October 2019
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It: Chapter Two (2019)

DIRECTOR: Andy Muschietti

CAST: James McAvoy, Jessica Chastain, Bill Hader, Jay Ryan, James Ransone, Isaiah Mustafa, Andy Bean, Jaeden Lieberher, Sophia Lillis, Finn Wolfhard, Jack Dylan Grazer, Jeremy Ray Taylor, Wyatt Oleff, Chosen Jacobs, Nicholas Hamilton, Teach Grant, Bill Skarsgard


IT: Chapter Two, the film adaptation of the “27 years later” adult section of Stephen King’s novel, hasn’t saved the best for last. The conclusion to 2017’s IT is far from the worst film adaptation of a King written work, but it’s bloated, overstuffed, and unwieldy, clocking in at a formidable—and unnecessarily drawn-out—-three hours, a full thirty-five minutes longer than Chapter One. That’s a lot of meandering runtime. To be sure, there’s a number of strong scenes in the mix, but it requires a bit of sifting through uneven material.

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It (2017)

DIRECTOR: Andy Muschietti

CAST: Jaeden Lieberher, Sophia Lillis, Finn Wolfhard, Jack Dylan Grazer, Wyatt Oleff, Jeremy Ray Taylor, Chosen Jacobs, Bill Skarsgard, Nicholas Hamilton


The big screen adaptation of Stephen King’s 1986 novel was a long time coming.  A TV miniseries has existed since 1990, but the low budget, made-for-TV quality, and (apart from Tim Curry’s gleeful scenery-chewing) dubious acting level held it back and left plenty of room for a definitive rendition.  The movie which has finally ended up in theaters lingered in pre-production for six years (at one point set to be directed by Cary Fukunaga and starring Will Poulter as “It” before they eventually departed the project).  Now that It has finally arrived, fans of King’s work can be pleased to know his novel—-or at least part one of two—has largely been done justice. Continue reading

R.I.P.D. (2013)

Film Title: R.I.P.D.DIRECTOR: Robert Schwentke

CAST: Ryan Reynolds, Jeff Bridges, Kevin Bacon, Mary-Louise Parker, Stephanie Szostak


R.I.P.D. is one of the most depressing kinds of movies to sit through; a completely uninspired, by-the-numbers, unengaging, lazy film that literally offers nothing memorable.  Playing out something like a cross between Men in Black and Ghostbusters with a dash of Ghost tossed in for good measure, it’s billed as a supernatural action-comedy/buddy movie, but it doesn’t succeed in any direction.  It’s not funny (or at least not often enough to justify its existence) and it’s never exciting, no matter how much money it blows on splashy special effects.   Continue reading

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (2012)

DIRECTOR: Timur Bekmambetov


Benjamin Walker, Dominic Cooper, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Rufus Sewell, Anthony Mackie, Jimmi Simpson, Erin Wasson, Alan Tudyk, Marton Csokas


Did you know the Confederacy was allied with vampires during the Civil War, that Abraham Lincoln was a vampire hunter before and during his Presidency, and that it was only his delivery of silver to the battlefield that decided the Union victory at the Battle of Gettysburg?  I kid, of course, but all of the above is what Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, an adaptation of Seth Grahame-Smith’s tongue-in-cheek pseudo-biography, would have you believe.  Continue reading

Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 (2011)

DIRECTOR: Bill Condon


Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, Billy Burke, Peter Facinelli, Ashley Greene, Nikki Reed, Jackson Rathbone, Kellan Lutz, Elizabeth Reaser, Sarah Clarke, Gil Birmingham, Michael Sheen


As Warner Bros. Did with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Summit Entertainment has split the final chapter of its young adult phenomenon the Twilight “saga” into two films. It’s easy to be cynical about both decisions as blatant maximizing of profits, especially in Twilight’s case, as while Deathly Hallows‘ density justified unfolding it over two films, it’s debatable whether any Twilight entry, including Breaking Dawn, really has enough that actually happens to warrant being stretched out over two movies. Regardless, Oscar-nominated director Bill Condon has done a respectable job with what he was given, helming a faithful but not obsessively word-for-word adaptation of Stephenie Meyer’s novel, but as with every other Twilight entry, the content makes a mixed bag. Continue reading

Twilight Saga: Eclipse (2010)

DIRECTOR: David Slade


Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, Billy Burke, Peter Facinelli, Ashley Greene, Jackson Rathbone, Nikki Reed, Kellan Lutz, Elizabeth Reaser, Gil Birmingham, Bryce Dallas Howard, Dakota Fanning, Xavier Samuel


It took three movies, but they’ve finally gotten it right, or as right as it’s going to be. Continue reading

Twilight Saga: New Moon (2009)

DIRECTOR: Chris Weitz


Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, Billy Burke, Peter Facinelli, Ashley Greene, Jackson Rathbone, Nikki Reed, Kellan Lutz, Elizabeth Reaser, Gil Birmingham, Graham Greene, Michael Sheen, Dakota Fanning, Rachelle Lefevre, Edi Gathegi, Christopher Heyerdahl, Jamie Campbell-Bower


After the explosion of Twilight mania, with a more established director and an expanded budget, New Moon is a better-looking film, but does not escape problems- mostly related more to Stephenie Meyer’s source material than Chris Weitz’s adaptation- that still make it a mixed bag. Continue reading

The Green Mile (1999)

DIRECTOR: Frank Darabont

CAST: Tom Hanks, Michael Clarke Duncan, David Morse, Bonnie Hunt, Doug Hutchison, Sam Rockwell, James Cromwell, Patricia Clarkson, Barry Pepper, Jeffrey DeMunn, Michael Jeter, Graham Greene, Gary Sinise, Dabbs Greer, Harry Dean Stanton, William Sadler


For the second convergence of Stephen King and Frank Darabont, following 1994’s The Shawshank Redemption, lightning has struck twice. The two films stand tall together as not only the best book-to-film adaptations of King’s prolific works, but also as great motion pictures period. It’s only Darabont’s second film since his impressive debut with Shawshank, but it demonstrates that the previous movie was not a one-hit wonder. Like Shawshank, The Green Mile is a well-crafted, emotionally powerful drama that requires a sizable commitment of time and attention, but the rewards are worth the effort.

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