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The Mummy Review

OK

To launch their new Dark Universe franchise, Universal has taken an approach that mixes murky visuals with exaggerated action. It's certainly nothing like the involving classic monster movies they're trying to reignite, such as the 1932 Boris Karloff classic The Mummy. But this movie has more in common with Tom Cruise's Mission: Impossible and Jack Reacher blockbusters, with added swimming zombies.

Cruise plays Nick, an American army officer and mercenary who with his cohort Vail (Jake Johnson) has just located a long-lost burial site deep in Daesh-controlled Iraq. Somehow, the hot archaeologist Jenny (Annabelle Wallis) arrives immediately to stop him from plundering this tomb. It turns out that the sarcophagus contains the remains of ancient Egyptian Princess Ahmanet (Sofia Boutella), who was mummified alive for making a pact with the evil god Set and then murdering her father and brother. Now transported to London, she returns to life with a vengeance, casting a spell on Nick to help reassemble Set's dagger and finish her nefarious plan. So Jenny turns to her deeply unstable boss Henry Jekyll (Russell Crowe) for help.

There's rather a lot of mythology building going on here, setting things up for the further adventures of Jekyll's secret society, which is trying to deal with ancient evil like a mash-up of Men in Black and Night at the Museum. Without the humour. There are some throwaway gags here and there, but director Alex Kurtzman stages everything with a gloomy sense of foreboding that simply never gains traction. The thin plot seems constructed merely to connect a series of enormous action set-pieces, which are all very well choreographed but never remotely exciting. It doesn't help that everything on-screen has been extravagantly over-designed, with cavernous sets that have been made deliberately dark and sooty. But this leaves the entire movie feeling artificial, random mayhem in fake places.

Continue reading: The Mummy Review

Now You See Me 2 Review

Good

While the original 2013 magical caper was a big hit, it's style-over-substance approach didn't exactly scream out for a follow-up. But here we are, with go-to sequel man Jon M. Chu at the helm (he also directed the second Step Up and G.I. Joe movies). Most of the high-octane cast is back for more trickery, but the plot is even murkier this time.

Since their last whiz-bang stunt, the Four Horsemen have been laying low. Their leader Dylan (Mark Ruffalo) continues to work in the FBI, helping Daniel, Merrit and Jack (Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson and Dave Franco) plot their next caper, now joined by quirky illusionist Lula (Lizzy Caplan). Their latest project is to expose corruption at a New York conglomerate, but the stunt is ambushed, and the quartet mysteriously finds themselves in Macau, coerced by a tech genius (Daniel Radcliffe) into staging an elaborate heist. Meanwhile, Dylan's cover is blown, so he teams up with veteran Thaddeus (Morgan Freeman) and heads to Macau himself, chased by his FBI boss (Sanaa Latham). And it all goes down in London.

The round-the-world plot gives the movie some very cool locations, and the plot races so quickly that most audiences won't notice that it makes virtually no logical sense at all. There are flashy distractions at every turn, from sleight of hand to vanishing acts to gross-out gags to enormous double-bluffs, and all of this is thoroughly entertaining even if the script itself feels strangely incomplete. Most sequences tend to end before they get to the point, while action scenes are choppy and incoherent. The only set-piece that works is the kinetic central heist, which hinges on a rapidly flung playing card. But even though it's uneven and clunky, the film remains entertaining simply because of the magical shenanigans and snarky dialogue.

Continue reading: Now You See Me 2 Review

Video - Jamie Foxx Poses With His Electro Mini-Me Daughter At 'The Amazing Spider-Man 2' NY Premiere - Part 4


'The Amazing Spider-Man 2' star Jamie Foxx was photographed on the red carpet at the movie's New York premiere where he held his young daughter Annalise in his arms while pulling a few funny poses. Annalise has her faced painted blue in reference to Jamie's character Electro who is one of the villains faced by Spider-Man in the movie.

Continue: Video - Jamie Foxx Poses With His Electro Mini-Me Daughter At 'The Amazing Spider-Man 2' NY Premiere - Part 4

Video - Pharrell Takes His Hat To 'The Amazing Spider-Man 2' NY Premiere - Part 3


'Happy' singer Pharrell Williams and his famously large hat were spotted amongst the crowd at the New York premiere for 'The Amazing Spider-Man 2' alongside various other actors from the movies.

Continue: Video - Pharrell Takes His Hat To 'The Amazing Spider-Man 2' NY Premiere - Part 3

Alex Kurtzman - Alex Kurtzman and Guest Friday 15th June 2012 2012 Los Angeles Film Festival premiere of 'People Like Us' at Regal Cinemas L.A. LIVE Stadium

Alex Kurtzman
Alex Kurtzman
Alex Kurtzman
Alex Kurtzman

Cowboys & Aliens Review


Good
With such a blatant B-movie title, this well-made film really should be more fun to watch. Actually, this is an entertaining Western that sticks very close to the genre and only incidentally features bad guys from another planet.

Jake (Craig) wakes up in the desert with no memory of who he is or why he has a strange metal bracelet clamped onto his arm. He staggers into a dusty town, where the sheriff (Carradine) helps him until he clashes with local bully Percy (Dano), the son of power-mad landowner Dolarhyde (Ford), who has a history with Jake. But when strange airborne "demons" attack the town, Jake discovers that his bracelet is a weapon that can fight them. So Dolarhyde drafts him into a posse to hunt them down.

