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Am I wrong in saying that I had hoped for something a little stronger from Jackie Chan’s 100th movie? “1911” feels like cheap Chinese propaganda, a motion picture specifically designed to sing the country’s infinite praises. It’s entertaining to a point, but then you start to feel as though the filmmakers were far more interested in lecturing than entertaining. Adding insult to injury is the fact that Jackie Chan’s time on-screen is extremely limited, and what we do get isn’t anything overly spectacular. There’s one throwaway fight scene, and the unexpected sequence sticks out like a sore thumb. “1911” is for hardcore Jackie Chan fans only. My disappointment couldn’t be more palpable.
Fright Night (2011)
When the “Fright Night” remake was first announced, I was skeptical. After the picture’s capable cast was paraded around the ‘net, I softened to the idea. Having finally seen the movie, I should have listened to my gut instinct. Director Craig Gillespie strips away everything that made the original so memorable and leaves us with erratic pacing, terrible CGI, and an entirely unimpressive performance from Colin Farrell. And while I love David Tennant to death, he’s certainly no Roddy McDowall. His version of Peter Vincent is obnoxious, overblown, and it only makes you wish he’d make himself disappear. “Fright Night” is everything that’s wrong with big-budget Hollywood horror. Pretend it doesn’t exist.
Boy Wonder (2010)
I’ve been interested in writer/director Michael Morrissey’s “Boy Wonder” since reading Brent’s fantastic review of the flick earlier this year. The film is a deftly-scripted, superbly-acted revenge flick that wades through the darker waters of the superhero genre. Morrissey and crew do a fantastic job of balancing brutal fight sequences with scenes of delicate emotion, which, as you well know, is not an easy feat to accomplish. Star Caleb Steinmeyer does an incredible job of making you root for his character despite the fact he is both grossly unstable and totally unhinged. If you’re looking for a non-traditional superhero flick that doesn’t subscribe to genre conventions, “Boy Wonder” is the way to go.