Friday, May 31, 2013

Scream 3 Movie Review

Because the first Scream ushered in a new era of cheap Hollywood slasher films, it just feels wildly out of place to find yourself watching Scream 3 attempting to be all self-referential and ironic about the tropes of the genre after a slew of other films started repeating the formula unironically. Screenwriter Ehren Kruger took over the responsibility for penning this entry from original creator Kevin Williamson (but Wes Craven returned to direct). What he did, I suppose in an attempt to freshen things up, was to set the slashing amid the making of the latest “Stab” film (you might remember that’s the series based on the murders that took place in the first film.  So we get treated to lazy jokes about Hollywood and actors and directors and screenwriters that pale in comparison to the satire of, say, The Player or Wag the Dog.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Short Cut Movie Review: Boyz N the Hood

Short Cut Movie Review is normally less than 400 words, but in some cases may go slightly over. This is my attempt to keep writing about as many films as I see without getting bogged down with trying to find more to say. They are meant to be brief snapshots of my reaction to a movie without too much depth.

When I watched Colors a few years ago I discovered what felt like an incredibly dated piece of urban crime drama. Reading old reviews I found the original reception hailed it as gritty and realistic. In the case of Boyz N the Hood, I had already seen it several times before watching it again recently, but still found much of it very dated. Perhaps it’s a general problem with all urban crime dramas of that period that they now feel like they’re from another era.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Short Cut Movie Review: Scream 2

Short Cut Movie Review is normally less than 400 words, but in some cases may go slightly over. This is my attempt to keep writing about as many films as I see without getting bogged down with trying to find more to say. They are meant to be brief snapshots of my reaction to a movie without too much depth.

Where Scream succeeded, Scream 2 feebly attempted to repeat the formula in sequel mode. The problem is that the formula was already starting to wear thin and show the seams. It takes the premise of the first and transfers it to Sidney’s (Neve Campbell) college, where her new boyfriend (Jerry O’Connell) is obviously a prime suspect in the new spate of murders. Gale Weathers (Courtney Cox) is back covering the story and Deputy Dewey (David Arquette), hobbled though he is by the wounds received the first time around, is prowling the campus making the same dopey observations. The film is also littered with famous faces, most of whom were rising stars at the time, who get dispatched (Sarah Michelle Gellar; Omar Epps; Jada Pinkett; Rebecca Gay Heart; Joshua Jackson; Timothy Olyphant).

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Hitting the Wall and Carrying On

I've kind of hit a wall.

I sit down to write a review for a film I watched yesterday, or two days ago, or a week ago and I just can't discipline myself to do it.

Am I losing interest in writing reviews? After only three years? Perhaps. It could also be that at this time of year more of my attention gets diverted to running, which gives me less time for writing.

Part of the problem I know for sure is that I just can't summon words to fill a review for the latest Hollywood blockbuster. I just can't do it anymore. I go to see Oz the Great and Powerful (awful) or Iron Man 3 (reasonably good) and writing about these movies is just fruitless. I mean I derive almost nothing out of thinking about these movies.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Mud Movie Review

Through its association with The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn alone, the Mississippi River evokes something distinctly American, although even Twain was seizing upon the sense of adventure wrought by explorers from Lewis and Clark onward who ventured west in search of the country’s Manifest Destiny. The River is a dividing line between the east with its magnificent cities, institutions of higher learning, tamed land, and civilization, and the new frontier, lawlessness, and new beginnings of the east. More than that, the Mississippi is a mighty river, flowing hard and fast, washing away the junk people don’t want or try to hid, and occasionally carrying people southward, like Huck Finn and Jim, to escape.

25 Years Ago This Month: May 1988

We start with what I've seen:

Wow! The Wrong Guys featured five stand-up comedians (Louie Anderson; Richard Lewis; Richard Belzer; Franklyn Ajaye; Tim Thomerson) who are now much less remembered for their stand-up than for other things (if they're remembered at all) who get together in a little Scouts reunion to try climb the mountain they never managed to conquer as kids in a variation the midlife crisis plot.

Of course I already reviewed Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood in last October's "31 Days of Horror Reviews".

To my recollection Willow was one of only two movies from the year I saw in the theater, and also one of only about a half dozen I'd seen in my lifetime to that point. Warwick Davis and Val Kilmer star alongside one another in a fantasy adventure story produced by George Lucas and directed by Ron Howard so it's the very definition of childish kitsch.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Oz the Great and Powerful Movie Review

Remember when the great advance in film technology was having animated characters interact with human actors? From the simplistic designs of Mary Poppins to the sophisticated effects of Who Framed Roger Rabbit the union of live action and animation was a marvel used sparingly. Today we have Oz the Great and Powerful which is a demonstration of what happens when that technology runs amok.