Reviews: The Last Stand, Parker, A Haunted House

The Last Stand:

“Christmas morning. Tiny puppies licking my face. A plate of crispy bacon. The embrace of a loved one. The last forty-five minutes of The Last Stand. As I walked home from the theatre after watching Kim Ji-Woon’s first American production, The Last Stand, I noticed passersby staring at me. I looked into the reflection of a window to see what merited such attention. I saw that, unbeknownst to me, a gigantic smile was plastered across my face, causing me to look like someone under the influence or perhaps a Moneyball jackpot winner. I felt like one. Because Arnold has returned. And we are the better for it.”

Read the rest here.


“There’s nothing especially bad about Parker, 2013′s first entry into the Jason Statham filmography. There’s nothing especially good either. I was never bored, yet I was never enthralled. We get a few entertaining if implausible heists, a few violent and frenetic fight sequences, a few delightful character actors grabbing a paycheck, and cinematography that seems designed to make you marvel in the knockout beauty of Jennifer Lopez. These elements are all well and good, and they will certainly keep your malcontent urges at bay. However, as a die-hard fan of the action genre, I left the theater totally emotionless. Where are my non-stop thrills? Where is my chemistry? Where are my self-aware one-liners? Where is my badass hero who sticks to his own code? You can tell that these things all exist within the script… but sadly, what’s left on the screen is nothing more or less than fine. It’s a cheese pizza when you wanted pepperoni. You’ll eat it, and it will get the job done… but you’re not going to feel satisfied.”

Read the rest here.

A Haunted House:

“I took copious notes during A Haunted House, shaking off hand cramps and straining to listen to the dialogue over the howls of laughter from the man sitting to my left and the snores of the man sitting to my right. I fell somewhere in between my two aisle companions regarding the film: it was neither worthy of my laughter nor capable of inducing sleep. No, this is one of those rare films where its badness turns the cogs of your brain, making you wonder who said, “Yes, this is funny! Let’s make it!” Paranormal Activity and its ilk are certainly distinct enough that a gifted parodist could elicit laughter from the subject matter. Tasteless humor, when executed well, can also be utterly hysterical. However, Marlon Wayans seems to be using this tasteless parody film as propaganda for three messages: 1. “Marlon Wayans is straight. Really straight. He loves girls, you guys. Especially sex with them. Seriously.” 2. “Anything other than a man sleeping with a woman is gross. Like, crazy gross. Damn.” 3. “It’s a good thing women are good for sex, because boy oh boy, they are not good for anything else.” Why he chooses to try so desperately to convince us of the validity of these messages is up to you, dear Reader. But more importantly than the purpose of its strange and unconvincing subtext, it’s simply not funny. At least to me.”

Read the rest here.

~ by russellhainline on January 29, 2013.

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