Abandon all hope ye who enter here etc...
ADVENTURES OF TINTIN: THE SECRET OF THE UNICORN
Tagline: Isn't 3D animation just grand and sparkly
Plot: Some artifact, some adventure, some ginger.
Best Thing About The Movie: Well, everything looked pretty crisp and colorfully realized. The occasional action scene is pretty the technically impressive.
Worst Thing About The Movie: I don't think Mo-cap technology is quite there yet, particularly with human characters, who persist in being creepy as fuck. They've taken poor old cartoon institution Tintin and made him look like the sickest fucking murderer you ever did see. Tintin and the adventures of the dismembered corpse.
Best In Show: Andy Serkis
In Summation: Tintin is truly a movie for no-one. Too violent and adult centre for young kids, to cotton candy clean for adults or even older teenagers. Stuck in a vacuum of perfectly polished, perfectly stylized visuals that just plays utterly lifeless, utterly synthetic universe. Everything in Tintin is just too planned, too by the book and everything just feels fake as a consequence. I kept feeling like I was supposed to be having a better time then I was. Plus the script is kind of stupid, so there. Rating: 4/10
Tagline: White people, rewritin' history daily.
Plot: Black women empower themselves, courtesy of a fearless white woman who cares not what society expects of her. This is of course exactly who you would have been in the situation, right fellow white people?
Best Thing About The Movie: I appreciate it's intention and I do think this film is a fairly sincere attempt to decry past crimes. A couple of interesting characterizations and terrific performances
Worst Thing About The Movie: Isn't everyone going to see themselves as Emma Stone and not as everyone else. Movie accidentally allows each and every white person to be absolved of their sins.
Best In Show: Viola Davis
In Summation: Look I didn't hate this movie. It's well meaning and the performances are mostly terrific, in particular Viola Davis, whose Oscar nomination and possible win is deserved and inevitable. But it's not a helpful discussion of racism. It's too simplistic, not exploring the issue with any kind of complexity or honesty. And instead serving to be a cleansing where all white people can be on the side of the righteous in regards to their own crime because isn't that Bryce Dallas Howard a bitch. Still, not necessarily a bad movie. Rating: 6/10
Tagline: Genius from the middle class? Clearly a conspiracy.
Plot: Gosh, this whole Shakespeare being a povo sure does render my Oxford degree meaningless doesn't it?
Best Thing About The Movie: OK, this being Roland Emmerich there are some sumptuous visuals, and the film does make for the occasional solid twist.
Worst Thing About The Movie: Everyone's acting. You can stop exploding stuff Roland, but you still can't really direct actors for shit. A lot of stiff performances from talented people on display here.
Best In Show: Rafe Spall
In Summation: Offensive in it's very conception. If one can stomach the outrage, it's not necessarily terrible, and I liked a couple of the twists nearer the end. Also Rafe Spall's performance as the laughably demonized Shakespeare ends up being the least dour part of the movie. Ultimately it felt like a fiction film made by someone who always is talking down to what makes fiction important. Shakespeare isn't a genius for his political allegories or his referencing, but for the majesty of his imagination. Something that class and privilege can't give you. Rating 5/10
IDES OF MARCH
Tagline: Clooney. Gosling. Eye candy for women of all ages.
Plot: Something about a what now?
Best Thing About The Movie: A lot of big name actors earning their paycheques in this movie. Great performances pretty much across the board.
Worst Thing About Movie: This is what's wrong with political movies. They always end up so utterly toothless and afraid of saying anything that they become Ides Of March. Which I guess is a thriller. And depressingly fucking boring.
Best in Show: Philip Seymour Hoffman.
In Summation: Incredibly frustrating. I want nothing more than for there to be political movies. Talking about and examining issues in fiction is something an entire generation has been deprived of, but this isn't it. It's gloomy and unimpressive, and despite great work from a mostly great cast. I liked Hoffman and Giamatti in particular, it's just an empty, pointless movie. Politics corrupts? STOP SPEAKING IN PLATITUDES ASSHOLES AND ACTUALLY SAY SOMETHING. Rating: 5/10
Tagline: Amanda Seyfried is now my title picture. Because that happened.
Plot: Imagine a future where the currency was not money, but time. Sounds awesome right?
Best Thing About The Movie: The concept.
Worst Thing About The Movie: The execution.
Best In Show: Cillian Murphy
In Summation: I think conceptually speaking, Andrew Niccol is perhaps the most incisive, impressive and occasionally prophetic science fiction film-maker of our times. He;s just not really a very good writer. Or at least one that hits and misses. Gattaca did this kind of thing right, but In Time is too much of a pseudo-blockbuster to really do what it wants to do. Some of the ideas still impress and intrigue, but mostly this is a pretty horrible misfire for Niccol, even if it is his most successful movie date. Rating: 4/10
MACHINE GUN PREACHER
Tagline: Guns, God and Righteousness etc..
