Riddick – Mini Review


Riddick is a ‘B Movie’ and makes absolutely no apologies for it. This is a good thing. There has been a trend in recent years to try to make action movies far more complicated than they really need to be. Riddick on the other hand is a nice simple tale of one man trying to survive in a hostile world with all the odds against him.

The first 30 minutes or so of the movie are almost entirely without dialogue, evoking memories of Conan the Barbarian. Like Conan, the cinematography and sound are absolutely beautiful, and Vin Diesel is perfect for the role of the modern-day fantasy hero. There are a number of great scenery chewing supporting performances, but this is Diesel’s movie and he doesn’t disappoint.

I actually enjoyed The Chronicles of Riddick, which seems to put me in the minority – but I think with Riddick, Vin Diesel has proven that this franchise has plenty of life left in it. This is a Conan for the modern age, and I hope we see more of him.


This is the End – Mini Review


This is the End is a moderately funny movie that thinks it’s a lot more clever than it actually is. It’s a movie for Hollywood, by Hollywood. Film stars are popping in left and right to make fun of their public personas, some more successfully than others. The cameos littered throughout the early portion of the film provide a few laughs here and there, but it begins to establish the film’s major flaw of feeling self-indulgent.

As anyone who has seen the trailer knows, the main conceit of the film is a bunch of movie stars left behind on earth during the biblical apocalypse. The plot doesn’t really get more complicated than that. This is primarily a film with six actors saying: ‘Look at me! Isn’t it cool how I can poke fun at myself and my movie roles?’

There are some genuinely funny moments throughout the film, but they only really serve to highlight how dull and predictable the rest of the film is. I wanted to like the movie, and kept hoping it would get better, but it never managed to rise above ‘meh’.


Einstein and Eddington – Mini Review


It’s hard to imagine a time when Einstein wasn’t the most famous scientist in modern history, but Einstein and Eddington takes us back to a time when Newton was the be-all and end-all when it came to our understanding of the universe.

The main problem with this film is that it can’t really decide what it’s about. Albert Einstein rails against the German scientists creating horrible weapons of war, Eddington struggles with his homosexuality as well as fighting against the pro-Newton establishment. Einstein’s marriage is breaking up and he starts breaking another woman’s heart as soon as he arrives in Berlin, and – somewhere along the way – Eddington manages to prove Einstein’s theories and change the world overnight.

This is an incredibly fascinating period of history, and it is a disservice to try and tell all the small details in a 90 minute movie. While both Andy Serkis and David Tennant put in great performances, this really feels like someone cut the best bits out of a miniseries and stuck them all together in a film, leaving it to feel like a series of vignettes rather than a coherent movie. I hope someone can take this subject matter and give it the breathing room it deserves in future.


The Secret Life of Walter Mitty – Mini Review


The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is a touching little film that appeals to the dreamer in all of us. I’m sure everyone can recall at least one occasion where they’ve escaped into fantasy to avoid boredom at the office, or to imagine a far better version of an encounter with a potential partner.

While the film does a good job of slotting Walter’s fantasies into the story, his real world adventures feel a bit too easy. It’s nice to imagine that we could pick up and leave our lives to go skateboarding across Greenland or hiking in Afghanistan, but there doesn’t really seem to be any real consequences that Walter has to deal with. The ending also feels a little too easy, but this is Hollywood after all.

Visually, the film is a treat; perfectly capturing the beauty of the various lands that Walter has to journey through. This adds a great deal to the film, and allows us to feel as if we are on the journey along with him. The supporting cast puts in some great performances in the little time they have, but Ben Stiller really carries this film, and carries it well.

Overall, this is a nice way to spend a couple of hours.


Paranoia Review

An entry-level employee at a powerful corporation finds himself occupying a corner office, but at a dangerous price: he must spy on his boss’s old mentor to secure for him a multi-billion dollar advantage.


Paranoia has to be one of the most poorly titled films to come out in recent memory. The trailer promises all sort of intrigue and betrayal – and with a cast including Harrison Ford, Gary Oldman, and Richard Dreyfuss – it looked like we were getting an interesting thriller to tide us over until the Christmas release season. What we get instead is a dull, predictable, paint-by-numbers movie that fails to deliver on any of the promises made by the film’s marketing department. Continue reading

Film Review – Hitchcock

A love story about one of the most influential filmmakers of the last century, Alfred Hitchcock and his wife and partner Alma Reville. The film takes place during the making of Hitchcock’s seminal movie Psycho.

Hitchcock_BannerAlfred Hitchcock. Even people who aren’t into film have usually heard of him; and you can bet they’ve heard of his most popular film Psycho. But despite what you may have heard, Hitchcock is not really about the making of Psycho. It is instead a look into the psyche of the great director, and the sometimes tumultuous relationship he has with his wife Alma. This is a movie that looks at the price of fame on Alfred Hitchcock, and those around him. An incredibly personal tale of obsession and the darker nature of the human psyche, as well as how often we take those around us for granted.

Continue reading

Web Review – On Empty

Years: 2011-2012

Writers/Performers: Vince Foster, Tyler Haines

Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/user/onempty1

“The Z listers guide to making it in Hollywood”

Everyone’s got a camera these days. Everyone has access to YouTube. Everyone knows a guy who is just the funniest/goofiest/wackiest/craziest/most psycho dude you will ever meet. Everyone – if you spend forty seconds perusing the YouTube channel menu – has clearly gone into the business of making comedy shows.

Everyone shouldn’t.

But Vince and Tyler should. Continue reading