Criticker Zealot - 5621 Film Ratings
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)
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|72 36%||The Sea Inside (2004) - Sep 17, 2021
"Disappointingly one-note and superficial consideration of the pro and con arguments for euthanasia promises philosophical fireworks, but instead develops along standard and conventional "disease of the week" tropes, which still could have produced more satisfying results if Bardem's Ramon wasn't such a baffling enigma. Paradoxically it is Bardem's performance which is the highlight here - he is never less than magnetic even as his character slips from the film's (and Amenábar's) grasp."
|24 1%||Mortal Kombat (1995) - Sep 16, 2021
"Limp and tiring fantasy film lays out dull, convoluted (and incoherent) exposition that may play for fans of the game, but was baffling for this newbie - when they finally come, the fight scenes are decently choreographed but edited in a way designed to lessen or undermine their impact - an unholy and disorienting mix of long and short cuts. Score is almost entirely for the quite awesome 90s infused music score, a propulsive mini-masterpiece; a shame it matches nothing on-screen!"
|71 34%||Jane Goodall: The Hope (2020) - Sep 14, 2021
"Superficial but generally pleasing and enjoyable overview of Goodall's environmental activism suffers by comparison to the more ambitious JANE, but it is still difficult to come away without respect for her passionate (and pragmatic) environmental efforts, then and now. As a film, it's really TV special level glossy pap, but its inspiring subject matter goes some way to redeeming it."
|75 43%||Monsters University (2013) - Sep 14, 2021
"Bland but agreeable enough prequel gets most of its juice from Goodman and (especially) Crystal's lovely voice work and endearing characters; what ultimately amounts to a kid-ified retread of a "slobs vs snobs" high school comedy is a little too familiar and predictable to resonate like the best of Pixar, but is still a lot of fun."
|75 43%||The Rookie (2002) - Sep 12, 2021
"Schmaltzy underdog sports film pulls out very cliche in the book but still manages to entertain, thanks to sincere performances by its cast; Quaid is always expert at mid-western everyman and it is largely his likable and commanding presence which sells this and sustains the film through some undercooked dramatic detours (the film never quite comes to grips as to how to deal with Cox's disapproving (?) patriarch, and Griffiths can't enliven the disapproving (?) wife role either)."
|69 30%||Sahara (2005) - Sep 11, 2021
""High adventure" Indiana Jones-James Bond hybrid has far too much plot, and too many characters, to sustain the light and breezy tone it's going for; McConaughey and Zahn are perfectly cast for a laid back adventure, but the mid-section frantically follows too many plot strands which results in a serious loss of momentum. Kept watchable by the well staged and executed action sequences, including an exciting finale."
|87 73%||Free Guy (2021) - Sep 11, 2021
"An utter delight; played beautifully by its cast (I'll even go in to bat for Waititi) and full of witty, clever and hilarious lines, which nimbly pull the film up whenever it threatens to fall into plotting doldrums. Sort of a TOY STORY mixed with PLEASANTVILLE and THE TRUMAN SHOW but made special by Reynolds, who like Carrey before him finds a surprising well of empathy in his performance of bewildered naivety; the finale is even modestly touching in its way. An unexpected treat."
|54 12%||The Hot Chick (2002) - Sep 11, 2021
"This is pretty much exactly what you would expect from hearing "Rob Schneider is THE HOT CHICK" - not to say this is a particularly accomplished comedy, but it is more genial and pleasant than it could have been, with a nice "introducing" performance from McAdams (what little we see of her) and a reasonable effort from Schneider; it might have built a more interesting tension if we could have seen more of what McAdams was up to as a counterpoint. Bland and forgettable but basically harmless."
|7 0%||Funny Games (1997) - Sep 10, 2021
"Like copping a 2 hour lecture from a dangerous crack-pot; the assumptions Haneke makes here about the supposed hypocrisy of his audience wanting to wallow in brutal violence that he is going to smugly withhold is a bizarrely aggressive (and pointless) one - and speaks more to Haneke's troubled state of mind than his audience's. A crass, puerile, grotesque and yet dull and deadening experience - admittedly Lothar and Mühe do their best as the hapless captives."
|62 19%||The Truffle Hunters (2020) - Sep 09, 2021
"Strikingly photographed, if meandering portrait of the titular hunters is enjoyable enough for the particular quirks these old guys bring to their unique hobby, but the film strikes an uneasy compromise between naturalistic and staged - the lack of a narrative, or ultimately point, to the 80 minute running time might have been easier to forgive if the film wasn't so clearly staged and manufactured. Diverting enough, but not enough substance here for a full meal."