Reviews written by registered user
|149 reviews in total|
Love is Gaspar Noe's latest film. It's essentially porn. Long, drawn out sequences of sex throughout. But there's a story, and that's what could be interesting about this film. Not since the early 70's has pornographic films experimented telling actual stories instead of just getting straight to business. Nymphomaniac is the last film of the modern era that attempted this, and it absolutely blew me away. This would've been fascinating, but instead, it's PAINFULLY boring. The story line and dialogue sucks. I didn't feel for anyone in this film. The acting was extremely stilted, but in porn films that's pretty much the norm. The cinematography is the only standout. It's beautiful to look at, as most Gaspar Noe films are. However, I despised the black screen that would appear every time there was a cut. As well as the many shots of the main character standing inside a doorway with his back turned to the camera, listening to an annoying voicemail. Why did he do that? Why would he think that would work? If there's a profound reason for those two editing decisions, I'd like to know.. not that it would make me feel any differently, I still hate it. Love is not only a missed opportunity, it's a film I'll never remember, or want to remember.
Captain Fantastic is the most unconventional Dad movie I've ever seen. Viggo Mortensen plays a scraggly hippy, raising six children, off-the-grid, deep within the forrests of Washington state. He teaches his children survival skills, improvisational jam sessions, works of classical literature, and a heaping helping of socialist philosophy. In one scene, they celebrate Noam Chomsky's birthday by going into town and stealing consumer goods from a grocery store. Way to stick it to the man. But their flower-power lifestyle comes to a halt when their estranged mother commits suicide, and they need to attend the funeral in the civilized world. It's a fish-out-of water story that calls into question what it truly means to be a father, and what is truly the acceptable way to raise children in America. The film supplies no definitive answer, but it makes roughing it in the wilderness seem a lot of fun. This is a beautiful film. Viggo Mortensen and the ensemble family absolutely blew me away. I felt so warm to be around these people. This is a fairly long film, yet it was so much fun that it flew right by. This film will grow on you, guaranteed. I really like the film now, but I'm sure within a week, I'll begin to love it. I wouldn't be surprised if it ends up somewhere on my top ten list this year.
A jazzman's movie. Miles Ahead is a touching tribute to one of history's greatest jazz musicians. Don Cheadle is mesmerizing as Miles Davis. The film itself has all the fluidity and rhythm of a real Miles Davis piece. While Davis riffed on his horn, Cheadle riffs on the cutting room floor. We skip through time, as we discover Miles in his heyday, and his hiatus. Because this is such a rough editing technique to pull of, some of the film seems a bit clunky. Certain story lines don't always coincide with the main story itself. To be honest, I enjoyed Mile's comeback story a lot better than I liked the story of his long-lost love. The journey to get the tape back was really funny, faced paced and loose. Compared to films such as Get on Up, and Ray, Miles Ahead looks shallow. But the film does shine, and when it does, it shines brightly.
After three Hangover films, two progressively worse than the first, and after another shift in the popularity of comedy films, you'd think that we had seen the last of Todd Phillips. But here he returns with War Dogs, a film that doesn't include Tigers in bathrooms, Mike Tyson karaoke, or men over the age of 40 waking up the next morning wondering what the hell they did the night before. This time, it's guns, ammo, drugs, the Iraq War, The Bush administration, fraud, corruption, greed and a group of violent Albanian mobsters. This is no laughing matter. This is Phillips' first attempt at making a truly serious film, while supplying his familiar style of dark comedy. But when you factor in the freeze-frame shots, the narrations, the soundtrack of classic rock tunes, the violence and the drugs, this film is nothing short of a love letter to Martin Scorsese. I kid you not, that's what this film is. Roll your eyes all you want, but it's a style of filmmaking that always works, especially when you're making something based on a true story. Paul Thomas Anderson did it with Boogie Nights, David O. Russell did it with American Hustle, Adam McKay did it with The Big Short.. and so on, and so on. I'll never dislike a movie that attempts to emulate Scorsese, no matter how blatant it could be. War Dogs succeeds with this formula, up to a certain point. When it comes to the political angle that the film takes, it wants you to believe that it's smarter than it actually is. It takes it's aim at the military industrial complex under Bush, but with the rise of a non- interventionalist foreign policy embraced by both parties, thanks to Trump and Sanders, this kind of subject is hardly daring. You're preaching to the converted, Todd. We all know that the Iraq War sucked. The edge is simply not there, but the performances and the writing make up for it. Teller and Hill have tremendous chemistry. They make believable brothers. Jonah Hill in particular is mesmerizing, creepy and totally hilarious. If this was a much better picture, you'd probably be hearing a lot of award buzz surrounding his performance. I really enjoyed Bradley Cooper's interesting bad-guy character. In short, it's a fairly entertaining, fairly long, and not too bad time at the movies, but it doesn't break any new ground, and it's nothing to rave about.
