[31 Days of Horror 3] Day 31 – Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982)

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Director: Tommy Lee Wallace

Cast: Tom Atkins, Stacey Nelkin, Dan O’Herlihy

Screenplay: Tommy Lee Wallace

98 mins. Rated R.

 

Well, here we are again, at the end of it all. I had another great season, and I hope you did too.

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So today, we will look back on, arguably, the strangest Halloween entry, Halloween III: Season of the Witch. As you may be aware, this is the only film in the series to not feature Michael Myers, and the story behind the film is incredibly interesting and perhaps too ahead of its time.

Dr. Dan Challis (Tom Atkins, Lethal Weapon, Drive Angry) takes an interest in the mystery surrounding his newest patient, Harry Grimbridge, a local shop owner who was attacked and left for dead. After meeting and sexing Harry’s 20-something daughter Ellie (Stacey Nelkin, Bullets Over Broadway, Everything’s Relative), who joins him on his quest, Dan discovers that the attack is linked to Santa Mira, California and Silver Shamrock Novelties, owned by the very rich and unusual Conal Cochran (Dan O’Herlihy, RoboCop, Fail-Safe). As he digs deeper into the odd happenings of Santa Mira, Dan and Ellie discover that the link between Harry’s attack and the Silver Shamrock Halloween masks that are sweeping the nation.

Now, let’s discuss the story behind the story. So John Carpenter and Debra Hill had just finished Halloween II, and they had no interest in continuing the story. From their point of view, the story was done. But when pressured by Universal Studios, they came up with a rather interesting idea: make Halloween an anthology series with a new installment each year centered around the holiday but telling a different story. They brought in Tommy Lee Wallace and crafted Halloween III: Season of the Witch. When the film was released, it was panned because everyone went to the theater expecting to see Michael Myers. It was upsetting for fans of the slasher, and the film’s poor reception put the Halloween franchise on hold for six years.

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So is Halloween III really that bad? Not terrible, but it has some problems. A convoluted plot, masked in confusion and the occasional scare, but it relies more on the eerie presence that the setting conveys. I enjoy the film a lot more after knowing the intention behind the film, but it is the dark horse of the Halloween franchise, though not its worst installment. Atkins is a fine lead and O’Herlihy a menacing villain. As it stands, there are multiple underdeveloped plot points and an ending which borders on the silly, but fans of horror anthologies will enjoy the possibility of what might have been. Worth a look.

 

2.5/5

-Kyle A. Goethe

 

For my review of John Carpenter’s Halloween, click here.

For my review of Rick Rosenthal’s Halloween II, click here.

[Happy 5th Birthday!] Sucker Punch (2011)

 

Director: Zack Snyder

Cast: Emily Browning, Abbie Cornish, Jena Malone, Vanessa Hudgens, Jamie Chung, Carla Gugino, Oscar Isaac, Jon Hamm, Scott Glenn

Screenplay: Zack Snyder, Steve Shibuya

110 mins. Rated PG-13 for thematic material involving sexuality, violence and combat sequences, and for language.

 

Wow, I remember being very excited for Sucker Punch five years ago. I really enjoyed Dawn of the Dead and Watchmen, both directed by Zack Snyder (300, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice) and I couldn’t wait to see what the visual director was going to bring next. Sucker Punch had the right amount of mystery and confidence to carry it for me. Then, it came out. My mind quickly changed. Looking back now, I decided to revisit Sucker Punch five years later to see if it had changed.

Sucker Punch is another one of those movies impossible to fully describe in a paragraph, so I’ll try to make it as easy as possible. Babydoll (Emily Browning, A Series of Unfortunate Events, Legend) has just lost her mother, and her step-father has sent her to an asylum for the mentally ill, which Babydoll sees as a brothel. She meets others there, like Sweet Pea (Abbie Cornish,  Limitless, RoboCop) and her sister Rocket (Jena Malone, Contact, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2), and she is introduced to Blue Jones (Oscar Isaac, Inside Llewyn Davis, Star Wars: The Force Awakens), who makes Babydoll and her friends dance at his club. Not wanting to deal with the cards dealt, Babydoll escapes into a fantasy world where she battles Nazi Zombies, Robot Samurai, and of course, a dragon, all the time attempting to get tools to plot her escape.

