A long time ago in a studio far, far away….
Wednesday, October 28, 2015
With Halloween around the corner, along with all the classic holiday favorites, everyone will be heading to the local multiplexes for new annual offerings. One of the more notable is Crimson Peak from Guillermo Del Toro. Ever since Pan’s Labyrinth in 2006, Del Toro has found himself in the realm of action as opposed to the fantasy-horror films that made him a household name, mainly due to his attention being diverted by The Hobbit trilogy that Peter Jackson ultimately took over. Clearly inspired by classic haunted house mysteries of horror’s golden age, as well as classic romantic literature, the film is as much a gothic romance as it is a mystery thriller… and unfortunately, the film walks a wildly uneven tightrope because of it.
Monday, October 26, 2015
After several books, and documentaries, and even a more lighthearted biopic in the form of the dreadful Ashton Kutcher starring vehicle, everyone has attempted to tell their sides of Jobs’ rise to fame and rocky personal life. In short, it became a perfect fit for The West Wing creator Aaron Sorkin, who already tackled similar territory in David Fincher’s The Social Network, to transcribe his own interpretation of what the tech legend’s personality must have been like. In fact, it may very well be the most definitive representation of the man to date.
Sunday, October 25, 2015
After helming A-grade period pieces Pride &Prejudice and Atonement, director Joe Wright fell into a slump of back to back duds with The Soloist, Hanna, and Anna Karenina. It appears that same trend continues with Warner Bros. misfire Pan, an origin story to the character Peter Pan created by J.M. Barrie.
It’s frustrating to see a once promising director throw his potential away on such mediocre fare, but at the very least, all of them have shown inventiveness and gorgeous attention to detail despite their failings, and the same is true with Pan. Despite being an objectively bad and nonsensical movie, it’s still such an entertaining mess to behold.
Saturday, October 17, 2015
The trend of YA novel adaptations shows absolutely no sign of slowing down, with newer franchises continually coming into play to be the next Harry Potter or Hunger Games. It’s led to some foul duds the likes of The Host, The Mortal Instruments, and many more. One of the better ones, however, came in the form of last year’s surprisingly enjoyable The Maze Runner, and in spite of its inconsistence in action and pace, made for an entertaining watch thanks to its interesting mystery and engaging characters. A sequel was obviously to be expected, and unlike its predecessor, The Scorch Trials largely pushes its characters to the sidelines in favor of bigger – less satisfying – action.
Friday, October 16, 2015
I’ve gone on about Steven Spielberg too many times to count. At 68, not only does he remain the greatest living director, as well as the pioneer of the modern blockbuster, he’s also stretched his versatility with some of the most impressive prestige pictures of all time, such as Schindler’s List and Saving Private Ryan. Even as he gets older, he shows no sign of slowing down or losing his touch, as evidenced by his one-two punch of Tintin and War Horse in 2011, the more restrained and methodical Lincoln in 2012, and in 2016 with his adaptation of The BFG.
As for what he has going on inbetween, today we’ll talk about his Cold War espionage Thriller Bridge of Spies. A film inspired by true events of the exchange of a Soviet and American spy to be released back to their respective countries, it seemed like such a natural fit for Spielberg’s directorial eye. Yet at the same time, it also seemed like a potential change of pace to Spielberg. Regardless, Bridge of Spies stands comfortably among Spielberg’s best, and most restrained films yet.
Sunday, October 4, 2015
There’s a reason that Ridley Scott has made a name for himself in the world of cinema, having been the architect behind classic films the likes of Alien, Blade Runner, Gladiator, and Thelma and Louise. However, his most inherent vice has always been his inconsistent ability to pick decent scripts. This has especially become prevalent in the last decade of his filmography, with Scott having been behind some truly awful movies such as Prometheus, The Counselor, and the utter failure Exodus: Gods and Kings.
It’s enough to discourage the cinema lover into believing Ridley Scott wouldn’t have any good films left. Nevertheless, a lot of attention was given to his adaptation of Andy Weir’s novel The Martian. Itself a popular source material, it seemed like an atypical fit for Scott’s usually grungy style of Sci-Fi. Perhaps that was just the difference and the challenge that Ridley needed to prove naysayers wrong. That’s precisely what he did, and the result is so great that you’ll wonder why he’s been wasting his efforts on such sub-average material prior.
Saturday, October 3, 2015
With the anticipated fall releases making their way to the stage, I’ve decided to end my review hiatus to talk about some of the year’s most eagerly anticipated films. One of these is admittedly an old release that I’ve been putting off reviewing for long enough, but the other two are much more recent releases. I’ll also have a full write up later for Ridley Scott’s The Martian, but for now, please enjoy my thoughts.