We're excited to present a great new set of boards to classic movie fans with tons of new features, stability, and performance.

If you’re new to the message boards, please “Register” to get started. If you want to learn more about the new boards, visit our FAQ.

Register

If you're a returning member, start by resetting your password to claim your old display name using your email address.

Re-Register

Thanks for your continued support of the TCM Message Boards.

X

Kyle Kersten was a true friend of TCM. One of the first and most active participants of the Message Boards, “Kyle in Hollywood” (aka, hlywdkjk) demonstrated a depth of knowledge and largesse of spirit that made him one of the most popular and respected voices in these forums. This thread is a living memorial to his life and love of movies, which remain with us still.

X

Jump to content


Photo

From the Last 25 Years


  • Please log in to reply
1116 replies to this topic

#41 LawrenceA

LawrenceA

    Micklewhite

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 18,226 posts
  • LocationSouff London

Posted 16 May 2017 - 12:41 PM

The Monuments Men - Old-fashioned WW2 movie from writer-director George Clooney. He also co-stars as Frank Stokes, an art expert tasked by President Roosevelt with assembling a team of art experts to travel to the European war-zone to try and protect art treasures from the Nazi forces who are seeking to steal and/or destroy them. Stokes recruits Granger (Matt Damon), Campbell (Bill Murray), Garfield (John Goodman), Savitz (Bob Balaban), Clermont (Jean Dujardin), and Jeffries (Hugh Bonneville). Once in the field, they split up into teams and head in different directions, while Granger works with a Parisian secretary (Cate Blanchett) who had been forced to work with the Nazi occupiers. The episodic nature of the film hampers any real narrative pace, and most of the characters are paper thin, with the cast left to fill out their roles with their own personalities. Thus you get Murray being deadpan and wry, Balaban being fussy, Goodman being big and blustery, Dujardin being suave and smirking, etc. Clooney and Damon also don't have a lot of stretching to do, and Blanchett gets to try out her French accent. This is an interesting facet of the Second World War to explore, but the film lacked enough verve to make it remarkable.   6/10

 

the_monuments_men.jpg



#42 LawrenceA

LawrenceA

    Micklewhite

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 18,226 posts
  • LocationSouff London

Posted 15 May 2017 - 10:51 PM

Monsters: Dark Continent - Vastly inferior sequel to the surprisingly effective 2010 film. In this outing, the alien outbreak (brought back from space by a research satellite) has also reached the Middle East. The US military is doing its best to fight back against the giant creatures roaming the deserts and crashing through cities and villages, while also facing an insurgency from the local population who are tired of being collateral damage. Sgt. Frater (Johnny Harris) is the grizzled veteran who is put in charge of a squad of green recruits just in from Detroit (implausibly they were all friends back home and then deployed together into the same unit), including Michael (Sam Keeley), who is searching for purpose in his life. Also featuring Sofia Boutella.

 

The first film mashed two genres together: an indie road-movie romance with a sci-fi giant monster movie. This one weds the latter with a strictly by-the-numbers War in Iraq movie, stocked with stereotyped cliches in predictable situations. The majority of the soldiers are depicted as incompetent and annoying, so you're hoping a giant monster will step on them sooner rather than later. The story turns into a ham fisted indictment on America's ground war in the Middle East, complete with dead kids erroneously killed in bombings. Some of the creature effects are well realized, but, while they still take a secondary position in the film, they are shown too frequently to have the same impact as in the first movie. This was a huge step down from the first movie, but that film's writer-director (Gareth Edwards) opted out of this one, handing the reins to writer-director Tom Green. Strangely, this made its debut in Vietnam of all places, and wasn't released in the US until mid-2015.  4/10

