Imagine a building where one side is a dark, dreary insane asylum populated by sadistic guards, doctors and attractive female inmates, and the other side is a popular brothel and speakeasy. Sounds like the heart of a b-movie exploitation film and that’s what Sucker Punch, the new computer-graphics filled cinematic graphic novel from Zack Snyder, turns out to be.
There’s little worse for a film critic than watching a perfectly good idea for a movie be bungled in its adaptation to the big screen. Limitless falls into this category, however, with a brilliant concept that ends up so sloppy and poorly written that it made me want to open my laptop and start writing a new script.
Most modern comedies end up being so stupid that it’s painful to watch the actors embarrass themselves on the big screen. There are also comic actors who seem to have a string of box office successes even as their films are stupid and only barely entertaining. That’s why it’s a pleasure to see the terrific comic team of Simon Pegg and Nick Frost skewer the alien conspiracy genre in the consistently funny Paul.
Another year, another unrelenting attack by hostile aliens on our planet. Who knew that Earth was such a valuable commodity? As we’ve learned to expect from the genre, Battle Los Angeles is a lot of action loosely woven together by a semi-comprehensible storyline, a bunch of Marines and a few painfully insipid scenes where The Deeper Meaning of Being Human are discussed.
It’s not easy to turn a fairy tale into a movie, but when you decide you want to create the next teen horror-romance franchise, you’re got quite a challenge ahead of you. Even the blockbuster Twilight movies have varied quite a bit in quality and tone, but nothing will prepare you for the ghastly OMG! mess that is Red Riding Hood.
I’m not a particularly paranoid person, but there are times that I can be a bit suspicious about coincidences or “kismet”, things that are almost impossibly unlikely to have happened as they did. I’m not alone: sci-fi writer Philip K. Dick made a career out of asking “what’s behind the scenes” in a vast body of disturbing and thought-provoking stories, including Blade Runner, Total Recall, Minority Report, Next and Paycheck. Add The Adjustment Bureau to this list, with the story adapted to the big screen by director George Nolfi.