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Stan Against Evil (2016)
Of course its a ripoff of Ashe versus Evil Dead but who cares?
And the title makes it clear Dana Gould doesn't care either. Evil Dead is its own genre and except for a movie called House from 1985 I don't recall much else in that narrow niche. Multiple zombie series, multiple vampire series, so why not multiple cheesy supernatural splatter series? John McGinley is a great choice for the lead too. I have to agree with those who say the length isn't enough.They barely have time to tell the story before its done.
Keep it coming!
Didn't get it
I kind of think they wanted a little bit of Transporter, maybe a bit more of The Professional. What I saw was a main character that spoke so little he seemed mentally handicapped at times (no exaggeration). The driving aspect was shot to minimize the "car chase" theme but in so doing they took an element of excitement away. Good that they stayed away from Gone in 60 Seconds corn, but they didn't have to go quite that far. He hardly speaks to the love interest, so her interest in himis almost confusing. Anyways. not a bad film but this has to be Goslings most wooden performance yet although he didn't write it so I am not blaming him.
Horrible Bosses (2011)
Decent but probably not worthy of the cast.
Having recently watched Hangover 2 and Bad Teacher with mixed feelings I was actually looking forward to this film. Having watched it, I can't quite see where the strong reviews came from. Not as formulaic as Bad Teacher but not particularly clever. Spacey was just okay, Aniston was better, and Farrell was very good(but too little screen time for his contemptible character). I am not sure if Sudeikis wasn't carrying his weight or if it was the writing but he was easily the most replaceable of the leads. His lines just seemed like another SNL bit. I don't remember Charlie Day from any other work but he definitely injected some life into the film. Not bad for sure, but not something I would recommend you pay theatre prices for unless you go every weekend. Not as bizarre as Hangover or as crazy as Bridesmaids, but a few pretty good laughs.
Aging supermodel wins MMA title
I would have given it a 6.5 if there was a way to do it but I rounded up. The action scenes were definitely the weak point because it isn't a cartoon like Lara Croft. Angelina is simply too frail and unathletic to be Ms Jason Bourne. It was like watching adult males being tossed around by a 12 year old and she did it for the entire movie. They could have written around the physical scenes better. Aside from that it was a nice bit of cold war suspense and the strong cast did the best that they could. It wasn't utterly predictable and it is not a copy of the Bourne Identity. The role was written for a male lead but they did a nice job in adapting it for a female. I hope it does well enough in the box office to support a sequel because it was a decent popcorn movie.
I saw this one based on a very positive Rotten Tomatoes review. I usually shy away from SNL cast movies as most are pretty weak but gave it a shot. I actually like the MacGruber skits on SNL. What you will get is closer to the Ladies Man than Ron Burgundy. The character is taken from the skit, but the movie wanders away from even that weak sauce most of the time. The MacGyver spoof concept had some potential but it is more of a bad Naked Gun with Forte's bathroom humour replacing Neilson's Mr McGoo bumbling. Most of the acting with the exception of Wieg was pretty good, but there was just not much worth laughing at, even if you have a crude sense of humour. The is a marginal renter.
Inglourious Basterds (2009)
Entertaining but not his best
I am a huge QT fan so went expecting a lot. My short take is that if you want something as fresh as Pulp Fiction or as eye popping as Kill Bill you will be disappointed. This film plods painfully along in the first half, setting up the later story but not in a slick way like his earlier work. It almost stumbles through the usual QT violence (although less gratuitously than you might expect from the trailers) before flowing nicely for the last half hour. It is like the first half of the film was edited by a student. Brad Pitt is a caricature and most of his band of merry men are not very well developed. The villain is maybe the best fleshed out and most interesting. Not to say Pitt isn't good because you want to laugh every time he opens his mouth and he looks like he's having fun. Not bad by any means but QT and Brad Pitt together set the bar pretty high and I don't think they quite reach it. Pitt's Italian dialogue is memorable.
