Showing posts from May 5, 2019

Review: A Quiet Place

Set in a post-apocalyptic existence, John Krasinski tries to keep his family (pregnant wife Emily Blunt and their three kids) alive under threat from monsters with super sensitive hearing.

Massively ripping other films off left and right, this 2018 suspense picture from director, co-writer, and star John Krasinski (whose “The Hollars” was a bit average) isn’t bad but isn’t good, either. It never quite becomes anything more than “Jump Scare: The Movie”, due to its filmmaking style/approach. You wish it was a lot better than it is, or at least more ambitious in approach and original in story. The influences here are pretty damn obvious- “Signs”, “The Road”, and Spielberg’s underrated “War of the Worlds”. The film never finds its own identity.

Although the film is good-looking and well-acted, the familiarity and its overall William Castle-esque gimmicky-ness with all the ‘jump’ scares prevent it from leaving a lasting impression. That’s a shame, because there is good on display here. Fiv…

Review: Boyka: Undisputed

Yuri Boyka (Scott Adkins) is out of prison and fighting for a living, with ambitions for the ‘Most Complete Fighter’ to make a real name for himself. However, after an opponent dies during a fight, the deeply religious Boyka starts to have a crisis of conscience. He tries to make amends with the man’s widow, which eventually pits him against a local gangster (Alon Moni Aboutboul, quite good).

Anything with Scott Adkins will generally get me interested, and although this series peaked with the superlative “Undisputed II: Last Man Standing”, this 2017 film from director Todor Chapkanov (director of the SyFy movies “Copperhead” and “Ghost Town”) is no slouch in a series yet to deliver anything less than solid entertainment. Producer Isaac Florentine is missed in the director’s chair, but Chapkanov gives us at the very least the series’ most dramatically ambitious entry, as Adkins’ ‘most complete fighter’ Yuri Boyka continues on his journey to redemption here. In this one, the previously …

Review: Avengers: Infinity War

A rather simple plot, really: Our continually assembled/reconfigured superhero team (this time featuring the stars of “The Guardians of the Galaxy” and “Black Panther”) take on the seemingly almighty Thanos (Josh Brolin), a completely power-obsessed giant of a being whose quest to capture all six horcruxes…er…infinity stones will see the end of the universe if successfully completed.

I’m not a Marvel fan, which means I like some of the films and not others. This 2018 all-star effort happens to be one of the good ones. Directed by Anthony and Joe Russo (directors of the best Marvel film to date “Captain America: The Winter Soldier”) it juggles all of its numerous moving parts quite well, and seeing The Avengers face real trouble that seems awfully difficult to overcome is the film’s strongest asset. By that I mostly mean that Josh Brolin and Thanos are pretty damn amazing here. I think it’s pretty stupid to send the audience into the film cold in the middle of the plot, a decision I ne…

Review: Skyscraper

Dwayne Johnson stars as an ex-Fed who changed jobs after a botched hostage situation left him with a prosthetic leg. He’s now a security consultant and married with several kids to the nurse (Neve Campbell) who patched him up. The main plot here involves Johnson accepting a security gig at a new ginormous building, moving his family in, and then having to save one and all from nasty terrorists led by Botha (Roland Moller). Pablo Schreiber is Johnson’s ex-Service buddy who got him the gig in the first place, and Noah Taylor is a slimy jerk in a suit.

The artist formerly known as The Rock strikes out with this toothless, unoriginal blend of “Die Hard” and “The Towering Inferno” from 2018. Written and directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber (the comedies “Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story” and “We’re the Millers”, it’s both ludicrous and tedious, and there’s nothing the reasonably talent cast can do to liven it up much.

We start with the biggest action movie cliché scene in cinematic history,…

Review: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Frances McDormand plays a resident of the title town who is frustrated and enraged that local authorities have not to her satisfaction done enough to solve the murder case of her daughter. To give them a kick up the pants, she organises to have billboards put up giving them and anyone who drives by a piece of her mind. Woody Harrelson plays the local sheriff who isn’t exactly a knight and shining armour, but has his own personal issues going on as well. Sam Rockwell plays an idiot, racist, homophobe deputy who is determined he is going to do jack-shit about anything. Abbie Cornish plays Harrelson’s wife, Peter Dinklage a local little person, and Lucas Hedges is McDormand’s son.

Although I hate the title (I also think Outside should be capitalised since Billboards has been capitalised), this 2017 film from writer-director Martin McDonagh (the sometimes hilarious “In Bruges”) is pretty damn good. It becomes a bit convenient in the home stretch and I’m not sure I can entirely stomach the…