Everything about “Cloud Atlas”—the latest film from “The Matrix” helmers the Wachowskis and “Run Lola Run” director Tom Tykwer—is big. The film has a big cast—both in name and number—big ideas, big scope, big run time (172 minutes), and, for the most part, big payoff. And the biggest thing of all is the film’s ambition. Boy howdy do the filmmakers set out to accomplish a great many things in adapting David Mitchell’s best-selling novel. And the film features multiple references to “Soylent Green”, which is one surefire way to gain my favor.
Thursday, October 25, 2012
Thursday, October 18, 2012
Answer this question: how did “Alex Cross” get a wide theatrical release? By all rights this film should have skipped over that entire process and gone straight to video without passing “Go” or any of the other clichés. Is it solely because of Tyler Perry? If so, good for him, because this movie has nothing else going for it. Okay, that’s not entirely true. “Alex Cross” is often hilarious, though unintentionally so. It’s like watching a caricature of an action movie. You keep waiting for a punch line that never comes.
Thursday, October 11, 2012
Writer/director Martin McDonagh’s new film, “Seven Psychopaths”, has everything a dude wants out of a movie. It’s awash in violence, booze, laughter, dog thievery, and the titular madmen. Emphasis on the men. At one point, the protagonist, Marty (Colin Farell), a busted Irish screenwriter, is accused of only writing female characters so they can be killed off later. That charge has been leveled at McDonagh a time or two. We’re talking a testosterone-fueled, pseudo-road movie with a story that’s smart, quick-witted, and self-referential. Pulling off stories within stories, films within the film, the narrative is an endlessly inventive, looping spiral of dark humor, blood, and earnest emotion.
Though it isn’t going to blow any minds, and won’t win over a landslide of new horror fans, Scott Derrickson’s (“The Exorcism of Emily Rose”) latest outing, “Sinister”, is a solid spookfest. You’ll find some well-worn genre tropes—think creepy kids, mysterious footsteps in the empty attic, and a house that’s always dark, even in the middle of the day—and you’re going to chuckle a few times at some cheesy bits, but overall, the film accomplishes what it sets out to do.
Sunday, October 7, 2012
It’s about damn time that LARPers get their day in the sun. Their pasty skin could use some rays. For those of you unfamiliar with the term, LARPing stands for Live Action Role Playing. Think “Dungeons & Dragons”, but instead of gathering in a dank, dark basement, the players take to parks and other public spaces in order to whack each other about the head and torso with foam swords, and to throw tinfoil balls at each other in lieu of lightning bolts and spells. This is the world explored by “Lloyd the Conqueror”.
Thursday, October 4, 2012
Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson) is one pissed off dad. And he’s back for another round of daughter-protecting ass kicking in “Taken 2”. Sure, he’s a little stiffer, a little greyer, and things hurt a little more—he grimaces every time he stands up, like maybe he has bad knees. Still, he manages to bring it pretty well. “Taken 2” is predictable, comically serious, and in reality, kind of shitty. So of course a part of me loves it, though I won’t claim that it’s any good.