Minute Man Reviews – Cabin In The Woods, Dark Shadows, End of Watch, Chronicle, The Campaign
Honestly, I was expecting a hell of a lot more. This is one of those movies that rides into town on a train built entirely out of hype. I was really expecting something fantastic, and what I got was so so. It’s another one of those ‘deconstruct the horror genre’ deals that came after Scream, only it doesn’t do it that well. If they’d focused more on the monsters at the cabin, I think that would have helped a lot. The directing, acting, story and effects were all fine, but I just didn’t find the film to be all that great. I found it to be rather average.
Rating: ***1/4 Out of 5
In 2004 there was nothing funnier to me than Will Ferrell. Then he just started to produce some extremely medicore products, and I thought perhaps he was done for. Then Step Brothers came along, and all was forgotten. So, when The Campgain was first advertised, I had some high hopes. I immedately started hearing from people about how it sucked, but I just assumed them to be fans of Big Bang Theory, thus their opinion is nullinvoid. The Campaign is pretty much what you’d expect. It’s not as great as Step Brothers, but it’s leaps & bounds above crap like Blades of Glory & Semi-Pro.
Rating: ***3/4 Out of 5
First off, I just want to express how annoyed I am that this is the first of two films I’ll be reviewing that do the whole ‘found footage’ ordeal. It’s a STUPID style, and needs to over and done with. Now, with Chronicle it works a little better, because they have telepathic powers and can make the camera float, so you get shots like you would in normal movies. Now, beside all that, this is a cool film. 3 kids discover something from outer space and it ends up giving them telepathic powers. Like a muscle, the more they worked it, the stronger it got. A good chunk of the film is watching them discover & develop the powers, which is fun to watch as you wonder what it would have been like for you and your friends in high school, if you had such powers. I can tell you right now, a good chunk of my friends would have immediately become super villains. I on the other hand would have just used them to impress Phoenix Marie. Anyway, it’s a pretty well done film that constantly keeps you entertained and reaches a crescendo with some great battle scenes.
Rating: ***1/2 out of 5
It’s a remake, it has Johnny Depp, so it must be Burton. When I first saw the trailer for this film, I thought it was going to be absolutely terrible. It appeared that Burton was going for some ridiculous slap-stick comedy that couldn’t have been further from the original Dark Shadows. Thankfully, that’s not exactly true. There’s humor, sure, but it’s well balanced and far from being the main vehicle of the film. As usual, there’s a ton of fantastic atmosphere & scenery, with Depp leading a strong cast that each carry their own weight just fine. I wish it would have been a little more like the show, but what we got is just fine.
To all future directors reading this, PLEASE don’t do a ‘found footage’ film. Especially if you’re gonna do an action picture. One of the most annoying things about films like these, is that they have to find an excuse for a camera to be in certain situations, and it really takes you out of the movie. That major complaint aside, the rest of the film is really good. The strongest point is the relationship between Jake & Michael, the two-leads. Their dialogue is so well crafted, that they really seem like they’ve been best friends for years. The film itself plays out like a drama more than an action film, but there’s still a good amount of bullets, fist fights, and car chases.
Rating: ***3/4 Out of 5
In the end, none of the films are incredible Movie of the Year candidates, but are worth your time. Well, except for Cabin in the Woods, if you miss that one you won’t be too upset.