Celluloid Junkie - 3282 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)
|84 T6||London Has Fallen (2016) - Jul 08, 2017
"Ridiculously silly follow-up to OLYMPUS is so brazenly over-the-top in its violence and sledgehammer sense of humour that it's impossible to take seriously -- but incredibly entertaining, personified in Butler's Bronson-like macho man of action, and one man wrecking ball. Arguably less satisfying than part 1 simply because the notion of being 'trapped' in a city is less convincing than being trapped in a single building, but still a well-wrought, self-aware action feast. Great fun."
|75 T4||Lights Out (2016) - Jul 08, 2017
"Nifty 'haunted house' horror film is not especially notable outside of being a fun diversion, but a fine cast (highlighted by Bello's unnerving performance) and a novel gimmick make it good, mildly nerve jangling fun, even if it leads to a fairly lacklustre finale."
|25 T1||Lavender (2016) - Jul 08, 2017
"Dreary horror film can't muster even basic jump-scares and shamelessly apes from the Shyamalan playbook (as well as any number of trauma-based horror films of recent years). Ultimate resolution of the tale (involving a serious violent crime) feels out of place and tasteless, given the exploitative elements in the story leading up to it."
|14 T1||Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016) - Jul 08, 2017
"Charmless and leaden attempt to milk a franchise is awkwardly constructed and directed; Jones and Luna register zero chemistry both alone and together (oh for the days of Fisher and Ford!) and the whole film feels like dreary marking time before the real exciting events of Episode IV. Tacky, unconvincing (and stomach churning) usage of the late Peter Cushing's image (looking like a reanimated corpse) is an apt metaphor for the film as a whole, though at least Vader's brief appearance is fun."
|85 T7||Queen of Katwe (2016) - Jul 08, 2017
"Colourful, beautifully crafted film follows the underdog sports-movie formula to a fault, but the transposition to the world of chess tournaments, and Nair's beautiful eye behind the camera, distinguish it from the run-of-the-mill; while newcomer Nalwanga is a bit of a blank slate, the rich performances from mentor Oyelowo, and mother Nyong'o, more than compensate. The abject poverty the characters face feels too Disney-fied at times, but the film remains a satisfying crowd-pleaser."
|97 T9||Patriots Day (2016) - Jul 07, 2017
"Harrowing depiction of the Boston marathon bombing and the subsequent attempts to capture the suspects is both viscerally painful and completely riveting to watch, thanks largely to a (perhaps surprisingly) masterful directorial effort by Berg, who especially in the second half takes his time ratcheting the suspense to almost unbearable levels. Fine performances all round, but the procedural nature by design gives the actors few choice moments, though Bacon is terrific as the head investigator."
|90 T8||Now You See Me 2 (2016) - Jul 03, 2017
"Unexpectedly delightful sequel handily bests the original by fully embracing the silly absurdity of its premise, and letting its cast run riot (shades of Soderbergh's OCEANS TWELVE). Radcliffe's casting as the shadowy and sinister rival magician/wizard is good for a chuckle, and Caine and Freeman add a special spark and chemistry in the scenes they share. Great art it ain't, but as an old fashioned, star driven vehicle, it comes up spades."
|74 T4||Now You See Me (2013) - Jul 03, 2017
"Well-cast 'OCEANS ELEVEN with magic' has overlength and slack pacing working against it as it unfolds, which is deadly in such a light hearted soufflé. However it is great fun watching this cast at work, with Harrelson in particular apparently having a ball, though it's a pity that Caine and Ruffalo are left with little to nothing to do."
|72 T3||The Nice Guys (2016) - Jul 03, 2017
"Meandering, spoofy action film reminiscent of Black's KISS KISS BANG BANG, but lacking the sharp patter and wit of the earlier film; spins its wheels too often in elaborate slapstick gags that don't quite gel with the rest of the film. Elevated by the two star performances, with Gosling especially funny as the more overt pratfaller; his puppy dog earnestness is put to great use here!"
|79 T5||The Neon Demon (2016) - Jul 03, 2017
"An odd stake in the junction of style vs. substance; Refn's brilliant handling of this very strange material keeps you hoping that it will elevate itself into something more satisfying. As it is, this mish-mash of Kubrick and Lynchian sensibilities is never boring, but is occasionally quite repellent (for no discernible reason other than shock value.) Full marks to the cast for their commitment to this sordid material, especially Malone and a mesmerising Fanning."