Every Single Article Written by Russell - All 140
We have two cops. One’s a prim-and-proper, by-the-book FBI agent; no one likes her because she’s difficult to work with and arrogant. The other is an unstable lunatic who, despite also being good at her job, terrifies the rest of her local police precinct. Through a series of whacky mishaps, the professional federal agent and the wild card police detective end up working together to take down an anonymous drug kingpin. Shenanigans ensue. Director Paul Feig’s follow-up to the commercially successful and critically acclaimed Bridesmaids plays like the American answer to Edgar Wright’s Hot Fuzz. Is it clichéd? Yes. Is it funny? Absolutely.
A group of terrorists breach the White House and take control of the mansion. The President is trapped inside. The outside world is powerless to do anything. Only one man has the ability to thwart the terrorists and their scheme to jumpstart World War III. Wait…didn’t I already review this movie? And didn’t it suck the first time around?
I’ll be upfront: I’ve never read Max Brooks’ World War Z and I have no intention of reading it. Most zombie movies and books skip the apocalypse and jump right into the post-apocalypse. Why? Because slow-moving zombies—little more than shambling meat sacks with teeth—would never be able to bring down human civilization. I will never be able to swallow that premise, and thus, I have no intention of wasting my time reading a book devoted exclusively to that premise. Max Brooks could be the Cormac McCarthy of zombie fiction, and it wouldn’t change my opinion. That said, however, this complete bastardization of Max Brooks’ novel is actually watchable. Fans of the book will be disappointed, but casual movie goers should find plenty to like here.
Monsters University, the prequel to Pixar’s Monsters, Inc., puts the studio’s brand back on track following a few recent stumbles. A send-up of ‘70s and ‘80s college comedies, Monsters University doesn’t feel as daring or original as Pixar’s best films, but it makes up for those limitations with solid storytelling. This film may not be the most memorable film the studio has ever produced, but it’s well worth the price of a ticket.
I feel like I owe Christopher Nolan an apology. While the movie-going world jumped all over his nuts about The Dark Knight trilogy and Inception, I merely assumed he was an above average filmmaker who had been lucky enough to surround himself with some top notch talent. Man of Steel proves that assumption wrong. Here’s a movie that boasts essentially the same creative team that has driven all of Nolan’s movies—the only exception is that Nolan neither wrote nor directed this one. And boy, does it show.
The Rapture begins. The worthy are sucked up into Heaven via blue beams of light, and Satan and his forces wreak havoc upon the poor, sinful suckers left behind. That small group includes Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel, James Franco, Danny McBride, Jonah Hill, and Craig Robinson. They’re all playing themselves…or well, versions of themselves. This Is the End sounds like a lame, self-indulgent, inside joke that a pack of pampered celebrities have decided to charge the public for the privilege of viewing, but the flick actually manages to be the funniest comedy to roll out of Hollywood in a long time. Go figure.
Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson reunite in a movie about two talented salesmen who, finding themselves out of a job, elect to reinvent themselves and apply for careers at Google. Co-written and produced by Vaughn, The Internship contains plenty of dated gags about Skype and Instagram, but not much in the way of bona fide humor. This movie is the cinematic equivalent of your Luddite uncle adding you on Facebook and sending you a stream of LOLCats pictures.
The Purge introduces us to an America reborn and free from the grip of unemployment and poverty. The nation prospers and the less fortunate are nonexistent. How did this happen? Well, the federal government has elected to set aside one night out of the year wherein all crime is legal. It’s dubbed “The Purge.” The wealthy and elite apparently take that as an opportunity to clean out the country’s homeless shelters and ghettos, and thus the low unemployment statistics.
Wow. What a complete piece of shit this movie is. If you throw and egotistical movie star, his talentless son, a washed up director, and a metric ton of shitty CGI into a blender, After Earth is the sludge that drips out. The movie may not be as mind numbingly awful as last year’s Battleship, but cast and crew here find a way to achieve new, infuriating levels of pure, unalloyed mediocrity.
Now You See Me is a movie I desperately wanted to like. In the midst of a season that Hollywood has exclusively dedicated to superhero movies and Will Smith vanity projects, Summit Entertainment releases a dialogue-driven, heist flick with one of the stronger ensemble casts in recent memory. Now You See Me isn’t a modern summer action blockbuster, and that makes it refreshing. On the other hand, the screenplay is downright infuriating.