In Murder on the Orient Express, Kenneth Branagh directs Kenneth Branagh as Agatha Christie’s famous detective Hercule Poirot. The film informs us of his reputation by opening with Poirot solving a crime in front of an abundant crowd, as if he is the main attraction at a circus. In case this was not enough—and because the script felt the need to address its own ludicrous facial hair creation—Daisy Ridley’s Mary Debenham recites her first line in the film thusly:
“I know your mustache…from the papers!”
When the plot of the film begins in earnest—in which a mobster criminal (Johnny Depp) hiding on the train is Continue reading Murder on the Orient Express (2017) Movie Review
Franchises, by their very nature, are formulaic. As such, those who enjoy the Pirates of the Caribbean formula will likely find some enjoyment in this fifth installment. Because it is exactly the same film as the others.
The glaring issue with these films is quite clear. Pacing. Set pieces in Dead Men Tell No Tales, from moment one, are overblown and tiresome. The introduction of the enigmatic Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) begins light and humorous, but this apt intro is squandered when the chase sequence extends far beyond its reach.
Aside from these pacing issues, in which scenes continue far past their natural expiration date, the attempt at story in this fourth sequel is Continue reading Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (2017) Movie Review
Kevin Smith’s latest feature, the blatantly Canadian-set Yoga Hosers, feels at first like an unofficial Clerks 3 graduated to a new generation to include Instagram, yoga, an attempt at current slang, and a female empowerment angle. Indeed, most characters are introduced through an Instagram insert that adds no information to the character that was not already presented through narrative context.
The film is also a horror movie about bratwurst Nazis. And a musical, kind of. It paints Canada like a fantasy world completely alien to American audiences, so alien that Continue reading Yoga Hosers (2016) Movie Review
In 19th century London, Alice Kingsleigh (Mia Wasikowska) is whisked back into Wonderland. Again. Because, you know, money.
Alice Through the Looking Glass loses much of the charm that could be found in 2010’s Alice in Wonderland, although that film had problems of its own. This sequel is hampered by many elements that were not handled with enough care.
The narrative as a whole is problematic in that it shares very little resemblance to the source material that bears the same name. This aside, the plot simply carries little weight throughout the length of the film. Not to mention that Continue reading Alice Through the Looking Glass (2016) Movie Review
Scott Cooper’s Black Mass is the story of crime lord James “Whitey” Bulger (Johnny Depp) told from the eyes of his criminal underlings as they speak out against him to the FBI.
Bulger, after serving a nine-year stint in Alcatraz prison, straddles together a working crime business in southern Boston in the 1970s. FBI agent and childhood friend of Bulger John Connelly (Joel Edgerton) approaches Bulger with an offer to Continue reading Black Mass (2015) Movie Review