Jul 31, 2014

Review: Boyhood (2014)

Richard Linklater is no stranger to making crazy movies. The Before trilogy with Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy is basically just two people talking for an entire movie. On the surface you'd think that'd be pretty boring but with great and genuine performances, it's really easy to like. Spread out over a period of eighteen years, it's like looking at the lives of two people over that time and it's just an incredible piece of work all put together. Boyhood isn't so different except that it's one film that focuses on the life of one boy over a period of twelve years and filmed over eleven years. 

Boyhood is long at close to three hours but it doesn't feel like it. Twelve years seems to go by so fast and the only hint that I got that a lot of time had passed was when I really had to go to the bathroom after drinking my large Coke, which was at around the last quarter of the movie. You think I was going to leave the movie and come back? Not a chance. Every year Richard Linklater got together with his cast and shot what could just be a short film before packing it in until next time. I didn't want to miss a second of Mason Jr.'s life. My bladder could wait.

Jul 30, 2014

Review: VeggieTales: Where's God When I'm S-Scared? (1993)

Christian family entertainment. In 1993 there was probably close to nothing that fit the bill for families looking to show their kids morally correct and biblically-based entertainment like VeggieTales. There was definitely a market for movies like this and there was probably zero competition too. Phil Vischer basically started VeggieTales with nothing and succeeded just by word of mouth because of demand before being able to get his direct-to-video episodes distributed to Walmart and other large chains.That's a pretty nice success story.

21 years later, here I am watching the very first VeggieTales entry. I've seen some other episodes and I believe all of the features. I will not mince words here: I hate VeggieTales. I understand that I am not the target market of VT in the least but don't the people who are deserve better? The tiny budget that Vischer is working with always shows, the use of the same voice actors trying to do different accents is exhausting and the the songs might've been written by toddlers. Even at 30 minutes, Where's God When I'm S-Scared? is tough to get through.

Review: Session 9 (2001)

Brad Anderson appears to have fallen on harder times these days. After two successful romantic comedies in Next Stop Wonderland and Happy Accidents, he was able to independently make Session 9 which although was a flop at the box office, it was pretty well received critically and has become a bit of a cult movie since then. The Machinist was his next big project followed by Transsiberian. Anderson appears to have now settled down in shooting episodes for TV shows as well as directing mediocre horrors or thrillers like Vanishing on 7th Street and The Call.

There's nothing wrong with doing TV as he is doing work for some pretty respectable TV shows anyway. I'd just like to see some good movies out of him too like The Machinist and Session 9. Anderson was inspired to do S9 because of the Danvers State Mental Hospital in Danvers, Massachusetts which he passed by every day. One of the big reasons why Session 9 works as a horror movie is because not only is it just set in an asylum, it is set and filmed in the actual Danvers State Mental Hospital. Let me tell you, it's as creepy a place as they come.

Jul 29, 2014

Review: Celeste & Jesse Forever (2012)

The romantic comedy is a dying genre. Recent entries in the genre aren't making big bucks anymore despite using known stars. Take Big Wedding which had a budget of $35 million but could only drum up $22 million. Drew Barrymore who is a staple of the genre saw her most recent romantic comedy Going the Distance earn $18 million on a $32 million budget. I'm not going to do a whole bunch of research into this or anything but I feel like there aren't too many high profile rom-com releases these days either.

I think the reason for this is because of people getting tired of the same formula. Studios aren't ashamed of always releasing the same thing because playing it safe is all they know. Why else would we have sequel after sequel anyway. I can understand but it doesn't make for very interesting cinema, that's for sure. I guess there's only so much you can do for a movie between the romance of two characters but still. The standard Hollywood rom-com is like stale bread and that's why a movie like Celeste & Jesse Forever is so refreshing.

Jul 28, 2014

Review: La lengua de las mariposas [Butterfly's Tongue] (1999)

I'm not too familiar with the Spanish Civil War but it's something I've seen done in movies before. Take Pan's Labyrinth for example, which weaved the Civil War into its story quite nicely. La lengua de las mariposas is another movie that does that but in a really gentle and unassuming way. It doesn't seem like it's a major part of the story because we're seeing everything through the eyes of a young boy who's got more important things on his mind.

La lengua de las mariposas is a coming-of-age story featuring Moncho. He's a shy kid who has a good heart. He's also got asthma and he's deathly afraid of going to school for the first time because he doesn't want to get hit by his teacher. Luckily, his teacher Don Gregario hasn't got a single violent bone in his body and he instills in Moncho a desire to learn and absorb everything. Both Moncho and Don Gregario are easy characters to like and their relationship is convincingly built.

