Monday, June 30, 2014

Blu-ray Review: ‘Wolf Creek 2’

Article first published as Blu-ray Review: ‘Wolf Creek 2’ on Blogcritics.

Just when you thought it was safe to head back to the outback, Mick Taylor (John Jarratt) is back in Wolf Creek 2. After an eight year hiatus, the Australian serial killer is at it again, with even more tricks up his sleeve. While the first Wolf Creek wound up being a genre favorite, no one was exactly clamoring for a follow up, but thankfully, co-writer/director Greg McLean has returned to dive even further into Mick’s trail of bodies and a host of new characters to throw on the barbie, with all the expected beheadings and dismemberment, available in a Blu-ray/DVD combo pack from RLJ/Image Entertainment on June 24.

Wolf Creek 2, John Jarratt, Ryan CorrAfter a nasty reintroduction to Mick involving the dispatch of two police officers (Shane Connor and Ben Gerrard), the story follows a couple of German hitchhikers — Rutger (Philipe Kraus) and Katarina (Shannon Ashlyn) — headed for Wolf Creek Crater. After they make camp for the night, sure enough, Mick shows up offering them a ride to a nearby camping spot. After they refuse, Mick does what he does best killing Rutger and playing hide and seek through the brush with Katarina. Then, along comes British surfer Paul (Ryan Corr), who nearly runs over poor Katarina in the middle of the road, and offers her help. Now, Mick is hot on their trail leaving a wake of bodies, and kangaroos, littered across the Australian outback.

Wolf Creek 2 stalks onto Blu-ray on a 50GB disc framed in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio and looks nothing short of spectacular. Blacks never cause any unintentional crush, even if McLean casts plenty of shadows into scenes. Banding never creeps into the outback skylines which are all perfectly resolved with absolutely no ringing or halos around characters. Detail is impeccable from Katarina’s peach fuzz to every drop of sweat on a character’s foreheads and every piece of foliage. Noise and aliasing never make an appearance. The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track is even better. Wind whips from one speaker to the next, making it feel as if you’re standing alongside characters. Silence plays an important part in a few scenes making every snapping twig add to the suspense. Bass is always deep and dialogue is always loud and clear, never drowned out by music or sound effects.

Wolf Creek 2, John Jarratt, Ryan CorrAs for special features, there may only be two, but they’re pretty extensive. First up is a play all-only collection of “Butcher’s Cut: Deleted Scenes” (23:56) consisting of nine extended scenes: “Backpacker Hostel,” “German’s Campsite,” “Sacred Canyon Waterhole,” “Colonial Cemetery,” “Butcher Rutger,” “Meeting Paul Hammersmith,” “Rabbit Truck Chase,” “Paul Finds Jack and Lil,” and “Paul at Dinner.” Next up is a meaty behind the scenes affair: “Creating a Monster: The Making of Wolf Creek 2” which runs a whopping 52 minutes. Included are interviews with McLean, co-writer Aaron Sterns, the cast and crew, and shows how much practical work went into creating Mick’s grisly kills.

While the first Wolf Creek certainly falls under the horror sub-genre of torture porn, Wolf Creek 2 doesn’t just simply offer just more of the same. There definitely is the expected bloody carnage but McLean shoves Mick front and center this time. This entry also has a broader sense of humor, almost turning Mick into a Freddy Krueger-version of himself with one-liners and some over-the-top antics. A couple of action scenes threaten to take over, but have no worries mates, once Mick gets Paul back to his catacombs, it turns into a bloody intense one-on-one. Let’s also say, never tell a sadistic psycho: “You’ll have to do better than that.” Yes, horror hounds, Mick is back and just as nasty — with a near perfect audio/video presentation and a wealth of special features — making Wolf Creek 2 a welcome return and worth a purchase for fans of the original.

Photo courtesy RLJ/Image Entertainment

Friday, June 20, 2014

Movie Review: ‘Jersey Boys’

** 1/2 out of 5
134 minutes
Rated R for language throughout
Warner Bros. Pictures

Article first published as Movie Review: ‘Jersey Boys’ on Blogcritics.

