Generally, there are two types of people who go to see “Bond Films,” those movies that feature Ian Fleming’s super-spy James Bond: those who are Bond superfans, and those who are not. Whether you’re an action-film fan, you just enjoy seeing the latest and greatest releases, or you are the significant other of a Bond superfan, if you fall into that second category, you will likely be left wanting by Spectre, the latest in the 007 mega-series and current Bond portrayer Daniel Craig’s fourth outing in the main role. If you’re a Bond superfan, however, this movie is going to give you all you can handle, and then maybe just a bit more for good measure.
The Last Witch Hunter is an intriguing entry into the world of cinematic fantasy genre. While it doesn’t particularly revolutionize the way we see witches and warlocks nor does it herald “the next great franchise” of feature films, it is a solid tale packed with great special effects, excellent pacing, a presentation designed for an intellectual audience (relatively speaking, of course), and charming characters that are fairly believable in terms of their place in this witchy world.
These days, it seems every old TV show, movie, and book series is getting the Hollywood “let’s throw some CGI at it and make a movie out of it” treatment. It seems especially easy for movie-makers and the studio powers-that-be, because no matter how much fans complain about the “bastardization” of the classic properties that we know and love… people still go see the new stuff. They still toss money at it, which in turn lets said movie-makers make a profit, which validates their decision to remake/reboot an old property, which gives them the gumption to go remake/reboot another old series. It is, quite frankly, a vicious cycle.
One of the side effects, of course, is that new movies “based on the original [insert media type here]!” usually get the “this probably won’t be that great” mentality from the audience. Is that unfair? Tough to say for sure; for every “good” reboot we’re given (the newer Star Trek films, to use a popular example) there seems to be an equal number of, shall we say it politely, “not-so-good” products (who on the good green Earth was asking for a Karate Kid remake, really?!). So, it was with more than a little trepidation that I went to my advance screening of the latest old-product-turned-new movie offering, Goosebumps. While it didn’t exactly blow me away, I was pleasantly surprised and largely entertained, and I suspect kids and twentysomethings that grew up with the books will find even more to enjoy.
There’s no real way to put it politely: Pan is bad. It’s enjoyable on some level, but this is almost exclusively due to the fact that it’s tied to a bigger mythos, one that most of us grew up with, that of the original Peter Pan legend. But as this film stands, it’s a poor addition to the bigger universe.
From the get-go, it seems like the movie has a tough time finding its “voice,” what it wants to be presented as: is it a grandiose spectacle of visual imagination? Is it a touching tale about the power of family and belief in yourself? Is it a tongue-in-cheek action/comedy? It tries so hard to smush all of these tropes into one hour-and-fifty-one-minute film that it effectively manages to fail to excel at any of these options effectively.
While the release date for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is still over a year away, shooting has begun on the film, and most of the main characters (that we know of) have been cast. But there’s always room for more big names in big films, it seems, and today we learned that the Harry Potter pseudo-prequel has gained another big name, in the form of a big man: Ron Perlman – Hellboy himself – has joined the cast, according to a THR report.
MOVIE REVIEW: ‘American Ultra’ Blends Lots of Movie Tropes Together to Create a Very Different Kind of Film
Tired of the same old summer fare? Romantic comedies, superheroes, animated animals getting into trouble, and stuff blowing up – they can all be found en masse at your local Cineplex every year during the warmer months. American Ultra, swooping in towards the end of the “popcorn” season, is a movie that may feel both very familiar but oddly foreign at the same time; the film features everything on the list in the previous sentence, but is presented in a highly unorthodox manner. The result is an experience that feels very unique, but definitely won’t ring everyone’s bell.
It seems like the perfect combination: take the guy who directed Snatch, Sherlock Holmes (the Robert Downey Jr. versions), and RocknRolla, and let him make a spy movie that stars Superman and The Lone Ranger. Oh, and set it in the 1960s, where men were men and you had to rely on your wits and your talent instead of letting technology do your dirty work. Sounds pretty badass, right? Well, movie-goer, you’re in luck – because The Man from U.N.C.L.E. is an amazingly-cool movie that’s fun to watch and easy to enjoy.
MOVIE REVIEW: ‘Fantastic Four’ is a Different Kind of Superhero Movie – But Still Not a Very Good One
Fantastic Four. I wanted to like it. I really did.
I actually found all the pre-release roller-coaster drama of the production’s ups and downs really intriguing. The idea for the creation of this movie was heavily maligned from the start; according to 20th Century Fox’s deal with Marvel, if they wanted to keep the rights to the FF franchise, then the company has to make a new film featuring the characters every decade or so, or else the rights will revert back to Marvel. Since it’s been eight painful years since the Galactus-bastardizing head-scratcher Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, Fox felt obligated to pump another one out. Trust me, however, when I tell you: don’t feel obligated to go see this film.
Sony is officially letting the world know what it has going on for the next few years. With reboots and sequels aplenty, it appears that the company is content to take existing properties and ride them for as long as possible – but will movie-goers want to take the ride with them? That’s the million-dollar question.
Fantasy fare at the cinema has been a mixed bag lately. For every new film that was an entry into the Lord of the Rings universe, we had a Seventh Son that would come along and force the movie-going public to slog through a convoluted story and mediocre CGI. Warner Brothers is attempting to, pardon the pun, rekindle the magic with a big-screen version of Dungeons & Dragons, coming our way at some point in the indeterminate future.