Man, I saw the trailers for this and thought it looked really good. It seemed all moody and intense. And for the most part, it’s exactly that. And then the final act comes along and suddenly it’s like a Die Hard movie. Yeah, it’s a little jarring to say the least. Unfortunately, it keeps Dead Man Down from being a really good film.
You’d think by the ubiquitous TV ads for this film that it was going to be a real toss-up as to whether it would be any good. It felt like they were trying too hard to get you to see it. And there’s clearly a LOT of green screen and there could be a lot of that disconnected “watching a video game” type of stuff going on. Fortunately, though, Jack the Giant Slayer managed to avoid that by giving some of the giants more personality than just grunting adversaries.
Turner Classic Movies has recently restored the concert film/documentary Elvis: That’s the Way It Is, adding “lost” footage, and re-cutting the entire film. The new (2007) two-disc set includes the original DVD release augmented with the new, superior version and a few extras.
Reverb Junkies is a documentary about surf music that’s full of interview segments with concert-goers who are less likely to yell “Freebird!” than “Reverb!” Junkies focuses on the fans of surf music rather than it’s history, but their enthusiasm keeps it interesting, and lots of history seeps in.
When I was a kid, in the days before movie rentals and the internet, you got one chance a year to see The Wizard Of Oz, and if you had any sense at all, you took it. Year after year, I kept watching the film, figuring that when I stopped enjoying it, I would officially have become a grown up. By that measure, I still haven’t, despite possessing crippling credit card debt, which is usually what separates the men from the boys.
What do you get when you take the director of Legion and Priest, and writer of Legion, and get the producers of Paranormal Activity to make a creepy sci-fi/horror film? You get a movie filled with elements of other movies with a few creepy scenes in it, and call it Dark Skies.
Aaw, yeah, it’s A Good Day To Die Hard! Ha, yeah, another delightful, action-filled installment of the perpetual John McClane franchise. I figure as long as Bruce Willis is fit enough to be in these, we’ll keep seeing them. And as far as the action goes, you will not be disappointed here. If you’re looking for much else, well, you know, never mind.
Let’s face it, I think most people will agree that Haywire, Magic Mike and the Girlfriend Experience are not going to make any of his “best of” lists. Frankly, much the same could be said of his fluffy Ocean’s films. But in contrast, he’s made some good films, too. Sex, Lies, and Videotape, Traffic, Solaris (I think so) and The Informant! are among them. And now, the sharp thriller, Side Effects.
As the trailers might have you believe, Bullet To The Head is a throw back to the mis-matched partner cop movies of the 1980’s. You know how much we loved those, right? Chock full of action and hilarity. But that usually relied on both the partners being interesting in their own way. When one of them doesn’t own up to their responsibility, well, then the movie gets pretty boring pretty fast. And so we have Bullet To The Head.
In Stand Up Guys, you get to spend 95 minutes with Christopher Walken and Al Pacino. You could do worse. Alan Arkin shows up for a fun bit of business in a highly flattering role. And it’s pretty fun.