Jul 27, 2014

Review: Kundun (1997)

What is Martin Scorsese really known for? It's definitely not Kundun, that's for sure. Everyone is familiar with the gangster/crime movies that he does which are all great and all but I've never heard anyone even mention Kundun or "that Dalai Lama movie that Scorsese did once." It's a completely forgotten movie and was a complete flop when it was released. 

Disney owned the distribution rights for Kundun which seemed like a brave move in face of the guaranteed opposition they'd get from China. Disney is a business after all and why would they want to risk the huge market that China is in terms of box office or DVD sales? According to Scorsese, Disney didn't really push the film too hard in the end, although it did get some award nominations that year. Does Kundun really deserve to be forgotten though?

Review: Stepmom (1998)

Chris Columbus kind of has his own genre of entertainment going on. It's usually family friendly, it's backed up with crisp and ironed production values and John Williams is usually along for the ride. This isn't necessarily a criticism of Columbus, I mean I love me some Home Alone. His work is just extremely accessible and that doesn't always make for the most interesting films. His two Harry Potter entries are probably two of the least interesting entries out of the whole series.

Anyway, I'm probably just being a bit snobbish right now. Columbus makes family movies that address family problems and that's just fine. Stepmom is clearly part of that and it does honestly have an interesting premise. The conflict that emerges between a mother and a stepmother is definitely relevant in a divorce society like ours. 

Jul 26, 2014

Review: Kronos (1957)

We can all say that sci-fi has changed a lot since the 1950's and 1960's. Don't be deceived by IMDb's genre classing of Kronos, it's really a science fiction movie. One thing I've always liked about sci-fi movies, or at least the good ones, is that there's some sort of commentary going on. Kronos might seem like a regular B-movie out of the 50's but I think it's a little bit more than that and it does have something to say.

Kronos had a pretty modest budget of $160,000 which works out to a little over $1.3 million in today's dollar. For a movie that probably put most of that into special effects, that's not a whole lot and apparently, there was even a cut in the original budget which caused some scenes to be eliminated because of the cost.

Jul 25, 2014

Review: Kon-Tiki (1950)

The 2012 film Kon-Tiki was a great film on a technical level and also benefited from a very interesting premise. A man sailing across the Pacific in a raft? Sounds crazy doesn't it? Based on true events, the story underwent some changes to heighten the drama and tension level which I would say is overall a partial success. If you want to experience the real thing though, I suppose you can't get any more real than the actual documentary of Thor Heyerdahl's Kon-Tiki expedition. 

Kon-Tiki won an Oscar in 1951 and is one of only two Norwegian films to have done so. The other Oscar was won by the animated short The Danish Poet in 2007. It's pretty easy to see why Kon-Tiki was awarded its Oscar because even 63 years later, it's a delightful documentary. What Thor Heyerdahl and his crew were able to achieve is nothing short of monumental and it's superbly recounted in this 1950 documentary piece.

Jul 24, 2014

Review: The Other Sister (1999)

Using a mentally handicapped character in a movie is nothing new. Forrest Gump is obviously one that worked exceedingly well as have greats like Rain Man and One Flew Over the Cuckoo Nest. But then we also have duds like Radio or I Am Sam. Robert Downey Jr.'s Tropic Thunder character Kirk Lazarus is famous for having said "Everybody knows you never go full retard." Basically, Hollywood awards people loves mentally handicapped characters but only if they balance their handicap with some kind of talent. 

So does Juliette Lewis go "full retard" in The Other Sister? Yes she does and Garry Marshall painfully uses her handicap as an excuse to make the viewer feel something for the main character. Everything else about TOS is exactly as you'd imagine in a Marshall directed flick along with Hector Elizondo playing some sort of minor character. It's just pretty sad that he would stoop as low as using a mentally challenged character as a crutch without building any sort of convincing character development.

Jul 23, 2014

Review: Kon-Tiki (2012)

Kon-Tiki is a take on the famed voyage that Norwegian ethnographer/explorer Thor Heyerdahl undertook in 1947. With only a raft, some supplies and a small crew, he sailed from South America to Polynesia which is a total distance of 8,000 km. The guy couldn't even swim! That's insanity right there but obviously it was a success because the man lived until his 87th birthday and went on many other ill advised voyages in non-modern boats and rafts.

