Pixar comes through in the clutch — God bless ‘em
“Brave” is now in theaters.
★★★ 1/2 (out of four)
2012, Dirs. Mark Andrews, Brenda Chapman and Steve Purcell, U.S., PG
“Brave” is rated PG for slapstick violence.
- New films
‘The Amazing Spider-Man’
Director: Marc Webb.
Starring: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone.
The plot: Peter Parker finds a clue that might help him understand why his parents disappeared when he was young.
Genre: Action, adventure.
Director: Oliver Stone.
Starring: Aaron Johnson, Taylor Kitsch.
The plot: Pot growers face off against the Mexican drug cartel who kidnapped their shared girlfriend.
Genre: Crime, drama.
- Bio Box
“ROCK OF AGES”
★ 1/2 (out of four)
I suppose there’s an audience out there for “Rock of Ages,” somewhere. Most viewers, myself included, prefer their films to follow some kind of plot structure and actually emerge with a point by the end. We like story and characters and effective dialogue, assembled by someone who makes movies on a professional basis. But I guess some people are looking for something different, and in that case “Rock of Ages” may be right up their alley. If you’re willing to sacrifice the traditional components of competent filmmaking in exchange for an unending barrage of highly questionable musical numbers helmed by a veteran of “Glee,” then by all means knock yourself out.
First, rumors started swirling that “Prometheus” was going to be a prequel to Ridley Scott’s revolutionary sci-fi/horror masterpiece “Alien,” with Scott attached to return as director. Then Scott himself squashed these rumors by stating definitively that, while it may have some peripheral connection to his 1979 film, this would most certainly not be an “Alien” movie. It was finally released, and many reports confirmed Scott’s claim. So let me clear up the confusion: “Prometheus” is unquestionably an “Alien” prequel, and anyone saying otherwise is either being willfully obtuse or too paranoid about spoilers.
“MEN IN BLACK 3”
“MiB3” was, I suppose, intended as a celebratory ditty, and a chance for Sonnenfeld to demonstrate that his years in the Hollywood system haven’t yet rendered him a permanent idiot. It fails on both counts, and although it is not without its (relatively) strong points, one can’t help but dwell on the question of how so much potential could be so recklessly squandered.
So what happened with “The Dictator”? Did Cohen and Charles find it difficult to transition from the documentary style of “Borat!” and “Bruno” to a more traditional narrative structure, as some have theorized? Perhaps, but in all fairness they’ve still managed to maintain a consistent comic rhythm throughout the film, suggesting that the problems lie deeper.
Such a film could conceivably be saved by a talented and game cast, but with the exception of Eva Green as the witchy villain, everybody seems to be sleepwalking through their roles. Depp, playing yet another gimmick character in a big-budget Hollywood movie, just looks jaded at this point, or perhaps baked out
Posted: Friday, June 29, 2012 7:50 am
I typically preface reviews of Pixar films with a disclaimer stating that, while I admire their consistently engaging and often groundbreaking work, I do not share the majority opinion that they are the end-all and be-all of contemporary animated entertainment.
It’s unfortunate that I must play the role of curmudgeon to temper expectations, but you know I speak the truth. They have had their share of masterstrokes (the “Toy Story” trilogy, “Finding Nemo” and “Up” all qualify as truly great films), but they’ve also had some borderline misfires (“Cars” and “Cars 2,” anyone?), and I’ve always been wary of the idea that a new Pixar release is cause for immediate and unbridled celebration.
Friday, June 29, 2012 7:50 am.