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Sunday, April 24, 2016

Cindy Prascik's Review of The Huntsman: Winter’s War

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Dearest Blog: Last night I did that rarest of things for people my age, I made plans to be out on a work night. On my agenda: Marquee Cinemas' sneak-peek of The Huntsman: Winter's War.
 
Spoiler level here will be mild, nothing you wouldn't know from the trailers.
 
I enjoyed Snow White and the Huntsman, but confess I was underwhelmed by the idea of a sequel. In the four years since the original was released, I've even convinced myself it only seemed good due to being released in close proximity to the unfortunate Mirror Mirror, which did such an awful job of (re)telling the same story. However, I have good news for you, dear reader(s): This sequel does NOT suck!
 
The Huntsman gets off to a bit of a slow start, but once it gets rolling, it doesn't stop. The movie's not going to land on anyone's Academy Awards shortlist, but a good cast, nice special effects, and great fight choreography help the thin storyline earn its two-hour runtime. 
 
Chris Hemsworth is charming and easy on the eyes, and Charlize Theoron, though too little used this go-round, is the highlight of the movie as she reprises her evil queen role with wicked relish. Emily Blunt and Jessica Chastain are troopers despite seeming weirdly miscast, and supporting players Nick Frost, Rob Brydon, and Sheridan Smith are especially entertaining in smaller roles. 
 
There are some dodgy Scottish accents to work around, but the players are otherwise more than solid. A fantastic score by James Newton Howard, some very pretty sets and locations, and an ever-changing assortment of stunning evil-queen dresses all help make The Huntsman worth your movie dollar.
 
The Huntsman: Winter's War clocks in at 114 minutes and is rated PG13 for "fantasy action violence and some sensuality."
 
It's not buzzy, nor is it the sort of picture you won't be able to stop talking or thinking about, but if you're looking for an entertaining couple hours filled with action and eye candy, The Huntsman is well worth your time. 
 
Of a possible nine Weasleys, The Huntsman: Winter's War gets six.
 
Until next time...
 

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Cindy Prascik's Review of Criminal









































Dearest Blog: Yesterday it was off to Marquee Cinemas to see my main man Gary Oldman in his new movie, Criminal.

Spoiler level here will be mild, nothing you wouldn't know from the trailers.

In order to thwart a nefarious plot, an experimental procudure is used to transfer the mind of a murdered agent into a notorious criminal.

Dear Reader(s), I had genuinely high hopes for Criminal. It's been awhile (four years, to be exact) since Gary has had a critical and/or box office winner, and this one looked like it might break the chain of disappointments. Alas, it was not to be.

Right off the top, Criminal is saddled with one almost-insurmountable handicap, that is, Kevin Costner's acting abilities...or lack thereof. If he were a bit player, or in any supporting role, really, you might get around it, but not when he's the focal point of the whole picture. Sure, the lead character is meant to be a thug lacking social graces, but the way Costner grunts his way through the movie, he might as well be a gorilla...and that's probably not a very nice thing to say about the acting talent of gorillas.

The supporting cast is solid, in particular an under-used Ryan Reynolds, but it's just not enough. Gary's character does a lot of barking orders at people, a somewhat angrier and less honorable Jim Gordon. It's fine for what it is, but it hardly taxes his talent. (Though, for the record, he looks really, REALLY good!)

Criminal presents an interesting premise that fails in its execution. The writing is atrocious, with allegedly top-notch agents acting so stupidly you'll want to scream at the screen. There are a few laugh-out-loud bits prompted by Costner's character's inappropriate behavior. They're uncomfortable, but, curiously, still one of the more entertaining things about a movie that otherwise sleepwalks its way to one of the most insufferably hokey endings ever.

Criminal clocks in at 113 minutes and is rated R for "strong violence and language throughout."
In my book, Gary Oldman is reason enough to get out and see ANY movie, but, if you're looking for another reason to see Criminal, you won't find it.

Of a possible nine Weasleys, Criminal gets three.

Until next time...

