Tag Archives: J.K. Simmons

Burn After Reading Review

Who appears on the cast of an ensemble feature is just as much a reason to view as the plot or those in the directing chair are reasons. It sounds unreasonable, but it is true. Many have suffered through the slog of catching up with the unknown, shadowy parts of their favourite filmographies. There is a reason, naturally, that people have watched Cats and Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore. Whether that is because their father marks it as their favourite film or because it is a feature that J.K. Simmons featured in is beyond the reasoning. Take refuge in the ensemble feature, good or bad. Burn After Reading happens to be good. Just good, mind. Not more than that.

Continue reading Burn After Reading Review

Terminator Genisys Review

That threat of coming back stuck true for Arnold Schwarzenegger. Immortal lines in the past meant as iconic scores to the nostalgic many are now washed-up, groan-inducing taglines to features that fail to hit the highs of the original conception. Director Alan Taylor is at a loss rather immediately in Terminator Genisys, but it is not entirely his fault. The plot of this end-of-world and act of war between man and machine is completely unfollowable. Not just for its shoddy storytelling and lack of preparation but because of who they relied on to tell the remainder of the story. Terminator Salvation did an awful hatchet job of joining the past and present, and Terminator Genisys sees no reason to change that.

Continue reading Terminator Genisys Review

Spider-Man: No Way Home Review

With a grand ensemble like this, it is clear to see that director Jon Watts is acting on the orders of Marvel. Cram the well-refined characters of the Sam Raimi universe and the not-so intensified versions of the Andrew Garfield features into the Marvel meat grinder. Chow down on a big bowl of nostalgia, where once defined characters come together for a big, boring blowout. The Multiverse was hyped up long before Spider-Man: No Way Home was ever announced, yet it is still, in the words of Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) something we know “frighteningly little” about.  

Continue reading Spider-Man: No Way Home Review

Being the Ricardos Review

While the latest Aaron Sorkin piece, Being the Ricardos may wish to remember the tumultuous life of Lucille Ball (impersonated by Nicole Kidman here), it is worth remembering the finest turn for the Ball-based productions. Had Rat Race been a heavy-hitting comedy remembered beyond the year 2004 then Being the Ricardos would pale in comparison to its representation of Lucille Ball. A tour bus full of fervent mega fans is still a league above the work Nicole Kidman offers here. That isn’t her fault though. It is something to do with the man behind the camera and his stifled desires as a screenwriter which make Being the Ricardos (and, in hindsight, his works preceding it) so entrenched in mediocrity. 

Continue reading Being the Ricardos Review

Ghostbusters: Afterlife Review

Characters within Ghostbusters: Afterlife may not be afraid of ghosts, but the spectre of the previous reincarnation of these phantom-busting heroes still lingers on the minds of audiences everywhere. Jason Reitman follows in the nepotistic steps of taking on the family business. Ghostbusters, the classic feature from his father, Ivan Reitman, is ready for another drubbing. Another staged moment in the spotlight, but at least this one feels right. It hits the notes of the past while pushing forth into a bleak and unknowably bright future. There is no severing of the predecessors, but an acceptance of it. No way of backing out or putting down the accomplishments of those that had come before them, the greatest step Ghostbusters: Afterlife takes is in accepting the past and the nostalgia that comes with it.

Continue reading Ghostbusters: Afterlife Review

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.  

Continue reading Spider-Man 3 Review

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.  

Continue reading Spider-Man 2 Review

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. 

Continue reading Spider-Man Review

Whiplash Review

We are pushed by those that believe in us. Naturally, the aim of any great teacher should be to encourage students in any way they see fit. Terence Fletcher (J.K. Simmons), has taken that a tad too far. His explosive reactions found throughout Whiplash are monumental experimentation with how we perceive the impact of a mentor. Cold and calculated from the very first moments he appears, the mind games begin almost immediately. Whiplash is a film all about driving the talent of an individual to their breaking point. Whether or not they can truly make a career of their passion, or if it is just a hobby that will give them some brief notoriety.  

Continue reading Whiplash Review

Contraband Review

Stack the cast as high as you want, there is still a chance of a dud hand. Contraband should know this. No amount of J.K. Simmons can save you from the director behind 2 Guns, an equally bland, lifeless action feature that included Marky Mark Wahlberg in the leading role. This time, however, he is not buoyed by the successful marks Denzel Washington can leave on the mind and in a film. Wahlberg is isolated and in danger of drowning in the murky depths of mediocrity, and while he has never quite dissociated himself from the action genre, Contraband feels like the half-hearted attempt you’d get from a man whose success has catapulted him to pastures new. 

Continue reading Contraband Review