 

monsters-1.jpg



#43 CinemaInternational

CinemaInternational

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 113 posts

Posted 15 May 2017 - 09:24 PM

Mr. Turner - Biographical character study of 19th century British painter J.M.W. Turner from writer-director Mike Leigh. Turner (Timothy Spall) is a respected painter, specializing in maritime pictures. His work is well-valued, although he sticks around long enough to go out of fashion. His atypical private life includes infrequent dalliances with his housekeeper (Dorothy Atkinson), as well as romance with a boardinghouse owner (Marion Bailey). Also featuring Paul Jesson, Lesley Manville, Karl Johnson, Ruth Sheen, and Martin Savage. The period detail and production design are excellent, but the rest of the film has problems. Instead of a straightforward biography, the movie shows several episodic moments in Turner's life, some that may shed some illumination on his inner character, but many that seem to meander and add nothing. The performances, too, are all over the place, with many laying it on very thick, while others underplay to the point of woodenness. Spall has the most to do, and with his perpetual scowl, grunting and grumbling dialogue, and brusque manner, he doesn't exactly make for the most charming or personable of people. But in some scenes he seemed absurdly broad, and I wonder how much was the script's fault. I know the critics loved this one, but I was left underwhelmed. I will concede that my opinion improved as the film progressed, as during the first hour I was absolutely hating it, but by the end my assessment had eased quite a bit. This was nominated for four Oscars, including Best Cinematography (Dick Pope), Best Costumes (Jacqueline Durran), Best Score (Gary Yershon), and Best Production Design.   7/10
 
mr-turner-mike-leigh-movie.jpg


I caught up with this one a few weeks ago. Most definitely, the production was a handsome one, and I did think that the performances were fine, but yet the film , though I really liked it when I saw it, has been fading from my mind rather quickly. And I don't know why.

#44 LawrenceA

LawrenceA

    Micklewhite

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 18,226 posts
  • LocationSouff London

Posted 15 May 2017 - 09:00 PM

Mr. Turner - Biographical character study of 19th century British painter J.M.W. Turner from writer-director Mike Leigh. Turner (Timothy Spall) is a respected painter, specializing in maritime pictures. His work is well-valued, although he sticks around long enough to go out of fashion. His atypical private life includes infrequent dalliances with his housekeeper (Dorothy Atkinson), as well as romance with a boardinghouse owner (Marion Bailey). Also featuring Paul Jesson, Lesley Manville, Karl Johnson, Ruth Sheen, and Martin Savage. The period detail and production design are excellent, but the rest of the film has problems. Instead of a straightforward biography, the movie shows several episodic moments in Turner's life, some that may shed some illumination on his inner character, but many that seem to meander and add nothing. The performances, too, are all over the place, with many laying it on very thick, while others underplay to the point of woodenness. Spall has the most to do, and with his perpetual scowl, grunting and grumbling dialogue, and brusque manner, he doesn't exactly make for the most charming or personable of people. But in some scenes he seemed absurdly broad, and I wonder how much was the script's fault. I know the critics loved this one, but I was left underwhelmed. I will concede that my opinion improved as the film progressed, as during the first hour I was absolutely hating it, but by the end my assessment had eased quite a bit. This was nominated for four Oscars, including Best Cinematography (Dick Pope), Best Costumes (Jacqueline Durran), Best Score (Gary Yershon), and Best Production Design.   7/10

 

mr-turner-mike-leigh-movie.jpg



#45 LawrenceA

LawrenceA

    Micklewhite

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 18,226 posts
  • LocationSouff London

Posted 15 May 2017 - 05:18 PM

A Million Ways to Die in the West - Crude and crass Western comedy from writer-director Seth MacFarlane. He also stars as Albert, a wimpy sheep farmer living in the town of Old Stump. He's been dumped by his long-time girlfriend Louise (Amanda Seyfried), who has taken up with local cad Foy (Neil Patrick Harris). When Albert challenges Foy to a gunfight for the heart of Louise, new-in-town Anna (Charlize Theron), who's good with a six-shooter, offers to train Albert in how to defend himself. During the process the two fall in love, naturally, which will cause trouble since Anna is secretly married to Clinch (Liam Neeson), a bloodthirsty outlaw. Also featuring Giovanni Ribisi, Sarah Silverman, Matt Clark, Rex Linn, Wes Studi, Evan Jones, Alex Borstein, and a handful of surprise cameos.

