August 2011 | Casey's Movie Mania | Movie Reviews, Features & Others

Monday, 29 August 2011

Review: CONAN THE BARBARIAN (2011)


RATING: 2/5

When German-born music director Marcus Nispel first stamped his feature directorial debut in 2003's horror remake of THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE, his career looked very promising. But then came his subsequent movies, including 2007's PATHFINDER and 2009's FRIDAY THE 13TH, all of which suffered from weak and terribly uninspired direction. Now, with his latest feature, CONAN THE BARBARIAN, he continues to disappoint further. While the reboot of the Arnold Schwarzenegger-starred 1982 original does retain most of its similarities, it's sad to say that Marcus Nispel's version is disappointingly charmless and awfully pedestrian.



Saturday, 27 August 2011

Review: COLOMBIANA (2011)


RATING: 2.5/5

Bullet, bra, and babe -- here's another Euro trash from Luc Besson's action-movie repertoire directed by his TRANSPORTER 3 protege Olivier Megaton. COLOMBIANA is a frenzied B-grade product that apes the same old formula you expect to see from Besson's past efforts (e.g. 1990's LA FEMME NIKITA and 1994's LEON: THE PROFESSIONAL). It's nothing new at all, but it's also fairly good enough to qualify this as an entertaining guilty pleasure topped with an engaging performance by Zoe Saldana.



Thursday, 25 August 2011

Review: CARS 2 (2011)


RATING: 2.5/5

For the past decade since Pixar released their first groundbreaking animated feature, TOY STORY back in 1995, the studio had been blessed with a continuously winning streak. Even a lesser one like CARS (2006) wasn't that bad either since it still managed to make a lot of money to the tune of $244 million at the box-office, including an estimated $1 billion in toys merchandise sales. In fact, I personally thought CARS was an underrated gem deserved to be overlooked. Unfortunately after eleven animated features of top-notch entertainment, I'm sad to announce that their latest production entitled CARS 2 is surprisingly disappointing. Don't get me wrong, this unexpected sequel has all the hallmark of Pixar's must-have basic ingredients but suffers miserably from disjointed plot, halfhearted characters and most of all -- lack of heart.



Monday, 22 August 2011

Review: FINAL DESTINATION 5 (2011)


RATING: 2.5/5

New Line Cinema had once announced that the 2009's THE FINAL DESTINATION was the last movie in the horror series. But like how the characters have cheated deaths in the movie, they lied. But who could blame them anyway? Despite negative reviews, THE FINAL DESTINATION went on becoming the highest-grossing movie in the series with $66.4 million at the box-office, largely thanks to its 3D presentation. And here it is. Two years has passed, and along came another installment of a FINAL DESTINATION movie. I'm sure (most) of us will be asking: when is it going to end? If you (just like me) worry that this fifth installment is more of the same lazy approach that have plagued the previous two movies (2006's FINAL DESTINATION 3 and 2009's THE FINAL DESTINATION), I'm surprised that FINAL DESTINATION 5 does deliver its gruesome goods.



Friday, 12 August 2011

Review: COWBOYS & ALIENS (2011)


RATING: 2.5/5

Genre mishmash is nothing new, except you can say that it's rare to see them in a big-budget tentpole release. Back then, there was an attempt to mix old-fashioned western genre with sci-fi trappings and the result was the ill-fated WILD WILD WEST (1999). You know, the one which starred Will Smith, Kevin Kline, Salma Hayek and Kenneth Branagh? Not only the movie was a flop at the box-office, it also highly regarded as one of the worst movies a bankable star like Will Smith had ever made. Now fast forward 12 years later, here's another big-budget attempt to combine western genre and sci-fi element. This time, we have COWBOYS & ALIENS, an interesting genre mash-up that combined classic western and alien invasion movie. On paper, it certainly sounds very cool. I mean, with such crackerjack premise, I'm sure a lot of people are expecting this movie to be one hell of an entertaining summer ride. Make no mistake, the movie has plenty of its moments but it's still rather a waste of opportunity that it's hardly reach to its full potential.


Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Review: HORRIBLE BOSSES (2011)


RATING: 3/5

Have you ever experienced where you have to live like hell facing with an a-hole boss, or to some extent, bosses? I bet at some point in our life, we all deal with the same problem. Now take that everyday situation and transplants it into a feature movie -- voila! You got yourself HORRIBLE BOSSES, a highly kinetic comedy filled with outlandish screwball moments, exceptionally hilarious cast and energetic direction by Seth Gordon.



Saturday, 6 August 2011

Review: RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES (2011)


RATING: 4/5

Ten years ago, Tim Burton has attempted to reboot the 1968's sci-fi classic of PLANET OF THE APES. Unfortunately, Tim Burton's version was heavily criticized as one of the worst big-budget remakes ever made, even though the movie did made a lot of money in the box-office. However, Twentieth Century Fox has made a wise decision by going prequel to revitalize the fading franchise. The result is RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES (I have to admit, it's one heck of a long-winded title!), a surprisingly excellent summer blockbuster filled with state-of-the-art special effects wonder, engrossing storyline, top-notch cast, and spectacular action set-pieces.



Monday, 1 August 2011

Review: CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER (2011)

Joe Johnston's CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER is flawed, but reasonably entertaining throwback to the old-fashioned action adventure.