Reviewers Note: I saw this movie with a headache and a screaming baby in the audience. Without those distractions it may actually get the other half-star.
Having seen every comic book superhero movie this summer, I can say for certain this is the best. It really sets the standard for superhero movies that double as period pieces. There's no flying or x-ray vision here, its just good old-fashioned ass kicking.
The plot is completely revealed by the trailers. Any half-hearted comic book fan knows exactly what to expect from the plot, so its the execution that interests me.
Starring Alex Wedekind and Rungano Nyoni (R level content)
2 stars (out of 4)
Before I start reviewing I want to point out how this guy looks like Robert De Niro.
I really wanted to like Iron Doors. I liked Cube, Saw, Buried and Dolan's Cadillac. Iron Door's borrows heavily from those films. Putting people in rooms with no chance of escape dates back a long time in cinema, Luis Bunuel was using this basic premise in The Exterminating Angel (1962).
The universe begins and the universe ends. Somewhere in between people live and people die. None of this amounts to anything significant in a universal perspective, but paradoxically, everything that has meaning exists in this brief amount of time.
Terence Malick takes on the task of showing us everything; the alpha and omega, the beginning and the end. Untold billions exist in Malick’s universe, but his camera centers on one family, The O’ Briens. This family isn’t any more or less special than any other. They experience happiness, financial problems, love and grief. Everything that gives life meaning can be understood by observing the O’Briens.
Starring Ewan McGregor and Christopher Plummer (Rated R)
2 stars (out of 4)
(Reviewer's note) This film is Rated R for reasons unknown. There is a couple seconds of nipple in the film, but other than that its very tame. Its been said that the MPAA is prejudice with its ratings when it comes to gay and lesbian films. I completely agree. The MPAA has a history of double standards towards the LGBT community and this is a perfect example. If you want more examples please watch the film This Film is Not Yet Rated.
I had really high expectations for this film. The first feature film that Mike Mills directed was Thumbsucker featuring Keanu Reeves, Lou Pucci and a few other notables. It was a very good independent film which I have in my dvd collection. For his follow-up he directs Christopher Plummer and Ewan McGregor, which I think are two of the finest actors on the planet. So my expectations were probably a little higher than they should have been and I believe that kept me from enjoying this film as much as I could have.
Starring Souleymane Sy Savane and Red West (Rated R)
4 stars (out of 4)
Goodbye Solo is nothing short of a masterpiece. Bahrani's other features were great, but this one is my favorite. This director is a master of character studies, which is especially apparent when you have two great characters such as William and Solo. It shows true poise as a director to take two such diverse characters and have them harmonize on screen.
The authenticity that Bahrani achieves is flawless. Living in Virginia, Ive been to the locations where this film was set, and they were presented accurately and beautifully.
Its amazing to me that actors I've never heard of and have probably never had a leading role can give such all-time performances. The top-notch acting by this pair of unsung heroes is yet another testament to the brilliance of Ramin Bahrani.
Starring Toni Collette, Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Eric Bana
(Unrated - PG-13 level content)
4 stars (out of 4)
Mary and Max is the absolute best claymation film I've ever seen. It's quite the technical achievement, but what makes it truly special is the story. Not only is this story heartwarming and inspirational but the script is one of the best I've seen in years, in any genre.
There are some PG-13 elements to this film that may make it unsuitable for children. The adult elements are mostly sexual references, but they are at least thoughtfully phrased. The most disturbing scene features a young girl standing on a table with a noose around her neck and holding a bottle of medicine. Its not so much that these topics are taboo, its just that children will be asking hard questions after seeing them. This film is all about hard questions though.
Starring Edward Furlong, Shaun Sipos and Sam Levinson
(Unrated - R level content)
3 stars (out of 4)
!!Disturbing Content Warning!! Uwe Bolls movie Seed, was one of the profoundly disturbing movies Ive seen. In comparison, Stoic is so disturbing that Seed might as well be Willy Wonka.
This film claims to be inspired by true events which I hope is a lie. Three cellmates turn on a fourth by exposing him to an escalating cycle of psychological, physical, and sexual torture. It starts as some simple bullying like you would see in a college fraternity and evolves to the most vile acts ever depicted on screen. There's also plenty of disturbing gross-out scenes where they force the victim to eat his own vomit among other atrocities.
There is a fine line between art, and filth. This film tows that line so closely that I'm not qualified to make the distinction. Perhaps there is such a thing as filthy art, or artsy filth. My rating is based on the merit of the film and not the appeal of its content. You should know that this films main gross-out factor is forced coprophagia. Google coprophagia if you don't know what it is because I'm not going into detail.
