Connect with us

Movie News

Movie Review: ‘The Light Between Oceans’ Runs Shallow and Dim

Published

on

The Light Between Oceans Movie Review MovieSpoon.com

Is The Light Between Oceans worth the emotional trauma? This movie review will give you the details:

[dropcap]W[/dropcap]hat should have been a mildly soapy tearjerker turned into a depressingly cruel picture that made me want to bolt right out of my seat. The Light Between Oceans places emotionally damaged people in tough situations where the fate of a child has to be painfully decided. The only problem is that in order to buy into this sob story, you have to ignore the unshakable thought that these characters placed themselves in this very terrible situation by choice.

At first everything is peaches and cream for the quiet Tom (Michael Fassbender) and the chipper Isabel (Alicia Vikander). Tom is a World War I veteran that decides to reside as the lighthouse keeper off an Australian coast. He warms up rather quickly to Isabel and it isn’t long before they’re married, spending their days together on the secluded island to maintain the lighthouse. But when they desire to become parents, their efforts are met with two painful miscarriages.

The Light Between Oceans Movie Review MovieSpoon.com

The couple’s attempts to have a child of their own were met with heartbreak.

Then one day a boat washes up on shore with a dead father holding his crying baby daughter. How would a normal person respond to such an incident? They’d send a Morse code message back to land that they found a body and baby; perhaps the baby still has a mother that she could be returned to. In fact, that’s exactly what Tom wants to do, despite being more hopeful he can adopt the child, as the mother seems out of the question.

But for the child-desperate Isabel, her tearful answer is to bury the dead body of the father and raise the little girl as their very own. No matter how many times Isabel convinces Tom that this isn’t wrong, it is so insanely wrong that it’s baffling how such a scenario could continue.

And for the rest of The Light Between Oceans, we await the inevitable, but with drama that is both limp and disgusting. It isn’t long before Tom discovers the child’s true mother Hannah (Rachel Weisz) is very much alive and incredibly depressed about losing her husband and daughter. The right thing to do would be to tell her that you found her baby. Then again, the right thing to do would be to tell the authorities that you found a baby and a dead body. The wrong thing to do is send letters and toys to the mother to assure her that her child is alive as if you’re a creepy kidnapper demanding a ransom.

Rachel Weisz The Light Between Oceans Movie Review MovieSpoon.com

Rachel Weisz is easily the most sympathetic character in ‘The Light Between Oceans.’

Michael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander are both great actors, but even they can’t save this script. Fassbender appears almost entirely one note as a depressed and devoted man, only breaking his mumbling silence to briefly act like a silly dad. Vikander only has two settings of either being smilingly gleeful or clinically depressed. We’re supposed to care about their characters with their passion and plight, but I never reached that point with their romance. There is rarely much guilt associated with either of them, only slightly displayed and never capitalized. Their happiness is seen through bits and pieces of montages while their sadness is mostly filtered through silence, dead gazes and a few tears. They don’t exactly earn the redemption they seek and receive by the third act.

Surprisingly, the best actor in this drama was the child named Lucy by Isabel and Grace by her real mother Hannah. Her performance feels natural and perfectly conveys the innocence of a little girl’s imagination and sheer heartbreak for having her fake mother torn away from her. My heart broke for this little girl who is going to have one messed up childhood for being raised in such an awkward and ugly situation.

The Light Between Oceans Movie Review MovieSpoon.com

This little girl is going to have a really tough time adjusting.

But her character is mostly kicked to the curb by the third act as we focus more on the relationship of Isabel and Tom. Why should we care about them when they obviously don’t care that much about the child’s well being? If they truly felt so strongly about this girl, they wouldn’t have even claimed her as their own and sought out her mother to begin with. And, you know, not cover up her real dad’s death.

Rachel Weisz’s character Hannah should be appalled and distraught by such an ordeal, but ultimately ends up forgiving Isabel and Tom after a few weeks. This is a woman who has lost her daughter emotionally and had her husband’s dead body hidden from her; this isn’t exactly something that can easily be forgiven in such a short time. She’s the far better woman in comparison to the insane couple.

Read more to get the rest of the movie review for The Light Between Oceans:

PreviousNext
View Next


Movie News

Review: “Skyscraper” Lumbers With Thrills Pulsating and Passive

Published

on

Dwayne Johnson can work wonders on a lackluster script, but there’s only so much he can do in a Die Hard retread. There’s nothing inherently wrong with taking from such an iconic source and weave something thrilling out of that foundation. But when that irresistible Johnson charm can’t break through the towering theatrics, all we’re left with is a spectacle that is more big and loud than bright and exhilarating, never fully embracing the silliness of scaling a ludicrously built tower.

