The Girl With All The Gifts (2016) 2/5 – Some new takes on zombies but otherwise contrived

Usually I can see what a film is trying to do. I rate films based on that, whether they were successful. It is my perception but it’s real for me. This film was trying to imbue a child with ferocious and ingenious traits. It was akin to the recent film Midnight Special in that way. …

Continue reading “The Girl With All The Gifts (2016) 2/5 – Some new takes on zombies but otherwise contrived”

The post The Girl With All The Gifts (2016) 2/5 – Some new takes on zombies but otherwise contrived appeared first on Riley Film Reviews.

Usually I can see what a film is trying to do. I rate films based on that, whether they were successful. It is my perception but it’s real for me. This film was trying to imbue a child with ferocious and ingenious traits. It was akin to the recent film Midnight Special in that way.

The Girl with All the Gifts“A scientist and a teacher living in a dystopian future embark on a journey of survival with a special young girl named Melanie.” -IMDB

Cast

Gemma Arterton Helen Justineau
Glenn Close Dr. Caroline Caldwell
Sennia Nanua Melanie
Dominique Tipper Devani

Directed by

Colm McCarthy

Written by

Mike Carey, Mike Carey

Other Info

Drama, Horror, Thriller
R
Fri 23 Sep 2016 UTC
111min
IMDB Rating: 6.8

But this is just another zombie movie, like so many more before it. Someone should tell the director this has been beaten to death. There isn’t much more we want to see in zombie films, at least in new ones anyway. I will tell you what these zombies are likem since they are unique in a few ways. The communicate with one another and hang out. They can paint their faces. They are faster even than the Zombies in the film World War Z. They can go into a sort of standing sleep, like horses do.

This is a really contrived movie. I can’t help but think it was made to cash in on the zombie fans out here. It’s a sort of interesting story but never really blooms into something worth writing home about. There is the paramilitary aspect and a desire to “connect” with the zombies that never turns out well. If you’re into seeing a different take on this genre, you might enjoy this film. If you only have time for one movie, go see another one from your watchlist first.

2/5 Shamrocks
2/5 Shamrocks

The post The Girl With All The Gifts (2016) 2/5 – Some new takes on zombies but otherwise contrived appeared first on Riley Film Reviews.

Meet the Robinsons

Disney’s Meet the Robinsons doesn’t start out like a Disney wonder, but it ends that way. If you can make it through the first 3/4 of the movie, you’ll be greatly rewarded (incidentally, I found that “Bridge to Terabithia” was the same way . . . is Disney using a formula here?) The story is …

Continue reading “Meet the Robinsons”

The post Meet the Robinsons appeared first on Riley Film Reviews.

Disney’s Meet the Robinsons doesn’t start out like a Disney wonder, but it ends that way. If you can make it through the first 3/4 of the movie, you’ll be greatly rewarded (incidentally, I found that “Bridge to Terabithia” was the same way . . . is Disney using a formula here?) The story is spotty at the beginning and not much really makes sense. It reminded me of “Alice in Wonderland” at first the way it shifted from one (as Windows Vista ads would say) “wow” to another but without any real plot development. But just when you think it’s a random remake of Fantasia, a very sweet and human story about dreams and invention comes into focus.

This is a great movie for kids, but also for grown-ups (hmmm I find myself saying that a lot lately). The graphics, of course, are stellarly cool. Watching the spaceship alone is a marvel worth the 10 dollar admission. But there is much to marvel at in this movie. It is so complicated in art and story that it is one I’ll be buying on DVD so my kids can watch it over and over. As they get older they will come to understand it’s message about belongingness and believing in your own dreams. There are a lot of surprises in this one, and they all serve to make you more brave about being human with yourself and others. What does being “human” mean? Hmmm. That’s another blog altogether, but trust me, you’ll get it when you see it.

The movie closes with a quotation from Walt and it is like a perfect espresso after a delightful meal. This is one cartoon that won’t fall by the wayside with “Barnyard” or “Over the Hedge.” While those movies are good, they aren’t great like “Meet the Robinsons.” Did I mention I liked it?

Around here, however, we don’t look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.
-Walt Disney

Postscript 11-23-2010: Re-watching “Meet the Robinsons” with my kids today I noticed the villain when discussing henchman says “not a good Minion.” Interesting that the henchman in two huge blockbusters recently: Despicable Me and Megamind both have a henchman named “Minion.” Coincidence?

The post Meet the Robinsons appeared first on Riley Film Reviews.

Masterminds 3/5 – Funny, quirky odd comedy based on true story

Many times I am wrong about a movie based on its trailer. I thought this would be a battle of “great minds” that presented as a serio-comic SNL type of film. It only partly held my attention then. I discovered it’s much more. It’s the true story of a bank robbing trailer park denizen with …

Continue reading “Masterminds 3/5 – Funny, quirky odd comedy based on true story”

The post Masterminds 3/5 – Funny, quirky odd comedy based on true story appeared first on Riley Film Reviews.

Many times I am wrong about a movie based on its trailer. I thought this would be a battle of “great minds” that presented as a serio-comic SNL type of film. It only partly held my attention then. I discovered it’s much more. It’s the true story of a bank robbing trailer park denizen with ideals much higher than his IQ. Zach Galfinakis was born to play this part. While the movie has some problems, it’s basically an excuse to crack a few beers and laugh it up. It works on that level.