If there are two truly great things that came out of Sucker Punch, they are the visuals and the music. This movie is gorgeous looking, and I don’t just mean the talent in front of the camera. Zack Snyder’s constant flair for the screen  is again impressive here. The score and soundtrack, both in the original renditions and songs selected to fit the film, are incredible and rhythmic and a lot of fun. That is where the wins for Sucker Punch end.

I’m not even going to touch on the misogynistic feel of the overall film. The movie just wants to be better than it is. I didn’t feel the emotional impact of much of the film because I knew that what I was seeing was not exactly what was really happening. It isn’t very easy to make a popcorn movie with explosions and scantily-clad woman battling monsters into a total snoozer, but Sucker Punch did just that. Honestly, when I read down the list of components of this film, it should be great, but the poor screenplay from Snyder and Steve Shibuya shines through this film, ultimately making a disappointment.

The film is star studded, also including Jamie Chung (Big Hero 6, Bad Johnson), Carla Gugino (Night at the Museum, San Andreas), Jon Hamm (TV’s Mad Men, Minions), and Scott Glenn (The Silence of the Lambs, The Barber), but unfortunately, the film feels overdone and undercooked, a beautifully confusing mess, a nicely mixed cocktail that tastes like mud. I really wanted to love Sucker Punch, but I just wasn’t in love with it.

 

2/5

-Kyle A. Goethe

 

For my review of Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel, click here.

31 Days of Horror Part II: Day 16 – Big Ass Spider! (2013)

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Director: Mike Mendez

Cast: Greg Grunberg, Lin Shaye, Patrick Bauchau, Ray Wise, Clare Kramer, Lombardo Boyar, Ruben Pla

Screenplay: Gregory Gieras

80 mins. Rated PG-13 for sci-fi violence and gore.

 

Apparently Mike Mendez (The Gravedancers, Tales of Halloween) fought like hell to keep the title Big Ass Spider! He was right, though unfortunately there is little else to draw one in.

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Alex Mathis (Greg Grunberg, TV’s Heroes, Super 8) is an expert exterminator (ignore the part at the beginning where he is bit by an apparently lethal spider). His expertise comes to great importance as the hospital that he’s in has an extremely dangerous spider that quadruples in size at an alarming rate. Now, Alex and his de facto partner Jose (Lombardo Boyar, Happy Feet, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes) attempt to stop the mammoth bug while a team of government agents led by Major Braxton C. Tanner (Ray Wise, RoboCop, The Lazarus Effect) attempt to blow it out of the sky, putting millions at risk.

This title brought me in. The film put me out. I actually really like Greg Grunberg but I don’t feel like he is ready to lead a movie, even one like Big Ass Spider! He is joined by Boyar who plays off as a cliché token Hispanic. The only man who plays to this film’s strengths is Wise, who delivers a goofy satire of the by-the-numbers Major. I also enjoyed the “cameo” by Lin Shaye (There’s Something About Mary, Insidious: Chapter 3).

Big Ass Spider! has some actually engaging effects, but the screenplay didn’t move along in any way that actually interested me, choosing to embrace its B-Movie possibilities rather poorly.

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All in all, get a laugh out of the fact that somebody actually made a movie called Big Ass Spider! No, you don’t actually have to watch the movie.

 

2/5

-Kyle A. Goethe

 

For more 31 Days of Horror, click here.

[Happy 25th Birthday!] Total Recall (1990)

 

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Director: Paul Verhoeven

Cast: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Rachel Ticotin, Sharon Stone, Michael Ironside, Ronny Cox

Screenplay: Ronald Shusett, Dan O’Bannon, Gary Goldman

113 mins. Rated R.

