Bradley T. Johnson's Profile - Rotten Tomatoes

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Rating History

Beauty and the Beast
5 days ago via Rotten Tomatoes
½

There is always some measure of tentativeness when approaching a live-action remake of a beloved Disney property. While the updates of Cinderella and The Jungle Book were both solid, Maleficent and Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland were overall mediocre efforts that failed to capture the special magic of Disney's animated films. The update of Beauty and the Beast has the most pressure as it is the first animated film to receive a Best Picture nomination and also one of the films many consider the best of Disney, however, this well-executed, occasionally masterful remake has both magic and romance. The story has been wisely lengthened to make the central romance develop stronger. The songs all remain intact, except one of my personal favorites "Human Again" which wasn't even technically in the original film until it was added later, and each song receives brilliant staging with highlights being "Gaston" and especially a dazzling, spectacular "Be Our Guest". The cast works very well with Emma Watson bringing subtle feminist touches to Belle and with whom possesses a nice if obviously autotuned voice, and Dan Stevens doing strong work in mainly CGI. The household objects are all delightful and each actor has a blast bringing the characters to life. Surprising performance highlights are brought by Luke Evans as Gaston who balances the cartoonish buffoonery with the eventual pure villainy quite well. Josh Gad is also fun, nailing the performance in the Gaston number. Occasional problems arise in the added material. Belle and Beast bond over their missing mothers which seems tacked on and some awkward dialogue creeps through in moments that involve obvious padding of the story. The film also has three new songs in the film, one of which is quite memorable ("Evermore"), and two which aren't ("Days in the Sun" and "How Does a Moment Last Forever"). Overall, Beauty and the Beast is a respectful and altogether sweepingly magical film. It's pure enchantment. Rating: 89

Doctor Strange
10 days ago via Rotten Tomatoes
½

Marvel has a strongly established formula and while Doctor Strange doesn't necessarily break away from this formula, it proves a witty, funny and well-executed addition. Benedict Cumberbatch is enjoyable and there is some creative action sequences. However, there is a nagging feeling of untouched potential for the character that will hopefully be fleshed out in newer iterations. Still, Doctor Strange is fast, thrilling and light enough to recommend for a Saturday matinee. Rating: 73

Kong: Skull Island
10 days ago via Rotten Tomatoes
½

Kong: Skull Island doesn't know if it wants to be a comedy or not. With that being established, it has one of the weakest screenplays for a blockbuster in recent memory. While no one sees a Kong movie for the script and characters, the film forces us to spend so much time with them, that we can't help but notice how thinly written the script is and how obnoxious and superfluous many of the characters are. The well-renowned actors in the film all turn in poorer performances than we are used to by their standards, and while there is some solid monster on monster action, they often are too short to get into and too improbable to believe their cinematic power. With the terrific Godzilla 2014, which wisely decided to take its subject and surroundings seriously and building the anticipation to a rousing crescendo, and now Kong: Skull Island, there is a Monsterverse forming that will eventually pit the two titular monsters against each other. Kong: Skull Island is a strange, messy and choppily directed film that has our fingers crossed for the upcoming films in the series. Rating: 51

Comet
Comet (2014)
21 days ago via Rotten Tomatoes
½

Justin Long and Emmy Rossum try very hard to sell Comet's zippy, phony script and misguided conceit, however, if the film is somewhat poignant in its depiction of modern relationships, it is also thin and overwrought, never feeling quite real enough to believe. Rating: 51

Woman in Gold
Woman in Gold (2015)
21 days ago via Rotten Tomatoes

Perfectly average old-fashioned fare, Woman in Gold is pleasant but a completely and utterly bland account of a woman reclaiming her heritage. It is somewhat bolstered by solid performances, but otherwise highly forgettable. Rating: 59