Film Clips | Film Clips | Creative Loafing Charlotte
Pin It
Submit to Reddit

Film Clips 

Capsule reviews from recently released movies

Page 3 of 4


SNAKES ON A PLANE The never-ending marketing ploy was a bust, which now leaves us with just the movie itself (yes, there really was one buried beneath all the tissue-thin hype). Samuel L. Jackson stars as an FBI agent assigned to protect an eyewitness (Nathan Phillips) to a mob slaying; once the villains ascertain which flight they'll be taking to make that important court date, they manage to fill the aircraft with rattlesnakes, cobras, boa constrictors, vipers, pythons -- indeed, the only snake missing seems to be Snake Plissken. Director David Ellis and his three scripters have the title terrors chomp down on lips, eyes, breasts and even a penis, but given the overall lack of creativity invested in this project (even Jackson's highly publicized quip about the "motherfuckin' snakes" was pre-sold), it ultimately feels as rote and joyless as a typical slasher flick. For a more imaginative 2006 release that ably mixes R-rated horror and humor, check out the box office bust Slither, due on DVD October 24.


TALLADEGA NIGHTS: THE BALLAD OF RICKY BOBBY Like Spam, energy drinks and the music of Yanni, Will Ferrell is one of those acquired tastes that satisfy devotees while perplexing everyone else. Yet even folks who weren't entertained by his 2004 starring vehicle Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy should dig this latest offering -- while it never reaches the giddy highs of last summer's premiere stupid-smart comedy, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, it's consistently pleasurable and offers a surprisingly steady stream of laugh-out-loud moments. Like Ron Burgundy, Ricky Bobby is also an egotistical, none-too-bright boor. "I piss excellence," he declares, and his standing as NASCAR's best driver certainly signals that he's excellent at something. But his strained relationship with his deadbeat dad (Gary Cole, delivering the film's shrewdest comic performance) and the arrival of a formidable opponent, a French homosexual race car driver (hilarious Sacha Baron Cohen), leads to his fall from grace and his subsequent (and humbled) climb back to the top. The Highlander quips alone are worth the ticket price.


THE WICKER MAN The 1973 cult flick The Wicker Man employs allegory and atmosphere to amplify its thin veneer of the supernatural -- it registers as a fantasy flick in our minds more than it does on the screen. Centering on a repressed detective (Edward Woodward) who visits a remote Scottish island in search of a missing girl and in the process unearths a decadent society, it's ultimately an examination of competing religions -- Christianity vs. paganism -- and as such has a field day offering up a slew of ambiguous interpretations. Writer-director Neil LaBute's remake is a disastrous miscalculation, shucking religion completely and instead fashioning the tale as a battle between upstanding male dominance and wicked feminist doctrine. Nicolas Cage plays the befuddled protagonist here, no longer a God-(and sex-)fearing cop but rather a generic Hollywoodized detective (no spiritual side, haunted by a past tragedy, forever popping pills, etc.). On its own terms, this earns a weak two stars for a few effectively staged sequences and OK performances; compared to its predecessor, it's a one-star blasphemy. So that averages out to...


WORLD TRADE CENTER The most startling thing about this 9/11 drama is that it's by far the least controversial movie Oliver Stone has ever made. There's practically nothing in the way of gonzo filmmaking, political commentary or outrageous acting -- instead, the entire film operates at a hushed level, its nobility standing tall in every frame. It's hard to find any trace of potentially incendiary material; it's also hard to get terribly excited over the final product. The picture focuses on the police officers (played by Nicolas Cage and Michael Pena) who would turn out to be two of the only 20 people rescued from the rubble of the Twin Towers. Stone and scripter Andrea Berloff manage several powerful moments, but the end result is still a movie that feels oddly impersonal. That's in striking contrast to United 93, the superb docudrama that provided audiences with a you-are-there immediacy. Every second of United 93 related in some way to the specific events of that day. On the other hand, replace these real-life characters with two fictional guys trapped in a collapsed building, and what you're left with is a 1970s-style TV movie-of-the-week, the sort that invariably starred the likes of Christopher George or Lee Majors.

Speaking of 1.50000

Pin It
Submit to Reddit

More by Matt Brunson

Search Events

© 2019 Womack Digital, LLC
Powered by Foundation