Archive for August, 2014

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Blu-ray Review: Divergent

August 19, 2014

directed by Neil Burger, 2013

divergent

The post-Twilight era’s spawning of female empowerment is thankfully here to stay for the foreseeable future, but takes an unsurprising backseat to formula and perfunctory filmmaking in Divergent, the latest young adult series hoping to hit it big. Director Neil Burger (Limitless) conjures up an ill-advised and glossy slickness that renders Divergent a heavily artificial and disposable slog. Sadly, female wish-fulfillment is the name of the game here, as the film’s futuristic dystopian society is just a common placeholder for the rote trappings already existing within the genre. For now, here sits another slouching and mindless first entry of a franchise void of proper stakes and characterizations, one that should fare very well at the MTV Movie Awards in the coming years.

Read full review at Movie Mezzanine

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Into the Storm

August 11, 2014

directed by Steven Quale, 2013

into the storm

Boasting an underwhelming itinerary of destruction for 89 minutes, Steven Quale’s Into the Storm is the latest entry in the seemingly never-ending found-footage genre. Existing primarily for a culture obsessed with personal documentation and YouTube (not to mention ostensibly serving as a change-of-pace breather from Marvel overload), Into the Storm is an erratic disaster yarn lacking in visceral thrills and dynamic set-piece creativity. Certainly, it pales in comparison to its obvious point of comparison, Jan de Bont’s 1996 Hollywood action spectacle Twister. Often more overwhelmingly silly than terrifying, Into the Storm, as a piece of entertainment, shoots itself in the foot with an off-putting penchant for falsely manufactured drama and cardboard characters.

Read full review at In Review Online

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Calvary

August 2, 2014

directed by John Michael McDonagh, 2013

Calvary

With his 2011 film The Guard, writer/director John Michael McDonagh demonstrated a black-comic sensibility that didn’t stray too far from that of his playwright/filmmaker brother Martin, he of In Bruges (2008) and Seven Psychopaths (2012). His thematic interests are also strikingly similar to his brother’s, especially the possibility of redemption within an environment ridden with sin and temptation. If John Michael’s ambitious new film Calvary is any indication, though, has a long way to go before he matches Martin’s deftness of storytelling and depth of characterization.

Read full review at In Review Online