High expectations yield mixed results in ‘V/H/S,’ ‘A Separation’
Calvin Reeder stars in “V/H/S.”
★ 1/2 (out of four)
2012, Various directors, U.S., R
- ‘A Separation’
★★★★ (out of four)
2012, Asghar Farhadi, Iran, PG-13
- New films
Director: Paul Thomas Anderson.
Starring: Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Joaquin Phoenix.
The plot: A veteran arrives home from war unsettled and uncertain of his future.
‘Resident Evil: Retribution’
Director: Paul W.S. Anderson.
Starring: Milla Jovovich, Sienna Guillory.
The plot: Alice fights alongside a resistance movement in the continuing battle against the Umbrella Corporation and the undead.
Genre: Action, horror.
- Film roundup
★★★ 1/2 (out of four)
The films stays tight and lean, even as it jumps back and forth in time to establish some backstory on the contents of the envelope — seemingly nothing more than a movie ticket with a smiley face drawn on it — and why the man is willing to kill Wilee to get it. Writer/director David Koepp (better known as a writer, with credits ranging from “Jurassic Park” and “Spider-Man” to “The Paper” and “Panic Room”) deserves kudos for keeping things stylish and well-edited, and moving the story along at a good clip to reach a satisfying payoff.
“The Expendables 2”
“The Expendables 2” seemed inevitable, and the idea of a franchise was most welcome — especially after it was promised that the sequel would amp up the action and camaraderie with the addition of full supporting roles for genre icons Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis, Chuck Norris and Jean-Claude Van Damme (the first two appeared in the first film in cameo roles). The idea of these guys uniting for a giant orgy of ass kicking and bubblegum chewing was enough to make any action fan giddy with excitement, and it seemed like the kind of thing that couldn’t possibly go wrong: assemble the players, give them lots of guns, make a lot of stuff go boom — voila, instant awesomeness!
“The Bourne Legacy”
This spin-off (skillfully directed by veteran screenwriter and Oscar-nominated filmmaker Tony Gilroy, of “Michael Clayton” fame) uses the Jason Bourne saga as a backdrop to tell the story of Aaron Cross (Jeremy Renner), who, like Bourne, was part of a government research program aimed at creating physically and intellectually superior super-spies. Unlike Bourne, Cross remembers who he is and what he’s done, and becomes the target of government assassins once the Bourne situation goes public.
Posted: Friday, September 7, 2012 7:30 am
It’s September, so as far as I’m concerned we are now in the midst of the holiday season. (Yes, I start celebrating a tad earlier than most, and I’m having to resist the urge to bust out the Christmas music before November.) For me, the first leg of this four-month celebration involves the viewing of as many horror movies as humanly possible — a valid goal year-round, to be sure, but particularly pertinent as we approach Halloween.
I thought I was going to have a humdinger of a recommendation for fellow horror hounds with “V/H/S,” the emerging cult favorite that caused quite a hullabaloo on the festival circuit and quickly built a reputation as a must-see for genre fans. I’d been looking forward to it for months and finally got the chance to see it for myself since it became available on cable (it’s also set to roll out into theaters in limited release closer to Halloween). Sadly, I can’t remember the last time I was so disappointed with a movie that I was so sure was going to be a winner.
Arts and Entertainment
Friday, September 7, 2012 7:30 am.