Masterminds“A guard at an armored car company in the Southern U.S. organizes one of the biggest bank heists in American history. Based on the October 1997 Loomis Fargo robbery.” -IMDB

Cast

Kristen Wiig Kelly
Kate McKinnon Jandice
Zach Galifianakis David Ghantt
Jason Sudeikis Mike McKinney

Directed by

Jared Hess

Written by

Chris Bowman, Hubbel Palmer

Other Info

Action, Comedy, Crime
PG-13
Fri 30 Sep 2016 UTC
95min
IMDB Rating: 5.8

Kristen Wiig does a great job in this film as well. They are both comedy heavyweights in my opinion. From the early scenes where they fall in love to where they do the deed and get caught for it, you’ll be laughing every minute. The plot isn’t complicated and the characters really aren’t very believable. It lost points with me because I read it was far afield from the actual story. Artistic license you know? Don’t go in expecting much and I’ll recommend it to anyone.

The post Masterminds 3/5 – Funny, quirky odd comedy based on true story appeared first on Riley Film Reviews.

Talking Stars #39 – ‘Split’

The team discusses this movie that attempts to portray disassociative identity disorder. It’s a discussion film that is for sure. Basic show outline: Intro Brief synopsis NON SPOILER First Thoughts (5 Words Review) (Trying Something new building on Kira’s idea last week) SOFT SPOILER Talk (Because it’s hard to talk about this film without spoilers) …

Continue reading “Talking Stars #39 – ‘Split’”

The team discusses this movie that attempts to portray disassociative identity disorder. It’s a discussion film that is for sure.

Basic show outline:

Intro

Brief synopsis

NON SPOILER

First Thoughts (5 Words Review) (Trying Something new building on Kira’s idea last week)

SOFT SPOILER Talk (Because it’s hard to talk about this film without spoilers)

Split

Split

“Three girls are kidnapped by a man with a diagnosed 23 distinct personalities, and must try and escape before the apparent emergence of a frightful new 24th.” -IMDB

Cast

James McAvoy Dennis/Patricia/Hedwig/The Beast/Kevin Wendell Crumb/Barry/Orwell/Jade
Anya Taylor-Joy Casey Cooke
Haley Lu Richardson Claire Benoit
Jessica Sula Marcia

Directed by

M. Night Shyamalan

Written by

M. Night Shyamalan

Other Info

Horror, Thriller

PG-13

Fri 20 Jan 2017 UTC

117min

IMDB Rating: 7.5

Casey (Anya Taylor-Joy Future horror star?)

Dr Franklin

Other two girls

(Those shouldn’t take long)

Story (WITHOUT END CREDITS SCENE)

James McAvoy characters/performance

Favourite of Kevin’s personalities?

The End Credits Impact?

Marks out of 24 or 5?

Where does this rank in the M Night Films (Sixth Sense, Unbreakable, Signs, The Village, Lady in the Water,

Last Airbender, The Happening, After Earth and The Visit).

Talking Stars #39 – ‘Split’ was published first at Talking Stars.

The Bye Bye Man 1/5 – People I don’t care about in a not-scary movie

This film looked interestig to me about the mid point of 2016. IMDB was advertising it and the trailer looked cool as well. It was as if we were getting a new Freddy Krueger or Jason from the Friday the 13th. I’m sorry to report we got a fake looking undead humanoid with grim reaper …

Continue reading “The Bye Bye Man 1/5 – People I don’t care about in a not-scary movie”

The post The Bye Bye Man 1/5 – People I don’t care about in a not-scary movie appeared first on Riley Film Reviews.

This film looked interestig to me about the mid point of 2016. IMDB was advertising it and the trailer looked cool as well. It was as if we were getting a new Freddy Krueger or Jason from the Friday the 13th. I’m sorry to report we got a fake looking undead humanoid with grim reaper attire, and no ability to scare.

The Bye Bye Man

The Bye Bye Man

“Three friends stumble upon the horrific origins of a mysterious figure they discover is the root cause of the evil behind unspeakable acts.” -IMDB

Cast

Douglas Smith Elliot
Lucien Laviscount John
Cressida Bonas Sasha
Michael Trucco Virgil

Directed by

Stacy Title

Written by

Jonathan Penner, Robert Damon Schneck

Other Info

Horror, Thriller
PG-13
Fri 13 Jan 2017 UTC
96min
IMDB Rating: 3.8
Horror movies are fun for a few reasons. One is that they throw you out of your comfort zone. They repulse but in a good way. If the acting is good and the creature/villains nightmarish, it makes for a good old time of ump scares and creepiness. I predicted the 2 jump scares as I recall the number to be. The rest of the footage is a huge piece of crap.

A college freshman and his girlfriend are playing grownups. He has no job we can surmise. That’s always a surprising thing when you see an 18 year old with a huge house he’s renting and no job. His girlfriend is average looking. No starlet/horror star budding here. Even their kisses are forced. I think I forgot to tell you how god awful the acting is.

The characters discover an urban legend about a reaper creature that haunts and kills you if you say his name. I won’t say his name but rather just direct you t the title of this review. There you are.

This film is worse than a student movie short. Some of the lines had me holding my hands. One of my favorites was when a child saw fire in a relatives home, her dad said to her “Fire can’t hurt him now.” That was choice crap! Maybe one day I’ll watch it again and make a list of quotes, there were so many bad ones. I DO NOT recommend this film. I haven’t rated a film a 1/5 in ages. Wonders never cease.

My rating: 1/5

The post The Bye Bye Man 1/5 – People I don’t care about in a not-scary movie appeared first on Riley Film Reviews.