Posts Tagged ‘movies’

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When raising the dead, just follow the rules: “The Other Side of the Door”

March 3, 2016

 

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Well, it’s Oscar time again, and apparently the movie gods felt the best way to honor this hallowed event was to dump a couple of movies into my local theaters that could only owe their existence to a need to show how great the nominees are by comparison. Or maybe it’s the Universe’s way of saying, Yea, on this weekend as we behold some of the best examples of the art form, know thee that there’s still an awful lot of crap out there, and, hey, let’s face it: they can’t all be Spotlight. So, instead this weekend I took in The Other Side of the Door–which suggests that maybe bringing the dead back to life could be a bad idea.
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And that secret is it’s a bad movie: “Secret in Their Eyes”

February 25, 2016

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Secret in Their Eyes wants to be a prestige Oscar-bait picture really badly. I mean, really, really badly. Like Blofeld-wants-to-kill-James-Bond bad. I mean, look at everything stuffed into it: The War on Terror, the death of a child, a mystery, cops, and about as many of Hollywood’s heavy-hitters as you’re legally allowed to have in a film before you have to register as a chapter of the Church of Scientology. This is a movie that would gladly throw anyone into a piranha tank if it meant that statuette. I’m pretty sure if was possible (and more importantly, feasible) this movie would blow every Academy member. It just wants to be taken seriously so bad….Bwhahahaha! Too bad it’s just really overcooked and ridiculous.
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RIP Vanity: “Action Jackson”

February 16, 2016

Poor Action Jackson. It’s like the dinosaur that just keeps on scampering through the jungle, blithely ignoring the funnel of ash kicked up by the meteorite that hit yesterday. In other words, it was dead but just didn’t know it yet. By its premiere in February of 1988, we’d already had Lethal Weapon and Above the Law, and the summer would bring us Die Hard—all of which heralded the arrival of lean, wily action heroes who got by more on wit and cleverness than bulk. The era of the muscle-bound, solo action hero was over, and Carl Weathers arrived at the party too late to build his own franchise. Of course, now we can look back and appreciate it for the dumb fun that it was. What’s cool about Action Jackson? Well…
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The January doldrums continue: “The Boy”

January 31, 2016

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Well, it’s still January, and Hollywood is making damn well sure know it by continuing to make us suffer for the unpardonable crime of wanting to see a movie a month after the holiday season. The latest instrument of punishment is The Boy, which, while not a terrible movie, is still pretty bad. And that’s before it becomes outright, pants-crappingly stupid. Wanna hear about it? Oh yes you do…
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Criminally Overlooked: “Last Man Standing”

January 23, 2016

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New Line Cinemas might have been forgiven for thinking they had a sure-fire hit—or at least a modest box office winner—with Last Man Standing. After all, here was a bang-bang-shoot-‘em-up action film headlined by a still-hot Bruce Willis just two years after the monster success of Pulp Fiction, and directed by action-film maestro Water Hill. Unfortunately, Last Man Standing sunk like a Russian submarine at the box office when it opened in 1996, and while Bruce Willis’s reputation emerged unscathed (as it would continue to for the next fifteen of mostly terrible films), it hastened Walter Hill’s descent into Hollywood obsolescence. Twenty years later it’s worth taking a second look.
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The alien invasion is really lame: “The 5th Wave”

January 22, 2016

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At some point in the past ten years, Young Adult novels stopped being about young female protagonists falling in love with various supernatural creatures (who then compete for her affections) and started being about young female protagonists killing people (while a couple dudes she doesn’t kill compete for her affections). This is, I guess, a form of progress–it’s better to have an active protagonist after all—and I suppose as long as we’re telling adolescent girls that all the world’s a sausage-party, it’s the responsible thing to also tell them that they’ll have to kill a few people to get past the velvet rope. The new YA adaptation The 5th Wave has its protagonist shoot a dude in the face in its first scene, so you can’t say it doesn’t get down to business.
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Feeling the January-movie blues: “The Forest”

January 9, 2016

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Well, it’s January. Know how I can tell (aside from, you know, being cognizant of the date)? It’s because the new releases in the cinema is stuff like The Forest. Yeah, January is when Hollywood basically says to us, “What? You don’t want to rewatch all the great movies we released for the last two months? You can see The Force Awakens for a fifth time, right? No? Well, fuck it. We shot our load, so here’s a ghost movie with a Game of Thrones actor.” And that’s how movies like The Forest get a theatrical release.
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