Director F. Gary Gray calls back to his days as an acton-thriller filmmaker with Lift, a heist movie that aspires to be an airborne version of Gray’s remake of The Italian Job.  However, that former influence was an entertaining and accessible thrill ride with enough charisma to boot.  Lift , the complete opposite, is an expensive-looking, self-serious knockoff; hampered by a convoluted plot and absent camaraderie among the cast.  The only thing this empty-headed flick…



The swashbuckling comedic action-adventure sub-genre featuring a macho man saving a high-profile damsel in distress seems like a dated idea.  It’s possible for filmmakers and storytellers to modernize this premise (The Lost City as a recent example), but to leave this two-dimensional dynamic at its infant stages for most of the movie feels like a no-win risk.  If this is generally agreed upon, then pardon me for the switcheroo: I had a lot of fun with…


On Fire

On Fire is a lean disaster flick.  The filmmakers know why their audience showed up, and they intend on delivering the goods.  As much as that transparency is a little too obvious, I kind of respect the no-nonsense attitude of this action-thriller.


The Baker

Last week, The Retirement Plan disappointed me with its inconsistencies.  What I didn’t acknowledge in my review, buried underneath the tacky filmmaking, was a tangent involving a congenial heavy-hitter played by Ron Perlman (of Guillermo del Toro’s Hellboy series).  Perlman is squandered, portraying a brute named Bobo who shows compassion towards a young victim and eventually seals his fate after reuniting with Season of the Witch co-star Nicolas Cage.


Spy Kids: Armageddon

The once reliable Spy Kids franchise finds itself, somewhat, back on track with the Netflix feature Spy Kids: Armageddon.  It isn’t a flawless endeavour, but the movie offers enough reassurance from filmmaker Robert Rodriguez that audiences will believe that the series may actually have potential to be rebooted properly in the future.


The Retirement Plan

Everyone’s favourite Nicolas Cage (The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent) is back playing another enigmatic oddball.  However, the role doesn’t play towards the actors usual blend of ticks and outbursts but rather, and unintentionally so, reflects the movie he’s starring in.