Kon-Tiki is based off of Thor Heyerdahl's 1948 book The Kon-Tiki Expedition: By Raft Across the South Seas. There was also a documentary that was released in 1950 directed by Thor Heyerdahl himself during the expedition which I really want to watch. The 2012 Kon-Tiki is a dramatization of all these events but I think it's definitely a story that has the potential to make an interesting movie. It was even nominated in the foreign language categories for both the Golden Globes and the Academy Awards.

Jul 22, 2014

Review: Kopps (2003)

There's no shortage of comedy-cop movies in Hollywood but there's definitely room for a Swedish entry to be a part of the club. Josef Fares made his mark with Jalla! Jalla! which was his directorial debut in 2000. It's a comedy film, but one that I think is pretty personal for Josef which also stars his brother Fares Fares. No joke, that's really his name.

Fares Fares also has a part in Kopps and Josef Fares had the help of a certain Mikael Håfström to write the script with him. Håfström has since gone on to direct some relatively large Hollywood projects with varying degrees of success. Take Escape Plan with Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger which was dope I tell you! 1408 was pretty good too but his best work is Evil which was done in his native country of Sweden though.

Jul 21, 2014

Review: Knife Fight (2012)

American politics have the potential for some pretty interesting films. There's no shortage of dirt and thrills to keep everyone happy. Whether it's a political movie set in the present day or in the past, there will always be something of interest. Knife Fight is supposed to reveal the ugly underbelly of current political advising and it's actually co-written by Chris Lahane who was at one time Al Gore's spokesman. The man must have some pretty good insight into the whole process wouldn't you say?

Director Bill Guttentag has done some interesting work in the past and he's been able to assemble a semi-respectable cast of TV and film actors. The Ides of March which came out the year before is easy to compare Knife Fight with and well, let's just say that Knife Fight is clearly the one that brought the knife in this particular gun fight. The underbelly of politics is never very well explored and the story is terribly developed.

Jul 20, 2014

Review: Kleine Teun [Little Tony] (1998)

Alex van Warmerdam is a director/screenwriter/actor who hails from the Netherlands. Oh, he's also a painter. Kleine Teun was his fourth directorial effort which he wrote, directed and acted in. He also gets his wife Annet Malherbe in on the action, who plays his for-the-screen wife as well. It's not the first time she's been in one of his movies either.

Kleine Teun was originally screened in the Un Certain Regard section of the 1998 Cannes Film Festival. Tueur à gages was the winner in that category for 1998 but I can say that I preferred Kleine Teun a little bit more. The movie starts off without any surprises for the most part before completely losing its mind. It's worth a watch to say the least.

Jul 19, 2014

Review: Kiss the Sky (1998)

The premise of Kiss the Sky doesn't sound all that promising. Summed up, I guess that it's a midlife crisis movie which to me, definitely has the potential of going in a dumb direction if it isn't properly done. Men going through a midlife crisis doesn't exactly get a lot of support do they? It's also pretty hard to shake the image of a balding man driving around in a red convertible, trying to recapture his youth. I've never heard of director Roger Young either who seems to be mostly known for a TV/miniseries version of The Bourne Identity from 1988 and (sorry to generalize) some boring biblical stuff.

The two main actors however I do know and happen to like them both. William Peterson is more of an 80's guy who then just went into TV later on while Gary Cole is Gary Cole. I guess he's just known as that guy who played the boss in Office Space but that doesn't really give him enough credit.

Jul 18, 2014

Review: The Odd Couple II (1998)

The Odd Couple is an undeniable classic of the 1960's. It's powered almost single-handedly by Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau's wonderful chemistry and saw them become one of the most famous buddy film pairings. It's great that despite the humungous gap (30 years!!!) between The Odd Couple and The Odd Couple II, Lemmon and Matthau returned with even Neil Simon coming back for writing duties while also being one of the producers.

The Odd Couple II is one of the rare movies in Neil Simon's repertoire that didn't begin as a stage play. It's the tenth and final film that pairs Lemmon/Matthau and was probably made in response to the financial success that Grumpy Old Men and Grumpier Old Men got. Both movies pretty much doubled their budgets at the box office so making a sequel to one of their best films was a surefire way of more box office gold no?

Jul 17, 2014

Review: Saidoweizu [Sideways] (2009)

It still hasn't sunk in that there is a Japanese remake of Alexander Payne's Sideways and I just finished watching it about ten minutes ago as I write this. It's not that I'm opposed to there being a remake, it's just so weird all the same. Payne himself gave his blessing for this movie to be made so we're good.

