I wanted to give Chappie a second chance, if only to see if there were things lurking inside of it that I might have missed the first time around that would allow me to see the film is an entirely different light. No such luck.
Of the five films nominated for last year’s Best Foreign Language Film Academy Award Wild Tales has slowly but surely become my favorite of the bunch. Sony’s Blu-ray presentation is superb, and interested viewers are urged to pick this disc up as soon as they can.
But the joy and the fun found inside of Empire of the Ants is undeniable, the unabashed whacked-out silliness of it all making it one of director Bert I. Gordon’s “better” (and I use that word loosely) cinematic achievements.
What else happens? Tons of activity, consternation, lip gloss primping, accusations, recriminations and looks of astonishment, but actually very little of substance as far as the main plot points established way back when in the very first season are concerned. It’s all foreplay…
While following a template that could hardly be considered original, the film is nonetheless a quirky, authentically emotional, structurally complex gem that builds its central relationships with a delightfully delicate touch. It refuses to bend or compromise, and while the picture wears its indie street cred like a badge of honor it doesn’t get so arch or artificial as to make any character’s growth or maturation feel fake or insincere.
Here’s what’s happening in Episode #12 (download .mp3) of the Cinema Squabble Podcast. This week, the Squabblers find time to dig into the films Spy with Melissa McCarthy, the drama Love & Mercy, horror sequel Insidious 3, and the return of dino mania in Jurassic World. Further into the show, guests Carl Spence and Beth […]
It does nothing with any of the high school movie clichés it’s supposedly mocking while at the same time has trouble developing its characters. Additionally, [Barely Lethal] pulls ideas and inspiration from a variety of sources ranging from Fast Times at Ridgemont High to Heathers to She’s All That to Mean Girls to D.E.B.S. yet fails to make a single one of them its own, the lack of urgency downright perplexing.
Bonello’s movie looks terrific, and it certainly goes out of its way to craft an intoxicating ambience that’s beguiling, but it’s so ungainly, unfocused and flat-out long, sticking with it beginning to end is frustratingly difficult. It all feels uncomfortably unfinished, the resulting motion picture just not ready to walk down the runway with anything approaching confidence.
Fast-paced, character-driven, filled with spectacle and heart, Jurassic World is a surprisingly intimate coming of age saga for both its adult and adolescent characters alike, building to a suitably heart-pounding bit of creature-based carnage that is almost certain to illicit cheers from the majority of the audience.