While shooting Taken, Liam Neeson thought this movie would be a straight-to-video actioner, but he was getting paid to work in Paris, so it was a fair trade under the circumstances. Based on the crudest outline of the plot, it’s easy to see where he would make that mistake.
What makes this movie work, and elevated it to the cinematic first team, was an emotionally valid setup and an actor with the chops for the important father/daughter dynamic, and who can still credibly bring off the physical requirements the action scenes.
Wanted is the ultimate vacation movie, meaning that first your brain takes a vacation, followed by the laws of physics. Finally everything resembling logic just sort of buggers off and joins them on holiday. It’s bloody, sexy, brutish, noisy fun.
Yeah, that’s right. I said fun. As pleasures go, this one is guiltier than O.J.
Maybe it’s a side-effect of just watching The Fighter, but the title Frost/Nixon makes this film sound more like a prize fight. The comparison is not wholly inappropriate. David Frost (Michael Sheen) was a media bantamweight trying to move up in class while Richard Nixon (Frank Langella) was a political heavyweight looking for an easy tune-up for his eventual rehabilitation from the Watergate scandal.
Combine a completely unnecessary remake of a 1950s science-fiction classic with a starring role for Keanu Reeves and you have a recipe for nothing to get excited about. In that respect, the 2008 version of The Day the Earth Stood Still does not disappoint. It unsuccessfully tries to hide its narrative emptiness behind a noisy CGI light show and half-hearted lip service to a ripped-from-the-headlines current-events subject.
Jason Statham actually gets to do some real acting in this nifty, fact-based caper movie set in the early seventies. Period music and a generally sexy vibe don’t hurt the entertainment value, either.
I think I’ve discovered at least one of the secrets of Pixar’s inexplicably consistent excellence. Many movies are so desperately eager to dazzle us visually, put their technical prowess on display, that they lose sight of anything resembling story. Pixar seems to wade into each project with supreme confidence in their ability to provide a feast for our eyeballs. This self-assuredness allows them to focus on details like story and character, things that turn a mere lightshow into an enchanting narrative and even help it transcend the boundary into art.
If you are not going to entertain us, you could at least make it educational. A feature-length version of those Geico caveman commercials would have been better than this example of under-evolved, Neanderthal cinema.
The Blair Witch Project meets Godzilla. Some idiot keeps his video camera on the whole time while monsters are trying to kill him and destroy New York. Before the munching even starts, however, you will be more annoyed than entertained.
Ben Stein lets some creationists cry on his shoulder, and then he blames Darwin for Hitler. In short, this is a rancid slab of dishonest propaganda of which Joseph Goebbels would have earnestly approved.
This is an above-average action comedy that doesn’t have a lot to do with the classic 1960s TV series, despite some affectionate nods in that direction.
This Will Smith vehicle begins with a neat premise and starts strong before degenerating into a series of noisy, hollow—Whoa, talk about déjà vu!
In concert, the Rolling Stones can still rock the house. The lesser-known chestnuts and covers are played with passion, but after forty years classics like “Satisfaction” are starting to sound hollow and forced.
Plus, at his age, Keith Richards looks less like a guitar god and more like a bag lady. Ditch the head scarves, Keith! It’s not a good look for you…