Oculus – Film Review

 

It’s difficult to say why a mirror can be creepy, but mirrors can.  No doubt about it.

In Oculus, the new creepy horror from writer/director Mike Flanagan, something happened ten years ago to the fairly ordinary Russell family after they moved in to their new house, but we can’t quite tell what.  All we know is that it had something to do with that large, antique mirror just positioned on the wall in dad’s office.  Like pieces of a jigsaw that never quite form a picture, we have a fair idea of what might have happened, but it takes a while to put everything together.  Oculus burns slowly.

You promised me you’d never forget what really happened,” Kaylie Russell (Karen Gillan) says to her brother Tim (Brenton Thwaites), moments after he’s released from an institution.  I was ten years old,” protests Tim.

 

Things get even creepier when Kaylie buys that same, antique mirror at an auction.  It appears she’s been hunting it down, convinced that the murders of her parents ten years earlier had nothing to do with her brother – that’s the reason, we find out, he’s been in a mental facility – but everything to do with that creepy mirror.

Hello again,” she says to the mirror after taking it home and putting it back on the wall in the same position where it used to hang.  You must be hungry.”

What follows is a straight forward tale of evil influences presented in a complicated way.  There are flashbacks that we’re never quite sure are flashbacks until we realize that the playful children having fun in their new home are really Tim and Kaylie as they were ten years ago.  It takes time to get used to the uneven rhythm of the film.

 

As things progress and the story takes shape, we learn that the mirror has actually been around since the eighteenth century.  Kaylie is convinced that over the years, the antique has been responsible for at least forty-five deaths, including mom and dad, and she’s determined to find out how and why.  Supernatural forces reside in the mirror,” she claims, but her brother isn’t buying it, and for awhile the film presents an element of doubt as to whether it’s all in Kaylie’s mind or if the mirror really is evil. 

The way the film becomes complicated is how it presents the two time differences – the events of ten years ago and what’s happening today.  What was a flashback then becomes a parallel story; then the two time differences seem to overlap where characters from yesterday are looking directly at events of today, and that’s where it starts to lose you.  It seems clever at first, then it feels a little too clever.  Director Flanagan already had a good thing going; it’s a disappointment he overreached.

 

Oculus makes you feel uneasy throughout, and in this respect, it works; there are good chills and genuinely spooky images, though it demands patience.  Plus, the performances from all are particularly good.  Scottish actor Karen Gillan, better known as Amy from TV’s Dr. Who, makes an impressive debut in her first big American film and pulls off a decent American accent in the process.  But the film eventually falls prey to many horror/chillers of its kind and ultimately feels like a cheat.  The story behind the history of the mirror is never fully explored when you want to know more – it’s a lot easier to create scares when you don’t have to explain why or how things are happening – and the climax, where history repeats itself and presumably will continue to do so, is a let down considering how far you’ve come to get to that point.  It leaves you dissatisfied, perhaps even annoyed.  You’ll always find an exception, but in general, horror films –even potentially good ones like this – never quite know how to end. 

 MPAA Rating:  R     Length:  105 Minutes   Overall Rating:  6 (out of 10)

Posted in Film

Jodorowsky’s Dune – Film Review

 

At the age of eighty-five, controversial filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky is every bit as passionate about a film he never made as he was during the seventies when he was preparing to make it.

“I wanted to make a film that would give people who took LSD at that time the hallucination you get with that drug, but without hallucinating.”  In a heavily accented English – aided throughout by subtitles – the Chilean-French director wasn’t saying he encouraged his audience to take the mind-altering acid before seeing his film; his admittedly odd choice of words were trying to explain that he wanted to make a movie that would change perception.  I wanted to make something sacred,” he states.

The film in question was a massive adaptation of Frank Herbert’s science fiction novel Dune, a work that would eventually be directed in 1984 by David Lynch, but, by all accounts, Jodorowsky’s Dune would have been considerably different.  For one thing, had the film kept to the director’s original script, a massive book the size of a few Yellow Pages bound together, it might have lasted more than fourteen hours.  But that didn’t matter to Jodorowsky.  He would have made it last twenty if that’s what was required.

 

The bulk of the documentary covers the time around 1975 when Jodorowsky optioned the film rights to Dune and attempted to put together a crack team of artists and technicians in order to make his dream project, beginning with the script. 

