Monthly Archives: February 2008

Review: Vantage Point

vantage_point_xlgRecently, there has been a run of films which should be good based on everything from idea to cast to behind the camera talent and yet they just don’t work. Vantage Point is the latest entry in this long and distinguished list.

The film steals it’s basic idea from Akira Kurosawa’s Rashômon, where the same event is seen from differing perspectives. The idea is that when seen from a different angle, different things become more apparent. Here, the central event is the attempted assassination of the President of The United States (William Hurt) while at a summit meeting in Spain and the efforts of Secret Serviceman Thomas Barnes (Dennis Quaid), who took a bullet for his Commandeer-in-Chief a year prior, to solve the crime. Continue reading

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Review: Jumper

jumper_ver7The biggest problem with Doug Liman’s new action film Jumper is that, well, it’s boring. There’s not enough action in it to keep the plot moving and not enough drama to really engage the viewer. Ultimately, it feels like an engine misfiring on three out of four cylinders – you can feel the power there, but it’s just not getting through.

The story is easily digestible and doesn’t tax the brain too much. David Rice (Hayden Christensen), the class wimp, discovers he has the power to teleport himself to anyplace he’s seen and so, at fifteen, he quits school and uses this new found ability to rob banks and generally live the life of an international bon vivant. When a shadow law enforcement agency, in the form of Roland (a white haired Samuel L. Jackson) suddenly shows up, knowing about David’s strange power, things start to unravel. He thinks the best course of action is to go home to Detroit, find his high school crush Millie (Rachel Bilson) and jet off to Rome. No, this doesn’t make much sense to me either. Continue reading

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Review: In Bruges

in_brugesThe genre of hitman movies has just gotten another addition in the form of In Bruges, and this one deserves the accolades. Contrary to the trailers, which paint the film as a comedy in the same vein as Gross Pointe Blank(another standout in the field), In Bruges takes its subject matter very seriously, infusing humor into a dark, compelling drama.

The story is simple: two hitmen, Ken (Brendan Gleeson) and Ray (Colin Farrell) have just finished a job and are hiding out in Bruges, an idyllic tourist attraction in Belgium, waiting for instructions from their boss, Harry (Ralph Fiennes). Of course, there’s more to it than that. There always is. Here though, we get the whole story in pealed of layers, each time we learn something new, we must rethink what has gone before and put that bit of information into its proper place. In Bruges, then, is not your typical shoot ’em up. It is a film for those who want their action mixed in with thought-provoking conversation. Continue reading

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Review: Cloverfield

What is it? After months of hype and speculation, the J.J. Abrams produced monster movie Cloverfield finally hits the big screen and you know what? We still don’t know what it means. And that’s okay. From the get go this has been a high-concept affair – “Blair Witch Project meets Godzilla” – and it mostly delivers what it has been promising since we first saw the head of the Statue of Liberty come sailing out of the sky back in June. Continue reading

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Review: Fool’s Gold

There’s something about an underwater treasure hunt that gets my blood pumping. It brings out the pirate in me. Show me a film with promises of buried gold, shipwrecks and archaeological history and I’m first in line. Thankfully, Fool’s Gold delivers. Mostly. Yes, there are chests of gold and sunken boats but there are also a few too many coincidences, silly dialogue and some weak performances.

The film opens with treasure hunter Finn (Matthew McConaughey) and his partner Alfonz (Ewen Bremner) discovering the missing piece of a jigsaw puzzle, which, we will find out, has been plaguing Finn for many years. Of course, we don’t understand the significance of the shard of a plate, not yet, but that’s part of what works inFool’s Gold. It’s a mystery and it takes almost the whole two hours of the film to completely unravel. Continue reading

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