Sean J.'s Profile - Rotten Tomatoes

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Rating History

The Wolfman
The Wolfman (2010)
6 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes

Mark Romanek was slated to direct the remake, but left because of creative differences. Frank Darabont (Shawshank Redemption) and Martin Campbell (Casino Royale) were interested in the rebirth, but Universal though selected Joe Johnston (Jumanji) to helm the film. After filming, Universal was shown the first version, then immediately called for reshoots and editing causing the film failed to impress, the reason why the movie was pushed back so many times. I just couldn't see why it was made out to be that bad. It had a strong cast and the first trailer shown seemed to give a lot of promise. I can see after watching The Wolfman why Romanek left before production and in the end, Universal was unsatisfied. What a letdown.

The Wolfman shape-shifts into a new story with some familiarities. When Lawrence Talbot hears about the disappearance of his brother, he returns to his ancestral home in the British village of Blackmoor. He is consumed by the need to find out what happened to his brother, but he should know better than to go mucking about during the full moon. No good can come out of that.

Benicio Del Toro as the afflicted Lawrence does a good job. He's still one of the most underrated actors in Hollywood to date. Anthony Hopkins as his malevolent father is vigorous and perfect for the role of is father. Supporting roles such as Emily Blunt and Hugo Weaving do an OK job so to say.

The setting is well inspired and right on cue with the re-created Victorian England. The darkened Talbot mansion and woods surrounding it are well inspired. We're also given a good score from the master composer, Danny Elfman.

Where The Wolfman really falls is the many plot holes, uneven pace throughout, and lack of suspense. It's hard not to talk about the plot holes without spoilers as far as where things went wrong. The writers should've taken more time to come up with better ideas in re-imagining a well known haunting story. Multiple loose ends in the storytelling only make you scratch your head once the credits roll. The pace of 'Wolfman' is odd itself. The film starts up high, then low. We see this up-down, up-down struggle through the entire movie. And finally, the film relies heavily on fake scares from sudden sounds and surprise movements rather than true suspense. Sometimes it's almost too quick to even consider screaming or jumping.

Not to mention, the werewolf looks somewhat like a scarier Chewbacca.

What emerges in the finally finished product of The Wolfman is a somewhat bore horror film and a tedious action-adventure thats special effect-laden. Maybe we'll be given a much better telling of the engaging horror story soon. It's simply a series not worth ignoring.

Edge of Darkness
6 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes

Edge of Darkness marks the return of Mel Gibson from an eight year hiatus from acting. This is the perfect film for his return to screen at what he does best.

His noticeable hairline and lined forehead fit well with his character Thomas Craven, a police detective whose only passion in life is Emma, his the 24-year-old daughter he raised alone. Gibson is able to project experience, sadness, and grieving strength so well. It works greatly for his part as a veteran Boston detective who must solve the mystery of his daughter's death.

As the story evolves into a complicated and slightly familiar crime and political thriller, the film loses some steam. Still, its pacing is necessary for a story that blends emotion with suspense.

Craven embarks on a mission to unravel secrets in his daughter's professional and personal life. We get only hints in the first few scenes, all flashbacks of her childhood. Thomas is undoubtedly single, and there is no reference to Emma's mother. The absence of this is fine considering what we're given already. It would've just added another element to a film that gives us enough to handle.

From the beginning, when Thomas goes to meet Emma at the train station, we find ourselves something is up. As soon as Emma appears looking a little pale and dismisses everything, we know something much worse is afoot.

Martin Campbell (who directed Casino Royale and is next directing Green Lantern) doesn't shy away from anything as far as Thomas' path. At often times it includes brutality and cruelty in intense action scenes. None of which are short of great. They deliver and include to Campbell's resume of his great filmmaking.

Though plot holes are noticeable, they're backed by strong supporting performances from Ray Winstone as a mysterious consultant and Danny Huston as a head corporate honcho.

Gibson's performance as a grieving father and sharp detective is superb and propels the film. Edge of Darkness is a well-crafted thriller that gives us the vintage Gibson we all know and love. It's good to have him back again.

Sleepy Hollow
Sleepy Hollow (1999)
6 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes

Tim Burton knows when to give us the creepy atmosphere in movies and Sleepy Hollow is no let down. The legendary tale of a headless horseman riding a steed chopping off people's heads brought to the screen delivers a really good batch of entertainment and intrigue.

The story has been changed from the original out line just a little bit. School teacher no longer, the film's Ichabod Crane is now a crusading 1799 crime-stopper, a hotshot Manhattan constable who believes in rational methods of detection that his superiors neglect. Despite being a self-satisfied know-it-all, Depp's Ichabod is always engaging and his increased discomfort level as the film progresses is rather amusing. Crane's superiors don't agree with his advanced ideas, however, and they assign him to a dead-end case in the isolated farming community of Sleepy Hollow in the wilds of upstate New York. Three people have had their heads chopped off and Crane has to figure out who the culprit is. The story unfolds with much to follow on, but keeps you very interested and wondering what happens next.

