Pretty good mindless action flick. Jason Statham exhibits more… MorePretty good mindless action flick. Jason Statham exhibits more personality than Stallone or Van Damme, less charisma than Willis or the Governator, and more shirt changes than the conclusion of a soccer match. Its well-choreographed fight sequences owe much to Jackie Chan for inspiration, let's say on par with Mr. Nice Guy for example. Qi Shu, who perhaps not coincidentally featured as the love interest in Chan's 1999 feature Gorgeous, earns a merit badge in her winsome Euro-American debut (erm, except when delivering that high-pitched shriek.) Just don't think too much or you'll be asking yourself "How did the baddies know where Frank lives?" or "How could the police chief not be aware of gunfire and rocket launching two minutes after leaving Frank's house?" or "Do colliding cars really explode upon impact?" or "Will that sadistic doctor from Alias ever break free from typecasting?"
Starts off with a great premise, takes a befuddling left turn and… MoreStarts off with a great premise, takes a befuddling left turn and wanders adrift for half the run time, and then finds its way back into a caper comedy for the conclusion. Woody Allen is Ray, a thief by nature who cannot help but concoct a scheme even when life brings good fortune. He eventually wears down his very reluctant wife Frenchy (Tracey Ullman) into his latest plan for a heist: rent a shop two buildings from a bank and tunnel underground to the vault. They need a front for the shop to avoid attracting suspicion, so after much debate they decide that Frenchy can sell her homemade cookies. To everyone's surprise, Frenchy's cookies are a huge success, drawing huge crowds which become a major inconvenience to the people trying to remain undetected while making a lot of noise in the basement!
This development is brilliant and would make a memorably uproarious conclusion to a movie - but in Small Time Cooks this is only the setup! Ray & Frenchy strike it rich with her cookie business, and the bulk of the movie deals with their relationship and how money causes them to drift apart as Frenchy wants to experience high society while Ray quickly grows tired of gourmet dining and craves a cheeseburger. Hence, the laughs largely disappear until Ray teams with his wife's cousin, the dimwitted May (Elaine May), in order to steal a famous necklace during a cocktail party. Another hindrance is that Woody is playing dumb here. Ray is not nearly the mastermind he thinks he is, and while his shortcomings get some chuckles, Woody's more effective when making wisecracks about the world around him.
In short, a great idea gets suffocated by a less-than-great screenplay decision, resulting in a modest success rather than a return to greatness.
Soggy love story of interest only to Dunst diehards. Here she sports… MoreSoggy love story of interest only to Dunst diehards. Here she sports some young rugged beauty, enviable long golden hair, and among the worst Canadian accents ever heard. The location of this isolated fishing isle is never specified so, judging from the dialects, for a time I thought it was near Ireland until I began picking out the faces of some familiar Canadian actors. However all the musical cues are distinctly Irish, so who knows? Regardless, Kirsten sounds like she spent some misplaced deep-fried Southern time.
Part of the movie takes place in the present where we're supposed to sympathize with a sullen teenage brat (Julia Brendler); part of my brain was whispering "Jump!!" after she climbed in despair to the top of a lighthouse. She meets a crusty old unpublished author (Lynn Redgrave) who recounts her latest work, and that's the story that sluggishly plays out during most of the film. Writer/director Sheri Elwood touches upon a curse that plagues this fishing community every 50 years and hints at a dark secret to lift the curse, but nothing ever comes of the foreshadowing. Much of the rest of the script is similarly underwritten with only a couple characters gaining any foothold, but at least the vital ingredient of the budding romance between Dunst and naval captain's son Trent Ford works.
In late 1969 two heavy drinking London actor roommates, one a… MoreIn late 1969 two heavy drinking London actor roommates, one a malcontent and the other a misanthrope, decide to try and lift their spirits with a weekend's getaway at a wealthy uncle's country home. Unfortunately for them, the rain is nearly constant, they have no fuel for the stove, they believe they are stalked by a surly local poacher, and the wealthy uncle who is also a galloping homosexual shows up unannounced to put them both on edge.
For a cult classic, I find this one more cult and less classic. There are some undeniably funny bits, but the claims of "brilliant writing" and "sharp dialogue" are overstated. Here and there, yes. Sustained over 100 minutes, certainly not to this particular ear. From my point of view, the greatest value of Withnail and I is the inspiration it gave to other comedians and writers. In particular, the Withnail character (played with sardonic panache by Richard E. Grant) must've been the prototype for Dylan Moran & Graham Linehan's sour-tempered Bernard Black of the hilarious UK series Black Books. The similarities during the opening minutes with their filthy lifestyles and quirky turns of phrase are irrefutable.
