2 items from 2016
"If there is one thing worse than being offered bad scripts it's being offered none at all," Michael Caine once noted - an admission that might explain some of the roles he's taken on over his long and often wonderful career.
Michael Caine may have attained national treasure status now, but from the late 70s to the middle of the 90s, classic roles like Dr Frank Bryant in Educating Rita and Scrooge The Muppet Christmas Carol were interspersed with some - shall we say - less acclaimed movies. Yet even when the production values were awful, the script stank and the films flopped, Michael Caine's performances often remained fascinating. This isn't to say he was necessarily putting his heart and soul into them - »
Rob Zombie truly loves horror movies. But he still hasn’t made a good one, and “31” is a perfect encapsulation of the reasons why: It’s a fanboy’s highlight reel of homages, without any of the credibility or context that made most of the films he’s inspired by so fine. Those who liked his first narrative features, “House of 1000 Corpses” and “The Devil’s Rejects,” will probably enjoy his latest, which feels like a mash-up of the two (as well as numerous older films). But for others, this energetic exercise in forced badassery will be too silly and self-conscious to feel genuinely edgy, despite all the blood spilt and familiar taboos violated. (You know something’s wrong when your reaction to one character’s entrance is “Oh. A Nazi killer dwarf. That figures.”) As with Zombie’s prior efforts outside the “Halloween” reboots, this looks destined for »
- Dennis Harvey
2 items from 2016
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