Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan star in the quirky romantic comedy When… MoreBilly Crystal and Meg Ryan star in the quirky romantic comedy When Harry Met Sally. The film follows two unlikely friends who keep running across each other and end up forming a unique relationship. Written by Nora Ephron, the comedy is really smart and includes some poignant, witty dialog. And, director Rob Reiner does an impressive job at giving the material a lighthearted tone that's not overly melodramatic. However, the real charm of the film comes from the performances by Crystal and Ryan, who have great chemistry together and brilliant comedic timing. Insightful and funny, When Harry Met Sally is delightfully entertaining.
Spewing bile and nonsense, filmmaker Kevin Smith takes his shtick to… MoreSpewing bile and nonsense, filmmaker Kevin Smith takes his shtick to Canada and the UK in An Evening with Kevin Smith 2: Evening Harder. Having blown all his A-material in the last feature, Smith is left to ramble about watching television, his sex life, and other assorted things. Very little of the Q&As concern his films, and instead focuses on his cult of personality. Another problem is the editing, which is quite poor and makes the sessions seem meandering and endless. Additionally, the crassness and vulgarity is off the charts and is incredibly offensive. Unfortunately, An Evening with Kevin Smith 2: Evening Harder was made at a time when Smith had become full of himself and lost his ambitions as a filmmaker...and it shows.
Silent Bob speaks! Writer/director Kevin Smith goes on a lecture tour… MoreSilent Bob speaks! Writer/director Kevin Smith goes on a lecture tour of several universities in the feature An Evening with Kevin Smith. Fielding questions from fans, Smith discusses his films and tells anecdotes about his experiences in the film industry. Some of his more interesting stories included his work on the failed Superman Lives project, his feud with Tim Burton, and his filming of a Prince documentary. However, a number of the antics and comedy bits seem a bit staged, and more than a few of Smith stories are exaggerated (if not outright made up). And at times Smith gets overly vulgar and racy. But Kevin Smith has and incredibly charming and charismatic personality that shows through, making An Evening with Kevin Smith a delightful look at this inspiring filmmaker.
Dead or alive, RoboCop gets rebooted. This new vision of RoboCop is… MoreDead or alive, RoboCop gets rebooted. This new vision of RoboCop is more sci-fi and dramatic, and lacks the satirical edge of Verhoeven's original. Seeking to qualm the public's fears over law enforcement drones, OmniCorp puts multiple amputee and Detroit police detective Alex Murphy into a robotic suit; dubbed him RoboCop. Dealing with issues of a person's humanity and automated security, the film is rather provocative. However, newcomer Joel Kinnaman gives an underwhelming performance as Murphy/RoboCop, and the plot is a little unfocused. While this new version of RoboCop delivers an action-packed and entertaining adventure, overall it ends up being fairly generic.
A cult horror film, Ginger Snaps tries to put a unique spin on the… MoreA cult horror film, Ginger Snaps tries to put a unique spin on the werewolf genre but has some tonally problems. Emily Perkins and Katharine Isabelle star as two sisters whose bond is tested when one of them is attacked by a werewolf and begins to transform. Unfortunately, the writing is uneven and tries to insert some horror-comedy and satire that doesn't quite work. Part of the problem is the performances, which are pretty lifeless. Additionally, the wolf effects are pretty terrible; though some of the transformation makeup work is rather creative. Ginger Snaps does some interesting things, but in the end it doesn't quite succeed.
Behind the Planet of the Apes is a fascinating retrospective of the… MoreBehind the Planet of the Apes is a fascinating retrospective of the Planet of the Apes franchise. Hosted by Roddy McDowall, this documentary follows the production of the five original Planet of the Apes films and the two spin-off television shows. Loaded with tons of interviews from the casts and crews, including Charlton Heston, Kim Hunter, Linda Harrison, Richard Zanuck, and John Chambers, a comprehensive insider's perspective is presented. And, the impact and significance of the films are discussed with film historians. Informative and captivating, Behind the Planet of the Apes provides an in-depth look at one of the most influential series of the science fiction genre.
Drawing inspiration from Battle For the Planet of the Apes, Dawn… MoreDrawing inspiration from Battle For the Planet of the Apes, Dawn returns to the series' core exploration of sociopolitical issues. Picking up over 10 years after the apes escaped from San Francisco in the post-apocalyptical aftermath of the Simian Flue pandemic, Caesar's new ape society clashes with human survivors when they come looking to re-open a hydroelectrically power station. The CGI is incredible, as the apes look remarkably lifelike (more so than the last film), and the action scenes are extremely intense and exciting. The score by Michael Giacchino is also especially good, and helps to set the right tone. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes stays true to the spirit of the original series while delivering a compelling and bold new vision.
Inspired by a Philip K. Dick short story, Paycheck is an adrenaline… MoreInspired by a Philip K. Dick short story, Paycheck is an adrenaline packed sci-fi thriller. Starring Ben Affleck, Aaron Eckhart, Uma Thurman, and Paul Giamatti, the film features an impressive cast (though Thurman's performance is exceptionally poor). The plot follows a reverse engineer named Michael Jennings who finds himself on the run from federal agents after completing a job in which his memory was erased; but he left himself a series of clues (in the form of 20 random items) to kept himself alive and avoid capture. The writing is rather clever in how it spins the mystery as to how Jennings will use the innocuous items he sent himself to change his future. Think too hard and the whole seeing the future thing kind of falls apart, but on the surface it works. And, director John Woo delivers several intense chases and fight sequences that energize the film. There are some problems here and there, but overall Paycheck is a fun and entertaining adventure.
Len Wiseman realizes his complete vision for Total Recall with an… MoreLen Wiseman realizes his complete vision for Total Recall with an Extended Director's Cut. Most of the added material is minor, but it ends up having a positive impact on the overall film. With extended character building scenes, the relationship between Hauser and Melina feels more natural. And, there's more ambiguity to the dream vs. reality theme (though it still pales to the Verhoeven original). However, Kate Beckinsale continues to be a problem, do to either her over-the-top performance or the poor writing of her character. The Extended Director's Cut of Total Recall corrects a few problems while retaining the smart, edgy sci-fi themes and action-packed thrills.
The series come full circle in Battle For the Planet of the Apes. In… MoreThe series come full circle in Battle For the Planet of the Apes. In the wake of nuclear annihilation Caesar sets up a new ape society, but it's soon threatened by war when human survivors from the fallout discover his ape city. Several Ape series veteran actors return, including Roddy McDowall, and John Huston makes a featured appearance. Once again the series returns to themes of predestination, human nature, and prejudice. The film finds a nice balance of drama and action in which to tell this tale, and still maintains some ambiguity and mystery. Battle For the Planet of the Apes is a challenging science-fiction drama that has a lot of solid action.