Observe and Report (2009)
2nd best mall cop movie this year -mild spoiler
It started out as a comedy and then kind of got weird in the middle as the main character's life unravels. The laughs all but disappeared, and the events began to get unlikely and then completely unbelievable. It starts off as a light comedy and then gets way too awkward and uncomfortable and can't bounce back. Rogan's character should have been in jail for various violent crimes and I think if you want to suspend reality for that, you still need to sew things together in some fashion to explain how he dodged prison time. Also Rogan starts off as a bit funny and likable but that wears off pretty quick sort of coming to a head when he blows up at work and then he is barely tolerable for the rest of the movie. You can't really see anything that would make the love interest want to be with him much less pursue him. Some laugh out loud moments, mostly early on, but not enough. Bad writing wastes a good cast
Quantum of Solace (2008)
Unexpectedly weak compared to CR
I looked forward to this film more than any other this year so maybe my own expectations set me up. From the cacaphonous Jack White theme music through the drudgy first 45 minutes I never got a feel for what the director was trying to do. It felt more lke a straight sequel than a standalone film and may have turned off as many new Bond fans as CR brought in. No issues with Craig, and his female costar was a lot better than I was expecting but looking back it was like an episode of 24, with a slightly more resolved ending. Bad writing or bad directing I am not sure. The fact that he wasn't pronging every woman in sight and remains true to the character established in his first film shows the new Bond is still on the right track but the next flick will be most critical in the franchise. I just can't picture anyone who hadn't seen CR even understanding what was happening in this picture.
Where is all the disapproval coming from?
I went to this show expecting nothing from all the harsh reviews. I was pleasantly surprised. It wasn't a typical episode but they weren't trying to reinvent it either. Perhaps people were hoping it would be more like the better creature episodes, as had been hinted at long ago. I know I was. A bit more violent police drama and less space invaders. Thank god the mythology was left out(since they killed most of the recurring faces that part was easy.) I bought the entire TV series last winter and powered through it, so I think my head is still close enough to what the TV show was all about. I liked it, more than the first movie for sure, and a lot more than I expected to. I hope they make another!
Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (2004)
A nice wrap up to the chaos of the first one.
I enjoyed the first one somewhat. Good cast, and Tarentino quirky with over the top villains but a surplus of the red stuff. I went to Vol 2 expecting more of the same and was very surprised. Reduced splatter, plot and actions explained! This really does elevate the total package to near excellence. I could see people who were put off by Vol 1 not seeing 2 at all. That is a real shame, but these were not originally conceived as two separate movies, and the slaughterhouse action of Vol 1, while way too heavy handed, was meant to be tempered by the slower paced exposition of Vol 2. A solid 8 but allow enough time to watch both halves.
The Ruins (2008)
I was trying to identify what made this movie a dud. From the writer of "A Simple Plan" complete with a good looking cast who have enough talent that they are more than just faces(and bodies). Some neat aspects to the horror part. Nothing that has been done too much and not a typical horror theme. But when you get near the end and the climax happens. You know, where Sigourney Weaver is running through the self destructing space ship, or Jamie Lee Curtis character is in a mad dash to escape Michael Myers, or where Naomi Watts is down that strange well and the body appears there? That doesn't happen here. There is no heart in the mouth chase from unspeakable horror. The show doesn't actually have a climax. It's like they ran out of money or accidentally cut it out. I could think of a number of ways the inside of a labyrinth like pyramid might be used to give a film an exciting climactic finish. Apparently the director couldn't. I give it a 6 for the positives noted above, and the fact that with horror the bar is set pretty low. A decent renter though.
Shoot 'Em Up (2007)
Beautiful faces. Awful movie.
This thing was torture. I found myself laughing in areas not meant to be at all funny. Monica Bellucci is not a very good actress, at least in English. The more she speaks the worse it gets. The stunts by Owens character were utterly ridiculous. It would have been more believable dropping him from an airplane with no parachute. I like Clive Owen and I love action movies but the script was just plain corny and it had an unbelievable plot. Again,Bellucci should avoid speaking roles. An okay renter I suppose, but utterly without cleverness. The worst movie of 07 for me. There is a scene in Transporter 2 where the main character flips a car through the air to scrape off a bomb attached to the bottom of the car on a crane hook. I thought that was the stupidest gag I had ever seen in an A movie until the BMW vs van clip from this film.
The Simpsons Movie (2007)
Just a stretched out episode
And not a particularly good one. The animation was better and there was some of the usual humor but it really had no more laughs than most of the episodes. I can't imagine it that it would have taken them any longer than two weeks to write it. Most of the funnier moments have already been shown in the trailers. This is one of my favorite TV shows but as a movie it left me looking for more. It isn't as though they have to surpass the series with some kind of masterpiece, but any fan of the TV show will be hard pressed to say they don't recall several episodes that were funnier than this movie. They did nothing different except to extend the scenes a bit more than the TV show. I recommend you wait and RENT IT!
