Movie Reviews

Dog’s Movie House: “The Visit” A Return To Form For M. Night Shyamalan!

 

 

Howdy Folks!  It’s The Kendog!

 

Deanna Dunagan in "The Visit"

Deanna Dunagan in “The Visit”

 

 

I have a great amount of admiration for filmmaker M. Night Shyamalan.  Ever since “The Sixth Sense” exploded on the scene in 1999 I’ve been a fan of his slow burn, cinematic style.  He’s fallen out of favor since his heyday in the 90s, with bombs like “The Happening” and “After Earth” on his resume.  Apparently his solution is to venture into the world of low budget filmmaking, partnering with Blumhouse Studios (“Insidious: Chapter 3) to write and direct his own entry into the “found footage” horror genre.  While I generally think most found footage films are dubious enterprises at best, I have to say that “The Visit” is one of the spookier horror films I’ve seen in a while and a good return to form for the talented Shyamalan. Continue reading

Dog’s Movie House: “The Perfect Guy” Slick But Predictable!

 

 

Howdy Folks!  It’s The Kendog!

 

 

Michael Ealy & Sanaa Lathan in "The Perfect Guy.

Michael Ealy & Sanaa Lathan in “The Perfect Guy.

 

 

 

I find it interesting that African American cinema seems to be engaged in the remaking of films traditionally tailored for white audiences.  Some of these films work well strictly on their own merits.  The redo of “About Last Night” for example, featuring Kevin Hart, was extremely entertaining.  That said, simply switching races doesn’t guarantee a fresh take on a movie.  As an example of this, I submit “The Perfect Guy” a film that provides an African American spin on the “Fatal Attraction” sub-genre of thriller.  Unfortunately, the change in race is the only noticeable element in this slick yet formulaic exercise.  Continue reading

Dog’s Movie House: New “Transporter” Running On Low Octane!

 

 

Howdy folks!  It’s The Kendog!

 

 

Frank Martin (Ed Skrein) takes on a bad guy in "The Transporter: Refueled"

Frank Martin (Ed Skrein) takes on a bad guy in “The Transporter: Refueled”

 

 

 

 

 

How much you’ll like the new “Transporter: Refueled” will depend on a couple of things.  First: whether or not the absence of Jason Statham is a deal breaker.  Second: whether a fourth go (five, if you count the television series) at an already derivative action franchise is right up you’re alley for a night at the movies.  For me, “The Transporter: Refueled” is not a total waste of time (see “Agent 47” for a prime example of this) but despite some decent action scenes and some good chemistry between newcomer Ed Skrein (Game Of Thrones) and Ray Stevenson (Thor, HBO’s Rome), this film simply serves as an exercise in action mediocrity. Continue reading

Dog’s Movie House: “We Are Your Friends” DJs As Musicians Awash In Cliches!

 

 

Howdy Folks!  It’s The Kendog!

 

Zac Efron in "We Are Your Friends"

Zac Efron in “We Are Your Friends”

 

 

I must say that there are very few things that make me feel my age, but the current state of popular music is chief among them.  I can feel the arthritis I don’t even have yet bending my spine as the my lips thin and my hair grows white and I start waving my cane at those youngsters as I scream,  “That’s not the way it was when I was a kid!  When I was a youngin’ I actually listened to bands who wrote music and played instruments, not stealing other music and puttin’em on a new fangled computer-thingy.”  That said, the problems with the new DJ film “We Are Your Friends” have very little to do with the music and everything to do with the clichéd storytelling musical biopic tropes that have infested many similar films of this ilk. Continue reading

Dog’s Movie House: “No Escape” Slick But Somewhat Unpleasant Thriller!

 

 

Howdy Folks!  It’s The Kendog!

 

Pierce Brosnan And Owen Wilson In "No Escape"

Pierce Brosnan And Owen Wilson In “No Escape”

 

 

 

John Erick Dowdle is primarily known for his horror films.  Movies like “Quarantine” and “As Above, So Below” trade on the menace of inhuman threats for the thrills he generates.  It’s not a bad formula and those two films, while far from perfect, have some genuinely interesting elements to them.  I suppose, then, I could forgive Dowdle (along with his brother Drew, who co-wrote the script) for applying the same formula for the new political thriller “No Escape.”  Trouble is the people menacing the recently arrived to Thailand (or Cambodia or whatever country to which they’ve recently moved; the film doesn’t say) are supposed to be people, no monsters, and treating them as the latter makes this otherwise slick exercise in suspense and action filmmaking uncomfortable to watch in all the wrong ways.  Continue reading