 

Some of the humor here comes from Albert's views on the Old West, looking at things from a 21st century vantage point. He likes to point out the disease, violence, sexism and racism that lurked under the real frontier but was often omitted from Hollywood's version. These observations could make for some interesting and funny material, but the film would rather concentrate on gross-out humor and cheap 'n' easy sex jokes. The production aspects are all good, from the costumes to the Monument Valley vistas, but when it's all in service to a protracted diarrhea joke, it wears out its welcome fairly quickly. This nabbed four nominations at the Golden Raspberry Awards, including for Worst Director (MacFarlane), Worst Actor (MacFarlane), Worst Actress (Theron), and Worst Screen Combo (MacFarlane & Theron).   5/10

 

A-Million-Movie-blogbuster.jpg



#46 LawrenceA

LawrenceA

    Micklewhite

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 18,226 posts
  • LocationSouff London

Posted 15 May 2017 - 02:19 PM

Million Dollar Arm - Baseball drama from Disney and based on a true story. JB (Jon Hamm) is a sports agent teetering on the brink of bankruptcy. Grasping at straws, he and his business partner Aash (Aasif Mandvi) hit upon the idea of traveling to India and holding open try-outs in hopes of finding interesting prospects from among the ranks of cricket players. At the end of a lengthy search, assisted by veteran baseball scout Ray (Alan Arkin), two young men rise above the pack: Rinku (Suraj Sharma) and Dinesh (Madhur Mittal). Along with comic-relief translator Amit (Pitobash), they set out to impress the Major League Baseball teams in the U.S. But will the 2 baseball novices have enough time to get ready? Also featuring Lake Bell, Tzi Ma, Allyn Rachel, Bar Paly, and Bill Paxton. This is fairly humdrum sports movie fluff. The Indian aspect gives the film a bit of exotic flavor, but in the end it's all about outsiders making the grade against all odds. Hamm is rather unlikable in the lead, and veterans Arkin and Paxton are wasted in bland roles. Bell is appealing, though, as are the trio of young Indian actors.  6/10

 

 

file_592391_million-dollar-arm-movie-rev



#47 LawrenceA

LawrenceA

    Micklewhite

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 18,226 posts
  • LocationSouff London

Posted 14 May 2017 - 10:52 PM

Maps to the Stars - Misguided misery porn from director David Cronenberg. In this sledgehammer-subtle indictment on Hollywood moral rot. we meet Agatha (Mia Wasikowska), a troubled young woman recently released from a mental hospital where she had been incarcerated after burning her family home down, leaving her scarred on her face, arms and body. She gets a job as a personal assistant to Havana Segrand (Julianne Moore), a drug-addled, aging actress obsessed with landing a movie role, that of her own long-dead movie star mother (Sarah Gadon), who occasionally appears in visions to torment Havana. Agatha is also determined to reconnect with her family: dad Stafford (John Cusack), a renowned psycho-therapist who's also treating Havana; mom Christina (Olivia Williams) who is buckling under the weight of family tragedies; and younger brother Benjie (Evan Bird), a spoiled brat child actor who is also seeing visions and who is becoming more and more sociopathic. Would-be actor and screenwriter but current chauffeur Jerome (Robert Pattinson) gets entangled in everyone's problems, as well. Also featuring Carrie Fisher as herself.

 

I truly detest these "Hollywood-as-Hell" films and stories, as they always come across as bitter and moralizing. This one is no exception, although I understand why many filmmakers would want to take a shot at Tinseltown. Wasikowska probably comes off the best here, doing her best as a disturbed character. Moore, on the other hand, is an over-the-top mess, which may be what the script called for, but it just ends up being embarrassing. Going big impressed some people, though, as she won a slew of awards for this. Cusack is quickly becoming one of my least favorite actors, having seemingly lost any of the charm he had in the 80's. The character of Benjie the kid actor is one of the more loathsome cretins I've seen in a movie for awhile, and I wanted to punch his Bieber-meets-Timberlake face every time he appeared onscreen. This is Cronenberg's last film to date, and I hope he makes another soon to wash the taste of this one away.   5/10

 