Well it was bound to happen sooner than later; the first official snoozefest of summer 2014 has finally arrived with Jersey Boys. Broadway sensations are no stranger to Hollywood adaptations, but with Clint Eastwood in the director’s chair, Warner Bros. should issue some kind of energy drink with your tickets. And let’s get one thing straight: Jersey Boys is not a musical. Fans will already know this, but in case you didn’t, think something more along Walk the Line, That Thing You Do!, or even Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, and you’ll have a better idea of what you’re in for.

Jersey Boys, Clint Eastwood, The Four Seasons, Frankie ValliBeginning in 1951, Tommy DeVito (Vincent Piazza) introduces us to the story of The Four Seasons. Frankie Castelluccio (John Lloyd Young) is training to become a barber when Tommy decides he wants to use Frankie’s voice in his band. With Tommy and Nick Massi (Michael Lomenda) taking Frankie under their wing, they eventually get introduced to songwriter Bob Gaudio (Erich Bergen) by Joe Pesci (Joey Russo). Now, they want to record some hit singles for Bob Crewe (Mike Doyle) but have to come up with $3,500 first. Leave it to Tommy to get them all in over their heads with babes, broads, and mobsters as Jersey Boys touches on every biopic cliché and in the laziest fashion possible.

For a film about a band, Jersey Boys sure doesn’t feel very energetic. Originally Jon Favreau was attached to direct before Warner Bros. nearly scrapped the film altogether. This would have served as a great companion piece to his own Made, these kinds of characters would be nothing new to “The Favs.” With Eastwood behind the camera, there’s not a lot he can do with Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice’s screen-adaptation of their original musical. The structure of the film is told for the perspective of the main characters in four “seasons.” While this may have worked on stage, breaking the fourth wall in this setting translates poorly to the screen.

The cast all look like they were served Prozac before each take which only makes the final scene — where they’re all made up to look like aged versions of themselves — even funnier. Almost like a music-infused version of The Walking Dead. The film will have its fans, as does the Broadway production, but for anyone looking for a night out at the movies, all this offers is lights out as you’re bound to doze off at some point. The best thing to do with Jersey Boys would be to skip seeing the film altogether and just buy a bunch of Four Seasons albums to sit back and enjoy on your front porch while yelling at kids to get off your lawn.

Photo courtesy Warner Bros. Pictures

DVD Review: Zalman King’s ‘Red Shoe Diaries: The Movie’ and ‘Season One’

Article first published as DVD Review: Zalman King’s ‘Red Shoe Diaries: The Movie’ and ‘Season One’ on Blogcritics.

Any teenager boy growing up in the ’90s with access to cable were privy to find skin flicks and adult programming available at their, err… fingertips. The most popular of these has to be Zalman King’s Red Shoe Diaries. Featuring the rare female perspective, it ran on Showtime for five seasons from 1992 through 1997, with 66 episodes and an original TV movie. What the show is probably known most for now is the introduction to The X-Files Agent Mulder, David Duchovny. Chock full of guest stars and more nudity than you could shake a stick at, King’s Red Shoe Diaries: The Movie, and Season One, each make their debuts on DVD courtesy of Kino Lorber on June 17.

Red Shoe Diaries, Zalman King, David DuchovnyThe movie sets the scene with Duchovny playing the mourning widower Jake. His fiancé Alex (Brigitte Bako) has committed suicide, and Jake finds her diary explaining her inner turmoil leading to her death. Turns out, Alex was cheating on him with construction worker Tommy (Billy Wirth), and she was driven into depression by not being able to have her cake and eat it too. This is all just an elaborate setup for the upcoming seasons which all feature different stories sent into a personals ad by Jake where women can share their dirtiest secrets to help Jake understand women better.

The movie is available as a standalone release with the first season on two discs featuring 13 episodes. The TV episodes run around a half hour each with disc one containing: “Safe Sex,” “Double Dare,” “You Have the Right to Remain Silent,” “Talk to Me Baby,” “Just Like That,” “Another Woman’s Lipstick,” and “Auto Erotica.” Disc two includes: “Jake’s Story,” “Accidents Happen,” “The Bounty Hunter,” “Weekend Pass,” “Double or Nothing,” and “How I Met My Husband.” Guest stars include Matt LeBlanc, Steven Bauer, Arnold Vosloo, and Ally Sheedy. The same special features can be found on both releases: “Zalman King Introduces Red Shoe Diaries,” “The Stars of Red Shoe Diaries,” and a photo gallery.

