Greetings! Have you ever wondered if a movie's worth blowing the money on to see at the theater or what to add next to your NetFlix queue? Then you've come to the right place! Enjoy!

"Dark Shadows" Review

Watch this:

Almost every laugh and pretty much all the story is contained in the trailer, which benefits from fast-cutting and plot condensation. Despite looking like another Tim Burton and Johnny Depp trifle, the experience of sitting in the dark shadows of a movie theater is an exercise in experiencing eternal torment. It simply doesn't work on any level - as a straight horror story, a horror spoof, or a fish-out-of-time comedy. Characters don't arc at all and are so superfluous that when the plot wanders back to including them in a scene, my reaction was consistently, "Oh, this one again." I can't even muster much effort to tear it apart because it's so pointless and boring.

Depp brings his usual focus to his portrayal of Barnabas Collins and it's a testament that he's able to command our attention when there's nothing much he's actually doing. A lot of good actors - Michelle Pfeiffer, Chloe Grace Moritz, Jackie Earl Haley, Helena Bonham Carter, and Eva Green (who should replace January Jones in the Matthew Vaughn X-Men: First Class series) - are similarly left adrift with a business card-length character for 105 minutes. Burton doesn't even step up to provide his specifically creative sensibility to the film's look. He seems to be phoning it in and as a result, everyone just marks time along with the audience.

The only good thing I can say about our viewing of Dark Shadows is that the price was right. (We'd walked in after another show had let out.) My girlfriend had been willing to pay full price ($10) to see it and is very glad she didn't. I just want my time back.

Score: 2/10. Skip it.

"Men In Black 3" Review

I wasn't particularly enthused about seeing Men in Black 3. It's production was a disaster - they started shooting without a completed script in order to get Will Smith and then shut down for months to figure out the rest of the story - and nothing in the trailers begged my attendance, though Josh Brolin's mimicry of a younger Tommy Lee Jones was apparent even in the few syllables the trailers showed. But my girlfriend wanted to see it more than Avengers and was paying, so away we go.

The story itself is pretty thin: An extremely nasty alien named Boris the Animal ("It's just Boris!" he frequently barks) has escaped from a rather unique prison and somehow gone back in time to kill Agent K (Jones/Brolin), forcing Big Willie to also go back in time to try and prevent history being changed and the Earth's destruction. I'll give you exactly one guess as to whether they succeed.

To their credit, they don't just go back and revisit the same characters from the first two movies and there's a twist involving a famous person whom you'd expect to be an alien based on how these movies work. (Whoops! The trailer gives it away. Weak. I'd missed that or forgotten that detail.) Brolin kills it with his channeling of Jones; Emma Thompson gets some fun moments; there's an alien with the ability to see alternate timelines that's a different type; there are a good assortment of gags and laughs.

However, Smith seems flat - not tired in a jaded character sense, but because he's too old and too removed from his early persona. If you look at his resume, you realize it's been a decade since he's played what we recall as the typical Fresh Prince role. I've seen reviews saying Jones looks like he's wishing he wasn't here, but it's Smith who seems reluctant to retread old riffs. (It's like what Eddie Murphy would be like reprising Axel Foley or Reggie Hammond.)

Overall, we could've easily lived full and complete lives without Men in Black 3 in them, but even as a cynical cash grab, it's not militantly offensive and has enough fun to make it worth a watch eventually.

Score: 6/10. Rent it.

"Underworld: Awakening" Review

After the blah Underworld: Rise of the Lycans - in which someone thought what we wanted/needed was a prequel explaining the origins of the least interesting aspect of the Underworld universe - the series brings back Kate Beckinsale for Underworld: Awakening, though a title of Blunderworld: Snoozening would be more accurate.

After a quick recap of clips and narration recapping the story (minus the prequel), we're told that humans got hip to the existence of vampires and werewolves (must've been all the Twilight merchandise) and have set out to kill 'em all. When Becks and her hybrid sweet baboo who looks like the tool from Creed try to escape, they're captured and/or killed by The Man. Jumping ahead 12 years, she's thawed out from the lab she's been held at and with her badass leather and rubber clothes and boots conveniently stored in glass cases in the room, she kills a bunch of guards (one of the few cool bits) and escapes.

What happens next is a blur of jumbled blather that I can barely recall 12 hours later.  A bunch of really ropey-looking CGI werewolves chase her; she meets her hybrid daughter, though it's not clear how she lost the baby weight while frozen; there are some pissed-off vampires who don't appreciate her and the kid bring the wolves to their cave; and a secret plot to make super-Lycans. Or something.

At least than an hour-and-a-half, it also manages to be slow-paced and uninvolving. Five writers supposedly typed this thing up and there is so little of import rattling around, it makes me wonder if they thought having a super-sized werewolf was enough. The fact that this uber-wolf is played by the guy who plays Dyson, the werewolf cop, on Lost Girl shows how lazy type-casting gets. At least Michael Sheen gets a break from gnawing the scenery as Lucien. Next time, Kate should take a powder as well. Let poor Milla Jovovich keep making weak sequels with her hubby. She looks great and kicks ass, but we're getting to Resident Evil levels of suckitude now.

Score: 3/10. Skip it.

One particularly laughable detail is how the security desk for the evil biotech company is out in the courtyard of the building, where it's constantly raining. Several scenes are set out in this exterior and I began to wonder if the filmmakers couldn't get permission to shoot inside. How bad is it to work there?

"Mission: Imposible - Ghost Protocol" Review

I reviewed the IMAX version last December and upon second viewing, the overall score remains the same, but I should add that the pace really bogs down after the Burj Dubai tower/sandstorm sequence with a lot of talking and not-so-exciting capering trying to get access codes from the guy from Slumdog Millionaire. I got sleepy and the girlfriend fell asleep after having been alert for the first half.

Score: 7/10. Rent the Blu-ray.

Speaking of which, in another nasty example of retailer exclusives, only Beast Buy has a Blu-ray package with an extras disc which presumably would include the details of how they did the stunts like in this clip:

Guess I'll be waiting for a sale.
DirkFlix. Copyright 2010-2015 Dirk Omnimedia Inc. All rights reserved.
Free WordPress Themes Presented by EZwpthemes.
Bloggerized by Miss Dothy