Michael Bacall

Michael Bacall

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22 Jump Street Review


Very Good

A consistently hilarious stream of in-jokes keeps the audience in fits of laughter even if there's virtually no plot to this follow-up to the 2012 hit 21 Jump Street. Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum revive their amusing double-act to poke fun at sequels and franchises amid silly set-pieces and starry cameos. And it gives filmmakers Phil Lord and Christopher Miller their second terrific comedy of the year, after The Lego Movie.

Following their successful bust of a high school drug ring, undercover officers Schmidt and Jenko (Hill and Tatum) are assigned by their grumpy captain (Ice Cube) to infiltrate a university and track down who's dealing the new drug whyphy. But both get distracted by life on campus: Schmidt begins a romance with Maya (Amber Stevens), while Jenko finds his meathead soul-mate in football teammate Zook (Wyatt Russell). With their partnership in jeopardy, Schmidt and Jenko must refocus on a spring break trip to Mexico, where they discover an old nemesis (Peter Stormare) on the loose.

Using a non-stop series of gags about how follow-up movies are more expensive and less original, the filmmakers go about proving this hypothesis with amusingly overwrought sets and a chaotic, derivative narrative that has very little momentum. Meanwhile, they pack every moment of the film with witty humour that's played expertly by Hill and Tatum, who rekindle their chemistry with a steady barrage of gay double entendre that reveals the movie's true nature as a brom-com. On the other hand, neither the actors nor the filmmakers are willing to push things too far, so they settle for silly vulgarity instead of any black comedy or edgy humour.

Continue reading: 22 Jump Street Review

Django Unchained Alternative Trailer


German bounty hunter Dr. King Schultz is on the hunt for a brutal gang of murderers, the Brittle brothers. His search leads him to the only person who has information on the group, Django, who is a slave living in the deep south of the States. Schultz crosses his path as he finds Django shackled to a group of other slaves who are all being taken to auction. Posing as a dentist, Schultz requests to buy him from his owners. On the owners' refusal, Schultz ruthlessly shoots them to death and takes the slave. The bounty hunter promises to free Django and take him to rescue his wife, Broomhilda, who has been enslaved by a Mississippi plantation owner on the dead or alive capture of the Brittle brothers. On their success, Schultz frees Django as promised but the pair decides to stick together as bounty hunters full time. Their search for Broomhilda leads him to the 'Candyland' plantation owner Calvin Candie who has trainer Ace Woody train slaves to fight each other for sport. The bounty hunters arouse suspicion from loyal house slave Stephen as they arrive to explore the property under a false guise and soon become under threat by a dangerous organisation who are determined not to let them escape with Broomhilda.

This western drama is directed by the award-winning director, writer and Quentin Tarantino ('Pulp Fiction', 'Kill Bill', 'Reservoir Dogs') and includes a star-studded cast. 'Django Unchained' is a thought provoking story set in the deep south of America two years before the Civil War. It was inspired by 60s western 'Django' along with its sequels and includes a cameo appearance from 'Django' star Franco Nero.</p><p>It is set for release on December 25th 2013 in the US and January 18th 2013 in the UK.

Directed By: Quentin Tarantino

Continue: Django Unchained Alternative Trailer

Django Unchained Trailer


German bounty hunter Dr. King Schultz is on the hunt for a brutal gang of murderers, the Brittle brothers. His search leads him to the only person who has information on the group, Django, who is a slave living in the deep south of the States. Schultz crosses his path as he finds Django shackled to a group of other slaves who are all being taken to auction. Posing as a dentist, Schultz requests to buy him from his owners. On the owners' refusal, Schultz ruthlessly shoots them to death and takes the slave. The bounty hunter promises to free Django and take him to rescue his wife, Broomhilda, who has been enslaved by a Mississippi plantation owner on the dead or alive capture of the Brittle brothers. On their success, Schultz frees Django as promised but the pair decides to stick together as bounty hunters full time. Their search for Broomhilda leads him to the 'Candyland' plantation owner Calvin Candie who has trainer Ace Woody train slaves to fight each other for sport. The bounty hunters arouse suspicion from loyal house slave Stephen as they arrive to explore the property under a false guise and soon become under threat by a dangerous organisation who are determined not to let them escape with Broomhilda.

Continue: Django Unchained Trailer

21 Jump Street Review


Excellent
An especially sharp script makes this riotous adaptation of the serious-minded 1980s TV series thoroughly entertaining. And it manages to achieve a balance between the action and spoofery due to sure-handed direction and a cast that really dives into the mayhem.

Rivals in high school, popular pretty boy Jenko (Tatum) and smart-shy nerd Schmidt (Hill) become unlikely friends to get through police academy. But being cops isn't quite as exciting as they thought it would be until they're assigned to the Jump Street squad run by Captain Dickson (Cube). This group of baby-faced cops infiltrate high schools, posing as students. Jenko and Schmidt's assignment is to find the source of a new super-drug that recently caused the death of a student.

