Fincher’s frames Affleck… and Pike?
If nothing else, you gotta give David Fincher credit for consistency. I mean, he also deserves props for his sometimes daring, always stylistic filmmaking, but above all you can rest assured that he will, when all is said and done, deliver the goods in the form of a satisfying cinematic experience. His latest, Gone Girl, is the lastest well-earned notch in his belt.
Here the trailer; my 5 great things follow after the jump:
Yes, he’s a douchebag here, but a helluva hero later
So this was the one for me. Of all the summer movies, Edge of Tomorrow was the one that did it for me. It had all the key elements of a summer blockbuster: science fiction, end of civilization, aliens, monsters, monster aliens, cool technology, time travel and humor. And of course, lots and lots of explosions. EoT was helped tremendously by the fact that it featured the world’s top action star, Tom Cruise, who plays a smarmy guy who really deserves to have something nasty happen to him… and it pretty much does in the first 10 minutes. Then the film takes off like a rocket.
Richard Roeper of the Chicago Sun Times called the film “… a badass, sci-fi take on Groundhog Day, with Tom Cruise in the Bill Murray role as a self-centered and not particularly noble loner who finds himself starring in a continual loop in which he is condemned to repeat the same day over and over — which eventually leads to some life-changing revelations.” Yup. Check out the kickass trailer and then find out what I found so enjoyable about it after the jump:
She doesn’t want what you think she wants
When I first saw the trailer for Lucy, I was like, “Damn, that’s hot.” And I’ll admit, I’m a sucker for anything Scarlett Johansson does, so that just might have something to do with my reaction. All I could tell was that she was somehow a drug mule done wrong and suddenly gets superhuman powers. What’s not to like? That it was directed by French filmmaker Luc Besson (ranked “In The Lobby” by the braintrust here at VOH) didn’t hurt, but didn’t really help much either. I’d probably go see Scar Jo directed by VOH-certified hack Michael Bay (in The Island), or directed by the man responsible for the crazily-disappointing Cowboys and Aliens, Jon Favreau (in Iron Man 2). ‘Cause it’s her. So I was down to see Lucy.
And I went to see it and was not that impressed. I think I was taken by surprise with what Besson, who also wrote the screenplay, was trying to say. I didn’t really get it. I thought I was in for a straightforward revenge flick, but once Lucy gets tuned in and turned on by all those synthetic drugs released in her system, suddenly revenge is the very last thing on her mind, if at all. So I had to go see it again, about a month or so later, at a second-run theater. And I finally got it.
Richard Corliss from Time called it “… the summer’s coolest, juiciest, smartest action movie.” Well, as usual, he was wrong, which is one of the many reasons I don’t read Time. Edge of Tomorrow was the summer’s coolest, juiciest, smartest action movie. But Lucy is damn cool, no doubt about it.
Don’t get it twisted. While it’s not a revenge flick, Lucy gets to kick a serious amount of butt; it’s just that her motivation is not what you’d expect. It comes from a surprisingly high place. Check out the trailer and my 5 things will follow after the jump.
Here’s a movie that almost missed me. I mean, I remember the old mid-80s TV drama featuring an old spy who could somehow still take care of business. So when I heard about a film version starring Denzel Washington in the title role, my initial thought was “Meh, I’ll pass.” And the trailer didn’t do much to warm me up either. But then I read a review by A.A. Dowd at the Onion AV Club, actually quite critical (Dowd gave the film a C Minus), but something about it piqued my interest. Maybe it was a boring weekend, but I went out to see it, and man, I am glad I did! This new version of The Equalizer is nothing like the TV show. It’s more like Washington’s other role as a retired CIA killer, Man on Fire, except instead of being a moody, alcoholic, suicidal psychopath he’s a friendly, obsessive-compulsive, do-gooder psychopath. In his review, Dowd claims Washington’s character is “Blessed with the fighting skills of Batman.” He must have forgotten that Batman got his ass kicked by Bane last time out. In The Equalizer, ain’t nobody kicking Denzel’s ass… I would say he was blessed with the omnipotent fighting power of Bruce Lee. The very first action piece, in my mind, is worth the entire price of admission, but Sony is going to do you a favor and let you see it for free in the clip below.
Check out the action, and then my 5 things after the jump:
Although it’s really not much more than an under-achieving version of Mel Gibon’s entirely entertaining Payback (1999), Keanu Reeves’ hitman-comes-out-of-retirement to get revenge thriller John Wick does deliver some wickedly funny, IMAX-sized moments of mayhem. First, the trailer and then 5 things I liked about it:
By most accounts, Tim Burton is one of the most accomplished directors working in Hollywood today. And this weekend, he releases his latest, Dark Shadows, an adaptation of the 1970’s gothic television soap opera. Starring Burton’s ace in the hole, Johnny Depp, as the patriarchal vampire Barnabas Collins, and featuring sexpot Eva Green as the witch who done him wrong, this film can’t help but be entertaining.
But will it qualify Burton as a visionary?
Or at least 50% of it. George Lucas has gone on record stating that his latest film, about a squadron of African American fighter pilots in World War II, is the biggest budgeted black film Hollywood has ever made… and he had to pay for it out of his own pocket because no one else would take the risk.
Why’d he do it? Read More
In the Lobby? Wes Craven
Okay, one of us is sure that Craven is a hack, but two of us have him in the lobby. In perusing this brief retrospective of his career from Moviefone, I was reminded of Craven innovative approaches to advancing the art of boogey man movies. He’s sort of the Michael Bay of the cheesy halloween blockbuster niche: he makes effective genre films that consistently draw big audiences and prove the studios investment in him to be sound. Read More