166. Hellraiser: Hellworld (D-)
At one point, Lance Henriksen turns to our protagonist and says something along the lines of, "It's like your in a bad horror movie, isn't it?" Take a good cast, a clever premise, and then fail to execute at every point and your stuck with this horror sequel.
167. The Ides of March (B-)
An okay political thriller, but never nearly as good as the cast Clooney has assembled for it. For one thing, every single speech in the movie would have been laughed off the stage by a speechwriter worth his salt. Second, the big revelation that turns Ryan Gosling's young consultant from believer to jaded and bitter just isn't big enough for me to buy into his reaction. And I'm not sure I buy what Evan Rachel Wood's character does after Gosling fails to show up at a key point in the movie, either. It just seems like a tad overreaction, and one I don't buy the character making. I'm keeping it vague due to laziness with spoiler code, but those who've seen the movie should know what I mean.
168. In Darkness (A)
For once, I'm happy to say that I saw an excellent, complex, nuanced Holocaust movie for once. In Darkness
doesn't make any of its characters out to be saints. Rather, they're real people who have biases and make mistakes (sometimes big ones). The film is all the better for this characterization. On top of that, the performances are all top-notch, and although some critics have complained that the title describes the film's cinematography, I never had a hard time seeing what was happening, and though the film looked beautiful (not an easy task when most of the movie takes place in a dirty sewer).
169. Maverick (A-)
Sometimes it's hard to get through a Mel Gibson movie these days, knowing he's such a wanker, but it's hard not to like this Western (which also works as a sly sequel to the original television series, I think, although I haven't seen it). My favorite segment is probably Graham Greene's turn as Chief Joseph, although there's a lot of fun to be had throughout. The only thing that doesn't really work is the double cross (but not!) at the end, but otherwise the film works extremely well, briskly moving from one delightful set piece to the next.
films so far this year.