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Insipid buddy dramedy that is neither funny nor poignant
"Tammy" is proof that a great cast doesn't always make a great film.
The cast of "Tammy" is undoubtedly spectacular (Susan Sarandon, Allison Janney, Gary Cole, Dan Aykroyd, Kathy Bates), however the cast is wasted on an atrocious script.
"Tammy" tries to be both a drama and a comedy, but fails at both. The comedy fails because it simply isn't funny. The "jokes" in this movie are either unnecessarily crude or are nonsensical and vulgarity substitutes for wit. I never laughed once watching "Tammy", I never even cracked a smile. The drama fails because the characters are too unlikeable to care for. Tip for future writers: If you want us to sympathize with your characters; give us some reason to care about them.
The acting in this film is terrible despite it's talented cast. Melissa McCarthy's gives an obnoxious and unfunny performance as the title character. I can give a little credit to Susan Sarandon (who rarely gives a bad performance) as the title character's alcoholic grandmother. Sarandon appears to be trying to bring life to this lifeless character, but it doesn't work and her performance is unbelievably bland. Dan Aykroyd gives the worst performance in this film. Aykroyd doesn't have much screen time and it's obvious that he shot his scenes in one day. He looks like he doesn't want to be in this film (who would?), his performance feels rushed and it's almost as if the director was waving his cheque off-camera and he wanted to get off set as fast as possible.
Overall, "Tammy" is an unfunny, juvenile and insipid mess that is neither funny nor poignant with atrocious acting and an abysmal script.
One of the greatest films in the past ten years.
"Moon" is truly one of the greatest of all science fiction films.
Not since Ridley Scott's "Blade Runner" has a sci-fi film delivered a well-written and poignant commentary on the human condition.
Sam Rockwell's performance is truly spectacular as the lonely astronaut Sam Bell.
Also, worth noting is Kevin Spacey's voice-over performance as the ship HAL-like computer, GERTY.
His monotone voice adds a certain creepiness to the role making you feel uneasy and suspicious of the character.
Overall, "Moon is an outstanding sci-fi film and one of the greatest films to be released in the past ten years.
The Cruise (1998)
An exhilarating portrait of a fascinating man.
The Cruise is a 1998 documentary film focusing on Timothy Levitch, a tour guide for bus tours of New York City who became a local celebrity due to his unconventional and idiosyncratic commentary on the city. The film follows Levitch as he provides psychedelic interpretations of the city to tourists, philosophizes on life and accosts those who have wronged him-all at a frenetic pace.
Levitch's love for the city is obvious, his passion admirable and his philosophies interesting.
Overall, "The Cruise" is an exhilarating portrait of one of the most fascinating men to ever walk the Earth that's both hysterical and poignant. 8.5/10
The Guest (2014)
Decent, but misguided thriller
The Guest starts out as a well-made John Carpenter-esque psychological thriller, but slowly evolves into absurdity.
The first half moves at a slow, steady pace and unfolds with an unexplainable dread.... But, then we get to the second half.
The Guest goes from being an intelligent psychological thriller to a dumb and overly-violent B movie which would be fine if the first half showed any signs of doing so. Acting in this film is a mixed bag Dan Stevens as David is the shining point of this film. His performance is mysterious and captivating while also being frightening. Also, worth noting is Maika Monroe's performance as the daugther of the family who believes that David isn't who he appears to be. Lance Reddick's performance is pretty good, but it feels like he's just reprising his role from "Fringe". On the other side we have an atrocious performance from Leland Orser as the father of the family-he says every line like he's having a seizure while the director is sitting behind the camera aiming a shotgun at him (it also doesn't help that the character is incrediblly bland). Joel David Moore also turns in his typical bad performance.
The film's syntheizer soundtrack is fantastic and perfectly suits the tone of the film (Is it any coincendence that it sounds like it came straight from a John Carpenter film?).
Overall, The Guest is a decent, but misguided thriller that never really comes to a proper conclusion 6.5/10
My all-time favorite film
"Magnolia" is a brilliant exercise in creative filmmaking.
From it's opening moments in which Ricky Jay's narrator recounts three instances of incredible coincidences and suggests that forces greater than chance play important roles in life, "Magnolia" is a masterpiece.
Paul Thomas Anderson has created a work of art, an Altman-esque mosaic of interconnected poignant vignettes in which forgiveness is the common theme. Anderson, the best of modern filmmakers, holds us in his grasp and refuses to let us go.
The acting in this film is stellar. Every single actor gives a superb performance especially the late Jason Robards as a dying man and the late Philip Seymour Hoffman as his nurse.
