It's been four years since Mel Gibson played a lead role in a movie, and with all of the tabloid headlines in the meantime it's been easy to forget how magnetic he is on screen. He's looking rather grizzled in this action thriller from French filmmaker Jean-Francois Richet (Mesrine), but his piercing presence turns what's essentially a cheesy exploitation film into something remarkably gripping.
He plays an ex-con tattoo artist named Link, who lives out in California's Mojave Desert, next door to his 12-step sponsor Kirby (William H. Macy). His home may be a trashy trailer, but he has cleaned up his life. Although his quiet reverie is disturbed by thoughts of his 17-year-old daughter Lydia (Erin Moriarty), who has been missing for four years. So he's stunned when she calls him out of the blue for help. Kicking into action, he rescues her and immediately discounts her stories that the ruthless henchmen of her late gangster boyfriend Jonah (Diego Luna) are after her. It doesn't take long for Link to realise that Lydia isn't exaggerating, and as they go on the run, he turns to old prison friends (including Michael Parks, Dale Dickey and Miguel Sandoval) for help. Even though he doesn't really trust anyone.
Director Richet doesn't seem very interested in the father-daughter drama at the centre of this film, even though it's far more involving than the madcap action carnage. Gibson and Moriarty do what they can to create some chemistry amid the mayhem, but they only have a few scenes in which they can push their characters a bit further. And frankly after the set-up, the audience needs that to put the violence in context. This is mainly due to the fact that the brutal pursuit is fairly predictable, and the side characters, as well played as they are, are little more than stereotypes.
Continue reading: Blood Father Review
While using every horror movie cliche in the book, this film cleverly tells a bracingly original story that will have genre fans squirming in their seats. It's rare that a movie can actually scare us anymore, and while this one is a bit over-serious, it playfully twists old tricks to confound expectations.
The story centres on a brother and sister: 21-year-old Tim (Brenton Thwaites) has just been collected by his big sister Kaylie (Karen Gillan) after spending 10 years in a psychiatric hospital. She tells him that they only have a few days to make good the promise they made a decade ago: to destroy a mirror that they believe caused the unexplained violent deaths of their parents (Katee Sackhoff and Rory Cochrane). Kaylie has everything ready, including cameras to capture the truth about this evil mirror and a fail-safe plan to destroy it before it can lure them into its murderous clutches.
The film inventively flickers back and forth in time between the present day and the fateful earlier events, when the parents and siblings (played as children by Annalise Basso and Garrett Ryan Ewald) have their own freaky encounter with this enormous gothic mirror. In both timelines, plants wither, pets go nuts and strange figures are glimpsed in the shadows. But the mirror's most dangerous trick is to fracture reality, and now past and present seem to be merging for Tom and Kaylie. Director-cowriter Mike Flanagan fluidly weaves together both timelines in eye-catching ways, continually shifting the emotional tone as well, just to keep us off balance.
Continue reading: Oculus Review
Tim Russell is a troubled psychiatric patient who has finally been released from hospital several years after the tragic death of his mother and father - an incident for which he was accused of being responsible. Still fragile, he reconnects with his sister Kaylie who has spent the last few years researching the history of a mysterious 300 year old mirror that both siblings are certain holds an evil sinister enough to have caused their parents' deaths - and most assuredly the deaths of countless previous owners. Their probing into the disturbing phenomena occurring in and around the looking glass proves to be traumatic enough, but when they start experiencing more and more dangerous unexplained happenings, it becomes clear that the vengeful spirit haunting it hasn't finished shedding blood just yet.
Continue: Oculus Trailer
When John Hammond of genetic engineering company InGen manages to clone dinosaurs from prehistoric DNA on an island-turned-theme park, it didn't bode well for visitors. After his investors force him to enlist the help of two palaeontologists and a chaiotician to make sure that the park is safe enough to open to the public, things go badly wrong when a double-crossing InGen computer programmer attempts to steal dinosaur embryos for a rival company by deactivating the security system and releasing the dangerous creatures from their enclosures. The adventure becomes less of an exciting opportunity for exclusive access to new technology, and more of a deadly struggle to survive.
What's better than gigantic deadly dinos on cinema screen? Try gigantic deadly dinos in 3D! The triple Oscar winning 'Jurassic Park' is set to hit our screens again 20 years after it was first released. It was directed by Steven Spielberg ('Saving Private Ryan', 'Schindler's List', 'Jaws', 'E.T.') in 1993 after he adapted it from best-selling novelist Michael Crichton's book of the same name, with a screenplay co-written by Crichton and David Koepp ('Mission: Impossible', 'War of the Worlds', 'Angels & Demons'). It will arrive in 3D soon in the US on April 5th 2013.
Starring: Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum, Richard Attenborough, Bob Peck, Martin Ferrero, Joseph Mazzello, Ariana Richards, Samuel L. Jackson, BD Wong, Wayne Knight, Gerald R. Molen, Miguel Sandoval, Cameron Thor, Christopher John Fields,
Continue: Jurassic Park 3D Trailer
Too many crooks spoil "The Crew," and I'm not talking about the "grumpy old mobsters" played by Richard Dreyfuss, Burt Reynolds, Dan Hedaya and Seymour Cassel in this withering wiseguy comedy.
I'm talking about the throng of sardine-packed subplots that rob these good actors of all their quality screen time.
This facetious foursome play mobsters retired to South Florida who wind up in the middle of a drug war by trying to keep the run-down hotel they live in from going condo in the wake of all the Porsche-driving 20-somethings moving to town.
Continue reading: The Crew Review
A brilliantly observant, darkly humorous and immaculately acted movie about an average suburban father in the throes of a midlife crisis, "Panic" bears an vague, off-kilter resemblance to "American Beauty" in style and subject.
Its central character is a meek and neurotic man in his 40s (William H. Macy) whose growing fixation with a sexually conflicted nymph (Neve Campbell) half his age is turning his life upside-down. The two films share a similar dysfunctional domesticity as well, and a crisp but sparse visual elegance with just a pinch of excess color.
But Alex (Macy), the sympathetic anti-hero of "Panic," has a much bigger secret than his newfound temptation for a younger woman. Alex is a hit man -- and he's just not sure he's comfortable in that line of work anymore.
Continue reading: Panic 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
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