  • Academy Award Winner: Special Achievement Award for visual effects
  • Academy Award Nominee: Best Sound
  • Academy Award Nominee: Best Effects, Sound Effects Editing

 

Each time that I watch 1990’s Total Recall, I find that I enjoy it just a little more. Don’t get me wrong, our relationship didn’t start out that great. Boys hears of Movie. Boy sees Movie. Boy is confused, bewildered, and a little frustrated. Boy is convinced to watch Movie again. Boy remembers enjoying himself, but can’t place why. It’s the same story you’ve heard a thousand times by now.

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In Total Recall, Arnold Schwarzenegger (The Terminator, Maggie) is Douglas Quaid, a normal everyday construction worker with a lovely wife (Sharon Stone, Casino, Fading Gigolo) who dreams of seeing Mars. Oh yeah, this is the future. Quaid decides to take a cheaper route to actually going to Mars and instead chooses to go to Rekall, a company that will implant memories of a fantastical vacation anyone would dream to be a part of. When the Rekall implantation goes awry, Quaid is pursued by the malicious Richter (Michael Ironside, The Machinist, Extraterrestrial) while he starts to wonder if he has a secret past that even he wasn’t aware of, or is it all part of the Rekall?

I happened to truly love watching this movie again this afternoon in honor of its twenty-fifth anniversary. I even got my girlfriend, someone who I’ve been goading towards this film for a long time, to watch it with me. She kept telling me she would hate it, but she admits she was wrong. The effects and the cinematography still look incredible, with the exception of a few shots that have aged (I’m speaking specifically about the space travel to Mars sequence).

Arnold’s portrayal of Douglas Quaid is strangely camptastic, and I enjoyed it even though I admit he wasn’t convincing. The real winner for acting belongs to each of the supporting roles, Rachel Ticotin (Man of Fire, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2) and especially Ironside and Ronny Cox (RoboCop, Beyond the Reach).

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Total Recall is an absolutely fun ride which posits some truly trippy questions. Director Paul Verhoeven (Starship Troopers, Black Book) has proven time and time again he can handle just about any film (Showgirls not included) and his take on the Philip K. Dick short story “We Can Remember It For You Wholesale” is very interesting. What’s even better, it looks great still twenty-five later, so check it out…for the first time or the next time.

 

4/5

-Kyle A. Goethe

[Happy 5th Birthday!] A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010)

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Director: Samuel Bayer

Cast: Jackie Earle Haley, Kyle Gallner, Rooney Mara, Katie Cassidy, Thomas Dekker, Kellan Lutz

Screenplay: Wesley Strick, Eric Heisserer

95 mins. Rated R for strong bloody horror violence, disturbing images, terror and language.

 

Earlier this month, I discussed Platinum Dunes and their remake of The Amityville Horror. In that review, I mentioned that I believe a remake was an unsuitable idea for that franchise and, indeed, the entire horror genre. Most horror fans understand that the endless barrage of sequels boils down to mostly remake material, but we love the thrill of an unstoppable horror that keeps coming back. By hitting the remake switch, we get stuck with a new thread that may not be strong enough to carry a film. I happen to think that, if you want to bring back a franchise, do it like Star Trek did, where the new film could constitute a beginning of a series while being honest to the fans. Easy? No, but did we ever want easy? No. Even Friday the 13th’s remake was a better choice than just the same movie over again. Friday the 13th took the route of rebooting the series by the taking the best parts of remaking the franchise rather than just the inciting film. In A Nightmare on Elm Street, we get a straight remake, so we don’t get scared, because we’ve seen it all before.