Anyone who has watched Red Shoe Diaries may find it nostalgic, which is kind of a funny way to look back on an erotica series. Unfortunately, considering how much nudity and sex even regular cable channels like FX can get away with — though they may not feature any actual nudity — but on-screen cable sex is even more titillating now than it was back in the show’s heyday. I doubt the show could find an audience today, so I’m not sure why Kino Lorber is even releasing these now, but here they are. The rest of the seasons are all scheduled for release, but who knows if anyone will even bother with these two releases. I’m sure the DVD cover’s tagline — “Before there was grey… there was red” — is going to be used to try to push sales, but Red Shoe Diaries: The Movie and Season One are recommended as nostalgia only.

Blu-ray Review: ‘Kill Zombie!’

Article first published as Blu-ray Review: ‘Kill Zombie!’ on Blogcritics.

The zombie subgenre is really becoming bereft of ideas. While Shaun of the Dead, Zombieland21 Days/Weeks Later, and even Dead Snow proved there was plenty of, well, life in these kinds of films, they can’t all be winners. Even Zack Snyder’s Dawn of the Dead remake was far better than anyone thought it would be. The plethora of zombie films is causing this genre to lose steam. Even on TV you can get a weekly fill with The Walking Dead. And there are tons of zombie films oversaturating the direct-to-video marketplace — none more lazy than the Dutch import: Kill Zombie!

Kill ZombieIn Amsterdam, Aziz (Yahya Gaier) has just been fired thanks to incessant phone calls from his best friend Mo (Mimoun Ouled Radi), and it’s about to go from bad to worse. Aziz and Mo wind up in jail alongside thugs Jeffrey (Sergio Hasselbaink) and Nolan (Uriah Arnhem). Overnight, the inmates miss news of a toxic green sludge-covered Russian satellite crashing into Aziz’s former office building that turns the citizens of Amsterdam into zombies. Now, the four miscreants must band together, along with police officer Kim (Gigi Ravelli), to find their way to the safety zone. All Aziz wants is for them to head to the office building to save his new girlfriend Tess (Nadia Poeschmann).

Well Go USA lurches Kill Zombie! on to a 25GB Blu-ray disc, framed in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio. The film features an almost stellar transfer. Colors pop — which lends extra gruesomeness to the gore effects — and detail is razor sharp. While there were no signs of aliasing, banding crops up from time to time. Were it not for the one anomaly, it would be practically perfect. Blacks are nice and inky with no noise to speak of, and crush never swallows up any shadow detail either.

The Dutch 5.1 DTS-HD MA audio track is also exemplary. Featuring nearly nonstop ambience, there’s always something creepy happening around you, even if there’s never anything scary or funny actually happening in the movie. Atmospherics are the name of the game, but the dialogue is always clean and natural. Even if they weren’t, the English subtitles would make sure you never miss any of the so-called “jokes.” An Additional Dutch Dolby Digital 2.0 track is included. The only special feature is the film’s trailer.

Kill Zombie! isn’t one of the worst zombie films in recent years, but it is one of the most boring. Along with completely unlikable characters, it just plods along at what should be a breakneck 86 minutes. Don’t be fooled by the Hollywood News quote on the back declaring this a cross between Shaun of the Dead and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World; it’s nowhere remotely close to either of Edgar Wright’s brilliant films. With no one to root for, plus some unsavory plot “twists” including a final twist that opens the film to a sequel, and characters forced to do some extremely dumb things, Kill Zombie! winds up just another walking dead film that’s DOA.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Movie Review: ’22 Jump Street’

***** out of 5
112 minutes
Rated R for language throughout, sexual content, drug material, brief nudity and some violence
Sony Pictures

Article first published as Movie Review: ’22 Jump Street’ on Blogcritics.

When it was announced that Jonah Hill was working on a big screen adaptation of the 1980s Johnny Depp TV show 21 Jump Street, few thought it was a good idea. Once directors Chris Miller and Phil Lord were announced it was even more confusing since their only prior film was the first Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. Would the directors’ level of insanity translate from a kid-friendly production to a hard-R rated comedy theatrical reboot? The answer was thankfully yes, as 21JS wound up being one of the smartest and funniest comedies of 2012. Now, Schmidt (Hill) and Jenko (Channing Tatum) are back in 22 Jump Street — a sequel that’s bigger, funnier, and even smarter than the first.

