Sunday, 28 June 2015

Going Clear: Scientology And The Prison Of Belief (2015) - Movie Review

Scientology is an unfairly marginalised religion that works for the betterment of mankind, and their members are all upstanding moral citizens that do nothing but good for the people.

Saturday, 27 June 2015

Hot Pursuit (2015) - Movie Review

Buddy comedies have been around since the idea of ‘comedy’ was given a name and a tangible concept. Hell, buddy cop movies have probably been around for longer than actual police enforcement, the idea is that old: Write two characters that are diametric opposites of each other, put them in a situation that forces them to work together to reach point B; instant comedy… supposedly. The fact that Danny Glover’s immortal line "I’m getting too old for this shit" has since gotten more screen time than Glover in his entire filmography should be a good indicator that, if you’re going to attempt this kind of story nowadays, you absolutely have to bring something new to the table. The last buddy film I watched was last year’s Let’s Be Cops, and the less said about that bit of unfortunate release timing, the better. The last good buddy film I remember watching was Hot Fuzz, which pretty much skewered every action film trope it could find and managed to outperform a large number of them at the same time. Based on the trailer and premise of today’s film, something tells me that we won’t be so lucky this time around.

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Entourage (2015) - Movie Review

Some days, I just don’t like doing intros for these reviews. I make it a point of trying to make these intros have some point beyond just opening each review like discussing certain topics like film trends or giving backstory on the creative teams behind certain works. However, given what’s on the chopping block this time around, I get the feeling that I would just end up trying to type out a weird abstraction that, when read aloud, would approximate the sound of a cat being crushed by a meteor so as to simulate the experience of how unpleasant it is to recollect this thing. But even then, such an image could at least make for something funny with the right emphasis or caption added to it, and this film and ‘funny’ are barely on speaking terms with each other. Time to get into the review before this ramble keeps going, even though it allows me to put off talking about this thing for a bit longer and my, the sky outside my bedroom window is probably the clearest I’ve… dammit.

Saturday, 20 June 2015

Aloha (2015) - Movie Review

As much as I have frequently shown pessimism about the films I review, I don’t think I’ve come across a film yet that has given me this much reason to do so. Between the laughably appalling tagline "Sometimes you have to say goodbye before you can say hello", which rivals The Impossible’s "Nothing is more powerful than the human spirit" in terms of trite advertising, the extremely by-the-numbers plot as hinted at by the trailer and the sheer frequency at that trailer was shown, to the point where it has been playing in front of every film I’ve gone to see in the last couple months, I find myself largely sick of this movie before I even paid to see the thing. But, keeping in line with the feel-good mentality that permeates these kinds of films, I will try to keep an open mind about this… Let’s see how long that lasts.

Friday, 19 June 2015

Tomorrowland (2015) - Movie Review

If you’ve seen Krusty the Klown being put on trial for robbery, Tom Cruise teaming up with Hawkeye or heard Edna Mode get unsettlingly excited about how indestructible clothing is, then you’re familiar with animation superstar Brad Bird. Starting out in the formative years of The Simpsons, shaping the show into what it is now, he went to blaze a trail through the industry with his feature films from the cult religious classic The Iron Giant to the universally lauded The Incredibles. Then, in 2012, he made the transition to live-action with the surprisingly awesome Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol. With this kind of filmography behind him, in case all this gushing didn’t make it obvious enough, I was really looking forward to this latest film from one of my favourite directors. But, given the divided reaction to it so far, how did it turn out?

Thursday, 18 June 2015

San Andreas (2015) - Movie Review

Even though there are a lot of easy parallels to be drawn between wrestling and any other form of televised fiction, it’s kind of surprising how badly the transition from wrestler to full-fledged actor goes for most people. Usually, it consists of a lot of straight-to-DVD action fodder that still keeps the actors in their ultraviolent comfort zones, with only a handful making it to cinemas and even less of that sample being successful; not every film can be the Expendables, after all. But even with all that in mind, Dwayne Johnson, Actor Formally Known As The Rock, has experienced an track record that is far beyond his peers, The Tooth Fairy notwithstanding.

Ever since I first saw him act proper in the surprisingly good Get Smart remake, I immediately got why this is: He is one of the few that has successfully managed to translate his on-stage charisma to the big screen, using it to sell whatever dialogue and/or premise he is handed. Hell, as bad as The Tooth Fairy was, Dwayne by no means half-arsed it. So, when he was cast as the lead in the latest addition to the natural disaster genre, usually wrought with enough inaccuracies to make anyone question the film’s reality, it came across as ideal casting to help sell the film. But did it ultimately work out? This is San Andreas… and no, as much as I wish he was, Wu Zi Mu is nowhere to be found in this film.

Sunday, 14 June 2015

Poltergeist (2015) - Movie Review

Thanks to filmmakers like Michael Bay and Rob Zombie, the words ‘classic horror film’ and ‘remake’ are nowadays associated with the burning down of cinemas in fits of anger. Michael Bay’s Platinum Dunes production company is responsible for a large number of remakes that do little more than castrate the icons attached to them, and Rob Zombie’s take on the Halloween series makes my bitching about Lou from Hot Tub Time Machine 2 look minute in comparison. Sam Raimi, the man responsible for some of the greatest cult classics ever created with the Evil Dead trilogy, is admittedly far less guilty of milquetoast horror than others. However, when your producer credits also include the Boogeyman trilogy, The Possession as well as the widely unnecessary Evil Dead remake, forgive my scepticism at this working out too well. So, how does this film hold up to the Tobe Hooper/Steven Spielberg original?

Thursday, 11 June 2015

Spy (2015) - Movie Review

One of the first reviews I wrote for this blog was on 2014’s Tammy. Now, while I can kind of get why other critics didn’t like it (maybe not to the extent that they do, but to a certain degree), I will always give it credit because it was the film that did what The Heat was unable to: It made me like Melissa McCarthy. It got me to better appreciate her sewer-rat mouth sense of humour as contrasted with her meek and rather downplayed side, and also because it didn’t involve nearly as much over-the-top shouting as The Heat did. So, when trailers for this film hit, I… was mostly into it because it featured king of British badassery Jason Statham, but McCarthy’s limp-dicked unicorn line caught my interest as well. So, with this year’s increasingly strong pedigree of action films, will she continue the trend or be the one to break it? This is Spy… and immediate points deducted for quite possibly the most generic film name I’ve ever seen.

Thursday, 4 June 2015

Woman In Gold (2015) - Movie Review

Hitler was not a nice person. The acts he committed and oversaw during his lifetime mark him as one of, if not the, most despicable human in our history. His actions had a detrimental effect on millions, if not billions of people, and as a result, the ultimate extreme when it comes to explaining how bad something is is to compare them directly to Hitler and/or the Third Reich.

No, you aren’t reading the latest edition of Great Ders Of History; I only bring this up because of how often filmmakers apparently want to remind us of this fact. Not long ago, I was in a mild state of burnout because the cinemas were full of overly serious works and little else. It is now that I realise that I misappropriated that tired state to everything that was coming, when in reality I was just getting bored of films having to do with World War II; not just films set during that time, but films that have anything to do with that time period. The fact that it is the go-to setting for films fishing for Oscars doesn’t help. As much as I wasn’t too fond of A Royal Night Out, it made for a nice change of pace from the rest of the war time films that, regardless of quality, are starting to make me weary. Will today’s film help with that or just make it feel worse?