Spider-Man 3 (2007)
Not bad except for that hour in the middle:) Too much cryin, not enough dyin. The story just kind of wanders all over the place, like it was written by someone who had never seen what a movie script looks like. Probably the worst superhero movie I have ever seen and I really liked the first two. Too many villains, and Peter Parker's social ineptitude is getting really old. At the end I didn't really care about any of the characters, although the Sandman villain was the most interesting. It will take some real damage control to get people to think Sam Raimi is the genius they said he was after the first two films. Maybe another Evil Dead sequel will make people forget this dog.
The best laughs are in the trailers.
Seriously, some of the jokes in the trailers do not appear in the film. I still enjoyed it but the early hype had this as more than it turned out to be. Ferrell is his funny self, but much of the film is a long SNL skit. A bit of the warmth and the over the top silliness that Ferrell fans watch him for, and a total waste of John C. Reilly's talents. It probably would have been funnier if they had left the French race car driver as a total villainous stereotype rather than showing bits of good character and reasonableness. An good video rental when the time comes, but there are better comedies to see in the theatre right now.
If you enjoyed the movie at all read the book. The director didn't!
If you are a Clive Cussler fan you will probably not like the film. It reminds me of the early Golan Globus stuff with Chuck Norris. Long on action, short on script, and corners in the budget cut wherever possible. Cussler is not a gifted writer, but rather an idea man. His books thread a bunch of interesting subplots together to make a loosely connected whole. They are not heavy reading by any means and should adapt fairly well to the screen. There was so much sliced out of this story it bears only a slight resemblance to the story it was based on, as Cussler himself has commented. Too bad because the hack job done on Sahara will likely prevent any further Dirk Pitt adventures from becoming movies. McConnaghy does do a passable job as the main character and could have made this a great franchise.
Weak, even for a video game adaptation
The creature affects were the low point of this one which is a bad omen for a movie about killing monsters. A couple of reviews mentioned Predator and Alien in comparison. This film is not in the same ballpark unfortunately. The sets and effects, outside of some of the lame monsters were pretty good and this was a pretty good cast for the type of film. The problem was the monsters, in addition to, being kind of funny looking, just weren't that scary. Both the Alien and the Predator were hardly shown in their films, yet the monster's pursuit of the humans built the excitement. In Alien and Predator over half the films were the monster stalking the characters. The results were intense, and the revealing of the creatures in the end was climactic. A simple formula that would have fit in well here, but alas, too complex for the director to figure out. A bit of editing and maybe ten minutes of new footage and this one could have been a surprise hit. As it is DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY SEEING THIS ON IN THE THEATRE! Rental only!
Batman Begins (2005)
Batman de-mystified. Not necessarily the tour de force some critics are calling it
I liked this movie. Christian Bale. as many others will tell you. seems a perfect fit for the role. The supporting cast, while not having a Jack Nicholson, are very impressive and perform as expected. I don't see this film as better than the 1989 version though. Just as Batman is now shown to have more realism and humanity as a fully fleshed out character, so are the villains. Nobody in this film is larger than life, including Bale, and things seem to be pulled away from the comic book roots. The villains are sort of a lukewarm bunch, not poorly acted, but not particularly scary or menacing and when they get their just desserts, they seem a lot more like just criminals than the personification of evil. And for all the menace of the Batman persona I am not sure I recall seeing a drop of blood except in an early scene involving Bruce Wayne prior to Batman. He is "dark", to be sure, but mostly just knocks out the bad guys or ties them up much like the campy Adam West character. The audience wasn't cheering when the bad guys paid the price, and in fact, nobody seemed to much care. I also found the movie a bit slow to get started, but that might be because I was subconsciously comparing it to Burtons first. I could live with the pace, because the character had to be thoroughly introduced as this will be the first of several new Batman films. BUT to rate better than a 7 with me the bad guys have to actually be EVIL, and Batman has to be willing to want to do more than just arrest people. Michael Keaton was a scarier customer than the new guy, and seemed to me to be truer to the comic book origins.
Sin City (2005)
Stunning violence. Cartoons brought to life.
I don't know what I expected but this movie blew me away. Bruce Willis was excellent and he was the fourth best actor in the film. Other worldly is how I would describe it. What the movies Darkman and Spawn aspired to. It would have been a 10 for me but the Bruce Willis segment was a bit weaker and a bit more predictable. Graphic violence but softened to the senses by the black and white. The prosthetic makeup twists the features of some familiar faces into the cartoon characters they want us to see. Memorable and unique but a lot of splatter. It was a good enough film that I would see the sequel in a heartbeat but so different from everything else out there that it would be a shame not to just leave it as the one of a kind film that it is.
