When Seth Rogen does clean comedy, I actually find him quite funny. His timing and almost reserved witty sarcasm is extremely well presented. Usually it’s a lot harder to appreciate when he’s loud, foul-mouthed, and perverted. But in something like this, he is not near as grating. Now, everything else about this movie is rough. It’s sentimental slop and I’m pretty sure only a mother of a boy who also happens to be currently pregnant with a 2nd boy would find this touching. (Love you hon!) It’s cheesy and formulaic, but it’s not meant to be anything else. 4.5/10
Archive for the 5/10 Category
So when I made my prediction that Jon Chu was the next Terrence Malick, I guess I was wrong. But at least this is a step up in quality! But seriously, this is just another uninspired action flick with some awkward bromance, forced guest appearances from famous actors, and annoyingly convenient plot contrivances throughout. The movie’s only strength is that it did seem to mostly know its limitations and didn’t try to be smarter than it was. I can usually get behind something that’s entertaining and stupid when it knows it’s entertaining and stupid (and as long as it doesn’t break the 2-hour mark, which this did not). So, not the worst thing I’ve ever seen, but still not good. (Yeah, this review has about as much depth as the movie itself, sorry!) 4.75/10
My streak of watching good action movies has come to an end. And what’s most disappointing is that for the first hour or so, it seemed as if the streak would continue. First things first, when Werner Herzog’s names appeared in the credits, I was very excited. The man is a master whether he’s directing or acting. Then, the film’s opening scene is fantastic. Completely silent/muffled, great use of several different camera angles, and showing us right away who the bad guy is instead of making it a distracting guessing game – sold! And even as the film entered into more standard territory, the protagonist is somewhat unique and the story was interesting, so why not?
But the momentum quickly nose-dives as the fight scenes become goofy, the plot makes several cliché moves, and Rosamund Pike gives one of the worst performances I’ve seen in a while. (She spent the whole movie with her mouth hanging open with the expression of utter shock to EVERY single thing that she had just seen or heard.) Once the film gets messy, it snowballs into unwatchable territory. I was extremely pleased when this finally ended. 5.25/10
Who in the world thought it was a good idea to hand the Dirty Harry reigns over to James Fargo? Horridly dull, uninspired filmmaking that in no way feels like it belongs with the first two of the series. At one point there is what seems like a 20 minute on-foot chase scene featuring completely non-innovative camerawork, stupid be-bop music, and characters running at the speed of a leisurely Sunday jog. The laziness involved in this scene sums up the entire effort put forth in making this film. Gone are the dark tone, nice cinematography, and interesting villains. But, hey, this one has the funniest one-liners, so it has that going for it. The film’s final battle at an abandoned Alcatraz is easily the highlight of the film, and the final scene – where we get a real feel for just how complacent the figures of power have become in Harry’s world – is haunting. It lingers with you as the credits roll. Where was that for the first 80 minutes? 5.25/10
This review contains spoilers.
What desperately wanted to be a ‘this is life as it is’ film was an overly scripted mess in storytelling. Every character has an overload of issues, many of which don’t magically arise until the start of the movie. And as an attempt to keep it cool and avoid a cliché outcome, none of the issues ever become anything between characters. I get what Holofcener is trying to do here; there’s a sense of vanity throughout the entire thing that’s really disturbing and works to silently tear the characters apart.
But as the film concludes with a montage of each family magically coming back together, it rings hollow. This film needed either a bleak ending or a major blowup in the middle where they could move on hurt and broken, but attempting to heal. Though, I guess even if that had been fixed the film is still full of hackneyed characters and situations. 4.5/10
Oh Michael Mann, we’ve had so many good times together. You have brought so many fine films into my life that I wouldn’t even know what to say if we met in person. But you created a real stinker with this one. Littered with contrived biographical staples, including the attempt to include entirely too many years and events into a couple of hours, I was surprised at how traditional this film was. Really, outside of the cinematography (which was very good, but still nowhere near what I expect from a Mann movie) this could have been made by anyone. There was no poetry, no tender look into any one part of Ali’s life, nothing but a quick summary of the period in his life that he spent as a professional boxer. If you wanted to learn the basics of the man’s life, career, and politics, this is probably a fine film to see, but if you want more than a visual timeline and had hoped for a real depth about what makes a man like this tick, you won’t find it here. 5.5/10
The Adjustment Bureau desperately wants to combine sci-fi and love, but Nolfi doesn’t have a grasp on how to make a successful love story. Talking for five minutes, and lunging at each other for a ridiculous make out session that leads to a pathetic 3-year pursuit of someone you have met twice does not equal a good love story. I understand the appeal to fighting the powers that be for love, but it has been done so much better so many times. Heck, see Michael Winterbottom’s Code 46 for a mix of sci-fi and romance that is superior in every way. If I do look at this from purely a sci-fi standpoint, though, it’s not terrible. It is intriguing and unique enough, but I would wager that is more a credit to Philip K. Dick than it is to anyone involved in the film. But, hey, putting a short story to film requires a lot of work, so I should probably give the filmmaker some recognition. He at least was smart enough to hire John Toll as cinematographer which led to it being an above average looking film. I’ll give it that at least. 5.25/10