Wes Anderson has finally done it. He's gone and created his own country.
Zubrowka, the fictional town at the heart of 'The Grand Budapest Hotel,' is positioned on the farthest Eastern edge of Europe's great empire. It is a melange of stylistic flourishes and decorative signifiers from a make believe 20th Century - a memory of a memory, a fastidious, whimsical take on real horrors - a storybook samizdat that entices with madcap adventure then goes in for the kill with existential dread. It is an incredible place to visit.
Sometimes you have to wonder if writers are aware of just how much of their scripts inadvertently rip off or openly resemble other movies. For example, three writers are credited with ‘Pompeii’ – did it ever occur to any of them that their disaster film was ‘Titanic’ meets ‘Gladiator’ with a ‘Conan’ opening thrown in for good measure? Surely director Paul W.S. Anderson, the auteur responsible for the ‘Resident Evil’ film series, did, not that I imagine he cared.
The promise of '3 Days to Kill': If Kevin Costner can assassinate a laundry list of people in three days, he'll receive the antidote to his terminal illness. The reality of '3 Days to Kill': If Kevin Costner can assassinate an indeterminable amount of people over an indeterminable amount of time while juggling quality time with his estranged daughter, then he'll continue being given treatment to his terminal illness, which he has been receiving since the beginning of the movie. For those who thought 'Taken' needed more filler, this movie.
Relationships are hard. Love is challenging. Friendships are precious. Sometimes people have randomly and abnormally large bathtubs in the middle of their loft-styled bedrooms. Puppies solve everything. And a romantic comedy is not a romantic comedy without dicing in some classic clichés, but at least Steve Pink’s ‘About Last Night’ proves that a plucky cast and some raunchy wordplay can punch up even the most tired of cinematic endeavors.
Like many films about wholly misguided love affairs, consuming obsession, and criminal activity involving elephants, ‘Endless Love’ opens with a vaguely creepy voiceover. Apparently meant to be styled as the opening lines to some kind of modern fairy tale, David Elliot (Alex Pettyfer) uses the first few moments of Shana Feste’s adaptation to introduce us his very own tower-bound princess, young Jade Butterfield (Gabrielle Wilde), a sensitive enough soul entombed in our own grief (or something like that, it’s hard to tell over Pettyfer’s creepy staring). Set at the pair’s high school graduation, David and the camera both spy on Jade as he vows to do, well, something to get to know her. Charming.
'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?
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.
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