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Posts Tagged ‘Alfred Molina’

Frozen II

Friday, February 28th, 2020

A while back somebody asked me if I was gonna review FROZEN II. I’m sure they lost interest by now, but I work on my own schedule. I didn’t review the first FROZEN (unless you count this unrelated movie with the same title) but I liked it at the time. These days the all-consuming cultural force of THE DISNEY CORPORATION is kind of off-putting to me, but back then I was more open to their magicTM. If you read some of my old reviews like SAVING MR. BANKS and POCAHONTAS, hopefully they can explain my interest in the history of the animation studio and the way their story formulas have slowly evolved over the years.

To me FROZEN was another step in the evolution of the Disney Princess. I appreciated their previous movie, the Rapunzel adaptation TANGLED, for allowing its heroine to be flawed, with self-esteem issues coming from her complicated relationship with the villain, who is also her mother figure. FROZEN is maybe less nuanced, but I liked the bait and switch where she needs True Love to break the spell and it turns out the prince you assumed it was talking about is a piece of shit, so sisterly love saves the day instead.

Several years went by, FROZEN’s ubiquity in pop culture (let it go, let it gooooo) sanded off much of its novelty, and much like INCREDIBLES 2 I looked at the posters and it looked like the same movie and even though I thought I should see it I felt no urgency to. Then I finally watched it on Blu-Ray and I got about two minutes before I realized that since I only saw FROZEN once, and have no kids in my life to hear obsessing over it, I had to pause and read the entire Wikipedia entry to remember what the fuck it was about. Like, oh yeah, Elsa (Idina Menzel, UNCUT GEMS) with the snow powers was kind of the bad guy at first. I forgot the main character was actually this non-snowy redhead character Anna (Kristen Bell, POOTIE TANG, SPARTAN, SCREAM 4, HIT & RUN). And I was still going, “Okay, yeah, I sorta remember that” in the last couple paragraphs. (read the rest of this shit…)

Species

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

tn_species“Don’t go. Please! I want a baby.”

SPECIES is one of these movies of the ’90s that isn’t very good but that represents a weird enough collision of influences to be interesting. It’s a studio genre movie so it has an all-star cast. Ben Kingsley (PRINCE OF PERSIA, BLOODRAYNE) leads the government monster hunt, and his team of specialists is Forest Whitaker (BLOODSPORT), Michael Madsen (BLOODRAYNE), Alfred Molina (PRINCE OF PERSIA) and Marg Helgenberger (FIRE DOWN BELOW).

Behind the scenes they got a couple of legit horror technicians in the mix: composer Christopher Young, whose eerie score is very similar to what he did for HELLRAISER, and monster designer H.R. Giger does his biomechanical thing like in ALIEN, but this time with bonus eyes and boobs. This was the first time his creatures got the computer animation treatment, an exciting development in those days. It was only two years after JURASSIC PARK and just doing everything digitally was still in the future, they had to put in some effort to do it so it was usually a big deal. The digital parts look almost charmingly crude now, but luckily they got puppets and costumes in there too, like you did back then. (read the rest of this shit…)

Summer Movie Flashback: Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time

Tuesday, September 17th, 2013

tn_princeofpersia

2010
2010

This is another one I never would’ve watched without painting myself into a corner with this review series. It falls into the small percentage of big summer movies that I just had no interest in seeing at all. Alot of the ones I miss, like, say, PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN 4, I didn’t get around to seeing them, and I heard they were bad, but yeah, sure, I’d watch ’em. Probly will some day. But not this one. I wouldn’t have.

(read the rest of this shit…)

Abduction

Friday, February 17th, 2012

tn_abductionIn the summer of 1991 a 23-year-old director named John Singleton made a hell of a debut with BOYZ N THE HOOD. It was a preachy, of-the-moment anti-violence tale inspired by his (recent) youth in South Central Los Angeles, tempted by the machismo of gang life but smart enough to avoid getting tangled in its endless cycle of retaliation. The movie had breakthrough roles for Cuba Gooding Jr. before “Show me the money,” and for Larry Fishburne before Ike Turner or Morpheus. He was so memorable as Furious Styles that he turned into a Laurence 2 years later. (read the rest of this shit…)

Frida

Wednesday, January 1st, 2003

This is the story of Frida Kahlo, a famous Mexican modernist known for her great painting and sexy monobrow. This is a gal who means many things to many people. An important artist, but also a feminist, a revolutionary, an unashamed bisexual. And you could probaly guess, since there’s a biography movie made out of her, that the poor gal had to be either alcoholic or disabled. In this case she was disabled, unpleasantly impaled in a bus accident, sporadically confined to a full body cast. But since she’s an artist she paints pretty butterflies on it.

You know Salma Hayek will get an oscar nomination for this, mainly because of the bodycast. I gotta be honest though, ’cause that’s my job. I don’t think she’s necessarily doing great work here. She’s just doing pretty good in a role that she is good for, that happens to be real Important because it’s a real person, who was a brilliant artist, who was disabled, and had some kind of political context to her life that can be simplified into movie form. I’m not saying Salma is bad, especially not compared to her embarassing improv role in TIMECODE. And I can’t think of anyone better for the role. But she didn’t exactly blow my mind either, especially not during the scenes where she wears a schoolgirl uniform and tries to pass for a teen. (read the rest of this shit…)

Magnolia

Thursday, January 13th, 2000

This is a good picture by a Cinema Artist who knows what the fuck he’s doing but still it’s almost too much for ol’ Vern and I’m gonna tell you why. But hold on there bud I’ll get to that in a minute.

The movie starts out with the song “One is the Loneliest Number” and maybe it’s just me but I don’t think it’s a coincidence that every one of the motherfuckers in this movie is lonely as hell. You got the divorced cop who drives around talking to himself about his job pretending he’s on COPS. You got the young coke snorting gal who sleeps with older dudes like myself and enstranges from her parents. You got her dad, the game show host dying of cancer; you got the TV brainiac kid that hates answering questions, the former brainiac that wants braces for god knows why, the old man on his deathbed, his emotionally unstable young wife, his nurse… I mean I could go on all day but you might as well just see the thing and make a list of all the characters yourself. I mean hell I know I’m Writing a review here but you can’t expect miracles out of me jesus. (read the rest of this shit…)