Saturday, September 20, 2014

Grosse Pointe Blank

*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Professional assassin Cusack acts upon an invitation to attend his 10-year high school reunion in his home town of Grosse Pointe, Michigan where he reconnects with lost love Driver and other old friends, while also being tailed by both an assassin (Urquidez) and two National Security Agency agents (Azaria and Freeman). May have worked in 1997, but (thankfully) cinema has since found ways of creating more likable and plausible anti-heroes than what has been given here. The soundtrack is one of the film's few pluses. One of the few terrible movies that doesn't make you feel outraged by wasting two hours of your life, but it is still a heavily flawed and far-fetched outing nonetheless, despite its appealing but sadly failed concept. This probably looked excellent in script-form, but in life-action, everything seems so paper-thin. The "happy" ending is just insultingly cheap.

Friday, September 19, 2014

FernGully: The Last Rainforest

20th Century Fox's animated fantasy film might have been lost in the early/mid-1990s, but its message remains timeless and its substance underrated. Beautiful animation, fitting voice actors and well-thought musical numbers all weave a wonderful story about an Australian rainforest inhabited by fairies, one of which befriends lumberjack Ward who is unwittingly playing a part in destroying FernGully. Mathis is perfectly sweet as the curious fairy who tries to guide her new human friend into understanding the damage his kind is inflicting on the natural world, and what a great importance it is to preserve nature; Williams is hilarious as Batty Koda, though his role now seems sort of like an underwhelming version of Genie from ALADDIN; and Curry is chilling even as a cartoon character!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Mirage Men

Unlikely UFO documentary that examines the possibility of cover-up theories being encouraged by the government in order to distract the public from observing sophisticated warfare technology, with some interviewees even claiming the government created alien/UFO hoaxes to help drive attention away from their operation. An overall spooky outing that is delivered professionally enough to make the intriguing concept seem plausible; however, pacing is a bit bumpy and some of the interviewees seem a little too tense, pulling the viewer away from the film's main focus.

Sunday, September 14, 2014


*** This review may contain spoilers ***
McDonagh's 2014 drama about a death-threat on priest Gleeson during a confession has its worthy moments of dark humor, clever dialogue and beautiful settings, but what's the point of a whodunnit if you can easily spot who the culprit is in the first act? Another flaw, aside from the lack of mystery, is the amount of boring suspects. Still, Gleeson's portrayal of a dedicated priest trying to shepherd his lost community in an attempt to give purpose to his life (whether or not he actually comes out of the conflict alive) is compelling enough to keep you interested in this flawed but sophisticated outing.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The Expendables 3

Mercenary leader Stallone cuts his group loose so he can recruit a younger team to take down ruthless arms dealer Gibson, but the old-school original Expendables won't get pushed out of the fun so easily. The cast continues to grow, and with each film being so episodic, it feels like the series could go on forever—and let's be honest, there's never a dull moment in any of these movies despite the amount of disbelieve you have to suspend, so maybe more sequels isn't a bad thing. Don't be fooled by the PG-13 rating for this installment, it's just as violent as its R-rated predecessors… it just has less f-bombs.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Kick-Ass 2

When life gets boring for former crime-fighter Kick-Ass (Taylor-Johnson), his ex-companion Hit-Girl (Moretz) trains him on how to be a proper hero; while D'Amico (Mintz-Plasse) adopts a new villainous title. Although this installment received more negative reviews than its predecessor, it's not any worse in quality… it's just not as overrated. Gets moving real quickly, and never runs into a dull moment. Fatal flaw: the audience is taken out of the story too often with the characters' insistence and reminders that the plot is supposed to be grounded in reality. Jim Carrey is far less theatrical than you'd expect, but he still brings his charm nonetheless.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Good Morning, Vietnam

While delivering laughs and the news to soldiers, deejay Williams must find his own way of coping with being stationed in Vietnam, as well as battling politics and the censorship of his commanding officers Kirby and Walsh. Despite some far-fetched moments, this is loosely based on the events experienced by Adrian Cronauer. With screenwriter Markowitz using historical inaccuracies to strengthen the emotions and laughs, one would think a main character would be given more obstacles to overcome… but everything ends up falling conveniently into place for our hero in this outing.

Good Will Hunting

Ambitious drama from a screenplay by star Damon and co-star Affleck, about an underachieving orphan from South Boston that works as a janitor at MIT, but finally finds guidance in his genius from a Community College professor/therapist (Williams) who is able to empathize with the pains of the world while also giving the titular character insight into the overlooked beauties of life… and some well-deserved tough-love too. Driver and SkarsgĂ„rd indeed play an important part in carrying this wonderful story, but it's Hauser and the Affleck Brothers that really help give this modern-day classic the above-par boost that we all remember it for.