Wednesday, 26 September 2012

End of Watch

The film follows the life of two young officers, showing us their work, fears, aspirations, love, rest, happiness and grief. They are marked for death after confiscating a small cache of money and firearms from the members of a notorious cartel, during a routine traffic stop.

The trailer to the film was very promising: one could not tell from those couple of minutes as to what was going to happen in the film, or what the film is about. It all looked just tense, bloody and sweaty ode to policemen – something to look forward to. The problem is that even after watching the movie I cannot tell what the film is about, or why on earth it appeared in the way it did.

The whole movie is done in the mockumentary style: at the very start the main character flashes the camera that he has, and then most of the film the action is shown “as seen” by him – all the talk, all the jokes. It was supposed to give the audience the intimacy and the from-the-first-hand feeling of actually sitting in the police car with the cops or joining them in their operations. Those casual cameras are everywhere: one in the hand of Brian Taylor, two on their uniform, couple in the car – the life of those fictitious cops has been carefully documented.

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Resident Evil: Retribution

The story of the resistance of the only survivors of the catastrophic virus release continues. Alice fights alongside a resistance movement in the continuing battle against the Umbrella Corporation and the undead.

The fifth installment of the Resident Evil franchise is on the screens, and here is the peculiar thing: the plot outlined above could have been copy-pasted from the previous 4 parts. Resident Evil, Resident Evil: Apocalypse, Resident Evil: Extinction and Resident Evil: Afterlife – just to remind you the names, because the stories were absolutely the same. Screenwriters just took the action to different places, gave Alice new weapons, introduced new super-bosses and here we go.

With the business idea like that, the rational thing to do would be to predict the soon end of the franchise. People could not watch the same staff all over and over again, one would say, there are limits to patience. But here is the second peculiar thing: despite the super-predictable movie, it is still good fun to watch.

Friday, 14 September 2012


I spent around a week trying to find internal strength and summon all my abilities to write a couple of words about this movie. I was pondering about deceitful marketing, lying trailers and tough destiny of ordinary picturegoers, who have to put up with the fact that you know nothing about the movie until you actually see it, and thus they take immense risks of watching something they won’t like. To cut the long story short, I was trying to come up with the way to explain why Branded is the worst movie I have seen in my life.

Should I talk about actors? Ed Stoppard is simply not good enough for this role, he looks lost; Jeffrey Tambor does not convince as the US spy; Leelee Sobieski only impresses in the undress scene. Style? The movie tries to copy Generation P (2011), lively and hilarious story about Russian advertising market in 90s straight after USSR broke up, but Branded is not even close in its emulation. Directors? Although there were two directors, I didn’t notice major contribution of either of them. If anything, they only ruined the film by amateurish execution.

Monday, 10 September 2012

The Bourne Legacy

Following on the previous three films in the Bourne Universe, the main character, Aaron Cross, finds himself targeted by the CIA people who are trying to contain the damage caused to the system by the actions of Jason Bourne.

Let’s start from the basics: why do producers do sequels? The most popular – and the most sensible – explanation is that they are trying to bank on the same, popular, liked characters, trying to get money from people who miss the universe and will be happy to pay to see the continuation of the story. This is why we see never-ending Twilight saga – producers (correctly) believe that 14 year old girls will be happy to see the next portion of adventures of Edward (ok, this is a massive stereotype).

So the idea of The Bourne Legacy as the movie was flawed from the very beginning. Bourne movie without Bourne? Seriously? 

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

21 Jump Street

Meet two very unusual in real life, but so common in the movies, friends: Schmidt (Jonah Hill) and Jenko (Channing Tatum). One is stereotypical nerd with no personal life whatsoever, and the other is…well, Channing Tatum. They become a pair of misfortunate cops, and their last chance to prove themselves is to participate in the undercover operation: they go back to high school to try to bust the drug-dealing ring.

To say that the preview sounds slightly unpromising is to underestimate the cause. We have seen it so many times in so many bad comedies: two good friends going back to school for some reason, with mandatory tear-squeezing moments of absolute reconciliation of everyone and everything. So yet another comedy about again same things did not give me any excitement of anticipation.