Andrew Milito's Profile - Rotten Tomatoes

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Rating History

Solaris
Solaris (2002)
1 day ago via Rotten Tomatoes
½

The various philosophical ideas of Solaris are unfortunately made null more often than not by an overall coldness in Steven Soderbergh's re-adaptation of the Russian novel. It's a deliberately slow story of lost love and what makes us human, but sadly, only to varying degrees of success. Clooney gives it his all with a solid performance, and the moments when the film's philosophic nature actually does work are profound, but a lack of focus of what it wants to say hinders it from reaching the heights of similar cerebral sci-fi. The lack of frantic happenings and a beautiful score from Cliff Martinez make it at least the kind of film that will grab you and soothe you, even if it fails to mentally stimulate you.

Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn
2 days ago via Rotten Tomatoes

It's easy to call a movie "unlike any other movie we've seen," but has it ever been more true than in the case of Evil Dead II? Ultra violent and ultra funny, Sam Raimi's much improved style of filmmaking and Scott Spiegel's deliciously twisted sense of humor makes this sequel/remake hybrid a blast of batshit proportions. It never takes itself too seriously (how can it when it features scenes of Bruce Campbell fighting with his own possessed hand?), but isn't too goofy to make the different horror moments and creature designs, brought to life in all of their practical effects glory, any less demented. Campbell himself chews all of the scenery he can, and hardly needs the supporting cast that eventually comes into play to keep this movie afloat. It's a horror-comedy classic for all the right reasons.

Hellboy
Hellboy (2004)
3 days ago via Rotten Tomatoes

Leave it to Guillermo del Toro to pick a more obscure property to bring to the big screen in the modern boom of the superhero movie. A truly unique romp in the genre, as to be expected from a Del Toro film, Hellboy's fantastical thrills and lighthearted tone make for a fun time, even when some narrative bumps rattle the experience. Del Toro's vision is at full force here: from the gothic-inspired cinematography to the brilliant costume work and make-up effects for the different character designs, the $66 million budget was put to good use. Hellboy himself is a delight, with Ron Perlman clearly having a blast through all of his cigar-chomping and paranormal threat-fighting. The main problem here stems from the plot, which unfortunately lacks the kind of perfectionist touch of the technical side of things. The narrative drive of the story - dealing with modern day Nazis planning world domination, as you'd expect from modern day Nazis - is really quite weak, and the entire threat Hellboy faces is muddled. Outside of an organic relationship between Hellboy and love interest Liz Sherman (Selma Blair) and the father-son dynamic of Hellboy and Broom (John Hurt), the ensemble is lacking in well-established characters. John Meyers is less of his own character than the eyes and ears of us, the viewers, as we're thrust into this unfamiliar fantasy world, the kind of character that rarely works in the medium of film. Amphibious wonder Abe Sapien is a quirky delight, which makes his increasing lack of screentime beyond the midpoint a huge disappointment, These sound like glaring issues, and in some ways they are, but the pairing of Del Toro and Perlman is too strong to succumb to them. A simple tightening of the film's structure might've done even greater wonders for what's already a wondrous and fresh film.

Devil
Devil (2010)
5 days ago via Rotten Tomatoes

A semi-promising concept that could make for a tense confined thriller is instead wasted on an entirely unexciting horror flick with hackneyed themes and stilted execution. It's easy to pin the blame on M. Night Shyamalan, who takes producer and screen story amidst his directorial slump, but it's much more fair to point fingers at actual screenwriter Brian Nelson and director John Erick Dowdle. Stretching the material as thin as it can and still barely able to make it to an 80 minute runtime, Devil is a completely soulless affair, cramming the elevator setting with five completely bland, and often downright unlikeable characters whom you share no positive emotion with as they're picked off one by one. Dowdle is less interested in building character and more so in rushing them all into the confined setting and showcasing lots of death sequences that pack no punch whatsoever. The few times he does attempt to give any depth to these characters or the story as a whole, it comes off as ham-fisted instead of emotionally powerful; as no stranger to emotional subtext to his fantastical stories, perhaps this is Shyamalan's doing, but no matter who's to blame, it never works. The film rarely works overall: some interesting camerawork and music aside, it's a dull and uninspired waste of an intriguing idea.