Can the whole romance of Napa valley and California wine drinking be translated into Japanese? I think so, it's definitely possible. I'm no wine drinker myself but the Japanese can enjoy Pinot Noir just as well as anyone else, right? Sorry, I'm still trying to convince myself that this isn't all too weird.

Jul 16, 2014

Review: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014)

I still remember the day I went to go see Rise of the Planet of the Apes in 2011. The power went out and everything went black in the cinema, robbing me of the last 25 minutes of the movie. Man was I disappointed. At least there was that employee by the emergency exit handing everyone out free passes to another movie but still. I'm a stickler when it comes to finishing movies so I dragged my girlfriend to go see RotPotA again to see the conclusion as well as give Cineplex just a little more popcorn profit.

It was definitely worth it because Rise was definitely better than expected. My major problem with RotPofA is the cardboardness of human characters compared to the apes. It was still very solid and a worthy entry in the Planet of the Apes series. I was a bit concerned during the preproduction of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes because Rupert Wyatt wasn't coming back and neither was anyone else really besides Andy Serkis.  Matt Reeves was also a bit of an unknown to me besides having done Cloverfield.

Review: The Odd Couple (1968)

The Odd Couple began its life as a Broadway play with Art Carney and Walter Matthau as Felix and Oscar respectively. Before Jack Lemmon got the Felix role, many other big names were rumored to get the role like Frank Sinatra or Dick Van Dyke. Famed producer Robert Evans wanted Lemmon though and got him which makes The Odd Couple the second of ten movies that Lemmon and Matthau appeared in together.

Neil Simon is the writer for The Odd Couple and of course is also responsible for the Broadway play. I'm not cultured enough to have seen any of his plays but I've seen some of the other movies he's written like The Out of Towners and The Heartbreak Kid which are great. Some movies you can just tell that they were at one time a play but I find the The Odd Couple kind of escapes that. It lends itself extremely well to being a movie and it goes without saying that it is very well written.

Jul 15, 2014

Review: Kirikou et les hommes et les femmes [Kirikou and the Men and Women] (2012)

Fourteen years after Kirikou et la Sorcière charmed audiences with its unique animation and reliance on real West African folklore, Michel Ocelot brings us a third entry in the Kirikou film series. Like
Kirikou et les bêtes sauvages, it's also an anthology of episodes that take place during the events of Kirikou et la Sorcière. This time the number of episodes is up to five and funnily enough that makes it the longest film in the whole series when the two other films last a little over an hour each.

I can understand why Ocelot would want to follow this kind of midquel format though. At the end of Kirikou et la Sorcière, Kirikou is magically turned into a grown man and Karaba turns good. I'm sure that most audiences want to see Kirikou as a tiny little boy and they also want to see Karaba being all mean and evil. It's definitely the safe decision and the right one I think.

Jul 14, 2014

Review: Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (2013)

Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy is one of those comedies that will always live on as a comedy classic of the 2000's just as movies like Caddyshack or The Naked Gun are comedy classics of the 80's. The 2004 Will Ferrell comedy was unbelievably quotable and packed to the gills with jokes and wacky situations. I watched Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy a lot through my high school years and even though some of the laughs have diminished now, it still holds a special place in my movie memories.

Who exactly would say no to a sequel to Anchorman? It's true that the risks of being unable to match the improvisational energy from the first are there but with the opportunity to see Ron and the gang again is too hard to resist. I was excited myself to hear when Anchorman 2 was in production and read about all the casting tidbits that came out here and there. With a bevy of marketing before the film's release, it's like Ron Burgundy was real and he was everywhere.

Review: Kirikou et les bêtes sauvages [Kirikou and the Wild Beasts] (2005)

Kirikou et la sorcière was a surprise hit when it was released in 1998. Director Michel Ocelot was smart to oppose any sort of sequel to Kirikou because capturing that kind of magic wouldn't be easy to accomplish and would most likely just feel exploitative. Ocelot was eventually convinced to release something that isn't exactly a sequel, but a midquel. Essentially, Kirikou et les bêtes sauvages is a series of short episodes that take place in between the events of Kirikou et la sorcière. Not a bad compromise for Ocelot.

The film opens with some narration from the grandfather of Kirikou (Robert Liensol) who explains that the previous story was too short and there wasn't enough time to showcase the great things that Kirikou did. There are four short episodes, about twenty minutes each that feature Kirikou in some new adventure that can be watched even by those who haven't seen Kirikou et la sorcière.