90607_4.jpg


  • Bogie56 likes this

#48 LawrenceA

LawrenceA

    Micklewhite

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 18,226 posts
  • LocationSouff London

Posted 14 May 2017 - 07:12 PM

Manglehorn - Shaggy indie character study from writer Paul Logan and director David Gordon Green. Manglehorn (Al Pacino) is sad sack of a man, running a locksmith shop in small-town Texas. He's terribly lonely, spending his time either fawning over his cat Fanny or writing letters to a long lost love (the text of which provides much of the film's narration). He also has a terrible relationship with his grown son (Chris Messina), a successful businessman. His awkward attempt at starting a new relationship with a bank teller (Holly Hunter) doesn't seem to help matters, either. Also featuring Harmony Korine. The film is presented in an at-times hyper-stylized way that doesn't seem to add anything, other than imparting the fracturing nature of Manglehorn's inner mind. Pacino is decent, but his character is a shambling, mumbling mess, and I'm not sure how much was Manglehorn and how much was Pacino.   6/10

 

 

manglehorn-1.jpg



#49 LawrenceA

LawrenceA

    Micklewhite

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 18,226 posts
  • LocationSouff London

Posted 14 May 2017 - 05:12 PM

Magic in the Moonlight - Woody Allen romance starring Colin Firth as Stanley, a stage magician in late 1920's Europe. He's approached by old friend Howard (Simon McBurney) about debunking a supposed spirit medium, a young American named Sophie (Emma Stone). Stanley accepts the challenge, and travels to the south of France where Sophie and her mother (Marcia Gay Harden) have taken residence with rich widow Grace (Jacki Weaver). The curmudgeonly Stanley immediately butts heads with everyone, but Sophie seems like the genuine article, and romance could even be in the air. Also featuring Hamish Linklater, Eileen Atkins, Erica Leerhsen, and Catherine McCormack.

 

This is decidedly second-tier Woody, but it's not bad. The main problem is that Firth plays Stanley too well, making the character off-putting. Stone is winsome and charming, though. The period details look good, and the widescreen cinematography by Darius Khondji is nice.  7/10

 

 

140829-Allen.jpg



#50 LawrenceA

LawrenceA

    Micklewhite

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 18,226 posts
  • LocationSouff London

Posted 14 May 2017 - 02:40 PM

Lucy - Mind-bending science fiction sees a return to form for writer-director Luc Besson. Lucy (Scarlett Johansson) is an American party girl in Taiwan. Her new boyfriend (Pilou Asbaek) tricks her into delivering a mysterious briefcase to Mr. Jang (Choi Min-sik), a violent crime boss. It seems the case contains a prototype new designer drug, a blue powder in four pouches. Lucy is rendered unconscious, and upon awakening learns that one pouch has been surgically implanted in her abdomen. She (and three other unlucky chaps) are to be drug mules, transporting the new drug across the globe. When Lucy arrives at her destination, her thuggish contacts beat her, causing the bag to rupture inside of her, leaking a large quantity of the drug, causing a mutation within her that allows her to access 20% of her brain's potential (an in-story lecture informs us that humans use 7-10%). This instills her with heightened intelligence and perceptions, allowing to her escape. She soon learns that this is just the beginning, as her abilities continue to increase in potency. She seeks out a noted expert on brain chemistry (Morgan Freeman), as well as teaming with a Parisian detective (Amr Waked) to track down the other drug packets, while herself being hunted by Mr. Jang.

 

There is plenty of style on display here, with sharp cinematography and excellent use of stock footage. The lengthy early film lecture by Morgan Freeman that helps set up the implications of the scenario are well handled. Johansson is very good in the lead, starting out as a terrified girl in way over her head, and slowly becoming, first self-confident, and then more and more removed from humanity. The cosmic finale is a visual feast, and Besson does a good job illustrating theories on molecular inter-connectivity and the permanence of energy. This is easily Besson's best since 97's The Fifth Element. Recommended to sci-fi fans or ponderers of existential philosophy.  8/10

 

046f4ac676f9f397c2ad38d008db562f.jpg



#51 LawrenceA

LawrenceA

    Micklewhite

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 18,226 posts
  • LocationSouff London

