Dat guy Larry is the prime example that a well crafted Facebook status is worth more than your wanky six page writing sample. Larry is a lot of things, but above all he is a critic. He holds no punches and says it as it is. We like that. We like that so much we’re giving him his own column. Each month, Larry goes to the movies and gives you the full report. He was also choked while being mugged on the subway in New York. The mugger was never seen again. Larry is raw.
MAD MAX: FURY ROAD
The whole MAD MAX: FURY ROAD experience is like a trip on Acid. Ditching the remake concept and picking up where the originals left off, the story is still set in a dystopian, post-apocalyptic world where men are animals and women are called breeders – Insert Daesh joke here -. Max, played by an excellent Tom Hardy, haunted by grizzly images of his dead family and eaten by guilt, decides to join hands with Imperator Furiosa in order to free women and give them back their land. You might have ‘Max’ in the title, but it is in fact Charlize Theron’s show here. Abandoning her pretty girl looks and rocking a shaved head and a prosthetic arm, she drives trucks, kicks butt, and, with a bunch of equally kickass female sidekicks, takes feminism to a whole new level. She doesn’t play Furiosa; she is Furiosa. Stellar performances aside, the movie’s refreshing feel comes from its frenetic cinematography – hence the Acid joke -, intriguing choice of color grading and surprisingly sophisticated art direction, despite its dialogues that don’t necessarily make sense and don’t always rely on subtext. While most post-apocalyptic movies tend to have desaturated colors and war aftermath scenery, this is where the movie gets it right with its colorfulness and its edgy sets. And while most testosterone-fueled movies tend to treat women like props, this one actually passes the Bechdel test. Add in successful yet uncalled for 3D effects and you will feel the need to shower once the movie’s over. Best movie theater experience I’ve had in 2015 so far.
I was never a fan of the original POLTERGEIST movie (two words: STEVEN SPIELBERG), so I naturally gay-gasped when I knew about a remake that involved producer Sam Raimi (the Evil Dead franchise), playwright David Lindsay-Abaire (RABBIT HOLE) and underrated, underappreciated and under-used actors like Sam Rockwell, Rosemarie DeWitt and Jane Adams. The project, on paper, had ‘good horror references, good writing and good acting’ written all over it. And yet, like most hopeful projects on paper, this one misses the mark. Despite a few good scares, decent performances and the fact that horror movies are always more engaging in 3D, the movie stumbles and fails to find any edge due to its slow pacing, cheap comedic tricks, and worst of all, its one-note characters. I usually hate it when I say this, but the movie should’ve stayed an extended trailer; everything is already given away in the trailer anyway. Gay-gasp fail.
Indie Horror is a genre made popular by directors like Ti West and Adam Wingard, and taken to the next level by French directors Julien Maury & Alexandre Bustillo. After last year’s critically-acclaimed THE BABADOOK by first-timer Jennifer Kent, it was made clear that Indie Horror was here to stay. What’s refreshing about IT FOLLOWS is the fact that it’s a psychological horror movie that doubles as a coming-of-age movie. A bunch of reckless yet hopeful teenagers and their irrational decisions are thrown in a stylized horror metaphor about STDs. It’s slightly campy but it works so well. Minimalizing blood splattering & capitalizing on psychological trauma, the movie puts sexploitation to good use (for once) and its female lead pays tribute to scream queens; a very nice addition to the genre.
Let’s take a concept made popular by Sandra Bullock, add in a pinch of racism, sexist stereotypes, and vulgar situations, choose two bankable actresses and call it a comedy, shall we? What could’ve been a funny buddy comedy fails miserably due to its jokes that are never funny, stereotypical caricatures of characters, slow pacing plot, and predictable and forgettable twist. How could two proud feminists not be insulted by the racist clichés that overwhelm this dreadful comedy?
Brad Bird’s TOMORROWLAND is a live-action movie based on the famed Disney theme park starring George Clooney and Britt Robertson. It revolves around a city of the future that only geniuses and people with special powers can see. It all sounds super fun, right? WRONG. Despite a spot-on premise and stunning visuals, the movie is one long, boring Discovery Channel style fiction show for kids; a never-ending prologue, characters that are too likeable to bear any flaws, and random and irrelevant gadgets that never really capture your attention compose this project that relies too much on its visual effects to get you attached to any of its characters or plot points. Just like most recent live-action Disney adaptations, this one fails to bring the edge of the source material, which is intriguing given the fact that Disney’s animated pictures keep getting better. Here’s a fun thought: how about you travel to Paris, Florida or California, go to Disney, live the Tomorrowland experience instead of snoozing your way out in a multiplex?