Instead of a regular screenplay, Jodorowosky developed an enormous book of storyboard sketches, something close to a technical graphic novel, with drawings inked by French artist Jean ‘Moebius’ Giraud.  American filmmaker Nicolas Winding Refn, who recently made the thriller Drive, spent an evening going through the full screenplay with Jodorowsky while the director explained each scene in detail. Refn’s conclusion was enthusiastic: Had Jodorowsky’s vision of Dune been made it would have been magnificent.

As the documentary continues, using comments from observers and animation based on those Moebius storyboard renditions, we learn how Jodorowsky intended to make his film, who he wanted to help him, both in front and behind the camera, and why Hollywood eventually turned it down.

The opening shot, Jodorowsky explains, was intended to be a long, continuous sequence reminiscent of the lengthy, unedited opening to the Orson Welles classic, A Touch of Evil.  With the use of animation, we get a glimpse of the director’s vision as the camera starts with a wide shot of the milky way, then proceeds to move forward among the stars, then the planets while getting closer and closer to its subject until we finally arrive with a close-up of its destination.  It’s an impressive beginning, and it’s a continuous shot we’ve seen in several science fiction films since Jodorowsky’s original concept, but the important thing is, Jodorowsky’s vision was the first.

Orson Welles, we learn, was even wanted to be in the film, but Welles wasn’t initially interested.  He preferred to be spend his days eating and drinking at French restaurants, so as an enticement to be in the project, Jodorowsky promised Welles the following: “I will hire the chef of this restaurant and you will eat as here, everyday.”  Welles considered this, then said, “I’ll do it.”

Mick Jagger also said yes, and so did eccentric artist Salvador Dali, whose only insistence was that he be the highest paid actor in Hollywood with an outrageous, off-the-scale, salary the would have surpassed the budget of the whole project.   The way Jodorowsky and his producer Michel Seydoux got around promising the ridiculous sum was by telling Dali he would be paid as much as $100,000 a minute of on-screen time, but failed to mention in the negotiations that his role would only last about three minutes.  Dali was thrilled.

 

But the problem was selling the idea to Hollywood.  Disney thought the script was good but, like the Concorde, it would never work in America.  Other studios liked the script and the film’s potential, but would ultimately reject it saying, “… But we don’t get your director.”

In the end, despite all the work that went into the preparation, Hollywood pulled the plug, and Jodorowsky’s dream project never took off.  Like most audiences, when a broken Jodorowsky finally went to see the David Lynch version for himself, he was just as confused as the rest of us.  It was awful,” the director states with the biggest of grins.

The documentary, as directed by Frank Pavich, is an undeniably fascinating one that is probably best appreciated by movie-buffs.  On hindsight it seems obvious that Hollywood would turn such an ambitious project down – the studios wanted ninety minutes, Jodorowky needed fourteen hours – but there’s a continuous sense of enthrallment throughout as we witness Jodorowsky’s enthusiasm to fulfill his dream.  Plus, it’s even more fascinating to see the influences of the director’s work in science fiction films that followed, inspired, no doubt, by his storyboard sketches, including Star Wars, Flash Gordon, Prometheus, and Contact, which appeared to use that same, lengthy opening shot throughout the galaxy in the way Jodorowsky imagined his own project.  Jodorowsky’s Dune was beyond a doubt hugely influential.  Quite an achievement for a film that was never made.

 MPAA  Rating:  PG-13     Length:  90 Minutes    Overall Rating:  8 (out of 10)

Posted in Film

The Unknown Known – Film Review

Among the many fine documentaries made for the larger screen there are two standouts.  One is The Thin Blue Line, the other, The Fog of War: Eleven Lesson from the Life of Robert S. McNamara.  Both made a significant impact and both re-shaped our perspective on their subjects.  Both were also directed by the same man: Errol Morris.

In The Unknown Known, Morris has turned his attention to the political career of former U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, and while there’s a lot that fascinates throughout – how could it not? – the end result doesn’t quite land with the impact you would hope or expect, and that has everything to do with both the director’s approach and his subject.

 

The documentary is based upon the unbelievable amount of internal memos, or snowflakes, that Rumsfeld wrote during his years in politics.  I wonder if in the future, pubic figures will write as many memos as I did,” Rumsfeld ponders directly to the camera.  When director Morris, always off-screen, asks his subject how many memos were written, Rumsfeld states, “There have to be millions.”

