Celluloid Junkie - 3578 Film 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)
|15 T1||If I Stay (2014) - May 21, 2018
""Everyone clear the room, my daughter's vacuous relationship has hit the skids again." Pretentious, juvenile drama may appeal to teenagers who thrive on fantasies of self-involvement, but presenting the 'crisis' this self-centered brat faces in the context of a gruesome family tragedy is appallingly tasteless to say the least. The performers do their best, and Moretz has proved in other films that she has considerable talent, but are hamstrung by the sappy, manipulative material."
|69 T3||Men of Honor (2000) - May 21, 2018
"Gooding and (especially) De Niro are terrific in otherwise insipid biopic, which has surprisingly little dramatic heft, given the context of potentially potent racial politics. The tragedy which marks the start of Act 3 is an unexpectedly abrupt shift in the focus of the story, and makes the redemptive finale feel rushed and unearned. 'White saviour' tropes be damned, the De Niro character would have been a more interesting focal point for this story."
|93 T9||The Blair Witch Project (1999) - May 20, 2018
"Iconic grandaddy of the 'found footage' genre is much more a portrait of psychological disintegration than an out-and-out horror film - and is all the stronger for it; minimalist sound effects and prop design are creepy, but what makes this work are the impressive, naturalistic performances from the three leads, who all convince as 'normal', flawed, sometimes obnoxious but ultimately relateable people; their gradual descent into insanity makes for a uniquely queasy viewing experience."
|53 T1||After the Reality (2016) - May 20, 2018
"Interesting idea - a contestant on a reality show blindsided by a genuine reality check - is never really properly developed; the 'reality show' segments aren't pushed for any satiric value and only serve to undermine any genuine emotion inherent in the relationship between Morrison and Chalke (who are both excellent). The estranged-family-reunited-by-the-death-of-a-senior-family-member is still an overly familiar plot, but it may have had more resonance without the reality show nonsense."
|77 T5||Digging for Fire (2015) - May 20, 2018
"Meandering drama is enjoyable enough, even if the existentialist questions posed by its characters are dealt with better (and in more depth) in other more ambitious films; it's to Johnson and DeWitt's credit that their oftentimes whiny and self indulgent characters end up being quite endearing and involving. Fine work by an unusually distinguished supporting cast helps, but final result is low-key satisfactory."
|85 T7||Storks (2016) - May 19, 2018
"Sweet and witty animated film may have an overall familiar story arc, but compensates through its clever (and very funny) screenplay, and superb voice cast who help bring life to its quirky characters, most notably Key and Peele's hilarious Wolfpack. Crown and Samberg are a perfect team of protagonists, and while the film lacks the sophistication of the Pixar masterpieces, it's final moral of the value of family is a tough sentiment to dislike."
|29 T1||Saturday the 14th (1981) - May 19, 2018
"Cheap, tacky horror-comedy, not really a spoof as the title would suggest, and completely unrelated to the FRIDAY THE 13TH series. Benjamin and Prentiss' considerable comic talents are squandered on the heavy handed slapstick in the Mel Brooks vein; Tambor manages a few chuckles, especially with his Transylvanian accent. Hampered further by the *very* cheap costume design of the ghouls inside the house."
|68 T3||Blood, Guts, Bullets and Octane (1998) - May 19, 2018
"Tarantino knock-off feels like a rushed and underdeveloped exercise for Carnahan to find his cinematic voice; it does have a good feel for quirky dialogue, though it mixes less convincingly with the violence. Kinetic energy and a game cast help but ultimately the end result isn't particularly accomplished or memorable."
|43 T1||Ring of Fire (2013) - May 19, 2018
"Weak biopic is a surface-level scratching of the Carter-Cash partnership; Jewel sings the part well, but can't erase the memories of Reese Witherspoon; ditto Ross' lacklustre evocation of Johnny. Fits the mould of a stock-standard made for TV biopic; unlikely to offend anyone but unlikely to linger long in the memory either."
|65 T2||Gentlemen Broncos (2009) - May 18, 2018
"Collection of original ideas and intriguingly quirky characters unfortunately never coheres into a satisfying whole - the plot never really shifts into high gear, and Angarano while likable enough, doesn't have the heft to be a solid enough fulcrum to anchor the film. Despite its shortcomings, it is very entertaining at times, with Clement's hilarious Rickman impression standing out, along with a double hit of Rockwell doing two disparate versions of the same character."