22 Jump Street, Jonah Hill, Channing TatumI won’t spoil the amazing opening title sequence so we’ll dive in right after that as we find Schmidt and Jenko working the beat as bonafide police officers. They have tracked down a drug kingpin known as The Ghost (Peter Stomare) to a warehouse where everything goes awry and The Ghost escapes. Deputy Chief Hardy (Nick Offerman) calls the two into his office and tells him that he is convinced they work better undercover and assigns them back to the Jump Street program, once again under the command of Captain Dickson. Now, Schmidt and Jenko are headed to infiltrate Metro City State College to find out who’s peddling a new drug called “WHYPHY” — pronounced WiFi. Meanwhile, the dynamic duo tries to find the perp by faking their way through college life filled with fraternity initiations, open mic nights, and “meat”-cutes.

Could 22 Jump Street be any funnier? Not a chance in hell. This is hands down the funniest film of the year so far and one of the funniest films I have ever seen period. Every scene is laugh-till-you-cry hilarious with Miller and Lord piling on joke after joke well into the end credits. Make sure you stick around and watch out for some amazing cameos. There has never been a comedy sequel that outdoes the original film in such an awesome way — here’s looking at you Hangover II. Screenwriters Michael Bacall, Oren Uziel, and Rodney Rothman fill 22JS with tons of meta jokes, even going so far as to spoof itself. It also happens to be one of the best bromances put on film. And just when you think the film can’t get any funnier, the next scene comes along and pounds through the roof with something even bigger and funnier than the last. If you were to see only one comedy this year, it has to be 22 Jump Street.

Photo courtesy Sony Pictures

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Movie Review: ‘How to Train Your Dragon 2’

 ***** out of 5
102 minutes
Rated PG for adventure action and some mild rude humor
DreamWorks Animation

Article first published as Movie Review: ‘How to Train Your Dragon 2’ on Blogcritics.

Sequels that are equal to or surpass the original are few and far between. But, if there was anywhere they manage to pull this off best, it’s in animated films. From the Toy Story sequels to Kung Fu Panda 2, it shows that when you take time nurturing a sequel you can come up with something that lives up to expectations. This time, DreamWorks Animation brings us How to Train Your Dragon 2, one of the best sequels to come out of Hollywood in a long time. Filled with everything that made the original such a breath of fresh air while taking the story to new heights, it proves itself as more than just a merchandising cash-cow in every scene.

How to Train Your Dragon 2Dragon 2 picks up five years after the events of the first film with the Vikings of Berk living peacefully amongst their old enemy dragons. Now, dragons are pets and everyone has their own. Hiccup (voiced by Jay Baruchel) and Toothless are better friends than ever, enjoying the freedom of flight while finding undiscovered areas that Hiccup adds to his expanding map of the lands. Hiccup’s father Stoick (voiced by Gerard Butler) wants him to take over as chief, but Hiccup has bigger fish to fry after discovering an ice-covered island home to more dragons than they ever thought existed. This dragon utopia happens to be run by Valka (voiced by Cate Blanchett), a dragon master who also happens to be Hiccup’s long-lost mother. Soon enough, the dragons are under attack by the evil Drago (Djimon Hounsou), who wants to take over all of the dragons to make an army and disrupt the peace of the land.

Writer/director Dean DeBlois makes a solo venture here—his usual partner-in-crime (Chris Sanders) was busy with The Croods—and does a fantastic job. The dragons still come off as hilariously dog-like and the voice cast sounds like they’re having a blast. Even the secondary characters are given chances to shine instead of being throwaway comedic sidekicks. Kristen Wiig’s Ruffnut character is the funniest as she fawns over hunky dragon hunter Eret (voiced by Kit Harington). Dragon 2 features exhilarating visuals that demand to be seen in 3D. It has a broader scope, but still finds plenty of necessary human moments, especially with the addition of Hiccup’s mother. Filled with every bit as much heart, adventure, danger, and hilarity as the original, How to Train Your Dragon 2 rivals The Lego Movie for best animated film of the year.

Photo courtesy DreamWorks Animation

Blu-ray Review: ‘Bushido Man: Seven Deadly Battles’

Article first published as Blu-ray Review: ‘Bushido Man: Seven Deadly Battles’ on Blogcritics.