Jul 13, 2014

Review: Krrish 3 (2013)

With the success of Krrish in 2006, it's not much of a surprise that Rakesh Roshan would want a follow-up. Add in the success of the Hollywood superhero movie market, there's a lot of opportunity to cash in on an Indian superhero that can take advantage of nationalistic pride. It's not like there hasn't been some blatant patriotism in some of the big Hollywood superhero movies anyway. Krrish 3 just makes a lot of business sense, despite the seven year gap.

Krrish 3 is actually the third film of a trilogy, the first being Koi... Mil Gaya which was more of a science fiction movie, heralded as the first in Bollywood. It's easy to write off as a straight up rip off of E.T. Krrish I actually don't remember a whole lot besides not like it all that much. Lucky for me, the film starts with a voice-overed montage of past events from Koi... Mil Gaya and Krrish so I suppose anyone could watch Krrish 3 without having seen the previous two movies. 

Jul 12, 2014

Review: Sideways (2004)

In terms of directors/writers, there are very few who are as reliable as Alexander Payne. He doesn't have a huge body of work but this allows him to really focus on the quality of his work instead of cranking out films as fast as possible. He's balanced his credits with a couple of headscratchers like writing the screenplays for Jurassic Park III and I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry. Presumably this is to get studios to allow him to work on his own personal projects with a good amount of freedom.

Alexander Payne has pretty much proven himself already with Election and About Schmidt but Sideways represents the coming out party for Paul Giamatti and Thomas Haden Church. Both went on to find quite a bit of mainstream success following Sideways. The same applies for Sandra Oh who got into Grey's Anatomy afterwards. All the actors of Sideways deservedly got some awards recognition for their acting.

Jul 11, 2014

Review: Kiss of the Damned (2012)

With the undeniable success of The Twilight Saga film series, seeing other vampire movies try to catch on isn't unexpected. That's maybe a bit unfair to say about Kiss of the Damned because I don't think Xan Cassavetes of the famed Hollywood Cassavetes family has the same aspirations. It was released at the 2013 SXSW Film Festival and later released to probably only a handful of theaters. With a lifetime gross of only $14, 752, I don't think money or mainstream success was the biggest goal here.

Xan Cassavetes has tapped into a more convincing version of vampire folklore than Twilight but that's not something that's especially difficult to do. Vampires prey upon their victims in sexual encounters and burn in the sun as they should! Kiss of the Damned is a more satisfying version of vampires and the so-called vampire community that exists in the film presents an interesting premise.

Jul 10, 2014

Review: Laws of Attraction (2004)

On the surface, Laws of Attraction sort of looks like it could be decent. The title's kinda clever because it's about two lawyers, it's an Irish/British/German production so maybe it won't be like every other Hollywood romantic comedy ever made and I suppose the cast looks OK too. The thing is, director Peter Howitt clearly had North America in mind because Laws of Attraction is painfully obvious and no different from other rom-coms.

Parts of the film take place in Ireland where a lot of the characters and events there are kind of stereotypical. It's strange that Pierce Brosnan who is an executive producer for Laws of Attraction would accept portraying his home country like that but again, this is for North American audiences primarily. The Ireland that is shown in LoA is what everyone expects.

Jul 9, 2014

Review: The King of Comedy (1982)

The King of Comedy finds Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro collaborating for the fifth time. A lot of what happened during the making of this film makes it pretty clear that the two are extremely comfortable working together and just making movie magic. Scorsese gets the best out of the other actors in this film, even with De Niro lending a hand when it came to Jerry Lewis. That's a good partnership if I ever saw one.

Jerry Lewis' role could not be more meta and he plays it with underappreciated prowess. I find it mind boggling and extremely disappointing that The King of Comedy bombed when it was originally released. The world wasn't ready for the grim reality of celebrity chasers I suppose that plays like a gut-wrenching black comedy. It's not an easy film to digest and I'm all the more glad that it isn't.

Jul 7, 2014

Review: Kirot [The Assassin Next Door] (2009)

Olga Kurylenko finally gets a chance to star in her own film after having been in three major Hollywood action movies. Hitman, Max Payne and Quantum of Solace are all on varying degrees of bad and disappointing but I have to admit that Hitman is a bit of a guilty pleasure of mine. Moving on, Olga comes from a background of modelling and I think that it's fair to ask if Olga is able to hold her own in an action movie by herself.

Danny Lerner wrote and directed Kirot which is a much better title than the American title The Assassin Next Door. Sounds like it could be some sort of comedy with a title like that. Lerner has only one other credit to his name and hasn't done anything since Kirot. Not the best sign. He gets a bigger budget and a name actress with Kirot so he has the chance of maybe doing something special.

