As I go through the movies of 2012 that I didn’t manage to see while in theaters, I’m starting to realize that there’s probably a reason that I chose to skip out on some. Because once they’re seen, things like Dark Shadows and Rock of Ages can’t be unseen. [Read more...]
Hello internet perusers! We are back with round 2 of the four part year break down of things to come. Between April and June, the writers on HST have plenty that we are looking forward to in movies, music, and games,, and we want to share them with you. No, none of these are April Fool’s jokes. Zac is actually really excited to see a movie about male strippers. [Read more...]
Years ago when Captain Jack Sparrow was wondering where all the rum had gone, he probably would have never guessed that it was being stockpiled for another movie by the man filling his shoes. That traitor! Johnny Depp’s appropriately titled new film, The Rum Diary, has lots of rum, and not much else. [Read more...]
With the release of L.A. Noire last Tuesday my time has been embarrassingly devoted to playing through the video game, so I may have gotten behind on reviewing the new Pirates of the Caribbean film. I wish I could say this was the only reason for the delay, but it may have to do with the simple fact that I didn’t want to admit that I did not really like it (granted the power outage didn’t help). Guess it won’t be getting that spot on my list of the successful high numbered sequels of the year after all…
On Stranger Tides brings back everyone’s favorite swashbuckler in the hopes of restoring the series to the glory that has been slowly washing away since The Curse of the Black Pearl. Johnny Depp is as entertainingly eccentric as ever as Captain Jack Sparrow on the new treasure hunt to find the Fountain of Youth, but it turns out that his perfected pirate cannot actually carry a film without the help of the characters that he was developed around in the prior films. [Read more...]
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides is a less fantastical experience then the previous films but if you are a fan of Jack Sparrow and the series I am sure you will find some fun in this picture.
Will and Elizabeth are gone and we pick up where the last few moments of At World’s End left off, with Captain Jack Sparrow on the hunt for the Fountain of Youth. Things were left leading us to believe that the race would be between Barbossa and Sparrow for the fountain, but a bit of convoluting has gotten The British and Spanish thrones involved, along with the legendary pirate Blackbeard. In fact, our adventure begins in England where Jack is attempting to rescue Gibbs, who is accused of being Sparrow, while Jack also tracks down an imposter claiming to be Sparrow; whom is also recruiting a crew for a mysterious mission. Barbossa is working for the English Throne, Sparrow’s ex is rolling with Blackbeard, and Jack finds himself, again, in a mix of allegiances we might not be able to keep track of.
The film opens on a chameleon named Lars during his daily routine of putting on productions with his fellow tankmates (AKA non-living items), a hobby that helps escape the static existence he has grown accustomed to. But when he literally hits a bump in the road he goes flying out of his owner’s car to be left alone in the middle of a desert. Venturing out away from the one marking of human civilization in this barren land, Lars eventually happens upon a small town called Dirt, where he is able to once again blend into his surroundings in the only way he knows how by stepping into the rough boots of Rango, a tough gunslinger who just might be what this town needs to survive in the worsening water shortage. [Read more...]
Rango’s story might be a familiar hodgepodge of classic film’s and such, but the title character and the amount of weirdness the film throws at us elevates it to accompany the incredible ILM animation.
To call the film is actually almost an understatement. The film constantly borderlines on being inappropriate for children, has some rather graphic imagery, and it is nearly photo realistically produced by the pros at Industrial Light and Magic. Please, ILM, make more animated films; beautiful stuff. I didn’t even get to see the film in its full digital glory, stuck watching on film, and it was still incredible to look at. But enough gushing on how pretty and weird it is.
The film follows Rango, a lizard, who has been living his life acting out scenes with his inanimate surroundings of his tank/cage. When he is bummed out the back of his owners car with nothing but his wind up orange fish in the middle of the desert he is sent along to discover Dirt. Dirt is a more or less waterless, western, town that is losing its town’s people by the day as their water supply has all but dried out. When Rango shows up he puts his acting talents to work and conjures up a tough guy persona for the townsfolk and soon finds himself as the leader on the hunt for the town’s water.
Jolie plays Elise, a Brit roaming Paris who is under surveillance constantly by the British governments with the hope that her wanted beau will show his pretty new face to see his love. When she gets a letter at her usual café from her estranged lover to find herself a random stranger on the train to Venice and convince her pursuers that this stranger is the man they are looking for. That stranger is Frank (Depp), and he is an American math professor on holiday that is more than happy to follow around Elise like a puppy at her beckon call. Before you know it a third party of mobsters gets involved as they want Elise’s man dead and Frank finds himself in a lot of trouble.
The film has a bit of humor, a bit of action, a bit of romance, a bit of crime, a bit of intrigue, a bit of mystery and it almost adds up to an entire movie. Unfortunately that movie also only has a bit of a plot and while that is fine the film is built around not very much at all. [Read more...]
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus is a beautiful looking film with a really intriguing story, but unfortunately doesn’t answer all of the questions I wish it had. Looks like I am going to just have to use my imagination to fill in the blanks (See what I did there? “Imagination”? That’s right, I went there…)
A long time ago in a mountain range far, far away, a supernaturally inclined man named Parnassus was living a life devoted to his faith when a man name Mr. Nick came a’knockin’. This visit from this devil-esque man set into motion a long lasting relationship for the following hundreds of years based on both men’s inability to say no to competition, gambling, and deal making, eventually leading to a deal in which Parnassus’s entry into the bargain is his own daughter. When she turns 16 she is to be given over to Mr. Nick, and as this movie just so happens to have it, her 16th birthday is right around the corner. But before Parnassus is forced to make good on his side of the arrangement, Mr. Nick makes one final deal that she will go to whoever is able to collect the most souls before time runs out. [Read more...]
