It’s indicative of the kind of veteran Bill Paxton is that he would choose “Frailty” as his first directorial outing to bring to audiences in 2001. Paxton approaches Brent Hanley’s script with a brilliance and very low key delivery that keeps “Frailty” one of the best horror mysteries ever conceived and yet one constantly over looked. This is a film where even McConaughey manages to shine in his lead performance, and I’m rarely one to endorse his acting abilities. “Frailty” is one of those horror movies that sneak up on you, presuming to be one kind of animal, when it’s a whole other sinister animal entirely.
Director Mitch Glazer’s film is probably one of the funniest most pretentious art house flicks of the year. It’s one of the stupidest pieces of utter tripe ever conceived by man, an almost satirical look at artsy fartsy that dabbles in to a premise so ridiculous it’s barely competent enough be considered symbolic. Oh Megan Fox is a bird girl named Lily, but she doesn’t want to be a bird girl, but she’s so beautiful! Mickey Rourke wants to restore her beauty by keeping her wings in tact even though she destroys them every night, all the while confronting wandering Indians who come to his rescue, evil old carnies and the like, all of whom are obviously some form of delusions of grandeur by some coked up cowboy played by Rourke who stumbles through the film with a grumble.
In the bible, Michael is the archangel of God, the loyal general of God’s armies who is the soldier to battle Satan and help hurl Satan and his followers in to the underworld. Michael is also the archangel to have been prophesized to defeat the Anti-Christ. Often depicted with a flaming sword, Michael is swift and loyal to his holy creator. As such he is one of my favorite characters of the bible. Michael in “Legion” is a gun toting, one-liner chucking, tattoo donning mother who speaks in a grumble and slur that feels as if star Paul Bettany is attempting to restrain his English accent, and is trying to channel a Southern drawl. Here we see Michael as one part The Punisher, one part Mr. Blonde, and two parts T-800, who stumbles around stomping and commanding his human drones to fight back against the hordes of angels, and whispering poetic diatribes about his allegiance to God.
Dallas Jenkins’ Christian drama is one of the more perfect movies for the religious target audience who appreciate films that revolve around re-claiming faith and getting back in touch with God, and deep down in to its core, “What If…” is a much more faith based remake of Brett Ratner’s “The Family Man.” Instead of Nicolas Cage as a sex crazed cocky corporate executive who comes across an angel who shows him what his life would be like if it were more fulfilled with family and friends while testing his morality, “What If…” stars Kevin Sorbo as a preacher who goes off on a religious retreat leaving the love of his life, loses touch with his religion and is shown how his life would be revolving around family and his beliefs by a kindly angel.
In the spirit of “Love Actually” director Chazz Palminteri creates a holiday themed story that presents the basic formula of that film where we see a range of characters going about their own private turmoil’s and obstacles in life, whom all occasionally cross paths in the most ironic ways, as fate would have it. It’s pretty hard to find malice against a well-intentioned film like “Noel” that lacks any manipulation or melodrama and really has a sense of genuine emotions. It’s a low-key, and understandably obscure holiday film with a decent cast that has your basic Capra-esque heartfelt nuance of warmth, and love, and lack of love. It’s often very sad without being sappy, it’s fun without being meandering, and it’s truly entertaining in a way only a holiday film should.
While I was interested in watching “Constantine”, I didn’t really get what I was expecting. I never once read a comic of “Hellblazer”, but I know the general gist of it, and despite my disappointment with the miscasting of Reeves and the loose adaptation, I did get more than I bargained for. Constantine was essentially a story that takes place in the UK, but despite the Americanization, it ends up becoming a really solid adult thriller in the end. Constantine is a demon fighter who has been diagnosed with cancer and is now seeking to buy his way in to heaven, and through that journey, director Francis Lawrence who is shockingly a music video director, surprisingly gives some grade A direction for what is rightly a stylish yet very murky supernatural thriller.