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items tagged with Aliens

Tyler-san: "Never Back Down," "The Bank Job," and "Doomsday"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2008-03-19 08:40:31

Sean Faris and Djimon Hounsou in Never Back DownNEVER BACK DOWN

Watching the so-silly-it's-almost-fun mixed-martial-arts melodrama Never Back Down, I felt instantly transported to the summer of 1984, when my friends and I saw The Karate Kid the first time around. Fight Club was still 15 years away, so we weren't yet treated to this film's bone-crunchingly "kinetic" violence, nor to the sight of shirtless brawlers pummeling each other with their pants buttoned 12 inches below their navels. (Nor, for that matter, to topless teenage lesbians making out in a jacuzzi.) But Never Back Down is still pretty much Karate Kid redux, and the experience of watching it felt like time-travel for another reason: The movie's high-schooler lead is played by Tom Cruise.

 


Read More About Tyler-San: "Never Back Down," "The Bank Job," And "Doomsday"...


"Saw II" Effective, But Not Much Fun: Also, "Doom," "Stay," and "Prime"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2005-11-02 00:00:00

Saw IISAW II

Since we’re no longer forced to endure Cary Elwes shrieking his hammy little head off for 90 minutes, Saw II was inevitably going to be a less annoying experience than 2004’s Saw, but the movie is pretty effective in its own right. Not entertaining, mind you, but effective. Last fall’s surprise horror hit saw Elwes and another mad overactor at the mercy of the serial killer Jigsaw (Tobin Bell) – who devises for his prey wildly elaborate devices of torture that defy both description and belief – and in one of Saw II’s few impressive twists, he’s apprehended at the end of the movie’s first reel. What follows resembles what might result if you watched The Silence of the Lambs and Seven in picture-in-picture format. As Jigsaw – in sinister, I-know-something-that-you-don’t Hannibal Lecter mode – is interrogated, and his master plan dissected, by Donnie Wahlberg’s quick-to-boil cop, a whole new slew of potential victims, including Wahlberg’s teenage son, try to survive a vicious spook house by evading Jigsaw’s contraptions and deconstructing the maddeningly obtuse sets of clues the killer has left them. (Like its precursor, Saw II makes explicit what Seven left to your imagination.)


Read More About "Saw II" Effective, But Not Much Fun: Also, "Doom," "Stay," And "Prime"...


"The Ring Two" All Wet: Also, "Hostage" and "Aliens of the Deep"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2005-03-23 00:00:00

Naomi Watts in The Ring TwoTHE RING TWO

After sitting through the lifeless horror sequel The Ring Two, the only thing I wanted – besides a major jolt of caffeine to wake me up – was a towel. What is up with all the freakin’ water in this movie? With the exceptions of Ariel in The Little Mermaid and Esther Williams in anything, I can’t think of a leading actress who spends as much screen time soaked as Naomi Watts does in this half-hearted follow-up to 2002’s The Ring.


Read More About "The Ring Two" All Wet: Also, "Hostage" And "Aliens Of The Deep"...


"Donnie Darko: The Director’s Cut" Unnecessary But Still Stunning: Also, "The Forgotten" and "Wimbledon"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2004-09-29 00:00:00
Jake Gyllenhaal in Donnie Darko: The Director's Cut

DONNIE DARKO: THE DIRECTOR'S CUT

After I first saw Donnie Darko on DVD some 16 months back, I did something I’d done only once or twice before, and never again since: I returned to the main menu, hit “Play,” and watched the movie again.


Read More About "Donnie Darko: The Director’S Cut" Unnecessary But Still Stunning: Also, "The Forgotten" And "Wimbledon"...


Don’t Believe the Hype on "Open Water": Also, "AVP: Alien vs. Predator" and "The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2004-08-25 00:00:00

Blanchard Ryan and Daniel Travis in Open WaterOPEN WATER

We all know that shoestring-budgeted independent works aren’t necessarily going to have the professional sheen of Hollywood output, but after reading the rave reviews for Open Water, I feel compelled to ask: Just how much amateurishness are we expected to endure in the name of cinematic political-correctness (i.e., loving an indie solely for being an indie)? Barring an ingeniously edited sequence during a thunderstorm and a few stomach-tightening moments when sharks make surprise appearances, I didn’t find Open Water the least bit scary, let alone “Riveting!”, “Electrifying!”, and all the other superlatives currently being lavished on it (and this from someone who still gets freaked out watching The Blair Witch Project). Worse still, the movie is so badly performed and overwritten that it has the unintentional effect of coming off as totally phony, and since the film was notoriously shot with the leading actors surrounded by real sharks, realism is Open Water’s only true draw. Are we film critics now so openly hateful toward CGI-heavy Hollywood blockbusters that we’ll happily convince ourselves that tedious, flatly staged thrillers such as Open Water are actually great?


Read More About Don’T Believe The Hype On "Open Water": Also, "AVP: Alien Vs. Predator" And "The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement"...





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