Tabu - Movie Poster

Tabu

1.5 Anne Murphy

A Lisbon woman seeks out a man who has a secret connection to her neighbour’s past life on a farm by Mount Tabu in Africa.

The film-maker's craft is skillfully realised in stunning black and white, and "Tabu" is visually rewarding. Innovative audio techniques leave the telling of the background story to a narrator with a flat style that eventually weighs down interest. The real let down is a plot that lacks depth. The movie is not redeemed by its symbolism... a crocodile obviously warns of lurking danger. Ironically it's the very same reptile that remains the only snappy thing about this film. Not fabu(lous).


Scary Movie 5 - Movie Poster

Scary Movie 5

1.5 Andrew O'Dea

A couple begin to experience some unusual activity after bringing children home from the hospital.

The opening sequence of "Scary Movie 5" sets the tone, signifying the epitome of rock-bottom for the 'stars' at its centre. Just when the franchise couldn't possibly squelch any further into the depths of cinematic depravity, this latest offering insults us with a 'dumbed-down version of stupid stuff'. There's almost a sense of desperation as a series of painfully unfunny skits are force-fed to the audience in a feeble attempt at comedy. Juvenile and unfunny, the only scary thing about this movie is that they might make another one.


Jack Reacher - Movie Poster

Jack Reacher

1.5 Andrew O'Dea

A homicide investigator delves into a case involving a trained sniper who shot five random victims.

"Jack Reacher" is an outlandish crime-drama hampered by a severe lack of originality and a false assuredness in its direction. Rather than maintaining an element of suspense, crucial twists and plot points are explained in painstaking detail, as the film builds to an anti-climax you wish arrived sooner. Along with gaping holes in the storyline that are just plain baffling, action sequences are boring and generic, and the dialogue clichéd to the point of being unintentionally laughable. Don't go reaching into your pocket for this cinematic mess.


Holy Motors - Movie Poster

Holy Motors

1.5 Stefan Bugryn

The mysterious Monsieur Oscar spends a day vaulting from one persona to the next…

Be warned: this surrealist fantasia is one hell of a challenge. Like an abstract painting, precious little is explained, and almost everything is open to interpretation. More questions are raised than answered, which will no doubt instigate discussion and arguments after viewing. Sadly, the majority of those questions are just plain pretentious, self indulgent, and weird. It will confound, confuse, shock, tease, frustrate, and ultimately, divide the audience. If it doesn't captivate you, it will simply disgust you. But that's the beauty of cinema, right? Well, not for everyone.


Margaret - Movie Poster

Margaret

1.5 Stefan Bugryn

A horrific bus accident sends a young woman down an emotionally destructive path to seek justice.

This film is painfully long. The lazy editing could have culled a scene or ten, saving the audience some sanity and patience. Instead, we’re left with an overly intricate nit-picking of one of the most annoying characters in cinema. She is a dishonest, manipulative, and obnoxious teenager who uses others for her own self-righteousness. The supposed saving grace is her ‘noble’ intention, but she comes across as nothing more than an unrelenting monster. A lot of the scenes are too pretentious and preachy to be taken seriously. Have a Margarita instead.


The Three Musketeers - Movie Poster

The Three Musketeers

1.5 Andrew O'Dea

The Musketeers unite to save the French throne and prevent Europe from being engulfed in war.

This take on "The Three Musketeers" is an unoriginal and pointless exercise that would have the original author of the classic rolling in his grave. A blatant attempt at a 'franchise cash-grab', this film has all the charisma and wit of a feathered plume. The special effects alone are dismally substandard, and as if it weren't enough, we're also exposed to 3D in its most exploitative form; a retro-fitted mess that adds nothing to the action except to serve as an annoying excuse to shoot cannonballs and point swords in our faces. All for one? One to miss.


Zookeeper - Movie Poster

Zookeeper

1.5 Anne Murphy

A group of zoo animals decide to break their code of silence in order to help their lovable zoo keeper find love.

There are two incompatible angles in "Zookeeper": romance and talking animals. The largely unfunny romantic thread might appeal to adolescents, but it's unlikely to ignite much interest in a family-fun setting. The zoo animal antics could amuse young audiences if they talked about something other than how to attract a mate; conversations that probably won't resonate with kids. If only these beasts had decent script writers... what's said in the zoo should stay in the zoo.


Curling - Movie Poster

Curling

1.5 Andrew O'Dea

A keen look at the unusual private life of a father and his daughter, set on the fringe of society.