Jul 6, 2014

Review: Kirikou et la sorcière [Kirikou and the Sorceress] (1998)

There are lots of good animated children's movies out there and there are even more bad ones. A lot of these movies get caught up in having the slickest animation or the most star-studded voice cast. With Kirikou et la sorcière, Michel Ocelot doesn't fall into any modern day animated film pitfalls. The story is based off of West African folk tales and is animated with simplistic beauty. The main character is cute but it's not this kind of pandering cuteness that seems to be the norm now. 

The other important thing about Kirikou  that can't be understated is the presence of Youssou N'Dour's soundtrack. I don't think anyone from the Western world can be blamed for not knowing who he is but apparently he is one of the most popular artists in Africa today. He's from Senegal and he has created a beautiful and natural score that contributes to the agelessness of Kels. Whoever made the decision to bring in N'Dour definitely added to the credibility of this production.

Jul 5, 2014

Review: Kingu Kongu no gyakushû [King King Escapes] (1967)

King Kong Escapes is yet another Ishirô Honda kaiju film that features the licensed Universal Studios character of King Kong. King Kong was pretty beloved by Japan and was essentially the inspiration for kaiju films as a genre. There's even a 1938 Japanese King Kong film that was produced without the permission of RKO who owned the rights of King Kong at the time. That's sixteen years before Honda's Godzilla in 1954. King Kong Appears in Edo is sadly a lost film and King Kong Escapes is the final Japanese production to feature King Kong.

King Kong Escapes is interesting in the sense that it's a Japanese/American production that has Toho and Rankin/Bass teaming up. The movie is meant to be a remake of Rankin/Bass' animated TV show that is itself a remake of the original film. There are Japanese and American actors playing roles and the version I watched was the Universal Pictures version with the English dubbing. All I'll say is that the dubbing is a little bit better than what I was expecting (there's no love lost between me and dubbing).

Jul 4, 2014

Review: Runaway Bride (1999)

When talking about Runaway Bride, you always have to talk about Pretty Woman. I haven't even seen Pretty Woman and here I am talking about it. I can't really say much about it besides the fact that it appears to be generally well liked by audiences. Runaway Bride is an attempt at recapturing the magic that was created by Julia Roberts and Richard Gere in Pretty Woman. PW made $463 million at the box office on a budget of $14 million so I think this is maybe more of an attempt at recapturing the cold hard cash that it made.

Runaway Bride cost quite a bit more at $70 million and this is probably because of Roberts' price tag after a pretty long string of box office successes. Richard Gere has a handful of movies that struck gold between 1990 and 1998 but is nowhere near as proven as Julia Roberts is. Neither actor was originally going to be cast in this film but Garry Marshall was able to bring them back. He also hooks along his lucky charm in Hector Elizondo and brings back James Newton Howard to score.

A warning though, this review will contain spoilers throughout so I won't be putting any individual warnings anywhere.

Jul 3, 2014

Review: Killing Zoe (1993)

Roger Avery may have directed Killing Zoe but with Quentin Tarantino producing, it really feels Tarantino's fingerprints all over this movie. I don't know where the Avery stops and the Tarantino begins but that's not necessarily a bad thing. When I sit down to watch a movie, I just want something worthwhile. With Tarantino as part of the producer team, you can't really accuse Avery of ripping him off anyway. Quentin has given Roger the keys to the gate himself.

Avery's description of what he was trying to do with Killing Zoe is pretty apt. He wanted to make "an art-house film for both the coffeehouse crowd and the exploitation crowd" and that's exactly what he's done. Using familiar bank heist elements, artsy editing plus lots of bloody violence and drug use, there's enough here for both crowds.

Jul 2, 2014

Review: Now You See Me (2013)

Now You See Me definitely has an interesting premise, something like an Ocean's movie but with magicians. The cast is also pretty stacked in terms of talented actors with Jesse Eisenberg, Mark Ruffalo, Woody Harrelson and many more. With the stage set though, is Now You See Me simply a case of all show and no go?

French director Louis Leterrier inspires perhaps a little bit of confidence. Transporter 2, well really the whole Transporter series is a guilty pleasure of mine but I guess it doesn't really matter who directs it. Those are Luc Besson's films. The Incredible Hulk with Edward Norton wasn't bad if you ask me but then Clash of the Titans...yeesh. Unleashed was actually kind of interesting so at least we know that Leterrier can utilize Morgan Freeman properly.