Showing posts from 2015

American Ultra reviewed

Glib Review of  American Ultra - Directed By Nima Nourizadeh
Max Landis scripted this at times funny, at times kind of creepy and weird dramedy about a stoner (Jesse Eisenberg) who turns out to be a deadly sleeper agent for the CIA. Eisenberg nails the stoner part, and the deadly assassin part with equal aplomb. This might be my favourite performance for both him and Kirsten Stewart, who I didn’t recognize right away, watching the movie. No dead eyed staring from her in this picture, like in Runaways K-Stew brings her actual acting chops to bear, and is good in a role that starts off great, realistic in it’s portrayal of the slightly more together girlfriend of the stoner cartoonist who has a pathological fear of leaving their small Virginia town.
Movies are quite often kind of disappointing for me, rarely living up to trailers, or word of mouth. My expectations of this film were low based on lukewarm to pretty good reviews from friends, and based on the trailer, which made it seem kits…

Ant-Man Reviewed

Glib Review of Ant-Man - Directed By Peyton Reed
I liked a great many things about Ant-Man. The action scenes were good, the sfx I thought were quite good, the story was an interesting spin on a Marvel character I know very well, having been a comics nerd since the early 70’s. The changes in character from the comics to film universe are pretty reasonable. I thought Paul Rudd was great, as was Michael Douglas, and Evangeline Lily. I liked the family dynamic, and Bobby Cannavale is always great. The scene, not to spoil anything, with The Falcon is one of the best 'getting to know you' superhero fights on film. but.... but something about this movie bugged me.
True story though. I am having a hard time putting my finger on it. But the things I thought gummed up the works, were Lang’s sidekick ethnic stereotype buddies in crime. Michael Pena gave it his all, but a lot of the humour these guys were supposed to add fell flat for me, which messed up the pacing, that and the …

Wolfpack, under the radar Docu-Gem

Glib reviews Of recent DVDs
The Wolfpack -Directed By Crystal Moselle
Do you like documentaries about charming but creepy outsider weirdo artists or families? Who doesn’t? I keep thinking that film makers are going to run out of odd but relatable weirdo families to follow around. Lucky for me, and director Moselle, that hasn’t happened yet. 
I don’t want to spoil it much, but the premise is simple. An alternative couple who find the world around them to be super toxic, decide to have a lot of kids, and to home school and raise the kids in public housing in the lower east side of Manhattan. They have seven kids, 6 boys who don’t seem to have much age difference between them, the oldest being maybe 20 or 21, it seems. They rarely venture outside, but of course make their own fun in the apartment. they do so by recreating their favourite movies from scratch, using quite ingenious home made costumes and props that bring to mind that cult hit from a few years ago, Be Kind Rewind. the brother…

Review of The Man From U.N.C.L.E.

Glib Reviews of Recent DVD & Blu Ray Releases.
The Man From U.N.C.L.E.  - Directed by Guy Ritchie.
A pretty entertaining movie rehash of one of my very first ‘Favourite TV shows.” Like my other early rerun Favourite ‘Star Trek,’ ‘The Man From U.N.C.L.E.’ was in reruns for the first time, after 5 years off the air, so 1973-ish for me.  My first crushes on men, were probably on these two, ‘not as suave as either thinks,’ and awesomely named super spies, ‘Napoleon Solo, and Ilya Kuryakin. I have rose coloured memories of watching that particular spy show. I was very much as a kid into spy tv shows, like this or, ‘the Avengers,’ ‘I Spy,’ ‘Get Smart,’ and the zillion others that came and went in the 70’s.
I tried my best not to bring too much nostalgia to this movie remake. I enjoy the Star Trek movies, best as really good two part episodes of which ever show the characters are from. Most old tv shows rebooted into movies suffer from trying too hard to re-invent the wheel. and I am always …

Avengers Age of Ultron reviewed

Glib Reviews of Recent DVD/Blu-Ray Releases
The Avengers: Age Of Ultron Directed by Joss Whedon
Well, it definitely was not as bad as a lot of folks made it out to be this little film. I am a big reader of comic books, and superhero fan, but even I think there are too many superhero movies. While this movie doesn’t quite capture the fun of the first Avengers movie, it scores a lot of points for me, simply by not being called Avengers 2. Oh, there are tons of spoilers in this review, fyi.
The initial scene where everything is cgi seemingly except a few cutaways is weirdly out of place in terms of the cinematography, but it is a comic book movie, so I say embrace the cgi. It is supposed to be a bit ‘cartoony’. The lack of actual Loki (Tom Hiddleston) makes the whole thing less fun. The second most jarring thing for me was James Spader’s laconic glib take on Ultron. This really threw me for about half the movie, Ultron sounds like a preppy overprivileged lawyer? 
Ultron’s biggest weakness …

my review of Kingsman: the Secret Service

Glib Reviews of Recent DVD Releases
Kingsman: The Secret Service - Directed By Matthew Vaughn
Loosely based on a comic book that somehow I never read, despite it being up my alley with all the spying and gadgets and gratuitous violence. One of those Mark Millar comics, called “The Secret Service.” I will be searching it out now, as I found the movie reasonably entertaining. It was no From Russia With love or Goldfinger, mind you, or even Layer Cake, Vaughn’s first and for my money, best film, but I have enjoyed all of his five of his Directorial efforts. Kingsman is a lot of fun, with a ludicrous plot line that the characters constantly joke about. Like Millar’s comics there isn’t a ton of depth or story, just clever usage of tropes from the genre.

I like the setting the story with an outside independent Secret Service, as opposed to the done to death MI-6/CIA kind of spy movie. Colin firth is great as classy agent Harry Hart, code named Galahad. It’s nice to see him doing an action pie…

Inherent Vice is Inherently great!

