Movie Review: PITCH PERFECT 3 – Almost plotless and peopled with 2D characters, this movie is a waste of their time, and yours.

Hey, I’m no movie snob.  I love some independent movies, and I favour character-driven stories over soulless plot-driven crap, but I’m not THAT guy at the party who only talks about that Chechnian 30 minute short about life on a pig farm as if it was the greatest piece of cinema in history.  Despite my feeling that both Captain Fantastic and A Ghost Story are going to chart really high on my 2017 Best Of list, I remain a huge fan of populist movies.  Pitch Perfect 3 is not one of them.

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Movie Review: THE DISASTER ARTIST – Franco’s best directorial effort yet makes this biopic of “the worst move ever made” a must-see.

Back in 2010, I saw The Room.  By then it had started to gather a head of steam as “the worst movie ever made” (and there’s a compelling argument for that, not just hype), and the beginning of the cult following that fills theaters these days.  In those days it wan’t so much the event movie it is today, where everyone attends thinking they’re the next ironic comedy genius, riffing as the movie unreels.  I don’t normally watch movies like that (though when Star Wars:TOT was rereleased in the late 90s, a friend and I got ejected for riffing on The Empire Strikes Back.  Mea culpa, mea culpa …), I love and respect the medium too much to do that.  The Room is, to me, simply a piece of shit movie.

Continue reading “Movie Review: THE DISASTER ARTIST – Franco’s best directorial effort yet makes this biopic of “the worst move ever made” a must-see.”

Movie Review: AMERICAN MADE – this highly glossed over version of the Barry Seal story is Tom Cruise’s best film – and performance – in years.

I’m not ashamed to admit, I’m a fan of Tom Cruise movies.  Not a fan of Tom Cruise the person, I should add, having never met him, but I have enjoyed his screen presence for about thirty years now.  I think he’s a pretty decent actor too, when he tries – something he hasn’t done a lot of in a long time.  Having watched his last offering The Mummy fall on the critics’ sword, and mostly fail to capture the imaginations of the paying public, his career badly needed a shot in the arm.  It so happens that American Made, his second cinematic release of 2017, does exactly that.

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Movie Review: KINGSMAN: THE GOLDEN CIRCLE – this time around, it’s like watching the Austin Powers sequel nobody wanted.

Back in 2015, when I watched  the original Kingsman: The Secret Service, I found a number of things to like, despite finding the story too faintly ludicrious, and, frankly, poorly written.  I greatly enjoyed the performances of both Colin Firth and then-newcomer Taron Egerton, and mostly liked Matthew Vaughn’s direction, whose style seems like a cruder version of Guy Ritchie’s.  The script, by both Vaughn and Jane Goldman failed to engage me on most of its plot points, though.  This time around, Vaughn and Goldman return with a sequel, subtitled The Golden Circle, and I ran out of patience from the first scene.  This is one of the worst sequels I’ve ever sat through.

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Movie Review: LIFE AFTER BETH – good performances from Dane DeHaan and Aubrey Plaza keep this low key zombie comedy from flatlining.

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I finally got around to watching Life After Beth ,a zombie “comedy” starring Dane DeHaan (Chronicle, A Cure For Wellness), and Parks and Recreation’s Aubrey Plaza.  The movie, written and directed by Jeff Baena concerns the return from the dead of Beth, Zach’s girlfriend, and the gradual deterioration of things both inside and outside both character’s families.  Doesn’t sound like a comedy, right?

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Movie Review: THE HUNT FOR THE WILDERPEOPLE – a sweet, good natured movie about two kindred souls who share the adventure of a lifetime.

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I had a fairly good idea what to expect from The Hunt For The Wilderpeople, Taika Waititi’s follow up to the fantastic vampire horror comedy What We Do In The Shadows, but I’d be lying if I said I was right.  I only knew that it was a bonding story; set in rural New Zealand, a troubled kid is sent to live with foster parents.  It’s his last chance before getting cast into the system as a juvenile delinquent, but then he bonds with those people and all is well.  Seen it before, right?  Seems like it’s something that would be on Hallmark or The Family Channel – a feel good, Disneyfied slice of Midwest apple pie.  That’s what it sounded like to me from my ignorant lack of knowledge about it, anyway!

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Movie Review: SWISS ARMY MAN – movie’s heartfelt core almost cancelled out by quirk overdose

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I don’t typically dismiss a movie based on a trailer, and I wouldn’t say I’m particularly prescient about a movie based on a trailer either, but when I caught the trailer for Swiss Army Man, I balked.  I remember coming away from it thinking, whaaaaat? and probably wasn’t alone.  But I generally like Paul Dano’s characters, and while I can take or leave Daniel Radcliffe, I’m impressed with his continuing efforts to escape the career event horizon known as Harry Potter, so I figured I would see it at one point.  Last night was that point.

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