Rumsfeld was noted for his weekly press conferences that had the press beguiled for either a quick wit or the fact that his overly complicated word play often left reporters scratching their heads.  The title comes from one such speech where Rumsfeld is quoted as saying, “There are known knowns.  There are known unknowns.  There are unknown unknowns.  But there are also unknown knowns.  That is to say, things that you think you known that it turns out you did not know.  It’s a perfectly chosen title and equally perfect example of Rumfeld’s unique style and the oily manner in which the politician and businessman operates.  He doesn’t appear to present things as they are, he re-shapes his own thoughts and presents them in the way he wants us to see them, and the documentary illustrates plenty examples of where this has happened.

Rumsfeld uses the word imagination a lot, and this is a key to his thinking.  In archival 2001 news footage of his confirmation hearing when nominated for Secretary of Defense, Rumsfeld is asked, “What do you worry about when you go to bed at night?”  Intelligence,” he replies. “The danger that we can be surprised because of a failure of what might be happening in the world.  Pearl Harbor was a result of a lack of imagination.  We didn’t know that we didn’t know what they were capable of doing.”

 

When director Morris turns the conversation to 9/11 and the terrorists, he asks, “How do you think they got away with 9/11?  It seems amazing in retrospect.”  Rumsfeld responds with “Everything’s amazing in retrospect!  Pearl Harbor’s amazing in retrospect.  It’s a failure of imagination.” Of course, he hasn’t answered the question; it just seems as though he has.

The film uses photos, TV reports, archival footage, and some well framed new images to underline much of what Rumsfeld is saying.  As with all Erroll Morris documentaries, the subject looks straight into the camera.  He listens to the director’s question and responds as though talking directly to us.  It’s a very effective style that personalizes the whole thing, yet somehow the film never quite snares that certain great reveal you might be hoping for; the moment where Rumsfeld might unintentionally stop and reflect on something that he did or said that would indicate that maybe after all this time as one of the architects of the Iraq War he was wrong and he can now see it. 

But it never happens. After all, this is the man who stated without fear of contradiction that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and added that a trained monkey could find the WMDs.  Sadly, there was no trained monkey in the White House, and no weapons were ever found, yet thousands upon thousands of innocents died as a result of this architect’s determination to send the country to war.  To use Rumsfeld’s own words, “This is a truth.”  The director’s approach of allowing the subject to talk without a forceful challenge brings no reflective admittance.  Rumsfeld is too accomplished in the art of purposely confounding the interviewee for that.

 

If the film does anything, The Unknown Known illustrates Rumsfeld’s well perfected ability to be smoothly evasive on almost any given subject.  He bends and twists meanings to the point where he can contradict himself within the same sentence, and yet sound as though he knows, or think he knows, what he’s talking about.  There are two sides to the coin,” he explains.  One is belief in the inevitability of conflict can become one of its main causes.  That is a truth.  The other side of the coin, which is also true, is, if you wish for peace, prepare for war.  Director Morris then challenges Rumsfeld.  But if both are true, you can use that to justify anything.  Rumsfeld continues.  There’s a similar thing in Rumsfeld’s rules where I say, all generalizations are false, including this one.  He then grins into the camera like the Cheshire Cat and states, “There it is.”  It’s Rumsfeld’s way of declaring, “Ta-daa.” 

I’m reminded of Peter O’Toole in The Ruling Class where the actor managed to make almost everything his nut-case character said sound like Shakespearean eloquence yet what he was actually saying was total bunk.  In his way, Rumsfeld does exactly the same. 

 Rating:  PG-13    Length:  96 Minutes   Overall Rating:  7 (out of 10)

Posted in Film

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs – Theatre Review: Valley Youth Theatre, Phoenix

The story of Snow White has been a notable milestone for two important areas of family entertainment.  In 1937 it was the first full-length, animated feature to come from Walt Disney, and back in 1989 it was the first live show ever produced by Valley Youth Theatre.

Since ’89, VYT has revisited the show on four separate occasions, though admittedly the production you’ll see today is considerably different from the one that was first presented when VYT originally came to be.  The show you’ll now see is a handsome, musical production with a fresh sense of vitality and a strong sense of humor where voices soar and the laughs come from unexpected places.

