movie reviews

Kingsman: The Golden Circle

by Cap'n Carrot on September 21, 2017 · 0 comments

in Film

kingsman-the-golden-circle-pic1

While I enjoyed writer-director Matthew Vaughn‘s absurdly over-the-top (but not that original) Bond spoof, I was far from the biggest fan of Kingsman: The Secret Service. Two years later Vaughn returns with most of the key figures from the first film offering more of the same while widening the world and opening the franchise to new sequel opportunities. The script follows the still unfortunately-named Eggsy (Taron Egerton) as one of the few surviving members of Kingsman which is destroyed by a crazy drug kingpin (Julianne Moore) who has a failed Kingsman recruit (Edward Holcroft) on her payroll.

[click to continue…]

{ 0 comments }

I Do… Until I Don’t

by Cap'n Carrot on August 30, 2017 · 0 comments

in Film

i-do-until-i-dont-posterDolly Wells stars as a documentary filmmaker with a personal vendetta against marriage who sets out to prove that the concept no longer works in a modern world. In order to prove her thesis that matrimony should only last for seven years (with an option to renew), the filmmaker sets her sights on three unhappy Florida couples: a pair of senior citizens (Paul Reiser and Mary Steenburgen), a middle-aged couple (Lake Bell and Ed Helms) struggling with money and starting a family, and pair of free-love hippies (Wyatt Cenac and Amber Heard).

Writer, director, and star Lake Bell may have won me over with 2013’s In a World…, but her latest is severely lacking in charm (while sadly having no lack of cliche to fall back on). After an hour of insufferable characters who only really begin to show small moments humanity in the film’s last half-hour, I Do… Until I Don’t is like the first date from hell that only gets bearable as it nears its end. Even the few moments of genuine emotion we see in the last half-hour are sullied by the script falling back into the contrivance of the filmmaker’s project in its final few moments.

[click to continue…]

{ 0 comments }

hitmans-bodyguard-posterWhen searching for something, anything, positive to say about a bad movie you can almost always fall back on “Well, at least it was in focus.” Sadly, I can’t even offer that most basic of compliments to The Hitman’s Bodyguard in which any strong ambient light destroys the focus of the shot, highlighting characters in a fuzzy glow while blurring out the entire background in a bizarrely amateurish manner.

Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson star in an uninspired buddy comedy about a once-proud bodyguard and his newest client, a man who has attempted to kill him on numerous occasions, who he needs to deliver in time to testify against a bland movie villain (Gary Oldman) for reasons that only makes sense in a script where things explode for no reason whatsoever.

Although there are some minor chuckles to be had (mostly from the pair adlibbing), and one strong chase sequence around the canals of Amsterdam, The Hitman’s Bodyguard is an uninspired mess featuring two actors screaming at each other for the better part of two hours.

[click to continue…]

{ 0 comments }

atomic-blonde-pic1

It’s easy to compare Atomic Blonde to John Wick. Charlize Theron stars as a talented killer who will leave a wide swath of bodies in her wake through a series of well-executed stunt sequences. Director David Leitch (who was un-credited for directing some scenes in the previously-mentioned Keanu Reeves action flick) takes the helm and brings the same energy and feel to this project. However, the comparison only goes so far.

[click to continue…]

{ 0 comments }

valerian-pic5

Whether you are an optimist and view a glass of water as half-full or a pessimist and view it as half-empty, the fact is that there’s only water in half the glass. Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets is a lot like that. Sure, half the glass is filled with terrific imagery and an impressively designed world. There are creatures, gadgets, and CGI aplenty. And even when the sci-fi plot gets a bit dicey it still has a cohesive plot (which is more than I can say for all films released this week). It would be easy to praise Valerian for only the things it does right and just as easy to slam it for all it gets wrong. The truth is somewhere in the middle.

[click to continue…]

{ 0 comments }

Dunkirk

by Cap'n Carrot on July 20, 2017 · 0 comments

in Film

dunkirk-pic1

Christopher Nolan‘s Dunkirk is surprisingly bad for such an accomplished director. Set during the Dunkirk evacuation of mostly British troops surrounded by Axis forces during World War II, Nolan brings his talents to bear in crafting a visually impressive film. However it’s three-part story, amateurishly cut together in confusing fashion, featuring a migraine-inducing overbearing score (which the director has been infatuated with ever since Inception), without a single trace of emotional resonance, left me detached from both characters and events for most of its running time.

[click to continue…]

{ 0 comments }

spiderman-homecoming-pic1

Spider-Man: Homecoming presents a problem that Marvel and it’s tightly-connected Marvel Cinematic Universe has been able to avoid… until now. Having not yet relaunched any of the Marvel Cinenamatic characters, Marvel hasn’t had to deal with recasting and repackaging the same old stories. Working with Sony, there’s no doubt this is a MCU movie, and not only because of the appearances of Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau), and a cameo so good I wouldn’t think of ruining it here. For the most part, writer-director Jon Watts and his five (FIVE!?) other screenwriters succeed in building on the character’s small role in Captain America: Civil War.

[click to continue…]

{ 0 comments }

The Big Sick

by Cap'n Carrot on July 7, 2017 · 0 comments

in Film

the-big-sick-pic1

Well, here’s an unique love story. Adapted from the true events of his own life, and co-written by his wife, The Big Sick stars Kumail Nanjiani as comedian and Uber driver Kumail whose relationship with Emily (Zoe Kazan) goes into a rough patch just prior to her being put into a medically-induced coma for an illness doctors struggle to properly diagnose. With Emily hospitalized, Kumail finds himself in the uncomfortable position of dealing with her parents (Holly Hunter and Ray Romano), and the expectations of his own parents (Anupam Kher and Zenobia Shroff) concerning his future.

[click to continue…]

{ 0 comments }

The Beguiled

by Cap'n Carrot on June 30, 2017 · 0 comments

in Film

the-beguiled-pic1

The Beguiled is a remake of 1971 film starring Clint Eastwood as a wounded soldier brought into and tended by the residents of a Southern all-girls boarding school. Choosing to remake the film more from the perspective of the women rather than the male intruder in their lives, Sofia Coppola‘s version of The Beguiled is highlighted by strong performances all around but it’s sadly also the least-interesting movie of the talented director’s career.

[click to continue…]

{ 0 comments }

The Hero

by Cap'n Carrot on June 30, 2017 · 0 comments

in Film

the-hero-posterThe Hero is a fairly straightforward film about an aging actor coming to terms with his mortality after a troubling medical diagnosis forces him to reexamine his life. Western star Lee Hayden (Sam Elliott) is known really for only one role over his long career (which now consists mostly of commercial voice-over work for barbecue sauce). Elliot is well-cast, and makes the most of the character as he tries to mend fences with his estranged daughter (Krysten Ritter) and try to understand his new relationship with a younger woman (Laura Prepon) who walks unexpectedly into his life.

While not as ambitious as I’d like, director and co-writer Brett Haley delivers just what you’d expect from a film with this premise, ultimately The Hero fails or succeeds on the performance of Elliot who shoulders most of the film’s emotional weight. Thankfully he’s up to the task. I was a bit unsure about Prepon and her character, but her influence does drive some of the film’s best scenes which include Hayden’s audition won when his drug-controlled behavior at an awards show goes viral over social media. The Hero is a solid film. It won’t wow you, but like it’s leading character, it’s slow and steady. Sometimes that does win the race.

{ 0 comments }