A more feminine slant elevates this remake to something interesting, even if the film is overwrought and essentially unnecessary. Director Peirce calls this a new adaptation of the Stephen King novel rather than a remake of the 1976 Brian DePalma film. But while this is an efficiently made freak-out, Peirce packs the screen with nods to the earlier movie, which remains the iconic version of this story.
Carrie (Moretz) is bullied at high school because she doesn't quite fit in. Mean girl Chris (Doubleday) targets her ruthlessly, humiliating her in the locker-room when she first gets her period. But Chris' friend Sue (Wilde) thinks this went too far, and convinces her hunky boyfriend Tommy (Elgort) to take Carrie to the prom. Back home, Carrie's mother Margaret (Moore) is a religious fanatic who hates men, rejects any hint of sex and locks Carrie in a tiny closet to pray for forgiveness when she even mentions going to a dance with a boy. But Carrie's womanhood has also brought her telekinetic powers. And as the prom approaches, Chris is planning something nasty that will provoke Carrie to react.
The first problem here is in casting Moretz as a teen wallflower, because she's simply too confident and glamorous to believe as someone so socially inept. Thankfully, Moretz is a terrific actor, so she sharply catches Carrie's nervous energy and makes us believe that she's been pushed to the brink by both her mother and her classmates. Even so, she works out how to use her power far too quickly. Opposite her, Moore delivers a superbly detailed portrayal of a paranoid true believer.
Continue reading: Carrie Review
Craig (Gilchrist) is a 17-year-old overwhelmed by thoughts of suicide. So one night he heads to the emergency room for help, then talks the doctor into admitting him for observation. He's a bit shocked that he'll be there for at least five days, but quickly becomes friends with Bobby (Galifianakis) and Noelle (Roberts). His parents (Graham and Gaffigan) are supportive, and his doctors (Davis and Davies) help him work through his issues. But the biggest challenge is to sort out his feelings for Nia (Kravitz), the girlfriend of his best pal (Mann).
Continue reading: It's Kind of a Funny Story Review
Emily (Zellweger) is a social worker barely keeping up with 38 cases when her boss (Lester) hands her one more. It centres on 10-year-old Lily (Ferland), whose parents (Rennie and O'Malley) might be abusing her. Surely when they lock her in an oven and switch on the heat, something is wrong. Emily rescues Lily and takes her in, turning to two friends for help: a child counsellor (Cooper) and a cop (McShane). The cop is important because something is clearly not right with Lily.
Continue reading: Case 39 Review
In 1933, John Dillinger (Depp) is America's public enemy No 1, the top target for FBI chief Hoover (Crudup) and his top agent Purvis (Bale). And the brazen nature of his bank-robbing spree makes the Feds even more irate. But as Dillinger falls for the exotic Billie (Cotillard), his colleagues are being captured or killed. Dillinger may be able to slip out of prison, but without his trusted friends, he's forced to work with unpredictable gangsters like Baby Face Nelson (Graham) and Alvin Karpis (Ribisi). And the agents are closing in.
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This film tells a very familiar tale of a talented fighter discovered by an opportunistic but ultimately good-hearted manager/trainer and shoved into a world of money, greed, and empty glory that he may not be prepared for. But Never Back Down, this is not. The moment Shawn (Channing Tatum) enters the screen, it's obvious he is not wise nor even very intelligent for that matter. He's lean and muscular but he doesn't have it over on anyone, and this is partially how he comes under the wing of Harvey Boarden (Terrence Howard), a street hustler who has connections to the world of private boxing. There's a hint of imperialism in the way the very white Shawn squares-off against four fighters, beginning with a brawny Eastern European type and ending with Evan (Brian J. White), a black, brutal fighter who Shawn's father taught and loved more than his son.
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The contrived setup gives us Nic as one Silvia Broome, a long-time resident of Africa who now makes a living as an interpreter at the UN. The headlines have a hated president from her homeland by the name of Zuwanie who's accused of genocide coming to give a speech to the General Assembly; most observers assume that the speech will save him from being tried for crimes against humanity as he pledges democratic reforms, and so his enemies are -- possibly -- planning to murder him at the podium. Or at least that's what Silvia says, as she overhears a potential plot late one night in her talkin' booth when she returns to the UN to get her "flutes and stuff."
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Judging from the amount of time I spent analyzing molars and fillings, you can imagine how exciting I found the action on screen. The Rundown is yet another paint-by-numbers buddy comedy tailor-made for the former wrestler's brawny talents. The story follows bounty hunter Beck (The Rock) into the Amazon on the trail of Travis (Scott), an amateur archeologist and the wayward son of Beck's seedy boss. Travis seeks The Gatto, a solid gold relic reportedly worth millions, and he's racing wealthy land tycoon Hatcher (Christopher Walken) and gorgeous rebel leader Mariana (Dawson) to the loot.
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The Scorpion King ably rehashes the plots of the variety of other, better films including Gladiator, the Indiana Jones series, Flash Gordon, Beastmaster, and even The Goonies. Set 5,000 years ago, a warlord named Memnon (Steven Brand), acting on crazed Napoleonic urges, ravages the land and bends its people into totalitarian rule. With the aid of a seer who foretells the future, Memnon stands invincible against all aggressors.
Continue reading: The Scorpion King Review