He told you he’d be back. Given the crippling disappointment of Terminator Salvation, which if not for the existence of A Good Day to Die Hard would unquestionably be the worst action sequel ever made, it’s inconceivable that somebody thought making another Terminator movie was a good idea. No less shocking is the fact that Terminator: Genisys, despite several plot points and awful title, is actually fun.
What’s going on in an 11 year-old girl’s head? That’s the question writers/directors Pete Docter and Ronaldo Del Carmen seek to answer in Inside Out where young Riley (Kaitlyn Dias) is uprooted from her home in Minnesota to San Fransisco without warning causing chaos both inside her mind and in the real world.
For the first time in 14 years we get a new entry into the Jurassic Park franchise with Jurassic World. Far from a reboot, Jurassic World takes place in the same world as the previous films (and even has a few homages to the original), although no human characters return. Jurassic World doesn’t stray far from the template of the previous three films (and not nearly as much as I’d like recycling the same themes already well-mined by the franchise), but it does offer a new twist or two to give the latest sequel a fresh feel.
Sadly in no way related to the (much better) first book in Orson Scott Card‘s The Tales of Alvin Maker, director Sergey Bodrov‘s Seventh Son bombed with critics and audiences alike. With a tired script, plenty of plot holes, and inconsistent special effects it’s impossible to call Seventh Son a good movie, but as a C-List guilty pleasure with a cast too good for its story the movie isn’t without some charm.
Julianne Moore stars as the leader of a coven of witches who recently escaped the prison Gregory (who has a long history with the woman) put her in years before, and Alicia Vikander is a young witch and potential love interest for the young hero.
My favorite Richard Donner film is neither Superman nor Lethal Weapon; it’s 1985′s Ladyhawke which starred a pre-Ferris BuellerMatthew Broderick as a thief named Gaston who becomes entangled in a tragic love story between the former Captain of the Guard Navarre (Rutger Hauer) and the beautiful Isabeau (Michelle Pfeiffer). With the help of a drunken priest (Leo McKern), Gaston will be charged with helping to break the curse laid on the two lovers by the jealous Bishop of Aquila (John Wood) which keeps them together but forever apart.
Set to an electronic score by Andrew Powell and the stunning cinematography of Oscar-winner Vittorio Storaro the medieval fairy tale about love, faith, hawks, wolves, dark magic, and a thief becoming a hero, remains one of the most unique films of its time. Pfeiffer has never looked better on film and she and Hauer sell the tortured nature of their existence while Broderick’s wisecracks provide just the right counterbalance to their tragic tale.
It’s hard to make either a great or truly awful disaster movie. Even setting out to craft memorable disaster porn (unless it’s centered around a completely ridiculous premise like sending oil riggers into space) is a challenge. Bucking the trend of world-ending disaster films where characters are fighting asteroids, a new Ice Age, or the core of the Earth disrupting all life on the planet, San Andreas is a bit of a throwback focusing just on California, and, for the most part, San Fransisco. A more localized disaster doesn’t have the doomsday cache of something like 2012 but San Andreas turns out to be a far better film.
Everly is a gritty revenge drama that fails because it refuses to embrace how ridiculous its premise is while delivering hard-boiled action verging on torture porn which would have been far more palatable as a more straightforward shoot ‘em up.
Salma Hayek stars in the title role as a sex slave who, after four years, has finally had enough and starts to fight back. Taking place entirely in the apartment where Everly has been kept for years, the body count continues to grow as the the woman with no hand-to-hand combat or weapons training coninues to kill the odd range of prostitutes and killers who show up to collect the bounty on her head.
Written by Yale Hannon and directed by Joe Lynch, the movie also includes a subplot involving Everly’s daughter (Aisha Ayamah) and mother (Laura Cepeda) whose safety is her primary concern now that the shit has hit the fan. Available on DVD and Blu-ray, extras include two separate commentary tracks and a music video. Notable only for Hayek’s involvement and its bizarre assortment of characters, Everly is a misfire that never finds its target.
In tone, message, and design Tomorrowland feels very much like an old school Disney live-action film albeit with far better special effects. With a hopeful message, and heart penned to its sleeve, the screenplay by Damon Lindelof and director Brad Bird offers a look at the wonders and dangerous of technology which will bring two strangers together to a place where imagination is the only limitation of what is possible.