Wednesday, March 23, 2016

MOVIE REVIEW... SUPERMAN VS BATMAN THE DAWN OF JUSTICE...A TESTOSTERONE FEST

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Movie Review: Superman vs. Batman: The Dawn of Justice... A Testoserone Fest

03/23/2016 01:00 pm ET
  • Carole Mallory Author, Actress, Critic, malloryhollywoodeast.blogspot.com
Batman v Superman: The Dawn of Justice starts on a high, but bring your overnight bag and toothbrush cause it goes on forever. Henry Cavill is a dashing Superman and Ben Affleck is an exciting, understated Batman, but these two specimens of male pulchritude cannot carry this turkey. Cavill’s body wins the contest, but Affleck’s acting trumps Cavill’s. Their fight is a bore.
The plot of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is that Metropolis has been raised to the ground and Batman believes Superman is responsible. Alas Batman sets his sites on getting Superman and bringing him down to seek justice for the chaos Superman has created on earth. Batman fears a future for the world with such a power left ungoverned.
As to the cast, Amy Adams is a great beauty as Lois Lane, her acting is flawless. She is a real highlight as she does not miss a beat. But Jeremy Irons as Alfred only makes one miss Michael Caine who today is 83 and would have added a much needed gravitas to this lemon. While Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luther is totally inappropriate because he lacks a menacing quality and instead adds a quirkiness which could be considered interesting, but quirkiness is not a character trait of Lex Luther. The ability to terrorize is. . There was some clever, powerful agenting here to give Eisenberg this role. There is no reason to be afraid of Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luther. Oh where oh where was the Gene Hackman, now 86, whom we all loved and who could have made Lex Luther a monster. A real monster. And if Hackman has retired, certainly there is a more skilled and appropriate actor who could have played Lex Luther.
Meanwhile the ending of this fiasco is just silly and goes on forever and then some.
It is a bit of an irony that the Belgium attack happened the night before seeing this screening about a comic book attack on a city. But watching CNN was far more terrifying as it would and should be, and only left me with the thought that had the writers, directors and producers made the story line more plausible, a good and meaningful film could have been made. Granted Batman vs Superman is a comic book invention, but if it had been more rooted in reality, it would have made for a better film. Even a meaningful film.
Kevin Costner is a real treat as Superman’s father and acts his way out of a paper bag with only a few moments as he illustrates the importance of an actor taking his time and reflecting as does that great beauty Diane Lane as Superman’s mother, but the dark lighting is so unfair to her. While the dark, dark look of the film was right for the ‘testosteronic’ atmosphere, it destroys women especially Diane Lane, unnecessarily so. The lighting did not have to victimize her, only the script. Holly Hunter also suffers the same, ‘let’s light her in an ominous foreboding light’ and this is so unfair. Also her acting is not directed skillfully by Zack Snyder ( Man of Steel) as she mugs in her key scene and she is a fine actress but not in this film.
Give yourself a break. Save your money, boycott this $250 million dollar Superman v Batman: Dawn of Justice and watch the news if you want to see terror.

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Saturday, March 19, 2016

MOVIE REVIEW...10 CLOVERFIELD LANE ..FRIGHTENINGLY FUNNY

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Movie Review: 10 Cloverfield Lane... Frighteningly Funny!

