Dark Skies, with Josh Hamilton & Keri Russell. Director, Scott Stewart. An astonishingly, sufficient film about abduction. I have to say that because that’s what the film is about. Hopefully, it’s not spoiling it for anyone. The trailer implied all this anyway, as I remember.
What could otherwise have been a rotten film, was saved by good acting & minimal special effects. Cheap actors would have made this a joke & Hamilton & Russell are each fairly sound actors. Creating a drama with the story that was believable Continue reading
Men in Black 3, with Josh Brolin, Will Smith & Tommy Lee Jones. Barry Sonnenfeld, director. I’ll tell you, being a fan of parties, it’s always a good thing to keep smiling & laugh along with the crowd. But what do you do when you’re outside looking in? Self-congratulation is fine if you’re alone or at a dreaded office soiree. Not if you’re seriously intent on entertaining an audience, expecting non-stop special effects, squiggly aliens & combative conversation. There’s just something about a story which revolves around characters, that are repetitively blithering about just how great their lives are within the story; that makes me a bit frustrated & bored. There’s a word for it. Precious.
What saves this smelly pond are the actors being able to act, their big names & accomplishments & a slick, if formulaic & maudlin, script. They know what they’re doing to get paid. Good heavens – when you mention today, that in years long gone actors were ill-considered filth, people just can’t imagine it. Think about it.
Will Smith was almost invisible, a spectator in a spectacle with Josh Brolin playing a young Jones, in a science fiction time tunnel gone boring. What the hey? At least, there was focus on Brolin’s imitation of Tommy Lee’s mannerisms. Not my idea of a good time at a movie theater. Maybe at a party it would be great! Is this to be the last episode in the franchise? Please let be so.
Jones, the ever-preserved elder whatnot of cinema, steals what goodness can be had out of this thing. I have to say, his near-cameo appearances kept me from walking out. To me, he’s played the same tough talking character from the Eyes of Laura Mars in every film he’s graced. Nothing wrong with that. Not everyone is defined as a character actor. He plays himself always, like so many others. George Clooney is an example. These “thespians” are cast just for this reason. Can you imagine Clooney playing Cyrano de Bergerac? It’s enough to make one feel giddy.
The tempo was similar to the previous Men in Black films, with the content relying less on goofy aliens & more on personal drama framing the chase to catch the villain.
I felt obliged to see this movie (it is a big Summer release) thinking that a guffaw of funny aliens cracking jokes; would be great on a hot day. I started thinking about cheap nachos available in the lobby, about halfway through. That would have been on top of the other “food” in a bag on the seat next to me had I given in to temptation. Not a good sign.
I’ll admit Jones was great, Smith was pleasant to watch, Brolin carried off an adequate impression of Jones, Emma Thompson actually spewed a few successful smirks & Michael Stuhlbarg confused everyone into thinking there was some thought behind the writing. Other than that, it was a wash.
I just can’t recommend this film. Not going to happen. I really would have rather seen anything else – or watched re-runs of Lost in Space. It’s not much of a comedy.
The Divide (2011), with Lauren German, Milo Ventimiglia, Michael Biehn (Puncture, Aliens), Courtney B. Vance, Ashton Holmes, Rosanna Arquette, Ivan Gonzalaz, Michael Eklund. Xavier Gens, Director. Post-apocalyptic dramas are sort of a
standby now, as common (through the past decades) as the wheel. I still like
them, as long as
they’re moderately entertaining in some way, shape or form. They make me feel warm & satisfied for some reason. I’m not sure why.
Our characters, after a manic beginning with nuclear missiles hitting a metropolis, find themselves in the nethermost part of an apartment building; the building manager’s (played by Biehn) digs in the basement – dark & gloomy, cluttered & dusty. Processing what has
happened & wondering what to do next.
Watch for multiple character polarities & don’t jump to conclusions with innocence & corruption. There seems to be no angels, except for a child at the beginning. That’s great! A basement full of drama queens, confused & filthy, yelling at each other!