A Nightmare On Elm Street

The teenagers in town are dying when they fall asleep, and there’s not much that can be done about it. Quentin Smith (Kyle Gallner, American Sniper, Dear White People) and Nancy Holbrook (Rooney Mara, The Social Network, Ain’t Them Bodies Saints) are willing to try anything to stay awake as they attempt to uncover the dark secret about their town, their parents, and the man who haunts their dreams, Freddy Krueger (Jackie Earle Haley, Watchmen, RoboCop).

I really enjoy Jackie Earle Haley’s work here. I’ve often found him to be an interesting character actor who specializes in the darkness within humanity. As Freddy Krueger, he found a menacing voice and strong physical performance that adds something new to the character. He even improvised some truly disturbing dialogue to keep the actors unhinged during shooting. I particularly like the unsettling line about the how the brain still functions seven minutes after death. The problem with his character is that his face is half-CGI’d and that lead to a more wooden character than we should have had. The irritating part was that the reason for the CGI (from the same group involved with Harvey Dent in The Dark Knight) was meant to be true to actual burn victims. Then, at the last minute, they scaled it back, hindering Haley’s work without a reason, and effectively crushing the intensity of the film.

As for the teenagers of Springwood, I can’t be as happy about. Gallner and Mara tune in flat work, bolstered by some pretty good (if not completely cheesy) acting from Katie Cassidy (TV’s Arrow, Monte Carlo) and Kellan Lutz (TV’s The Comeback, Twilight).

The new addition of micro-dreaming is cool, but it boils down to jumping the shark here. Where does the story go if they can’t even stay awake.

New director Samuel Bayer takes his touch for music videos and applies it well to the cinematography of this film. He absolutely can’t handle using practical effects which result from the over-shiny quality of the picture. Where’s the brooding darkness? Good question.

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There is a lot of good that A Nightmare on Elm Street did (I don’t agree with Rooney Mara speaking out against the film once she “made it” as an actress). There, unfortunately, is too much that this remake did wrong. The entire film comes off as a flimsy reminder that we had better 30 years ago. It can’t carry the weight of a franchise, and now fanboys like me are waiting around to see if we will ever get another tour of Elm Street.

 

2.5/5

-Kyle A. Goethe

[#2015oscardeathrace] Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014)

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Director: Matt Reeves

Cast: Andy Serkis, Jason Clarke, Gary Oldman, Keri Russell, Toby Kebbell, Kodi Smit-McPhee

Screenplay: Mark Bomback, Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver

130 mins. Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action, and brief strong language.

  • Academy Award Nominee: Best Achievement in Visual Effects (Awards Not Yet Announced)

 

Matt Reeves (Let Me In, Cloverfield) seems like the kind of guy I could have a beer with. I’ve watched interviews and it just seems like he gets the craft because he has such a passion for it. That passion shines through in his new film.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is set ten years after the previous installment, Rise of the Planet of the Apes. In that time, over 90% of the world’s population has been depleted by the so-called Alzheimer’s cure that gave Caesar (Andy Serkis, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, Arthur Christmas) and his apes advanced intelligence. Caesar and his fellow apes, including military commander Koba (Toby Kebbell, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, The Counselor), have created a utopia outside of San Francisco. They haven’t seen a human in two years, but then one day, his apes run into Malcolm (Jason Clarke, Zero Dark Thirty, White House Down) and his people, who is able to come to an agreement with Caesar and the apes to rebuild the power grid. This alliance is short-lived, as there are some on both sides who do not believe in peace, and it just might be Caesar and Malcolm that pay for the sins.

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If Rise of the Planet of the Apes was a great example on how to reboot a franchise, then Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is a lesson on how to create an incredible sequel. This film takes everything that was good about its predecessor and makes it better. Director Reeves has a passion for the Planet of the Apes franchise and that shines through here. The plot here is something that I thought I had seen before, but the beautiful screenplay veers into territory I didn’t expect and, when combined with Reeves’ choice to linger on the emotional beats longer than another director might, create a powerful film about the nature of humanity.

