Showing posts from November 19, 2017

Review: Collateral Beauty

Will Smith is paralysed with grief over the death of his daughter, and writes three angry letters to ‘Love’, ‘Death’, and The Ghost of Christmas Pres…er…sorry, wrong story. The last letter is addressed to ‘Time’. Meanwhile, his business partner Edward Norton has gotten an offer to sell, but he can’t do it because Smith is the majority stockholder. A chance encounter with an actress (Keira Knightley) gives Norton an idea: Hire actors to play ‘Love’, ‘Death’, and ‘Time’, get a private investigator to film their interactions with Smith, and basically make Smith look like he’s mentally incompetent so that Norton can sell. Did I mention that Norton is supposedly Smith’s friend? Yeah. Norton’s cohorts in this scheme are employees and supposed friends of Smith’s played by Kate Winslet and Michael Pena, whilst Dame Helen Mirren plays another actress, and Naomie Harris plays a grief counsellor Smith seeks out one night. Also, Smith’s colleagues have little side dilemmas of their own for whi

Review: Westworld

Set in the future (of 1983!), Richard Benjamin and his more adventurous pal James Brolin are among the visitors to the title theme park where you can live out your wild west fantasies and interact with realistic-looking robot characters. Part of a resort named Delos, there are other theme parks like Medieval World and Roman World on the same complex. Although at Western World almost everyone carries a firearm, humans can’t be hurt or killed at any of Delos’ themed worlds. At least that’s what they say. You see, things are starting to break down, the robots (particularly a surly robot gunslinger played by Yul Brynner) aren’t behaving according to their design. And shit’s about to get real. Debuting writer-director Michael Crichton ( “Coma” , “Looker” ) gives us a pre-cursor to his “Jurassic Park” novel with this 1973 sci-fi movie, at least in its ‘theme park gone amok’ premise ( “Total Recall” also springs to mind). It’s a pretty irresistible B-movie with a solid cast and it

Review: Morgan

Kate Mara plays an aloof risk analyst for a big corporation sent to a remote facility to assess whether the company’s high-tech synthetic A.I. humanoid dubbed ‘Morgan’ is worth the risk or should be terminated. Morgan (Anya Taylor-Joy) recently attacked one of the staff on hand (Jennifer Jason Leigh). The other staff includes scientists played by Michelle Yeoh, Chris Sullivan, Rose Leslie (who has been accused of being too emotionally attached to Morgan) and Toby Jones, whilst Boyd Holbrook plays the staff cook, and Paul Giamatti cameos as a snooty shrink who rubs Morgan the wrong way. With a pretty decent pedigree cast and Luke ‘Son of Ridley’ Scott making his directorial debut (with Dad co-producing), one initially wonders why this 2016 genre flick flopped majorly at the US box-office and didn’t get much critical notice, either. Having seen the film, I can understand why there wasn’t much interest, but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad film. As scripted by Seth W. Owen ( “

Review: The Accountant

Oh, boy…I’ll give it my best. When military man Robert Treveiler finds out that one of his sons is high-functioning autistic, he sees it as his mission to prepare the boy for a difficult life by teaching him strict discipline and self-defence. This somehow leads him to become a forensic accountant (now played by Ben Affleck) for various shady people, while also dabbling in a little assassination for good measure. He gets paid mostly in priceless artwork (!). A seemingly more legit job than usual comes when he’s hired by the founder (a wasted John Lithgow) of a robotics company in assisting junior accountant Anna Kendrick in investigating a $61 million discrepancy in the books. Meanwhile, a mysterious freelance assassin (Jon Bernthal) is killing people, including Lithgow’s second-in-command. While all of this is going on, a Treasury agent with a juvenile delinquent past (Cynthia Addai-Robinson) is assigned by her boss (J.K. Simmons) the case of tracking Affleck down. Jean Smart has

Review: Rings

Matilda Lutz finds out her college boyfriend has been dabbling in the subcultural surrounding a mysterious videotape that blah blah…7 days until you die. Yadda Yadda. The girl has to watch the tape to save her boyfriend. You know the drill by now, and no I’m not going to take this review remotely seriously. Johnny Galecki plays a college professor, Vincent D’Onofrio plays a blind man. Full disclosure: This movie isn’t for me and was never going to be. I hate the “Ringu” flicks, whether they’re the Japanese ones or the Americanised ones. Frankly, I’m not a huge fan of J-horror at all, though there have been a few good ones. This F. Javier GutiĆ©rrez flick (his English language debut) from 2017 is…not one of the good ones. In fact, it’s the worst one yet that I’ve been an unfortunate witness to. I think aside from the fact that all these J-horror (or Americanised versions of J-horror) films are basically the same, my main problem with this series in particular is its basic trop

Review: Dr. No

Sean Connery is British Secret Service agent James Bond, tasked with going to Jamaica to investigate the disappearance of a British agent named Strangways, whom the audience already knows has been murdered. Bond’s trail leads to a much talked about but rarely visited island called Crab Key, full of much superstition and rumour. CIA agent Felix Leiter (Jack Lord) introduces Bond to a local named Quarrel (John Kitzmiller) who reluctantly agrees to help Bond get to Crab Key. Crab Key it turns out is owned by a Eurasian named Dr. No (Joseph Wiseman). Dr. No, who keeps people away from the island via the use of superstition and some technical ingenuity, is apparently up to no good and it’s up to Bond and island girl Honey Rider (Ursula Andress) to put a stop to his megalomaniacal plans. Anthony M. Dawson (in fine form) plays Professor Dent, a cohort of Dr. No, whilst Bernard Lee plays Bond’s superior M, and Lois Maxwell is flirty secretary Miss Moneypenny. This 1962 flick from dir

Review: Daylight

A variety of commuters fall afoul of the dreaded Murphy and his cruel law when a series of calamities (an explosion for instance) see a tunnel blocked at both ends, leaving the survivors trapped…and pretty much underwater. Fortuitously, one of the commuters to survive is an ex-Emergency Services guy, Kit Latura (Sly Stallone). Sure, he left the job after a botched rescue resulting in him now driving a cab…but when you’re in dire straits, any help is surely welcome. Not that Latura’s former colleague (Dan Hedaya) wants him to help out mind you. Then there’s the dicey situation of a prison bus inside the tunnel, leaving citizens potentially at the mercy of not only disaster but potential prey for several cons played by the likes of Renoly Santiago and Sage Stallone. Amy Brenneman (a struggling playwright), Jay O. Sanders (a jerky dad), Danielle Harris (jerky dad’s scared daughter), Claire Bloom (token elderly woman with her husband…and dog), and Viggo Mortensen (a cocky and rich extr