The thing that I simply don’t understand is why so many recent attempts at this none-too-thrilling comic series have been made. Fantastic Four… this is the third since the millennium, and the third time this century does not the charm make. That said, it’s not as crap as I thought it might be, though as I’m not a comic book man, I come from a more objective/cinematic viewpoint. But the film is very slow and full of simplified montages and silly over-acting – not bad acting, just over-acting. You can tell that those involved truly thought they were working on something – ahem – fantastic, and were keen to take its lineup on the recent Comic Book Action Hero craze. Putting a one-time director (Josh Trank) up at bat with this type of budget ($120 million) when his sole screen effort was only a moderate box office success (huge in comparison to its cost – it was Chronicle) was just foolhardy at best. The plot is simple – Reed Richards finally develops his long-suffered teleporter as a young adult and when NASA gets involved and the project goes awry, everything becomes one molecular screw-up after another. Yes, folks, that does unfortunately include the film. Just Plain Silly. ## Honestly, folks… if you're looking for contraptions and science fiction plus laughs and insanity, season Two of Rick and Morty has begun. You’d be much better off with that in front of your eyes, me thinks!
Now then, as I watched Vacation, it was hard to not be a tad adverse to the premise, as I knew it was intending to pick up the story of the Griswolds, as last left in the 90s, with Chase and D’Angelo and the ever-changing actors who played their son and daughter in the Lampoon Vacation series. Here we have yet another “reboot,” though this one fares slightly better. Rusty is now played by Ed Helms as a guy in his 30s, a pilot, who is determined after a dinner party one night to change the spectre of his normal family vacay outing. His wife Debbie, played by the always lovely Christina Applegate, and two kids are certainly up for nothing he has in mind, but they set off across the country (as in the original film from many moons ago), and hilarity ensues. Honestly, there are some incredible crude, disgusting moments that will likely illicit said disgust with unending guffaws and when Chris Hemsworth, lisle Mann, Bevery D’Angelo and Chevy make their supporting cameos, you can’t help but feel that nice pang of nostalgia. It’s a raunchy family film that’s not for kids! ###
Time only seems to be quite the artistic friend to many a British actor/actress these days. It’s incredible to see so many older thespians over 70 and 75 still snagging pertinent, award-winning and notable protagonist roles. Here Sir Ian McKellen serves us yet another knock out performance of his interpretation of Mr. Holmes. Mr. Sherlock Holmes is now an ageing and somewhat cold gent who is looking back over his life pensively. I love how impeccable director, Bill Condon, tells the story with frankness, witty bite and even some all-too-knowing humour as Holmes segues into taking up a case in his old age. Holmes is now in his 90s in the film and a slight caretaker to his house assistant (Laura Linney) and her son Roger. As could be expected, a case arises and brings reluctant Holmes out of his reclusive estate life and into the forefront of a case played out in flashbacks and then a more current “business” trip to Japan. What master Condon has done is give us, the audience, a new way of seeing Sherlock without the Downey Jr./Ritchie comedy shtick, without Johnny Lee Miller in NYC camp. Here we get an intriguing, sometimes drawn out, but interesting new look and time with an old friend. ###-1/2
Lastly, today brings us a strange indie drama/mystery starring Liam Hemsworth, Bill Bob Thornton and John Malkovich called Cut Bank. When Hemsworth is recording his girl rehearsing for a possible TV spot, his small town of Cut Bank, Montana, is taken for a tailspin ride. With such a stellar cast, it seems that it would be easy to craft a solid thriller or whodunnit with this Midwest tale, but so much overacting and dull plotlessness makes this slow as molasses. Showing this week in our city’s arthouse cinemas, I’m afraid to say that despite the solid cast, you can't revive a shallow plot and lazy script that’s been done better many times before. Still, it’s nice to Malkovich and Thornton on screen. ##
Am I the only one who thinks that perhaps our summer is slowly coming to its last stages? I welcome the autumn with open arms, I must say, but if Mr. Sun gives us one more month, or more, of beach weather, I think we’ll all be fairly pleased. Enjoy the weekend, lovelies!