Some ideas just aren’t cut out for sequels. ‘The Hangover’ was ingenious and hilarious—for one movie. But another ‘Hangover’? With the same guys? That doesn’t make a ton of sense. ‘The Blue Lagoon’ was striking and exotic. But a ‘Return to the Blue Lagoon’? More castaways? On the exact same deserted island? Sorry, no thanks. To the list of concepts that could not support a sequel but got one anyway, we can now add ‘Horrible Bosses 2,’ a flimsy retread of the 2011 comedy that had barely enough material to fill one film.
‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1’ is a movie comprised almost entirely of deleted scenes. As it says right in the title, this isn’t the final chapter of ‘The Hunger Games’ series; it’s just the first half of the final chapter, and that’s exactly what it feels like. It’s table setting for a meal that won’t be served until next November. ‘Mockingjay - Part 1’ is good-looking, well-acted, and utterly inessential.
Reunited and it feels so dumb, with Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels back as Lloyd Christmas and Harry Dunne.
The actors are compelling, but the New York Times obituary contained even more drama in 700 words than 'Foxcatcher' does in 130 minutes.
Opening on November 7 is the new Disney animated hullabaloo titled ‘Big Hero 6.’ In ‘Big Hero 6,’ five regular human beings are brought together to fight crime alongside an inflatable robot doctor. I swear that all of this will make sense, kind of. Ahead, as a service to the world, we answer every question that you could possibly have about ‘Big Hero 6.’
Deep, deep into the 169 minute running time of ‘Interstellar’ is a scene in which astronaut pilot Cooper (Matthew McConaughey) must dock a spaceship with another, larger, out of control spinning space ship. The solution is to spin the smaller ship at the same speed, so that the effect makes it looks like both crafts aren’t spinning at all. So, by spinning everything out of control, it manipulates the situation into looking normal. This is also an apt description of the style of ‘Interstellar’’s director, Christopher Nolan.
At times, while watching Laura Poitras’ ‘Citizenfour’ (which premiered Friday night at the New York Film Festival) it feels like fiction. It feels like an almost lazy spy movie that uses clichéd tropes to present a world in which everyone and everything is being watched. But, this isn’t fiction. This is the story of Edward Snowden and it is terrifying in its paranoia.
It’s a weird thing, I can already tell that ‘Inherent Vice’ will grow on me after time. I can already tell I like it better as I type this than I did while watching it. People will compare ‘Inherent Vice’ to the Coen brothers’ 1998 movie ‘The Big Lebowski’ and that’s totally fair because I’m going to do just that right now. Both films feature protagonists – with an affinity for marijuana use – who experience a remarkable adventure while searching for something that doesn’t matter. Sixteen years later, Mickey Woolfman means about as much as the money for a urine-soaked rug. It matters to the character but it never really matters much to us and, in both of these cases, we wind up being right.
Nic Cage is in a new movie that opened today called ‘Left Behind.’ There’s already a movie called ‘Left Behind’ that starred Kirk Cameron and this movie is probably a lot like that one, only Nic Cage is in it now. ‘Left Behind’ details the biblical rapture and what it would be like if the rapture happened while Nic Cage was piloting a commercial airliner. If ‘Left Behind’ was screened for critics, I wasn’t invited. So, on Friday morning I paid to see ‘Left Behind’ in the Kip’s Bay area of Manhattan. While watching ‘Left Behind,’ I kept a running diary. Here’s how that all went…
There are brilliant and daring conceits that elevate and enhance the viewing experience of a film, and then there are shameless and hollow gimmicks that do little more than hook the viewer in and fail to deliver anything meaningful. 'The Tribe' both promises and delivers on the former with a premise and a narrative concept unlike anything in conventional cinema: a story told from the perspective of a Ukrainian boy attending a school for the deaf where everyone speaks in sign language, and we're given no voice over or subtitles to hold our hand.