Eight people wake up in freefall as they drop into a mysterious jungle. It's clear that they've been carefully selected: the mercenary tough guy (Brody), brainy scientist (Grace), military hero (Braga), death-row maniac (Goggins), Russian fighter (Taktarov), Mexican brawler (Trejo), Yakuza killer (Changchien) and African warrior (Ali). And they soon realise that they're on some alien planet, acting as both prey and predators in some sick hunting game. Then they encounter a jittery nutcase (Fishburne) who has somehow eluded attack for several years.
Continue reading: Predators Review
When a group of mercenaries, yakuza, convicts and one disgraced doctor find themselves stranded on an alien planet, it doesn't take long for them to realise they've all been drawn to the planet to as prey for a new kind of alien. A mercenary called Royce leads the men in what seems to be an impossible battle against elimination.
Continue: Predators Trailer
OK, the title is actually an apt reference to Andy Warhol's "fifteen minutes of fame," but that doesn't mean it isn't too long. Slow, plodding, and so far-fetched it stretches the boundaries of "suspension of disbelief," 15 Minutes does very little with a good cast, hoping instead you'll bite into its shock value and simply love the taste.
Continue reading: 15 Minutes Review
Somewhere between a buddy-cop potboiler and a blunted, commercialized "Natural Born Killers" lies "15 Minutes," a slick, violent thriller with an acerbic statement to make about media sensationalism.
Hard-drinking, cigar-chomping celebrity cop Eddie Flemming (Robert De Niro) and bristly, business-minded arson investigator Jordy Warsaw (Edward Burns) are on the trail of a pair of Eastern European criminals who have hit New York in pursuit of the new millennium American Dream: Get as famous as possible as fast as possible. How? By videotaping a killing spree and selling the tape to tabloid TV.
Yes, the plot just screams "gimmick!" and writer-director John Herzfeld ("2 days in the Valley") lays it on thick, like when the killers go to dinner in an upscale restaurant that shows their tabloid program on a wall-sized TV while snooty diners sip champagne. As if!
Continue reading: 15 Minutes Review
There's an idea behind remaking old movies that weren't that great in the first place: Instead of screwing up a classic, make a better version of a failed film. Witness, for example, Steven Soderbergh's smarter, snappier Rat Pack-less retread of "Ocean's Eleven," which got several times the cinematic mileage of its predecessor.
But this concept seems to be lost on flash-bang action director John McTiernan, whose vacuous, pure-noise-and-atmosphere update of 1975's "Rollerball" -- a cautionary, futuristic parable of extreme sports bloodlust -- is so devoid of substance it almost defies description.
Rollerball is a ferocious team sport -- part roller derby, part motocross, part World Wrestling Federation -- played in fictionalized and extremely corrupt Central Asian nations. The sport's biggest star is virtuous pall-American import Jonathan Cross (Chris Klein), who has just discovered the league owners are rigging the games for more violence because spilt blood spells ratings for their TV networks.
Continue reading: Rollerball Review
Moderation has never been a high priority for the explosion-infatuated team of producer Jerry Bruckheimer and director Michael Bay, but with the two-and-a-half hour wise-cracking, car-crashing, ammo-clip-emptying action sequel "Bad Boys II," they demonstrate what could almost be described as a talent for not knowing enough to quit while they're ahead.
Around the two hour mark, as nattering Miami cops Mike Lowry (Will Smith) and Marcus Burnett (Martin Lawrence) are gearing up for their umpteenth shootout, the flick simply runs out of steam. It's not that fireballs and gunfights drop off, it's that the accumulative effect becomes a mind-numbing din of million-dollar-a-minute over-production.
A sequel to 1995's barrage-of-bullets buddy-cop guilty pleasure that made household names of Smith and Lawrence -- and unleashed on the world a deluge of Bay's uber-slick, brain-dead blockbusters ("The Rock," "Armageddon," "Pearl Harbor") -- the flick is a 100-mph joy ride until it hits the skids.
Continue reading: Bad Boys II Review
Let's skip right over the fact that "National Treasure" may well have the most asinine plot in the history of cinema. But for the record, it's an action-adventure yarn from "dumb it down and blow things up" producer Jerry Bruckheimer, and it's about an invisible map on the back of the Declaration of Independence leading to a vast, multi-billion-dollar treasure buried by the Founding Fathers. So I think the "you've got to be kidding" factor pretty much speaks for itself.
Instead let's marvel at how a trio of hack writers (collectively responsible for "Snow Dogs," "The 6th Day" and "I-Spy"), coupled with a director whose best work is mediocre and pedestrian (Jon Turteltaub of "Phenomenon" and "Instinct"), can take this dumb idea and make it even worse in every conceivable way.
First they contrived to have a series of barely coherent clues to the treasure's location appear in laughably cryptic little poems and in the design of the $1 and $100 bills. Then they concocted an eccentric, nerdy-cool, disgraced-historian lead character named Benjamin Franklin Gates, who arbitrarily solves each esoteric riddle within three minutes of discovering it. These lead him closer and closer to digging up the treasure -- even though he says all he wants to do is protect it. (If it's been safely hidden for centuries, why not leave well enough alone?)
Continue reading: National Treasure Review
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There's an idea behind remaking old movies that weren't that great in the first place:...
Somewhere between a buddy-cop potboiler and a blunted, commercialized "Natural Born Killers" lies "15 Minutes,"...
Moderation has never been a high priority for the explosion-infatuated team of producer Jerry Bruckheimer...
Let's skip right over the fact that "National Treasure" may well have the most asinine...