The summer movie season has hedged it's bets on Suicide Squad as being
the biggest, baddest film of them all. If ever there was a perfect
formula for a summer hit, this was the one. A gritty DC movie, with
Margot Robbie, a kick ass soundtrack, and the cinematic return of the
Joker.. a character audiences have become entranced with since Heath
Ledger's frightening portrayal just shy of a decade ago. It's the kind
of film that generates hype and anticipation, even from a non-
superhero lover as myself. Hollywood has found an angle to attract
almost all audiences to this genre with films like this. I couldn't
wait to see it.
Suicide Squad, in reality, was an act of brilliant advertising. The film is a hot mess. The plot is entirely incoherent. More than once, I wasn't sure whether to burst out laughing, or sit in silence. I had no idea where this film was coming from. It's funny... at least when the characters want to be.. but Will Smith utters one line during the climax that almost made me fall out of my chair, and I know that wasn't the script's intention. When the film wants to be gritty, it comes across as desperate. Almost clinging to hope that they can capture the same genius as The Dark Knight. The soundtrack is fantastic, but it disappeared after the first act, perhaps they ran out of money to license it.
The single worst aspect of the film was the villain, Enchantress. In a movie sold upon gritty DC misfits and the Joker, the film itself centers on a evil voodoo ghost woman thing that shimmies about and creates an army of mutant mud monsters to kill everything in sight, all the while promising the protagonists a false spell that will give them a domesticated family life that they always wanted. Now, If I told you all of this in the months prior to the release of the film, you'd call me insane. But yes, Enchantress makes up about 60% of the film, and you will be as speechless as I was watching this. At one point, I thought I was watching the sequel to Fantastic Four.
But are there any positives? Yes, there are. This is far from an unwatchable film. Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn is a feat of casting genius. She was my favorite part. She is the best portrayal Harley Quinn since Arleen Sorkin voiced her in Batman: The Animated Series. Hilarious, sexy, spunky, badass.. It reminds you why we all love that crazy gal. Jared Leto's Joker is another thing that impressed me. He took the character in a direction that was quite new and quite familiar. To sum it up, it was a combination of Jack Nicholson's grandstanding Joker from the Tim Burton Batman, with Heath Ledger's Joker, plus a tiny hint of Mark Hamill's animated Joker. He's insanely creepy, he never breaks character (much like Ledger), and it works very well. It was a given that he would never in a million years reach the heights of Ledger, but this was a Joker that should be well appreciated for years to come. I suggest, if there ever is a live-acting Killing Joke movie, WHICH THERE TOTALLY SHOULD BE, cast Leto immediately.
Other than that, Suicide Squad is a major disappointment. For what we were all expecting, and we were all expecting so much.. maybe this should've been a lesson to all of us.. just don't hype a movie. Scratch that, just don't hype a DC Cinematic Universe movie. You will always be disappointed.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I promise you that this review won't have any food-related puns. It
would've been easy had the film not used up of every last one that you
could think of.
Every now and then someone in Hollywood has the balls to make an animated feature strictly for adults. By every now and then, I mean whenever Matt & Trey feel up to it, which they haven't been in more than a decade... and how many years has it been since The Simpsons Movie? I already forget. Perhaps it's because of how hard it is to advertise. You just can't. It's hard to tell a child that they can't go see a colorful, friendly looking cartoon, of any kind, even if that cartoon contains an egregious amount of F-bombs, provocative religious/political satire and sex jokes.