 

The story as written by children’s author Elsa Rael follows the same pattern as the original Grimm’s fairy tale.  The notable differences tend to be with the Woodsman (Connor Baker) who, under orders from the evil queen, is traditionally supposed to use his axe after escorting Snow into the middle of the woods.  Here the method is different.  The Woodsman has a poisonous comb that he’s supposed to run through Snow’s hair – something considerably less violent than the use of an axe – but true to the original, he can’t go through with it and allows Snow to live, as long as she remains hidden away in the woods.

Another difference – and it’s truly effective – is the character of the evil queen. As played with relish by Sarah Moss, the queen may well be just as evil as we’ve always known, but here she’s having a great time being so.  Rather than portraying the conceited ruler as a dark and ominously murderous character with a maniacal laugh, Sarah makes her practically giddy.  She not only loves being the queen, she’s the kind of character that would quite happily have you killed then giggle and squeal with child-like delight as if it’s the funniest thing she’s ever thought of doing.     

Jessie Jo Pauley’s Snow White is the perfect innocent.  With a resigned sigh, she follows all of the queen’s orders and has no clue of her fate when lured into the woods.  Valley audiences may remember Jessie’s strong performance as Baby Louise in Phoenix Theatre’s production of Gypsy, and here as Snow White she is equally effective.  Together, Jessie and Sarah make an outstanding double act; both have excellent singing voices that inject fresh life into their short but surprisingly melodious songs, and both are standout performers who will no doubt go on to bigger things.  VYT has cast well.

 

There’s also strong support from the rest of the cast, particularly Sara Matin as the reflection in the mirror who, when seen in the various frames of the queen’s Pee-Wee Playhouse styled residence, constantly moves her arms in a graceful, slo-mo manner, giving her character the impression of an other worldly elegance as she reveals to the evil ruler who is truly the fairest in the land.

Then there’s the dwarfs, all seven of them, possessing names like Scrubber (Katie Brown), Blubber (Charlie Siegel), Scotty (Justin Vaught with a nice accent) Flubber (Thea Eigo), Pepito (Alexandra Kirby), Mosquito (Andy Wissink), and finally the one called simply Fred (Ian Gray).  As directed and choreographed with a fresh sense of comical invention by first-time VYT director, Molly Lajoie, the dwarves get the biggest laughs by the way they move, talk and dance.  They’re a mixture of old-fashioned Saturday morning cartoon characters and pint-sized Keystone cops.

 

Backed by Dori Brown’s eye-catching set design of the woods which pulls aside to reveal the Dwarf’s hideaway residence, and Karol Cooper’s always attractive costume design, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is consistently entertaining throughout.

The weakest moment is perhaps the rushed conclusion.  William Deihl makes a fine prince with an equally fine singing voice, but the script gives him practically nothing to do.  From the moment he makes his entrance and kisses Snow White out of her slumber, the cast are ready to take its bow.  It’s practically a case of blink and the show’s over.   However, everything leading up to that moment is so much fun with two outstanding leads you’ll want to forgive any reservations you might have during those final few minutes. 

 For times, dates and tickets, CLICK HERE for the VYT website.

Posted in Theatre

The Joe Show – Film Review

I’ve got two reasons when I do anything,” states Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Arizona’s Maricopa County.  The official reason and my reason.”

After eight years in the making, the new documentary The Joe Show from local Arizona director Randy Murray was finally unveiled to Arizona audiences at the Phoenix Film Festival.  Not surprisingly, it played to a packed house and was greeted with thunderous applause, and for good reason: The Joe Show – with a tag line on the poster that reads: Lights, Camera, Power – is an outstanding documentary.  It achieves what all good documentaries should do; it informs, it shocks, it allows the subjects to paint their own pictures in their own words without comment or interference, and, above all, it’s hugely entertaining.

The film begins with a view of Maricopa’s County’s most famous of all sheriffs singing an off-key version of Frank Sinatra’s My Way directly to the camera and ends with a few bars from Fame: “I’m gonna live forever…”  What happens in-between is a fascinating account of a law-enforcement officer who, as the film tells us, likes cameras and likes reporters.  He is a media hound, no doubt about it,” states his Media Director, Lisa Allen.  But so what?”