Posted 14 May 2017 - 12:19 PM

Love Is Strange - Touching romantic drama from co-writer and director Ira Sachs. George (Alfred Molina), a music teacher, and Ben (John Lithgow), a retired artist, have been a couple for nearly 30 years. As the film begins, they get married, now that it is finally legal. Soon after, George loses his job at a Catholic school (the Church can't allow openly acknowledged homosexuality), and the couple realize that they can no longer afford their rent. They ask friends and family to put them up until they can find some place new. George stays with another couple (Cheyenne Jackson and Manny Perez) where there's always a party or some other loud gathering making things miserable for him. Ben stays with his nephew (Darren Burrows) and his wife Kate (Marisa Tomei) and rebellious teenage son (Charlie Tahan). Ben is a nuisance to everyone, annoying Kate as she tries to work, and generally getting in the way. Also featuring Christina Kirk, and John Cullum. This movie could have been unbearably sentimental or shrilly political, but it's neither. Rather, it's a gently affectionate look at these two older men and how, just at the moment of their greatest happiness, the vagaries of life come in and disrupt things. The performances are spot on, and despite the conflict-heavy nature of the plot, there's not a single scene of hysterical histrionics, which is refreshing. All of that may be seen as a downside by some viewers, as the film is more of a leisurely Sunday afternoon stroll than a piece of high drama.   7/10

 

safe_image.php-3.jpeg



#52 LawrenceA

LawrenceA

    Micklewhite

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 18,226 posts
  • LocationSouff London

Posted 13 May 2017 - 09:50 PM

Love & Mercy - Biopic of sorts on Brian Wilson, the cracked genius of the Beach Boys. The film follows two narrative tracks: in the first, the young Brian (Paul Dano) has a panic attack while on a flight, the first hint of troubles to come. The Beach Boys are at the height of their fame, but Brian decides to stop touring with the band, instead opting to stay home and write their music while the rest of the group travels. While this arrangement works for a time, producing some of the band's greatest music, it also sees Brian drifting further and further in paranoid schizophrenia, a condition not helped by his increasing drug and alcohol use. The second story arc is older Brian (John Cusack) who has been living as a virtual recluse, under the "care" of the manipulative Dr. Eugene Landy (Paul Giamatti). In a meet-cute, Brian encounters car saleswoman Melinda Ledbetter (Elizabeth Banks). She falls for him, while also recognizing the sinister influence Dr. Landy has over Brian, and she determines to free him from his psychological prison. Also featuring Jake Abel, Kenny Wormald, Brett Davern, Graham Rogers, Bill Camp, and Joanna Going.

 

I've read the story of Brian Wilson's descent into mental illness many times over the years, and even seen it dramatized a few times, too, so the story was rather old hat. I thought Dano did a good job, while Cusack wasn't required to do much beyond being slack-jawed. Giamatti is appropriately slimy, but he could play that in his sleep. I was most impressed by Banks, a familiar fixture in comedies over the last 10 years, here doing a good dramatic turn. Of course, if you're a big fan of the Beach Boys music (which I'm not) you'll probably like this even more.   7/10

 

fid15305.jpg



#53 LawrenceA

LawrenceA

    Micklewhite

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 18,226 posts
  • LocationSouff London

Posted 13 May 2017 - 07:37 PM

A Little Chaos - Period romantic drama set in late 17th century France. King Louis XIV (Alan Rickman) has ordered the design and construction of the fabled Gardens of Versailles. He entrusts this effort to Andre Le Notre (Matthias Schoenaerts), but the job is too big, and he must farm out portions to other landscape designers. One such is Sabine De Barra (Kate Winslet), who has a doubly hard time due to the era's sexism. De Barra and the married Le Notre eventually begin an affair, causing the usual difficulties. Also featuring Helen McCrory, Stanley Tucci, Stephen Waddington, Rupert Penry-Jones, Danny Webb, Phyllida Law, and Jennifer Ehle. Rickman also directed this, which is unfortunate, since it isn't very good. The costumes are fine, and the sets well-done, but the story is pulp romance, and there's not enough here to justify the talent involved. Perhaps reduced to a single hour's BBC/PBS anthology series, this might have worked better, but as it is, I found it uninspired.  6/10

