Celluloid Junkie - 3243 Rankings
Member Since: Oct 21, 2010
Bio: "The complete filmgoer is open to the movie on the screen, and asks it to work in its own ways for its own purposes. He does not fault one for not being the other, but is grateful for both if they are successful." - Roger Ebert, Review of "Keane" (2004)
|61 T2||The Bourne Identity (2002) - May 27, 2017
"Damon's Bourne's first go-round is a surprisingly insipid take on the spy film, with frantic, convoluted writing attempting to mask fairly basic and rudimentary plotting at its core - the action scenes are briskly shot and staged, but an over-abundance of shaky cam (hilariously even used during one supposedly static establishing shot) makes them difficult to comprehend, and inevitably difficult to get caught up in. Damon is fine in the lead, and Cox brings some sparks to his role."
|63 T2||Jack Reacher: Never Go Back (2016) - May 27, 2017
"Much like the original, this sequel has nothing spectacularly wrong with it, but fails to ever catch fire, mostly due to Cruise's very perfunctory performance. This time around, director Zwick seems a bit lost at sea with the material; a tauter, leaner telling would have helped considerably. Certainly watchable, and the 'domestic family' moments actually come off best (leading to a touching finale)."
|68 T2||I Am Bolt (2016) - May 27, 2017
"Agreeable enough doco of Bolt's preparation for the 2016 Olympic Games also provides an interesting overview of his professional career, with excellent use of archival footage; there isn't enough substance here for a feature film and while Bolt projects an endearing, affable personality, some more insight into his early life (and the various mind-games played with the other athletes) would have been welcome. Becomes a little repetitive and perfunctory in the final stretch."
|91 T8||Hunt for the Wilderpeople (2016) - May 27, 2017
"Wonderful adventure film goes more or less where you expect from the plot synopsis, but transcends its ODD COUPLE roots through its gorgeous New Zealand scenery, an at times delightfully demented, fairy-tale sense of humour, and pitch-perfect performances from Neill and Dennison. Wiata also proves a dab-hand at dead-pan as Neill's wife. Could have arguably done without the 'manhunt' subplot and instead made it a purely 'back-to-basics' fable, but that's just a minor quibble!"
|64 T2||Hush (2016) - May 27, 2017
"Modern twist on WAIT UNTIL DARK is far more gripping and intriguing in its first half, which almost plays as a silent movie; once Gallagher starts speaking, his mystique rapidly evaporates; some very silly behavioural plot points (how long until he learns he can break the glass?) also drag things down. Worth watching for Siegel's involving performance as a very relatable heroine."
|73 T3||High Strung (2016) - May 27, 2017
"Amiable modern-day musical proudly wears its retro plotting credentials on its sleeve - what would have been old-hat even back in the Golden Age is given new life by the modern settings, and apparently using real musicians and dancers who can (somewhat) act, which make the performance scenes viscerally compelling. Unexpectedly good fun (if slight)."
|31 T1||Hidden in the Woods (2014) - May 27, 2017
"Grotesquely ugly horror/thriller film has major problems with finding a consistent tone -- extremely graphic violence and sexual themes mix uneasily with overwrought attempts at humour; ultimately ends up far more disturbing than funny. Flecks of what nearly amounts to soft-core porn throughout are odd digressions. Perhaps solely of interest to Biehn completists; his no-holds-barred portrait of depravity is the best (and most uncomfortable) aspect of the film."
|71 T3||Jack Reacher (2012) - May 27, 2017
"Overlong, overstuffed action film moves far too slowly for its own good - and suffers from a miscast Cruise who appears uncomfortable throughout with his ultra-macho character; it seems as if he would have preferred to be doing a MISSION IMPOSSIBLE film! Great staging and direction by McQuarrie (especially the opening homage to DIRTY HARRY), and Herzog makes for a wonderfully cruel villain deluxe (though he is used too sparingly). Duvall is a welcome and classy addition in the final stretch."
|62 T2||The Infiltrator (2016) - May 27, 2017
"Cranston's powerful and engaging performance proves he is a genuine leading man in otherwise oddly flat and derivative tale of drugs and crime circa the 80s; one wishes for a more genuinely flamboyant director to bring the extra spark to this material (such as the late Tony Scott); Furman has the moves, but none of the passion. Ultimately feels like a reverse-SCARFACE wannabe - an interesting story, but needs a better treatment."
|70 T3||The Great And The Small (2016) - May 27, 2017
"Small-scale drama nevertheless has ambitious goals in mind to paint a multi-faceted portrait of living beneath the poverty line; elaborate plotting of domestic details and the temptations of 'easy money' through crime eventually become too weighty and bog the film down; at it's best when closely observing the realities of the day-to-day struggles of Fink's character. Still an 'A' for effort, with Coster scoring especially well as Fink's amusingly venal employer."