I have finally gotten around to watching Dario Argento's most recent movie—his 3-D take on the Dracula story. Everything that has been wrong about Argento's post-Stendhal Syndrome work is on display here. The acting is terrible, the story is dumb and the effects are a lame CGI mess. Most importantly, he has completely lost any sense of the dynamic visual style of his classic work. Despite the 3-D (or maybe because of it), the compositions are flat and boring and it feels like a movie of the week.
Having blunted the needle on my iTunes from playing Bobby Womack's title song so much I thought it was about time I saw the film he wrote it for. I went in expecting the usual black-exploitation trash, but this movie is more of a cross between The French Connection and Superfly. The story follows three groups of characters: the mobsters, the petty criminals who killed said mobsters' men, and the cops on the case. It's a dark and gritty film filled with racial tensions and not much in the way of happy endings or genuinely good characters (except maybe Yaphet Kotto's Lt.
This has been my least favorite of the Telltale Choose Your Own Adventure style adventures. I think my main problem with it was the multiple character story lines. Jumping from character to character may be in the spirit of the books, but I felt like it diminished the feeling that I was actually a part of the world. Also, as a fan of the books and show, it was a little strange to be playing out this non-canonical story. It was like playing a Transformers game as a Go-Bot.
For years I have heard about the cult status of this movie and I could have sworn I have seen it before. But I think this is just one of those cases where I had seen enough clips to have gotten the feeling what the movie is all about without having seen it in its entirety (reminding myself what movies I've seen is one of the main reasons I list films here... lord know we don't need more Web movie reviews by hacks like me).
Michelle Yeoh and Cynthia Rothrock's debut film is corny and very dated but it was everything I expected (meaning, not much).
The Sniper franchise is all about stealth, planning and quick moments of anatomically correct violence. The previous game in the series was good, but it didn't quite click with me the way three has. If my memory can be trusted, I feel like the biggest difference here is that there is now a much more open level design. The sneaking around feels like you are in control rather than being guided on rails. As before, the x-ray vision kill shots are an unnecessary but effective gimmick. There is a story about some sort of super weapon but, whatever. It's completely forgettable. The game's mechanics are real highlight here, and I now am excited to play IV when it comes out (just no more desert levels please... this ain't Serious Sam).
Apparently, The Mermaid was the highest grossing movie in China last year. The 40 different conglomerates listed in the eopening credits who produced this film must be happy. Well, good for Stephen Chow. He knows how to create a fun and exciting movie and this is no exception. The CGI effects, as usual, are horrible. It's like the animators never learned how gravity worked back in middle school. Characters fly in improbable arcs that look more like After Effects animations rather than 3-D. Someone give this man a Hollywood-quality production team next time, he deserves it.
Bleh, these super hero movies need to end. While can't say I was bored by Ant-Man, it just felt ho-hum to me. All these origin stories feel the same. The action is forgettable and the whole telepathic connection to ants thing just ruined the interesting concept of a shrinking man going after baddies. Oh, and the references to the Marvel universe were completely out of place.
This early version of The Maltese Falcon is played as a comedy. The basics of the story are still there (it's now a jewel filled horn instead of a bird statuette) and some of the changes are pretty good: casting Alison Skipworth as the ringleader and making Wilbur a dopey cartoon thug. But old-timey comedy rarely holds up and, in this case, it can be a bit squirmy as the main character flirts with women a third his age.
Fantastic Thai martial arts movie about a monk's apprentice going to the big city to retrieve his small village's stolen Buddha head. Of course he get involved with gangsters, gamblers and underground fighting. The fights are have a very real feel to them despite the acrobatic choreography and insane jumping skills of Tony Jaa. The main characters are likable and it's really the sidekick George who steals the show when fists aren't flying.