actually pretty good, from child actress Molly Majorino to Ray Liotta. The flaws I counted were due to exaggerated characters and developments.

Manny (Ray Liotta) is recently widowed. His daughter Molly (Tina Majorino) is traumatized from the death of her mother and hasn't spoken a word since. Manny decides to hire a nanny to look after Molly while he's at work, settling for Corrina (Whoopi Goldberg). Her unorthodox behavior has Molly warming up to her and she starts becoming part of the family.

At the beginning of the film we see a bunch of candidate nannies that are way over-the-top. It's a lineup of cartoons from a nanny that loves to drink all the time, to the frigid old bat that hates children but wants to look after them regardless to an insane woman who wants to replace the dead wife in every way you can imagine. Once those characters leave the picture (and thankfully they don't last long) we still have an annoying woman who is desperately pining after Manny who feels really unnecessary to the plot but her appearance is only in a side plot. Take away all those and I say you have a much better picture.

What works best in the movie is the relationship between Corinna and Molly. The two of them spend a lot of time together and you can really see the bonding that they go through. There is also a lot of emphasis on not judging people on their appearances (the film is set during the 1950's where there is abundant racism still present) so there's a nice sweet message along with the amusing love and friendship stories. The movie is satisfying and although there are a few hiccups there are also some good laughs and more than a few dramatic moments that will get to you. (On VHS, February 27, 2013)

"Corinna, Corinna" is a bit sappy at times but it's heartwarming and Whoopi Goldberg" plays her part very well. Most of the performances in the film are actually pretty good, from child actress Molly Singer to Ray Liotta and most of the unconvincing parts are due to them being written in a fashion that's way too exaggerated. At the beginning of the film we see a bunch of candidate nannies that are way over-the-top, from one that just loves to drink all the time, to the frigid old bat that hates children but wants to look after them regardless to an insane woman who wants to replace the dead "Singer" wife in every way you can imagine. Once those characters leave the picture (and thankfully they don't last long) we still have an annoying woman who is desperately pining after "Manny" who feels really unecessary to the plot but her appearance is only in a side plot.

What works in the movie is the relationship between "Corinna" and "Molly". The two of them spend a lot of time together and you can really see the bonding that they go through. There is also a lot of emphasis on not judging people on their appearances (the film is set during the 1950's where there is abundant racism still present) so there's a nice sweet message along with the amusing love and friendship stories. The movie is satisfying and although there are a few hiccups there are also some good laughs and more than a few dramatic moments that will get to you. (VHS, February 27, 2013)