Sunday, April 10, 2016

MOVIE REVIEW: THE BOSS







































Academy Award®-nominated star Melissa McCarthy (Bridesmaids, The Heat, Tammy) headlines The Boss as a titan of industry who is sent to prison after she’s caught for insider trading. When she emerges ready to rebrand herself as America’s latest sweetheart, not everyone she screwed over is so quick to forgive and forget.McCarthy is joined in The Boss by an all-star cast led by Kristen Bell, Peter Dinklage and Kathy Bates. Directed by Ben Falcone (Tammy), the comedy is based on an original character created by McCarthy and written by McCarthy and Falcone alongside their Groundlings collaborator, Steve Mallory. The film is produced by McCarthy and Falcone through their On the Day productions and Will Ferrell, Adam McKay and Chris Henchy through their Gary Sanchez Productions.

Director: Ben Falcone

Cast: Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Bell, Peter Dinklage, Kristen Schaal, Kathy Bates.

Release Date: Apr 08, 2016

Rated R for Sexual content, language and brief drug use.

Runtime: 1 hr. 29 min.

Genres: Comedy

Review:

The Boss is a comedy that’s sporadically funny and consistently uneven through out.    It’s not nearly as bad as Tammy, also directed by McCarthy’s husband Ben Falcone, but it does feel like a missed opportunity.  The supporting cast is made up of an excellent collection of comedic actors like Tyler Labine, Cecily Strong and Kristen Schaal but proceeds to give them nothing to do.  Kathy Bates passes through and doesn’t really add much to the film which is a shame because it does seem like there’s a much funnier movie in there but it just never hit’s the sweet spot.  Melissa McCarthy, to her credit, is committed as always and she delivers some of the films funniest lines.  Peter Dinklage seems incredibly at home on the comedic side, I just wished his character was a bit more fleshed out.  Overall it’s a forgettable comedy that’ll probably end up on a late Saturday afternoon double header with Identity Crisis.

C

Cindy Prascik's Review of Hardcore Henry

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Dearest Blog: With this weekend's promising new releases opening nowhere near me, yesterday it was off to Marquee Cinemas for the...um...less-than-promising Hardcore Henry. Spoiler level here will be mild, nothing you wouldn't know from the trailers.
 
A man awakes in a laboratory to discover he's acquired a bunch of robot parts, but lost his memory.
 
Dear Reader(s), I'ma be straight with ya: With time to spare between halves of yesterday's double-feature, I stepped out of Harcore Henry, sat in the hallway, and wrote something akin to Spinal Tap's infamous "S**t Sandwich" review. However, the well-stated enthusiasm of one of my cinema buddies caused me to give the movie some additional thought, and, with thanks to Paul at Marquee, here's a more considered opinion.
 
Hardcore Henry is quite unique. Shown entirely through Henry's eyes, the viewer sees all the wiggly-jiggly action in the first person. While that's not always a great choice for your viewing enjoyment (and thank heavens it's not in 3D!), the filmmakers get full marks for commitment and attention to detail. Every bit looks entirely authentic. 
 
Sharlto Copley is his usual brilliant self, changing personalities like I change my socks. Like Sebastian Stan, Copley is a fantastic actor who usually deserves better than the projects he or his agent chooses, but, on the plus side, even a bad movie is so much better for having him. The action sequences are very well-choreographed, and the film is also smart enough not to wear out its welcome, clocking in at a quick hour and a half.
 
Now, the bad news: the violence and portrayal of women in Hardcore Henry are straight out of a teenage boy's dream. Even I--Number-One Expendables Fan--have to admit that the pointless chaos wears thin pretty quickly. The picture’s clearly more interested in grabbing your attention with something weird or shocking than keeping it with a well-thought-out story; the plot is riddled with holes and bizarre moments that make no sense...even in the context of something that makes so little sense overall. 
 
Minus anything more substantial underlying it, the incessant brutality is a lot to take, and the non-stop action can't save the movie from being a bit of a bore. 
 
Hardcore Henry runs 96 minutes and is rated R for "non-stop bloody brutal violence and mayhem, language throughout, sexual content/nudity, and drug use." 
 
Harcore Henry certainly isn't everyone's cup of tea, but, if you're looking for something well and truly different at the movies, it might just be for you. Of a possible nine Weasleys, Hardcore Henry gets three.
 
Until next time...
 

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