Archive for the ‘★ ★ ½’ Category
Based on the timeless Belgian comics by Hergé, directed by Steven Spielberg, produced by Peter Jackson (The Lord of the Rings) and brought to life using the same motion capture technology popularized by Robert Zemeckis (The Polar Express) and perfected by James Cameron (Avatar), The Adventures of Tintin bears, in theory, all the promise of a cinematic event. Not so in execution. Part gumshoe mystery, part animated Indiana Jones, [...]
A fantastic sci-fi horror film brimming with suspense and packed with elaborate special effects, The Thing is an example of genre filmmaking at its finest, while also standing out as one of the few examples of a remake that actually improves upon the earlier film. Unfortunately, I am referring to John Carpenter’s 1982 film – itself a remake of 1951’s The Thing from Another World – and not the 2011 [...]
If you squint really hard during Matthijs van Heijningen Jr.’s The Thing, you might notice that it’s actually prequel to John Carpenter’s 1982 horror classic and not a remake. But just barely. The two films are plotted so similarly that if van Heijningen Jr.’s The Thing played out a few days later and a few clicks south, it’d be Carpenter’s The Thing. Only, you know, not nearly as good.
I realise [...]
At what point does a cinematic courtship get out of hand? At what point does one begin to grow weary of the two people onscreen continuing to ignore the fact that they are Perfect For Each Other? Is at the one decade mark? Two decades? Or – let’s throw a spanner in the works – is it less a matter of duration than it is one of execution? I’ll hazard [...]
Director Shawn Levy (Cheaper by the Dozen, Night at the Museum) has made a cozy career out of middling family films, and his latest effort, the robo-rumble Real Steel, is no exception. Set in a not-too-distant 2020 — you know it’s the future the moment you see wind turbines, as no government in the present would approve a renewable energy scheme — the film is based on a short story [...]
“Apes will rise” stresses the film’s marketing campaign, presumably since a title like Rise of the Planet of the Apes is just too darn ambiguous in a post-Snakes on a Plane world to decipher. And rise the apes do — eventually. Because we can’t have apes rising all willy-nilly, now can we? They’ve got to be provoked. They’ve got to earn it. So, in order to get to the promised [...]
Home to the oldest rock paintings and archeological marvels in world, the Chauvet Cave in South France could certainly serve as an interesting focal point for a documentary. Yet if the cave’s custodians genuinely wanted to chronicle the scientific and cultural importance of the site, German filmmaker Werner Herzog probably wasn’t the right choice for the job. The 68-year-old auteur behind feature films such as Fitzcarraldo and Bad Lieutenant: Port [...]
Pixar are, in a word, perfectionists. The animation studio’s trophy cabinet — housing no less than twenty-six Oscars and seven Golden Globes — should be evidence enough. Yet even virtuosos are subject to the occasional lapse in judgment; days when they produce something that doesn’t quite live up to their own impossibly high standard. Something like 2006’s Cars, for example.
Now call me an optimist, but I like to believe that [...]