Tag: milla jovovich

Resident Evil: The Final Chapter

by on Feb.05, 2017, under Movie Reviews

resident evil the final chapterResident Evil: The Final Chapter (kinda sorta, but not entirely) picks up where the last film left off with Alice as one of the last survivors of humanity left behind to face the legions of undead that have engulfed the planet thanks to the t-virus courtesy of Umbrella. This installment is supposed to be the one that finishes the Alice series with Milla Jovovich as the lead.

The story is ok but more just an excuse to break up the action as there is tons of action. There were some interesting surprises within the final arcs of the characters while filling in more backstory on Alice, Hive and the Red Queen. Wesker surfaces too but he doesn’t play too big of a part in this one. Everything wraps in an average way, which was disappointing, I was hoping they would really go for it but they played it safe.

The action saturates the film to the point where it starts to get routine and predictable even while each scene is trying to one-up itself from one sequence to the next. Another issue is the constant shaky-cam, which is a vehicle used to save money so they don’t have to spend as much of the budget on wider action shots. Unfortunately, it becomes detrimental in many of the scenes it’s supposed to intensify. The use of this kind of camera work is way overused here and becomes a crutch and a distraction throughout the film.

In terms of effects, they’re mostly done well but do look CG at times, especially the larger scale scenes. The series is running out of steam and hopefully this marks the end of the productions just trying to get bigger and bigger. If there’s ever been a series that is in need of a re-boot or re-envisioning, it’s this one. Personally, I’d take it back to its horror roots and strip it down with a strong story and passionate actors.

Speaking of actors, there’s some phoning it in taking place and conventional deliveries with noone offering any surprises or that much heart in what they’re doing. Sadly even Milla looks like she’s posing more than she is coming from any place of emotional authenticity. The lineup includes Iain Glen, Ali Larter, Shawn Roberts, Eoin Macken and Ruby Rose.

Overall, I’m glad that this might be the last one…

reviewed by Sean McKnight

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Zoolander 2

by on Feb.28, 2016, under Movie Reviews

zoolander 2Your favorite dufus model is back, only this time it’s over a decade later and things haven’t panned out so well for Derek Zoolander. He’s lost his wife, his son, his dream for his center for those-that-can’t-read-good is gone and Derek has chosen exile as his way of dealing with the loss. Zoolander is once again recruited for another fashion show and scores an opportunity for redemption to get his son back. Sound serious? Nah. It’s still a Ben Stiller film, don’t worry.

The plot is over the top like it’s predecessor and like any follow up they take things to a higher level. Which is where the film isn’t as strong as the original; the original had more of sense of flair and originality but No. 2 relies more on cheap jokes and repeat gags probably more than it should. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still fun to watch but you might want to wait for this one to hit Netflix.

There’s a ton of recognizable names involved again and they’re all pretty damn funny. The only one that came off contrite was Justin Bieber, which, really doesn’t matter given what happens to him in the opening segment (which alone makes the film worth seeing). The lineup includes Penelope Cruz, Owen Wilson, Will Ferrell, Justin Theroux, Milla Jovovich, Kristin Wiig, Billy Zane, Benedict Cumberbatch and Christine Taylor along with cameos from Jane Pauley, Katie Couric, Sting, and Christine Amanpour among many well known fashion designers such as Tommy Hilfiger.

Z2 definitely has some laugh-out-loud moments but you don’t get the belly laughs you did on the first ride. Still, it’s worth a viewing if you enjoyed the first one as it’s got the Stiller style who wrote and directed.

reviewed by Sean McKnight

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The Fourth Kind

by on Oct.11, 2015, under Movie Reviews

the fourth kindInspired by actual events that took place in Nome, Alaska, The Fourth Kind is based on a series of alien abductions that resulted in multiple people recounting the same experiences and one missing person who has yet to be found. The film opens in an interesting way with the film’s star, Milla Jovovich featured explaining the events the film is based on and let’s the validity of the film speak for itself so the viewer can decide whether to believe the story or not. The film ends in a similar manner with a brief prologue presented by the film’s director. Another compelling thing about The Fourth Kind is that it includes actual footage from interviews with the real victims that the actors are portraying. They even present the footage at times in a split screen with the real interview on one side and the actor portrayal on the other.

I would suggest that this film will fit in either a horror or thriller category as some of the footage is downright disturbing and intense. Scary as hell at times but not bloody or excessively violent. The center piece of the storyline is Jovovich’s character Abbey Tyler, who moved to Nome to open a psychology practice. After a time of seeing patients, she found that a number of them had a strikingly similar if not almost identical experience surrounding a vision of an owl but with more under the surface of the story that had been initially veiled. She decided to try hypnosis to unlock the patient’s subconscious and uncover more detail. Upon doing so, the patients had an extremely fearful and at times violent reaction to what was discovered in the depths of their psyche and how the owl hadn’t really been an owl at all.