Andy Serkis finally receives the top billing he is owed. Caesar truly is the star of this film, and the incredible CGI work is just better than I thought it could get. The film starts out with a nearly silent opening, not even introducing the humans until at least 20 minutes in. This gives us a chance to catch up with Caesar and his apes. Caesar is welcoming his second child, but his mate has been ill since birthing. His relationship with Koba is central to us, as he has known this ape for over ten years. They have grown together. It is interesting to see the lessons that are being taught, rudimentary though they may be, things like Apes Do Not Kill Apes.

When the central conflict of introducing the humans occurs, we officially understand Caesar’s need to protect his group.

Even though Caesar is the star, Toby Kebbell’s portrayal of Koba is a definite scene-stealer. This menacing creature has been scarred from the tests performed on him back at GEN SYS. His distrust for humans causes a rift in his friendship with Caesar. And he is just terrifying.

Gary Oldman (The Dark Knight Rises, RoboCop) is very much a smaller character with a major impact on the plot, and he is one of the most interesting humans in the film. He is a tortured man who has lost everything, and his scenes linger on total breakdown. I was constantly tormented by my position on his character.

There is another great relationship between Alexander (Kodi Smit-McPhee, The Road, ParNorman) and the ape Maurice. The two bond over a book and serve as a parallel to some of the more angry confrontations.

I loved that, rather than do a complete sequel to Rise of the Planet of the Apes that takes place immediately after, this film stands alone while also giving subtle nods to its predecessor. We see how Caesar feels about his past, and his provides the momentum he needs to further develop.

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In essence, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes has a lot in common with the opening to 2001: A Space Odyssey. Matt Reeves gives us perhaps the best Planet of the Apes film in the entire canon (not to mention one of the best films of the year) this go around, and it excites me for where this series is headed.

 

5/5

-Kyle A. Goethe

 

For my review of Rupert Wyatt’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes, click here.

RoboCop (2014)

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Director: Jose Padilha

Cast: Joel Kinnaman, Gary Oldman, Michael Keaton, Samuel L. Jackson

Screenplay: Joshua Zetumer, Edward Neumeier, Michael Miner

117 mins. Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of action including frenetic gun violence throughout, brief strong language, sensuality and some drug material.

 

In order to make a solid remake, you need to analyze the areas where the original incarnation succeeded and also find avenues to bring something new to the table. RoboCop tried this, and for what it brought to the table, it worked just fine. The problem stems from the fact that this film could’ve worked so much better as a reboot than a remake. There were avenues laid out in the original series, and they could’ve been examined closer. The original RoboCop is not that far back.

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Alex Murphy (Joel Kinnaman, TV’s The Killing, Safe Haven) is a cop on the edge, and he has nothing but contempt and handcuffs for crooked cops. When an attempt is made on his life, Murphy is left horribly disfigured and limbless, essentially dead. But the folks over at OmniCorp, including CEO Raymond Sellers (Michael Keaton, Batman, Birdman) and lead science doctor Dennett Norton (Gary Oldman, The Dark Knight Rises, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes) have new thoughts for Murphy. They turn him into RoboCop, a cyborg officer with a human heart.

RoboCop tries new things, but not enough of them. It comes off as a TV movie version of the original, a copy made with a poor printer. Kinnaman’s performance comes off as wooden, which doesn’t work since Alex Murphy is supposed to be struggling to find humanity in his new metal body. Gary Oldman gives us some batshit crazy work here, probably the best in the film. Michael Keaton plays up his villainy and reminds us why we love him. Then there is Samuel L. Jackson (Pulp Fiction, Captain America: The Winter Soldier) who portrays Pat Novak, a television personality who essentially takes over the satirical commentary that the original film had. He was interesting but ultimately pulled me out of the film. This script just doesn’t differ or add enough to be worth the trouble.

Let’s talk about the violence. Where is the blood? I know that it shouldn’t be an issue, but this RoboCop is so tame that one can’t help but wish for the days of RoboCop being a badass. This Alex Murphy, a badass he is not.

