Friday, April 26, 2013

Movie Review: Pain & Gain

It's amazing what Michael Bay can do when he actually likes his job.

Make no mistake, Pain & Gain is unquestionably Michael Bay's best work. By a lot. Even at his best, Michael Bay has never before been what you might call an artist. Certainly he had a distinctive style, but even his good movies were nothing more than glossed-up, market-tested uniformly produced blockbusters. Even the much-lauded insanity of Bad Boys II was a very standard sort of insanity (one need look no farther than the Crank series to see what truly insane action film-making looks like). He's essentially been the lowbrow counterpart to Roland Emmerick. Until now, he never had what every filmmaker needs to make a truly great film: passion.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Movie Review: Evil Dead (2013)

Horror remakes are not generally-liked. I realizing that's about as obvious an observation as noting that some people aren't terribly fond of puppy-killing, but it's true all the same. And if you ask most viewers what their problem with these films are, mostly likely the answer will contain the word "PG-13". People can't stand to see their favorite horror movies watered down. "It's not scary if you limit yourself, if you're not willing to go there" is the general sentiment. Fans of the originals want to see all of the blood-splattering and graphic carnage that so affected them the first time around, & are confident that horror remakes' consistent refusal to do so is the reason for their failure as films.

Evil Dead is proof that they were wrong. The gore was never the problem.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Movie Review: The Croods

 The Croods is a movie that is both better than expected yet still disappointing which are two things one cannot often say about the same film. On the one hand it has all of the studio Dreamworks' worst habits on display, a fact which was made pretty clear by the marketing. On the other hand, it shows some surprising awareness as to the vast potential of its own premise; never enough to take advantage of it, but enough to come frustratingly close to greatness. It's just good enough to make you wish it was better.