Plot: Gerard Butler kills black people. Reductive, but technically true.
Best Thing About The Movie: Some earnest shit, but it didn't feel false necessarily. Good performances.
Worst Thing About The Movie: I think there's a serious case to be made that the recent Rambo reboot is a subtler reboot than this. Fans of nuance will not be pleased.
Best In Show: Gerard Butler
In Summation: I liked Butler in this movie. I think there's a charisma and power about Butler that is pretty consistent, almost as consistent as the terrible movies he chooses to star in. Maybe an interesting character part supporting role, or a villain would be a good move. The movie around him? Well it's a well-meaning movie, but if the Oscar Movie was a genre, which I'm increasingly inclined to think it has, this would be the B movie version of it. Righteous outrage all present and correct. Eloquent way of expressing it? Not so much. 5/10
Tagline: Brett Ratner, voice of the American Suppressed.
Plot: So some guy who's not but really is Bernie Madoff steals everyone's money, REGULAR GUYS, decide to steal it back.
Best Thing About The Movie: It's a good cast, with the likes of Casey Affleck, Matthew Broderick and Michael Pena backing up big guns Stiller and Murphy, is enjoyable in places.
Worst Thing About The Movie: It's sort of a lazy script, as you'd expect with Ratner. The heist itself is lame, and there's not nearly enough Eddie Murphy.
Best In Show: Eddie Murphy
In Summation: Oh Ratner. How you confound me so. The thing about Ratner is, no-one can really call him bad, as every film he makes seems to hit the 5/6 out of ten range, but what's so odious is something tells me that this isn't an accident because he's motivated by what sells not what works, so as a storyteller he's just feeding the audience what he thinks they want, trying not to be daring or forceful as to alienate anybody. And it just means all of his films become anonymous, disposable pieces of mediocrity. Tower Heist was working with something here, entertainment sure, but formed out of righteous indignation. But Ratner who prizes the material as an artist and as a man above all things, is just the wrong man for the job, and consequently it all comes out in a muddle. Rating: 5/10
Tagline: The most iconic Rape movie in the history of cinema...IS BACK.
Plot: Yada Yada Farmhouse, yada yada Eric from True Blood.
Best Thing About The Movie: A functional, mostly efficient thriller, A couple of tense sequences.
Worst Thing About The Movie: Doesn't really get/feel Comfortable with the intellectual material, so the movie is all over the shop as far as what it's saying, and ends up trying to say that a woman would be more disappointed if her rapist was killed by her husband, then vice versa. Maybe think this shit through.
In Summation: Straw Dogs is caught between a rock and a hard place really. It's remaking a film that's such an unabashed expression of the male ID, but doing it for commerce. So it wants to reflect the 'Brand Name' so to speak, which essentially all comes together to mean it's uncomfortable with it's own existence. I liked a couple of the performances, James Marsden and Alexander Skarsgaard bounced of each other well. But you just feel that this is a film that no-one involved wants to be making. Rating: 5/10
Tagline: 300, except this time there are Gods. Ah yeah.
Plot: Mickey Rourke is coming to kill everyone, Theseus and Stephen Dorff apparently don't much appreciate this. Freida Pinto can see the future.
Best Thing About The Movie: If you have a really low investment rate in actual story, the visuals are on occasion spectacular, in that entirely synthetic CGI way.
Worst Thing About The Movie: Right so apparently there's thing called acting, where people pretend to be people in a believable way. This movie, this movie does not care about this principle. Accents range from American to English to Indian, and it's Tarsem Singh saying clear as day, 'I don't care about the human side of my movies' his fans wouldn't like it, but he and Zack Snyder are a pair made in heaven.
Best In Show: Stephen Dorff (I guess)
In Summation: This is a film where you keep thinking 'why is that in the movie', or 'why is he in the movie' or 'Why are their gods in this film when they don;t matter a jot to the story' It's just a terrible script across the board really, and I think the question is how highly you rate visuals in your movie going experience. If they're the reason you love movies, then you'll probably enjoy this in spite of eveything. If like me you're a writing and acting guy, this stuff was pretty intolerable. Rating: 4/10
Tagline: Two Oscar winners slumming it for a paycheck
Plot: Guys want Money that's in the house, but Cage and Kidman don't want to give it to them
Best Thing About The Boy: Oh boy. Erm, I didn't see a reflection of the camera at any point during this movie.
Worst Thing About The Movie: A complete failure on almost every level, yet in a way that's somehow forgettable and unremarkable. One of those movies where it's like yep, I've wasted my life.
Best In Show: My liquefying brain.
In Summation: Nic Cage needs to pay the IRS, I get that but what's Kidman doing here? And of course they give the role of the wildcard psycho to Cam Gigandet, also known as the greatest actor alive. Legitimately one of the worst performances of the year. This movie is just, there are no words for it's inadequacy. Joel Schumacher's name was not a surprise. Rating: 2/10