Johnson plays Will Sawyer with a unique backstory but little personality. He was once an FBI agent that lost his leg in a hideous hostage situation. Now he has taken a safer job as a safety inspector for China’s most massive towers due to open upper residential floors, bringing along his family for a working vacation. Johnson’s brighter smile and warm presence don’t come through as well this time, due in part to his character having a darker past and a tougher time getting around with an artificial leg. Fair enough, but when the tower is set aflame by gun-toting terrorists, I really wished that giddier Dwayne could come out and play, past some pleasing pulsations of his muscles jumping great distances and fighting the bad guys.

The setup to the grand showpiece of Dwayne clinging to windows and narrowly escaping explosions is fairly pedestrian, casually concocting all the elements and never harping on them too long, lest we be drowned in cliches. Chin Han plays the wealthy builder of the structure, concealing a secret and a MacGuffin that the villain want so badly they’ll cause a public scene to get it. The lead terrorist is played by Roland Møller with a sinister look and a Scandinavian accent, so blandly conceived it’s no wonder he works for someone higher up. Even more bland is his female cohort (Hannah Quinlivan), kicked to the curb of the tower excitement with her tight black outfit and sexy looking hair dangling off the side of her face. There’s also a cowardly English investor (Noah Taylor) and a long-time pal of Will played by Pablo Schreiber to fill out the twist fodder.

This is a film that really does require your brain to be shut off given how much lost potential and generic action-movie-isms crowd the screen. The first act is the biggest slog, holding the hand of the audience for everything that will follow. Will stresses to his wife that the easiest way to fix a smartphone is to turn it off and on again. I fully expected this to play a role in the climax but hoped Neve Campbell wouldn’t literally say those words. Chris Han shows off his holographic room that is little more than a hall of mirrors; seems like a good place for a disorienting shootout. As Hannah Quinlivan watches a hired hacker sabotage the tower’s fire suppression systems, the hacker states boastfully that only he can shut it down from that point forward. Take a wild guess what Quinlivan will do next when she hears this information.

Okay, but that’s all the plotty stuff and, let’s be honest, nobody is watching this picture for a stirring thriller about criminal bank accounts and tracking software. They want to Dwayne do stunts, and he delivers plenty, from jumping off a crane to swinging like Tarzan to escape a blaze. That’s all well and good, but we know Johnson is capable of these impressive theatrics, including some brutal fights that lead to much smashing. We also know he can be charming and has a great personality. So why is he strangely silent during these sequences? He seems to only talk when he has some forgettable one-liner to sling, making commentary on fixability with duct tape and telling himself he’s crazy for crawling along windows. This role feels as though it would be better suited for a beefy actor with more muscle than speech; not someone who can exude enthusiasm with more than enough wit to match his strength.

Neve Campbell surprisingly gets to do quite a bit more than cowering in corners with the kids. She takes charge in scenes where’s she’ll stab terrorists, smack them with car doors, and get in some good kicks and punches. While it’s fun watching Campbell take charge, I questioned where she learned all these stellar fighting skills for having previously been a surgeon. Perhaps Johnson inducted her in his action hero training program, coming standard with their marriage.

Skyscraper is sufficient as mindless summer entertainment but it does little more than that when I know it could do more. Johnson has the smarts to be a more charming hero than a mindless brute that can hoist himself across a building or literally hold up a crumbling bridge with little more than his buff arms. A massive tower with thousands of technological features could lead to an array of astonishing action sequences, but the most we see is a gripping dash through a burning wildlife enclosure. If there only a few more fun bits of dialogue, more outlandish stunts, and a braver embrace of the dumb, this big blockbuster could have been more audacious than obligatory.


Continue Reading

Box Office

Incredibles 2 Blast Box Office Records of Animated Film

Published

on

It may have been 14 years since the first Incredibles movie, but its impression has remained. The appeal was strong enough to make its sequel not only the #1 movie of the weekend but one of the most profitable animated film on its debut. For its premiere weekend, Incredibles 2 ranked in an astounding $180 million. This makes it one of Pixar’s best openings, easily dwarfing the previous film’s opening take of $70 million. With a considerable lack of family films in the next few weeks, expect Incredibles 2 to linger for quite some time for boasting such a powerful opening.

The rest of the debut films were left in the dust. Tag, an ensemble comedy based on a never-ending game of tag, only made $14 million, coming in at #3. The modern remake of blaxploitation classic Superfly premiered to a low $6 million debut. And falling outside the top 10 at #12 is Gotti, the based on true events drama starring John Travolta that made headlines for ridiculously low critic scores.

