Michael Vanderpoel's Profile - Rotten Tomatoes

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Rating History

Brooklyn's Finest
5 years ago via Flixster

Director Antoine Fuqua's latest treads a thin line between tragic and gritty and outright depressing. This is a gloomy film to be sure, everyone is either a cop, murderer, drug dealer or prostitute and there is no glimpse of sunshine, so to speak, in Fuqua's Brooklyn. I am a big fan of Fuqua, from his John Wooesq debut with The Replacement Killers to the classic cop drama Training Day, to the very underrated Bruce Willis war actionier Tears of the Sun, and in my opinion shared by few brillant telling of the round table King Arthur. His resume has shown time and time again he is more than competent and always brings out solid performances from his leads. Hawk is perhaps the strongest of three leads, but Gere and Cheadle are very convincing in their roles as well. Unfortunately, despite the admirable development of these characters, the ordinary narrative leaves little question about where their respective paths are headed. We also get a blazing comeback from the one and only Wesley Snipes (who looked like he walked right out of prison onto the set) as a criminal and friend of Cheadle. Rounding off the talented main players is Showtime's Brotherhood Brian F. O'Byrne as fellow cop and friend and Will Patton as Cheadle's lone remaining contact to the just world he feels is fading away. Ellen Barkin giving a wonderful performance showing off more balls then half the leads and Vincent D'Onofrio gives a short but sweet opener. As I have iterated many times, it is the stellar work from the key players that makes Brooklyn's Finest worth your time. If only the despair had been laid on a little less thick and the stereotypes that make up the three main characters polished with a bit more inventiveness, Brooklyn's Finest could have been a classic in the making. Instead we get only what we would expect; a gritty, bloody and well acted police drama. Brillant film that had potential to be even better.

Lockout (2012)
5 years ago via Flixster

What a let down. While the concept of this is creative, it never comes across original. The action scenes are never really intense or "OH MY GOD" but they don't fail either. Just nothing really stands out and they are over and done with quickly. But Guy Pearce's take on an action hero is great. Take John McClane a week after the Die Hard movie. Everything is healed but he's just exhausted and lazy right now. That's Pearce in this. Normally you'd expect Nicholas Cage to be in this role and ruining it. The two main villains are very interesting and deserved a better movie then this. In fact little is really done with them which really missed a great opportunity. Both of them have a cold-blooded edge that could have made for an effective R-rated ransom thriller reminiscent of late '90s films like Air Force One, but the devil-may-care attitude of the entire movie ultimately clashes with these darker moments, even though they do make you take the movie more seriously than you would otherwise. Some of the subplots are poorly fleshed out and some of them seem to have been forgotten about. What could have been something really special and stand outish turns into mediocre. It's worth a watch but you also won't feel heartbroken about missing it either.

Dawn Rider
Dawn Rider (2012)
5 years ago via Flixster

What utter garbage. Stupid plot, flat acting, ridiculous inconsistencies, modern dialogue far removed from period correct, empty characters, the list of bad qualities goes on. The entire production is really lousy. There are giant holes in the story line that get filled with the kind of convenience elements a high school level writer would utilize. Christian Slater came across more like a 10-year old playing cowboy then being a cowboy. I tried really hard to care about any of the characters but they were so thin that there wasn't anything to care about. Phoned in performances from Southerland and Slater were a huge disappointment. Fuck this movie.

Chronicle (2012)
5 years ago via Flixster

A lot of people I know weren't interested in this because of the whole lost footage documentary style. And understandable. It's a style that has over stayed it's welcome and really limits a film in story telling, character development, and cinematography. But being that this film is about 3 high school students that gain telekinesis abilities brings forth more creative ways of handling a film this way. So eventually the camera follows the three teenagers around. So you lose the shaky camera problem. All three of them are characters you become familiar with them instead of just one of them being there to hold the camera. The story leaves some questions unanswered like what exactly was in the cave and what is up with the nose bleeds. Maybe something is being saved for a sequel. But despite that the story is still well done. It focuses on the varying paths they take with their new found talent, but not until they have had some juvenile fun with it first. Which make for some of the best moments. The harmless prank pulling and playing football 10,000 feet in the air. Things that teenagers would really do with the power. But that comes to an end and a great nature vs. nurture theme comes along that really takes each character on their individual path. Everyone does a good job but Dane DeHaan really takes it over and makes it his movie. The special effects aren't anything special but when you take in to consideration that this had a shoestring budget it really is a great achievement in low budget filmmaking.