Abbey eventually began to have the same experience herself, leading to her own psychotic break through hypnosis, driving her to the edge of insanity. She ended up under police surveillance after becoming a suspect in the strange happenings around Nome. While being watched by the police, a video recording from the police car of her house shows something resembling a UFO just before the camera signal is distorted and the disappearance of her daughter occurs. Suddenly, Abbey becomes a suspect in her own daughter’s abduction.

It seemed pretty damn real to me but you’ll have to make up your own mind. The film is compelling and has a unique style to it. Olatunde Osunsanmi did an excellent job directing for the most part. I say for the most part because I felt Jovovich’s delivery of the main character was mostly wooden and devoid of emotion through most of the film. She got better at the end but when watching her delivery next to the actual interview footage, Dr. Tyler had way more underlying fragility and sullen characteristics than Jovovich was able to summon in her performance. Her emotional pitch raises a bit later as the story becomes more intense but Jovovich seems like she’s going more through the motions rather than actually feeling them.

Aside from Milla’s lackluster performance, the rest of the actors really step up and deliver; the film overall is very well done and had me hooked most of the time. If you like alien abduction stories that skew a bit darker and more intense than your typical Roswell faire, check out The Fourth Dimension. The lineup includes Enzo Cilenti, Will Patton, Corey Johnson, Elias Koteas and Alisha Seaton.

reviewed by Sean McKnight

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Resident Evil: Afterlife

by on Oct.07, 2011, under Movie Reviews

Hollywood makes some bad decisions when it comes to franchises. They either reboot too soon (Spiderman) or they let a franchise continue to limp along after it’s been in need of a serious overall for quite some time as with this latest installment of the Resident Evil series.

The focus of the franchise since the second one has been about making Milla Jovovich action movies with the story drifting further and further away from the original heart of the storyline. The same tired Project Alice character jumped the shark a couple movies ago.

This is a good example of what happens when an intellectual property falls into the hands of marketers and executives, in other words, the wrong hands. It’s a drag when it should be in the hands of the artists and fans, but alas, no dice here.

Apparently cosmetic companies still exist after the zombie apocalypse if Milla Jovovich’s and Ali Larter’s characters are any indication. They look remarkably clean and glamourous while the rest of the world burns and is consumed by flame and the undead.

The same visual gimics continue as do the same pretentious exchanges between Alice and Wesker who’s transformed her into a human with a single injection to the neck when she “attempts” to kill him. Why they don’t just kill each other and end this painful dance is beyond me. We desperately need some new characters, new heart, new hunger. Ironicially, I think a return to the roots of this is what is sorely needed, same with the game as the last installment was not a hit for a good reason, it was boring, not scary. Same thing here. Boring, not scary.

Performance-wise Milla in particular comes off numb. I don’t know if that’s the point, but it also happens to describe what it’s like to watch. Please, go back to Chris Redfield as the main focus and let’s start this over with a new director, a new writer, a new producer, a new, well…everything. I’m a big fan of the games as well as the first movie. Sorry, with the whole double-flip-backwards-with-a-motorcycle-crashing-into-a church-while-shooting-lickers thing, it became apparent the direction things were going in the second film and ya lost me. And Milla? Please don’t do anymore of these, you just don’t seem to care anymore. To whoever has the rights to the IP – can I please direct and produce the next one? Pleeeassseeeee?? I swear you’ll make money! I normally like much of Paul W.S. Anderson’s work (Alien vs. Predator is among my favorites, except for the ending with that stupid paring up thing that was done), but he just seems to be phoning it in on this one too and needs to step away before this just becomes pathetic. It’s not quite there, but almost.

Holy shit, they brought back the character K-Mart from the last one. This has to be some product-placement thing. They can’t even be classy enough to be subtle about it. Why doesn’t she just wear a Martha Stewart shirt with a K-Mart logo on it and get it over with? If you’re going to be so blatant, you might as well try to make it funny. Trying to take the character seriously after a name like that is asking for a bit much.

Geez, they even have the same cheesy slow-mo action scenes with lame pseudo-techno music. Side note – why can Alice still do the crazy acrobatic stuff now since she’s human again, and why does Ali Larter have to pose sexily when she’s fighting the nemesis-like hooded behemoth (also in slow-mo)? This is just sad. It’s not even a good action movie. It’s contrived and uninspiring of any emotion.

Shawn Roberts playing Wesker seems more like an ad model out of GQ than he does scary, corporate villain guy. He’s trying waaaayy too hard coming off flat and unconvincing. Watching him and Milla go at it is like watching supermodels fight, try to imagine pretty people doing action poses in slow-mo (yes, more slow-mo) and you’ll get the picture. It’s as if Zoolander was turned into a serious action flick. Oh, and add zombies (be sure to include the zombie dogs too, but maybe instead of dachtsunds, they use zombie chihuahuas creeping out of purses).

The door is wide open in the war with Umbrella as revealed by the not fake, fake ending.

Let the zombies take me and end my pain from any more sequels.

reviewed by Sean McKnight

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