After covering the Sundance Film Festival for five years, the only martial arts films I have seen are The Raid and its sequel. Not that genre films are a stranger to the festival — there are more than plenty of horror films amongst the drama and comedy. Coming out of Montréal’s Fantasia International Film Festival is writer/director Takanori Tsujimoto’s Bushido Man: Seven Deadly Battles. While never reaching the dizzying action heights of either Raid film, Bushido Man takes a far more old school approach, filling the screentime with heavily choreographed fight scenes that give some higher budget action films a run for their money.

Bushido Man, Shout FactoryJapanese warrior Toramaru (Mitsuki Koga) has returned to Master Gensai (Yoshiyuki Yamaguchi) to recount his path to becoming the most disciplined of The Cosmic Way. Toramaru explains that in order to defeat each of his nemeses, he had to get to know them. And what better way to know your opponent than by what they eat. With a globetrotting excursion pitting him against the likes of kung fu, stick fighting, nanchaku, sword fighting, yakuza, and winding up between two gun battles, Toramaru earns his ancient scrolls from each fighter. Even if it means breaking his hand or slicing his own eye lids in the process.

Shout Factory karate chops Bushido Man onto Blu-ray on a 25GB disc in its 1.78:1 aspect ratio. For being such a low budget affair, the video looks pretty good. It may never look fantastic, but some shots do look better than others. Filmed digitally, the film takes on a softer look than you’d expect. Contrast seems pumped up at times, but it could have just been an extra sunny day. Detail ranges from shot to shot, sometimes appearing like an upconverted SD transfer. When the camera is in motion, sometimes building facades or surrounding vegetation take on a shimmery aspect.

The video looks better than the film sounds at least. An original Japanese language track is included but is presented in stereo PCM. The English dub track is in 5.1 DTS-HD MA, but who wants to watch a dubbed martial arts film. An additional English Stereo PCM track and English subs are also included. Thankfully, dialogue is always clean, with little to no surround activity. It gets the job done. Just keep the low budget source in mind. As for special features, the only one included is “The Making of Bushido Man: From the Fantasia Film Festival” (11:17) which follows the filmmakers as they travel to Montréal for the premiere of their film and some Q&A sessions. Pretty entertaining as you can see the excitement of everyone involved. It’s also fun to watch two of the stars engage in kung fu practice in their hotel room.

Bushido Man isn’t out to up the ante, but works perfectly as a great throwback to the olden days when Jackie Chan, Jet Li, and even Bruce Lee were in their prime. It’s mindless entertainment, but the fight sequences are far better than some of the more high profile films of the genre. Hopefully we see more from director Tsujimoto as there’s real promise on display here. While not as an exhilarating debut as Gareth Evans after his first Raid, but considering the no-budget, Tsujimoto gets away with a lot. It helps that his cinematographer Tetsuya Kudô captures the fights strategically, while editors Takanori Tsujimoto and Nensuke Sonomura keep action director Kensuke Sonomura’s choreography fluid. Definitely recommended for martial arts fans.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Movie Review: ‘Edge of Tomorrow’

 ***** out of 5
113 minutes 
Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi action and violence, language and brief suggestive material
Warner Bros. Pictures

Article first published as Movie Review: ‘Edge of Tomorrow’ on Blogcritics.

If any film is speculated to be this year’s critically acclaimed box office failure, it’s Tom Cruise’s Edge of Tomorrow. Last year we saw Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim also fall by the way side with audiences. And just like that film, Edge of Tomorrow will go down as one of the most fun and entertaining films of the year that you probably didn’t see. Based on the novel All You Need Is Kill by Hiroshi Sakurazaka, part of the problem could be the name change, but it certainly has nothing do with Doug Liman’s direction. Having already proven himself more than adept at comedy (Swingers and Go) and action (The Bourne Identity and Mr. & Mrs. Smith), now both worlds collide in Edge of Tomorrow, with Liman more than making up for Jumper.

Edge of Tomorrow, Tom Cruise, Emily BluntIn the near future, an alien race called “mimics” has arrived via meteor in Germany and overtakes Western Europe. Major William Cage (Cruise) has been ordered to the front line of battle by General Brigham (Brendan Gleeson) to lead the war to victory on camera. Problem is, Cage is not a combat officer and tries to blackmail his way out of going. Brigham has Cage arrested and labeled a deserter and sends him off to Heathrow to prepare for battle.

