Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from 2013

Life’s a dream. In a dream you can make mistakes. In a dream you can be whatever you want.

To the Wonder (2012) (MILD SPOILERS) Terrence Malick’s latest rumination falls considerably short of post-career comeback triumphs The Thin Red Line and The Tree of Life . Accordingly, it has more in common with his 2005 Pocahontas tale The New World ; a visually resplendent piece of work (as are all his films) but one that fails to resonate. Maybe it’s all in the casting, despite the evidence that his actors are somewhat superfluous to his goals. The number that have ended up on his cutting room floor is legendary, although it says as much about their unabated desire to work with a legend as his capacity for pruning and reshaping his projects in the edit (with scant regards for his thespians). The Thin Red Line bears the evidence of this most heavily (star turns from the likes of Travolta and Clooney stick out like a sore thumb as they only appear for a scene or two), and more recently Sean Penn passed comment about how little of his performance remained in The Tree

By my manner, you assumed I was a guardian. By your manner, I knew you were a prisoner.

The Prisoner 9. Checkmate We want information. Six takes the role of the Queen’s pawn in a game of chess with human pieces. He is intrigued when a rogue Rook, who moves across the board without orders, is taken away for rehabilitation treatment. The Man with the Stick, controller of the chess game, furnishes Six with the means to tell the Village’s prisoners from its guardians. Six uses this method to win the support of the Rook. Together they assemble a team of fellow prisoners with the intention of mounting an escape bid. Meanwhile, the Queen has been hypnotised and believes that she is in love with Six. With the aid an electronic component taken from a monitoring device worn by the unsuspecting Queen, Six and his band send a distress signal to a nearby ship. The captured Two is held under guard while Six rows out to the vessel. However, on boarding Six is greeted by Two via a monitor screen. The ship belongs to the Village, and the Rook has released Two. Due to hi

Why is it terrorists never appreciate Burgundy?

Red 2 (2013) (SPOILERS) If in doubt, sign on for an unnecessary sequel. Red 2 isn’t bad, but it adds nothing whatsoever to its predecessor. More than that, director Dean Parisot may have a feel for the comedy but his action beats seem to be taking place somewhere else (calling second unit). In the end, it’s the continually impressive cast, old and new, that save this one from being completely redundant. Parisot gave us the splendid Star Trek parody Galaxy Quest , but that was nearly 15 years ago. Since then he’s mostly made a nest for himself on TV (as have a platoon of directors who have had enough of labouring away out in the cold, trying and failing to get movie projects off the ground). Along the way there was the stillborn Fun with Dick and Jane remake on the big screen, but most notable was some solid genre work on Justified . One assumes it was his collaboration with Neal McDonough there that secured him the nominal villain role of Horton here. McDonough’s ac

As it turns out, he really was being given daily doses of LSD for 11 years.

RED (2010) (SPOILERS) A second viewing of that latter-day Bruce Willis rarity; one of his movies where seems to be making an effort and engaging with the material. I selected it as a double bill with this year’s sequel and, for all the common complaint that RED ’s an agreeable movie that refuses to stick in the mind 10 minutes after it’s over (I have to admit that, Malkovich aside, that was also true for me), it holds up to a repeat encounter. This also makes it an even rarer of beasts; a decent movie based on a DC comics property (albeit a relatively obscure one). Appropriately and/or ironically, given said quality issues, Warners weren’t interested in making it and it eventually ended up with Summit Entertainment. The signs still weren’t necessarily all that positive. On screenplay duties were Jon and Erich Hoeber. Responsible for the entirely hokey Whiteout , they would go on to pen the abysmal Battleship . Robert Schwentke, a German director of some ability but not

I’m going to destroy the forest. But I’m only going to do it once, so try to pay attention.

Epic (2013) The second adaptation of a William Joyce book in as many years ( The Leaf Men and the Brave Good Bugs ), Epic ’s eco-fable in miniature has considerable merit. It is structurally more satisfying than Joyce’s fairy-tale-characters-super-team Rise of the Guardians (that movie wastes its high concept premise). Yet it suffers from an inability to trust in its more distinctive (better) ideas. The production team clearly felt it necessary to punch up the proceedings with standard animation plot devices and supporting characters, which cumulatively neuter the movie as a whole. Maybe they were right; maybe the idea wasn’t sufficiently “exciting”. Epic didn’t do a whole lot of business in comparison to the more popular Pixar and DreamWorks animation brands (although the latter met with double disappointments over the last 12 months; both Rise of the Guardians and Turbo significantly underperformed). Blue Sky Studios, the animation house behind Epic , is owned by