'Winter's Tale' makes 'Safe Haven' look like 'The Godfather.' It is an absurd story adapted in the most dreary way possible, with lifeless performances, dull dialogue and laughable special effects. I need to cross-reference my files, but I think it is the worst major studio release with respected actors in five years. If any of us cared about our culture at all we'd be gathering our pitchforks and storming Hollywood now.
A few weeks back I was watching TV with friends who don't follow movies that closely. On came the ad for 'RoboCop.' They were baffled. “Who needs this?” they asked.
Forget that we were all old enough to remember the first one. This wasn't just defending our childhoods. If you want to step on a classic – and 'RoboCop' is something of a classic – you better come correct. What's this new one going to offer? The original's action and sly satire aren't dated. Who needs this?
I am afraid I must report that nobody needs this.
So, listen....Do you have a sleazy side? Don't look over your shoulder to see who's watching, just answer. If the answer is “a little” or “kinda” or even “Oh God, yes!” then I have the movie for you.
"Everything is Awesome!"
Much has been said about our recent cinema kowtowing to nerds. From the massive success of 'The Avengers' to the ill-fated sci-fi odes of 'Paul.' (Anyone remember 'Paul?') The nerds have won. But whither the spaz?
Take a moment to remember the spaz. The hyperactive, highly-excitable enthusiast who can barely stay in one place for longer than sixty seconds and makes a little bit of a mess of things with his chaotic energy. 'The LEGO Movie' is the film for that person. From its opening frame to its surprisingly heartfelt conclusion, 'The LEGO Movie' has a bright and brash, candy-colored go go go dynamism that crackles with a glorious alacrity set to the tempo of the classroom's biggest and most disruptive spaz.
“They don't make 'em like that anymore!”
That's what my old man always liked to say when we'd watch a black and white Hollywood classic. Sometimes he meant it as a sign of respect. Sometimes he meant it to mean, "Wow, that was super cheesy."
Taking a step back from big screen blockbusters for a decidedly more lo-fi affair, Anne Hathaway pulls double duty on Kate Barker-Froyland’s debut feature, ‘Song One,’ both starring in and producing the music-infused drama. Hathaway plays Franny, a PhD candidate unexpectedly called back to New York City (her hometown, and one she has been absent from for far too long) after her younger brother slips into a coma after being hit by a car on familiar Brooklyn streets. Pulled back into the fray of an actually fraying family, Franny and her mother (Mary Steenburgen, who is excellent in her role) attempt to make sense of the tragedy that has befallen them, and Franny takes a personal interest in yanking her brother back into the living world.
Quite frankly as misguided and problematic as the forlorn romanticism of Kenneth Branagh’s 1994 adaptation, not to mention as ridiculously self-serious, Stuart Beattie’s ‘I, Frankenstein’ isn’t even campy enough to be fun. Cut from the mold of the films in the ‘Underworld’ series, Beattie’s film similarly eschews the natural intrigue of the original mythology to pump it full of steroids and Hot Topic-style cool, adding an epic, age-old conflict between no less than angels (well, gargoyles) and demons for Frankenstein’s monster to be caught between – all of which showcases an excess of thought, and yet a shocking lack of brains.
Some franchises leave an indelible mark on you during your formative years, and inspire passionate, lifelong devotion from their fans – but is Jack Ryan really one of them? Given the messy lineage of the character on screen, played now by four separate actors (Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford, Ben Affleck and here, by 'Star Trek Into Darkness' star Chris Pine), not to mention the fact that the films are wildly uneven in terms of quality, it seems like the answer would be no. But, the character’s resilience is apparently as indefatigable as Hollywood’s faith in intellectual property, which is why ‘Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit’ exists, a dull mishmash of Cold War spy games and ‘Bourne Identity’-style grit which shares much in common with the weakest of its predecessors – especially total forgettability.
A newlywed couple (Allison Miller and 'Friday Night Lights' star Zach Gilford) returns home from their honeymoon with an unexpected pregnancy, but as the husband documents their lives, the pair begin to notice that something isn't quite right with the baby. 'Devil's Due' is the latest entry in the found footage horror genre, and while it does have its fair amount of creative visual effects, the thrills are hardly thrilling in this paint by numbers occult chiller.