There are no substantial special effects & the movie relies on talent & the over-use thereof; to make the day. At least, that is the obvious director’s plan of action. It succeeds halfway to the mark & I was left feeling abused & tainted. Tainted? Yes; I felt as if the array of actors were left to their own devices (never a good idea) & there was nothing else to hold my interest.
Biehn was covered with dirt & scowling throughout this horrible movie & German was just too Germanic & fey, for my taste.
Ventimiglia (TV Series, American Dreams & Heroes) & Eklund were a nice “team”. Bad boy friends before the bombs dropped & even worse “inside”, they scream & screw their way through the rest of the cast. Demoralized animals with just a few drops of humanity left in them. Seems like a nice byline but the writing & direction failed in this also & the actors’ talents were left flailing in the wind.
Needless the say; the movie, because of it’s science fiction sub-genre & because of it’s ineptness relies on the old cliche’ – survival of the fittest. Blah!
I don’t recommend this movie. It’s just a failure & the casting of Biehn was an unfortunate waste of time. Director Gens (Hitman) failed to deliver. One wonders if his films rely totally on the abilities of the actors & the writers, as I detected no deft direction & cleverness.
Further: I think this movie also qualifies as a zombie film. Arquette played one very nicely.
Transformers: Dark of the Moon, with Shia LaBeouf, Josh Duhamel & Rosie Huntington-Whitely. There was a whole big folderol with the Megan Fox being difficult to be around when production started on this thing. She screwed up, got canned because her head’s too big &, apparently, the production suffered. Perhaps that’s what happens when half your movie revolves around a particular actor, instead of a character.
This is the (totally) obvious thing I noticed from the get go. A giant black hole that everything revolved around. The
bubble-head “actress” that replaced her certainly was something to see, but she was sorely lacking in anything resembling talent. Unless you think a prostitute-look-a-like is the best thing in the world to cast in your movie.
I think they should have brought a whole new team of writers on, at the last minute, for a re-write. Not tying up that detail was a mistake. We all know what kind of a movie this is supposed to be: a successful, CGI thing that appeals to adults & children.
What it turned out to be – a generic, tech mess.
Perhaps Megan Fox had a reason to p!ss off the producer. Desperate to get out of whatever agreement. Still, other teams have a Plan B. If this was a second plan & there was indeed a re-write; that team’s reputation is now in the gutter.
The movie gave us a lot of what children liked in the Autobots. But absolutely nothing that an adult would find interesting or amusing, except the
bimbo “actress” Rosie (who’s pretty). Also, we remember during the entire film the absent, stunning (& visually talented) Megan Fox.
I did like the colors flying all around, the metallic clicks & slides. That’s about it. Josh Duhamel was (totally) in a cameo role with lines like, “come over here”, “go over there, get down!”.
I’m sorry, really not a fan of LaBeouf. But that’ just a personal foible. He does have an earnest talent but not enough to carry the entire film. The story line was too simple & too lame for the big screen. It would have been okay for a Saturday cable TV evening. It was as if only one scene was re-written & an inserted dialogue-element was placed in another scene!
I tried to watch & focus on LaBeouf after the devastating, realization hit that it was a bad movie. It was shocking to find that the only thing that interested me was concentrating on an actor that, as I said, is not my favorite. To say the least. That all said, it was a monument to the art of CGI. Which I applaud. The effects were grand & one couldn’t help but feel like sort of personal injury was going to happen at any time, by shards of flying metal. They succeeded in that respect. ”How about them there apples!” (But one needs more than that in a film.)
I also respect the expansive use of tech & sci-fi themes in recent films. So, if I’ve crucified this all a little too much – I apologize for stepping on my own toes There’s a wealth of dramas of all kinds, waiting on shelves, including the gigantic genre of sci-fi. Why hasn’t this treasure trove been found to be a “good idea” for a film?
Pay the writers of these unused tomes the insignificant price they want & have the overestimated & over-paid script writers re-learn the art of “adaptation”!
I do not recommend that anyone bother to see this movie. Unless it’s playing, in the lobby of your dentist’s office.
Savvy? It’s just bad.
Shia LaBeouf is a young actor that has potential. He was the only that was worth watching. Which is not insignificant praise, coming from Cinema Marc Winger.