CRIMINAL

Better than I expected. Kind of strange to see Ryan Reynolds playing the donor part after playing the recipient in “Self/less.” Kevin Costner as a sociopathic criminal (Jericho) and Gal Gadot as Ryan’s widow. A place-keeper plot. What made it interesting to me was Jericho’s arc. I thought Costner was affecting in the part.
FF=2.5

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I, FRANKENSTEIN

The poster says “from the producers of Underworld” and, if you’re not paying close attention, you might think it’s another sequel in that series, especially since it co-stars (surprise!) Bill Nighy who had a recurring role in the early “Underworld” entries. Unfortunately it lacks Kate Beckinsale and its rudimentary plot is even less coherent: Somehow Frankenstein’s monster has survived to modern times and become embroiled in a war between CGI gargoyles and CGI demons. The latter are under the command of Nighy’s villainous character.  Don’t ask, just watch.

FF=2.5

NOAH

I can see why the god-squads and Bible police got so riled about this film. I don’t recall any Gorignaks (“rock lobsters” would be an apt description) in the Book of Genesis. But if you can unmoor your brain from the source material and watch it as an apocalyptic fantasy, it’s not so bad. Yes, it preserves all the ridiculous inconsistencies, incongruities, and downright impossibilities of the Bible stories you heard as a kid, and it’s way too long and padded with lots of soap-opera bits, and people have to act like idiots to keep the plot moving, but it’s visually engaging and I found myself tagging along. Russell Crowe plays Russell Crowe and Jennifer Connelly is still beautiful.

FF=2.5

KISS ME DEADLY

A Mike Hammer mystery directed by Robert Aldrich. Very noir. Very cheaply done. The anti-hero violence might have seemed over the top by 1955 standards, but by now we’ve all seen lots worse.

Gripping opening and notable for what is NOT shown in the torture scene: a woman’s bare legs seen from the knees down as she screams; then the screams stop; then two men in suits are shown from the waist down, discussing her; one is holding a pair of pliers.

Over all, kind of dull, but with one of the coolest maguffins ever (the inspiration for the contents of Marsellus Wallace’s attache case in Pulp Fiction).

FF= 2.5