But Seth Rogen took it upon himself to make one of his own, and after years of rejection from the major studios, we finally have Sausage Party. It is as outrageous, vile, demented, perverted and hilarious as we all dreamed it would be. It ranks with Blazing Saddles, South Park, Team America and Ted in the genre of films that push the non-PC envelope as far as it can go. This film takes no prisoners. The food products live in a racist world where nobody gets along, and worship every kind of crazy religion under the sun... yeah, kind of like our world. Behind it is a message of tolerance, and an even bigger message of the absurdity of organized religion. At this very moment, we needed something like this to come along. Even though I am a Catholic, I appreciated it's daring atheism. It seems like religion is the cause of everything terrible in the world right now. Nothing makes sense anymore. I understand where this little sausage is coming from.
But as deep as the film could be, it's as gross and as stupid as any Seth Rogen comedy in past. But even that's an understatement. It even pushes boundaries on that level. This film has the most hilariously gross ending of any movie I've seen in years. The food all get together and have an orgy. Once you see it, you cannot un-see it. You have been warned, folks.
It's Wedding Crashers for stupid people.. That's about what I thought of it for the first 15 minutes. I was fidgeting in my seat, cringing at every last failed joke. Then the film took off. Holy God did it take off. The film waits until the duo and their dates come to Hawaii for the big comedic setups, and every one of them is a smash hit, including the best choreographed and outrageous massage scene in any movie I've seen. Efron and Devine are a great team. Devine has some excellent comedic timing, and a John Belushi-type charm.. albeit some of his performance is a bit over-the- top. Plaza and Kendrick are delightful as the girls, although it seemed Kendrick was given way more screen-time than Plaza. This is an uneven film, but you have to stick with it, and by the end, you'll realize it's worth sitting through. The big gags are worth it.
The Nice Guys is genius. It's Lethal Weapon meets The Big Lebowski. In ten years time, this film will be just as quotable as those films. This is a buddy-cop movie in prime form. Gosling and Crowe, it goes without saying, have the best chemistry a film director could ever ask for. The screenplay is so well written. The mystery really takes you for a ride. The jokes all land solidly. By far it's biggest strength is the work put into it as a period piece. It looks amazing. Not even American Hustle replicated the 70's as seamlessly as this. Every last detail and fabric is perfect. I look forward to seeing it again, and again.. and maybe again after that.
What made me pay money to see a George Clooney/Julia Roberts film? Well, the premise is rather interesting. It catches your attention immediately in the advertising. This is a pretty timely movie. It's the rallying cry of the people. From Bernie to Trump, everyone is saying the same thing... THE SYSTEM IS RIGGED!!! No kidding, even Jack O'Connell wails this in the middle of the hostage situation. But is this the best film you could've made right now? The people deserve better. The system is still rigged, folks. Money Monster is yet another Hollywood payday for Clooney. It's the kind of movie that only big money can buy. I left feeling patronized, especially from the last two people that should be lecturing us all about corporate greed. The film plays like a cross between Dog Day Afternoon and Network, so in essence, it's not like we haven't seen something like this before. The screenplay is corny and flawed. The acting, notably coming from Jack O'Connell and Emily Meade, is way over-the-top. Some of the suspense works, and is well executed, but it's not enough. Bottom line, if you want a stimulating, entertaining film that discusses the corruption of Wall Street and the elite, The Big Short is now readily available to watch online. Invest your time more wisely.
I'll say this, the cat is adorable. Other than that, this is a complete letdown. Really, they needed to try much harder than this. On paper, a Liam Neeson-type action movie about a cute kitten is a comedic goldmine. At least that's what the film is being advertised as. Honestly, this film has no idea what it was trying to be. A good portion of the movie doesn't even focus on the kitten. It's all over the place. Some might call it an extended Key and Peele skit, but that's to say that the material here is as funny as the show itself, and it isn't. Key and Peele are a great comedy duo. They belong in a better movie. Save for a bizarre (yet way overdone) running gag about George Michael, I barely laughed. It's a sin when comedies do this.
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