Writer-director Shane Black returns to the comedy-noir vibe of his 2005 hit Kiss Kiss Bang Bang with this riotously funny thriller set in late-1970s Los Angeles. It's an entertaining mix of hilarious action mayhem, slapstick and violence anchored by Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe, who unexpectedly prove to be a superb comedy double-act.
It's 1977, and private detective Holland (Gosling) is searching for a porn star who was spotted alive after dying in a car crash. His investigation leads him to Amelia (Margaret Qualley), who has hired the thug Jackson (Crowe) to keep people off her tail. After beating up Holland, Jackson realises that maybe they should be working together, as other cases seem to be dovetailing around Amelia's politically powerful mother (Kim Basinger). But now Holland and Jackson are being chased by the legendary assassin John Boy (Matt Bomer). And Holland is having a terrible time keeping his bright 13-year-old daughter Holly (Angourie Rice) from getting involved in this dangerous case.
Gosling and Crowe play Holland and Jackson as a classic comedy duo along the lines of Abbott and Costello or Hope and Crosby: bumbling idiots who somehow manage to save the day due to dumb luck and someone smart looking out for them. In this case, their guardian angel is Holly, and young Aussie actress Rice more than holds her own against these A-list stars. Holly is the only person on-screen who has a clue what's actually going on, and Rice effortlessly walks off with the film, giving a knowing performance that's hugely engaging. The other scene-stealer is Bomer, whose slick, overconfident killer is simply screaming to be taken down a peg or two.
Continue reading: The Nice Guys Review
If you're on the wrong side of the law and looking for someone to send a special kind of 'message', Jackson Healey might just be the man you call. One day his work takes him to the door of Holland March where he leaves his own particular type of message for Holland, a private detective who's currently a little down on his luck.
When an employee of the Department Of Justice finds that her daughter has gone missing, she employs Healey to find her by any means necessary. Out of his depth, Healey calls on the best private eye he knows. Initially very hesitant to work with the guy who only recently sucker punched him, Holland agrees to help find the girl.
As clues are revealed, it looks like Amelia (The missing girl) has somehow become intertwined with the mob who are trying to branch out in LA. As the amateurs hunt down Amelia, the case takes them down dangerous paths they never thought they'd venture down.
Winning the lottery is something most can only dream of. Kevin Carson has spent his entire life in the projects living with his grandma and they've always played the lottery, just waiting for the day when their numbers could be drawn. On one evening in early July, their luck appears to be in as one by one Kevin's numbers are called.
Continue: Lottery Ticket Trailer
Death often brings a family together and this story is no exception. Aaron and his partner Michelle are finding it hard enough having to live with Aarons folks whilst they get their lives in order. When the death of Aaron's father happens, the whole family is sent into turmoil. A funeral is arranged and Aaron's brother Ryan returns home from LA where he lives and works as a successful writer.
Continue: Death At A Funeral Trailer
Co-stars Anne Heche and Tommy Lee Jones prove more than able at evading not only the encroaching magma, but also the horde of bad actors that follow them throughout the movie. And while the film is full of creeping cheese, complete with death-defying leaps to safety, slow motion shots, and kitschy one-liners, I shock myself even by saying that, for the most part, it feels real. They even thought to include Dennis Woodruff's infamous car, the cheesiest of Hollywood landmarks, floating along in a river of fire. Where else would they think of that!? I really do love L.A...
Continue reading: Volcano Review
Well, you borrow the oldest trick in the book by putting your characters in the desert, where you can pretty much shoot your movie for free!
Continue reading: 29 Palms (2002) Review
Last year's kiddie secret-agent comedy "Agent Cody Banks" was a stupid movie that got by on clever charm. It starred Frankie Muniz (from "Malcolm in the Middle") as a junior-high James Bond who had to get over his fear of talking to girls in order to complete his mission and save the world from some contrived evil.
The picture got a enough mileage out of Muniz's amusing believability as a secret agent on training wheels and out of its tongue-in-cheek twists (to keep his parents in the dark, the CIA did his homework and housework while he was on assignment) to balance out a lot of slapdash screenwriting -- so all in all, it squeaked by as good family fun.
But the rushed-into-production sequel "Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London" is twice as stupid and without even an infinitesimal hint of the cleverness that kept the original afloat.
Continue reading: Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London 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
Fifty percent groundbreaking, breathtaking computer-generated visuals, 30 percent New Age spiritual hokum, 15 percent generic post-apocalyptic science fiction and five percent lame action flick clichés, "Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within" is such a eccentric amalgam of methods and moods that it's unlikely to leave anyone terribly impressed in the end. But absolutely everyone will be agog at the first 10 minutes.
Far and away the most mind-blowingly photo-realistic computer-animated movie to date, "Final Fantasy" wastes no time showing off what its huge staff of renderers can do, opening the picture with a fantastical dream sequence that includes a truly transporting alien landscape unequaled in the history of sci-fi cinema.
Its billowy red sky, gigantic looming moon, crystalline rock formations and sweeping vistas feel as real as another world could on screen. This was most definitely not shot through fancy filters in a quarry somewhere.
Continue reading: Final Fantasy Review
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