Continue reading: 21 Jump Street Review

Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World Review


OK
So uber-hip that young audiences will adore it, this hyperactive film can't decide whether it's a comic book or a videogame. Sure, it's visually whizzy and often very funny, but filmmaker Wright loses the story in the scuffle.

In Toronto, Scott (Cera) is a 22-year-old geek in a rock band. His bandmates (Webber, Pill and Simmons), sister (Kendrick) and flatmate (Culkin) tease him for dating a teenager (Wong), but she's the band's biggest fan. Then he meets Ramona (Winstead), who is literally his dream girl, and to win her hand he has to defeat her seven evil exes in outlandish battles. These include an action movie star (Evans) and a top music promoter (Schwartzman). And one (Routh) is member of a band fronted by Scott's own evil ex (Larson).

Continue reading: Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World Review

Michael Bacall - Michael Bacall and Guests Tuesday 27th July 2010 at Grauman's Chinese Theatre Hollywood, California

Michael Bacall

Manic Review


Good
When troubled teen Lyle (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) goes postal, gets put in restraints, and is commited by his mother to a juvenile mental facility, we get sent there, as well. Suddenly, we're in institutional surroundings much like that in Girl, Interrupted -- only we stay there. We don't get to escape and have an adventure on the outside. What's worse, we're subjected to digital video camera work that is tortuous enough to bring out whatever manic manifestation there might be lurking on the edge of our frontal lobe. It's cinema verité and as subjective as a camera can be.

The backstory on Lyle is that he attacked a kid with a baseball bat. Yes, the guy taunted him during a baseball game, and Lyle has had his share of troubles at home -- all of which is going to come out in therapy -- but that's why he's considered enough of a menace to society and to himself to make him a candidate for Northward Mental Institution, a spa for undisciplined youths run by therapist-in-charge Dr. David Monroe (Don Cheadle). Totally tight-lipped at first, Lyle commands attention by the sheer unpredictability of how and when his fast fuse of rage will ignite into violence.

Continue reading: Manic Review

Undertow Review


OK

If I were to choose the single greatest American directorial debut of the last ten years, David Gordon Green's "George Washington" would be very near the top of the list. This extraordinarily lyrical film unfolded its odd, wonderful moments with a near complete disregard for plot mechanics. Green's second film, "All the Real Girls," included many of the same disconnected moments, but they were now spattered into a story about a womanizer who falls in love for the first time.

His third film, "Undertow," continues in the same vein as his latter effort. It still has the good stuff, but now it's steeped in a rudimentary, even ludicrous, plot. It plays like nothing more than an exceedingly well-written "Friday the 13th" sequel.

"Undertow" tells the story of a Southern family: a soft-spoken father, John (Dermot Mulroney), a troublesome older boy, Chris (Jamie Bell), and a sickly younger boy, Tim (Devon Alan); their mother has long ago passed on. When John's brother Deel (Josh Lucas) turns up on their doorstep, fresh from prison, John invites him to stay. It turns out that the menacing Deel is really after a case of gold coins that their father once collected. He stops at nothing to get them, not even killing his own brother and stalking the two boys across hill and dale.

Continue reading: Undertow Review

Urban Legends: The Final Cut Review


Zero

As wretched as any Ed Wood bomb, and without the camp factor to make it train-wreck entertaining, "Urban Legends: The Final Cut" is a serious contender for the worst horror movie ever made.

It's not just that the movie isn't the least bit scary. It's not just that the killer picks off his victims in the most humdrum manner. It's not just that almost every performance is so flaccid that the actors look like they're reading cue cards even when they scream.

It's not just that the slasher wears a fencing mask, signaling an utter lack of originality and adherence to copycat screenwriting formula (if Jason had worn a football helmet in "Friday the 13th," this guy would be wearing a baseball cap, no doubt.) It's not even that this pathetic excuse for a suspense movie has the unmitigated gall to compare itself to Hitchcock.

Continue reading: Urban Legends: The Final Cut Review

Michael Bacall

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Michael Bacall Movies

22 Jump Street Movie Review

22 Jump Street Movie Review

A consistently hilarious stream of in-jokes keeps the audience in fits of laughter even if...

Django Unchained Alternative Trailer

Django Unchained Alternative Trailer

German bounty hunter Dr. King Schultz is on the hunt for a brutal gang of...

Django Unchained Trailer

Django Unchained Trailer

German bounty hunter Dr. King Schultz is on the hunt for a brutal gang of...

21 Jump Street Movie Review

21 Jump Street Movie Review

An especially sharp script makes this riotous adaptation of the serious-minded 1980s TV series thoroughly...

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Scott Pilgrim vs. the World Movie Review

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World Movie Review

So uber-hip that young audiences will adore it, this hyperactive film can't decide whether it's...

Manic Movie Review

Manic Movie Review

When troubled teen Lyle (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) goes postal, gets put in restraints, and is commited...

Urban Legends: The Final Cut Movie Review

Urban Legends: The Final Cut Movie Review

As wretched as any Ed Wood bomb, and without the camp factor to make it...

Undertow Movie Review

Undertow Movie Review

If I were to choose the single greatest American directorial debut of the last ten...

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