Reviews written by registered user

8 reviews in total 
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Riddick (2013)
27 out of 51 people found the following review useful:
Abandoning Chronicles to remake Pitch Black, 6 September 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Chronicles thoroughly abandoned Pitch Black, but was forgiven for executing well on Chronicle's expansive new playing field. So it's now utterly bewildering why Twohy and Diesel now abandon the inherent opportunities of that richly-appointed stage in order to serve up a predictable and boring reprise of Pitch Black when so much potential loomed out there in the darkness.

And why? We've already seen this movie. Was it a lack of budget? A lack of the creative vision necessary to follow through on Chronicles? I am personally left thinking it must be the former, but still, why circle back to kill a horse you've already left for dead in the first movie? It makes no sense, feels like clumsy thematic lurching, and represents the wasting of an opportunity which doesn't come along every day.

So from where I sit, we (Twohy, Diesel, and us fans) all lose out in this weak offering. I wanted so much more from this movie and instead left the theater just as parched and starving as one surely would if marooned on a deserted planet bereft of all hope.

4 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
The franchise has become a forgettably undead.., 19 September 2012

I'm a scifi/adventure junkie and will forgive Milla anything, but this is just mindless dreck pandering from one rote scene to the next with a complete absence of anything noteworthy or of interest. And Anderson is obviously too tired of it all to give us any reason to care about either the characters or the story (limited as it is). Overall this installment made 'Doom' seem like a veritable 'Gone With The Wind' by comparison and that isn't easy to do.

With creativity the first casualty after the opening sequence Anderson has undeniably delivered up a movie as forgettable as the most droll of his zombies and leaving franchise badly infected by the banal. Milla deserves better than this and I can only hope Anderson takes better care of her off the screen than on it.

1 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
The Marvel Team delivers a top-notch series home run..., 4 May 2012

This movie was absolutely a masterpiece of direction. Josh Whedon literally knocks them out of the park again and again. This movie has an opinion, a vision and a determination to deliver on them in spades. GO SEE THIS MOVIE!

It's to Marvel's credit that they managed to pulled off the long windup of movies presenting each of the individual characters as well as they did (even if it's taken them a few tries on the Hulk...). There choices of directors has been relatively spot on both for pulling off the individual movies, but also to deliver enough stylistic continuity across all the movies such that they could eventually all come together in the The Avengers.

Joe Johnston, Ang Lee, Louis Leterrier, Jon Favreau, and even Kenneth Branagh (almost unbelievably) all did stand-up work setting the stage for this film. Of the bunch, I personally think Jon Favreau really hit the nail on the head and set the tone for this movie with his stellar work on Iron Man and Iron Man 2.

Kudos to the Marvel Team for sticking with it all and delivering a home run at the end of the series.

[ Sidebar: Oh, and Hunger Games was a complete and utter creative failure in both vision and execution compared to this movie. In fact, it's quite a shame it was put out at all as it has now set such an amazingly low bar for what should have been the real deal - like this movie is... ]

Lockout (2012)
3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
'Doom' was close along these lines..., 14 April 2012

But Guy Pierce simply isn't the Rock or even Karl Urban for this role, and even if he was, the casting was way light in numbers of identifiable characters for the genre of film where characters you care about or hate are wasted one at a time until one or two are left standing.

As for effects, the beginning and ending f/x sequences were too cheap and incongruous with the body of the film's live action. Otherwise the basic space and set effects were fine.

Every now and then some production company thinks they have their hands on an action or scifi franchise, but I think this is going to end up the same sort of series of one as John Carter even though I think in that's somewhat regrettable in the latter case.

Would have been disappointing had I had higher expectations. One can only wonder what it could have been had Luc Besson followed through and directed it himself instead of leaving that to other, less capable hands.

26 out of 44 people found the following review useful:
Not even vaguely in the same league a film as HP or Twilight, 26 March 2012

As much as I love this director and loved Jenifer Lawrence, the film was a disaster from start to finish. It doesn't even get on the radar of the worst of the HP or Twilight series. Hopelessly without depth at every turn: ridiculous sets, garishly clownish costumes, and so lacking in character development as to be pointless.

One gathers from the heavily conservative budget the studio really wasn't a believer or really committed. I also suspect the very able Gary Ross had his hands tied at every turn and wasn't allowed much creative input into the translation to the screen - it had none of his character outside of the district scenes.

Who knows, maybe they'll do better next time now that they've been shown the money - but this one, pitiful.

6 out of 12 people found the following review useful:
Epic Sony / Screen Gems fail in choice of director(s), 23 January 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Sony / Screen Gems should be hung up and bled out for eviscerating a beloved franchise with this sad and paltry offering. The directors were in no way up to the task of carrying the franchise into new or interesting territory Then there's the screen play which can be boiled down to "a really BIG Lycan".

You're kidding me, right? That's what Screen Gems built a movie around? The movie is flat-out brain dead and embarrassing. The entire movie represents so many missed opportunities to develop and explore the saga that it has to be written off as a complete train wreck by anyone who loves the Underworld franchise.

Next time just wait until you can find a director with the talent, depth and skills to add something new and worthy. Ditto on the script. If you can't authentically enrich and develop the franchise then find someone with a little vision who can - or don't bother us with a toss- off offering that demeans and cheapens the whole concept.

3 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
Way more satisfying than MI/GP once the lights came back on..., 30 December 2011

MI/GP cost five times as much to make and delivered a less satisfying film experience than this low-budget, but reasonable alien invasion story.

On a value-per-production-dollar basis I'd pick watching this effort every time over the mess that is MI/GP. Not a great SF film, but solid and reasonably enjoyable fare from my perspective.

They did the best they could with the budget and did a consistent job on the story, acting, effects, and direction. Was way more satisfied with it than MI/GP once the lights came back on.

In short, I'd go see this again before I'd rent MI/GP.

6 out of 15 people found the following review useful:
The franchise is badly in need of a 'Dark Knight' overhaul..., 27 December 2011

Turning the franchise over to a TV comedy / action crew had the predictable result - a bad movie that fails even the most basic 'Lethal Weapon' test. Tom isn't Mel or Jackie and shoehorning the otherwise wonderful Simon Pegg into the mix spoiled the whole lot. And the 'Team' never had a ghost of a chance when the actors were all so obviously conflicted between their action and comedic timing. Overall, the Transformer treatment left the whole affair feeling like a wobbly and robotic mess.

The direction also lacked subtlety, grace and the continuity necessary to sustain pace which is admittedly hard to do when you are constantly dropping out of warp drive to do one-off skits. The editing wasn't the best either, but it's hard to say just what they were given to work with so I won't be too harsh on them.

I'd say the franchise due for some serious reinvention and should dump the comedy and head deep into a darker and edgier landscape capable of better supporting the theme and premise. Maybe get someone with an edge like Cormac McCarthy help with the next screenplay.

But if they're unwilling to take a serious turn with the franchise, then they should give Jon Favreau a shot at the next one; at least he understands what he's being tasked to deliver and does so with the eye of a movie goer.