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Thursday, February 20, 2014

Quick review roundup for 14 February 2014

Finishing off this week's releases...



Anchorman 2. I really wanted to like Anchorman 2. I was a big fan of the original when it came out and I am a fan of a number of the people involved in the film. Unfortunately, whether it's a simple case of sequelitis or the fact that what once seemed so fresh now feels so stale thanks to constant repetition in other McKay-Farrell vehicles, Anchorman 2 is too long, too scattershot and nowhere near funny enough. There are some chuckles to be had, to be sure, but they're cancelled out by far too many stretches of uncomfortable silence and the only sharply satirical bit that has to do with the current state of news was handled better in the movie Network, which came out more than three decades ago. (4/10)

The Monuments Men. Speaking of disappointments, despite the stellar cast, interesting story (with its central thesis about the worth of art over human lives) and impossible-to-escape Clooney likability, The Monuments Men is a, well, monumental failure. Its storytelling is disjointed, its cast underused and its tone all over the bloody place, The Monuments Men utterly belies George Clooney's veteran status as a really impressive filmmaker. I probably should rate it a lot lower but, again, it may be a total failure but it's somehow still a charming, affable one.  (6/10)

Vampire Academy. This one is no disappointment as it was pretty much exactly what I expected it to be, but there's that general likability that stops me from truly taking against an overwhelmingly poor piece of filmmaking. Wooden acting, a seriously stupid plot and all the bland romance and convoluted vampire mythologies that post-Twilight vampire flicks seem incapable of escaping, it also has a plucky, likable lead in its main heroine (Lea Thompson's kid, Zoey Deutch) and a sense of humour about itself. Once again, it ain't Buffy - not by a long shot - but it's still way more fun than something this bad should rightfully be. (5/10)

That should do it for this week. The good news is that one movie opening this Friday goes some way towards redeeming the lameness of the above three movie. The bad news is that the other movies being released makes this crop look like Citizens Kane I, II and III.


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