Continue reading: Cowboys & Aliens Review

Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman - Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman Los Angeles, California - The 2010 Writers Guild Awards held at The Hyatt Regency Century Plaza - Arrivals Saturday 20th February 2010

Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman
Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman

Tranformers: Revenge Of The Fallen Review


Weak
Michael Bay makes his loudest, most bombastic movie yet (which is saying a lot) with a bloated action sequel so packed with special effects that it's virtually a cartoon. The humans barely register on screen, but it does look pretty cool.

Two years after teenaged Sam (LaBeouf) helped the alien Autobots fight off the evil Decepticons, he's ready to leave for university and start a long-distance relationship with his hot girlfriend Mikaela (Fox). But the Fallen, the deposed Decepticon leader, has other plans. And since Sam is the key to reviving their destructive plan, he's sucked back into the chaos along with Mikaela, his parents (Dunn and White), his new roommate (Rodriguez) and ex-agent Simmons (Turturro). They suddenly find themselves in Egypt, where a massive battle's about to begin.

Continue reading: Tranformers: Revenge Of The Fallen Review

Star Trek (2009) Review


Excellent
With one film, J.J. Abrams has made Star Trek younger, flashier, sexier, funnier, and less intelligent, but more exhilarating than it has been in decades. By altering the franchise's storied past, he ignites a fevered barn-burner that's geared toward today's action junkies but also sets the stage for what could be a long and prosperous future.

Abrams' stylized reboot isn't the finest film in the 10-picture series, which dates back to 1979's Star Trek: The Motion Picture. That distinction still belongs to the second Trek feature, The Wrath of Khan, though Abrams and co-screenwriters Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman wisely allow that film to influence most of their creative decisions.

Continue reading: Star Trek (2009) Review

Eagle Eye Review


Good
Bruce Sterling's 1998 novel Distraction opens with a group of strangers converging on a bank, each with one specific task. By the time they are done, the entire bank has been disassembled. While this idea of a smart mob's destructive power isn't exactly new, Eagle Eye's variations on the concept make for compelling, if sometimes contrived, cinema.

Jerry Shaw (Shia LaBeouf) is an underachiever mourning the recent death of his overachieving twin brother Ethan. Across town, Rachel Holloman (Michelle Monaghan) is sending her little boy Sam (Cameron Boyce) on a school band trip. While Jerry arrives home to find his apartment filled with every piece of terrorist contraband known to man and a voice on his cell phone telling him to run, Rachel receives a call telling her to follow instructions or her son's train will be derailed.

Continue reading: Eagle Eye Review

Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci - Alex Kurtzman & Roberto Orci Friday 5th September 2008 at Paley Center for Media Beverly Hills, CA

Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci

Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci - Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci Friday 5th September 2008 at Paley Center for Media Beverly Hills, California

Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci
Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci
Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci

Transformers Review


OK
For the first five minutes of Transformers -- a sound-and-fury tornado of effects that could only entertain during summer's dumb-dumb dog days -- you will believe that bombastic blockbuster director Michael Bay was the right choice to helm the project. Peter Cullen, who has voiced heroic robot Optimus Prime since the original Transformers cartoon of 1984, explains the series' legacy as his velvet voice establishes this new movie's driving quest: The search for a hidden cube that is the centerpiece of an age-old war. Geeks will go crazy.

The film's final 45 minutes lend credence to the notion that Bay deserved the job. Essentially an endless battle between the Autobots (good) and the Decepticons (bad), the conclusion of Transformers raises the bar for summer movie special effects to an unattainable height. Bay and the wizards at Industrial Light & Magic cram so much eye candy into every frame, my corneas have cavities.

Continue reading: Transformers Review

Mission: Impossible III Review


Excellent
Paramount's mission sounded impossible. Its assignment? Resurrect Tom Cruise's lucrative espionage franchise, which director John Woo left in shambles after the overly stylish and unreasonably convoluted 2000 installment.

To move forward, the studio and star (a credited producer) looked back - past the first Mission: Impossible movie to the 1960s television program that started it all. The M:I team grabbed TV wunderkind J.J. Abrams to direct after delighting in his original creation Alias, itself a modernized reworking of the spy show. But Abrams does far more than simply reboot the machine. He provides a much-needed stab of adrenaline through the franchise's creative heart.

Continue reading: Mission: Impossible III Review

The Island Review


Good
If you're going to clone someone, Scarlett Johansson is a damn good choice. But putting Scarlett in an action movie -- and dying her hair blonde? You can't be serious.

I am serious. And while The Island isn't exactly a great film, the case for Johansson as action starlet has been made, handily.

Continue reading: The Island Review

Alex Kurtzman

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Alex Kurtzman Movies

The Mummy Movie Review

The Mummy Movie Review

To launch their new Dark Universe franchise, Universal has taken an approach that mixes murky...

The Mummy - Featurettes, Clips and  Trailer

The Mummy - Featurettes, Clips and Trailer

During a deadly military operation in Egypt, an explosion uncovers an overwhelming secret buried in...

The Mummy Trailer

The Mummy Trailer

The tombs and burial chambers in Egypt have long provided fascinated discoveries and lead the...

Now You See Me 2 Movie Review

Now You See Me 2 Movie Review

While the original 2013 magical caper was a big hit, it's style-over-substance approach didn't exactly...

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