The 1951 animated version of Alice’s story is far from the top of my list of favorite Disney films from my childhood, but that does not keep me from being overly disappointed in the additional trip down the rabbit hole in this year’s Alice in Wonderland.
13 years following young Alice’s nightmare riddled nights of a mysterious world with crazy talking creatures, Alice finds herself all grown up and in the midst of an engagement party celebrating the proposal that has yet to occur. When the question is finally popped Alice decides to avoid responding and exercise her affinity for chasing clothed rabbits down really deep holes. When she eventually makes it into Wonderland a welcoming party of a few familiar faces greets her and we learn that the run in with the rabbit in the real world was a planned occurrence on his part. Apparently since the last time Alice was there things have taken a turn for the worse and the inhabitants have been searching for the right Alice to fulfill the prophesy of bringing an end to the Red Queen’s reign of terror. Unfortunately for them Alice is less that enthusiastic about filling those big shoes. [Read more...]
Tim Burton’s latest collaboration with Johnny Depp is a gigantic, uninspired, and boring mess of an adaptation of the Alice in Wonderland mythology.
The story is a sequel to Disney’s previous animated version of Alice in Wonderland and picks up some years later with Alice, now nineteen, about to be married off to the son of an old family friend that is very well to do but Alice is still haunted? By reoccurring “dreams” of her trip to Wonderland as a child. When the young man proposes to her in front of a giant crowd at a prearranged engagement party, Alice gets cold feat and runs off into the garden, chasing the white rabbit, and down into a rabbit hole and back into the world of Wonderland. The look of the place has changed significantly and we discover from a few familiar faces that there is a long standing search for Alice and they aren’t quite sure if this Alice is the real one. The prophecy is that Alice will return to Wonderland to rid it of the tyrant Red Queen and restore peace to the once jovial nation.
Terry Gilliam’s latest is a bizarre and imaginative tale that while a bit scatter shot and unclear at times it is still rather entertaining and allows for a great ensemble to have a lot of fun.
Dr. Parnassus is an old man, centuries old in fact, and he is involved in an elaborate betting game with the Devil that has gone back and forth over hundreds of years. Eternal life, women, and countless other stakes have been in play between the two and the fate of Parnassus’ daughter Valentina is currently up for grabs. The game they play revolves around a mirror in the possession of Parnassus who travels around in a mobile stage with a troupe including his daughter, himself, Anton who is a slight of hand artist, and Percy who is a little person that has been with Parnassus for ages, as they perform a show enticing patrons to pass through the mirror which takes them into their own imagination which are than manipulated by both The Devil and Parnassus toward a choice that must be made in their favor to win the game. With only days remaining till Valentina’s sixteenth birthday, the day in which she will become the property of the devil, a game to the first to gain patrons five souls begins and a mysterious young man comes into the troupe’s life when they find him hanging under a bridge, seemingly to his death. [Read more...]
Michael Mann is back with a period biopic that chronicles the life of John Dillinger in his glory days as a criminal and the results are superb technically but it is missing that special something to make it an absolutely amazing film.
Now, what is that special something? I don’t know. But as we pick up our film and follow Dillinger from just after his turn in prison and up until his death we never get that twinge that this film is amazing. With that said, it is almost flawless everywhere you turn. The costumes, cinematography, the performances, the direction, the pacing, it is all great and one can’t really find a complaint with the movie, it was just missing something.
Paired with the heists and romance in Dillinger’s life on the run is the pursuit of enemy number one of the depression era U.S. by Melvin Purvis and J. Edgar Hoover and the beginnings of the F.B.I. Divided up about 70-30 between Dillinger and F.B.I. the film is about the larger than life Dillinger at its core. But the looks into the rise of the F.B.I. is just as engaging and compelling, especially since much of the time we follow them we are thrown into the thick of an investigation on the edge of a shoot out. [Read more...]
This look into the life of Hunter Thompson is a great look into the life an incredible and astonishing individual that serves a great history lesson, but doesn’t get into the guys head as one would think a documentary focusing on the man would get.
The film picks up right around the time Hunter started his tenure traveling the Hell’s Angels and he quickly makes a name for himself as his exposé flipped their somewhat “glamorous” life in the media to scrutiny and being called rapist and murders. And the film quickly shows us how Thompson is able to shake things up and he didn’t do it just because, he did it because he felt like the people deserved the truth. In fact, Thompson’s ability to tell things how they were is what would set him apart from the pack throughout his career.
The film next delves into his life as a proposed politician of sorts in his attempt to become Sheriff of the county which contains Aspen [Read more...]
At World’s End is the solid, but a bit underwhelming, conclusion to the Pirates trilogy. Everyone returns, plus a couple of new faces, to finish the battle for the high seas with amazing special effects and a convoluted plot. World’s End opens with a ridiculous mass hanging scene that sets the wheels in motion for a meeting of the pirate lords because the people begin to sing, not a good start. [Read more...]