Mike Richardson

Mike Richardson

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R.I.P.D. Review


Bad

The ingredients are all here, but this mash-up of Ghost with Men in Black is a painful misfire, neither funny nor engaging on any level. Even usually fine actors like Bridges and Bacon are left with nothing to do, while Reynolds strains to be the straight guy in a comedy that never raises a smile. And we can feel the filmmakers straining to crank up the wackiness at every turn.

Set in Boston, the story begins when young police detective Nick (Reynolds) refuses to join in a dirty deal proposed by his partner Bobby (Bacon), who then shoots him in cold blood. In the afterlife, Nick is recruited by a manager (Parker) into the Rest In Peace Department, protecting humanity from ghosts who have escaped judgement. His new partner is Wild West sheriff Roy (Bridges), who is reluctant to break the rules when Nick decides to investigate his own death to help protect his widow (Szostak) from Bobby's nefarious plan.

Yes, the plot is so in-grown that it never takes off, circling around a handful of characters even though it involves bringing about the end of humanity. Of course it does. These kinds of movies couldn't have stories that make any sense, and filmmakers can't resist making the ghosts goofy, rubbery cartoons rather than characters who are actually scary or interesting. The excessive use of digital effects makes the whole movie feel desperate as it strains for both laughs and teary emotion, but it gets neither.

Continue reading: R.I.P.D. Review

Mike Richardson and Saturn Awards Wednesday 24th June 2009 The 2009

Mike Richardson and Saturn Awards

My Name Is Bruce Review


OK
My Name is Bruce resembles a lot of neat stuff -- an elaborate DVD extra, fanboy souvenir, good-natured roast, enthusiastic home movie -- but not really a full-length feature film. At one point, we see that the bedroom of small-town teenager Jeff (Taylor Sharpe) is covered in Bruce Campbell paraphernalia: movie posters, action figures, memorabilia, and standees, all celebrating the cult B-movie hero. The bizarrely self-referential My Name is Bruce belongs in that room.

The movie's not-at-all-secret weapon is Campbell himself. Here he plays, well, Bruce Campbell, or a comic version of him: a washed-up, drunken lout of a cheeseball actor, slogging his way through the direct-to-DVD likes of Cave Alien 2 (a fake franchise hilariously well-integrated into Campbell's filmography alongside the likes of Maniac Cop and Assault on Dome 4). Around the point that Campbell hits bottom, drinking hooch out of a dog dish in his busted trailer, he's kidnapped by Jeff and taken to the town of Gold Lick. The town is under attack by the ancient Chinese demon Guan-di, and Jeff hopes that his movie idol will be able to provide some monster-exterminating expertise.

Continue reading: My Name Is Bruce Review

Hellboy II: The Golden Army Review


Excellent
Get in a discussion about comic-book movies and someone will indubitably bring up this theory: Part one of a comic-book movie anthology is always just OK; the series peaks with part two; and in part three (usually the final chapter) everything falls apart. (Think X-Men, Spider-man, and Superman). Hellboy II only furthers this theory. Part one, though visually sensational, delivered a weak jab in terms of its story, characters, and writing. But its sequel connects with a mighty punch, delivering everything you could possibly want from a summer blockbuster and more.

Hellboy II takes the fantastic make-up artistry, creature creation, and set design that we grew fond of in Pan's Labyrinth and combines all of these elements with mindblowing CGI and stunning choreography. The script this time around is sharp and witty; you'll be laughing for most of this movie (which is good, because Hellboy II would look silly if it took itself too seriously). Most importantly, the movie contains some of the best (i.e., least-fake-looking) action sequences I've ever seen in a comic-book movie, and lots of them, too, which makes it even better than Iron Man, its biggest summer contender next to the upcoming Dark Knight.

Continue reading: Hellboy II: The Golden Army Review

Mr. Warmth: The Don Rickles Project Review


OK
At the New York Film Festival screening of John Landis' Mr. Warmth: The Don Rickles Project, subversion was in the air as Landis strolled out to introduce the film and, peering into the audience, asked William Lustig, the director of Maniac Cop, to take a bow. The excitement continued when the lights dimmed and Harry Dean Stanton in the film began warbling "Old Blue" in Dan Tana's Restaurant. Landis' camera then picks up Rickles' empty dressing room at the Stardust in a series of masterly composed shots of vacant chairs and silent bric-a-brac -- Ozu in Vegas. But then banality set in.

