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Showing posts from April 16, 2017

Review: A Perfect Getaway

Three couples vacationing in Hawaii and taking a long trek to a gorgeous beach, catch wind of reports that a couple of newlyweds have been murdered in another part of Hawaii. Are one of our three couples the guilty party? Is it someone else that we haven’t seen? Needless to say, it’s not just the audience asking the question. Screenwriter Steve Zahn and bride Milla Jovovich are slightly gawky newlyweds, whilst the other couples are played by Timothy Olyphant (as a supposed special ops guy with a nifty crossbow and a lot of tall tales that may or may not be true) and Kiele Sanchez (who is handy at cutting up animal carcasses without getting queasy), and Chris Hemsworth and hippie-like Marley Shelton (the former being a surly sort who is angered when Zahn hesitates in giving them a lift early on).

I’m usually pretty cluey when it comes to working out who the killer is in a mystery or guessing the twist ending of a film before it gets to the destination. Hell, I picked the ending of “Twi…

Review: Triple 9

A couple of cops (Anthony Mackie and Clifton Collins Jr.) have hooked up with ex-military guys Chiwetel Ejiofor (who is the leader of the operation) and Norman Reedus as well as Reedus’ unhinged ex-cop brother (Aaron Paul) to pull off a big bank robbery. They’re working for Kate Winslet, the wife of a Russian mafia guy currently imprisoned. She needs the robbery money to get him out of prison. The robbery doesn’t go well, Winslet isn’t happy, and it just gets worse from there for all involved. Casey Affleck plays an honest cop, with Woody Harrelson as his essentially good but drug-addicted uncle and superior officer.

I don’t know how John Hillcoat (“The Proposition”, “Lawless”, “The Road”) managed to rope so many familiar faces into this lousy cops-and-crims flick from 2016, as neither he nor screenwriter Matt Cook (“Patriots Day”) bring anything interesting, new, or worthy to the genre. If you’ve seen “Sabotage”, “Street Kings”, and “Streets of Blood”, you’ve seen this film. And if y…

Review: Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice

Batman, AKA Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) sees the destructive aftermath of the super-heroic deeds of Superman, AKA Clark Kent (Henry Cavill) battling evil and wonders if perhaps he needs to be pulled into line, if not worse (Or in other words, people stupidly complained about the carnage in “Man of Steel” and Zack Snyder is now needlessly apologising for it). For his part, Superman doesn’t much get the dark knight’s rubber fetish. Or something (I’m kidding. It’s Batman’s vigilante status that irks the Flying Boy Scout). They fight, egged on by supervillain Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg), who creates an entity that both superheroes can agree needs to be stopped: Doomsday. Also, Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) turns up. Yay! Amy Adams, Laurence Fishburne, Diane Lane, and in flashbacks Kevin Costner reprise their “Man of Steel” roles as Lois Lane, Perry White, Martha Kent, and Jonathan Kent. Holly Hunter plays a gullible Senator leading the investigation into Superman’s actions, Scoot McNairy plays …

Review: My Girl

Set in the early 70s, Anna Chlumsky stars as 11 year-old Vada Sultenfuss, daughter of a widowed mortician (Dan Aykroyd), and the mother who died giving birth to her. Vada, who has developed an obsession with death and illness, has one true friend in the whole world, the sensitive Thomas J. (Macaulay Culkin). She also has a sweet crush on her English teacher (Griffin Dunne). Vada has a negative reaction to her father re-entering the dating world with his newest employee, hippie beautician Shelly (Jamie Lee Curtis). However, it’s Shelly who first notices that Vada is at that ‘special’ age, while her father is completely oblivious, and probably not equipped to deal with it anyway. Richard Masur turns up as Vada’s likeable uncle.

What a sweet, funny, sad, and underrated film this 1991 Howard Zieff (the highly underrated comedy “The Dream Team”) coming of age film may be fronted by a girl, but this is no ‘chick flick’ by any stretch of the imagination. It’s for everyone, and the only peopl…

Review: Captain America: Civil War

After an op that goes wrong and a bunch of innocent African people perish, representatives of that African nation head to the UN to express their displeasure with The Avengers. The US Secretary of State (William Hurt) informs The Avengers that nations are pushing for a bill that will require The Avengers to go through the UN before carrying out an actions. This splits The Avengers into two camps, with Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) feeling that it’s about time someone pulled them into line and this is better than something even more restrictive. Steve Rogers, AKA Captain America (Chris Evans) is however, vehemently opposed to signing the accord because he doesn’t want to wait for approval before going into battle, in the event that it might be too late. Also, he feels it is like The Avengers signing their lives away to something that they don’t have any control over. Rogers’ buddy Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) agrees, and they go off the grid, risking arrest. Meanwhile, Bucky Barnes (Se…

Review: Joy

Mostly fictionalised account of the life of Joy Mangano, here simply known as Joy (Jennifer Lawrence), who invented a new kind of mop and became a presenter on the Home Shopping Network. It took a long while to get there though, as Joy is from an early age full of ideas but then life gets in the way. She doesn’t go to college, has a brief and unsuccessful marriage to a well-meaning but fairly useless musician (Edgar Ramirez) and raises a couple of kids. Now she’s living in a house with the two kids, her soap opera-loving hermit mother (Virginia Madsen), and even Ramirez (whom she is still friends with) is living in the basement. Her harsh father (Robert De Niro) has also recently moved in after relationship troubles force him out of his home. There’s also a jealous and competitive half-sister (Elisabeth Rohm) dropping in from time to time, and the one person Joy can always count on, her supportive grandmother (Diane Ladd). One day, Joy has a brainstorm and begins the invention of a ne…

Review: Krampus

Toni Collette, Adam Scott, and their two kids are about to endure a hellish Christmas at their home with Scott’s boorish right-wing brother David Koechner & his wife and kids, whilst obnoxious Aunt Conchata Ferrell has also invited herself over, even though no one can stand her. Literally no one. The woman is horrid. Also around is Scott’s German mother Krista Stadler. However, things turn out to be even more hellacious when a giant blizzard and demonic creatures wreak havoc on the neighbourhood. Could this be the legendary Krampus, An Austrian-Germanic anti-Santa Claus come to invoke wrath on the naughty? (Answer: Yep, it is).

Well this is a mess. Director Michael Dougherty (the much, much better Halloween horror anthology “Trick ‘r’ Treat”) and his co-writers Zach Shields (his first screenplay credit) and Todd Casey (who co-produced) don’t seem to know exactly what this 2015 Yuletide nasty was meant to be. A mixture of “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation”, “Gremlins”, and a l…