The Village (2004)
Watchable but not scary enough.
After the silliness of Signs, "hit em with a baseball bat and a glass of water" this film is a bit of a return to form the director. Unfortunately, that means more buildup and less payoff than ever. I liked it but I have to wonder if a lot of the spookiness was lost on the cutting room floor. A really strong cast but no meat in any of the roles except for Hurt and Howard. Bryce Howard has inherited her father's disturbed apple pie face and some of his talent. If you think Shyamalan directs horror movies you will be disappointed. If you don't judge it be the standard set by Sixth Sense it is definitely worth a look.
The Bourne Supremacy (2004)
Really quite good, despite some Blair Witch camera work
I have not read the books and thought the first movie in this series was better than average, but nothing special. This one is a lot stronger, and is a stand alone effort that does not require you even see the first film. There are some combat and car chase scenes that have kind of a jerky, piecemeal affect that makes them harder to follow than they should be, but that is the only weak spot in the whole film. I am still having trouble with Matt Damon as a deadly assassin but he is a heavyweight actor and his situation grabs you and holds you through to the last scene. Very good supporting work from Brian Cox and Joan Allen. I believe there was a trilogy of books by this author, and if so I can't wait for the next one.
Batman & Robin (1997)
What on earth were you people expecting?
I agree this flick was the weakest of the series with 2/3 of the voters on this site rating the film below a 5. BUT 27% of us voted this a 1?
I can see being bitter about the loss of Tim Burton and Michael Keaton but come on. If you are one of the people who rated this thing a 1 out of 10 then you are required to : 1) run from room immediately or 2) through an object at your TV should it ever come on the small screen.
If you don't do one of the above then your vote was wasted. What does a 1 for this film mean about Gigli, White Chicks, Showgirls, Blair Witch 2, Battlefield Earth,The Avengers,The Sweetest Thing, Ballistic Ecks vs Sever, Grease 2, Shanghai Surprise, Ishtar, Wild Wild West, The Haunting, Idle Hands, Cabin Fever, or the remake of Rollerball? Voting a 1 here doesn't mean anything when there are a bunch of other movies out there that are so awful you want to punch out the person that sold you the ticket. Not saying we should all fatten up this turkey with 9s and 10s but a 1 really implies you haven't seen anything much worse, and I unfortunately can't say anything like that.
Spider-Man 2 (2004)
Doc Ock pulls this one out of the fire!
I don't have much good to say about the first half of this movie. Spider angst, no organizational skills, and no social skills threaten to make Peter Parker into one of the great losers of cinematic history. And then the director beats on that concept like a rented mule. He is almost such a shmuck you don't care whether he succeeds or not, which is probably not the target response for your hero. Huge gaps in logic as Spidey's strength comes and goes but ending in a feat of strength so impressive, you absolutely know Sam Raimi has never read one of the comic books that generated his leading man, nor has he considered how that one feat conflicts with any other physical limitation the character has ever shown. Alfred Molina is a breath of fresh air into what starts out as a pretty silly movie. He steals every scene he is in and to me is as good a supervillain as Jack Nicholson was in the original Batman(high praise, for a smaller part). The movie starts out as a video rental but pulls together so strong at the finish that I have to recommend it, although this one seems more geared to older teens than the single digit fans of the first film.
The Terminal (2004)
Pretty average stuff for Hanks and Spielberg
I was having doubts about whether this film was must see in the theatre or if it could wait for the rental. I assumed incorrectly that it would be more than a smarmy romance comedy because of Spielberg's involvement. You could have plugged Billy Crystal into the Tom Hanks role and not missed a beat. Lightweight stuff. I emjoyed it a little more the Lady Killers but but I wish I had waited for the video. Just a paycheck for Hanks.
More of the same
A little disappointing after some of the really good reviews this film got. I saw it a week after Shrek 2 and it pales in comparison. The three main characters are a little older and instead of being impressive child actors they seem little more than average. By the next sequel the two boys will have trouble playing their characters ages. It really had the feel of a Walt Disney TV movie. Kind of a jazzed up Bednobs and Broomsticks. Still the demographic it is aimed at is 13 year olds and it should continue to impress that age group. I would still recommend it for 16 year olds and under but DO NOT GET CAUGHT UP IN THE HYPE! It is not as good as the first film and you will probably be disappointed if you go in expecting that.