Upon the news of Gangster Squad’s development, I was initially excited. I mean, one, it’s a gangster flick, two, it’s got a pretty solid cast, and three, I greatly enjoyed director Ruben Fleischer’s directing debut Zombieland (I never saw 30 Minutes or Less). The trailer was polarizing for some, but I thought it looked like a fun movie...
Thursday, January 17, 2013
I am no fan of romantic comedies. Romance itself is a genre that is easy to screw up, though it’s one of my favorites if done well; but comedy? It’s called the lowest form of entertainment for a reason, and it’s got some of the laziest movies out there. Combining the two results in some of the most soul-deprived movies out there – something that, based off of the name of the genre, you think there should be an abundance of. The latest film from David O. Russell, Silver Linings Playbook, is a romantic comedy that doesn’t hesitate to deviate from the derivative whimsical tropes and atmospheres of other films of its genre. The drama portrayed is handled so well that you’ll sympathize with the characters and their dilemmas while also laughing at the absurdity of their actions and reactions to them, aided in no small part by the strong performances from the cast.
Sunday, January 13, 2013
From director Park Chan-Wook, perhaps best known for his acclaimed film (and one of my personal favorites) Oldboy; I’m a Cyborg, But That’s OK is just as surreal and abnormal as its title suggests. Revolving around a budding romance between an anti-social kleptomaniac and a young woman who believes herself to be a cyborg within a mental institution, the movie manages to perfectly utilize the absurdity of its premise and of the events within the film to create a delightful movie that will make you laugh, cringe, and feel sorrow.
Tuesday, January 8, 2013
Two common criticisms of films are their deviation from the source material from which they are adapted, or prioritizing style over substance. Zack Snyder’s Watchmen is apparently very true to the graphic novel that it’s based on (with few differences), and has the substance to balance out the style. However, these are flaws with the movie, and not praises – the movie is strangled by its devotion to the comic, and consequently fails to engross you in the substance, while possibly repulsing you with the style.
Saturday, January 5, 2013
Hollywood is infamous for its vast amount of remakes, sequels, and adaptations from books, comics, and television programs, but Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl broke new ground by being adapted from a ride at Walt Disney theme parks. However, undoubtedly to the surprise of many, it was actually a success, slightly so critically, but largely so financially, setting the foundation for one of the highest grossing film series of all time. Ignoring the fact that the film was based on an amusement park ride, what further made this success a marvel was the fact that pirate films hadn’t been popular in some time, the last one being the bomb that was Cutthroat Island in 1995.
Friday, January 4, 2013
Directed by Guillermo del Toro and adapted from Mike Mignola’s comic book mini-series Hellboy: Seed of Destruction, Hellboy was released in 2004 to success both financially and critically. Del Toro was a perfect choice to direct due to his flair pertaining to dark fantasy, weird fiction, and practical effects, all of which are implemented in the film to its benefit.
Thursday, January 3, 2013
All of my life I have been a fan of anime, science fiction, and post-apocalyptic fiction. Akira is a combination of all three of these, which alone justifies my love for the film. However, there is much more to Akira that has made it one of the most popular anime movies, and allowed it to withstand the test of time just as much as its source material from which it is adapted. At over 2,000 pages long, the film is not a bad way to acquaint yourself with the series, as it is guaranteed to have you wanting to read the manga once you have finished it.
Wednesday, January 2, 2013
The Dark Knight Rises is the highly anticipated conclusion to the successful Dark Knight saga, directed by renowned filmmaker Christopher Nolan. I feel it would only be appropriate to begin this review by stating my personal opinion on the prior installments to the series. I enjoyed Batman Begins, and found it a pretty good movie, albeit also quite flawed in various areas as well. While The Dark Knight corrected many of Begins’ missteps, and has made its own well-earned stamp in film history, I do not hold it to as high of regards as many of its fans do. In the months building up to the film’s release, I often found myself debating my friends on what the quality ultimately would be of this movie – I didn’t have as much confidence in it as they did. And still now, even months after having seen it for the first time, we still stand on opposite spectrums, holding to our same stances.
Tuesday, January 1, 2013
Rurouni Kenshin is an adaptation of the famous Shonen manga of the same name (also known as Samurai X) written and illustrated by Nobuhiro Watsuki. I often watched the anime, which was also adapted from the original manga, during its course on Cartoon Network’s Toonami, and I occasionally read the manga while it was featured in the monthly Shonen Jump, but it has been some years since then, and I’ve had little to do with the series since. Upon this film’s release, I took interest out of a nostalgic curiosity, and I’m quite satisfied to report that this film has reminded me why I loved the show and manga, and would spark interest in near anyone who was unfamiliar with them.