The elephant in the room; The Five Armies is not even in the same… MoreThe elephant in the room; The Five Armies is not even in the same realm (so to speak) as The Return of the King. It tries far too hard to outdo its predecessor and fails to pack anywhere near the same kind of emotional wallop that The Lord of the Rings culminating chapter mustered with ease.
But to be fair, this whole run hasn't been a patch on The Lord of the Rings, so its a little unfair to compare directly. The Hobbit always felt like Bilbo was secondary to all the larger stories that were going on, and never moreso than in this instalment. Overwhelmed by a typically Lord of the Rings style epic battle, the plight of the characters here never feels quite as large as Frodo's. It makes the revelatory character moments here feel much less than they should be.
Peter Jackson is still the master of this world, and his direction continues to impress on the technical side of things. He too is let down only by a story that, through no fault of his own, just isn't as wow as the Lord of the Rings Trilogy.
But it was never meant to be that way. So, within the context of its own series, this final hurrah of The Hobbit films still manages to go out with a strong, entertaining chapter that matches the muster and calibre of what The Hobbit has delivered so far, which is rousing spectacle, engaging story and memorable characters. The saddest thing to take away from this is the lack of any new stories, to be able to go into this world again and enjoy this spectacle. But at least these adventures, like Frodo's also, are there to be watched again and again.
There are many, many reasons not to like this movie, but sometimes you… MoreThere are many, many reasons not to like this movie, but sometimes you can very easily judge a book (or in this case, a film) by its cover. None of the jokes, one-liners or pop culture riffs should surprise anyone who has any idea of the creative minds behind this film. Yes, there's a good chance if you are a North Korean loyalist, you won't enjoy The Interview. But you also won't if you aren't a fan of the kind of humor that Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg like to indulge in.
Because for all its controversy, The Interview is mostly the same old typical low-brow "Comedy 101" from the duo; there pretty much isn't anything remotely fresh or unique here besides what its all wrapped in. So beyond the North Korean baiting controversy, for better or worse this pretty much could easily be almost any other of Rogen's brainless comedies.
Which is both good and bad depending on what side of the humor scale you find yourself on. The ultra fascist North Korea is ripe for any kind of satire, and I'd question if any satire on the ruler of the hermit nation is well intentioned or culturally appropriate. If its good for Trey Stone and Matt Parker its fine for anyone else.
Said controversies don't make the shitty jokes any better, and Rogen and Goldberg scat-irising North Korea can't make their government any worse, so it all comes down to how you feel about the film itself. The fact is, you have the right to judge for yourself, so as soon as you have the opportunity, express that right and make your own call. Love it or hate it, the choice should be yours.
Another sequel to a movie that you didn't ask for. Surprisingly, there… MoreAnother sequel to a movie that you didn't ask for. Surprisingly, there are plenty of redeeming elements to this, thanks to a returning cast with great comedic chemistry. Yet, somehow, the brains trust here have managed to make a film that has almost nothing to do with its title.
To be fair, there is some minor fun to be had; but this is virtually a carbon copy of the film before it, without anywhere near anything worth paying the cost of cinema admission to see. As a completely brainless double header, this sequel will serve as a decent companion piece as a cheap rental or bargain bin purchase; but its certainly nothing imperative.
In the hands of master director Ridley Scott, the story of Moses and… MoreIn the hands of master director Ridley Scott, the story of Moses and Rameses receives the Hollywood sheen required to get bums on seats for stuffy biblical epics in 2014. Earlier in the year, Darren Aronofsky attempted the same thing for Noah, with far less zeal for the source material and much more interest in overuse of some (not so) special effects.
Noah also unquestionably buckled under the weight of a gloomy realism to the proceedings, but while Exodus isn't much cheerier with the story it's telling, at least Scott knows a thing or two about making epics look the part.
Bale and Edgerton go bold with their performances; both completely capable of delivering the weight of their characters. Their supports sadly are typically wasted in underdeveloped roles. Scott employs a few large scale set-pieces to great effect, but it's the story that thankfully takes centre stage throughout. Even at such an excessive running time, Exodus revels in its epic-ness so much so that it never feels too long.
While some narrative choices (read changes) may seem a little questionable, the true breadth of the cinematic scale of the story is essentially there and fully accounted for in Scott's hands; and the results are worth the trip to the cinema to see it in all its glory.
The best thing about Daniel Radcliffe post Harry Potter is watching… MoreThe best thing about Daniel Radcliffe post Harry Potter is watching him try to eviscerate the inevitable typecasting that comes after playing such an iconic role. Horns continues that tradition; a resplendently cluttered, unsophisticated horror/romance that defies usual genre conventions. Its charm lies within its muddled structure and unrefined messiness; so you're either on board with the eccentricities or you're not.
Director Aja is better known in indie horror circles, so Radcliff is his red herring in crafting something in his comfort zone for a larger audience. Many may feel lost in Aja quirkiness, but Radcliffe and his supports are also the saviours here, keeping the weirdness anchored as much as they can despite the disorder running rampant throughout.
Horns will likely only exist in the cult favourite for fans, which is perfectly fine. Whether you "get" it or not, Horns is imaginative and entertaining horror film that dares to take its own direction.