Glib Reviews of Fairly Recent DVD  Releases
Inherent Vice - Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson
Finally got around to seeing the latest PTA flick, which I had heard a lot of conflicting opinions on. Inherent Vice is also based on a Thomas Pynchon novel, so there are of course some heavy wight ideas going on. Personally the only Pynchon I have ever been able to finish reading is The Crying Of Lot 49.  I had my own sort of mix of skepticism and hope going into this. Tried and tried to get through V. and Gravity’s Rainbow three or four times each, but also, something makes me give up on these books, I usually am so into the books, the first half or so, then something that just happens is that I have put the books down, and moved on to something else. Maybe it’s just timing; and I say this because this is what I see in this film, something that PTA groks about pace and timing, that generally, (with the exception of “The Master, which I can’t seem to stay awake through.) I find Pynchon doesn’t,…

Welcome To Me, Reviewed

Glib Reviews Of Recent DVD Releases
Welcome To Me - Directed by Shira Piven
A very sharp, very much with a feminine gaze satire on how the world deals with mental illness, fame, and wealth. Sounds like reality TV? Bingo. Kristen Wiig brings us Alice Kleig, a women filled with anxiety, rage, love and medication. In a familiar plot this very typical modern Oprah obsessed heavily medicated woman wearing her neuroses on her sleeve, wins the lotto. 
She decides to fund her own infomercial style ‘talk show “Welcome To Me.” I really don’t want to give much away of the story, but I will say that it all unfolds with impeccable timing, and is alternately making you laugh, cringe, and cry, maybe all three at the same time. Alice is one of those very hard to love characters, her social awkwardness both charms and wears thin as she goes from catharsis to catharsis, kind of forgetting/taking for granted the people who helped her before she won the lotto, as she wins over most of the tv production …

Review Of Ride the Pink Horse

Glib reviews of DVDs and Blu Rays.
Ride The Pink Horse - Directed by Robert Montgomery

It might be a mistake to watch a movie adaptation only one day after finishing a novel that you love. Dorothy B. Hughes’ novel called Ride The Pink Horse is a wonderful small town noir of the sort associated with Jim Thompson, and at the same time a sweaty tension filled fish out of water story akin to the best of Patricia Highsmith.
The fact that the film makers let the more literary name stand instead of giving it some generic but more cinematic title is a testament to the strength of the story. Many of the details of the film are changed for those kinds of what works in a book might be too subtle for a movie kind of ways, like some of the names of characters, most obviously, the protagonist (who is no ‘hero’ in ether the book or the film) goes from the no last named ‘Sailor’ in the book to the much more noirishly named Lucky Gagin, who is never once called ‘Lucky,’ with good reason.
It’s no spoiler…

Mad Max Fury Road review.

Glib reviews Of movies still in The Theatre.
Mad Max: Fury Road - Directed By George Miller
Maybe it was all the hype, maybe not, but I probably didn’t think this film was as good as I had been told. Don’t get me wrong, it was very entertaining, and I will rate it fairly high on my dorky ‘outta 10’ scale, but simply for sheer entertainment value. Obviously the film passes the ‘Bechdel test’. But it is by no means some sort of Feminist masterpiece, nor is it some kind of misandry masterpiece as the mra nutters would have you believe.
What I watched was an exciting, silly, high budget chase movie with lots of car crashes, ‘Road Warrior-esque’ bad guys, and suitably post-apocalyptic backdrop. The look was pretty consistent with the second two Mad Max Movies; Road Warrior (I do not acknowledge the whole mad max 2 nonsense anymore than I do, ‘a new hope nonsense’ [/grumpyoldperson]) and Beyond Thunderdome, which yes, counts. It’s quirky and fun, and also has a couple of badass female chara…

Panels of the week returns!

Panels of the Week  (spoilers, don't look if you don't want vague spoilers)

"The Tomorrows" first issue from Dark Horse. Good dialogue lifts familiar super title above in a heavy 'Team week' in Comics. Will check out second issue. Fresh stuff!

The Fox continues to be trippy and funny in ways Deadpool can never be for me. Loving this run by Haspiel and Waid. (from Archie comics super imprint Dark circle comics)

From Strange Fruit, which is a fun and gorgeously artistic series right from this first issue, well hyped, so far worthy with it's nice pacing and setup. (So many great comics from Boom! Comics lately)

The Sundowners goes for the Full on Alan Moore freakout and somehow pulls it off. Digging this quirky dark and dorky psycho candy. 

Part of wants to hate the new 'Robot Batman' and marginally powered stupid brush cut Superman, but i don't because titles like Superman/Batman or Batman/Superman, whatever are upping their game with these new takes…

Reviews! John Wick and more!

Glib Reviews  Recent DVD/Blu-Ray Releases
John Wick - Directed by Chad Stahelski, David Leitch (uncredited)
There two kinds of Keanu Reeves that the people want. Sad Keanu, and Mad Keanu, ‘John Wick’ gives you both and lots of both. The set-up involves already sad former assassin John Wick being made even sadder by GOT’s Alfie Allen, aka Theon/Reek. I can’t look at the actor with wincing. He nails the snivelling entitled gangster’s son who does stupid thing after stupid thing (not to spoil it) to turn Sad Keanu’s sad frown in to Mad Keanu’s angry grimace. 
I had heard how great this movie is, and well, I definitely enjoyed it, it really is pretty hackneyed and silly. Lots of great cameos, and a hotel that is exclusively for assassins. 
The gunfights and streetfight/MMA throwdowns are well choreographed, and happen with a regularity that keeps you from caring about nuance or character development. It’s okay, though, the movie really plays out like that really great level you had that tim…