Jawny Depp can be a great actuh. But at a certain point in the recent past, Jawny seemed to stop looking faw great material and stahted looking faw anything that would affawd him the awppawtunity to put on a crazy wig and speak in a weeuhd accent. In the past few yeeuhs he’s played a vampiyuh with crazy hair and a weeuhd accent, a Native American with a bird on his head and a weeuhd accent, a Canadian detective with a fake nose and a weeuhd accent, a singing wolf with crazy hair and a weeuhd accent, a British art thief with a crazy mustache and a weeuhd accent, and now, in Black Mass, he’s James “Whitey” Bulgah, with thinning hair and a thick Bahston accent. Do you think Jawny even remembuhs what he really sounds like at this point?
Naomi Watts’ is the second-billed star in Jean-Marc Vallée’s Demolition. On the film’s official Fox Searchlight website, her name appears above the title next to Jake Gyllenhaal’s. But she barely appears in the film’s trailer. She’s onscreen for less than one second. She says just three words. (“You miss her?”) It’s almost like the trailer is trying to hide her.
‘Sicario’ is an exercise in prolonged tension like few others. Every moment from the first scene to the last is suspenseful. The opening, a deadly raid on a drug kingpin’s safe house establishes a terrifying precedent: In this film, violence can erupt at any time without any warning, and no one and nothing can be trusted. Having thoroughly unsettled the audience, director Denis Villeneuve keeps viewers on edge with shifty characters, sudden bursts of gunfire, and the careful use of a persistent, pounding score. Remember the scene in Boogie Nights where Alfred Molina is randomly tossing firecrackers at Mark Wahlberg and John C. Reilly? Sicario is like that scene for two straight hours with no “Sister Christian.” It is intense.
Agent 47 is a perfect assassin, designed in a lab to kill with ruthless efficiency and accuracy. Mad scientists tweaked his genetics to enhance his toughness and diminish his emotions, because emotions make people weak. In his line of work — murdering people, all day, everyday, for money — it is better not to feel.
Here’s the thing about this Fantastic Four movie: it was supposed to be horrible. This movie has been riding an almost unprecedented level of bad buzz since earlier this year. Strangely, it seems to have started over literally nothing. Fans were upset they hadn’t seen anything official from the movie and began to suspect it stunk. Then, depending on who you talk to, the director was fired, the actors were upset and the script was a mess. But, the days of speculation are over and none of that bad buzz matters any more; there’s an actual film that can be judged on its own merits. Sadly, Fantastic Four, on its own merits, is still horrible.
Full disclosure: I missed the last 10 minutes of Vacation. Last night’s press screening started 20 minutes late, then began without any sound, which lead to a 10 minute delay to correct the technical difficulties. With an unbreakable engagement elsewhere, I had to sneak out right before the very last scene. So take this review with as many grains of salt as you’d like. If you think those final minutes might recontextualize everything that came before to transform a generally miserable comedy into a beacon of transcendent hilarity, so be it. Having sat through the previous 90 minutes, I’m of the opinion that nothing short of the long-lost missing footage from Orson Welles’ Magnificent Ambersons could have redeemed this dreadful film.
Magic Mike was a movie about strippers trying to make ends meet in the midst of the Great Recession, the difficulty of modern romance, and the dangers of drug use. Magic Mike XXL is a movie about strippers stripping. And not a whole lot else.
It’s funny that the poster for Ted 2 features the title character with his back to the camera and his hands suggestively poised near his crotch above the tagline “Ted is coming, again” because the whole movie revolves around the fact that Ted can’t come, not even once. Ted doesn’t have any genitals or a reproductive system, so he can’t have a baby with his wife. His search for a sperm donor eventually spills into the legal system, where a court case will decide a surprisingly complex question: Is Ted a person?
It’s been at least five years since the last great Pixar film (or more, depending on your feelings about Toy Story 3). In the interim, they produced a series of sequels — some quite entertaining, but few as transcendently beautiful as the original concepts that turned the studio into the most dependable brand in all of Hollywood. Their latest effort, Inside Out, isn’t just a return to form; it surpasses almost all of their previous classics. It is, from start to finish, one of the best films Pixar has ever made.