Friday, June 29, 2012

One Minute Movie Review: War Horse

This 2012 Oscar Nominee should have been a 2012 Oscar Winner. Steven Spielberg weaves a stunning tale intertwining five unique tales of loss, courage, love, and hope into a masterful tapestry that surrounds you with heart wrenching emotion and authentically engaging drama. Each character exudes life and deeply connects with each other and the audience. Each subplot flows gently and profoundly into each other creating a near perfect picture of tragedy and triumph that is a trademark of Spielberg's extraordinary command of the craft. The cinematography is breathtaking and the scope and sweep is grand in both design and feel. At points, it does seem to try too hard, with too much, but in the end you are left with complete gratification. Do not look for any big names, but you will be surprised by the sheer volume of talent and story. 4 out of 5 Kernels: so compelling it is what other films should aspire to be.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

One Minute Movie Review: Brave

After seeing the trailer for this newest of Disney/Pixar collaborations, I have to say, I was less than impressed and had no desire to drop ten plus dollars at the local cineplex. Despite my misgivings, I have a six year old Disney princess diva, so the laws of the kid universe compelled me forward and to the box office. I am happy to report, this is one of the best of the best of the Pixar prodigies. Majestic animation, wonderful characters, and a unique and engaging story, it is destined to become a modern classic. Add in, quirky and sharp humor that hits at all the marks, and a strong message about family and courage and it becomes one giant Mouseterpiece. It is refreshing to see Hollywood produce a tale about respecting your elders and the spirit of the family that is both authentic and heartfelt, a feat I thought was near impossible. Do not miss this on the big screen, it is well worth the dough, whether 2 or 3D. 4 out of 5 Kernels; unbearably good (you'll get the pun by the end of the film).

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

One Minute Movie Review: Chronicle

POV cinema has finally reached the point of ad nauseum. All of its uniqueness and edgy quality have gone replaced by bland, predictable, and goofy fare such as this film. Josh Trank makes his directorial debut and hopefully last film with this teen angst cheap knock off of Heroes. The characters are unlikeable, stereotypical, and altogether one dimensional. It turns out the same old worn out story of a tormented outsider, persecuted by his entire suburbia, go from nerdy hermit to vengeful force except this time nobody cares. The script barely limps through, and the special effects, although somewhat sophisticated, are not enough to save this tragedy from itself. It could have been a decent film, and I could have won my first Oscar by now. 0 out of 5 Kernels: the only thing this movie Chronicles is how bored I was watching it.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

One Minute Movie Review: Snow White and the Hunstman

Think the Brother's Grimm, meets J.R.R Tolkien, with a smidge of C.S Lewis and a touch of Guillermo del Toro and you might glean the style and sweep of this modern and darker adaptation of the beloved fairy tale. Do not look for high pitched arias or silly named dwarves, expect dark, disturbing, and stunning imagery, artsy cinematography, and an amazingly masterful scenic scope. The script is solid, and the transformation from Disney Classic to grimly filmed fantasy epic is fluid possessing a remarkably honest and visually engaging presence. Charlize Theron and Chris Hemsworth deliver inspired performances, utterly immersing themselves in their characters. Unfortunately, that is where the high points end, and the reality begins. For anyone who believes Kristen Stewart can act needs to be immediately drug tested, med card or not. Stewart is as entertaining as a wet blanket and her perfromance has the  range and depth of a Dixie cup. This has to be one of the greatest miscasts of our time. As Hemsworth oozes charsima, Stewart sucks the room dry by her lifeless performance better than a vampire in, well you know. She was not just out of her league she was entirely out of place. Add into that a well written script that builds strong and then ends with a whisper instead of a bang. I have not seen such an epic fail of a conclusion compared to the powerful build that preceded it. As dissapointing as lighting a hollowed out firecracker, or Charlie Sheen's career, you choose which is more apropo. This is Rupert Sanders' first film, and the rookie mistakes in these areas are glaring. This could have been a masterpiece of celluloid, instead it falls short and flat during the last thirty minutes. 2 out of 5 Kernels; I am extremely Grumpy because Stewart's performance and the lackluster resolution were both Dopey.