 

Rickman-and-Kate-4.jpg



#54 LawrenceA

LawrenceA

    Micklewhite

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 18,226 posts
  • LocationSouff London

Posted 13 May 2017 - 06:16 PM

Life Itself - Excellent documentary profiling the life of writer and film critic Roger Ebert. Told through old video clips and interviews with friends, colleagues and Ebert himself, as well as narrated with excerpts from Ebert's autobiography, the movie shows Ebert's early years as a newspaper man, his screenwriting on Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, his international fame thanks to his syndicated TV show, and his tumultuous relationship with co-host and rival Gene Siskel. The film also details the last period of his life, including his courageous battle against cancer, and the horrifying effects it had on him physically. The film does a good job of expressing how much of an impact on film and criticism he had, although it also shows his flaws, like his battle with alcoholism, and his egotistical behavior. He finds late life redemption in his wife Chaz, whom married when he was 50. I wasn't always a fan of Ebert's; I think I agreed with his reviews about half the time. But he was a major figure not just in film circles but in all of pop culture for the latter half of the 20th century. Directed by Steve James. Recommended.  8/10

 

 

life-itself-documentary.jpg



#55 LawrenceA

LawrenceA

    Micklewhite

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 18,226 posts
  • LocationSouff London

Posted 13 May 2017 - 04:10 PM

Life After Beth - Jeff Baena wrote and directed this horror-comedy about Zach (Dane DeHaan), a sensitive young man who is devastated when his girlfriend Beth (Aubrey Plaza) is killed by a snakebite while hiking. Zach can't get past his grief, visiting Beth's parents (John C. Reilly and Molly Shannon) until one day he discovers that they're hiding Beth from him, and that she's apparently alive and well with no memory of her death. Thinking at first that they've played a prank on him, Zach soon learns that Beth has truly been resurrected, although not quite the same, as her memories seem to be undependable and her skin is looking...bad. Beth seems to be getting worse too, and other, seemingly long-dead people start showing up everywhere. Also featuring Paul Reiser, Cheryl Hines, Anna Kendrick, Matthew Gray Gubler, Jim O'Heir, Rob Delaney, Adam Pally, and Garry Marshall. This has its moments of humor, but it's very hit and miss. The cast is fine, and the storyline is presented very matter-of-factly. There are worse ways to spend 90 minutes, but I wouldn't go out of my way for this one.   6/10

 

 

-518710.jpg



#56 LawrenceA

LawrenceA

    Micklewhite

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 18,226 posts
  • LocationSouff London

Posted 13 May 2017 - 01:41 PM

Leviathan - Russian drama that follows the hardships of Kolya (Aleksey Serebryakov) an auto-mechanic living on the banks of a river in a northern Russia fishing town. Kolya's been embroiled in a bitter lawsuit with the local authorities, who are trying to use a kind of public domain ruling to claim Kolya's property for use "in the civic good". Kolya calls his former Army comrade Dmitriy (Vladimir Vdovichenkov) who is now a sharp Moscow attorney. Dmitriy thinks he has the whole situation sewn up with some damning evidence against the town's corrupt sleazeball of a mayor (Roman Madyanov). Dmitriy also begins an affair with Kolya's unhappy wife Lilya (Elena Lyadova). All of these events, from the civic to the domestic, whirl together to destroy Kolya's life.

 

Directed by Andrey Zvyagintsev, this film seems to equate Kolya's struggles with that of the biblical Job. The leviathan of the title may metaphorically allude to the unstoppable power of the corrupt post-Soviet Russian government, or literally to the whale skeleton that sticks out of the sand on a nearby shoreline. The whole town, once prosperous, is now filled with crumbling buildings, strewn with garbage, and where their children spend their off hours drinking, much like their parents. The director seems to hold the most contempt for the resurgent church, who in the film is seen absolving the sins of the corrupt town boss, while offering little assistance to Kolya. And then there's the final, damning revelation about the town's plans for Kolya's property. The performances are all good, and the filming suitably bleak and gray. I thought it was a bit overlong at 140 minutes, and while the domestic issues were well done, I'm not clear as to how it all ties together. This earned an Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Language Film, and it is one of the 1001 Movies to See Before You Die.   7/10