The tag line 'Heads Will Roll' is more than a clever tag line for Tim Burton's great adaptation, but a hauting truth. With more than a dozen decapitations to its credit, the film surely made its creator happy, but how pleased others will be depends on their tolerance for blood and gore is another question. But in my opinion, it's nice to see this version very dark rather than light on the tale such as this.

What makes Sleepy Hollow such a worthy film of seeing is often carried by its brooding, weird-like atmosphere, enhanced by composer Danny Elfman, with excellent production design of houses,and not to mention art direction. Also, the supporting characters are all convincing and do a fine job.

Though it scares start out on the genteel side, the film gets creepier as the film goes on and Burton, doing what he does best: give the bizarre atmosphere that gives us a great perspective and full-fledged amusement that doesn't stop.

The Maltese Falcon
6 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes

One of the best examples of action and suspenseful melodramatic story telling in true form. What unfolds is an intriguing and entertaining murder mystery. The film gives an unprecedented appeal to all types of the audience. It displays outstanding excellence in writing, direction, acting, and editing showing what The Maltese Falcon is once the finally frame closes to 'The End': A cinematic masterpiece that will stand the test of time.

John Huston makes his debut as a director after several years as a film writer. His debut into the directorial world is nothing short of noteworthy. Not to mention he wrote the script solo with no help whatsoever.

Humphrey Bogart is one of the best actors of all time no doubt. In 'Falcon', as an attention-arresting detective, it might be his second best film he's ever acted in. Only behind Casablanca. Bogart not only dominates the proceedings throughout, but is the major motivation. The film is made up almost entirely of talk, and yet the performances are so wonderfully acted and focused that conversations become the pure action of the movie. Mary Astor does a superb job in the role of an adventuress, whose double-crossing, well, you'll have to see it to get what I'm saying. Sydney Greenstreet, a prime member of the Lunt-Fontaine stage troupe, who does a tremendous job in his first acting appearance (it earned him an Oscar nomination). The scenes we're shown where Bogart's character counter's Greenstreets are powerful where neither lay down a finger.

The story begins with private detective Bogart is called in to handle a case for Mary Astor-shortly finding himself in the middle of double-crossing intrigue and several murders perpetrated by strange characters bent on obtaining the famed bejeweled statue, the Maltese Falcon. Keeping within bounds of the law, and sparking much gathering up on the loose ends and finally piecing them together, Bogart is able to solve a series of crimes for the benefit of the police and himself included. The movie swiftly goes through a series of attention-holding episodes (most done in a nice interior shot areas) to crack through to an unexpected climax.

You should at least see this one time before you die as it truly is something that started a wave of great suspense and dialogue driven movies.

The Maltese Falcon is a rarity in movie making. As Bogart's character famously said in 'Falcon' that we all have come to know and can be made as what this film is: "The stuff that dreams are made of."

A landmark in Hollywood that should never be forgotten.

Zombieland (2009)
6 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes

Zombieland has a lot of attraction with so much mayhem going on. Ludicrous as it sounds, a film featuring rampaging, blood-oozing zombies a great cast, including Little Miss Sunshine blasting caps off of undead body parts that are available makes for delightful entertainment. This road trip/horror/dark comedy/romance/action film hybrid is a bloody, disgusting blast. Not to mention it's wickedly fun.

The four characters have so much appeal as the main survivors in a post-apocalyptic world populated with the walking dead. We're given a fearless Woody Harrelson, nerdy Jesse Eisenberg, sexy Emma Stone and sunshine-known Abigail Breslin. All are superb in their roles.

Columbus (name given from the city he's from) is played by Eisenberg, a fearful geek who never can get a girl. You can't but help but like the guy. In an early scene, it looks as if his life-long spell of bad luck with girls is about to end when a hottie neighbor shows up at his door in need of assistance. But this is a zombie movie, indeed. Columbus soon meets Tallahassee (Harrelson), a fearless cowboy, who loves eating Twinkies as much as the undead love devouring human flesh. The two have great chemistry for an offbeat duo. They also indulge us with some of the best dialogue in the film. Not only is their dialogue good, but throughout the movie that offers up plenty laughs.

The two meet sisters (Stone and Breslin), both of which are double crossing and great to engage with once the film picks up into high gear.

Thanks to the stylish direction of Ruben Fleischer, the zombies are often terrifying, spewing bodily fluids and bent on consuming the remains of humanity.

One of the best sequences takes place at an amusement park (maybe the best). All the violence and zombie body count is nothing short of glorious. Other hoots from the movie include the "Zombie kill of the week", nicely shot slow-mo credits at the beginning, and a great cameo halfway through the movie.

The only problem (yes, the only one) I have with this movie is I only wish it could've been a little longer.

Columbus offers many of rules that are shown throughout the movie (another great thing to like about this appealing zombie flick). But if there's anything that you should take from Zombieland, it's one thing and one thing only: enjoy all the fun you can have.