While Peter Berg’s Battleship is not quite the total train wreck that it could have been it’s still a completely loud nauseating experience that requires suspension of disbelief on a scale not seen in many years. Just one of these days before I kick the bucket I hope someone in Hollywood has enough creativity to figure out a plausible explanation for aliens to attack Earth because everything from Battle L.A. to Skyline and now to Battleship crafts a scenario where the alien strategists base their invasion on a massively ill-advised ground assault instead of merely planting their fleet in orbit and pounding the human race into submission.
With X-Men First Class director Matthew Vaughn has successfully rebooted the franchise in this taut well-acted ensemble piece that, while not perfect, serves as a great example of how to properly craft a prequel while avoiding many of the potential pitfalls. That said the film’s biggest positive is actually a double-edged sword that might rub viewers the wrong way and certainly lead to a much more conflicted series of emotions from the audience.
A complete an utter mish-mash of a plot coupled with an unrestrained Seth Rogen usually ends up as a recipe for disaster but the Green Hornet at least manages to be sporadically entertaining until a third act where the action quotient not only goes out the window but rockets into the stratosphere towards the planet Idiotic. It would be easy for me to flippantly say that only Seth Rogen fans are going to love this film but I’m sure most viewers will find it hard to stop thinking that he’s still a lumbering goof who is more prone to shooting himself in the face than being a paragon of justice.
Amanda Seyfried might be one of the bright lights from this current generation of actresses but there’s absolutely nothing she can do with this insipid material besides collect her paycheque and count her blessings that she can easily secure work on better projects. Red Riding Hood is close to a total train wreck ensuring a plethora of razzie nominations for worst movie of the year. While adapting the Red Riding Hood fairy tale initially seems like a stretch the real issue here is the ridiculous grafting of a romantic character arc along with some truly heinous sections with Gary Oldman doing his best to chew scenery with delicious aplomb that make his witch-hunt seem more like a sketch on Saturday Night Live.
Well, last year long suffering anime fans were blessed with the more or less successful reboot of Space Battleship Yamato through the high-budget live action movie starring JDRAMA king, Takuya Kimura. Whatever one thinks of that film the fact remains that anime has always been a compelling source for live-action shows or movies although their quality vacillates wildly from utter junk to cult classics. This year there’s yet another anime favourite that is being translated to the silver screen and no, I’m not talking about the Starz network and Sam Raimi’s Western adaptation of Noir.
Whatever one thinks of Mel Gibson nowadays there is no denying that he is a good actor and in the case of The Beaver he turns in an inherently honest portrayal of a tortured depressed man who stands at the edge of the proverbial precipice. How much of Gibson’s performance comes from his acting ability and how much comes from his real life issues is up for psychologists to debate but there’s no doubting that the movie is certainly inspired. Nevertheless, the film’s biggest problem that will stop viewers from watching is not Gibson the man but the beaver itself as the entire film hinges upon whether or not one truly believes the movie’s reason d’etre which is having a beaver hand puppet essentially become the leading actor.
I remember when I first saw Fist of Legend back in the early nineties on a terrible VHS copy and though the picture quality was abysmal and the sound regularly popped and crackled I remember being fixated on the film not only due to the superlative martial arts sequences but on the overall plot which felt wholly fresh and engaging. Fast forward to 2012 and here I am watching Fist of Legend again this time on blu-ray and though the picture and sound quality are vastly improved the entire film still feels as fresh as it did all those years ago. While Jet Li has certainly become an International star since then there is also no questioning that in looking back at his career that Fist of Legend is regarded as one of the best if not the best film he has ever made.
In Time has a wholly electrifying setup which manages to not only hook viewers but will probably make for a grand conversation topic at the family dinner table regarding how the global population seems to wilfully follow any authoritative governmental system even if they know deep in their hearts that it is woefully unfair. However, while the movie has a wonderful first act it completely botches the second and third acts by squandering its intriguing intellectual premise for the sake of cheap thrills, gunfights and violence that not only is not needed but also is shot with a next to total lack of rhythm or tension sending the film’s internal cadence into the proverbial brick wall.