The soundtrack composed almost entirely of Aimee Mann songs is spectacular and perfectly captures the mood of the film.
Overall, "Magnolia" is a masterpiece with incredibly human performances, tight editing, amazing camera-work, fantastic writing and a spectacular soundtrack. My all-time favorite film. 10/10
Batman & Robin (1997)
Worst feature-length adaptation of a comic book ever made.
Never before has one film completely misunderstood it's source material. "Batman & Robin" is supposedly a homage to the 60's Batman television series, but "Batman & Robin" is missing something that the television series had: charm. The (unfunny) one-liners and campiness come so fast in this film that the action takes a backseat to them. The performances in this film are a complete mess. George Clooney isn't playing Batman; George Clooney is playing George Clooney playing Batman. Not once does George Clooney feel like he's playing the Dark Knight. He's just the suave jerk he usually is. Chris O'Donnell seems like he's in a completely different movie. All he ever does is whine and act like an angst-ridden 13 year old. Arnold Schwarznegger's performance is easily the worst. He only exists to make unfunny ice puns and chew the scenery like no other, yet this film expects us to both sympathize and fear this character? Uma Thurman's, in of her few bad performances, gives a performance which is so hammy and over the top that John Lithgow would tell her to tone it down. Although, I have to give her some credit though as she seems to be the only actor having fun with her role in this film. Alicia Silverstone's performance isn't terrible, but she feels miscast as Batgirl. She doesn't really have the tough-girl personality of the comic book's vision of Batgirl. Visually, this film is spectacular. Gotham City has a marvelous design similar to the era of German expressionism and the works of F.W. Murnau. Overall, "Batman & Robin" is a poorly made comic book adaptation that shows no respect or understanding of it's source material. 3/10
Dancer in the Dark (2000)
Dancer in the Dark (2000)-dir. Lars von Trier
For some, "Dancer in the Dark" is viewed as one of the greatest films of all time, but for others, it's viewed as a melodramatic, pretentious mess. The film stars Björk as Selma-a Czech immigrant who suffers from a (unnamed) disease which is gradually causing her to go blind. She saves her money for an operation to prevent her son from going blind. The plot has been criticised for being overtly melodramatic and formulaic. The plot of "Dancer in the Dark" isn't anything exciting or original, but it works. "Dancer in the Dark" is a musical, though it hardly feels like one. "Dancer in the Dark" is a gut-wrenching, but not overtly sentimental tearjerker in which Björk completely immerses herself in her role as the natural and innocent Selma. Also, worth mentioning are the performances of Catherine Deneuve as Selma's best friend Kathy and Peter Stormare as her shy neighbor Jeff. I admired the simplicity of this film adherring the some of the rules of Dogme 95, a film movement created by von Trier (Dancer in the Dark's director) which aimed to create filmmaking based on the traditional values of story, acting, and theme, and excluding the use of elaborate special effects or technology in the hope that the industry would give the power back to the artist as opposed to the studio. "Dancer in the Dark" works as both a homage to the musical genre and as a tearjerker, if not a little melodramatic. 8/10
Ridiculous premise with hilarious build-up and predictable (yet fun) pay-off
The premise of this episode has Twilight Sparkle, having no luck finding information about the mysterious box from our last episode, goes to the old castle of the Princesses on Celestia's suggestion, finding its old library and a diary kept by the sisters that explains the workings of the castle. Meanwhile, Applejack and Rainbow Dash, trying to find who is the most daring, go to the castle which they believe is haunted by the Pony of Shadows to try to see who stays the longest, while Rarity takes Fluttershy along to the castle to look for old tapestry to repair. These four inadvertently get into several hijinks of traps and devices triggered by themselves, as well as an unknown pony playing on the castle's organ, get separated, and run scared through the castle. This episode starts off with jokes that are pretty weak and then halfway through the episode we get some great slapstick humor and some pretty funny gags. While anyone who watches this show religiously will find the ending predictable, it's still a pretty fun ending. Overall, it's a good, yet flawed episode.
Paranormal Activity 4 (2012)
Paranormal Activity 4 (2012)
Paranormal Activity-you either love or hate it, I fall under the latter. Paranormal Activity originally started out as a Blair Witch Project rip- off and for some reason it became incredibly popular and spawned a franchise which releases a sequel every year. Now, before this review starts I would like to point out there will be spoilers and if you are interested in seeing this, stop reading this review. The plot focuses on the exact same thing as the last 3 films did, a family moves into a house, a member of the family films every little thing that goes on in the house for some reason (Ricky Fits would even call them weird), They notice something creepy on the tape and some spooky things happen. Lets introduce our main characters shall we! We have: Alex: Our annoying teenage brat protagonist. She spends the whole film trying to look scared and swearing.
