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Showing posts from January 5, 2014

Review: The Life of Pi

****SPOILER WARNING***** I don’t plan on overtly spoiling anything here, but this is one of those films where no matter how careful I am with my words, some might still pick up on little hints that lead them towards working something out. So if ever you were to adopt the system of saving the review until after seeing the film, this really is that time.

The title character (played at varying stages by Ayush Tandon, Suraj Sharma, and Irfan Khan) is an inquisitive sort who wants to investigate and embrace all faiths, despite his more agnostic father’s protestations that this is no better than believing in nothing at all. His family owns a private zoo, but decide fairly early in the film to relocate to Canada by ship, taking some of their animals with them, including a tiger, named Richard Parker (!) whom Pi’s father had previously taught the boy to approach with caution and understanding that he is no friend of man. A freak storm hits, resulting in Pi adrift in the middle of the ocean wi…

Review: Saw

Leigh Whannell plays a photographer who awakens to find himself chained to a pipe in the grottiest-looking bathroom you’ve ever seen. Also there in a similar predicament is a surgeon played by Cary Elwes. And there are also various items hidden around the joint, including a saw. The saw sure doesn’t look like it could cut through metal, though. It turns out that they are the playthings of a killer known as Jigsaw, and Jigsaw wants to make seriously unpleasant choices in order to free themselves...or die. Danny Glover plays a psychologically tortured and weary detective attempting to nab Jigsaw, who has already ‘murdered’ several people. Monica Potter plays Elwes’ wife, Ken Leung and Dina Meyer are detectives, Michael Emerson plays a creepy suspect, and Shawnee Smith plays a disturbed young woman targeted by Jigsaw.

I really liked the second film in this serious of ‘torture porn’ films (it was simple and effective for what it was trying to be), but by and large after that, they became …

Review: Alex Cross

Tyler Perry stars as the police detective and intuitive criminal profiler of the title, who is pitted against a buff, sicko serial killer calling himself Picasso (Matthew Fox) who leaves sketches at the crime scene. In fact, after preventing one of Picasso’s killings, Cross might just get a little too up close and personal with the pain-obsessed killer. Ed Burns plays Cross’ partner on the force, Aussie Stephanie Jacobsen plays an early murder victim, John C. McGinley plays the police captain who is frankly a bit useless, Jean Reno plays a rich CEO who may be one of the killer’s next targets, and Cicely Tyson plays Cross’ no-nonsense mother. Giancarlo Esposito turns up as an acquaintance of Cross’, on the other side of the fence.

I’ve seen some bizarre casting decisions in my time, but replacing Morgan Freeman with Tyler Fuckin’ Perry for this 2012 James Patterson adaptation from director Rob Cohen (director of the terrible “Fast and the Furious” and the enjoyable fantasy “Dragonheart…