Bonnie Curtis

Bonnie Curtis

Bonnie Curtis Quick Links

Film RSS

Life Review

Very Good

Like a mash-up of Alien and Gravity, this ripping sci-fi horror movie is very effective at generating tension and terror. And it helps that an adept cast is on board to give some weight to characters who are rather thinly written. The script, by Deadpool writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, keeps everything lean and mean, concentrating on the scary stuff while ignoring any thematic depth or topicality. But director Daniel Espinosa (Safe House) keeps it moving briskly.

It's set on board the International Space Station, where a specialised six-person crew is examining new soil samples from Mars. Science officer Hugh (Ariyon Bakare) finds alien life in the dirt, and watches in amazement as the cells grow and cooperate to create an interactive jellyfish-like creature, which schoolchildren on Earth name Calvin. Infectious disease doctors David and Miranda (Jake Gyllenhaal and Rebecca Ferguson) are concerned that this life-form remains contained in the lab. So Captain Kat (Olga Dihovichnaya) and technicians Roy and Sho (Ryan Reynolds and Hiroyuki Sanada) set out to lock things down. But of course, this proves trickier than they thought it would be.

What follows is, unsurprisingly, a stalker slasher movie in which the crew members go down one by one. Calvin is a quick learner, and grows into a seriously menacing creature, complete with the silly addition of a kind of evil digital face. It also gets a few corny point of view camera angles. But mainly Espinosa holds his nerve, maintaining a believable sense of the science and the setting as things get increasingly out of control. Each terrifying set piece is followed by a brief moment of silence in which the characters (and audience) catch their breath. This also allows them to add one back story detail per person, in an attempt to stir up some emotional connection. But it doesn't really matter once the violent mayhem kicks into gear again.

Continue reading: Life Review

The Face Of Love Review


Weak

Middle-aged romances are rare on the big screen, so it's frustrating that this one is so badly compromised by a series of contrived plot points. One gimmick wasn't enough for director-cowriter Arie Posin, who continually twists and turns the events in ways that are both bizarre and melodramatic. Within this, Annette Bening and Ed Harris still manage to create intriguing characters, but it becomes increasingly difficult to care when the screenwriters clearly have trouble on their minds.

It opens as Nikki (Bening) is flooded with memories of her husband Garret (Harris), who died five years ago while they were vacationing in Mexico. Now that their daughter (Jess Weixler) is moving away from home in Los Angeles to attend college in Seattle, Nikki has time to think. Although she wants to remain friends and nothing more with her lusty widowed neighbour Roger (Robin Williams), an old friend of Garret's. Then Nikki meets a man who looks uncannily like Garret and begins stalking him. Tom (Harris again) is an art professor, and when Nikki gets up the nerve to talk to him, she knows she's going to a very odd place.

The film is like a variation on Vertigo, as Posin plays up the freaky doppelganger storyline to add a heightened sense of dangerous tension. But it's not so easy for the audience to accept such a set-up, when one honest conversation would solve everything. Instead, Nikki lies to everyone she knows, hides Tom from them and then lies to Tom as well. It's difficult to take a romance seriously when it has such a fraudulent foundation. Thankfully, Bening gives Nikki a fragility that makes her sympathetic, and her interaction with Harris bristles with unexpected connections because they are experiencing their blossoming relationship in such strikingly different ways. Both of them add layers of interest to their characters that make them engaging between the lines. Sadly, Williams' character never gets a chance to evolve.

Continue reading: The Face Of Love Review

Albert Nobbs Review


Good
Based on a true story, this introspective film seems to suggest that these events aren't perhaps as extraordinary as they appear. But the strong premise is weakened by writing and direction that never get a grip on the story.

In 1898, Albert (Close) works at an upscale Dublin hotel, and no one suspects that he's actually a woman. Quietly going about his work while saving to open a tobacco shop, Albert is unassuming and relentlessly polite. Then he's asked to share his room with visiting painter Hubert (McTeer), who learns his secret and reveals one of his own: he's a woman too. But Hubert has managed to have a normal married life. This inspires Albert to pursue the hotel maid Helen (Wasikowska), which is complicated by her lusty relationship with handyman Joe (Johnson).

