Daniel Radcliffe leads the cast in Horns, a bizarre horror/fantasy… MoreDaniel Radcliffe leads the cast in Horns, a bizarre horror/fantasy about the dynamics of good and evil. Accused of killing his girlfriend and labeled a murderer by his community, Ig Perrish mysteriously grows a pair of horns on his head which are able to compel people into confessing their darkest secrets and desires. Co-starring Juno Temple, Joe Anderson, and Heather Graham, the film has a solid cast. Additionally, the storytelling does a good job at building mystery and intrigue as to both the murder and Ig's transformation. However, the story ends up being rather formulaic, and the resolution is kind of unsatisfying. Also, there are a couple of unnecessary plot elements that don't really payoff. Yet despite its problems, Horns is an evocative and daring film that explores some interesting themes.
Disney brings the Stephen Sondheim Broadway musical Into the Worlds to… MoreDisney brings the Stephen Sondheim Broadway musical Into the Worlds to the big screen as a lavish fantasy adventure. The plot combines several Grimm fairy tales, including Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk, and Rapunzel, and puts a new twist on them. Featuring Anna Kendrick, Chris Pine, Emily Blunt, Meryl Streep, and Johnny Depp, the film has an all-star cast that delivers some impressive performances. But the production is overdone, making everything feel staged and contrived. The characters also seem slightly askew; having been mishmashed into each other's stories. Additionally, Sondheim's music can be a little bombastic at times, and doesn't flow organically. Into the Woods is an ambitious film that gets points for creativity, yet tonally it never quite comes together.
From director Rob Reiner comes the lighthearted, off-beat comedy And… MoreFrom director Rob Reiner comes the lighthearted, off-beat comedy And So It Goes. The story follows a curmudgeonly real estate agent named Oren Little who's forced to take in his estranged granddaughter when his son is sent to prison. Michael Douglas and Diane Keaton are fairly good, but it's newcomer Sterling Jerins who really shines and gives the film its heart. Additionally, Reiner does a nice job at creating some touching character moments. However, the plot's rather trite and clichéd; following the usual stereotypes of an old man reforming is ways. And So It Goes is a bit of fun, but overall it a formulaic film that plays it safe.
A pretty standard unrequired love story, What If gets by on the sheer… MoreA pretty standard unrequired love story, What If gets by on the sheer charisma of its cast. After committing to a platonic friendship, Wallace and Chantry soon discover that they have deeper feelings for each other but aren't quite sure how to move forward without risking their friendship. Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan have good onscreen chemistry and deliver strong performances. Also, the film takes a couple of clever turns that go against the usual tropes of the genre. Still, the plot's formulaic and predictable from beginning to end. Additionally, there are some odd directing choices that are kind of distracting. While it has a bit of charm to it, overall What If is a by-the-numbers rom-com.
Intense and exciting, Open Windows is a dynamic psychological… MoreIntense and exciting, Open Windows is a dynamic psychological thriller. After receiving a mysterious call an obsessive fan is given unrestricted access to an actress's phone and laptop, but he soon finds himself caught up in a deadly game that spirals out of his control. Elijah Wood gives an incredible performance, and Sasha Grey also proves to have some talent. Presented in real-time and going in and out of multiple video streams on a computer screen, the unique directing style helps to bring an intensity to the scenes. Open Windows is an extraordinarily daring film that is full of suspense and intrigue.
Monotonous and dull, Cam2Cam is a rather tame B-horror film. The… MoreMonotonous and dull, Cam2Cam is a rather tame B-horror film. The story follows a young woman who moves into an apartment complex in Bangkok to investigate her sister's murder, and is enticed to join an erotic website called Cam2Cam. Most of the acting's quite bad, and the characters aren't that interesting. The writing's pretty piss-poor as well, and isn't able to build any intrigue or suspense. Cam2Cam is a trite and ineffective film that doesn't deliver any scares.
Brad Pitt leads the cast in the gritty and ultraviolent WWII film… MoreBrad Pitt leads the cast in the gritty and ultraviolent WWII film Fury. The story follows the crew of a U.S. Sherman tank that works its way through Nazi Germany during the spring of 1945. The film makes a concerted effort not to glamorize war, and in fact depicts American soldiers committing a host of war crimes (from shooting unarmed POWs to raping civilians). And, most of the characters are pretty unlikable. However, the battle scenes are shot exceptionally well and are full of intense, high-adrenaline action. Also, the score delivers some sweeping themes that are quiet powerful and emotionally evocative. Yet, Fury is ultimately an ugly film that focuses too much on how war brings out the baser instincts of man.
A confounding and overly stylized psychological thriller, The Double… MoreA confounding and overly stylized psychological thriller, The Double is an enigma wrapped in a riddle. Using a 1950's steampunk aesthetic, the film follows a filing clerk (played by Jesse Eisenberg) who slowly loses his identity when a doppelganger that looks just like him shows up and starts taking over his life. Eisenberg does a decent job at portraying the two characters and at giving them unique personalities. But the storytelling's rather poor, and makes it hard to follow what's going on and whether the story is literal or metaphoric. Additionally, the tone is quite cold and bleak. The Double is a confusing and overly ambiguous film, and isn't worth the trouble of figuring out.
From writer/director Dan Gilroy comes the disturbing psychological… MoreFrom writer/director Dan Gilroy comes the disturbing psychological thriller Nightcrawler. The story follows an entrepreneur named Lou Bloom who goes into business collecting video footage of accidents and crime scenes to sell to news stations, and in order to succeed he resorts to underhanded and unethical tactics. Featuring Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo, and Bill Paxton, the casting is quite good; as are their performances. Gyllenhaal in particular does an incredible job at creating a creepy, psychopathic character that's also strangely fascinating. And, Gilroy's directing style adds an atmospheric tone and has a way of accentuating the themes of detachment and obsession. Well-crafted and provocative, Nightcrawler is an extraordinary film that explores the culture of violence.
Robert Duvall leads the cast in the rather pointless and disappointing… MoreRobert Duvall leads the cast in the rather pointless and disappointing western A Night in Old Mexico. After losing his Texas ranch Red Bovie heads for Mexico for a wild night of debauchery and takes his estranged grandson in tow. The acting is poor, and even Duvall doesn't put forth much effort. The writing is also quite bad; as the plot is all over the place and the characters aren't very interesting. The film tries to come through with a message about family and honor, but it isn't told very well. Unfortunately, A Night in Old Mexico isn't able to find a clear focus and ends up being a jumbled mess that doesn't work.