Not gonna lie.  I’m a huge Coen Brothers fan. Their worst films are better than 98% of most peoples’ best films.  But, they aren’t for everyone.  The storytelling doesn’t fall into that traditional “Save The Cat” Hollywood structure — despite Llewyn Davis ACTUALLY saving a cat, in a way.  And Joel and Ethan Coen don’t really comment on their work.  Not so many press junkets. Hardly any interviews. No audio commentary on Special Edition Platinum Gold Ultraviolet Blu-Ray sets.  The work speaks for itself and the audience can only surmise what the directors were going for.  Which is what I’m going to do. (more…)

Inside Inside Llewyn Davis

The Lone Ranger sits alone as one of the biggest financial (and critical) flops of the summer, and perhaps the year.  Bad movies are frequent and expected.  Expensive bad movies trouble me because it means a whole lot of creative effort went into something that ultimately failed.   (more…)

The Alone Ranger

After catching The Hunger Games a couple years ago, and really enjoying it despite my aversion to cultural trends that require me to like something because everyone else does, I was kind of looking forward to Cathing Fire.  A great deal of the hub bub surrounding the original Hunger Games film (and the book) was the idea that it is popular with young adults — or as I like to call them: “teens” — and the premise about “kids killing kids” rubbed parents the wrong way.  In my review of the film, I posited that its not really about this, but a metaphor and commentary on our current mediacentric society and how that society can be so easily manipulated by those in power.  Catching Fire dives deeper into the message… (more…)

Catching Fire keeps the series ignited

There are films that are hard to watch because they are so bad.  And then there are films that are hard to watch because they are so good.  Prisoners definitely falls into this latter category.  For people with children, this may very well be the most torturous two and half hours they’ve had in a long time.  Then again, they have children…so perhaps this film pales in comparison. (more…)

Prisoners ~

Riddick

The character of Riddick came from nowhere in the small-ish “Ten Little Indians in the Dark” tale of Pitch Black: An outstanding bit of filmmaking-on-a-budget from writer/director David Twohy, who created for us an anti-hero without any humanly redeemable qualities, yet someone we could still root for.  Then came The Chronicles of Riddick, with a larger budget, more grandiose set-pieces, but, among all of the grandeur, we lost the charm of our anti-hero, and the story became muddled with an ending unbefitting of Riddick.  And now, after a 10-year long sojourn of Fast and Furious movies, Vin Diesel comes back to his Furyan criminal to try and re-engage the series.  And I have to say that Riddick is at least better than Chronicles, but not as tight as Pitch Black — despite its best efforts to mimic it. (more…)

Riddick ~ Three…Three…Three Films in one!

I really hate to rag too much on animated features simply because there is so much effort put into them from so many people, some of whom I probably know. And, I am aware that this production had trouble, and its admirable that it was even released. But, this isn’t a 3rd grade play, and I don’t feel obliged to say the kids did great when they didn’t. So, I’m not holding back. (more…)

I wished for escape….

I love everything Edgar Wright does.  I’d pay to watch him eat breakfast.   From his UK series with Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, “Spaced”, to the amazing “Shaun of the Dead”, to the lessor but still better than most “Hot Fuzz”, to the brilliant “Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World”.  He was a writer on the underrated “Adventures of Tin Tin”.  He directed the best mock trailer in Grindhouse, “Don’t”  And he was an Executive Producer on “Attack the Block”, which if you haven’t seen, you should.  It’s not a long pedigree, but it’s nearly flawless.  And so you can understand my anticipation for “The World’s End”, and the utter joy when (more…)

The World’s End is probably the best End of the World film…really.