Archive for May, 2019

Four teenagers attending a summer camp lives are changed when aliens attack.

From director of Terminator Salvation and the BabySitter McG offers a tonally awkward affair. I like much of McG’s work, I’m a fan but Rim is colour corrected to space and back, the cast are fine but the script doesn’t fit there ages making it slightly lewd and off putting.

Maybe if Zack Stentz’s dialogue had come from the camp leaders and they had led the adventure or the kids dialogue fit their ages the invasion sci-fi may have faired better as a family film.

There’s CGI aplenty as the kids journey from their camp with an important key to Pasadena, California. With with a regenerating alien, an alien dog reminiscent of Predators and spaceship attacks it echoes Independence Day from the off. The best scenes borrow from better science fictions and oddly the kitchen attack is straight out of Jurassic Park.

Overall, it could have been a family alien adventure with a Goonies/Stranger Things vibe but sadly it comes off as a crude and weird invasion flick with a touch of Porky’s (1981) and Poison Ivy (1985).

SPOILERS!

In the sleepy small town of Centerville, the dead return to life when the earth shifts on its axis.

The Dead Don’t Die has an unprecedented atmosphere of doom and gloom in a small town which captures an odd eerie feel
echoing The Night the Living Dead. However, it’s marred by hanking issues that prevent it becoming what could have been a cult classic.

Jim Jarmusch’s writing decision to break the fourth wall and have the characters talk about the script within the film steals all the novelty from the zany characters and their convincing emotional sentiments. Especially from Cloe Sevigny who gives her deputy believable touching grief. It simply sucks the life out from his solid directing offering.

Adam Driver’s Ronnie and Bill Murray’s Chief Robinson are wonderful as the smalltown law men along with the rest of the cast. Steve Buscemi as a small minded farmer, samurai swinging Tilda Swinton and Danny Glover’s Hank are notable, even if a little wasted. Iggy Pop’s coffee yearning zombie extended cameo is memorable.

As a side note, it’s reminiscent on places of the 2003 Australian film the Undead, including borrowing a wacky alien contact moment. Along with three teens who escape there’s another subplot involving Selena Gomez’s Zoe and her two friends. Neither story threads really pay off, aside from fleshing our Driver’s officer character with Zoe’s demise. This leaves the two separate groups fates slightly wasted and if not moot. That said, the knowing observational hobo in the woods played by Tom Waits strings the film all together.

The make-up effects, Frederick Elmes’ cinematography and location setting is great, even if some CGI is a little iffy. It’s rare for a film to seemingly go out of its way to spoil itself especially when it was so wonderfully setup. It takes away the multiple reward of rewatching value. The abruptness of the ending doesn’t help either.

When it’s being played straight the comedy wit presents itself like the joy of Lake Placid’s satire. But when it’s breaking the fourth wall and trying to be too clever, it stumbles, sadly pulling the carpet from under Driver and Murray’s stellar performances.

Overall, the haphazard script decisions rip the heart of what could have been a contemporary zom-com Return of the Living Dead type classic.

Aladdin, a street urchin, uses a magic oil lamp to unleash a powerful larger‑than‑life genie to makes his dreams come true and fall I love with the beautiful daughter of the sultan of Agrabah.

A surprisingly colourful fantastic adaptation by John August and director Guy Ritchie. Excellent effects, staging and songs etc the whole production is magical, exceeding expectations.

All the cast are on form, the casting is exceptional. Will Smith gives an enjoyable energetic and restrained performance as the Genie. The trailer didn’t do him justice.

With a great singing voice and screen presence Mena Massoud takes all the best cues from his cartoon feature counterpart and offers a likeable and memorable Aladdin. Tweaked for the better by August and Ritchie actor Naomi Scott lifts the Princess Jasmine character even more, while also giving her a social and political subtext.

Although a good performance, Marwan Kenzari’s Jafar has been reworked. August gives him and Aladdin a commonality but unfortunately it doesn’t work as well as the cartoon stereotype villain did and sadly Alan Tudyk Iago suffers too. There’s not much chemistry. This aside, Abu the monkey and the Magic Carpet are finely brought to life and are just as much fun as their animated incarnations. The dance numbers are fun and wonderful choreographed.

Children and adults of all ages can enjoy. Thankfully, Disney have chosen the live action route and not horrid a CGI animated feature affair.

While nothing can compare to the animated version this is one of the best, if not thee best live adaptation of Disney’s own outings to date.

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Sometimes the paranormal is in the mind and sometimes it’s real. Telling the difference isn’t always easy. It wasn’t for John Satori. After a brain scan he sees the unreal. He always thought that killing was just a job. Now he’s paying the price, when his past ghosts catch up with him.

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After nearly being rundown by a gang of drug dealing thugs a group of women take a joyride but the two wrongs escalate to rape, murder and revenge.

80s exploitation nostalgia hounds will eat up. Director Danny Steinmann’s Savage Streets echoes The Last House on the Left, Avenging Angel with a Death Wish vibe which retains it shock value.

Stephen L. Posey cinematography frames 1984 wonderfully. John D’Andrea
and Michael Lloyds music is notable. It’s a trashy exploitation affair with boobs, murder and blood as a teenage Brenda (typically 80s casting, all look over 20 something) vigilante seeks revenge on a group of violent idiots who raped her sister, killed her best friend and unborn child.

John Vernon is on usual top form and gives an extended cameo. Linnea Quigley offers a small restrained inning. Exorcist’s Linda Blair looks menacingly comfortable in the lead role especially in the opening and showdown ending. Street thug Robert Dryer is consistent and edgy. Lastly Suzee Slater leaves a staple Chopping Mall impression.

The script is as uneven, jovial, vulgar and crude as the tone (even for the time, as well as today), but the faults are out weighed by some good performances, Steinmann’s fine direction and sharp editing.

Overall, its of time and remains just that. If nudity, violence and obscenity with a dash Porky’s and The Road Warrior is your thing, then you no doubt already rate it or you’re going to watch it.

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