Hercules is the equivalent of hiring a day laborer only to discover them dozing under the cabana 20 minutes later. You weren’t really ever expecting that much, just a tidy little one-and-done job, so you can’t help but flabbergast at the flagrant display of utter laziness. It’s truly an epic tableau of “who gives a fuck?” It’s so imposingly boring, you’d think you walked into a documentary about dust mites. It’s so recklessly rattlebrained that you think the screenplay is the product of ‘Myths by Charlie Kelly’. It’s the Kitten Mittens of sword and sandals movies. Every character and plot line is so mismanaged you’d think Halliburton were producing it.
Too many times, that overused phrase “It made me feel like a kid again” has stood as a defense for liking sub-par movies. But with Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, a truly magical work that had me giddy, mouth agape in sheer wonder (like a big-mouth bass caught hook, line and sinker) I will happily cloak myself in that tired sentiment. Dawn of the Apes made me feel like a kid again, and it was amazing.
Since all the Groundhog Dog jokes have already risen, seen their shadow and retreated into the proverbial internet hole, let’s just settle with calling Edge of Tomorrow a slightly derivative but monstrously enjoyable blockbuster. In a time where any project commanding a budget north of 100 million dollars is either dumbed down to the broadest of international audiences or stuffed with pew-pewing superheroes, witnessing this brand of thinking man’s blockbuster illicits nothing short of a deep sigh of relief. It might not have the layers of Inception or the majesty of Avatar but its fleet-footed cadence, wily comic timing and crackerjack combat spectacles makes for one ace summer tentpole.
Maleficent, starring Angelina Jolie‘s cheekbones and Elle Fanning‘s bleach blonde mop and shit-eating smile, is a movie designed for young, dim-witted children who fancy bright lights and high pitched voices and don’t yet understand the word “story”. It’s a retelling by way of obliteration, with debut director Robert Stromberg taking sledgehammer swings when he would have benefited so much more from the nuance of a scalpel. From the very first minute, it’s a total slog, a tonal nightmare. There wasn’t one moment where I wasn’t waiting for it to just end.
For its 40th, the Seattle International Film Festival is again raising the bar on itself, this year offering a whopping 435 films including 198 feature films, 60 documentaries, and 163 short films from 83 countries. Of those, 44 are world premieres, 29 North American premieres and 13 US premieres. All this amongst a slew of festival favorites from this year and last. Let’s just say that the odds of seeing them all just got that much slimmer.
Even with a 73% on Rotten Tomatoes, a 7.2 on IMDB, and a 66 on Metacritic, it’s almost universally agreed that The Amazing Spider-Man was mostly garbage. Despite electric chemistry between stars Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone, the story bowed to the whim of the bizarre and childish, painting a doltish picture that recycled much of Sam Raimi‘s 2002 original. That is when it wasn’t involved with a villain’s pea-brained attempts to turn the residents of NYC into lizards. It was so inexplicably dumb that The Amazing Spider-Man 2 finds Harry Osborn – as a penitent mouthpiece for director Marc Webb – pointing out the absurdity of the reboot’s web-footed plotting. Thankfully this latest iteration will leave children and adults stupefied for a (mostly) different reason.