The film The Host is the spiritual successor to the Twilight franchise in multiple ways - most notably that the source material for both franchises come from the same author, Stephenie Meyer. This film exists because the trailers and posters include the words “from Stephenie Meyer the author of The Twilight Saga.” Without that pre-existing fan base I’m not sure this project would have been on the receiving end of studio approval.
One of my favorite quotes is “There is an art, or, rather, a knack to flying. The knack lies in learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss.” That quote by Douglas Adams is extremely pertinent to this here article. There is an art, or rather, a knack to giving a good review.
Shock value isn’t as valuable as it used to be. It’s odd, and a little unsettling, to think of a film where the White House is forcible taken by terrorists as a refreshing change of pace. Nevertheless, Olympus Has Fallen is about as traditional of a military action movie as we’re likely to get these days - and that’s fine by this guy with the thumbs.
Being a reviewer can be a tricky business. My job is to evaluate a film and then report on its quality and importance relative to its intent, to other films and as a self-contained piece of entertainment art. A perfect reviewer, which I make no claim to be, would consistently be in the same frame of mind and have no preconceived notions or expectations.
True magicians never reveal their secrets. There is precious little wonder left in our world and sometimes people don’t need to know all the answers. By the same token, sometimes there are stories that just don’t need to be told. That was my initial thought when I heard that a prequel to The Wizard of Oz was being made. I simply had no desire to see it come to life.
Originality is hard. Not only is it legitimately difficult come up with an original idea but the entire concept of originality is not a safe bet in Hollywood. Sequels, remakes and adaptations are the name of the game because they come with established audiences and a near endless pool of existing properties to chose from.
Trailers and previews are not always representative of the films they advertise. Quite the contrary, a trailer is designed to put a film’s best foot forward and sell tickets. Both frequently and unfortunately most trailers write checks that the film itself can’t cash. Snitch is the latest entry to a very short list of films that are actually undersold by their advertisements.
Safe Haven is yet another adaptation of a Nicholas Spark novel that has found its way into cinemas. Appropriately, I noticed that this movie was produced by a company called Nicholas Sparks Productions. As such, an annual or biennial romantic film based on one of Sparks’ novels would be a very safe bet - kind of like Transformers or Pirates of the Caribbean.
While it’s debatable how good of a day it is to “Die Hard” it certainly bears mentioning that this is a good week to celebrate. This week marks my one year anniversary of writing movie reviews for my local newspaper, The Hays Daily News. It’s an opportunity that I continue to be grateful for in no small part because of the advantages that are provided by seeing a movie every week. For one, it’s a great routine and a much anticipated end-of-the-week tradition. Furthermore, after today I will make use of my review of each film I see in four different mediums (More on that later). My thanks go out to the staff of the Hays Daily News for their continued support and to all of you for coming back to read my ramblings.
Action and reaction - it’s hard to describe a more universal law than that. The hook is that it is very difficult to anticipate all of the possible variables, much less the results.
Silver Linings Playbook is yet another Oscar contender that I was fairly certain I wasn’t going to be able to see before it hit Blu-Ray. Luckily, my local theatre was able to start showing it this past weekend and I am exceedingly grateful that they did.
Film, like any other art form, is about expression and the conveyance of ideas and emotions. Trying to convey the frustration, hopelessness, fear, anger and dedication that would have been part of the decade-long manhunt for Osama bin Laden seems like a tall order. I’m happy to report that Zero Dark Thirty accomplishes its mission.
Well, he said he’d be back. On that count at least the new Arnold Schwarzenegger movie The Last Stand gets something right. Not counting some minor cameo roles in Sylvester Stallone’s Expendables films Schwarzenegger hasn’t had a leading role since 2003’s Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines.
Dream teams don’t always work out. It’s not enough to fill every position with a great player and hope that they will become a great team. The same is true for films and Gangster Squad is a perfect example. A powerhouse cast, led by Sean Penn, Josh Brolin, Ryan Gosling, and Emma Stone saves this tale of cops and mobsters from swimming with the fishes but even this much star power can’t compensate for lackluster writing and weak direction.
I’m not a fan of horror movies and I’m certainly not a fan of poorly made movies. Therefore, a poorly made horror movie isn’t exactly my cup of tea. I will give Texas Chainsaw 3D an infinitesimal amount of credit for failed, but conscious, attempt to add some psychological depth to what is ultimately another mindless, predictable, uninteresting mess. Unfortunately, but unsurprisingly, the film fails in nearly every department. These types of movies only function because of a endlessly repeated procedural formula that involves a group of stupid twenty-somethings making the most idiotic and incorrect decisions at every available opportunity.