 

In many respects, Allen is almost as fascinating as the sheriff.  She speaks well on camera, which is of no surprise considering her past TV reporting credentials.  She points out that Arpaio’s team is consistently suspicious of the press, something that extends to even Allen despite the fact that she’s also a member of Arpaio’s team.  I also wear natural fiber, not polyester,” she states, smiling, amused by her comment, “And they don’t like that.”

There’s a no-nonsense, pitbull approach to Allen’s role as a publicity officer, as seen when controlling who gets to interview the sheriff and who has to wait.  At a media event where Arizona audiences will no doubt recognize many of the faces still seen nightly on local TV news, Allen doesn’t hold back.  When informing a reporter that his station is not exactly at the forefront of getting a Sheriff Joe exclusive, she adds, “If I’m a bitch to you, don’t take it personally,” as if somehow that softens the blow of rejection.

 

The rhythm of the film can be seen in two distinct halves.  The first half explores the sheriff’s rise to fame and how he established himself as something of an Arizona media phenomenon.  We see much of his background and his ascent through law-enforcement ranks.  Plus, there are shots of him at home discussing his wife’s ability to cook and prepare good Italian cuisine, and there are comments and praises from not only appreciative Sun City residents but famous media faces such as Steven Seagal, Ted Nugent, and Mitt Romney who declares to supporters at a Romney political rally while pointing at the sheriff, “We have a real American hero here.”  The film also shows us that if you repeat something enough, it becomes accepted, followed by clip after clip of Sheriff Joe pointing out to the cameras that he’s the toughest sheriff in America. 

The second half is less warm and fuzzy.  The various scandals that continue to rock his office and the often shocking events that have occurred under his watch are also explored, and it’s here where the film paints a very different portrait of the man, and certainly something less than Mitt Romney’s real American hero.  The vindictiveness the office had allegedly shown to critics is revealed, supported by news clips and fact checks.  Much of what we see will not be news to Arizona audiences, but it’s a side to the man that national and international audiences have perhaps never witnessed.  It’s also here where their amusement of a man seen largely as a tough lawman who parades his male prisoners in pink underwear and puts women in chain gangs might change.

 

After a series of damaging and critical articles are published in Phoenix New Times, the documentary shows how the sheriff wanted the I.P addresses and identities of everyone who had ever read an on-line edition of the free, weekly newspaper.  What he intended to do with that list of names is anyone’s guess.  They think they’re a newspaper, but they’re porno,” the sheriff insists, “And they have to give it away free.”  It was not good publicity for Maricopa County’s infamous sheriff and resulted with a largely negative effect for his office.  But in his customary, Sheriff Joe style he dismisses the whole affair.  Hey… at least I’m on the front page again,” he shrugs.  His media director goes even further.  New Times readers are kids who probably don’t vote and are smoking methamphetamine.”

But things go even further.  Shocking video of the treatment of certain prisoners resulting in death is displayed, plus the subject of the heartbreaking four hundred missing or ignored cases of rape victims in El Mirage is covered.  “If there were any victims out there, I apologize,” the sheriff states on TV, but it doesn’t come across as particularly humbling, particularly when he began with if there were any victims.

 

But despite the accusations of misconduct and abuse of power, all supported by eye-witness accounts, news clips and fact checks, Sheriff Joe will always have his supporters who are not listening.  After all, why listen to facts when it gets in the way of the image you’ve chosen to believe?  One such supporter, resident Katherine Kobor, continually sings the sheriff’s praises on camera with full admiration and appreciation of how the man executes his duties, particularly when it comes to the issue of illegal immigrants.  I’m not a racist,” the supporter insists, then underlines her claim by illustrating a negative picture of Mexicans in general.  They’re just a culture that hasn’t evolved.”

The good news for the film and for director Randy Murray is that on the Saturday evening showing at the Phoenix Film Festival, the audience was informed that the film is not only being shown to packed audiences at other festivals but it’s currently in talks for a possible theatrical release. This is good news.  The Joe Show deserves to be seen outside of the festival circuit, and probably will.

 MPAA Rating:  Unrated      Length:  90 Minutes  Overall Rating:  8 (out of 10)     

Posted in Film

Captain America: The Winter Soldier – Film Review

To a degree, part of what made the first Captain America adventure fun was the period setting.  The idea there’s even a character with the military-saluting, patriotic moniker of someone in a star-spangled costume called Captain America who was once skinny and now has bulging muscles is a dated one; it’s the Charles Atlas fantasy that suits a character of the past. 