 

0leviata.jpg



#57 LawrenceA

LawrenceA

    Micklewhite

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 18,226 posts
  • LocationSouff London

Posted 12 May 2017 - 09:40 PM

Left Behind - Second attempt to adapt the best-selling novel by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins. Rayford Steele (Nicolas Cage) is an airline pilot on a flight from NYC to London. He's grown frustrated with his home life, as his wife (Lea Thompson) has become a serious bible-thumper. Steele has even reached the point of wanting to start an affair with a beautiful flight attendant (Nicky Whelan). Also on board is famous globe-trotting TV journalist Cameron "Buck" Williams (Chad Michael Murray). Meanwhile, Steele's college student daughter Chloe (Cassi Thomson) has come home for a visit, and she doesn't share her mother's extreme Christian views, either. When Chloe takes her little brother on a trip to the mall, the Rapture happens, wherein God "calls" all of the world's true believers and saved souls up into heaven, leaving only empty clothing behind. This naturally causes a bit of panic, as most of the world's children disappear, leaving frantic parents, as well as now-driverless cars crashing here and there. Things are bad onboard Steele's jet, too, as many passengers have disappeared and chaos is breaking out. Also featuring William Ragsdale, Gary Grubbs, Martin Klebba, and American Idol winner Jordin Sparks.

 

Before the Harry Potter books came along, the biggest phenomenon in publishing was the Left Behind books, a multi-volume series detailing the events from the Christian Bible's Revelation, aka the End of Days. Many of the books topped the best-seller lists, and they were a ubiquitous fixture of bookstore shelves for the better part of a decade. Naturally someone would want to adapt them for the screen, and the first such effort was released in 2000, starring Brad Johnson and Kirk Cameron. It was a terrible film and ended up debuting on video. They made two more awful sequels, but the whole effort was so bad that co-author LaHaye sued to gets the rights back. That lead to this belated attempt at a reboot. And the bad news is it isn't really any better.

 

The film follows two story arcs, one on the airplane and the other following young Chloe on the ground. The Chloe stuff is generic, mass panic stuff, produced with sub-TV-movie effects. The majority of the time we're with the plane, and the broadly drawn, irritating characters. Cage gets a few of his patented overly emoted yelling scenes, but he's largely wasted, as is the bland former Tv star Murray. This ends before the later in the series, more ludicrous yet more entertaining stuff about the ascendant Anti-Christ, so instead you're left with a sub-par disaster movie with dull characters and poor production values. This isn't quite the nadir of Nicolas Cage's career (I still think The Wicker Man is worse), but it's pretty damned close. This received 3 nominations at the Golden Raspberry Awards, for Worst Picture, Worst Screenplay and Worst Actor (Cage).  3/10

 

ec6b6dbd0c310960e488332a1ff3b098.jpg



#58 LawrenceA

LawrenceA

    Micklewhite

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 18,226 posts
  • LocationSouff London

Posted 12 May 2017 - 06:16 PM

Kundo: Age of the Rampant - South Korean period action film. In 1862, during a time of corruption and vast inequality, a group of mountain bandits act like Korean Robin Hoods, robbing from the rich to give to the poor. They are lead by Dae-ho (Lee Sung-min) a fierce warrior, and they also include Buddhist monk Ttaeng-choo (Lee Geung-young), former aristocrat Lee Tae-ki (Cho Jin-woong), lovable super-strong lug Tianbao (Ma Dong-seok), female archer Ma-hyang (Yoon Ji-hye), and many more. They recruit a new member, Dolmuchi (Ha Jung-woo), a former butcher who accepted a job by creepy nobleman Jo Yoon (Kang Dhong-won) to assassinate his sister-in-law. When Dolmuchi learns that his target is pregnant, he refuses, and Jo Yoon's men kill Dolmuchi's family and leave him burned and left for dead. He survives and joins the bandits, learning to fight so that he can get revenge against Jo Yoon with the help of his new compatriots.

