A return to form, Saw VI is an intense and suspenseful… MoreA return to form, Saw VI is an intense and suspenseful horror-thriller. While a shady insurance company CEO faces judgment in a Jigsaw trap, Jigsaw's accomplice, Detective Mark Hoffman, continues to try to throw suspicion off of himself as a joint task force closes in. Additionally, there are some interesting reveals about Jigsaw's backstory and Hoffman's role in the operation. The traps are quit inventive and are especially apt for the target. However, the gore is overdone at times and kind of undercuts the suspense. Yet overall, Saw VI is a noticeable improvement for the series.
Written and directed by David Goyer, The Unborn is a dull and morose… MoreWritten and directed by David Goyer, The Unborn is a dull and morose supernatural thriller. The story follows a college student named Casey Beldon who begins to have strange visions and comes to believe that she's being stalked by a malicious spirit. Lead actress Odette Yustman has no charisma and gives a completely lifeless performance. And, the script is poorly written and is hard to follow (despite numerous exposition dumps). Additionally, the imagery, while disturbing at times, isn't altogether that scary. Uninspired tripe, The Unborn is a monotonous and poorly made film.
Delivering nonstop laughs, The Final Girls is a hilarious and witty… MoreDelivering nonstop laughs, The Final Girls is a hilarious and witty horror-comedy. When the daughter of an '80s scream queen attends a screening of her mother's cult horror film "Camp Bloodbath," she ends up getting transported into the film. The script is incredibly well-written and does a great job at satirizing the tropes and clichés of '80s slasher films (particularly Friday the 13th). The film also really captures the look and feel of an '80s slasher. However, some of the performances are a little weak, and the setup that gets the daughter to the theater screening is a little clumsy. Still, The Final Girls is a lot of fun and a clever spoof of the genre.
A throwback to classic Bond, Spectre is a convoluted and noisy… MoreA throwback to classic Bond, Spectre is a convoluted and noisy action-adventure film. After killing a Mexican crime lord James Bond discovers a secret syndicate known as Spectre that's run by a mysterious man from Bond's past. Christoph Waltz steps into the role of Ernst Blofeld, but gives an underwhelming performance that pales to the previous incarnations. And Lea Seydoux is functionary at best as a stereotypical Bond Girl. The fight scenes and chases are exciting as usual, however none of them really standout or distinguish themselves in the pantheon of Bond action sequences. While the Craig era began strong by bringing a dark and gritty edge to the series, Spectre throws all that out and returns to the tropes and clichés of the past.
Hilariously funny, the action-comedy Spy is a clever spoofing of the… MoreHilariously funny, the action-comedy Spy is a clever spoofing of the spy genre. When an arms dealer learns the identities of the CIA's top operatives, the CIA sends untested data analyst Susan Cooper into the field in order to track down the location of a nuclear weapon that the dealer is selling. Starring Melissa McCarthy, Rose Byrne, Jason Statham and Jude Law, the film has a strong cast. And, the comedy is quite clever, and does a wonderful job at lampooning the genre tropes and clichés. However, McCarthy's brand of humor gets a little tiring after a while, and is kind of crass. Still, Spy is tremendously entertaining and delivers a lot of laughs.
A suspenseful and thrilling war film from director Kathryn Bigelow,… MoreA suspenseful and thrilling war film from director Kathryn Bigelow, The Hurt Locker is a smart and uncompromising look at the lives of soldiers serving in Iraq. The story follows a bomb disposal unit as they go out on missions to deal with car bombs, suicide bombers, and IEDs, but the team leader's wild and reckless attitude soon pushes his team members to their breaking point. Jeremy Renner gives an outstanding performance, and is able to convey a lot through subtle looks and movements. Additionally, there are some strong supporting performances by Guy Pearce, Ralph Fiennes, and Evangeline Lilly. Bigelow's directing is also incredibly well-done and gives the film a gritty and raw quality. And, the writing's remarkably tight and keeps the focus on the soldiers and their personal struggles; avoiding any political commentary about the war. A provocative character drama, The Hurt Locker asks some hard questions about the effects that war has on the soldiers who fight it.
"This time the mission is a man." Saving Private Ryan is a powerful… More"This time the mission is a man." Saving Private Ryan is a powerful and evocative World War II epic from director Steven Spielberg. Dealing with the value of life and the personal toll that war takes on one's humanity, the film addresses some compelling issues. The story follows an American Army unit that's sent to find a paratrooper whose brothers were killed in the Normandy invasion. Starring Tom Hanks, Tom Sizemore, Edward Burns, Barry Pepper, and Matt Damon, the film features an all-star cast that gives some incredible performances. And the production values, from the costumes, to the make-up effects, to the cinematography, are extraordinarily well-done. Additionally, John Williams crafts a magnificent score that accentuates the visceral imagery. Delivering a raw and uncompromising depiction of warfare, Saving Private Ryan is a cinematic masterpiece.
Based on the legend of the Ninth Legion, Centurion is an action-packed… MoreBased on the legend of the Ninth Legion, Centurion is an action-packed historical thriller. After a devastating attack by the Picts a Roman governor sends the Ninth Legion into the northern territory of Britain to destroy the Pict tribe; but the campaign goes badly, leaving only a handful of survivors to struggle to avoid capture and make it back to the Roman lines. Starring Michael Fassbender, Olga Kurylenko, Imogen Poots, and Dominic West, the film has a solid cast. And it's beautifully shot, with sweeping landscapes and authentic looking costumes and sets. However, the violence is a little too gratuitous in its gore, and it takes a while for the story to get going. Overall, Centurion is a fairly run-of-the-mill action film and doesn't really have much ambition.
A stylistic thriller, Last Knights is a bizarre rendition of the 47… MoreA stylistic thriller, Last Knights is a bizarre rendition of the 47 Ronin legend. When a regent refuses to pay tribute to a corrupt politician he is killed and his knights are disbanded, which leads them to secretly plot to restore their master's honor by avenging his death. Clive Owen and Morgan Freeman lead the cast and give fairly strong performances. But the storytelling is rather poor, and is incredibly predictable. However, the fight sequences are well-choreographed and bring some energy and excitement to the film. Yet overall, Last Knights is a mediocre retelling of a familiar tale.
Updated for modern audiences, Poltergeist is a solid remake that… MoreUpdated for modern audiences, Poltergeist is a solid remake that delivers some frightful thrills. After moving to a new house that's been built on a former cemetery the Bowen family comes under attack from supernatural forces. Sam Rockwell leads the cast and gives an impressive performance. Additionally, the director does a good job at creating atmosphere and building tension. And, the writing makes some interesting changes that contemporizes the story. Though not as revolutionary as the original, Poltergeist is still a well-crafted and chilling horror film.