Friday, October 30, 2015

Steve Jobs, Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension, Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse Reviews

Steve Jobs
Dir. Danny Boyle

Screenwriter Aaron Sorkin's specialty seems to be writing troubled geniuses (The Social Network, Moneyball), so Steve Jobs snugly fits right in his wheelhouse. Instead of taking the traditional biopic format of an A-to-B, life-to-death timeline, Sorkin centers the film around three of the former Apple CEO's major product launches, essentially turning what could have been a traditional tech-bio into a Birdman-like backstage drama. This fascinating approach sounds like it would have made Steve Jobs perfect for the stage, but director Danny Boyle (28 Days Later, Slumdog Millionaire) gives this movie, which entirely boils down to people sitting and talking, a huge boost of kinetic energy (as he did in 127 Hours). Every scene feels visually inventive and unique; each timeframe is shot in a completely different format which emphasizes the jump in time, and get ready for some lovely compositions of crowds in awe. While the film may take some liberties with reality (with major life moments conveniently converging at the same time before these launches), and some of the "human" moments feel a little too constructed (especially the terrible ending), Steve Jobs is still a satisfying, close-up look at a fascinating guy who was also pretty much a complete prick.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Crimson Peak, Bridge of Spies, Goodnight Mommy Reviews

Crimson Peak
Dir. Guillermo del Toro
Watch Trailer

If the quality of a film was solely measured by its production design, costuming, and cinematography, Crimson Peak would be a masterpiece. Unfortunately, Guillermo del Toro's throwback to victorian-era haunted house movies a la The Innocents covers up its generic story and lack of suspense by throwing as much visual flair and style at you as possible. While his Spanish-language features like Pan's Labyrinth and The Devil's Backbone employ this excessive style alongside dark and complex stories, his recent American productions like Pacific Rim, del Toro's ode to Japanese monster movies, and now Crimson Peak feel more like straightforward, "fanboy" love letters to genres he grew up with, without realizing their full potential beyond their aesthetic qualities.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Goosebumps, The Walk, 99 Homes Reviews

Dir. Rob Letterman

R.L. Stine's Goosebumps books and the TV series that spawned from them basically initiated my love affair with the horror genre at a young age. I have fond memories of reading the books late at night and watching episodes of the show over and over again on good ol' VHS (my all-time favorite is Stay Out of the Basement!). I have a deep-rooted nostalgia for the property, so when I heard that Sony had casted Jack Black as R.L. in an all new Goosebumps film where in a Jumanji-like family adventure his characters come to life and cause mayhem...I started getting nervous. All signs pointed to this movie - which I imagine was meant to re-introduce Goosebumps to a whole new generation of kids - being a soulless cash-grab. And after seeing the film: my fears came true. 

Saturday, October 3, 2015

The Martian, The Green Inferno, Sicario Reviews

The Martian
Dir. Ridley Scott

It's MacGyver in space! The Martian began as a serialized novel in 2011, released chapter-by-chapter online for free by Andy Weir, a computer-scientist with a passion for writing science fiction. Eventually it was sold in bookstores and the Kindle and became a huge hit: the story of a lone, presumed-dead astronaut trapped on Mars, using his botanist wit trying to stay alive and get home. It was written to be as scientifically-accurate as possible, which seems a perfect fit for Ridley Scott to direct. While we've seen quite a few of these kind of survivalist-space movies recently (Gravity, Interstellar), The Martian is considerably more fun. Watching Mark Watney's reaction to each setback isn't quite as harrowing as the aforementioned space films, but Matt Damon brings a level of charm and affability needed for what is essentially a one man show. So if you're tired of all these Earth-based movies littering the cineplexes - you can't go wrong with this one.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...