WAR

Jet Li vs Jason Statham.  You’d expect a lot of mayhem.  Well, there was some, and a few good set pieces, but the twist toward the end…I can suspend my disbelief with the best of them, but not when it flies in the face of all logic.  Sorry, we have too many ways to identify a body to let you get away with that.

FF=3

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YOU DON’T MESS WITH THE ZOHAN

I know, I know…movie masochism.  I wish I could say it’s so bad, it’s good.  But as that great philosopher Huey Lewis once said, “Sometimes bad is bad.”

FF=3 (would have been higher but for the film’s occasional stun-ray effect)

THE WRESTLER

I think Mickey Rourke got such good reviews because in a way he’s playing himself.  Look at the Rourke of “9-1/2 Weeks” and “Diner” and see what he’s done to himself.  Yikes.  Very depressing except for Marisa Tomei who keeps taking off her top.

FF=3

THE PARALLAX VIEW

I saw this years ago.  It’s considered a classic thriller, so I decided to revisit it.  Nope.  Doesn’t work.  The opening assassination is so poorly planned it’s laughable.  And then Warren Beatty misplays his character.  He’s too cool, too pretty, and did not engage me one bit.  I simply couldn’t buy him as a scrappy, down-at-the-heels reporter, and so I didn’t care when he finally latched onto a Pulitzer-caliber Big Story.  The direction too was distancing.

FF=3

CONSPIRACY

I haven’t seen a Val Kilmer film in a while.  I was kind of hoping for Island of Dr. Moreau caliber lunacy or Tombstone coolness, but Kilmer is kind of sleepwalking here.  I’m curious as to why he took the role. The clumsy swipes at Halliburton, the Minutemen, and the Iraq war?  A paycheck?  Whatever, it starts off looking like a First Blood rip-off but soon turns into Bad Day at Black Rock minus the stellar cast and fabulous desert vistas, but with lots of extra blood.  Even at 90 minutes it’s padded with flat sex scenes and lengthy transitions.  Rewatch First Blood and Bad Day instead.

FF=3

THE MAN WHO CAME BACK

A revenge story that has some satisfying retribution in its 3rd act, but you’ve seen it all before.  The hero is boring.  Billy Zane, in a supporting role, has the only character with a third dimension.  The rest of the bad guys spend the film twirling their mustaches.

FF=3