Thursday, July 28, 2016

Review - Manson Family Vacation

Part dysfunctional family indie, part fanboy odyssey, all dull crap. A responsible family man gets a visit from his louche, Manson-obsessed brother. Their contrasting personalities create an endless parade of awkward moments as the plot meanders toward a conclusion viewers can easily predict in the first ten minutes. See if desperate

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Review - Dream House

Around midway through this thriller I started to wonder what legal obligation a realtor might have to disclose to potential buyers a house’s history as the site of brutal murders. Looking up the answer (generally none, by the way) proved more entertaining than the movie itself. The producers spent the money to get Daniel Craig and Rachel Weisz, which apparently left them nothing in the budget for an original plot. I won’t spoil things for anyone who wants to take this on, even though it’s likely to prove a disappointment. See if desperate

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Review - Zootopia

Cute. The world building is a big part of the fun, imagining what a metropolis where anthropomorphic animals live together in harmony. A believing-in-her-dreams rabbit becomes the first lagomorph on the Zootopia police force. With the help of a con artist fox, she unravels a plot to turn the predator species back to their ancient, prey-eating ways. Though aimed at kids – and maybe furries – this is still worth a look for anyone in the mood for some simple entertainment. Worth seeing

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Review - The Colony

In the wake of some icy apocalypse, the tattered remains of the human race huddle in underground colonies. A bad situation turns worse when a band of nomadic cannibals shows up and tries to make a meal of everyone. Around midway through I got so bored that I started musing about how long a planet with no plant life could maintain a breathable oxygen supply. See if desperate

Review - The Abandoned

Once again weak writing and indifferent casting create a production where everything else is upstaged by the location. They found some cool old buildings to shoot this in, but the drama that unfolds is typical night-watch-guards-poking-their-noses-where-they-don’t-belong stuff. See if desperate

Review - The Veil

I’m surprised the whole Jim Jones tragedy hasn’t shown up in many horror movie plots in the years since 1978. Here it gets a supernatural twist. A documentary film crew follows the sole survivor of a mass suicide back to the cult’s compound, where they unearth some restless spirits. Jessica Alba heads a cast of familiar faces. Mildly amusing

Review - The Krays: The Myth Behind the Legend

Yeah, no typo. We're genuinely being offered "the myth behind the legend." Documentarians turn their cameras on England's notorious Kray brothers and manage to make a total mess of things. They arrange interviews with many of the gangsters' inner circle, which should have been fascinating viewing. But most of these doddering old East Enders prove incapable of communicating in anything but arcane slang. Thus we're stuck trying to make sense of stuff that sounds like, "Then that right old toffer sodded off around the corner for some cheese and donkey, the bastard." To make matters worse, decades of swilling cheap booze and having coffee tables nailed to their heads have reduced their speech to mutterings that sound like Robert Shaw in Jaws only played backwards at half speed. Poor organization and inconsistent production values pound the final nails into the coffin. See if desperate

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Review - Deadpool

This was certainly big at the box office, especially for a picture aimed directly at fanboys. Despite the plethora of inside jokes, there’s enough humor, action and special effects here to keep even laypeople entertained. It even used techniques I’m normally not all that wild about – such as breaking-the-fourth-wall gags – without ruining the experience. Who knew a bad comedy about an undead hitman could actually be fun? Mildly amusing

Review - Southbound

I like a good anthology piece. This isn’t one. Though it has occasional flashes of innovation – such as the weird floating skeleton monsters – for the most part it’s dull and cliché-ridden. At least they managed to tie the five stories together in the end. Mildly amusing

Review - The Offering

This is another one of those messy movies mostly made from recycled plots. We’ve got the sister trying to find out what happened to her departed sib, the evil conspiracy manifesting itself on the internet, and enough other “borrowed” stuff to pad out the running time. Also released as The Faith of Anna Waters. See if desperate

Friday, July 1, 2016

Review - Scooby Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed

If you liked the first one, well, here’s more of the same. The cast takes on a bevy of baddies from the original cartoons, thus aiming for fans of the show and small children (though probably nobody else). See if desperate

Review - Sin City: A Dame to Kill For

Imagine listening to a film-noir-addicted 12-year-old boy trying to describe violent sex while “Bitches Brew” plays in the background. Now you don’t have to imagine it, because here it is. If the over-stylized aesthetic and child-like writing of the first one floated your boat, then you’re still safely sailing here. See if desperate