Landis very quickly assumes the role of the Los Angeles Chapter President of The Don Rickles Fan Club. Legions of comics and actors are trotted out (much in the manner of The Aristocrats) to praise the brilliance and hilarity of the master of the comic insult. These interviews are interspersed with clips from Rickles' films -- Kelly's Heroes, Run Silent, Run Deep, The Rat Race, X: The Man With the X-Ray Eyes, Beach Blanket Bingo -- along with television excerpts from The Tonight Show and The Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts. The Man Himself is interviewed and asked to comment on his life and art. Centering the whole mishmash is footage of Rickles' nightclub act at the Stardust -- an act Rickles had heretofore adamantly refused to be filmed.

Continue reading: Mr. Warmth: The Don Rickles Project Review

Mr. Warmth:The Don Rickles Project Review


OK
At the New York Film Festival screening of John Landis' Mr. Warmth: The Don Rickles Project, subversion was in the air as Landis strolled out to introduce the film and, peering into the audience, asked William Lustig, the director of Maniac Cop, to take a bow. The excitement continued when the lights dimmed and Harry Dean Stanton in the film began warbling "Old Blue" in Dan Tana's Restaurant. Landis' camera then picks up Rickles' empty dressing room at the Stardust in a series of masterly composed shots of vacant chairs and silent bric-a-brac -- Ozu in Vegas. But then banality set in.

Landis very quickly assumes the role of the Los Angeles Chapter President of The Don Rickles Fan Club. Legions of comics and actors are trotted out (much in the manner of The Aristocrats) to praise the brilliance and hilarity of the master of the comic insult. These interviews are interspersed with clips from Rickles' films -- Kelly's Heroes, Run Silent, Run Deep, The Rat Race, X: The Man With the X-Ray Eyes, Beach Blanket Bingo -- along with television excerpts from The Tonight Show and The Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts. The Man Himself is interviewed and asked to comment on his life and art. Centering the whole mishmash is footage of Rickles' nightclub act at the Stardust -- an act Rickles had heretofore adamantly refused to be filmed.

Continue reading: Mr. Warmth:The Don Rickles Project Review

30 Days Of Night Review


Bad
30 Days of Night amounts to two hours of missed opportunities.

Director David Slade crams Steve Niles and Ben Templesmith's unusual graphic novel through the modern-horror meat grinder, falling back on tiresome flash cuts, routine audio screeches, and an abundance of artificial gore.

Continue reading: 30 Days Of Night Review

Mystery Men Review


Very Good
"Hey now, you're an all-star, get your game on, go play..." then sit back and watch America's newest superheroes screw up, in this summer's new comedy, Mystery Men. In this Tim Burtonesque film by Kinka Usher, a ragtag band of superheroes set out to rescue Captain Amazing (a Superman comparable played by Greg Kinear) from the evil clutches of the criminal mastermind, Cassanova Frankenstein (Geoffrey Rush).

Mystery Men is one of the funniest films I've seen all year. It combines the hilarious randomness of films like Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, with a satirical twist that today's audiences are sure to appreciate. Now don't get me wrong, Mystery Men is no masterpiece, but it made me laugh (a lot) and that's what the film is about. Mystery Men scores high in all areas. It has an entirely kooky and original plot fueled by crack up dialogue, mesmerizing scenery, (which is reminiscent of the Batman movies) and an awesome cast.

Continue reading: Mystery Men Review

Hellboy Review


Good
You can't help but dig Hellboy the character - born a demon, summoned by Nazis, saved by Americans, raised to fight otherworldly evil creatures, and played by Ron Perlman.

What you feel about Hellboy the movie is an altogether different topic.

Continue reading: Hellboy Review

Mike Richardson

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Mike Richardson Movies

R.I.P.D. Movie Review

R.I.P.D. Movie Review

The ingredients are all here, but this mash-up of Ghost with Men in Black is...

Hellboy II: The Golden Army Movie Review

Hellboy II: The Golden Army Movie Review

Get in a discussion about comic-book movies and someone will indubitably bring up this theory:...

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30 Days Of Night Movie Review

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30 Days of Night amounts to two hours of missed opportunities.Director David Slade crams Steve...

Mystery Men Movie Review

Mystery Men Movie Review

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Hellboy Movie Review

Hellboy Movie Review

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