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THEATRICAL REVIEW: The Fault in Our Stars

June 29, 2014 1 comment
The Fault in Our StarsDirected by: Josh Boone
Produced by: Wyck Godfrey, Marty Bowen
Written by: Scott Neustadter, Michael H. Webter (screenplay)
Edited by: Robb Sullivan
Cinematography by: Ben Richardson
Music by: Mike Mogis, Nate Walcott
Starring: Shailene Woodley, Ansel Elgort, Nat Wolff, Laura Dern, Sam Trammell, Willem Dafoe, Lotte Verbeek, Mike Birbiglia
Based on the novel by John Green
Year: 2014

 

I hadn’t ever heard of the book this movie is based on before a couple months ago when I had a chance encounter with this film’s trailer in the theatre. Filled with lovely platitudes, cutesy dialogue, attractive teenagers going through extraordinary circumstances guaranteed to wrench away tears from your eyes – in this case, a girl who has been suffering the effects of her cancer diagnosis years prior and yet falling in love with the perfect guy who loves her just the way she is – The Fault in Our Stars looked exactly like the seemingly endless adaptations of Nicholas Sparks dreck Hollywood seems to like to churn out and that audiences eat up. I poked fun at it, made fun of the lead character’s name (Hazel Grace), the ridiculous predictability of the love story, the very punchable-looking romantic boyfriend character, the very casting of Shailene Woodley (who hasn’t ever been bad, but is a bankable big star among teenage girls)… It looked, quite frankly, like exploitative shit, and I wasn’t going to have any of it. And then the reviews came out. Read more…

REVIEW: Johnny (2010)

September 16, 2013 10 comments
Johnny (2010)Directed by: D. David Morin
Produced by: Byron Jones, Tom Saab, Michael Scott, David A.R. White, Russell Wolfe
Written by: David Michael Anthony; D. David Morin, Alan Smithee (screenplay)
Edited by: D. David Morin
Cinematography by: Todd Barron
Music by: David Miner
Starring: Jerry Phillips, Mel Fair, Musetta Vander, Aubyn Cole, Lee Majors, Lonnie Colón, Leslie L. Miller, Brandon Klopot
Year: 2010

 

A couple weekends ago, I had spent a great deal of time watching gritty, dark sci-fi/action movies – Event Horizon, Dredd, the new Riddick – and so, searching for a change of tone, I went searching through my Netflix suggestions and came across the “Sentimental Tearjerker” section. Figuring that was completely opposite of what I had been watching, I decided to peruse the selection and came across this movie called Johnny, which had the goofiest looking artwork, which just screamed “low budget Christian cinema.” The synopsis was even worse: “Still reeling from his 10-year-old son’s tragic accidental death, Dr. Drew Carter attempts to assuage his family’s grief by adopting Johnny Bell, a terminally ill foster child suffering from leukemia.” So, basically, the kid’s being treated like a therapy dog? Read more…

Review: “Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Big Happy Family”

April 23, 2013 2 comments
Tyler Perry's Madea's Big Happy FamilyDirected by: Tyler Perry
Produced by: Tyler Perry, Reuben Cannon, Roger M. Bobb
Written by: Tyler Perry
Edited by: Maysie Hoy
Cinematography by: Alexander Gruszynski
Music by: Aaron Zigman
Starring: Tyler Perry, Loretta Devine, Shad “Bow Wow” Moss, David Mann, Cassi Davis, Tamela Mann, Lauren London, Isaiah Mustafa, Rodney Perry, Shannon Kane, Teyana Taylor
Based on the musical play by Tyler Perry

 

I watched a pretty bad movie this weekend, the Robin Williams-starring What Dreams May Come, but even that trite piece of cloying rubbish couldn’t come close to satiating my craving for bad cinema, apparently. And so I ran through my Netflix queue and discovered that, long ago, I had stashed away a Tyler Perry movie for just such an occasion. And, well, I did it. I finally did it. After watching about 70% of Tyler Perry’s Diary of a Mad Black Woman on TBS and then not being able to take any more, I finally watched my first complete Tyler Perry production, Madea’s Big Happy Family. And, oh my God, I don’t know how I got through it. (Actually, maybe I do. Here’s a hint: it rhymes with “bin and chronic.”) Read more…

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