Bleak, noir toned thriller. Oddly stilted performance from Liam Neeson as he walks around New York looking for mafia wife killers. Nothing new here; over long with some tension but ultimately misses it’s own target. Somewhat dull and ends stupidly.
Month: April 2017
Rings (2017. dir. F. Javier Gutiérrez)
Risible sequel/retelling that has very little to add to the original films beyond a decent display from the ever reliable Vincent D’onofrio. Not scary in the slightest and far too reliant on how can we get her to climb out of modern screens. Avoid. 😡
The Magnificent Seven (2016, dir. Antoine Fuqua)
A band of hired guns seek redemption by protecting a town from a robber baron. An enjoyable nth version of Seven Samurai, this throwback western references Tombstone and Pale Rider as much as its nominal source material; all involved seem to have fun.
The Last Witch Hunter (2015, dir. Breck Eisner)
An immortal witch-hunter tackles an ancient foe. At times well-directed, but this is nevertheless a muddled and uninvolving action fantasy effort which suffers from convoluted plotting, an underpowered villain, and decent actors phoning in performances.
Bill (2015, dir. Richard Bracewell)
Young Bill Shakespeare tries to make his fortune as a playwright, only to be involved in a Spanish plot. Splendid Pythonesque romp from the Horrible Histories/Yonderland team, ticking off all the Elizabethan gags in the folio.
Riddick (2013, dir. David Twohy)
Riddick is marooned on a planet populated by water-activated monsters. The third movie in the cycle strips back most of the excess from Chronicles… offering an OK siege flick that’s part remake of Pitch Black.
Hellboy (2004, dir, Guillermo del Toro)
A demonic superhero battles neo-Nazi occultists bent on unleashing interdimensional chaos. Gorgeously-designed though shallow action fantasy clearly in love with its world and protagonist.
Kill Command (2016, dir. Steven Gomez)
Part Dog Soldiers, Predator, and Terminator, this is a decent sci-fi actioner where the evil military complex sets men against machines to see who are the best soldiers for tomorrow’s wars. Not as good as what it borrows from, but will pass the time. 😐
Insidious: Chapter 3 (2015, dir. Leigh Whannell)
Part 3 is a prequel, offering backstory on Elise, and her team-up with Specs and Tucker, plus another demonic yarn. Lots of jump scares, handled well enough if you like this sort of thing, with series screenwriter/actor Whannell now elevated to director.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2: Rise of Electro (2014, dir. Marc Webb)
Spidey comes up against two new foes, and one old one. Stronger in its comedy and in the romantic entanglement stuff than in its superheroics, ASM2 ends up nevertheless both soapy and in a rote city smash-up finale against underwritten opposition.