Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Film Week

A review of the films I've seen this past week. I apparently don't have much to say this week as I'm tired and filled with food poisoning, so please don't mistake brevity for a lack of interest.

RODAN (1956)
Pteranodons are awakened by miners in Japan, wreak havoc with their incredible wings. Tedious in spots, but the special effects scenes involving wind and miniatures are neat creature movie stuff. **

Surprisingly rough-edged dystopian YA science fiction about kids stuck in a glade and completely surrounded by a maze. Darker and more committed to its premise than I expected, which is I think what the problem must be with a lot of these attempts to start a film series based on those YA series. Smart, well-acted, strongly told, it somehow makes the genre feel fresh. ***1/2

ANT-MAN (2015)
A smaller, lighter Marvel Cinematic Universe movie. Strong characterization is really the key; some of the elements of the story are pretty predictable, but enjoyable and involving. But when Ant-Man shrinks, the special effects are so charming and inventive, and setting the epic action climax in a little girl's bedroom (mostly on her toy train set) is hilarious. ***1/2

Terrible Lifetime flick that's supposed to carry a message of "Don't toy with people, because you never know who's dangerous" but actually carries a message of "You deserve to get sold into sex slavery because everything MRA's say about American girls is right." No stars. The worst thing is when you think you're going to see something silly that you can make fun of on Lifetime, and it turns into something profoundly disturbing instead.

I enjoyed the first one, I enjoyed this one, even though it went right to one of the most cliched spots a romantic comedy sequel can go: Vegas wedding. I like the actors, though, and I like the characters, and it just has no pretensions about what it is, so it lets the cast (which includes Michael Ealy, Kevin Hart, Taraji P. Henson, Meagan Good, Romany Malco, Gabrielle Union and my dear Regina Hall) have a good time and do what they want. **1/2, but I thought it was a cute flick. Great soundtrack.

FURIOUS 7 (2015)
Probably my favorite Fast and Furious movie so far. These movies just give the audience what they want in a way that is so audacious and so unapologetic that I can't help but love it every time. I've said it before: at this point you could set one of these on the moon and it would be believable. They're just insanely enjoyable. ***1/2

ZOMBI 2 (1979)
AKA Zombie. The Lucio Fulci movie. Great makeup, amazing sequence of a zombie fighting a shark, but sometimes its moodier moments are actually just tedious. I feel like a bad horror fan not enjoying a movie like this sometimes, because so many horror fans have told me they love Fulci and love this movie, but I just don't think I'm ever gonna like Fulci. **

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