Photo: Warner Bros.
Jason Bateman has had one of the most welcome career resurrections of the last ten or fifteen years. After burning bright and fast as a teen star, he seemed destined to be remembered simply as Justine Bateman’s younger brother until a little show called Arrested Development came knocking.
Following his pointed performance as Michael Bluth, Bateman began stealing the spotlight in guest roles in middling comedies like Dodgeball and The Break-Up, before showing himself to be a mature and complex leading man. The Kingdom, Juno, State of Play, Up in the Air, and The Switch were each among their year’s best and with them, Bateman proved himself to be among the best in his field. 2014 has been an especially productive for him, with Horrible Bosses 2 being his fourth film of the year. Unfortunately, Horrible Bosses 2 may also be his fourth-worst of the year. Continue reading →
Photo: Columbia Pictures
Of all the modern Spider-Man movies, the worst is generally considered to be Spider-Man 3. The consensus regarding sequels around Hollywood has always been “more is better,” but the last web-slinging effort from Tobey Maguire and Sam Raimi was so bloated with villains and extraneous subplots, it collapsed back onto itself in a much-ridiculed mess.
As the trailers and commercials have revealed more and more of the newest Spider-Man movie in the lead-up to its release, the reboot-quel looked like it could fall into the same traps, with multiple storylines involving several villains. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 turns out to be leagues above Spider-Man 3 – but it still bites off just a bit too much.
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Image: Twentieth Century Fox
Avian animation has a spotty track record. For every Chicken Run, Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole, or Surf’s Up, there’s a Free Birds, Valiant, or Happy Feet 2. The first Rio had a great many flaws, but was still a competent movie. Rio 2 has fewer overall problems on a narrative or technical level, but the main issue the movie has is so critical that it deflates the film. Continue reading →