Writer/director George Miller returns to the world of Mad Max with the… MoreWriter/director George Miller returns to the world of Mad Max with the reboot Mad Max: Fury Road. Set in an apocalyptic wasteland, a rogue warrior named Max gets caught-up in a battle between a tyrannical warlord and an escaping group of concubines. Tom Hardy is no Mel Gibson, and doesn't really bring any charisma to the role. In fact none of the performances are anything more than serviceable. But, the action sequences are incredibly dynamic and exciting. The visual aesthetic is also quite remarkable, with extremely creative vehicle and costume designs. Though neither the story nor the characters are that interesting, Mad Max: Fury Road delivers some extraordinary chases and fight scenes that are wildly entertaining.
Top Gun is a riveting action film from director Tony Scott. The story… MoreTop Gun is a riveting action film from director Tony Scott. The story follows a hot shot Navy pilot who's sent to an elite fighter school to learn aerial combat tactics. Starring Tom Cruise, Kelly McGillis, Val Kilmer, and Michael Ironside, the cast is pretty good. But the real stars of the film are the F-14 fighter jets, and Scott does an excellent job at capturing the intensity and excitement of the aerial maneuvers. The soundtrack is also especially well-done, and features such hit songs as "Danger Zone" and "Take My Breath Away." Adrenaline packed and incredible entertaining, Top Gun has become an iconic '80s action film.
Intense and provocative, Rules of Engagement is a captivating… MoreIntense and provocative, Rules of Engagement is a captivating political thriller. Starring Tommy Lee Jones, Samuel L. Jackson, Guy Pearce, and Bruce Greenwood, the film features an all-star cast. When U.S. Army Col. Terry Childers is court-martialed and setup to take the fall for a protest rally that turned into a massacre at an American embassy, he calls on an old friend to take his case and prove his innocence. Unfortunately the script is a little weak, particularly the trail scenes; as nothing especially dramatic happens to sway the case or create momentum. Additionally, the truth of the "massacre" is revealed fairly early on, undercutting the tension. Yet there's still a good amount of suspense and intrigue to the investigation and the trail. Rules of Engagement has its flaws, but overall it's an entertaining and compelling film.
Inspired by true events, Rescue Dawn is a harrowing tale of survival.… MoreInspired by true events, Rescue Dawn is a harrowing tale of survival. The story follows Navy pilot Dieter Dengler who's shot down in Laos during the Vietnam War and is imprisoned in a Viet Cong internment camp until he and his fellow POWs attempt a daring escape. Christian Bale, Steve Zahn, and Jeremy Davies all give incredible performances. And, writer/director Werner Herzog does an impressive job at bringing a gritty realism to the film. However, the pacing is kind of slow, and the narrative is weak and hard to follow at times. Yet despite its problems, Rescue Dawn delivers a compelling tale of heroism.
The low-budget war drama Field of Lost Shoes tells an interesting… MoreThe low-budget war drama Field of Lost Shoes tells an interesting chapter of Civil War history. In May of 1864 as the Union advanced throughout the South the cadets at the Virginia Military Institute were called to battle and ended up playing a pivotal role at the Battle of New Market. Unfortunately the writing isn't very good, and the production values are rather poor; especially the CGI effects, which really stand out and are incredibly distracting. Still, like every war film, Field of Lost Shoes has its moments and it's hard not to be moved by the stories of heroism and tragedy.
Based on the Elmore Leonard novel, Be Cool is a satirical crime… MoreBased on the Elmore Leonard novel, Be Cool is a satirical crime thriller. After hearing a promising young singer at a night club movie producer Chili Palmer decides to go into the music business and producer her album, but first he'll have to get her record contract from a rival company and settle a debt with local gangsters. Starring John Travolta, Uma Thurman, Vince Vaughn, Cedric the Entertainer, Harvey Keitel, and The Rock, the film features an all-star cast. However, the characters are a little too lighthearted and silly. In fact the tone of the entire film lacks Leonard's typical edginess, and goes more for farce than satire. Still, Be Cool is fairly entertaining and delivers some good laughs.
Juno Temple is a Dirty Girl in this satirical indie comedy. Set in… MoreJuno Temple is a Dirty Girl in this satirical indie comedy. Set in the 1980s, a rebellious high school girl hitches a ride with a gay student who's running away from home so that she can go on a cross-country trip to find her estranged father. Temple gives a strong performance and there are some nice supporting performances by Milla Jovovich and Mary Steenburgen. Additionally, the '80s aesthetic is used quite well; especially the music. However, for a road trip comedy the plot doesn't really go anywhere interesting or seem that exciting. Dirt Girl is a bit of fun at times, but it's held back by the weak writing and directing.
An abysmal piece of garbage, Hot Tub Time Machine 2 is a spectacularly… MoreAn abysmal piece of garbage, Hot Tub Time Machine 2 is a spectacularly ill-conceived sequel. Ripping off Back to the Future Part II and a host of other time travel films, the plot follows Lou and his friends as they travel to an alternative future in order to save Lou's life after an assassin tried to kill him. It's a confusing and idiotic story that's more stupid than fun. And the comedy is incredibly vulgar and mean-spirited. Having none of the wit or good humor of the original, Hot Tub Time Machine 2 is an atrocious film.
Hot Tub Time Machine delivers a wacky adventure that's outrageously… MoreHot Tub Time Machine delivers a wacky adventure that's outrageously hilarious. When three friends take a trip to a ski resort they end up accidentally going back in time to 1986 where they have to relive a seminal weekend of their lives in order to prevent disrupting the timeline. The cast includes John Cusack, Rob Corddry, Craig Robinson, and Chevy Chase, who all deliver great comedic performances. However, the time-travel aspect of the film isn't that effective: as it focuses too much attention on '80s fads, and the humor isn't organic to '80s culture. Still, while the lack of cleverness in the writing holds the film back a bit, Hot Tub Time Machine is entertaining and has a lot of good laughs.
Lighthearted and fun, The Wedding Ringer is a formulaic goofball… MoreLighthearted and fun, The Wedding Ringer is a formulaic goofball comedy with a fair amount of laughs. Unable to come up with any groomsmen for his wedding, Doug Harris turns to a small-time hustler who specializes in wedding services. Leads Kevin Hart and Josh Gad deliver solid performances, but the supporting cast is rather weak. Also, the comedy is uneven, as the raunchiness seems random and out of place. And the plot is full of clichés and stereotypes. Yet despite its weakness, The Wedding Ringer is still pretty entertaining.