Tag Archives: Bruce Campbell

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness Review

In an interview with Polygon, director Sam Raimi said he hopes audiences can “use their imagination” when they step into his first Marvel outing, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. That is unheard of for the series of near-30 features so far. Another plunge into the usual formula time and time again, relying more and more on the simple tactics that have conned people into wanting the same thing over and over. More power to those who can trick audiences into trickling cash into an unchanging, unmoving product for the emotionally deficient. Unfortunately, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness soon boils down to pop-culture jabs, cameo-stuffed filler roles for the friends of Raimi (a wasted Bruce Campbell role is offered up) and the inevitable crossover of product fighting products looking to destroy some vague entity. Welcome to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.  

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Spider-Man 3 Review

How far can one man fall? Surely Spider-Man 3 is not the car crash audiences remember it as. But, then, it is easy to consider it such considering how unfulfilled and frustrated Sam Raimi sounds. Development hell spins its way through the final instalment of the famed and acclaimed Raimi trilogy, and it is hard to ignore. Too much to show, too little time to show it. Spider-Man 3 is an ambitious feature, but it is hard to escape the issues at hand. The lack of focus on one, core villain, and the aimless development that follows is too much to handle. We must instead ride the waves as they come, some will knock us overboard, but trust in Raimi to deliver us through a comical, interesting feature that leaves us hanging around hoping for more.  

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Spider-Man 2 Review

Mad scientists mark a stream of bad luck for Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire). As if the steroid popping alter ego of Green Goblin (Willem Dafoe) was bad enough, Spider-Man 2 has the web-slinging wunderkind square off against Otto Octavius (Alfred Molina), a man inevitably tied to octopus-like villainy considering both his surname and forename start with an “O”. But the friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man is burnt out. Smart scientists are here to blow up the city, but the twenty-nine-year-old teenager has other issues at hand. He has lost his job, no longer providing people with any form of pizza time, and his relationship with everyone around him is fraught with grief and an inability to focus.  

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Spider-Man Review

Passion. That is what Spider-Man can showcase. It and director Sam Raimi wear that on their sleeves. His love for the source material and desire to bring the fashionable world of web-slinging action to life is a bold and exciting attempt that, thanks to the joys of hindsight and nostalgia, feels far stronger than it did upon its initial release. Audiences clamour for the days when Danny Elfman and Willem Dafoe could be attached to a project about a man bitten by a radioactive spider, swinging his way through the streets of New York. Woody Allen wishes his love for New York were this strong, Spike Lee yearns for such passion, and Martin Scorsese wishes he could pull off a superhero movie this fun. Hell, he probably could. 

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Congo Review

Before we explore the mysteries of the jungle, our technology will expand so far into the future that we’ll be able to arm Bruce Campbell with a laser capable of cutting through leaves and not much else. Congo is stupid, let us get rid of the idea that it could be anything more than that almost immediately. With that in mind, the Frank Marshall-directed piece must clamber to the right side of stupid, it must present effective, fun moments with gore and engaging characters. That is a hard task to manage, and the hilarity is prevalent even when it shouldn’t be. Such is the effect of our modern culture and the impact Tim Curry can have on a screenplay. Fear not, for Congo is now the cult classic we have all needed in our lives, it is a necessary, big-budget car crash that finds solace in its unintentional humour and aversion to science. 

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Fargo Review

Straight and narrow roads coated with snow, the scenes depicted by Joel Coen in Fargo present an opportunity to admire the white coat of icy grimness, and the buried deceit hiding underneath. No person is sacred. They each battle their demons either privately and conspicuously or with public bravado and an uncaring glance at those around them. A tangled web presents itself almost immediately, as a collection of characters find themselves in over their heads in a series of events that destroy any sense or semblance of clarity. Fargo adapts this well, this collation of horrible moments and slimy characters comes to life, a spark is thrown into the torrential horrors of ignitable crimes and condescending, self-interested demons. 

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Cars 2 Review

Had I owned a vehicle or known how to drive, I’d have sellotaped the windows shut, cranked the engine on and waited for the fumes to take me instead of settling in to watch Cars 2. Should Lightning McQueen have been a real entity that I could see and hear and feel, I would slash his tyres and crack the windshield with a crowbar. Under strict prescription of finely temperate vodka and a new diet of minimal calories and maximum liquid intake made the blurry-eyed viewing of Cars 2 a real breeze. It brought out hatred I had not felt in some time, a loathing reserved for hack, merchandise-peddling nonsense. Anthropomorphic cars looking to riff on the James Bond franchise with an ensemble of bland, forgettable and meaningless cameos is such a ridiculous waste of audience time and patience.  

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Running Time Review

Really, I should stop using the “Bruce Campbell is in it” card. It’s led me down avenues of film that I never thought possible. My Name is Bruce was an awkwardly self-congratulatory film that should’ve worked thanks to faux egotism and embellishment of its stars, but it falls flat. The Love Bug was startlingly poor, but I could expect little from the ill-forgotten sequel to Herbie Goes Bananas. Still, releasing the same year as that car abomination was Running Time, a love letter to Alfred Hitchcock’s work in Rope. It’s easy to see the respect they have for the 40s thriller, but this one-take film from director Josh Becker does little else in the way of paying homage to the movie that inspired it.

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The Ladykillers Review

A key comparison to make between the output of The Coen Brothers around this period is that mediocrity reigns supreme. Between Intolerable Cruelty, their later efforts in Burn After Reading, and The Ladykillers, all the spots are there, but nothing comes to fruition for me in the way our narrative comes together. With this being the very first remake Joel and Ethan Coen took on, it’s somewhat understandable to see their style take the backseat in the hopes of divulging a faithful adaptation of the Alec Guinness led 50s feature of the same name. It doesn’t work quite as expected, but still has its moments of experience amongst a rather formidable cast, something the Coen’s always manage to bring together with relative ease.

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