Abrams has grown into a confident cinematic storyteller, capable of setting high stakes, staging impossible situations, and having his characters get out of them, one after another, with a combination of exciting action and just enough of their intellect.
At its core, Iron Man 3 is a screwball comedy about Tony Stark and Pepper Potts, post-intergalactic invasion. What makes it so enjoyable as formulaic escapist entertainment are the little tweaks that Black has made to the template.
His slow-motion prowess and action-film chops add a surreal element, but Bay’s camera leers at the world the same way his characters do. He wants to celebrate his “heroes” at the same time he’s making fun of them, but his over-the-top delivery gives him away. On top of that, the constant narration gives away too much of the mystery of their motives and it ends up trying way too hard to be funny.
Oblivion isn’t a total loss, but it is disappointing not only to see the film abandon the interesting sci-fi issues around its central love triangle, but also see it devolve into a series of hackneyed action-movie cliches — including some really insulting third-act dialogue.
If you’ve seen the trailer, you are probably expecting an action-based crime thriller where a frustrated local cop (Bradley Cooper) chases down a mysterious motorcycle bandit (Ryan Gosling) who’s been robbing banks. Luckily, there’s a lot more to the movie than that.
Eric Melin on the KCTV5 It’s Your Morning show talking with Dave Hall about ‘G.I. Joe: Retaliation’ and ‘Air Guitar Nation’ at the Alamo Drafthouse in Kansas City.
Eric Melin on the KCTV5 It’s Your Morning show talking with Alexis Del Cid about ‘Stoker.’
Eric Melin on the KCTV5 It’s Your Morning show talking with Dave Hall about ‘Oz the Great and Powerful.’
Eric Melin on the KCTV5 It’s Your Morning show talking with Alexis del Cid about Steven Soderbergh’s Side Effects and Michael Haneke’s multiple-Oscar nominee Amour.
Eric Melin on the KCTV5 It’s Your Morning show talking about the time he spent as a zombie extra on Warm Bodies, along with clips from the movie.
What makes Zero Dark Thirty such a fascinating film is that it plays both as an engaging procedural thriller and a serious examination of the country’s moral compass. It is already doing what great movies do—starting conversation.
‘This is 40′ is a messy and consistently funny movie filled with authentic anxieties about middle-aged life. It’s easy to forgive movies that ramble as much as this film does when they keep supplying laughs.
As an entertaining revenge flick with roots in exploitation films and spaghetti westerns, Django Unchained succeeds. But it never rises above its genre to become a real, affecting emotional experience.
Tom Cruise’s ‘Jack Reacher’ is a well-plotted mystery thriller filled with tough-guy talk, a simmering romance, and exciting action. But along the way to becoming the fun, disposable piece of Hollywood trash that it is, it has a scene or two that may turn the stomachs of those still reeling from the tragic school shooting last week.
Despite some minor missteps, watching The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey feels like welcoming an old friend into your home. He may ramble a bit and slightly overstay his welcome, but hanging out with him reminds you of why you’re friends in the first place.