‘Warm Bodies’ constructs the Frankenstein like zom-rom-com that isn’t as grotesque as the idea sounds. It’s humorous, sweet and has unexpected depth that superbly elevates it well above the genre bending gimmick it could rest on.
For those about to rock, we salute you. ‘Sound City’ is a fond acknowledgement of a special time when a studio produced several albums that signaled key moments in music history. It’s indulgent at times and skims over a lot of potentially great stories from its subjects but there is enough on offer to send anyone rampaging through their music collection to revisit the greats.
‘G.I. Joe: Retaliation’ is one of the most despicable displays in the collision between consumerism and filmmaking. Yes, the film is based on the toy company Hasbro’s stable of action figures so it would be lofty to expect something groundbreaking. It could be easy to shrug and say “it is what it is” but there is something dangerous about a film made to sell toys using war.
The deadbeat dad storyline is a familiar one in cinema but it has never been done with a combination of killer whales, Katy Perry music and mixed martial arts (MMA) before. If it sounds a little overloaded, that’s because it is, but there is a touching story of fatherhood and family at the core of ‘Rust and Bone’.
A bad omen at the start of any film is when main plot details are dropped by a news report and in the opening seconds of ‘A Good Day to Die Hard’ there’s a news update. It’s an example of one of the many ways the film languishes in mediocrity. The Die Hard franchise has had highs (‘Die Hard’ and ‘Die Hard with a Vengeance’) and lows (‘Die Hard 2′ and ‘Live Free or Die Hard’) but ‘A Good Day to Die Hard’ breaks the deadlock and pushes the series deep into the trash heap.
The world of Las Vegas magicians is ripe for parody but ‘The Incredible Burt Wonderstone’ feels like a joke that has been waiting to be told since the 1980s and they’ve mangled the punch line in 2013.
‘I Give it a Year’ is so obsessed with how clever it thinks it is that it completely sinks the romantic comedy pirate ship it sets forth to be. Nat (Rose Byrne) and Josh (Rafe Spall) fall in love in the most clichéd movie way via a montage. Before you can say “I feel like I’ve seen this all before” the happy couple are suffering through an awkward wedding complete with all the trademark comedic trimmings of such an event: strange parents, odd priests and the cringe worthy speech from the best man (Stephen Merchant).
In the ‘Wizard of Oz’, the Land of Oz was the perfect embodiment of the optimism and fear transferred over from Dorothy’s (Judy Garland) life in Kansas. Her protectors on the farm became a cowardly lion, a tin man and a scarecrow while her enemy became a wicked witch. It’s sad that in ‘Oz the Great and Powerful’ Disney have chosen to pillage from the 1939 film and L. Frank Baulm’s novels to create a prequel that plays out like fan fiction written for Playboy magazine that almost completely negates the material it’s based on.
A cricket tournament in India provides the path to enlightenment for a group of thirty-something men stuck in an adolescent mindset in the charismatic new Australian film ‘Save Your Legs’.
The murder mystery has been given a stylish medical makeover by director Steven Soderbergh in ‘Side Effects’. It’s Roman Polanski’s ‘Chinatown’ with a prescription in hand.