Rating: C+/ If a strange man shows up in your house with a gunshot wound and a half-baked story, trust him unreservedly. He couldn’t possibly be a serial killer or a rapist, could he?
I don’t care what anybody says, Tim Roth makes any movie about 100% times better. His loquacious villain makes this movie, well, watchable. Patricia Clarkson is a wonderful actress, but even she can’t save October Gale from the gutter. Here she plays Helen, a recent widow who goes to her summer home for the first time after the death of her husband (played in flashbacks by Callum Keith Rennie.) Continue reading Movie Review: October Gale (2014)
Rating: C+/ Well, you certainly can’t accuse Quentin Tarantino of false advertising. These eight characters are, in fact, hateful. And then some. Let me just preface this review by saying I love Tarantino’s movies. Usually. But his latest effort, The Hateful Eight, stands as one of his weakest so far. Usually, we can follow Tarantino into the craziest plots, the nuttiest situations that he conjures up before us. His movies are self-indulgent as fuck, films derived from films derived from other films, but that matters to us not one whit. The man has a gift; for dialogue, for characters, for pitch-black, twisted humor that is as prevalent in his films as the ubiquitous big twist in a M. Night Shyamalan flick. Continue reading Movie Review: The Hateful Eight (2015)
Rating: C/ I remember when I was about eleven, I saw a trailer for a Jan Svankmajer film called Lunacy, which involved dancing pieces of raw meat interspersed with people screaming/ being tortured. It scared me quite a bit, and left me with no desire to see the entirety of the movie. Indeed, Svankmajer is one of those filmmakers, like David Lynch or John Waters, who seems to absolutely pride himself at being weirder than everyone else. After I saw Alice, his supremely creepy take on Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, I was curious to see what other screwed-up little creations he had cooked up in his twisted brain. Continue reading Movie Review: Little Otik (2000)
Rating: C/ How do I hate Rorschach’s Batman voice? Let me count the ways. Set in an alternate timeline where Richard Nixon tries to shut down a group of masked vigilantes, the premise of Watchmen is admittedly original. I really liked the opening montage, where director Zack Snyder recreates famous moments from the 60’s and 70’s with a superhero twist. But Watchmen also proves to be both over-baked and overblown, attempting to portray the relentless ugliness of human nature with a stylized superhero movie format and falling short of greatness. Continue reading Movie Review: Watchmen (2009)
Rating: C/ Puppylove opens with two 14-year-old kids preparing to have sex. The awkwardness and authenticity of this scene made me think the movie itself was going to be more realistic than it was. But no, the ick factor of this film goes way above and beyond a realistic amount and into a level of ridiculousness. Let me explain. The girl in the movie, Diane (Selene Rigot) is a young teen and looks barely old enough to be weaned off Barbie dolls. She also seems to be in love with her ineffectual father (Vincent Perez) (Freud would be proud.) At the beginning, we see the girl, Diane, befriend Julia (Audrey Bastien,) the remarkably self-possessed nymphet daughter of overbearing intellectual parents who is all too aware of her effect on men. Continue reading Movie Review: Puppylove (2013)
Rating: C+/ Although not entirely without it’s merits, Waking Ned Devine is a mostly silly and unsubstantial Irish comedy with few real laughs. It doesn’t help that the main character, Jackie O’Shea (Ian Bannen,) is startlingly unlikable. The lightness and fluffiness of the movie juxtaposes poorly with Jackie’s all-encompassing selfishness and nastiness, redeemed (?) at the end by a dime-store revelation that doesn’t seem very genuine. Continue reading Movie Review: Waking Ned Devine (1998)
Rating: C+/ The dinosaurs are in fact bigger, brassier, and toothier, and the CGI has been never better, but much of the credibility and heart of the original Jurassic Park is lost in this retread. It might seem strange to talk about credibility in a series that features living, breathing dinosaurs resurrected in a modern setting, but somehow the original film made you believe in an outlandish scenario and breathed life into the characters involved in the chaos in a way this follow-up only dreams of. Okay, it’s not a bad movie, but it’s not the classic we were hoping for- or that this franchise deserves. Continue reading Movie Review: Jurassic World (2015)