Worth a watch, and for me once is fine.
"Now why would a delicate thing like you want to be a goddam bounty… More"Now why would a delicate thing like you want to be a goddam bounty hunter??"
"I want to have some fun."
Ultraslick, aggrandized biopic of model-turned-bounty-hunter Domino Harvey ranks among Tony Scott's more entertaining features. Wispy Keira Knightley convincingly grabs the spotlight in this brutish man's world with a brash & sexy portrayal through curled lip, icy tongue, and low-riding jeans. Mickey Rourke is also great as her boss & mentor. The screenplay focuses mainly on one job gone very wrong involving an armored car robbery, a reality TV show, the mafia, multiple cons, and a little girl's prohibitively expensive operation.
I liked how the movie is introduced as being "Based On A True Story. Sort Of." At least they are honest about taking liberties when their main aim is to entertain an audience. I loved the merciless ridicule of bygone TV show Beverly Hills 90210 and my favorite moment of the movie occurs when Knightley punches Brian Austin Green in the face, breaking his nose. Now that's worth standing up and cheering! On the downside, you get an extra caffeinated dose of Tony Scott's seizure-inducing editing, and the outrageous finale blows up any shred of believability. The opening titles are really nifty, and so are the closing credits with a cool surprise. All the actors are recounted with only their first names, which makes us wonder why, then we are introduced to the real Domino. She died shortly after the film was completed and it is dedicated to her.
"If you want to know what's the truth and what isn't, you can fuck off because it isn't any of your goddam business."
One of those films that seems like a fit for only one particular… MoreOne of those films that seems like a fit for only one particular director, and Pedro Almodovar is certainly the right man to tell this tale of twisted sexuality. I can't say much about the plot because it revolves around a mystery of identity that is revealed late in the game and will change your whole perspective if you watch a second time. Suffice to say this is an engrossing, startling, and slowly unfolding story surrounding a mad doctor who seemingly still has most of his marbles. A good film but I can't help think that Rod Serling could've told the same story and manipulated the same emotions over 50 minutes. Of course, he'd have to move his show to pay cable and find some skin HE could live in.
Katrina Bowden, the knockout receptionist of 30 Rock fame, has… MoreKatrina Bowden, the knockout receptionist of 30 Rock fame, has among the best pair of legs you will ever set eyes on.
That's the only good I can muster for this horror film as weak as Montgomery Burns. No scares, not even tingles. Even the 'boo' moments are bore moments. Some of the worst CGI you will find. And a cast of annoying, or dumb, or annoying AND dumb characters. No atmosphere nor intelligence went into set design either: a prison abandoned for 50 years still has shiny metal surfaces, no dust, and even working electricity.
There are a number of unintentional laughs though. So, there's that. And Bowden's short-shorts.
Good luck with the rest.
Nonexistent production values scuttle a couple neat ideas inserted… MoreNonexistent production values scuttle a couple neat ideas inserted into ye olde vampire genre. Most of the time is spent in someone's dirty basement with the remaining scenes shot in his dirty apartment. I liked the concept of a team of mercenary vampire hunters who hork the loot found on their kills - cash, rings, jewelry - in order to remain solvent. Somebody has to pay for new crossbows and all that ammunition, right? But this angle, like everything else in Brotherhood of Blood, is underdeveloped. It even seems like entire scenes are missing which explained motivations and histories - maybe they ran out of time since they had to get the camera back to Circuit City while still covered by their return policy?
Victoria Pratt shows she can ably shoulder the load of action heroine (even if there is very little action) while grizzly Sid Haig adds some bite to the role of a vampire leader, albeit with fangs from a Cracker Jack box. And like Pratt, who starred in Cleopatra 2525 and Mutant X, Will Snow re-emerges from an early 2000's fantasy syndication series The Lost World. Ken Foree of the original Dawn of the Dead is disappointingly on hand merely to moan while chained to a table.
The story is told using a pointless and confusingly intercut dual timeline. It's a real shame that such a good, yes, I really mean a good twist ending is wasted on such a lousy movie. Did I say ending? Well there's another failure as we are expecting what would be the biggest confrontation, but it doesn't happen and we few who made it to the end are left hanging. Were they *really* expecting to make a sequel to this squalor?? Now them's some big balls, boys. Probably a good thing it never happened since a sequel is always a bigger spectacle and thus twice as expensive, so just where would they find the two hundred bucks?