Imagine, if you can, a film about World War II, and orphaned children, and looming death, and brutal Nazis, and the horrors of the Holocaust. Then imagine a narrator for that film. Then imagine the worst possible narrator* for that film – just the most wrong-headed, bizarre and frankly offensive narrator you can possibly picture. Keep that in mind. (And, if you’re not familiar with either the film’s source material or its IMDb page, don’t worry about any spoilers here, we’ll save them for the very end.)
Is it a Quantum Field Generator or a a Soul Forge? It's both, and that's why 'Thor: The Dark World,' like 'Thor' before it, is one of the best films that blends sci-fi and fantasy. Add the humor, star charisma and nods to the wider Marvel Movie Universe and you've got 120 minutes of straight-up nerdy glee. If dorky blood flows through your veins, you will love this movie.
At the 44-minute mark (I checked) of 'Mr. Nobody,' I loudly sighed and asked, “Good God, when the hell is this movie going to START!”
Featuring various narrators, time-loops and narrative branches emblematic of the “multiple worlds theory,” Jaco Van Dormael's 'Mr. Nobody' -- starring Jared Leto, Sarah Polley, Diane Kruger, Juno Temple and a whole mess of special effects shots -- is the type of far-out science-fiction that usually inspires in me an enthusiastic response. But as with last year's similar 'Cloud Atlas,' (similar in that both films are defiantly different) this is a movie that ultimately collapses under its own weight. Its relentless cinematic tricksterism soon becomes unbearable, and its themes, while thought-provoking, are so unsubtle you'll exit this near two-and-a-half-hour film in need of a nap.
The scandal preceding 'Blue Is the Warmest Color' -- involving very public fights between director Abdellatif Kechiche and stars Lea Seydoux and Adele Exarchopolous -- almost seems worth it when viewing the end result: a beautiful, moving, highly emotional piece of drama featuring unquestionably exhausting work from its two female leads. It's a film that's the result of the relentless labors of its director and stars, and the kind of story that requires an emotional toll to be paid from those involved. At film's end, you sort of walk away just as exhausted as Seydoux and Exarchopolous must have been.
If the sudden appearance of a surprisingly stretchy prosthetic penis trapped inside a soda machine at the hands of a horny old widower in Jeff Tremaine’s ‘Bad Grandpa’ doesn’t drive you out of the theater, you’ll likely do just fine with the latest entry from the ‘Jackass’ crew and their ever-shrinking bag of gross-out gags.
After all, Johnny Knoxville’s eponymous “bad grandpa” Irving Zisman starts humping the vending machine within the film’s first five minutes, making it crystal clear what sort of production we’re in for. 'Bad Grandpa' is the latest from the creative team behind ‘Jackass,’ taking one of their favorite character creations on the road for one of the most ill-fated and weirdly amusing road trips in recent cinematic memory.
Everyone is going to hate 'The Counselor.'
Ridley Scott's adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's original screenplay starring Michael Fassbender, Cameron Diaz, Penelope Cruz, Javier Bardem, Brad Pitt, et. al. is one frustrating movie. At its very best – if you buckle down and really work to piece together the nearly inscrutable plot – you aren't going to come away with much. “Crime doesn't pay,” is the gist of it.
For a gal named Carrie White, she's sure got a lot of red on her.
Watching Kimberly Peirce's 'Carrie' is an odd experience. If you've seen Brian De Palma's version from 1976, this new version is - and there's really no point in denying this - like watching a cover band. There's a tweaked scene here and there (including a new, creepy-as-heck opening) plus the addition of cell phones and references to 'Dancing With The Stars.' This remake, more than most, really feels like hitting the same marks. It may be a peculiarity specific to 'Carrie,' because, let's face it, not a whole heck of a lot happens in this story. Considering most moviegoers' familiarity, there's plenty of room to stew and think, "Why is this considered such a classic?"
"What kind of man would choose to spend his life in prison?"
It’s the most obvious question in Mikael Hafstrom’s 'Escape Plan,' and while it’s asked early on in the startling convoluted action film, it’s never quite answered, probably because the answer is actually, "well, otherwise we wouldn’t have a movie here."
“What can't Justin Timberlake do?” said the internet after the performer dominated 2013 with the release of two albums, a musical turn in Cannes favorite 'Inside Llewyn Davis,' and a handful of Jimmy Fallon late-night sketches that all went viral. 'Runner Runner' suggests there's really one thing: convince us he's anyone but Timberlake.
'Lincoln Lawyer' director Brad Furman directs the middling thriller, another gambling-infused escapade from 'Rounders' writers Brian Koppelman and David Levien that packs the integrity of their previous efforts without any spark. The writing duo can talk the poker talk, this time immersing their script in the seedy world of online betting. Their leading man can't keep up.