Tag Archives: Joe Dante

Gremlins 2: The New Batch Review

Back when sequels could be crammed with pop culture references and a story that can coexist with cameos, an equilibrium was met. A satisfactory one. It was not leaps and bounds of a culture coming together to provide such an amazing system between the two that every pairing of regressive cameo and lukewarm storyline would make sense or even work, but Joe Dante was batting with better odds in the 1990s. Gremlins had, somehow, taken the world by storm. The simplicity of their design and the simple aim of having them be violent critters, but not violent enough to shun a larger audience, was a smart move. It opened Gremlins 2: The New Batch up to that same audience, its only issue being the continuation is replicant, rather than charging through with something new.

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Looney Tunes: Back in Action Review

Jealousy between actors is a given, but envy between animated figures of fiction is a sure-fire difficult topic to grapple with, especially when they are brought out of their own worlds. We are within the realms of madness in this Joe Dante feature, and as Looney Tunes: Back in Action fashions out a metaverse for the Looney Tunes crew, it loses a sense of its magic. Pratfalls and slapstick work, when offered in small doses, but to sprinkle them through an hour and a half of Timothy Dalton appearances, is to test the mettle and mind of any audience member. A bold move indeed, but who can blame them? The formula is usually a success. Why not have a punt and see what happens? 

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Matinee Review

For me, John Goodman can do no wrong. He’s a miraculous actor and has a superb screen presence. The ability to take on any sort of role, from deranged shut-in during 10 Cloverfield Lane to his leading role looking for love in True Stories, he can do no wrong. Well, almost no wrong, The Gambler is still fresh in my mind. But the reason I open with praise for Goodman is that Matinee very much survives on his name, and even though he’s not front and centre, it’s good to have him in this 90s Joe Dante piece. Right at the height of his powers here, Dante teams up with Goodman to bring us a wholly brilliant experience, combining their love for the movies with their fear of imminent global destruction thanks to the Cuban Missile Crisis. 

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