Do you know who Stuart Gordon is? If you don't, you should by now. Go watch some of Gordon's flicks, and get back to me. And if you do know Gordon's flicks then you need not read this to know that you should be checking out his latest film. Chances are you've known about it for quite some time, and have been waiting for it to come to a theatre or DVD place near you. Maybe you're just reading this to find out how "Stuck" compares to Gordon's other pictures. It seems like slightly foreign territory to him (comedy), but not really too much of a stretch.
It took until "The Life Aquatic" for Wes Anderson to finally hit his stride. I realize that "The Squid and the Whale" is not a Wes Anderson film, but he is one of the producers, and Baumbach's vision shares a lot of the same qualities as Anderson's, so I find it's still a valid statement. Still valid, because while "The Squid and the Whale" shows a lot of future potential for its creator, it also exhibits failures that often befall young writers/directors.
If, at the time you read this, "Snakes on a Plane" becomes a not-so-distant memory, at the time of its release, this film was surrounded by a lot of buzz. It's one of those movies that seemed to have its fan base even before its release, which generally doesn't bode well for overall film quality. David Ellis has, in the past, made good out of bad, however ("Cellular" and "Final Destination 2"), so it isn't so far fetched to believe that he may make it three in a row.
I don't share the hate on that others may with movies that are based on video games. There have been terrible adaptations, and total garbage to be sure ("Wing Commander", "Street Fighter", "Resident Evil 1 and 2"), but there has also been some infinitely fun movies such as "Super Mario Brothers" and the Uwe Boll pictures. None of these movies would be considered “good” by traditional standards, but as truly mindless entertainment they are among the best in the class.
This is a movie about an elevator with murderous intentions. If I've lost you then read no further, because there is no point. You may ask “How can you possibly recommend a cheesy movie about a killer elevator?” To which I will respond “I don't know. Is it a good cheesy movie about a killer elevator?” The answer in this particular instance is: absolutely.
As many of you may know by now, I am an unapologetic fan of Uwe Boll's work. He gets slammed universally by his internet critics, and has used this (what has become a sport of sorts) as a way to gain notoriety and small rock stardom. Critics, I have maintained have been wholly unfair to him. From "House of the Dead" to "In the Name of the King", Boll has produced films that have entertained me every single time. You may not appreciate some technical merits of his work (they have been inconsistent from picture to picture), but you can never argue with the energy and passion that he infuses each of his movies with. If you walk out of an Uwe Boll movie and fail to have a good time, either you're just a bigger cynic than I am, or you simply have no soul.
There are independent films that I believe are funded on premises that betray certain filmmakers' original intentions. "Funny Games" was a truly ambitious work with long cut-less shots of despair, and genuine horror, but was probably funded on the “cool” idea of the villains being able to break down the third wall, and interact with the audience. In what could have been an audience's observation of a believable crime (and an extremely well-made one), turned into a purposely unbelievable curiosity. The filmmakers thought they meld the two movies together and still succeed, but the two ideas are just far too incompatible to really work.
I have not read a book by Augusten Burroughs, and after viewing Ryan Murphy's atrocious "Running With Scissors", I do not intend to. Keep this in mind as you read my review of the film, as it could very well be that those of you who are fans of Burroughs may too love this movie. I am in no position to comment whether or not the director achieved the correct tone for the movie, or portrayed it's characters (apparently it's based on a true story, but I think the term “characters” still applies) accurately, and so forth as most movies that are based on novels are typically criticized for these types of things. I can only comment on what the film does wrong (which is basically everything) as a film, and let the reader who is similarly unfamiliar with Augusten Burroughs identify with this article.
I remember when "Running Scared" came to theatres, and nobody really cared about it. It must have been released with some other blockbuster that overshadowed it completely. It didn't help that it was advertised to be in the same ilk as something like a "Walking Tall", and as a result, didn't interest me in the slightest. But something happened when it came out on video. People started renting it, and recommending it to others, and all of the sudden, here is this movie that I quote, “had to see.” People were apeshit, and I had no idea where it came from.
Again, the entire earth confuses me. "Robocop 2" is absolutely reviled by critics, and I have no idea why. Zero idea. Nada.
I could see if these critics also hated the first "Robocop", but they don't. Verhoeven's "Robocop" was extremely well-received, despite having precisely the same characteristics as its first sequel. I am at a loss. And to top it all off, these same critics go further in praising the third installment of the series, saying that even though it lacked the polish of the first two, it at least had some of the heart and intelligence that made the first such a success. There is no question, in this reviewer's mind, that "Robocop 3" is easily the worst of the bunch, as it completely lacks the punch of the first two, and seems more like a direct-to-video production than a valid sequel.