While the Amazing Spider-Man 2 suffers from some of the same problems… MoreWhile the Amazing Spider-Man 2 suffers from some of the same problems that plagued Spider-Man 3 (too many characters and villains), it is nice to finally get some new material after so much of the first Amazing Spider-Man was retread. For that reason alone I liked this one more than the first. The returning cast is more at ease in their roles and the newcomers are solid. I liked Jamie Foxx as Electro even though the characters motivation is pretty weak. Dane Dehaan isn't as good as James Franco was as the best friend Harry Osborn, but does a much better job with the transition to villain Green Goblin. The special effects in this are outstanding. One of my complaints with the first Amazing Spider-Man was that I thought the city looked too computer generated compared to the original. In this one, it looks much better. The action is nothing we haven't seen in other superhero films, but it is effective. The Gwen Stacy and Peter Parker relationship drives the film and is very well done. I found this film highly entertaining, despite its obvious flaws, and a step in the right direction. After only being mildly excited about the prospect of a sequel after the first Amazing Spider-Man, I am definitely looking forward to what they have in store next.
Non-stop is highly preposterous and has some ludicrous plot twists,… MoreNon-stop is highly preposterous and has some ludicrous plot twists, but it is fairly entertaining thanks to the presence of Liam Neeson and his no non-sense performance that keeps things from getting cheesy and out of hand. The supporting cast is solid too, with the highest profiled being Julianne Moore. There are times in the film when I think they overused elements of the story and would have been better of going with a more traditional approach, but they were going for a new age type thriller here so that's understandable. Ultimately, it is a serviceable, but forgettable Liam Neeson thriller that isn't as good as some of his other recent films in this genre.
Locke proves that minimalist film-making can still be done well in… MoreLocke proves that minimalist film-making can still be done well in today's age of overused special effects and underdeveloped story lines that turn into blockbuster hits. Tom Hardy is the only person on screen the entire film and is located in his car on the highway the entire time, so he has to carry the entire film on his shoulders. Not only does he do that, but he proves why he is one of the best working actors today guiding the film through a range of highs and lows that keep you watching even when things are a little slow to get going. The plot is fairly simple, but adds tons of interesting layers to each subplot that Locke gets involved in so that the viewer maintains interest throughout. Spoiling any of the moments wouldn't be fair. Ultimately, if you want to see Tom Hardy act his butt off in a unique film, this one is recommended.
You can tell just how desperately this film is trying to be the next… MoreYou can tell just how desperately this film is trying to be the next big Young Adult book to movie adaptation. It has some solid action sequences and its themes are smarter than the average science fiction thriller spewed out from Hollywood, but it does very little to distinguish itself. Every other scene I was just reminded of other superior and more original films that this clearly is imitating. Shailene Woodley does make for a likable protagonist and they filled the supporting cast with solid actors as well. Unfortunately, they shoe-horn in a romance that isn't very believable. This is a thought-provoking story told in an assembly line manner, but it can be entertaining in spurts. I'm intrigued enough that I am willing to watch the sequel. Not exactly the best praise, but better than nothing.
Deviates from the original movies plot at times and is not as gritty… MoreDeviates from the original movies plot at times and is not as gritty as that film was, but it certainly has more gore and stupid people doing stupid things at times. R. Lee Ermey gives a creepy performance as the sheriff that beats anything the original had to offer, but everyone else is unremarkable. Jessica Biel is just there to look good. It does have some suspenseful moments that make is worthwhile, but ultimately this is more of the same. It's a respectable remake of an influential film, but not necessary.
While groundbreaking for its time and responsible for establishing… MoreWhile groundbreaking for its time and responsible for establishing many elements of B movie horror, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre doesn't hold up as well as I had hoped. The acting is over the top and as bad as can possible be expected, but it doesn't really hurt the film that much. The camerawork is unique and adds a nice change of direction for the film. The story itself is unpredictable and suspenseful for about half the movie, but as soon as people start getting killed off it degenerates into typical horror fashion until a few twists are presented towards the end. This is actually a pretty tame film by today's standards (it cuts away from any kills when they are happening so you don't see guts and gore), but the way it is presented still makes it seem depraved. The fact that this film was banned back in the 70's is kind of funny. You could say the story is somewhat exploitive, especially towards the end, but nothing made my stomach turn. Overall, it was a solid low budget horror film that is respected due to its influence on the genre and for that I recommend it. Just don't expect it to live up to other classics like Psycho and Halloween.