There’s a phrase that everyone will be familiar with: “Too many [insert item here], too little time”. When it comes to the number of movies that I watch in any given month, that phrase is apt in relation to the ones that get reviewed here on thedullwoodexperiment. I would love to have the time to post reviews of all the movies I see, but it’s just not practical; and besides which, some movies just don’t merit the attention (Annabelle (2014), for instance). Sometimes it’s a case of choosing one movie over another, sometimes Life gets in the way of blogging and a movie falls by the wayside. To combat this, and to give these “other” movies their due, I’ve decided to present, at the end of each month, a brief “review” of all the other movies I’ve seen. There won’t be any synopsis, or proper full-length analysis, just the title, director, running time, cast, and then the traditional two sentence ratings summation. So, let’s see which movies didn’t quite make the cut in May 2015.
The Forger (2014) / D: Philip Martin / 96m
Cast: John Travolta, Christopher Plummer, Tye Sheridan, Abigail Spencer, Anson Mount, Marcus Thomas, Jennifer Ehle, Travis Aaron Wade
Rating: 5/10 – Travolta’s art forger comes out of prison to spend time with his dying son (Sheridan) and pull off an audacious robbery; a derivative, occasionally unappealing crime drama that tries to do something different with its dying child angle, The Forger is nevertheless a movie whose “one last heist” scenario has been done to death elsewhere, and with far better results.
The Gunfight at Dodge City (1959) / D: Joseph M. Newman / 81m
Cast: Joel McCrea, Julie Adams, John McIntire, Nancy Gates, Richard Anderson, James Westerfield, Walter Coy, Don Haggerty, Wright King, Harry Lauter
Rating: 6/10 – Western legend Bat Masterson (McCrea) tackles corruption supported by Haggerty’s devious sheriff in Dodge City and faces romantic problems as well from minister’s daughter Adams and saloon owner Gates; a middling, mildly diverting Western, The Gunfight at Dodge City benefits from McCrea’s solid, no-nonsense performance and Newman’s underrated abilities behind the camera.
Comet (2014) / D: Sam Esmail / 91m
Cast: Justin Long, Emmy Rossum
Rating: 7/10 – Long and Rossum are the soulmates whose on-again-off-again relationship is examined over the course of six years; with the narrative continually fractured and reassembled, Comet is replete with the kind of “serious” romantic musings that sound alternately pretentious and profound, but the two leads have a definite chemistry and this helps immensely in making the movie as enjoyable as it (largely) is.
Murder at Glen Athol (1936) / D: Frank R. Strayer / 67m
Cast: John Miljan, Irene Ware, Iris Adrian, Noel Madison, Oscar Apfel, Barry Norton, Harry Holman, Betty Blythe, James P. Burtis
Rating: 5/10 – two murders and a dying confession confuse matters for a detective (Miljan) who’s just trying to take a vacation – next door to where the murders have taken place; packed full of seemingly endless exposition and no shortage of suspects, Murder at Glen Athol is a sprightly murder mystery that packs a lot in but not always to its best advantage.
The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water (2015) / D: Paul Tibbitt / 92m
Cast: Antonio Banderas, Tom Kenny, Clancy Brown, Bill Fagerbakke, Rodger Bumpass, Mr. Lawrence, Carolyn Lawrence
Rating: 7/10 – when the formula for Krabby Patty is stolen by the notorious Burger Beard (Banderas), SpongeBob (Kenny) is forced to team up with Plankton (Mr. Lawrence) to get it back… and venture above the surface; freewheeling fun with the denizens of Bikini Bottom that features lots of gags and the usual bright visuals, but takes an awfully long time in getting to the “sponge out of water” part.
Chappie (2015) / D: Neill Blomkamp / 120m
Cast: Sharlto Copley, Dev Patel, Hugh Jackman, Ninja, Yo-Landi Visser, Jose Pablo Cantillo, Sigourney Weaver, Brandon Auret, Johnny Selema
Rating: 6/10 – with a robot police force firmly established in Johannesburg, the introduction of artificial intelligence leads to one robot, named Chappie, learning what it’s like to be human; disappointing outing from Blomkamp that never quite gels or seems sure of what it’s trying to do or say, but does feature an excellent performance from Copley.
Impact (1963) / D: Peter Maxwell / 61m
Cast: Conrad Phillips, George Pastell, Ballard Berkeley, Linda Marlowe, Richard Klee, Anita West, John Rees
Rating: 5/10 – when newspaper reporter Jack Moir (Phillips) is framed for robbery by arch-nemesis “The Duke” (Pastell), he swears to get even when he gets out of jail; a low-key crime drama that seems busier than it is and which gets bogged down in the mechanics of Moir’s revenge plot, Impact does allow for a welcome appearance by Berkeley aka Fawlty Towers‘ Major, and an above average performance by Pastell.
The Loft (2014) / D: Erik Van Looy / 103m
Cast: Karl Urban, James Marsden, Wentworth Miller, Eric Stonestreet, Matthias Schoenaerts, Isabel Lucas, Rachael Taylor, Rhona Mitra, Valerie Cruz, Kali Rocha, Elaine Cassidy, Margarita Levieva, Kristin Lehman, Robert Wisdom
Rating: 6/10 – the discovery of a woman’s dead body in the loft apartment shared by five married men for their secret liaisons prompts them to suspect each other of the crime; alternately gripping and implausible, The Loft is a modern day cautionary tale that loses credibility with its solution then recovers with a great twist, but still has the air of a thriller that its writer never quite got to grips with.
Unfinished Business (2015) / D: Ken Scott / 91m
Cast: Vince Vaughn, Tom Wilkinson, Dave Franco, Sienna Miller, Nick Frost, James Marsden, June Diane Raphael, Britton Sear, Ella Anderson, Uwe Ochsenknecht
Rating: 5/10 – Swarf salesman Dan Trunkman (Vaughn) has to overcome all sorts of obstacles to land the contract that will save his fledgling company from going under, including a visit to a Berlin gay bar; a bit of a strange fish, Unfinished Business suffers from being two separate movies joined at the hip: one a raucous comedy, the other a thoughtful study of bullying, but together they don’t make for a cohesive whole, and it’s yet another movie where Vaughn coasts along on former glories.