Theatrical Releases: Resident Evil: Retribution & The Master

RESIDENT EVIL: RETRIBUTION || September 14th, 2012

FINDING NEMO 3D || “Finding Nemo” is a fantastic Disney-Pixar film, and probably one that makes complete sense in 3D, but do not expect me to shell out those kinds of ticket prices to see it. I do enjoy them converting all of these films to 3D tho, especially “The Lion King” and “Beauty and the Beast”, so that younger generations can enjoy them in the theaters, or even so the older generations that grew up with them can have a chance to see them on the big screen. Now I’m just waiting for “Aladdin”. PASS
THE MASTER || Paul Thomas Anderson has a way of telling a story that both challenges and entertains its audience in the most unique and interesting ways. Not to mention Anderson’s ability to extract exquisite performances from his leads. Philip Seymour Hoffman delivers what could be his best and most convincing performance to-date while Joaquin Phoenix matches him in complete insanity. At briskly over two hours, the relationship between the two men could carry on much longer, with a constantly changing dynamic, in new and exciting ways. Although the supporting cast often gets lost in the shuffle, there is little need for them, besides backdrops for the unyielding lead performances. There are several key moments of the film, including a powerful, audio-recorded session between Hoffman and Phoenix, that highlight the essence of “The Master” and will live on beyond the viewing of the film. I feel many will take this at face value and regard it as a social piece aimed at Scientology, but this subject matter is merely a vessel to transport this story worth telling. As much buzz as this film has gotten, it will definitely be a contender come awards season, with performances, directing, and cinematography at the top of its game.
RESIDENT EVIL: RETRIBUTION || Paul W.S. Anderson returns to write and direct the fifth film in the franchise, and “Resident Evil: Retribution” becomes something completely new and different from all the prior films. For starters, this is the first film to actually feel like a video game, and sometimes to a fault, at the expense of the acting. Most of the conversations and dialogue feel completely out of a video game, set up to describe exactly what you’ll be facing in the scenes to come. With that comes completely “dead” responding, where character’s responses cease to play off one another and becomes people standing in a futuristic setting, coldly delivering lines from a script. The video game plot is also set, with the adventure laid out in a map in front of you. Each world is nicely differentiated from the prior and each has their own challenges, relating back to the monsters from the video games and previous films. The fight scenes are hit or miss, with an amazing opening zombie fight in a hallway following the Japan reenactment. However, the end battle is overdrawn and way too one-sided, falling uninteresting and underwhelming. Milla Jovovich has the look of Alice down, but beyond that, there is little ever added to her performance. The addition of the little girl felt way too much like “Underworld: Awakening”, to which I already draw an unwholesome comparison. Kevin Durand steals the show with a very impressive performance as Barry Burton. Worried how they would explain bringing back Michelle Rodriguez’s and Oded Fehr’s characters, I felt this was done within the plot structures and actually helped build a convincing clashing of good versus evil.

10 YEARS || If you’re going to do a film like “10 Years”, you need to get the right cast, and it appears that “10 Years” has. With a stacked cast including Channing Tatum, Rosario Dawson, and countless other rising celebrities, this 10 year class reunion film looks both believable and enjoyable. RENT
AFTER || I’ve seen this trailer a few times now, if only to point out the flaw in its marketing. The poster of the film “After” is a man sitting on a plethora of keys, however, the trailer does not explain this what-so-ever. Through deductive reasoning you can probably figure it out, I guess, but that isn’t the point of a trailer. About two people who are suddenly the only two left in a town, there’s something much bigger at play that the trailer doesn’t allude to. With the young and bright Karolina Wydra (“House M.D.”), I am slightly interested to see what the film is actually about. STREAM
ARBITRAGE || There are several key points that hit while watching this trailer. Not only is there an intricate thriller within “Arbitrage”, there are several key players in the film that make me want to see it. Roger Ebert touted Richard Gere as a great lead in this film and with Tim Roth as the head, take-no-shit police officer and a rising favorite of mine, Brit Marling starring as Gere’s daughter, I will definitely be seeing this film. RENT
BANGKOK REVENGE || Martial arts films can be great, but there’s just not enough going for “Bangkok Revenge” to get me to see it. PASS
FRANCINE || Academy Award winning Melissa Leo stars in this thoughtful Indie about a woman released from jail attempting to re-assimilate into her small town. Looks interesting enough to check out. RENT
LAST OUNCE OF COURAGE || Lifetime original movie of the week… was this film shot on someone’s home camera twenty years ago? If not, you could have fooled me. PASS
LIBERAL ARTS || Though I have yet to see Josh Radnor’s directorial debut, “Happythankyoumoreplease”, I’ve heard nothing but good things. Now seeing the trailer for “Liberal Arts”, I am completely convinced and will now need to see this film as well, if only for Elizabeth Olsen’s starring role, for whom I am completely drawn to. The second big age-gap romance this year, following “Hello I Must Be Going”. RENT
LITTLE BIRDS || This film might have popped up once before, but it officially hit theaters and starring Juno Temple, I will be seeing it. At the point of writing this, it is already gone from theaters, so hopefully it will be getting a DVD release in the near future. RENT
SNOWMAN’S LAND || I’m really hoping “Snowman’s Land” finds its way to Netflix, as to give me no reason not to see this film. About two hit-men who screw up a dream job, the comedy in this foreign film looks off-beat and enjoyable but not enough to venture out to find this one. STREAM
STEP UP TO THE PLATE || As odd as it may sound, there are documentaries that I often hope will get nominated for an Academy Award just to give me a reason to see them. Especially with some of the documentaries that are hard to sit through, if I could pick some of the easier films to watch, it would be so much more enjoyable. “Step Up To The Plate” is a quaint little documentary about a 3-star chef handing over his business to his son. The food looks great, the ambiance is quiet, and there is something soothing about the film’s trailer that makes it appealing. STREAM
STOLEN || Nicolas Cage continues to bury himself and makes it hard to be a through-and-through Cage fan. With an appropriate title, as it “steals” the premise of Liam Neeson’s cash-cow, “Taken”, “Stolen” involves Cage’s daughter being kidnapped and him having to steal a ridiculous amount of money in a short time. Also starring Josh Lucas and Malin Akerman, I am still inclined to see this film. Can’t be any worse than “Trespass”, right? RENT
THE TROUBLE WITH THE TRUTH || More like a stage play than a film, “The Trouble With The Truth” is a little one dimensional and a little over-dramatic to be taken seriously. PASS

THEATER

  • The Master
  • Resident Evil: Retribution

RENT

  • 10 Years
  • Arbitrage
  • Francine
  • Liberal Arts
  • Little Birds
  • Stolen

STREAM

  • After
  • Snowman’s Land
  • Step Up To The Plate
  • The Trouble With The Truth

PASS

 

 

  • Bangkok Revenge
  • Finding Nemo 3D
  • Last Ounce of Courage

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