Oct 26 2012

Cloud Atlas

Spanning generations, lifetimes, and centuries, Cloud Atlas is the mind bending existential tour of how we’re all connected from one life to the next; how the decisions we make in the present are based on previous experience from past lives and how our decisions also impact our future selves. Exploring the concept of the shaping of a soul or the collective consciousness this multi layered story takes a glimpse at a handful of souls in their various states of progress. Told in analepsis and prolepsis (flashback and flashforward) the film is a product of two directing teams, Lana and Andy Wachowski, and Tom Tykwer, edited together to illustrate the journeys of characters portrayed by Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Jim Broadbent, Hugo Weaving, Jim Sturgess, Susan Sarandon, Hugh Grant, David Gyasi, Doona Bae, and the list goes on. The ensemble gets reasonably high marks, showcasing their depth and range. With distinctive Wachowski religious and scientific overtones the film does hit the ground running without regard to the audience’s speed, this admittedly takes some acclimation, but once up to speed the overall ride is a thriller and will no doubt call for multiple viewings to catch all the connections being made. Yet, more than just a thriller, this nearly three hour epic mixes adventure, comedy, romance, sci-fi, and drama to satisfy all who are up for the challenge. Furthermore, on first viewing half of the fun is playing the “who’s that actor” game, costume and makeup get A+ grades this go around, sticking through the credits helps to cement this further. Worth your attention this weekend. Cloud Atlas is rated R.

Oct 19 2012

Alex Cross

Alex Cross (Tyler Perry) is a ridiculously perceptive homicide detective and profiler working for the Detroit police department. Flanked by his partners Tommy (Edward Burns) and Monica (Rachel Nichols) the trio make up one of the city’s best investigative teams. But, when a wickedly talented assassin (Mathew Fox) appears to be picking off assistants to a local and international finance guru Cross and his team will have to work faster and smarter to catch their mark– catching this tiger’s tail means almost certain death. Now instead of just stopping the killer from his intended targets, the team will also need to save themselves. Sounds potentially exciting and dramatic; making for a strong modern day Sherlock Holmes legend right? Well, no. While the original source material may have substance, none of that meat has made the transfer to this screenplay. And while Fox has successfully transformed himself into a truly spooky dude (congrats guy, you’re the only gem here). Thin scripting, poor dialogue, crummy acting, mis-direction, lousy cinematography, shoddy special effects, blatant product placement (thanks GM, Ford, and Chevy), and cheesy editing, just begin to show the tip of this iceberg. Righteously stealing the title of Best Unintentional Comedy of the year, this 101 minutes of dreck is not worthy of your hard earned cash. Please America, hear my plea, do NOT go see this movie. Alex Cross is rated PG-13.

Oct 12 2012

Seven Psychopaths

Written and directed by Martin McDonagh (In Bruges), Seven Psychopaths is the story of a struggling screenwriter (Colin Farrell), who gets caught up in his friend Billy’s (Sam Rockwell) dog napping scheme. Billy runs the seemingly harmless operation with a partner, Hans (Christopher Walken) and all appears to be going smoothly, until Billy and Hans nab Bonny the Shih Tzu who belongs to Charlie (Woody Harrelson), a crazy mobster. Weaving tales of truth and fiction together into a larger than life display of fantasy, action, and drama, Seven Psychopaths is the film that appears to be writing itself. But with such loose canons involved, not everyone can escape with their life, what hardships will be endured, who will survive, and will Zachariah (Tom Waits), a psychopath with a bunny, ever find his long lost love?Highly anticipated and almost impossible to fail based on the cast alone, the film features some of pop culture’s greatest anti-icon icons; and, with a screenplay that turns and cuts quickly delivering dashes of comedic pepper mixed with the tang and zest of brutal action/violence a new favorite black comedy is born. While not perfect, it takes our heroes a moment to find their character’s center, and the laughs aren’t initially as hearty as one would hope, the film still has enough off beat charm and quotable moments to hold a special place in hearts of those who love to quote films. As squirrely and unpredictable as a three toed cat on a diving board, this one’s sure to stick with you and leave a smile. Worth it! Seven Psychopaths is rated R….for awesome.