03/11/2016 12:59 pm ET
  • Carole Mallory Author, Actress, Critic, malloryhollywoodeast.blogspot.com
Don’t miss 10 Cloverfield Lane! Great acting, directing, writing, editing, cinematography and sound that make you jump out of your seat in terror in the opening minutes. A car crash. The driver, Michelle who is played by a talented Mary Winstead (Scott Pilgrim vs. The World), awakens chained to a bed in a sealed cement chamber, a prison. Why? Where is she? Soon John Goodman, aka Mr. Weirdo named Howard, introduces himself and informs Mary that he has saved her life. He claims there is a chemical attack by aliens outside of his doomsday bunker. Michelle’s expression indicates she does not believe him. She wants out. Though she is handcuffed to a pipe, she manages to escape and whittles a knife like wooden weapon out of a pole. When Howard enters with her food much as a prison guard would feed his prisoner, Michelle strikes a blow to Howard’s head. It is still early on in film so you know he will escape. Enter John Gallagher (Short Term 12) as Emmett who is also a prisoner but who claims he is a volunteer. He broke his arm while forcing Howard to allow him to enter Howard’s subterranean bunker. He confirms Howard’s story and Michelle remains baffled as to the truth and so will you. Is there a chemical attack in the outside world or had Howard abducted Michelle for his sexual pleasure? You have to stick around until the end to discover the truth and some sticking this will require.
10 Cloverfield Lane is one scary movie. The excellence of its production values make it riveting entertainment. And the dialogue written by Josh Campbell, Matthew Stuecken and Damien Chazelle is often witty at the most macabre moments. Goodman’s expertise. He shines. But so does Winstead, a modern day Terminator-ette. She is refreshing and a relative unknown which only adds to the spookiness as this could happen one day to you, an unknown.
But it is the direction of Dan Trachtenberg (Portal: No Escape) that deserves kudos. He keeps the pace of the film on high and does not skip a beat. When games like monopoly and a dated juke box keep these prisoners until they becomes volunteers, a great sound track of rock n roll and period music get you almost out of your seat dancing to the rhythm. After all this is in IMAX and the sound that accompanies this magnificent technology.
But it is the mystery and horror of this thriller, 10 Cloverfield Lane, that will captivate you. It is a sequel to the original Cloverfield from 2007 that was a great success but this bizarre thriller will top that and then some. And a special thanks to producer JJ Abrams (Star Wars VII, Super Eight) for keeping up the pressure. The sets are fantastic as the doomsday bunker is an apartment resplendent with a homey, sit-com, lived in “all the better to rape you in” environment. As you wonder throughout film, “Will Howard molest Michelle or is he being fatherly as his daughter died and her possessions are all over the bunker.” When Howard admonishes Michelle and Emmett for not using coasters on his antique cocktail table, the audience roars. Sinister is 10 Cloverfield Lane’s mantra. It is moments like this that relieve the tension, but only temporarily.
Catch 10 Cloverfield Lane if you can! But don’t go alone.
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MOVIE REVIEW. THE DIVERGENT SERIES. ALLEGIANT PART 1...MILKING A FRANCHISE

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Movie Review: The Divergent Series, Allegiant Part 1.... Milking a Franchise

03/17/2016 02:21 pm ET | Updated 2 days ago
  • Carole Mallory Author, Actress, Critic, malloryhollywoodeast.blogspot.com

Allegiant Part I
is a good action adventure film about a post apocalyptic world which is divided into five factions based on virtues, but enough already with this franchise. This film squeaks by on special effects and fine acting, but the plot is hanging on by its chinny chin chin. Robert Schwentke directs with a pistol like fervor which fades due to the luke warm writing by Noah Oppenheim and Adam Cooper.
Shailene Woodley stars as Tris who is in love with Four played by Theo James. Four has a body that could defend anyone anytime and is always a treat to watch. But after this band of protestors escapes Chicago to find out what is beyond this walled city, disillusionment sets in. Naomi Watts (King Kong) is Four’s mother whom he flees. Her part is too small as her presence is riveting. Miles Teller (Whiplash) as Peter lights up the screen whenever he appears.
Tris is dynamic as the leader of the Divergents. She is certainly pretty to look at if not a bit bland at times. The urge to shake her overtook me as she stares wide eyed believing the con of Jeff Daniels (Dumb and Dumber) as David. Her lover Four is not naïve and realizes once the band of protestors climbs over the wall, they have gone from the kettle to the frying pan.
The daunting challenge to climb the wall around Chicago which is a devastated by war with factions within is a great beginning. One can only think of the Wall Donald Trump is threatening to build between the US and Mexico. This Wall is huge and surrounded by barbed wire with an electrical current that can kill if touched. Terror travels with this band of people looking for a better life beyond this Wall.
The special effects used to climb the Wall are a bit reminiscent of Jennifer Lawrence’s bow and arrow in The Hunger Games. In fact this film has been dubbed by its critics “The Poor Man’s Hunger Games.” But it does have its own identity which wanes as the film proceeds.
To climb this wall actual arrows are shot into it to attach rope for them to use to climb. This beginning of the film works, but it is downhill from here. Once over the Wall these good folk are confronted with a new evil and must fight for their lives once more. The special effects are stunning while the giant airplanes resemble beetles or cockroaches with mechanical legs. While the special effects are impressive at the onset, they cannot save the lack of storyline. Again it’s the writing folks that is weak. And Lord knows what they will try to invent in the next installment Perhaps living happily forever after should be considered by the writers and put this franchise to bed. See Allegiant Part One if you have nothing better to do, but don’t expect the magic of The Hunger Games but don’t be surprised at similarities

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