BOTTOM LINE: Surprisingly good acting, writing, dancing, and music — pure fun all around.
Let me just insert a disclaimer here before I launch into my review: Footloose is not my kind of film. Sure, I had my High School Musical phase like everyone else, but I’ve long since gotten over frivolous feel-good films.
BOTTOM LINE: Modern film noir breathes new life into the car chase genre and will leave fanboys salivating.
There’s been buzz surrounding Cannes darling Drive for months, and after watching it, I can confirm the standing ovation it received at the film festival was more than than well-deserved. Director Nicolas Winding Refn’s modern film noir, led by indie star Ryan Gosling, fuses Hitchcock and Tarantino in a bloody, explosive machofest that somehow still captures the moody cynicism of old-time Hollywood’s black and white crime dramas. Adrenaline-fueled yet melancholy, Drive emphasises style over content, but still has enough meat on its bones for mainstream audiences to gnaw on.
BOTTOM LINE: A sweet, insightful multi-storyline romantic comedy that will make audiences want to fall in love again.
It’s always such a delight to see a well-acted multi-storyline romantic comedy that isn’t unreasonably cheesy. The last time we got one of those was when Love, Actually came out (was that really eight years ago?). Unfortunately, movies like Valentine’s Day, He’s Just Not That Into You, and New York, I Love You have since sullied the genre’s reputation.
Luckily, Crazy, Stupid, Love rights all the wrongs that have been committed. In fact, it may be one of the best adult romantic comedies in recent years. Buoyed by a fantastic cast, an honest script, and a finely tuned balance of comedy, romance, and drama, the film toes the line between indie and mainstream without losing the best qualities of either.
BOTTOM LINE: Epic.
Every critic is allowed at least one freebie — one film or TV show or book that triggers a purely emotional response, entirely resistant to logic and objectivity. While I may not make a living criticising anything, I’d still like to think I take a critic’s approach to the reviews I post here. As a result, I feel no guilt or embarrassment admitting that Harry Potter is my freebie.
I’ve devoured everything Potter-related for the past 14 years of my life. Ever since that fateful September day in 1997 when our school librarian sat my third grade class down and started reading the first book out loud, I’ve been obsessed with the series. I lived on Harry Potter fansites and chat rooms. I wrote Harry Potter fanfiction. I went to Harry Potter conventions. Hell, I even have a Harry Potter tattoo (and I’m planning another one… and maybe more after that).
Book fanatics such as myself usually take one of two perspectives when it comes to the films: 1) anything associated with Harry Potter is flawless, and thus the films are masterpieces, and 2) the films are a load of shit because they don’t even come close to doing the story justice. All my life I’ve been of the latter-minded group. I hated every single one of the movies with a burning passion, even while I made plans to see them at midnight months in advance.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II made me realise the error of my ways.
BOTTOM LINE: An incoherent plot and uninspired comedic situations squash any life the film’s A-list cast might have brought to the project.
SNL continues its takeover of Hollywood in Warner Bros.’ latest comedy, Horrible Bosses. Although director Seth Gordon aims for a raunchy, crude sense of humour similar to that of Bridesmaids and Hangover, Horrible Bosses‘s main selling point is its stellar cast, which includes SNL alumni Jason Bateman and Jason Sudeikis, as well as Kevin Spacey, Colin Farrell, and Jennifer Aniston. Unfortunately, the cast is the only element of the film worth boasting about, as the jokes are stale and the script slides into desperation multiple times. Worst of all, the film commits the number one crime for mainstream movies: it packs all its best moments into the trailer, leaving little to savour in the theatre.
BOTTOM LINE: Funny, raunchy summer rom-com with a hip cast that the under-25 crowd will love.
It’s been a good year for sex. Between No Strings Attached, Hall Pass, and Friends With Benefits, it seems relationships are out and emotion-free fornication is in. Yet regardless of the somewhat stale premise, Friends With Benefits is as enjoyable and down-to-earth of a romantic comedy as you’re going to get in theatres these days. It really amounts to no more than a smartly cast version of No Strings Attached, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth watching.
BOTTOM LINE: Green Lantern’s light is almost nonexistent in this lifeless comic book adaptation.
Another summer, another string of superhero movies. With Thor and X-Men: First Class already out of the way, we move on to the only DC Entertainment offering this year: Martin Campbell’s Green Lantern.
With the exception of Christopher Nolan’s Batman franchise, DC has yet to show the potential Marvel Entertainment has shown in its line of comic book adaptations. Sadly, after an aggressive publicity push by Warner Bros., it turns out Green Lantern is nothing more than one more disappointing addition to the DC film library.