Tag Archives: film

Film Criticism: On Grading Movies

Criticism of art, as reviled and looked-down upon as it is, is a necessary and inextirpable facet of art itself. It is the checks and balances of the creative industry. As it relates to film, it is a mediated industry within what is perhaps arts most mediated field.

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In many ways, the work of a critic is easy

Let us not, however, get caught up in the semantic confusion that is the claim that Continue reading Film Criticism: On Grading Movies

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Tomorrow Never Dies (1997) Movie Review

 

On the Russian border, super spy James Bond (Pierce Brosnan) infiltrates a terrorist arms deal in order to steal a plane carrying nuclear torpedoes before a British launched missile hits the site. One “techno terrorist” involved in the deal, Henry Gupta (Ricky Jay), is working with media mogul Elliot Carver (Jonathon Pryce), whose plan is to start World War III in order to profit off of the headlines it would provide.

 

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The villainous plot is bonkers, don’t get me wrong. And Jonathon Pryce’s performance is exceedingly over-the-top. But it’s Continue reading Tomorrow Never Dies (1997) Movie Review

GoldenEye (1995) Movie Review

 

In the cold open to GoldenEye, spy James Bond (Pierce Brosnan, in his first outing as the franchise character) bungee jumps off of a dam in Arkhangelsk in order to covertly infiltrate a Soviet chemical weapons facility. Once inside, he rendevouses with fellow agent 006 Alec Trevelyan (Sean Bean). Together they easily break into the loading dock where gasoline tankers are kept. Here we get one of my personal favorite exchanges in the Bond series:

 

Bond: That was too easy.

Trevelyan: Half of everything is luck.

Bond: And the other half.

Trevelyan: [alarm sounds] Fate.

 

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Bond plants explosive charges on the tankers, but Trevelyan is Continue reading GoldenEye (1995) Movie Review

A View to a Kill (1985) Movie Review

 

In the cold open of A View to a Kill, James Bond (Roger Moore) is in Siberia attempting to locate the body of missing agent 003. Upon finding the body, and the microchip that the dead agent had recovered, Bond is immediately hunted down on skis and snowmobiles by Soviet military.

 

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Moore’s stunt double skis, rides a snowmobile, and snowboards in this sequence. The stunt work is all well and good, but the ADR lines of grunts falling on the slopes is laughable. Equally laughable is how Continue reading A View to a Kill (1985) Movie Review

Scout’s Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse (2015) Movie Review

 

Scout’s Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse opens on Blake Anderson from Workaholics (here simply Ron the Janitor) dancing to an Iggy Azalea trap beat. Marvelous. Ron then single-handedly starts the zombie apocalypse. Double marvelous. The dramatic irony and use of space in this opening is great. It might be the best scene in the entire movie comedy-wise.

 

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We then see a dated-looking boy scout recruitment tape led by the comedic styling of David Koechner. Scout Leader Rogers’ (Koechner) Boy Scout Troop 264 is comprised of three archetypal scouts: the brown-nosing overachiever Augie (Joey Morgan), the apathetic burnout Carter (Logan Miller), and the reluctant leader Ben (Tye Sheridan).

 

When Ben and Carter decide to ditch Augie for a rave that appears to take place in a warehouse (although it is labeled as a rec center, but this is all besides the point), the two boys stumble upon Continue reading Scout’s Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse (2015) Movie Review

The Final Girls (2015) Movie Review

 

The Final Girls opens on a fake movie trailer for a B-movie horror movie called Camp Bloodbath. It is a solid comic send up to 80’s slasher franchises such as Friday the 13th.

 

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Then we see the star of the film, Amanda Cartwright (Malin Akerman) and her daughter Max (Taissa Farmiga). She’s washed up but is just glad that she has her daughter in her life. Then, you know, she dies. Continue reading The Final Girls (2015) Movie Review

Live and Let Die (1973) Movie Review

 

At a meeting of the United Nations in New York City, a man is killed mysteriously by a strange noise emitting through his ear-piece translator. In New Orleans, a man is stabbed and tossed into the middle of a funeral parade that just happens to be for him. In the Caribbean, a man tied up by locals is tied up and bitten by a poisonous snake during a ritual. Three men dead, and all three agents of British spy organization MI6.

 

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Enter James Bond (Roger Moore, in his first outing as the franchise spy). MI6 head M (Bernard Lee) and his assistant Moneypenny (Lois Maxwell) appear at Bonds doorstep to address the issue of agents dropping like flies. The scene is a comedic game of hide and seek, as Bond steers M away from discovering the naked woman in Bond’s bed. This, and the clever use of a magnetic watch, makes the entrance of Moore as Bond light and fun.

Continue reading Live and Let Die (1973) Movie Review