Friday, March 15, 2013

The Incredible Burt Wonderstone Review: The only thing magical about this comedy is when it ends

Dir. Don Scardino
100 Minutes
Rated PG-13

Steve Carell.  Steve Buscemi.  Jim Carrey.  These are three of the coolest motherfuckers in the world.  And what film brings them together for the first time?  This forgettable, unfunny, generic, untimely comedy about Las Vegas magicians.  The cast does what they can to elevate an iffy script, but ultimately the jokes are too "safe" to yield anything more than a cheap chuckle.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Oz the Great and Powerful Review: Raimi "goes Disney," shows glimpses of magic but doesn't quite live up to the 'Oz' name

Dir. Sam Raimi
130 Minutes
Rated PG

The Wizard of Oz is possibly the single most famous movie of all time.  It's a generational film that parents pass down to their children, and truly defines what a 'timeless classic' should be.  But with that hugely recognizable brand name comes movie studios foaming at the mouth for their next blockbuster.  In 1954, about twenty years after MGM's adaptation of the Frank L. Baum book was released, Disney finally got their dirty hands all over the property and acquired the rights to the remaining Oz books.  Shortly after (and by shortly I mean thirty years later in 1985), the big D released the financial and critical flop Return to Oz (but screw everybody, I kind of liked that movie).  Although that didn't pan out, sooner or later another attempt at an Oz film was going to happen.  In 2010, Sam Raimi came on board to direct this "unofficial" prequel to the 1939 film, starring James Franco as the titular wizard.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

The Last Exorcism Part II Review: Yet another unnecessary horror sequel

Dir. Ed Gass-Donnelly
88 Minutes
Rated PG-13

This is the definition of an unneeded sequel.  The LAST Exorcism.  I guess the exorcizing in the first film was a lie.  Because there is clearly a second, totally separate exorcism going on in this one.  Anyway, I was a huge fan of the original movie directed by Daniel Stamm - it was a genuinely creepy, unique take on both the found footage and possession genres.  Part II takes place immediately after the first left off, only this time it's just a normal movie - no documentary crew this time.  Minor spoilers: Nell Sweetzer (Ashley Bell), having escaped from the farmhouse, has forgotten everything about her past and ends up in a group home for girls.  She starts to slowly integrate into normal life, making friends, getting a job, etc. but in the back of her mind, she knows the DEMON wants to fucking GET her.  Throw in some terrible dialogue and questionable CGI, and you've got The Last Exorcism Part II.

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