It's the year 2154 and Max Da Costa is living in the densely populated, crime and war ravaged wasteland that is the planet Earth. Meanwhile, the rich and the privileged live on an orbital settlement in space called Elysium which boasts perfect landscapes, no poverty and medical advancements that can eliminate illnesses such as cancer in half a second. Despite Earth being a disease-stricken planet with little resources to go around, Secretary Rhodes is vehemently strict with her immigration laws disallowing anyone of a lower class to be allowed into their utopia even in the case of the most serious of illnesses. An ailing Max is determined to survive, however, even if it means embarking on a highly dangerous mission to break into the highly guarded space habitat and retrieve medical resources that could save him and the rest of the suffering population.
Continue: Elysium Trailer
Five teenagers - Holden; Curt; Marty; Jules and Dana - decide to go on a weekend trip to let off some steam. Not surprisingly, their location of choice is a cabin in the woods. So remote is this cabin that it doesn't show up on the teens' GPS.
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Heck, even Stevie Wonder jokes are fresher than the Ballistic script. Blessed with the most ridiculous title in recent memory, Ballistic pits icy cool Antonio Banderas against smoldering hot Lucy Liu and watches the sparks fly. And fly. Then explode. And then fly some more. Liu, as rogue DIA agent Sever, kidnaps a child who's unknowingly carrying the latest invention of an unidentified shadow government. The device turns soldiers into flawless assassins. Eager to get their own hands on the device, the FBI blackmails former agent Jeremiah Ecks (Banderas) into stopping Sever and retrieving the boy.
Continue reading: Ballistic: Ecks Vs. Sever Review
Writer-director Cameron Crowe's fond fictionalization of his first assignmentfor Rolling Stone -- as a 15-year-old cub reporter in 1973 -- "Almost Famous" is a vividly realized labor of love and an absolute pleasure to watch.
Having gestated in Crowe's fertile mind since before "SayAnything," his 1989 directorial debut, it's a born crowd-pleaser honedinto an entertaining cinematic paragon of rock 'n' roll that boasts sharpperformances from a sublime cast, speaking page after page of Crowe's uniquebrand of intrinsically quotable, yet seemingly true-to-life dialogue.
A winning young actor named PatrickFugit -- who prior to being cast had only twoepisodes of "Touched By An Angel" on his resume -- carries themovie as William Miller, the director's mop-topped alter-ego. Like Crowehimself, William gets his start as a rock journalist by being taken underthe wing of Lester Bangs (Philip Seymour Hoffman), a jaded but passionatemusic reporter for the fanzine Creem.
Continue reading: Almost Famous Review
One of the more gratifying feelings a movie critic can have is the feeling of going into a picture expecting tiresome clichés of an overplayed genre, only to discover delightfully surprising freshness and soul where all the hackneyed conventions usually are.
"40 Days and 40 Nights" is such a movie. Misleadingly marketed as just another misogynistic romp through the young male libido, this often ribald comedy about a frustrated 20-something giving up sex for Lent is what the puerile, simplistic "American Pie," "Tomcats" and "Saving Silverman" might have been, had they been made by people with imagination and wit.
Directed by Michael Lehmann -- the man behind the twisted teen angst and irony of the subversive '80s cult hit "Heathers" -- "40 Days" finds many new and inventive ways to make sexual frustration funny.
Continue reading: 40 Days & 40 Nights Review
Writer-director David Twohy creates an uncommonly vivid and comprehensive science-fiction universe in "The Chronicles of Riddick," complete with genuinely otherworldly planets and detailed cultural mythologies. But he spends so much time and energy on such minutiae that the film fails to live up to the promise of it all. His manifold details serve a standard action-star-against-an-army plot with substandard catch-phrase dialogue.
The title character and reluctant hero -- a ruthlessly efficient, prison-buffed mass-murderer with night-vision eyes played by thunder-voiced, chrome-domed Vin Diesel -- was first seen in Twohy's "Pitch Black," a seat-gripping, even more vivid and otherworldly alien-swarm horror flick from 2000 that helped launch the actor's tough-guy career.
Riddick saved a few crash-landed space-transport passengers from being eaten alive by spectacular CGI monsters in that movie, but when "Chronicles" picks up five years later, bounty hunters are still hot on the trail of the coldblooded escapee. The biggest reward isn't being offered for his capture, however. One of the "Pitch Black's" survivors (Keith David) is seeking Riddick's vicious muscle to help save his homeworld from an unstoppable evil.
Continue reading: The Chronicles Of Riddick Review
If it weren't for director Wych "Kaos" Kaosayananda's laughably excessive use of slow-motion, the convoluted, monotonous, mindlessly flashy, espionage-action bomb "Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever" would be about 12 minutes long -- which might have made it almost watchable.
In a plot more scattershot than its endless, aimless rounds of ammunition, "Ballistic" kitchen-sinks together rival government intel agencies, microscopic assassination nano-bots, poorly faked deaths and new identities, a kidnapped kid that must be rescued in "less than 12 hours" for no explained reason, and rogue spies avenging their murdered families. It's nearly impossible to keep track of who's trying to kill whom and why, but that's of little importance to Bangkok film industry refugee Kaos. As long as somebody is getting shot or something is blowing up, he couldn't care less.
The uninspired bedlam that passes for action in this disaster isn't any more lucid than the story. Shrapnel-flying, cartwheel-turning shootout scenes are cheap, disorderly rip-offs from the "The Matrix." Wet asphalt used to give the movie a slick look makes for boring motorcycle "chases" that never exceed 40 mph (and even at that speed it's hard to say who's the chaser and who's the chasee). And Kaos seems to live by the mantra "why shoot at someone when you can set off explosions all around them -- and still miss?"
Continue reading: Ballistic: Ecks Vs Sever Review
It's the year 2154 and Max Da Costa is living in the densely populated, crime...
Five teenagers - Holden; Curt; Marty; Jules and Dana - decide to go on a...
Pay good money to see Ballistic: Ecks Vs. Sever and you have nobody but yourself...
Writer-director Cameron Crowe's fond fictionalization of his first assignmentfor Rolling Stone -- as a 15-year-old...
One of the more gratifying feelings a movie critic can have is the feeling of...
Writer-director David Twohy creates an uncommonly vivid and comprehensive science-fiction universe in "The Chronicles of...
If it weren't for director Wych "Kaos" Kaosayananda's laughably excessive use of slow-motion, the convoluted,...