This is one of those movies where the audience is left in suspense, waiting with the expectation of some hidden moral message or meaning to come. Except in this film, it never does. Sure, the point might very well be the examination of a protagonist who in essence is uninteresting, or even the examination of an uninteresting man's life... unfortunately this translates to the entirety of "Curling" as well. Sitting through it will leave you wishing you were able to stick your head in the snow of its wintry backdrop than endure another drawn-out minute. Would rather cop a snowball to the face.


Play - Movie Poster

Play

1.5 Anne Murphy

Over the course of a tense afternoon, a gang of five lure three younger boys into a complex street scam in order to rob them.

"Play" is based on real events that happened in Sweden. The movie is shot on location and uses untrained actors, imbibing a mockumentary tone, leaving a funny taste that it is neither fact nor fiction. The interactions between the cocky perpetrators and the intimidated targets make racial tensions uncomfortably palpable, but there's little else on offer. Interesting enough, but real-time drags like slow motion as the film goes on and on without getting anywhere. No fun.


Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides - Movie Poster

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

1.5 Courtney Slevison

Jack Sparrow and Barbossa embark on a quest to find the elusive fountain of youth.

This installment of the "Pirates" franchise is quite simply a waste of time. Despite a lengthy running time, nothing new or fresh is introduced, nor are existing relationships or characters developed. Everyone's favourite pirate, Jack Sparrow, becomes a parody of his former self as he delivers one cheesy one-liner after another. The film simply goes through the motions without anywhere near the excitement or enchantment of its predecessors. Unfortunately, the amazing set design and dazzling CGI effects are the only saving grace of this sinking ship.


Battle: Los Angeles - Movie Poster

Battle: Los Angeles

1.5 Anthony Macali

A recently discharged Staff Sergeant goes back into the line of duty in order to assist a 2nd Lieutenant and his platoon as they fight to reclaim the city of Los Angeles from alien invaders.

"Battle: Los Angeles" is good at a few things: making sure the plot is abundantly clear, and producing loud noises to accompany the greatest array of CGI army vehicles and artillery ever known to man. Only a few clicks into the running time, the mind numbs, and your time is invaded by boredom. The inordinate amounts of action will only provide service to pubescent teens seeking the same experience as their video games. Want more than pyrotechnics, and you're fighting a losing battle.


Hahaha - Movie Poster

Hahaha

1.5 Anne Murphy

Two men, who don't realise they have just holidayed in the same place, at the same time, and with the same people, talk about their respective holidays over drinks.

The premise of "Hahaha" is quite amusing and the film is described as a comedy. It's a low budget effort with no fancy props or effects. Redolent of a lazy summer holiday, the pace is almost lethargic. However, the pace and simple presentation are problematic when watching becomes tedious and eye-lids heavy. Despite the cleverness of the plot told from different perspectives, the film relates a boring tale albeit in a picturesque setting. Hmmmmm...


Mammuth - Movie Poster

Mammuth

1.5 Anne Murphy

A retiree battles to obtain his rightfully due pension.

The grainy uneven quality of this film could be interpreted as artistic or just plain grainy and uneven. This movie was black to the point of miserable. Rather than being entertaining, "Mammuth" is bizarre. Populated with lifeless and simple characters, it's also dull. Even if you 'get' the redemptive elements of the awkward road-trip, you can't help but resent the waste of your time spent watching these lives less lived. Honestly there is no poetry in sliced ham, but you'll have to sit through a screening to 'get' that reference. Only if you must.


Cop Out - Movie Poster

Cop Out

1.5 Anthony Macali

A comedy about a veteran NYPD cop whose rare baseball card is stolen. Since it's his only hope to pay for his daughter's upcoming wedding, he recruits his partner to track down the thief.

"Cop Out" is a deliberate homage to the budding action-comedy films of the eighties, and does them a great injustice. There are some jokes, but they mainly consist of characters behaving badly to themes of terribly distorted music that insult the subject of its imitations. Admittedly, there is fun pondering over the motivations of the cast and if they realised they were a partner to such a flop. This film should be suspended without release.


Dorian Gray - Movie Poster

Dorian Gray

1.5 Wendy Slevison

A corrupt young man keeps his youthful beauty eternally, but a painting reveals his inner ugliness.

Set in Victorian London, this film is a turgid and vulgar representation of a fascinating morality tale by an author renowned for his witty social commentary. Sadly, all wit is lost due to the blank, lacklustre performance by the central player. Despite stylishly replicating the era,and having a strong support cast, "Dorian Gray" completely lacks substance, and the CGI effects used for the portrait become increasingly, albeit unintentionally, comic. Regrettably, this movie is as ugly in it's essence as the title character.