Sandwiched between blockbuster superhero movies and epic science fiction adventures, this summer at the movies also delivers the close of the so-called “Wolf Pack” trilogy. “The Hangover Part III” closes out the lucrative franchise with the most tedious, supremely unfunny installment yet. Walking out of the theater we can all be glad that this is finally over. The best you can say is that at least it wasn’t a simple rehash, like the sequel.
Thursday, May 23, 2013
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Watching his films, you might get the impression that director Noah Baumbach is a dyed in the wool pessimist. While movies like “Greenberg,” “The Squid and the Whale,” and my personal favorite, the underrated “Kicking and Screaming,” have sharp bitter edges, his latest, “Frances Ha,” is his most hopeful, least combative work to date. The fact that this is collaboration with star Greta Gerwig might have something to do with that, and the events are largely autobiographical on her side of the equation.
Chow Hin Yeung’s thriller Nightfall, now available on Blu-ray and DVD, begins with a moment of extreme violence, so brutal as to be legitimately uncomfortable to watch. This highly stylized pre-credits scene informs the rest of the film, imbuing the remainder with a sinister undertone, with the potential for fierce explosions of violence.
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Our pets are full-fledged members of the family. For many of us, they’re as close to children as we ever plan to have. We watch them do all manner of stupidly cute things, occasionally dress them up in demeaning holiday costumes, and share our entire lives with them. We know going in that, odds are, we’re going to outlive any domesticated animal we bring into our home, but we push this to the periphery and ignore it like we ignore death as whole.
Horror, as a genre, certainly seems like it’s out to prove that no one, anywhere, should have kids, ever. Either someone is going to steal it and use in some sort of heinous ritual (Rosemary’s Baby), or when it grows up it will be the son of the devil (The Omen), turn out to be a murdering psychopath (The Good Son), or become a total turd (Anything featuring Ashton Kutcher).
Friday, May 17, 2013
Admittedly, last year's much ballyhooed horror anthology "V/H/S" was a disappointment. Individual pieces were okay, but taken as a whole, it's an underwhelming experience. With that in mind, expectations for the upcoming sequel have been kept in check, even though it involves the likes of Jason Eisener, director of "Hobo With a Shotgun," and Gareth Evans, who helmed "The Raid: Redemption." Still, even with ample skepticism, this latest red band trailer for "V/H/S 2" is impressive.
Thursday, May 16, 2013
Thursday, May 9, 2013
If you’re like me, then when you read F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel “The Great Gatsby” your first reaction is, “damn, this shit needs to be in 3D.” Lucky for us Baz Luhrmann heard our cries and is on the case. For just his fifth feature length motion picture, the Aussie director has, yet again, superimposed his frenetic, larger-than-life style on a beloved literary institution. While the onscreen effort is pretty to gawk at, when you take “The Great Gatsby” as a whole, this isn’t the best melding of styles. The story of a mysterious man who, at least initially, is all about appearances and the external, the film mirrors this sentiment. Only unlike the book, Luhrmann’s film never delves any deeper, and you’re left cold and empty.