 

There are a lot of colorful characters here, and a lot of backstory, leading to a 137 minute running time. But it never drags, and the action keeps things humming along. The score is very derivative of the work of Ennio Morricone, which isn't a bad thing. Some of the occasional stabs at humor fall flat, but that may be a cultural thing. I can't say that I've seen a Korean film of this type before, and it was nice seeing the period costumes and weaponry.  7/10

 

kundo.jpg



#59 LawrenceA

LawrenceA

    Micklewhite

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 18,226 posts
  • LocationSouff London

Posted 12 May 2017 - 02:39 PM

Kite - Dreary live-action adaptation of the cult Japanese anime. In a dystopian future, a financial collapse has left the world in ruin and poverty. Children are routinely kidnapped and sold into sexual slavery, and murders are commonplace. Sawa (India Eisley) is a former sex slave turned vigilante assassin. She's after the criminal network that she believes murdered her parents and sold her into prostitution. She's abetted by Lt. Aker (Samuel L. Jackson), a policeman who knew her parents, and provides Sawa with the drug Amp that she needs to continue. Amp keeps the bad memories away, while also providing increased reaction time. Sawa also meets Oburi (Callan McAuliffe), a young man who has an interest in her safety. Also featuring Carl Buekes and Deon Lotz.

 

The original Japanese cartoon (which I have not seen) is very controversial, with the Sawa character being depicted as much younger, and with graphic sexual scenes, ensuring that the cartoon has been banned in some countries while being heavily edited in others. As is often the case, this kind of publicity only raises its appeal in some circles. This film version, shot in South Africa with a mainly local supporting cast, is grungy and ugly and violent, although the sexual content is kept very low, and is only really alluded to in dialogue, and then sparingly. The two young leads are bland and unmemorable, and Jackson, who is an avowed fan of the cartoon and had been attached to this live action version for a long time through the pre-production process, doesn't have much to do but look concerned during most of the film. Skip it.    3/10

 

kite-headline.jpg



#60 LawrenceA

LawrenceA

    Micklewhite

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 18,226 posts
  • LocationSouff London

Posted 11 May 2017 - 08:50 PM

Kingsman: The Secret Service - Fun spy action comedy based on a comic book by Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons. Young "Eggsy" Unwin (Taron Egerton) is a smart, talented lad who has poor prospects thanks to his council flat neighborhood and his lack of a father, who died when Eggsy was a small child. One day he's contacted by Harry Hart (Colin Firth), a dashing English gentleman who explains that Eggsy's father had been a colleague at the Kingsman firm, a company that's fronted by a posh Saville Row tailor shop but is actually an international spy agency. Eggsy has to undergo intense training to try and become a member, but it will have to be quick, since American tech billionaire Valentine (Samuel L. Jackson) has a plan that may decimate the world if he isn't stopped in time. Also featuring Mark Strong, Sofia Boutella, Sophie Cookson, Mark Hamill, Jack Davenport, and Michael Caine.

 

At one point in the film, Colin Firth's character is asked if he likes spy movies. "Only the old, fun ones," he says, or something to that effect, and this film is a glorious send-up of and tribute to those films. From Michael Caine's Harry Palmer movies, to The Avengers TV series, and of course the 60's and 70's James Bond films, this film wears its antecedents on its sleeve. Egerton makes for a good leading man, believable as a street rough who can clean up well. Jackson has fun as the villain, using a bit of a lisp that isn't too distracting, and Boutella makes for a visually compelling henchwoman, what with her razor sharp prosthetic legs. The one having the most fun, though, is Firth, who excels as the suave man of action who always keeps a stiff upper lip. He also does well in the action scenes (even if the stunt double is occasionally visible), particularly during a bravura sequence set in a church to the the tune of Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Free Bird". I thought this was a very enjoyable film with no pretensions about what it is: a bloody good time. From director Matthew Vaughn. Recommended.    8/10

 

Kingsman-Secret-Service-Movie-Spoilers.j






1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users