I love mad scientist movies, but this one is poorly plotted, even for the genre. Most mad scientists have huge ambition which they pursue at the costs of morality, but in Human Centipede that ambition is pretty lame. The sci-fi aspect lacks the imagination to be successful.
Starring David Hyde Pierce and Clayne Crawford (Rated R)
3 stars (out of 4)
This movie is a star vehicle for David Hyde Pierce. You may remember him as Frasier Crane's little brother Niles. Now imagine that Niles fell and bumped his head, turning him into a serial killer. Pierce portrays Warwick Wilson, which he insists is pronounced "warick". Even though Warwick dominates the film and steals every scene, he's not actually the main character.
Starring Willem Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg (Unrated - NC17 level content)
4 stars (out of 4)
This movie runs about 1:45 and out of that length approximately 5 minutes are explicitly graphic. Those who rate this movie low only focus on those 5 minutes. As a complete body of work this movie is far more morbid in a psychological sense.
This story has been done over and over. The geeky kid gets killed or commits suicide then comes back as a ghost to punish those who bullied him. Red Mist and Tamara are both recent movies with the same plot. However, this one has the better acting, dialogue, and directing than its peers. The UK has put out some very fine horror movies in recent years and this keeps that momentum going. I'm not a fan of movies with
Starring Michael Shannon, Udo Kier and Chloe Sevigny (Rated R)
3 stars (out of 4)
I was mesmerized by this film. That being said, it really doesn't have a universal appeal. There's no real plot to speak of, and the characters are odd and contradictory. The first thing you should know is that this isn't a psychological thriller as much as it is a dark comedy. If you watch it as a dark comedy you will enjoy it much more. The whole film is a character study of Michael Shannon's character.
This movie works on every conceivable level. On the surface its a goofy movie where you laugh at things blowing up. But, its really about a subtle lampooning of movie cliches. Also, its about how the most ridiculous plot points can be the most interesting. The goal of the film is to completely confuse the audience while at the same time entertaining them. Really a brilliant piece of film-making. I thought it would have a schlocky low-budget look, however, the production quality and cinematography were brilliant. There are a lot of shots with super-wide lenses very close to the ground, this gives a skewed perspective throughout the movie which is very fitting. The special effects were also quite impressive. From what I can tell there was very little CG work, but I have no idea how they achieved the effects or got the tire to move so freely. The actors do a great job here also and they were given good material to work with. It must have been hard for an actor to keep his composure given the nature of the scenes. Overall, highly recommended.
Early on in the film, there is a glimpse of a creature crawling over a roof. Its a scene that entices us to keep watching. Over an hour later we get to see what the creature actually is. Everything in between is pure boredom. The middle hour is Kevin Costner trying to figure out why his daughter is changing. Could it be the stress of moving, abandonment issues, or puberty? Or perhaps some kind of pagan curse from an ancient burial mound? It takes Costner a while to figure this out, it takes the viewer much less time.
Starring Brendan Fraser and Brook Shields (Rated PG)
0.5 stars (out of 4)
This movie is painfully awful. I wasn't a big fan of Dr. Doolittle, but Furry Vengeance makes Doolittle look like Shawshank Redemption. This genre isn't known for greatness and this movie is among the worst of the genre. Brendan Fraser continues his downward spiral. It amazes me that a man who starred in Gods and Monsters and Crash could make a movie this awful. All the performances were lazy and uninspired. The directing was terrible, using the same footage over for different scenes. The movie is 90 minutes of gag-comedy. Fraser gets peed on by a raccoon, sprayed by a skunk, and ball busted on several occasions. Not exactly genius comedic work. This movie is basically the 5 year old version of a Kevin Smith movie, except not good and not funny. Please avoid this film like the plague.
Starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway (Rated R)
2.5 stars (out of 4)
The script is sort of a mess. You're never quite certain of what the tone is supposed to be. At times is warm and lighthearted but will change suddenly to heavy drama about the darkest of subjects. The comedy wasnt terrible but sometimes its hard to laugh after you've just had a graphic description of how Parkinson's disease affects you in stage four. The saving grace is the acting. Its on point. Jake Gyllenhaal shows a lot of versatility in this role.
Starring Stephen Dorff and Elle Fanning (Rated R) 3 stars (out of 4)
This is not a movie for people with short attention spans. However, if you have a short attention span why rent a Sofia Coppola movie in the first place? Ill admit I was turned off at the beginning of this film. The film starts off giving you glimpse into the life of Dorff's pathetic bachelor character. He's successful, he gets women, booze, fans, but everything that exists in his life is superficial.