One Minute Movie Review: Man on a Ledge

Take the film the Negotiator, remove all the action, suspense, intrique, solid performances, well written script, and solid casting, and you have this stunningly boring, pointless, and predictable Sam Worthington vehicle that stalls from the very beginning. First of all, I know, Worthington was in one of the largest blockbusters of our time, but that had more to do with the big blue bunnies and even bigger budget special effects than its leading man. Worthington has all the acting strength as toilet paper submerged in water. Mix in the most mediocre cast I have witnessed in a very long time, and the only thing out on a ledge is director Asger Leth's career. This is only his second film, and that apparently was one too many. There is no authenticity to the characters, and their dialogue is about as engaging as a mime during an eclipse. The action is brief and goofy with an ending rushed and uninspired. A creative twist at the end is the only kudo, but not enough to begin to tidy up this mess of a movie. 1 out of 5 Kernels: Not the worse film in the world, but a good try at being the worst.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

One Minute Movie Review: Prometheus

When this project was announced, and Ridley Scott took the helm, I excited anticipated its release and relished in the cryptic trailers and intriguing viral campaign prior to its opening. After all, Scott is the man who truly broke the ceiling in crafting two of the greatest science fiction films of our time. The creepy, claustrophobic, and incredibly tense, Alien which successfully and imaginatively combined a terrifying monster movie with an engaging script riddled with heart pounding suspense and authentic characters. Next came the truly inspired Blade Runner, which successful mixed the unimaginable combination of film noir and a sleek, sophisticated, ingeniously futuristic tale of sentience and mortality. So with all this in mind, how could this possibly go wrong. Prometheus proves it can, and in every way imaginable. Through a convoluted plot that never connects together with itself or the audience.  It is filled with utterly uninteresting characters, and overall, lacks all the anxiety, depth, and excitement of its predecessor and the possibilities it possessed. Scott fumbles what could have been an extraordinary retelling or foretelling of his signature cinematic achievement. It appears too many episodes of Ancient Aliens and an overtly ambitious attempt to define life through extraterrestrial intervention may have taken its toll. Visually this cinematic misadventure is incredible, however, the dull acting, confusing script, and goofy action sequences eclipse even the most stunning cinematography. Some sequences are so cheesy and, "what were they thinking," that the film moves from peaking curiosity to curiously laughable. The one bright spot is Michael Fassbender, whose android creation plays like a living tribute to H.A.L unleashed, ominous, cold hearted, and yet somewhat charming. Still his unique portrayal does little to save this picture from self destruct. It certainly is two hours of my life I will never get back. 0 out of 5 Kernels; in space, no one can hear you scream, but I was surprised how many people you could hear snoring in the theater.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

One Minute Movie Review: Haywire

As they say, "Everybody gets one, " and this is it that one for Steven Soderbergh, making no mistake it is not meant in a positive light. I have had bowel movements that are more compelling and have taken less time than this atrocity. The renowned Oscar winning director had an off day when he turned out this mistake, which starts slowly, remained slow, and felt more like it should be a prescription for insomnia than an action flick. This is Gina Carano's, the Elite EX fighter, second film, and if you said who, you would be in the mainstream and among good company. Her fighting skills are spectacular her acting is a spectacle. Not even a ridiculously over reaching cast of heavy hitters, of the thespian sort, Micheal Fassbender, Ewan McGregor, Bill Paxton, Channing Tatun, Antonio Banderas, and Michael Douglas can save this film from looking, sounding, and feeling uninteresting, unengaging, and thoroughly unentertaining. The acting for all reached new lows of mediocrity and contained about as much character chemistry as stagnate water. The action sequences are well choreographed, and that would be a plus if the film lasted about twenty nine minutes. In between Carano's beat downs are acres and acres of a lame, unimaginative, and predictable story. I felt envious for anyone attending a time share seminar. 0 out of 5 Kernels: the only thing Haywire about this disaster is the creative process used to bring it to the silver screen.