Brendan Fletcher

Brendan Fletcher

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The Revenant - R Rated Trailer


Hugh Glass is a skilled hunter, experienced in trapping some of the most predatory of beasts in the American West in order to claim their fur. However, it all goes wrong one day when he and his three friends and companions John Fitzgerald, Andrew Henry and Jim Bridger are travelling some untouched territory. They are confronted by a bear who wastes no time in viciously attacking Glass, leaving the other three men to flee without a second glance. Unfortunately for them, Glass is not dead after his mauling, and he's not happy about being left for dead by the people he's supposed to be able to trust. Determined to survive on his own even as a particularly bitter winter sets in, he just wants to find the cowards that betrayed him and take revenge.

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Tideland Review


Unbearable
It's not that there's necessarily anything wrong with a film that uses the dead gas escaping from a putrefying corpse for comic effect by making it sound like flatulence. There's nothing that says a film can't find the humor or humanity in a mentally damaged, possibly homicidal man befriending a lonely pre-teen girl of dubious sanity with whom he seems to have less-than-honorable intentions. And there's nothing wrong with having squirrels or severed dolls-heads speak to that same girl in lieu of human companionship. In short, it's not the dark subject matter of Terry Gilliam's Tideland that makes it so squirmingly unwatchable, it's his callous, giggly, and monstrously tone-deaf approach.Based on the novel by Mitch Cullen, Gilliam's film is a trippy fantasia that has the feeling of a Neil Gaiman pastiche of a junkie version of Alice in Wonderland as interpreted by Asia Argento and JT LeRoy -- only worse. The rather brilliantly naturalistic Jodelle Ferland wastes her talent playing Jeliza-Rose, a young girl of uncommonly optimistic outlook whose no-good parents (Jennifer Tilly and Jeff Bridges) are squabbling junkies who barely pay attention to her unless it's to help them shoot up. Not long into the film, Tilly fatally overdoses, sending Jeliza-Rose and her dad, Noah, on the road, as Noah is convinced in his heroin haze that the authorities will be after him. They end up at his old family farmhouse, boarded up and filled with the dusty memories of his long-dead mother. Then Noah ODs, too, leaving Jeliza-Rose on her own.She doesn't seem to mind, really, as it takes her awhile to even realize Noah is dead (in the meantime, she dresses his corpse in a wig and makeup). The world through Jeliza-Rose's eyes seems a pretty wonderful place, which she fills with imaginary voices and fantastical creations. The house itself is full of undiscovered treasure and surrounded by tall, wind-blown prairie grass. Meanwhile, just down the road is another house where a crazy woman in a black beekeepers' outfit (Janet McTeer) and her younger brother (Brendan Fletcher), the previously mentioned potential psychopath who initially comes off as an innocent but seems later to take a liking to Jeliza-Rose.Tideland is obviously a story packed full of material that's best handled delicately, what with the overall fog of insanity and the intimations of pedophilia. The problem here is that "delicate" is not a word one would ever use to describe Gilliam. A filmmaker with obvious and commendable visual talents (strangely in abeyance here), his storytelling taste has always vacillated between the sarcastic and the sentimental, with Tideland being a stomach-churning slurry of the two. In a story that calls for a light hand, Gilliam uses only the hammer, smacking home each and every scene with acting best described (with the exception of Ferland) as hysterical and a sense of humor that goes beyond the merely tasteless and verges on the deranged.There's always the chance that the whole film is a great put-on, a low-budget joke of the most gigantic order -- it does literally end, after all, with a train-wreck. Anything is possible. But that may not matter in the end, because if there was ever a film to end a career, Tideland is it.The tide is high and I'm movin' on.

Air Bud Review


OK
Quaint children's film about a basketball playing dog and a kid depressed because of his father's death. Only Disney could do something like this.

Heart of America Review


Grim
You say Heart of America. I think Disney, helicopter shops of forest rangers, Imax, maybe 3-D, maybe some fireworks.

You say a thinly-veiled fictionalization of the Columbine massacre. I say directed by Uwe Boll (He'll make four movies based on video games from 2003 to 2006.)

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Rollercoaster Review


Terrible
At a certain unnamed Six Flags, somewhere in the country, I once had a girlfriend. She worked at the giant teepee at Frontier Land. When we first met, we ended up talking for something close to four hours, during which time the subject of the conversation inevitably turned to work, and she explained a certain ritual called the Swimsuit Relay. The Swimsuit Relay takes place in the diving pool, and occurs as part of a series of pre-park-opening events during the last days of the season.

Recalling the rules from memory, each team has 20 people on it, 10 of each sex. There is one female's one-piece to a team. It starts on one girl, who swims to the opposite side, places it on a boy, who then swims back and places the suit on the next girl.

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Everyone Review


OK
Part a diatribe on the perils of gay marriage, part an ensemble dramady a la The Big Chill, the poorly-titled Everyone is a very professional and well-made picture, though it ultimately feels a bit flat and hollow.

Ryan and Grant are getting married -- sort of: They can't actually decide on what to call their "civil union." One even wants the other to wear jeans and a t-shirt to the event instead of a tux. But never mind that: Relatives and friends are arriving, and the neuroses are piling up.

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The Five Senses Review


OK

Canadian writer-director Jeremy Podeswa assigned himself a daunting task when he stepped behind the camera to make "The Five Senses": Create a five-dimensional world of sight, sound, touch, taste and smell, in the two dimensional medium of film.

The resulting picture is penetrating metaphorical cinema that immerses the viewer in its characters' often internalized loneliness, anxiety, desire, shame and insecurity by watching them misunderstand, embrace and/or rediscover senses we often take for granted through five well-conceived, inter-connected narratives, one for each sense.

Richard (Philippe Volter) is a middle-aged French optometrist who has learned he is slowly going deaf. He makes a list of every sound he wants committed to memory before it's too late and sets out to record them in his mind. He calls his estranged wife's house just to hear his daughter answer the phone, and he becomes mesmerized while eavesdropping on a neighbor through heating ducts in his office floorboards.

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Freddy Vs Jason Review


Weak

For the first time since "Scream," the slasher genre shows signs of life (was that in poor taste?) in "Freddy vs. Jason," a franchise merger that pits hockey-masked psycho Jason Voorhees from the "Friday the 13th" movies against "A Nightmare on Elm Street's" dream-invading bimbo-killer Freddy Krueger and his knife-blade glove.

The scenes in which these two unstoppable supernatural slayers are literally at each other's throats prove to be everything fans of such movies could hope for as they hack, cut, beat, tear and toss each other around, first in Freddy's dream realm (where the burn-scarred nutcase has tapped into Jason's subconscious), and later on Jason's home turf at Camp Crystal Lake after Freddy has been drawn into the real world. Their super-violent showdowns are like John Woo fight scenes with all the elegance sucked out and replaced with brutal fury.

Unfortunately, the rest of the movie is largely the same tired old crap -- 25-year-old half-talents playing unconvincing high-schoolers stalked through the dark by one or the other of our killers. Any bouts of creativity in the script are almost immediately squelched by low standards of hack filmmaking, as evidenced by the boring expository prologue in which Krueger (Robert Englund) blabs on and on about his backstory, then explains the plot: He's awakened Jason (Ken Kirzinger) from the dead by invading his psyche (as a vision of his abusive mother), sending him to Elm Street to rekindle the fear Freddy needs to thrive in the dreams of his hometown teenagers and begin anew his own killing streak.

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Brendan Fletcher

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