Wednesday, May 14, 2014

A Mid-week Nightcap 5/14/13 with capsule reviews of recent films plus lots of links from Randi and John

Shelly T Otter hitting her 4th sarsaparilla 
It's been a crazy couple of days- after scribbling yet another capsule review of  a big theatrical release (Spiderman) I suddenly realized I had more than enough for a post concerning recent films. I also realized that John and Randi have been sending me tons of links since Sunday. At the rate everything was coming together I realized that if I waited to do it until the weekend I'd have a post that was the length of the Encyclopedia Britannica so I've decided to throw it all together in a midweek round up.

First up word on some recent releases that sparked some capsule reviews.

Too long by about 40 minutes car chase film about a framed guy in a cross country race. It would be guilty fun if there was any invention to the race sequences or if there was anything other than cliches here. Its not bad but why the hell is this so damn long and unending(why is this 130 minutes?)

Liam Neeson is a sky marshal who is told that unless 150 million is transferred into an certain account someone will die every 20 minutes on his flight. Well made thriller suffers from the feeling that we've been here before- multiple times-with Neeson, never mind anyone else. If you're not demanding go right ahead

Gina Carano's husband goes missing on their honeymoon but no one will help find him-so she goes looking. As the bodies pile up she finds corruption runs deep. Direct to home video style film some how got a small theatrical release. Carano has presence to handle the action and the one liners but she isn't a particularly good actress. Regardless the low budget film remains entertaining thanks to some great one liners, a few twists (including of the neck) and the supporting cast. You could do a great deal worse. Worth at least a look.

Reformed criminal finds his daughter has been kidnapped. Rounding up his old friends to get her back he finds his old life has come back to haunt him. A film I can admire more than I like, this is an okay film that suffers because it feels more like a cheap TV movie than a film that the filmmakers truly believed in. Its a shame because there are some great sequences in the film, especially in the later half  that show how good this should have been. If you want to see something interesting  but not necessarily successful give the film a try.

Paul WS Anderson's why did you bother film about gladiators and love in 79AD. Gladiator falls in love with a noble woman right before the mountain explodes. It hits every disaster/gladiator cliche possible and adds nothing new. You've seen this all before many many times. Yea it looks great but there is zero new here except the computer generated effects.  And we'll not get into the historical inaccuracies.

Remake of B13 a French action film from Luc Besson about a cop going into a walled off part of a city to get an atomic bomb being used to blackmail Paris. This remake has an atomic bomb set to go off and blow up Detroit (where's Robocop?). Never mind the whys and hows, it makes zero sense. Good action pales compared to the original  (which is still the only reason to see the first film) because of how its filmed. If pushed I'll say this is an okay film but its stupider than the first.

Small child regales the grown ups with stories of loved ones lost and life before he was born in a faith filled story. If you get all tingly about the story before you go in you'll be tingly coming out. If you hate the idea of the film going in you'll hate it when you come out. Its exactly what you think it is.

I'm sure this plays better on the page but on the screen it's like every other recent dystopian YA sourced film that's come out lately. The tag line says "what makes you different makes you dangerous" but whatever difference this had to make it a choice for a movie was wiped away by the studio.

Jude Law give a performance for the ages as crook out of prison looking for whats owed him. Dom Hemingway is truly of kilter and interested in form over content and it doesn't always work but you have to admire its audacity. Sadly I think Law (and Richard E Grant) will be forgotten when Oscar time comes around.

Despite moments this film is a big and bloated mess that tries to do way too much in too little time (you could lose about 90 minutes of this easily). I love the bully kid bits and it does have a few other moments, but mostly this is sturm and drang signifying nothing.

And now the husband and wife tag team of links Randi and John give you tons more material to consider.....

Orson Welles's Too Much Johnson: the moment he fell in love with cinema (The Guardian)
The film that inspired Studio Ghibli (BFI)
Irvine Welsh to write Spring Breakers sequel (The Guardian)
Explore Your Favorite London Films with This London Movie Map (Londontopia):
The online World War 1 Archive is up and running
Feminist Porn
BBC Comedy Vaults are now open
Alan Bennett taks to Nicholas Hytner
Poignant pictures from humanity's lowest moments
Food in Film
The dangers of Isolation

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