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THEATRICAL REVIEW: Chappie

March 14, 2015 1 comment
ChappieDirected by: Neill Blomkamp
Produced by: Simon Kinberg
Screenplay by: Neill Blomkamp, Terri Tatchell
Edited by: Julian Clarke
Cinematography by: Trent Opaloch
Music by: Hans Zimmer
Starring: Sharlto Copley, Dev Patel, Watkin Tudor Jones (“Ninja”), Yolandi Visser, Jose Pablo Cantillo, Sigourney Weaver, Hugh Jackman, Brandon Auret
Based on the 2003 short film Tetra Vaal by Neill Blomkamp
Year: 2015

 

Oh man. Chappie… I was so hoping this would be good. I absolutely love District 9 and think it’s still one of the best, most original sci-fi films in recent history, and I was thrilled that it was nominated for Best Picture, regardless of whether it was only because they had expanded the selection size. Neill Blomkamp’s follow-up, Elysium, wasn’t anywhere near as good, and its moralizing was clumsy as hell, but it was definitely an interesting and mostly entertaining film that also looked very nice. Chappie was an opportunity for Blomkamp to look at what worked and didn’t work from both films and deliver something truly special. Blomkamp himself even recognized the fact that Elysium was a step in the wrong direction in a refreshingly candid interview with Uproxx, wherein he points out “it was all resting on a somewhat not totally formed skeletal system, so the script just wasn’t there; the story wasn’t fully there.” That’s awesome, and all, but man… What happened, then, with Chappie?! Read more…

Independence Day Review: “Live Free or Die Hard”

Live Free or Die HardDirected by: Len Wiseman
Produced by: Michael Fottrel
Written by: Mark Bomback (screenplay and story), David Marconi (story)
Edited by: Nicolas De Toth
Cinematography by: Simon Duggan
Music by: Marco Beltrami
Starring: Bruce Willis, Justin Long, Timothy Olyphant, Cliff Curtis, Maggie Q, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Jonathan Sadowski, Kevin Smith
Based on the Wired article “A Farewell to Arms” by John Carlin
Year: 2007

 

People understandably lament the quick devolution that John McClane has undergone over the course of the four movies that have followed the original. The quick-witted everyman cop trying to win back his wife has become more known for performing ridiculous stunts and frequently being in the wrong place at the wrong time and yet just the right man for the job. The issue was already apparent in the incredibly dull Die Hard 2, and by the third film, the coincidences of his involvement become too glaring to ignore unless you suspend your disbelief and pretend like this is something that regular cops have to deal with every now and then in the Die Hard world. (Considering the ties that were later made to the TV series Chuck, I wouldn’t put it past them on that point, though.)
Read more…

Review: “Hot Fuzz”

June 28, 2013 2 comments
Hot FuzzDirected by: Edgar Wright
Produced by: Nira Park, Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner
Written by: Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg
Edited by: Chris Dickens
Cinematography by: Jess Hall
Music by: David Arnold
Starring: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Jim Broadbent, Timothy Dalton, Paddy Considine, Rafe Spall, Kevin Eldon, Olivia Colman, Karl Johnson, Bill Bailey, Martin Freeman, Steve Coogan, Bill Nighy
Year: 2007

 

(Review is very mildly spoilery, though you’d have to be a dolt not to catch on quickly or guess what’s going to happen. You’ve been warned, regardless!)

“Funny, but took a while to build up to the comedy.  Honestly, it could’ve been a lot more ridiculous in its humor, but it wasn’t bad.  Shaun still rocks, though.”

That’s the entirety of my 3-star Flixster/Rotten Tomatoes review, which I wrote years ago and recently rediscovered while preparing for this review. I remember the mindset that was informing this review. I had watched a few sneak peak clips back when IGN.com used to be my primary source for movie news, and those brief, minutes-long clips had set my expectations for the entirety of the film as being something more akin to Reno 911 in an English countryside than what the film actually turned out to be: a loving tribute to ridiculous buddy cop/crime films – as filtered through the English countryside. Read more…

Review: “Point Break”

June 14, 2013 1 comment
Point BreakDirected by: Kathryn Bigelow
Produced by: Peter Abrams, Robert L. Levy
Written by: W. Peter Iliff (screenplay), Rick King, W. Peter Iliff (story)
Edited by: Howard L. Smith
Cinematography by: Donald Peterman
Music by: Mark Isham
Starring: Keanu Reeves, Patrick Swayze, Gary Busey, Lori Petty, John C. McGinley, James LeGros
Year: 1991

 

I watched this film at the suggestion of Hot Fuzz. Until that movie came out, this movie was never even really on my radar beyond maybe seeing it on rental shelves when I was little kid. Based on that movie, a tribute to ridiculous buddy cop movies and such, I pretty much had my expectations in check when I suddenly realized that this would be perfect for Guy Movie Month. Read more…

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