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Maybe RoboCop is the beginning of a new franchise, and if so, it has a lot to learn about creating a world. As for now, RoboCop 2014 doesn’t have this.

 

2/5

-Kyle A. Goethe

 

ps. I also miss the 1987 RoboCop score…

Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

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Director: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo

Cast: Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Cobie Smulders, Frank Grillo, Emily VanCamp, Hayley Atwell, Robert Redford, Samuel L. Jackson

Screenplay: Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely

136 mins. Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence, gunplay and action throughout.

  • Academy Award Nominee: Best Achievement in Visual Effects

 

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is a powerhouse that needn’t even be tested right now. After DC/Warner Bros. release their own cinematic universe lineup to follow last year’s Man of Steel, Marvel Studios unleashed their Phase 3 plans involving more films from Thor, Captain America, Guardians of the Galaxy, and The Avengers, along with a bunch of new properties that will likely destroy most other contenders. With all this news, it is tough to focus on specific individual films, which is a shame, because Captain America: The Winter Soldier is the perfect Marvel movie, as it not only tells a compelling story that works as both a genre film and a superhero movie, and it also stands alone while fueling plot threads for multiple avenues for Marvel to take on in future productions.

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The Winter Soldier follows Steve Rogers (Chris Evans, Snowpiercer, What’s Your Number?) as he continues to adjust to life in the present, working for S.H.I.E.L.D. with Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson, Lost in Translation, Lucy) under the tutelage of Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson, Pulp Fiction, RoboCop). Meanwhile, a plot to attack S.H.I.E.L.D. from within is unveiled and the addition of new foe The Winter Soldier adds multiple new threats to Cap. Rogers is going to have to use new help from Sam Wilson aka Falcon (Anthony Mackie, The Hurt Locker, Runner Runner) and fellow agent Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders, TV’s How I Met Your Mother, The Lego Movie) to take down the Winter Soldier and save S.H.I.E.L.D.

This movie was awesome. It felt like a separate film much more attuned to 70s espionage and political thrillers than a superhero comic book adaptation. New to the Marvel Directors Club, Anthony and Joe Russo (You, Me, and Dupree) saw the film through a unique lens and decided to forgo CG in favor of practical effects whenever possible (and it shows). The cinematography is engaging and the visual literally POP off the screen (even in 2D). The pacing is perfect. I never once found myself reaching for my phone.

We also get some incredible performances from new Marvel family members Frank Grillo (Warrior, The Purge: Anarchy), Anthony Mackie, and Emily VanCamp (TV’s Revenge, Carriers) as Brock Rumlow, Sam Wilson, and Kate, respectively.

I needed to take a moment to talk about Robert Redford (Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid, All is Lost). He just knocks his role out of the park. He plays a very important character, Alexander Pierce, the man in the big office of S.H.I.E.L.D. and he just nails it. For a man without a ton of screentime, Redford makes this film official, and I loved every minute of it.

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In short, Captain America: The Winter Soldier would be a great movie even without all the superheroics. It would be a great mystery on that alone. Add in all the Marvel greats that make this franchise what it is and you have a recipe for not only a great installment (easily among the high points in this franchise) but a damn great time at the movies. Better get two tubs of popcorn, because this popcorn flick is something not to miss!

 

5/5

-Kyle A. Goethe

 

So what did you think of Captain America: The Winter Soldier? Did you suit up or defect? Let me know!

 

For my review of Jon Favreau’s Iron Man, click here.

For my review of James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy, click here.

February 2014 Preview

I want to put this out there right now. I have not seen these films. I haven’t. The ides of this preview is more of a way to tell you about the upcoming films this month, offer photos or trailer info, and help you make the best decision possible about what you want to see this month and what can probably wait until home video or Netflix.

