Screened Out – A Monster Calls

By : Stephen Miller
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Lewis MacDougall, Felicity Jones, Sigourney Weaver, Toby Kebbell, voice of Liam Neeson

Though there are certainly arresting, memorable moments, it’s difficult to understand who A Monster Calls is for. It’s certainly not a film I could imagine anyone wanting to watch repeatedly.

Conor, an English child (MacDougall), is witnessing his mother (Jones) slowly, painfully succumb to cancer. As a result, his grief leaves him damaged, unable to cope with a steely grandmother (Weaver), a mostly absent dad (Kebbell), and a few psychopathic bullies.

A Monster Calls is a special effects dream. It’s also a dark, dense, overwhelmingly depressing fairy tale with no moral. “Jump in the car, kiddies! We’re going to the movies! Be prepared to bawl your eyes out!”

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Screened Out – Fantastic Four

By : Stephen Miller
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Miles Teller, Kate Mara, Michael B. Jordon, Jamie Bell, Toby Kebbell, Reg E. Cathey

Fantastic Four is false advertising; this is not fantastic. It’s overpriced, joyless crap. The plodding, unentertaining plot is 85 minutes of tedious exposition for 15 minutes of lackluster superhero stuff at the end.

It’s not just that this snore-fest breaks the rules of comic book flicks, which usually concentrate on action and remember to add humor. It also breaks the first rule of good filmmaking, period – tell us upfront why we need to care, why we should be interested.

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