Thrown into the ragtag J-Squad, Cage is far from ready. He winds up getting soaked in a mimic’s blood which kills him, only to wake back up the day before, arriving in Heathrow once again. After reliving the same day only to die once again while saving Special Forces soldier Rita Vrataski (Emily Blunt), she tells him to come find her before they both get killed in an explosion. Turns out, Rita used to have the same situation while fighting at Verdun. Rita lets Cage in on the fact that the mimics can manipulate time and are controlled by an Omega the two must make a plan of action to destroy once and for all.

Edge of Tomorrow, Tom Cruise, Emily BluntThe best thing going for Edge of Tomorrow is its surprising amount of humor. The film may be filled with the best special effects money can buy, but the screenplay — courtesy Cruise regular Christopher McQuarrie (Valkyrie, Jack Reacher, and the upcoming Mission: Impossible 5) along with brothers Jez and John-Henry Butterworth — keep a running course of one-liners and hilariously deadly situations. You could almost call this the intentionally funny version of a Final Destination movie minus all the gory kills — just about every time Cruise dies, it’s hilarious. Blunt seems to be almost relishing being able to shoot Cruise in the head over and over and over. Tongue is firmly planted in cheek through most of the film.

Liman keeps things running at a breakneck pace, thankfully not just throwing us right into the action. There’s a good amount of setup before we get to the time loop, allowing us to take in the alien threat, which feels like a companion piece to Starship Troopers. The action features some dizzying displays of gee whiz factor but never takes over the humanity brought by Cruise and Blunt, who are great together. Also adding to the fun is seeing Cruise play the scared-of-blood wuss to Blunt’s take-charge badass. The bottom line is that this is one of the most fun and original action films in a long time and the best so far this summer. Do yourself a favor and see this movie!

Photos courtesy Warner Bros. Pictures

Monday, June 2, 2014

Movie Review: ‘The Angriest Man in Brooklyn’

** 1/2 out of 5
83 minutes
Rated R for language throughout and some sexual content

Article first published as Movie Review: ‘The Angriest Man in Brooklyn’ on Blogcritics.

Manipulative and schmaltzy are nothing new in a Robin Williams dramedy — the worst offenders being Bicentennial Man and Patch Adams. With Williams on somewhat of a comedic rebound in his now-canceled CBS sitcom The Crazy Ones, it was looking like he had found his footing again. Unfortunately, under the direction of Phil Alden Robinson (Field of Dreams, Sneakers) making his return to the director’s chair after a 12-year hiatus, all Williams does is flounder around in his typical rants filled with vulgarity as he portrays The Angriest Man in Brooklyn; a remake of Assi Dayan’s 1997 Israeli film, The 92 Minutes of Mr. Baum.

Angriest Man in Brooklyn, Mila Kunis, Robin Williams, Peter Dinklage, Melissa LeoHenry Altmann (Williams) is a very angry man. He hates everything, which is made clear in an early voiceover, and even more so by getting racist after a cab driver hits his car. Dr. Sharon Gill (Mila Kunis) is having a bad day as well after her cat jumps out her fourth floor window and dies.

Altmann has come to find out some test results, but his regular doctor is on vacation with his family — another thing Sharon is pissed about as she’s having an affair with him — and Sharon now gets to give Henry the bad news that he has a brain aneurysm and gives him 90 minutes to live. Now, Henry is on a personal mission to make up for lost time and make things right with his brother Aaron (Peter Dinklage), but especially his estranged wife Bette (Melissa Leo) and son Tommy (Hamish Linklater).

Williams plays everything in hysterics along with the help of Kunis. Pretty much everyone gives their worst with Dinklage coming across as the most sympathetic character even though he’s barely in the movie. Screenwriter Daniel Taplitz has given all of the shenanigans an odd voiceover for both Henry and Sharon, but everything is spoken in third person giving a complete disconnect to what the characters are emoting.

Robinson has done better than this, not that his early work holds up. Field of Dreams may feel more manipulative now than upon its release, but at least it was filled with characters you like. Even bringing back James Earl Jones doesn’t help when he’s cast as the most offensive stutterer ever. Packed with easy punchlines and tons of vulgarity, The Angriest Man in Brooklyn isn’t even bad enough to be mad at, making this merely an overlooked blip on everyone’s radar.

Photo courtesy Lionsgate