BOFCA REVIEW ROUNDUP: 2/22

SNITCHSnitch

“It has no idea what sort of movie it wants to be. Is it a macho, gritty action movie about two very different men’s ideas of what it means to be responsible for their spouses and children? Or is it a social drama about America’s war on drugs? “- Andrew Crump, Go See Talk

“A perfectly serviceable action movie and Johnson continues to take chances as an actor. He may not be doing HAMLET any time soon, but he keeps trying to stretch himself, which may be why he is the most interesting of the current action stars.” – Daniel M. Kimmel, North Shore Movies

“To me, the movie was just a matter of hollow process. It was just going to get from point A to point B, and I could care less.” – Steve Head, The Post-Movie Podcast

“He’s not a hero, he’s a regular guy who just happens to outweigh other regular guys by 150 pounds. That’s very rare for a C-grade action movie. And, progressive politics or not, this is definitively a C-grade action movie.” – Jake Mulligan, EDGE Boston

 

John Dies At The EndJOHN DIES AT THE END

“If you like your horror-comedies with drug-induced delusion, disjointed humor and villains made of reconstituted frozen meat, then JOHN DIES AT THE END is your cult movie of the year.” – Norm Schrager, Meet In The Lobby

“Soy sauce, TV psychics, magical Jamaicans, sentient organic computers, meat monsters, Paul Giamatti, and the constant threat of apocalypse: that’s JOHN DIES AT THE END in a nutshell. Or maybe it’s Don Coscarelli in a nutshell. ” – Andrew Crump, Go See Talk

“A hilarious and occasionally icky story that should hit the sweet spot for people who like twisted movies and are fed up with the Hollywood assembly line.” – Daniel M. Kimmel, Sci-Fi Movie Hype

“But with Coscarelli’s kinetic camerawork and drugged-out, comic-book visuals, even the most confounding explanations are made palatable. The trip’s a lot more satisfying than the destination.” – Jake Mulligan, The Boston Phoenix

“A good long soak in the same brine that directors like Stuart Gordon and Sam Raimi must have been pickled on when they created loopy indie comedy-horror projects like RE-ANIMATOR and THE EVIL DEAD.” – Kilian Melloy, EDGE Boston

 

DARK SKIESDark Skies

“A film that borrows liberally from CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND, POLTERGEIST, PARANORMAL ACTIVITY, SIGNS and even THE BIRDS. What it lacks in originality, it almost makes up for with strong performances.” - Brett Michel, The Boston Phoenix

 

BOFCA REVIEW ROUNDUP: 2/15

A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARDA Good Day To Die Hard

“The low-key, workingman’s energy of the original has been replaced with action-hero mythology, blockbuster-sized stunts, and sub-Stallone quips. John McClane used to be rough. Now he’s smooth. That’s the problem.” – Jake Mulligan, EDGE Boston

“The editing, especially during the opening car chase, is amazingly sloppy. Much of the remaining film looks a blend of shaky-cam video, close ups, zooms and whip-pan shots that were dumped into a Cuisinart.” – Tim Estiloz, Boston Movie Examiner

“Willis seems to have forgotten how to play McClane, just squinting and insulting people while looking vaguely disinterested in the mayhem all around. He’s pushy and bullies his kid. When did John McClane become such a dick?” – Sean Burns, The Improper Bostonian

“You’ll probably think about what a stupid waste of time the whole thing is, or how relentlessly boring the action scenes are. A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD may just be the last American action movie you will want to see for a long, long time.” – John Black, Boston Event Guide

“The whole film looks and feels astonishingly small and cheap.” – Bob Chipman, The Escapist

“Witty exchanges are almost non-existent between the characters. There’s a whole scene which literally involves people yelling at each other to ‘shut up’ like sixth graders.” – Evan Crean, Starpulse

“It’s pure hokum, including the occasional wink at the audience that they know how absurd it all is, and then it’s on to the next big plot twist and action set piece.” – Daniel M. Kimmel, North Shore Movies

 

Beautiful CreaturesBEAUTIFUL CREATURES

“The supernatural stuff is a metaphor for the intense emotions of adolescence, but there’s no question that writer-director Richard LaGravenese has taken the material seriously, and crafted a serious – if somewhat overlong – adaptation.” – Daniel M. Kimmel, North Shore Movies

“There’s an air of contempt to the picture, with a lot of bored, talented people openly acknowledging that they probably should be doing something more productive with their time.” – Sean Burns, Philadelphia Weekly

“It’s almost impossible to enjoy even on a trashy, so-bad-it’s-good level, though bless Jeremy Irons and Emma Thompson for trying to bring the film to that sort of plateau.” – Andrew Crump, Go See Talk

“Your typical sappy, young-adult romance that centers on the stereotypical causes for adolescent angst. Despite its tired themes, it’s surprisingly witty at points.” – Evan Crean, Starpulse

“And here we go again. Set your eyeballs to ROLL.” – Bob Chipman, The Escapist

“It’s a Southern-fried supernatural teen romance that’s all empty calories and rich taste—just the thing for a Valentine’s Day release.” – Monica Castillo, Paste Magazine

