Saturday, July 15, 2017
A rejected military soldier transforms into Captain America after taking a dose of a "Super-Soldier serum", but being Captain America comes at a price as he attempts to take down a war monger and a terrorist organization.
Fairly entertaining comic-book adaptation with some good period detail; thankfully, the original's unflattering patriotism is toned down, and the villain is not the Third Reich itself, but a renegade madman Über-Nazi.
Maltin**1/2: "First half of this period piece is good fun, but story loses its thrust and doesn't even provide an honest ending. Evans is quite good in the title role; visual effects turn him into a puny version of himself for the early scenes."
Friday, July 14, 2017
Following Kick-Ass' heroics, other citizens are inspired to become masked crusaders, but Red Mist leads his own group of evil supervillains to get revenge, kill Kick-Ass and destroy everything he stands for.
Lacklustre sequel comes along as a tired attempt (and miss) to revive the original's charm; and there's a disagreeable, imbalanced mixture of humour and violence.
Maltin*1/2: "The purpose and momentum of the original film are gone, along with some of its most compelling characters. What's left is a vulgar, violent look at Hit Girl...and a lot of obnoxious posturing by egomaniacal villain Red Mist...Carrey is wasted as a newly introduced vigilante leader and Taylor-Johnson's role is reduced to meaninglessness. Comic-book moviemaking at its worst."
Thursday, July 13, 2017
Hit men kill an unresisting victim, and an investigator uncovers his past involvement with beautiful, deadly woman.
Film noir classic with extraordinary b/w photography and excellent performances, Ava Gardner, however, is not quite convincing as femme fatale; the plot is more an imagination about Ernest Hemingways story than an adaptation.
On renewed viewing: Hemingway's famous short story is merely the trigger for an intriguing, complex Noir crime story, arguably one of genre's best; both Lancaster as the 'innocent' cuckold and Gardner as the inscrutable femme fatale set standards with their performances.
Halliwell***: "Elaborate tale of cross and double-cross, stunningly executed."
Maltin****: "Compelling crime drama...Film provides fireworks, early success of Lancaster (in film debut) and Gardner."