Writer-director Drew Goddard’s talky, delicately constructed, but dangerously overstuffed 60s set suspense mystery Bad Times at the El Royale is an overlong, but curiously still underdeveloped bit of entertainment that wins one over through the sheer force of the performances contained within it and a handful of good ideas.
I’m always amazed whenever a drama like The Only Living Boy in New York gets made. I’m not amazed in terms of how it reflects upon the human condition or how it’s able to convey grand emotions in subtle ways. I’m amazed by films like director Marc Webb and screenwriter Allan Loeb’s The Only Living Boy in New York because they feel like they’re made by artists who have never once sincerely interacted with flesh and blood human beings. Together, Webb and Loeb have crafted something so thoroughly self-aggrandizing, stultifying, and pretentiously off-putting that it essentially has no real audience outside of a select handful of hermetic, standoffish bibliophiles who are silently waiting for the world to end so they can catch up all the reading they missed during the cold, harsh, eternal winters of the apocalypse.
The sundrenched and dirt-caked crime drama Hell or High Water doesn’t break a lot of new ground when it comes to modern day neo-noir, and it doesn’t need to.
Peter M. Lenkov’s Rest In Peace Department oozes with really fantastic ideas, and that’s probably why Universal Pictures wanted to make it into a blockbuster franchise. The problem with the adaptation is that is misfires at almost every plot turn, and never seems to decide if it’s going to be dark, funny, or just plain weird. That’s also why it’s very unlikely we’ll see a sequel to R.I.P.D.
Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Entertainment released the first look at their upcoming film, Seventh Son, a fantasy epic that stars Jeff Bridges as Master Gregory, and Julianne Moore as Mother Malkin, based on author Joseph Delaney’s Wardstone Chronicles series.
R.I.P.D. exists at the point where Men in Black meets The Frighteners, but leaning heavily towards the MIB side of things. Somewhere in that mix, there is probably a winning combination, but R.I.P.D. only gets it about half right, with a storyline that is more than likely to bomb until it rises again in a few months on Blu-ray.
Debuting on DVD and Blu-ray this week: the Coen brothers’ True Grit, with Jeff Bridges and Hailee Steinfeld; the silly romantic comedy Just Go With It, starring Adam Sandler; the thriller Sanctum, by director Alister Grierson; plus a look at Blue Crush 2 and the final season of Stargate Universe.
This is a busy week for Blu-ray and DVD releases as five major releases arrive on store shelves, including: Martin Scorsese’s intense Taxi Driver celebrates its 35th anniversary; Disney debuts the original Tron and Tron: Legacy on Blu-ray; Narnia comes to life once more in The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader; plus a look at the IMAX movie, Hubble.
Opening this week, just in time for the holidays: Jeff Bridges stars in the Coen brothers’ Western, True Grit; Jack Black is off to the land of the wee folk in Gulliver’s Travels; Robert De Niro and Ben Stiller are back for another round in Little Fockers; plus a look at Barney’s Version.
This week in theatres: Jeff Bridges, Garrett Hedlund and Olivia Wilde star in Disney’s 3-D spectacle, Tron: Legacy; plus a look at Yogi Bear, Rabbit Hole, and How Do You Know.