Every Single Article Written by Russell - All 140
Every once in a while, I’ll catch Event Horizon or Resident Evil on television and think, “You know, Paul W.S. Anderson gets a bad rap; he’s not that awful.” Then I see a movie like Resident Evil: Retribution, and I’m firmly reminded that, yes, he is that awful. Resident Evil: Retribution is another episode in an unending stream of poorly conceived, stream-of-conscious fan fiction fresh from the mind of cinema’s most highly compensated hack.
I have a confession to make: For all my love of all things Pixar (except Cars and Brave), I had never seen Finding Nemo until its 3D rerelease this weekend. I’m not entirely sure how I managed to miss this movie for nearly a decade, but it’s a great little family film. Everything we love about Pixar is present in this movie.
Sigh. I’m pretty sure there’s nothing left to be said about the zombie movie. Ever since Danny Boyle’s inventive 28 Days Later resurrected the genre from the grave, we’ve been pummeled with unrelenting waves of zombie pictures. Big budget zombie movies, low budget zombies movies, movies with fast zombies, movies with slow zombies, zombie TV shows, zombie comedies…and holy shit, is there are a horror creation less deserving of so much attention? At least (non-sparkly) vampires are capable of having personality.
The doldrums of September are finally upon us. It’s that time of year when Hollywood gives full expression to its disdain for movie goers by dumping its crappiest tax write-offs into empty theaters. Enter The Cold Light of Day, a movie so bland and forgettable that, despite having seen it less than twelve hours ago, I actually had to look it up on IMDB.com just to recall the title. I suspect this movie only received a theatrical release because studios wanted to capitalize on the public’s sudden interest in Henry Cavill, the latest actor to win the role of Superman. The wide theatrical release of The Cold Light of Day, however, doesn’t do it’s star any favors.
I confess that I’m not a big fan of the heist subgenre of movies, wherein a cast of handsome, smug movie stars smooth talk and joke their way into wealth and luxury. And while I understand and respect the enthusiasm my fellow writers here at FleshEatingZipper have shown for movies like Ocean’s Eleven, I’m typically left cold by such movies. The characters in The Sting and Ocean’s Eleven never face any real consequences for their actions, and that tends to leave these movies lacking in the tension I think is necessary to sustain any sort of crime picture. I just find myself wondering how these guys can simply talk their way out of the clutches of vicious gangsters without a scratch. Thankfully, the filmmakers behind Headhunters, a Norwegian crime thriller hitting Blu-ray this week, share my assessment of the heist subgenre. Headhunters is the anti-Ocean’s Eleven.
It’s been seven years since director Jeff Hillcoat, actor Guy Pearce, and singer/songwriter/screenwriter Nick Cave united to make The Proposition, one of the ballsiest, trippiest, awesomest Westerns (yeah, I know it was set in Australia) to come along since the 1960’s. With Lawless, the trio reunites to provide their take on the American gangster genre, with Hillcoat assembling a talented cast that includes Tom Hardy, Gary Oldman, and Jessica Chastain. Surely this movie will be the greatest Depression-era gangster picture since Bonnie and Clyde, right? Right?
Dax Shepard co-directs, writes, edits, and stars in Hit and Run, which lands in theaters this weekend. There’s a taut, clever little action comedy buried somewhere in this bloated movie about a former getaway driver who dodges former criminal associates in a 1960’s muscle car as he tries to get his girlfriend to a life-changing job interview. With a more structured screenplay and some judicious editing, we might have been able to see that movie. As it stands, however, Hit and Run is pretty weak. Read the rest of this article…
Joseph Gordon-Levitt gets more than he bargained for when he’s asked to deliver a mysterious envelope to New York’s Chinatown in Premium Rush. This film from writer/director David Koepp (best known for drafting the screenplays for Jurassic Park and Spider-Man) envisions a Manhattan dominated by hotshot, adrenaline-junkie bicycle messengers who perform death-defying feats in exchange for a minimum wage salary. Is this story even tangentially connected to reality? Hell if I know; I’ve never lived in New York. Premium Rush is, however, an enjoyable piece of escapist entertainment if you approach it with the right mindset.
Sly Stallone and his merry band of grizzled ‘80s icons return for another round of fist fights, shoot outs, and explosions in The Expendables 2. I didn’t particularly care for the first movie in this franchise despite being a huge fan of the concept of that movie. The Expendables promised fantastically cheesy ‘80s action delivered by some of Hollywood’s greatest washed-up stars, but failed to deliver. The Expendables 2 finally delivers on that promise.
If The Bourne Identity is really a movie about a man trying to discover who he really is, The Bourne Legacy is a movie about a man trying to escape who he really is. Jeremy Renner stars as Aaron Cross, a government agent who derives his nearly superhuman abilities from popping special, government-issued pills. Thanks to Jason Bourne’s antics from the previous movies, however, higher ups in the federal government have decided to destroy their experimental spy programs in anticipation of the coming media backlash. This causes the well of wonderful, gene-altering drugs to run dry, and leaves Cross running from shadowy government operatives who want him dead.