Ben: Alex's perverted, possibly pedophile boyfriend (There is no way this guy is 15.) He spends the film trying to get Alex nude, recording their video chats and breaking into her house. Charming.
Wyatt: Alex's adopted brother. He's almost a rip-off of Danny Torrance, there is even a scene where the have him ride a bike through the house. Every time he was on screen me and my friend would shout, "Redrum!"
Robbie: The son of Satan himself. He just spends the film walking around talking to himself and being creepy. I'd also like to add that this character kind of disappears from the film, they just put him on a bus and say, "SCREW THE PLOT, WE HAVE SOME SCARY CRAP TO SHOW YOU!"
Doug: Alex's father, played by the late Stephen Dunham. He really doesn't do much in this film, so there is no point in talking about him.
Holly: Alex's mother. This character is possibly one of the worst mothers ever put to screen, she leaves her 6 year old son in the bathtub with a laptop RIGHT BESIDE THE TUB (why the hell does a 6 year old have a laptop anyway!?) and knocks her daughter out with sleeping pills.
Now I'll cover the basics: Writing: The story is just a re-hash of the past 3 films which was a terrible story to begin with. All of the characters are flat and unlikeable and I just really didn't care what happened to them. The dialogue in this film is just atrocious, there are scenes which are simply here to explain words like "duckface" or explain what a "Kardashian" is. Oh, I forgot to mention there is a scene where Robbie draws a "triangle with a circle inside" on Wyatt's back, Alex and Ben are confused about this and decide to Google what it means and what do you know, it's some satanic crap, even stranger they find it AS THE FIRST RESULT. I have to bring up the ending as well, it ends with Alex running out of her house after discovering Wyatt is missing (while holding her laptop for some reason) and finds him in an old house (which for some reason have windows that are covered in Spanish newspaper.) creepily talking to himself, Alex then discovers this creature (Katie from the last 3 films) who then chases after her, she makes it outside where she discovers a large group of people with glowing eyes who then kill her (Village of the Damned, anyone?). This ending made no sense at all and had me thinking, "What the hell just happened?" I mentioned earlier that a new films is released every year, shows the thought process that goes into these films.
Directing: This whole film is filmed in that annoying shaky cam found footage style and some if it looks so bad, I'd swear it could have been scenes deleted from Julien Donkey-Boy because it looked too crappy.
Acting: Good god...the acting. This film has some of the worst acting I've seen in a horror film, our two protagonists (Alex and Ben)are the absolute worst. I have to admit the two kids (Wyatt and Robbie) gave decent performances, they not Marlon Brando or Spencer Tracy but they are good compared to everyone else.
Scares: Scares? What scares? This film relies on jump scares to "scare" you, the majority of these "scares" are false, there is a scene where Alex goes downstairs looking for Wyatt and then a chandelier falls from the ceiling, SCARY! The cat jumps in front of the screen several times, SCARY! The door slams, SCARY! The pedophile boyfriend is tackling Alex, SCARY! There is however, one that did work, there is a scene where the boyfriend is killed and the body is hid in the closet, Alex later comes home and tries to call him from her cellphone and hears his phone ring in her closet.
If you loved the last three Paranormal Activity films you would love this, if not you will hate it.
If you want a scary horror film watch Perfect Blue, Eraserhead, Psycho, Alien, The Shining, The Thing (1951 or 1982 remake), Les Diaboliques, The Exorcist, Rosemary's Baby, Nosferatu (1922 or 1978 remake) or George A. Romero's Living Dead series.
If you want a good modern horror film watch The Cabin in The Woods or American Horror Story (season 2 is the best).
If you want a good found footage film watch Cloverfield.
Just stay away from this (unless you are a fan).
If you are a fan of the show, you will love it. If you aren't...you might?
I just got back from my local theaters showing of My Little Pony: Equestria Girls. Being a fan of the show I didn't really know what to expect, I wanted to see it so I can see some of my favorite characters on the big screen, but in the back of my mind I was afraid this one turn into a generic, clichéd high school film. What I got was something much much more, this film is constantly trying to throw jokes and 90% of them work perfectly. There are also little nods to the fandom here and there for example there is a scene where the Cutie Mark Crusaders are listening to the CMC theme song on YouTube and my favorite gag was having Granny Smith as the school's cafeteria woman which made the whole theater laugh. The film also has a surprisingly diabolical villain not to give away anything but the last time we see her is unforgettable. I believe that this film could possibly be nominated for the best animated feature at the Academy Awards (although it probably won't win as Monster's University will be released next week).