The Gallows (2015)

by Sara Michelle Fetters - October 30th, 2015 - Blu-ray and DVD

The Gallows isn’t very good. I gave it a second chance mainly because I feel like the filmmakers do have some talent, and while the idea they’ve come up for the film isn’t entirely original it’s still solid enough the potentially for a solid ghost story is definitely present. But it’s just so dumb, consistently so. Worse than that, it’s boring, trying to watch it again, even while folding laundry and doing dishes, about as tedious an operation as any I’ve attempted in quite some time.

The Gallows isn’t very good. I gave it a second chance mainly because I feel like the filmmakers do have some talent, and while the idea they’ve come up for the film isn’t entirely original it’s still solid enough the potentially for a solid ghost story is definitely present. But it’s just so dumb, consistently so. Worse than that, it’s boring, trying to watch it again, even while folding laundry and doing dishes, about as tedious an operation as any I’ve attempted in quite some time.

Burnt (2015)

by Sara Michelle Fetters - October 29th, 2015 - Movie Reviews

All of which makes Burnt an intriguing misfire that’s impossible to dislike yet difficult to fully embrace. I appreciate what Knight and Wells are attempting, like how they desire to tell a story from the middle in, not wasting a lot of time recounting events we don’t need to know a lot about…It’s all too familiar, too rudimentary, and while the kitchen they’re working in is top-of-the-line the meal they ultimately prepare isn’t that much better than a Denny’s breakfast left under the heat lamps a few minutes too many.

All of which makes Burnt an intriguing misfire that’s impossible to dislike yet difficult to fully embrace. I appreciate what Knight and Wells are attempting, like how they desire to tell a story from the middle in, not wasting a lot of time recounting events we don’t need to know a lot about…It’s all too familiar, too rudimentary, and while the kitchen they’re working in is top-of-the-line the meal they ultimately prepare isn’t that much better than a Denny’s breakfast left under the heat lamps a few minutes too many.

Our Brand is Crisis (2015)

by Sara Michelle Fetters - October 29th, 2015 - Movie Reviews

The movie’s satirical jabs at the political process are familiar across the board, and not a single thing anyone says or does is near as shocking as it needs to be in order for the film to resonate on a meaningful level. It’s pretty standard stuff, most of the narrative elements content to roam along the surface, the script rarely, if ever, digging deeply enough to matter as far as the bigger overarching picture is concerned.

The movie’s satirical jabs at the political process are familiar across the board, and not a single thing anyone says or does is near as shocking as it needs to be in order for the film to resonate on a meaningful level. It’s pretty standard stuff, most of the narrative elements content to roam along the surface, the script rarely, if ever, digging deeply enough to matter as far as the bigger overarching picture is concerned.

Truth (2015)

by Sara Michelle Fetters - October 29th, 2015 - Movie Reviews

Journalism isn’t above its own sort of reproach when stories are not vetted as they should be, and even if the core is correct and the conclusions are factual few are going to care if they can pick apart the puzzle pieces that supposedly lead there. Truth (2015), as much as I agree with many of its contentions, fails to hold itself to the same level of scrutiny as it does those going after Mapes and Rather, and as such never feels as authentic as it should have.

Journalism isn’t above its own sort of reproach when stories are not vetted as they should be, and even if the core is correct and the conclusions are factual few are going to care if they can pick apart the puzzle pieces that supposedly lead there. Truth (2015), as much as I agree with many of its contentions, fails to hold itself to the same level of scrutiny as it does those going after Mapes and Rather, and as such never feels as authentic as it should have.

Narcopolis (2015)

by Sara Michelle Fetters - October 25th, 2015 - Movie Reviews

Narcopolis never rises above mediocre as far as story is concerned, building to a supposedly slam-bang stunner of a finish that’s nowhere near as inspired as I think the director intends it to be. While Cowan is a solid Dana Andrews meet Harrison Ford clone, his performance alone isn’t enough to make up for the structural silliness of the plot itself, and while Trefgarne shows promise behind the camera his skills as a screenwriter sadly still leave something to be desired.

Narcopolis never rises above mediocre as far as story is concerned, building to a supposedly slam-bang stunner of a finish that’s nowhere near as inspired as I think the director intends it to be. While Cowan is a solid Dana Andrews meet Harrison Ford clone, his performance alone isn’t enough to make up for the structural silliness of the plot itself, and while Trefgarne shows promise behind the camera his skills as a screenwriter sadly still leave something to be desired.

Suffragette (2015)

by Sara Michelle Fetters - October 25th, 2015 - Movie Reviews

The line between historical fidelity and narrative creativity isn’t always a comfortable one, and there are times I did wish the filmmakers had taken a more documentary-like approach, especially as it pertained to the more violent and disturbing clashes with the police. Yet, overall, Gavron’s approach is spot-on, and the way she allows Maud to tell her own story at her own pace only augments the emotional purity of all she endures and overcomes, giving Suffragette a universality that’s sublime.

The line between historical fidelity and narrative creativity isn’t always a comfortable one, and there are times I did wish the filmmakers had taken a more documentary-like approach, especially as it pertained to the more violent and disturbing clashes with the police. Yet, overall, Gavron’s approach is spot-on, and the way she allows Maud to tell her own story at her own pace only augments the emotional purity of all she endures and overcomes, giving Suffragette a universality that’s sublime.

Jurassic World 3D (2015)

by Sara Michelle Fetters - October 23rd, 2015 - Blu-ray and DVD

I really like [Jurassic World], enjoy what Trevorrow has done with it, finding the film fantastically enjoyable even if, in the end, it’s not doing a lot more than rehash events from the first one if only on a much larger scale. It works, plain and simple, and as such it’s arguably my second favorite in the entire series and the only sequel I’m likely to re-watch somewhat regularly.

I really like [Jurassic World], enjoy what Trevorrow has done with it, finding the film fantastically enjoyable even if, in the end, it’s not doing a lot more than rehash events from the first one if only on a much larger scale. It works, plain and simple, and as such it’s arguably my second favorite in the entire series and the only sequel I’m likely to re-watch somewhat regularly.

Jem and the Holograms (2015)

by Sara Michelle Fetters - October 23rd, 2015 - Movie Reviews

My heart more often than not just wasn’t in it, the fact the priceless bits are sensational only making the stuff that doesn’t work that much more catastrophic. Funny thing, even with that being so, I still kind of want to like Jem and the Holograms in spite of all its missteps and shortcomings, and if that isn’t truly outrageous in and of itself I’m not sure what else would be.

My heart more often than not just wasn’t in it, the fact the priceless bits are sensational only making the stuff that doesn’t work that much more catastrophic. Funny thing, even with that being so, I still kind of want to like Jem and the Holograms in spite of all its missteps and shortcomings, and if that isn’t truly outrageous in and of itself I’m not sure what else would be.

The Last Witch Hunter (2015)

by Sara Michelle Fetters - October 23rd, 2015 - Movie Reviews

[Director Breck] Eisner is talented, and I’m going to assume he’s got another The Crazies – hopefully more than one – in him at some point, but The Last Witch Hunter isn’t it. This is a bad movie. More, it’s a waste of time, and I feel more than a little terrible for those who spend hard-earned money on a ticket to watch it.

[Director Breck] Eisner is talented, and I’m going to assume he’s got another The Crazies – hopefully more than one – in him at some point, but The Last Witch Hunter isn’t it. This is a bad movie. More, it’s a waste of time, and I feel more than a little terrible for those who spend hard-earned money on a ticket to watch it.

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