Friday, September 17, 2010
I can describe The Town in one word, intense. Portions of this film physically had me on the edge of my seat. It might sound cliche, but I can't think of a better way to describe this film. I missed Ben Affleck's first feature in Gone Baby Gone, but heard good things about it. After watching The Town I assume they were right, if it was any where near as good as this film.
The Town is about a bank robbery, and the people involved from the robbers, victims, and police officers. Ben Affleck's character is one of the bank robbers, who becomes involved with a victim of their recent heist. With the police on their trail, and his growing relationship with the woman puts a strain on his life. I won't go to much deeper into the story and risk spoiling some great moments in the film.
The cast here all bring their A game, with Affleck himself stealing the show with his charm. When it comes to the acting I can't think of a single weak link. I also have to heap praise onto Affleck again for directing this film. The direction is what really helps build the intense atmosphere that swells with every action scene.
Should you go out and see this film? Yes, and yes. Please go out and support this great film, you will not be disappointed.
Final Score: A-
With this release the Night Chronicles has officially begun. For those not aware of what the Night Chronicles are, it is a series of films being produced by M. Night Shyamalan. If that name alone makes you groan, then perhaps it will ease your mind to know Shyamalan himself will not be directing any of the films. The story concepts are from his mind, but his creative involvement ends there. This project is way to let new blood sit in the director's chair, and we can only hope they turn out better than most recent films with Shyamalan's name attached to them.
First out the gate is Devil, a psychological thriller about a group of strangers trapped in an elevator. Doesn't seem very thrilling you say? What if one of them could possibly be ... the DEVIL ?!? ... Eh that still sounds kind of dull if you ask me. Does the devil have nothing better to do then dick around with people on an elevator? Anyway, so how is it? Well it's ... okay. I didn't hate the movie, but I certainly didn't love it either.
My major problem with the film is how bored I was through most of it, and how little is shown in what is supposed to be a movie. The action only happens when the lights go out in the elevator, so you are left looking at a black screen listening to thuds and screams. It's supposed to create an atmosphere, but when you don't really care about any of these characters then why should you care if one of them happens to be the devil?
The entire movie can't take place in an elevator, so the movie also adds on a police officer on the scene who does his best CSI act trying to use logic to piece together who the killer might be. If this were a murder mystery it might have worked, and been suspenseful and interesting. However this movie is called Devil, who happens to play a major part to the plot so logic doesn't exactly fit into the equation. In the end all of the cop's deductions mean nothing, and are pointless.
The cast are nearly all fresh faces. I can't think of any time I've seen any of these actors in major roles before. For the most they all perform well, but with poorly written dialogue it's hard for anyone to really shine.
So should you take the time to check out the beginning of the Night Chronicles? I say check it out if you're at all interested, but if you could care less then the movie won't change those feelings. If you need something to watch this weekend, maybe skip Devil and watch The Town instead.
Final Score: C
Thursday, September 9, 2010
I took a bit of a break from reviewing movies last week for my trip to Dragon-Con, so to quickly sum up last week's releases, skip The American and go watch Machete. While The American is a decent film it can be extremely boring, while Machete is just a ton of fun. In fact go watch Machete again this weekend and stay far away from the movie I'm about to review.
I love the Resident Evil series, correction, I love the video game series. I loathe the film series that shares the same name. The first movie was tolerable, but since then each new installment has gotten worst than the last. Resident Evil Afterlife does not break this trend, and stands at the top as the worst of the bunch.
If you happened to watch the previous film you might remember a few of the incredibly stupid plot points introduced, such as Alice having psychic powers and forming an army of clones. Don't worry though they wipe out all of that within the first ten minutes of this film, by killing off every clone and turning the real Alice human again. Good thing they got rid of those idiotic ideas, but wait this leaves it open for even worst ideas.
What is the worst thing they could have possibly done at this point? Ride on the coat tails of the recent 3D trend of course. The creators of the movie seem to believe that using 3D means that everything must be shot in slow-motion so the audience can see the objects flying at the screen for long stretches of time. I hate it when slow-motion is abused to the point that it feels like padding to draw out the film's length.
I'll quickly mention the actors of the film, starting with the supporting cast. Everyone does a decent job with what little they have to work, and really most of them should have been the real stars of the movie. Then we get to the lead played once again by Milla Jovovich who continues to show no emotion, and speaking in the same dull sounding voice she always has. It doesn't help when the movie throws in pointless video logs from her character, forcing us to listen to boring dialogue that is poorly delivered.
I hate this movie and wish the series would finally die out, but like the zombies of the film it continues to rise from the grave every so many years to haunt me. Please do not waste your money on this piece of crap. I now give this the lowest score I have ever given a film since I started these reviews.
Final Score: F