The explosion of a franchise is always interesting to watch, as
books or comic book adaptations become more than just films and turn into a cultural
phenomenon. The Twilight series, in terms of quality, has no place among these franchises.
The premise of The Box: What if you are presented with a box that has a
button on top that, when pushed, will do two things: cause a person you
don't know to die and give you $1,000,000 in cash. Great premise, but
The Box has a very basic flaw: it's excruciatingly boring.
The newly released concert film, This Is It, displays Michael Jackson's outstanding showmanship just so. It doesn't
delve into his troubled persona, rather presenting him as seen on stage - a perspective from which
it's vividly clear that Jackson's reputation as a brilliant entertainer is duly
Put "low budget" and "horror movie" together, chances are
you'll have a laugh, maybe an "Ewww," and most certainly an "Oh, come on." Paranormal Activity has all of the above, but is an ambitious
step toward breaking that mold, proving that decent writing is far more effective than buckets of
gore, computer-generated monsters and Sorority Row.
There's a lot I wanted to like in Law Abiding Citizen, a
well-made film with several excellent scenes, but the film's just too flip-floppy. It's a film with
two personalities - one is a daring tale of blurred morality, the other a dead-fish action film full
of cliches and by-the-books "suspense."
Jonze's Where the Wild Things Are, a 101-minute adaptation
of Maurice Sendek's 1963 classic, is simply a film told from the viewpoint of a very confused
child. Much like Elliott from E.T.: The Extra
Terrestrial, Wild Things' Max has probably seen more
of his fair share of sadness and rejection in life - he's lonely, and he's got some anger in him,
If you haven't long to live, see Couples Retreat. It makes 107 minutes seem like an eternity. But the atrocious
new romantic comedy that is neither romantic nor a comedy managed to date-night its way to No. 1
at this weekend's box office, toppling Zombieland,
which, for a film about flesh-eating undead monsters, has considerably more life.
Whenever stuck in the conversational doldrums, I'll bait
someone to say something like, "I want the truth," so I can indulge myself in repeating one of Jack
Nicholson's most memorable lines, "You can't handle the truth!"
General results are
frustration, amusement and scorn. But the quotation is not without philosophical merit, questioning
how people handle truth and, more specifically, if they even wish to do so.
The brilliant new
comedy The Invention of Lying tackles this question and others, delivering a fresh concept with
expert timing for one of the most original - and funny - films of the year.
Zombieland is a breath
of fresh air in the genre, an entertaining adventure comedy with thrills and big laughs. It
helped that it doesn't play like a zombie film, which usually deals with groups of healthy humans
trying to save civilization from the man-eating monsters.
A somewhat consistent theme in most Bruce Willis movies is that
our hero wakes up with a hangover, headache or both. The sci-fi thriller Surrogates follows this formula and a handful of cliched others, sacrificing depth
for flash, and in less than 90 minutes.
Space has always been a great setting for horror films, mainly
because we know so little about it. Anything is plausible when people leave earth because we can't
logic our way out of it - we know that shooting Michael Myers in the head would kill him, but we
don't know that there aren't unimaginable horrors waiting for us somewhere in the stars. Pandorum plays on these ideas, but it's so much more than just
another horror set aboard a dark and dreary spaceship. It starts with two confused characters that
have no clue as to what is going on and slowly reveals the truth - keeping the viewer out of the
loop until the characters find out. It flows perfectly, looks great and is downright scary
throughout - horror films this good are few and far between.
Jennifer's Body is a
mess from beginning to end, killed by a lack of character and an uncertainty about what it is. Is
it a horror? Is it a comedy? I'm not sure that either writer Diablo Cody or director Karyn Kusama
Flux) know for sure, and the result is a film that isn't scary or funny.
Let's face it, what kid hasn't dreamt of a giant pancake crushing his school?
All right, maybe not so many, but kids aplenty and their parents should
find a tasty treat in the computer-animated Cloudy with a Chance of