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The Lego Movie:

Emmet, an ordinary everyday Lego figure, is mistaken for the Special (an all-powerful Master Builder) and receives help from a cadre of Lego creations to stop the Evil Lord Business from gluing the Lego world together. I had reservations about this film, and I still do. You are probably asking the same thing I was. “How do you make Legos into a movie?” I’m still not sure how, but I trust the work of Phil Lord and Chris Miller, the co-directors of Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and 21 Jump Street. These guys understand comedy, and they understand story. I think we have limitless opportunities within the Lego-verse to pull stories from, and I have excitement to find out what has been created.

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The Monuments Men:

A group of men in World War II are tasked with retrieving stolen art from the Nazis and returning them to their owners. Okay, I like this cast. I don’t think this film can carry us for two hours. I like George Clooney, but he picks some weird projects as a director and his abilites have not proven to me that he is a guarantee.

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Vampire Academy:

Based on the 2007 novel, Rose is a human/vampire hybrid known as a Dhampir. That’s about it. Vampires are dead. No pun intended. They have just been done to death. There I go again. Probably won’t be good. I don’t care to see it at all.

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RoboCop:

This is a remake of the 80s cult classic about Alex Murphy, a great cop gunned down in his prime and rebuilt as RoboCop, a perfect law-enforcement machine. There have probably been some minor changes, but I just don’t think a remake was the right way to go. Can’t we just get a good sequel instead of telling the same story?

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About Last Night:

Another remake from the 80s, this one a romantic comedy. Just see the original, this one doesn’t look to entice anyone.

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Endless Love:

Holy crap, another remake from the 80s. Don’t spend you money on this one. Rent the original. Please.

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Winter’s Tale:

Based on the novel. Don’t know much, but I am enticed. I can’t even explain the plot really, so just check the trailer. Looks to be a love story that I think will bring the fellas in as well.

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Pompeii:

Paul W.S. Anderson is perhaps the king of the forgettable action film. The only thing people really remember him for is Resident Evil, and even that series has dried up from unoriginality. This one looks entertaining, but ask yourself, “Why release it in February? Wouldn’t it make for a better summer release?” Good question, class. My guess is, this film isn’t worthy of a summer release, so it has been dumped off early in the year to provide less similar competition and hopefully earn back money most likely lost elsewhere.

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3 Days to Kill:

This looks like a failed attempt to strike gold twice in the same way that Taken did five years ago. Aging Action Superstar! This film will be forgotten.

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In Secret:

I went ahead and watched the trailer for this film, as I know nothing about it. Another story of forbidden love, murder, and over-drama. Rent it.

Here’s the trailer for you:

Vengeance

Vengeance:

Vengeance is literally a movie about…wait for it…Vengeance. Didn’t see much story here. Watched the trailer. Still no story here. Skip it.

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Son of God:

Do not pay money for this film. Rent it at the very most, but understand this going in. This film is made up of scenes from the miniseries event The Bible with deleted scenes from the miniseries. Let’s not expect a whole lot. I liked The Bible, but I will not spend ten bucks for what is a ripoff.

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Welcome to Yesterday:

Welcome to Yesterday seems like a found-footage Butterfly Effect, and that is because it is. These movies about teenagers encountering something cray-cray appeal to very few, so be cautious if you really really want to see this.

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Non-Stop:

I want to hate this movie because it feels like it could be an attempt at getting Taken again as I mentioned earlier. I want to hate it, but I just can’t. Liam Neeson doesn’t do a crazy-ton of action movies, so I tend to lean on his good graces when he does one. I think this will be fun. There, I said it.

There you have it, February 2014 in Preview Form, let’s cover this again.

Best Bets: The Lego Movie, Winter’s Tale, Non-Stop.

Likely Misses: Vampire Academy, About Last Night, Endless Love, 3 Days to Kill, Pompeii, Veangeance, Son of God, Welcome to Yesterday.

Up in the Air: The Monuments Men, RoboCop.

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