Thursday, June 20, 2013

One Minute Movie Review: Gangster Squad

Ruben Fleischer, director of such cinematic masterpieces as 30 Minutes or Less, Zombieland, and the critically acclaimed, Rob and Big, (note the biting sarcasm)brings us his over the top, well exaggerated, telling of legendary mobster Bugsy Seigel’s prodigy, Mickey Cohen and the above the law Dragnet force that attempted to take him down before he claimed all of LA for his own.   Think Untouchables for the next generation minus all the character depth, suspense, well written story, and authenticity.  Fleischer tries so hard to create the look and feel of the time period that it comes off less like a serious action flick and more like a grown up reboot of Dick Tracy.    Although the cast provides some good performances, their characters never really evolve enough for the audience to connect with or care about.   Penn tries to play Cohen Ala DeNiro as Capone and fails miserably; his portrayal is unconvincing and almost goofy.   Brolin is stoic, mechanical, and two dimensional, which seem to be the signatures of all of his performances. His attempt to display the struggle between his obsession with capturing Cohen and living a normal life with his pregnant wife plays awkwardly and never feels genuine.   The remaining cast quickly becomes cartoonish and their dialogue is so silly at points it’s laughable. The action is decent enough, unrealistic, but exciting.  I wanted to like this film, I truly did, but as my mother in law used to say, “Don't let your wants hurt you.”  1 out of 5 Kernels; this flick had potential, but never reached it, and that is a true crime.  

Sunday, June 16, 2013

One Minute Movie Review: Man of Steel

I went into this carrying the full weight of my disdain for the utter castration that Nolan performed on the Batman franchise, hoping I would be proven wrong about my initial misgivings.   Well, not only was I not wrong, but Nolan and Director, Zack Snyder, managed to one up my anxiety by taking one of the most iconic hero stories in all of history (the world famous Kryptonian's S symbol is second only in public recognition to the Christian Cross) and completely defecate on it, then pour it into a blender, and finally serve it in a pair of Lindsey Lohan's used underpants.   It will be very difficult to me to convey my full disdain without giving away any spoilers, but I will do my best.   Let's begin with the only positive to this cinematic diarrhea, the fact that Henry Cavill truly looks the part.  Not since Christopher Reeve, has an actor better personified the "super-est" of Superheroes in pure appearance.  Now mind you I said, "Looks the part," as far as his performance is concerned, the S would most definitely stand for sub standard.  Now for the negatives, of which the sheer litany of ridiculousness is almost inconceivable.    To begin, gone are all the humanity and endearing qualities of the Reeve’s classics, replaced by CGI overkill and overtly plastic performances provided by the entire cast.  The action sequences are so  over generated that they are mostly blurred, especially in 3D, sacrificing detail and clarity to create a pot pie of every FX that a geek with a keyboard could imagine.  Also missing is the humor and chemistry that made the first two, late 70's early 80's, Superman flicks such comic book classics.   In fact, if you are looking for any of the traditional elements of the originals, forget about it, they have completely rewritten the mythology and it will set the bar as one of the most disappointing reboots seen thus far.   They couldn't even throw me a bone and slip the old iconic theme song at some point during this super flop, really.   Finally, as far as the credibility of this re visioned Superman, if body count and mass destruction are compared to lives and property saved, he would be the epitome of epic fails squeezed into a Lycra wet suit with a cape.   And, yes, that is an accurate description of Supe’s new duds.   Nolan seems hell bent on turning all of the DC Universe's heroes into costumed punching bags who have to wait until their enemies create near Armageddon before they can, if they ever do, deliver any justice.    0 out of 5 Kernels; this movie was absolute Kryptonite for the audience.

Monday, June 3, 2013

One Minute Movie Review: The Last Stand

Completely implausible, poorly written, and badly acted, Arnie's first full length comeback feature is the absolute worst addition to his iconic resume.  Kim Jee-Woon, who dabbles mostly in the Asian macabre, makes his directorial action debut in this overtly violent and bloody, absolutely underwhelming disaster of a film.  The entire casts’ performances are on par with a made for TV Syfy Channel movie, so mechanical and unoriginal they are laughable.  The Big Al fares no better as even his one liners fall short, about as amusing and entertaining as watching C-SPAN on mute.  Add in a plot and stunts that are so unbelievably ridiculous that they would only make sense to co star Johnny Knoxville after one too many head shots by Steve-O on a meth driven episode of Jackass.  Based on this celluloid messterpiece, I think Arnie's next big project should be a deeply introspective look into retirement.   0 out of 5 Kernels; this film was a Raw Deal that couldn't be rescued by a team of Commandos, only proving that Schwarzenegger's talent may be Terminated, and his career Expendable.