Continue reading: Albert Nobbs Review

The Chumscrubber Review


Bad
The starry-eyed cross-breed of American Beauty and Donnie Darko, here comes The Chumscrubber, another self-righteous satire on self-absorbed parents and their estranged offspring. With the over-extended reach of a callow teenager, it fails to conquer its peaks of social relevancy. But it does have a titular headless video-game anti-hero, who, like the film's residents, uses his head as a weapon and presides over the film like a post-apocalyptic master-of-ceremonies.

A facetious voice-over -- "This was the best of all possible worlds" -- introduces brooding loner Dean Stiffle (Jamie Bell of Billy Elliot), a teen caught between dueling self-helper parents, who's soon to discover his dead friend Troy (Josh Janowicz) behind the house of his party-throwing mother, Carrie (Glenn Close). Weeks later, Dean's best-selling psychiatrist-author father, Bill (William Fichtner), therapy-talks Dean sick about his lack of grief. Dad's cure: More of the same pharmaceuticals Dean's school's already drowning in.

Continue reading: The Chumscrubber Review

Minority Report Review


Extraordinary
Per Minority Report, in only 52 years we'll have a new privacy nightmare on our hands: A police unit in Washington D.C. will genetically engineer three people, float them in a Jacuzzi, and hook wires up to their heads so the cops can see murders occurring in the future. And thus, they can arrest the perpetrators before they commit the crime. (I would say this is a nightmare of an idea... but then again, we are talking about Washington D.C....)

The premise is a mind-bending puzzle on the scale of Memento, courtesy of sci-fi legend Steven Spielberg and his first collaboration with a stellar Tom Cruise. It's also Spielberg's best work since 1993's Schindler's List and flirts with threatening Blade Runner and A Clockwork Orange as the best paradoxical utopic/dystopic view of the future.

Continue reading: Minority Report Review

A.I. Artificial Intelligence Review


Good
I remember sitting in a movie theater at the tender age of 14, watching a little film called D.A.R.Y.L., about a boy with a computer brain trying to cope with modern society and questions of emotion and identity. D.A.R.Y.L. was not some overblown, 2 1/2-hour ordeal. It was 99 breezy minutes of fun fun fun!

A.I. Artificial Intelligence is, too my deep dismay, neither breezy nor particularly fun. The level of anticipation of the film, of course, would be impossible to effectively sate, but A.I. just doesn't cut it. It doesn't even come close.

Continue reading: A.I. Artificial Intelligence Review

Bonnie Curtis

Bonnie Curtis Quick Links

Film RSS
Advertisement

Occupation

Filmmaker


Suggested

Foo Fighters Issue Statement After Ticketing Chaos For London Gig

Foo Fighters Issue Statement After Ticketing Chaos For London Gig

Many ticket-holders couldn't get into the O2 Arena show on Tuesday night (September 19th) because they didn't bring photo ID to match their booking.

Advertisement
How The Music Industry Is Honouring George Michael This Year

How The Music Industry Is Honouring George Michael This Year

An album re-release, a new song and a documentary mark the singer's legacy this year.

Angela Bassett Promises

Angela Bassett Promises "Absolutely Amazing" 'Black Panther' Movie

The film will be the first in the Marvel Cinematic Universe led by a person of colour.

David Harbour Looks Incredible In The First Image From 'Hellboy'

David Harbour Looks Incredible In The First Image From 'Hellboy'

The actor plays the titular hero in the forthcoming adaptation.

Advertisement

Bonnie Curtis Movies

Life Movie Review

Life Movie Review

Like a mash-up of Alien and Gravity, this ripping sci-fi horror movie is very effective...

The Face of Love Movie Review

The Face of Love Movie Review

Middle-aged romances are rare on the big screen, so it's frustrating that this one is...

Albert Nobbs Movie Review

Albert Nobbs Movie Review

Based on a true story, this introspective film seems to suggest that these events aren't...

Advertisement
The Chumscrubber Movie Review

The Chumscrubber Movie Review

The starry-eyed cross-breed of American Beauty and Donnie Darko, here comes The Chumscrubber, another self-righteous...

Minority Report Movie Review

Minority Report Movie Review

Per Minority Report, in only 52 years we'll have a new privacy nightmare on our...

A.I. Artificial Intelligence Movie Review

A.I. Artificial Intelligence Movie Review

I remember sitting in a movie theater at the tender age of 14, watching a...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.