Movie Review: THE WHOLE TRUTH – a mostly uninteresting courtroom drama with a twist! Unfortunately, that’s not so interesting either.

The Whole Truth is a curiosity to me, I have to say.  The courtroom drama, which stars Keanu Reeves (John Wick, The Matrix), Jim Belushi, Renee Zellweger, Gabriel Basso, and Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Dr. Who, and the San Junipero episode of Black Mirror, season 3), was directed by Courtney Hunt, whose sole movie to this point, Frozen River, garnered her an Academy nom for best original screenplay in 2008, and written by Hollywood veteran Nicholas Kazan, an Academy nominee in his own right for 1990’s Reversal of Fortune.  There are a number of reasons why this movie failed to engage me, the least of which was a super-late night viewing.

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Movie Review: THE NEON DEMON – Nicolas Winding’s Refn’s pretentious horror piece reflects the vacuousness of its modeling world setting

neon-demon

The Neon Demon is one of those self-aggrandizing pieces of cinema fluff that seems designed purely to win  (or at least compete) during awards season.  It’s relatively easy to spot them: they trade in style over substance in both plot and character, and they are darlings of the art-cinema set.  Since moving from Europe to the US, Nicolas Winding Refn has become largely a purveyor of the kind of ponderous languid drama that’s generally hailed by film-school analysts as works of brilliance, and derided by critics as bland, featureless pap.  No secrets here: I’m in the latter camp.  In The Neon Demon, he invites derision from the get go, intentionally or otherwise: not only does the movie throw his name ahead of the credits, when the actual title card appears onscreen it’s also accompanied by his initials in a small vertical strip.  I hate using the word pretentious to describe movies, but I’ll certainly use it here.

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Movie Review: JOHN WICK – by the numbers revenge movie, but a welcome return for Keanu Reeves

John Wick

Finally saw John Wick, starring Keanu Reeves, at the second go-round. I initially was excited by this, given the positive Keanu-is-back!! reviews, and the high rating on the old Tomatometer, and was disappointed to miss it on its first run. Having watched it last night, my initial interest was replaced by the deflated reality of the movie. Continue reading “Movie Review: JOHN WICK – by the numbers revenge movie, but a welcome return for Keanu Reeves”