Monday, October 22, 2007

Review – Dark Ride

So why is it that film nerds make such lousy movies? It’s clear that the guys who put this together were real cinema buffs, because the script constantly brings us mindful of movie trivia and other odds and ends that only film nerds care about. So everyone here has seen a movie or two. And yet the pacing is off, the plot twists are predictable and uninteresting, and the production suffers from a host of other amateur mistakes. Even the good parts are undone by the problems. For example, the show is set in one of those crappy carnival haunted houses, the kind you ride through in a track-traveling cart. But here some of the stuff inside is actually kinda spooky. As a more severe version of a childhood experience, it works. But then they use the same mediocre special effects when we’re actually supposed to believe that we’re looking at a real slasher victim, and at that point naturally it falls flat. Overall this gets an E for Effort but not for Execution. Mildly amusing

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Review – Deja Vu

How does Denzel Washington keep ending up in these bad sci fi action movies? Wasn’t Virtuosity enough? Apparently not. To be sure, the budget is a bit bigger here and the production values are better than average. However, the plot is way dumber than most. This is another one of these time travel pictures where everything hinges on going back and changing the past. The picture holds some interest early on when it isn’t immediately clear what’s going on. Is meddling with the past is actually causing what happened rather than preventing it? Or are we once again being “treated” to that ultimate sci fi screenwriter’s canard, the parallel universe where things can come out differently than they did? Once that question’s resolved, the only remaining fun is the gun battles and the explosions. Fortunately that part of the movie is well done. Mildly amusing