 

Safe HavenSAFE HAVEN

“Sparks has said what he wanted to say several times over. We really don’t need another story in a Southern small town about star-crossed lovers, secrets, death, and love conquering all.” – Daniel M. Kimmel, North Shore Movies

 

THE LAST REEFThe Last Reef

“You’ll be tempted to reach out and touch the hovering schools of jellyfish. Just try not to get stung.” – Brett Michel, The Boston Phoenix

 

 

BOFCA REVIEW ROUNDUP: 2/8

SIDE EFFECTSSide Effects  

“The picture is more about carnal cinematic pleasures than it is about deconstructing America’s drug habit. Yes, drugs are an integral part of the text, and of the subtext — but they’re also the MacGuffin.” - Jake Mulligan, Charleston City Paper

“After a promising setup, Soderbergh abruptly abandons the timely Big Pharma subject matter and settles into the well-worn rut of a routine Reagan-era sex thriller.” – Sean Burns, Philadelphia Weekly

“SIDE EFFECTS does stand out as a solid entry in Soderbergh’s filmography, and a serviceable goodbye. But it’s not the grand finale he, and his viewers, deserved.” – Andrew Crump, A Constant Visual Feast

“We stick around to see how it all works out, and admire the cleverness of the plot, but we have nothing emotionally invested in the outcome. There’s no sense of horror or of satisfaction as the various revelations occur.” – Daniel M. Kimmel, North Shore Movies

“SIDE EFFECTS transitions from a thoughtful drama about modern depression into a noir mystery about malevolent lesbians. It’s very likely that Soderbergh did not intend to make an anti-gay film, but, at least to this viewer, he most certainly did just that.” – Inkoo Kang, Bitch Magazine

“Although the tale keeps your attention, there are few surprises and the tension never quite builds to a boil.” – Evan Crean, Starpulse

“I was a tad underwhelmed at how one of our most interesting contemporary directors chose to say farewell to the game.” – Greg Vellante, The Eagle Tribune

 

IDENTITY THIEFIdentity Thief

“It may be too soon to call IDENTITY THIEF the worst film of the year, but there’s no doubt that it will be a contender. From its absurd opening to its sappy close, a complete catastrophe.” – Daniel M. Kimmel, North Shore Movies 

 

56 UP 56 Up

“In short, the difference between age 49 and age 56 doesn’t have the impact as the chasm between other ages experienced in the series. These folks have settled into life.” – Norm Schrager, Meet In The Lobby

“The result, repeating itself again and again, gives the sense of a movie that’s in an awful hurry, yet still takes forever to get anywhere.” – Sean Burns, Philadelphia Weekly

 

BOFCA REVIEW ROUNDUP: 2/1

WARM BODIESWARM BODIES

“Puckish, witty and made with a good deal more care than the usual supernatural teensploitation.” – Sean Burns, The Improper Bostonian

“Director Jonathan Levine panders to the teen set with a fervor that would make Stephenie Meyer blush.” – Jake Mulligan, The Boston Phoenix

“This smart, effective film cloaks itself in the trappings of TWILIGHT to subvert them, a clever bit of genre commentary wrapped in a cute, breezy package.” – Andrew Crump, Go See Talk

“A gentle, lighthearted little send-up of zombie movies that commits to its own ridiculous premise with complete, un-ironic sincerity.” – Bob Chipman, The Escapist

“With Valentine’s Day just a couple of weeks away, WARM BODIES provides the means to have your sweetie’s heart and eat it too.” – Daniel M. Kimmel, North Shore Movies

“A perfectly entertaining misstep—something I reckon could have been done a lot better, perhaps if aimed more at adults than the teen crowd.” – Greg Vellante, The Eagle Tribune

“It isn’t a terrible horror comedy, just a mediocre one that squanders a fresh premise with lackluster humor that’s likely to amuse hipsters.” – Evan Crean, Starpulse

 

BULLET TO THE HEADBULLET TO THE HEAD

“Racially tinged conversations between old-fashioned Bobo and Korean-American super-cop Kwon don’t confront and subvert stereotypes as much as they think they do.” – Kristofer Jenson, DigBoston

“Is this what BEVERLY HILLS COP would have been like, had the producers continued their original plan to have Stallone star in the title role?” – Evan Crean, Starpulse

“Watching the movie won’t be as fatal, especially for those who enjoy fast-paced and not very complex action movies.” – Daniel M. Kimmel, North Shore Movies

“A credible foray into winter-film barbarism, and it might have been funnier if it left out the samurai jokes.” – Monica Castillo, The Boston Phoenix

“Hill, who once struck us with his aesthetic exuberance, has receded into full-fledged incompetence.” – Jake Mulligan, EDGE Boston

 

STAND UP GUYSStand Up Guys

“Has Al Pacino ever looked so small?” – Brett Michel, The Boston Phoenix

“We’re still all trying to block JACK AND JILL out of our collective memories, and this is hardly an embarrassment. But that doesn’t mean it’s fun to watch, either.” – Jake Mulligan, EDGE Boston