The ending to the 2011 spectacle where the captain wakes up from a lengthy slumber only to discover he’s in present-day, modern America made for a dramatic enough cliff-hanger, but it also signaled a different direction which now has to be followed.  And so we have the sequel – sort of, not counting The Avengers – and from the high-tech, machine gun blazing opening, it’s already clear; what made the first one work has gone, and Captain America has lost a certain sense of goofy charm because of it.

 

It’s two years after what happened in The Avengers.  Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) is adjusting to a new setting and a new time, though he misses what he had and the relationships with whom he knew.  When during an operation while working with Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), the tight-fitting leather-clad one with the long red hair casually asks the captain, “Do anything Saturday night?”  The captain shrugs.  All the guys from my barbershop quartet are dead, so…  He may have lost everything he had but at least he’s retained his sense of humor. 

There’s a complicated plot with lots of characters revolving around the captain reuniting with his S.H.I.E.L.D. boss, Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and something called Operation Insight where spy satellites and super-duper, heavily armed aircraft carriers known as Helicarriers are going to be used to eliminate threats based not on something that’s happened but on predictions of what might occur.  I thought the punishment came after the crime,” states an unimpressed captain.  I can’t wait that long,” replies Fury.

But there’s trouble at S.H.I.E.L.D.  An infiltrator working on the inside is messing up the works. “Don’t… trust… anyone,” a breathless and wounded Fury tells the captain just as more bullets from an unseen sniper hit home. 

 

From there, the plot becomes too convoluted to explain – there’s double-crossing, a new character called the Winter Soldier, lots of car wrecks, spraying bullets and explosions in the streets that presumably kills lots of innocents standing nearby but never appears to make the evening news – and even though everything will make perfect sense to the dedicated Marvel Comics follower of super-hero adventures, the casual observer may already be wondering what’s going on and who half these characters are.  There’s an assumption you should already know and the film is way too busy to stop and explain.  The best thing to do before going in is go on-line and brush up on what happened before.  A refresher may work wonders.

The good thing about the Marvel Comic, big screen adventures, as opposed to the dark and oh-so-serious approach of the D.C. Comics, is the self-deprecating humor.  The films are funny, and it’s the humor, not so much the fighting, that makes things tick.  When secretly bad-guy Alexander Pierce (Robert Redford, nicely playing completely against type) is asked a big favor by Nick Fury, he says, “Okay, but you’ve gotta get Iron Man to drop by my daughter’s birthday party.”  Plus, there’s the moment when Black Widow types on a keyboard to access an antiquated set of over-sized computers and references a certain 80’s Matthew Broderick adventure with “Shall we play a game?”  Quick, someone give that character her own movie.

 

But Captain America: The Winter Soldier falls prey to many super-hero movies of its kind – the action is really, really busy and it doesn’t know when to quit.  The prolonged climax goes on forever with something or someone new for the captain to defeat every few seconds, and just when you think it’s done, there’s another fight.  No matter what death-defying circumstance the central characters find themselves in, no one gets dangerously hurt or even shaken, and characters you thought were gone, later return.  That sense of excitement that’s supposed to draw you in and have you biting your nails is absent; everyone just keeps going and going. 

In Raiders of the Lost Ark, you always knew Indiana Jones would eventually win, but the thrills and spills had you on the edge of your seat, all the same.  Unlike the previous 2011 Captain America adventure, this new sequel is full of noisy stuff that just unfolds before you while you passively watch.  There’s no faulting the film’s technical achievement – the set pieces are undeniably huge and spectacular – and kids and fan-boys will love it, but maybe the rest of us have become so used to the recent glut of super-hero, B movie adventures that the impact and sense of involvement has finally gone.  There’s never a moment when you wipe the sweat from your brow and breathlessly think, “Whew, that was close,” because there’s never a sense of genuine danger.

But, as indicated in a couple of extra scenes played out during the end credits, there’s a third in the works, and it will no doubt feel the need to be bigger, louder and longer than the previous, so while uncritical fans who can’t ever get enough will be thrilled, the rest of us had better be prepared. 

 MPAA Rating:  PG-13   Length:  136 Minutes   Overall Rating:  6 (out of 10)

Posted in Film