The drops for the weekend were somewhat predictable, with the superhero epic Avengers: Infinity War descending the least with a 26% drop. It’s also sitting at a total domestic gross of $664 million, edging closer to toppling Black Panther’s immense numbers of $699 million. It’s going to come down to the last few days in theaters to see if Black Panther will finally reach $700 million, considering its home video release and quickly-descending theater count. And, unfortunately, Hotel Artemis is pretty much a dud, descending 70% to place it well out of the top 10.

View the full top 10 below:

Incredibles 2 ($180,000,000)
Ocean’s 8 ($19,555,000)
Tag ($14,600,000)
Solo: A Star Wars Story ($9,081,000)
Deadpool 2 ($8,800,000)
Hereditary ($7,026,000)
Superfly ($6,300,000)
Avengers: Infinity War ($5,296,000)
Adrift ($2,100,000)
Book Club ($1,850,000)

Next weekend will find superheroes battling dinosaurs as Incredibles 2 weathers the storm of the upcoming summer blockbuster, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. The sequel to Jurassic World, starring Chris Pratt and Jeff Goldblum, will be premiering in the same amount of theaters as Incredibles 2. And considering how insanely profitable Jurassic World ended up being, it’ll be interesting to see who takes the weekend and by how much.


Continue Reading

Movie News

Review: “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” is Lost in its World

Published

on

The tagline for Fallen Kingdom revises the previous film’s tagline of “the park is open” to “the park is gone.” Okay, now what? With the global public now fearful of dinosaurs after the massacre at the park, it’s a whole new world of possibilities. Some activists want to preserve dino life, tycoons who want to buy them for military purposes, and governments that shrug in confusion at what to do next. All these aspects give the movie plenty to do with its prehistoric showcase; so much that it forgets to put a little heart and brain in with its dinosaur romp.

There’s an even greater distance from the human characters this time, lost in their doubling plot arcs and love of dinosaurs. Owen (Chris Pratt) and Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) return from the last film but are now on a break in their relationship. Why they split up is briefly addressed, and their inevitable rekindling is even more rushed as they race towards the action. Clearly, Owen’s more defined relationship is with the raptor Blue, this time given even more background and tenderness. There’s rarely a moment of romantic tension between Pratt and Howard but place Pratt next to a wounded raptor, and you have some emotion fit for a blockbuster too tedious for tears.

In the battle between good dino doctors versus bad dino doctors, and eventually good dinos versus bad dinos, there are supporting characters that provide little support past quips and kills. There’s an intern duo of the meek screamer Franklin (Justice Smith) and the wise and snarky Doctor Zia (Daniella Pineda). They’re not quite young enough to fill that Amblin brand requirement, so there’s an English orphan of an aged, sage, and wealthy businessman (James Cromwell). There’s the cold Eli Mills (Rafe Spall) that is trying to build an empire off dinosaurs. You can probably guess his fate. And you certainly don’t need a crystal ball to see things are not going to work out for the violent poacher (Ted Levine) who can’t resist pulling the teeth out of captured dinosaurs.

If that seems like too many humans in a film about dinosaur action, worry not. Director J. A. Bayona crowds the screen with many species romping, stomping and chomping about. Too many that there’s a scene of prehistoric creatures crammed into a tight space, fighting for screen time. When they’re not caught in stampedes, there are a few impressive moments of adventure and terror. Easily my favorite sequence features the human heroes fleeing from a hungry dinosaur that corners them in a room flooding with lava, a shimmering wall of red and orange separating the two species. Another stellar shot is one where a newly bred hybrid dino slowly extends its claws to a girl cowering in her bed, horror movie style.

Part of what made the first Jurassic World so engaging was the simplicity of its adventure. A park full of dinosaurs goes awry, and there’s a mad dash for the exits, with some military involvement and cloning controversy peppered into the run. Fallen Kingdom has far too much going on that none it resonates enough to make Pratt’s tender touch during raptor surgery stick. There’s commentary on everything from government silence to environmentalism to war-hungry investors to cloning gone too far. But it’s all so rushed that several of these twists come crashing in at the last minute and struggle to strike with shock and excitement. The movie doesn’t have time to slow down for everything, leaving the secret villain of Doctor Wu (B.D. Wong) and the experienced Doctor Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) in the dust.

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom has its moments of thrills that resonate enough to be pleasing popcorn entertainment, as with Chris Pratt narrowly avoiding a volcanic flood and a rich snob that gets a deserving munch by two dinosaurs. Sadly, it’s all so muddled and forced into theatrics that even Pratt’s reliable charm can barely make a dent in a script too dense with set pieces and cliches. I remember I enjoyed Jurassic World for being a pleasing throwback to Jurassic Park, returning that same wonder I had as a child. Fallen Kingdom replicates the familiar disappointing sensation of Park’s sequel The Lost World. It’s a mistake that I’m sure Doctor Malcolm would criticize for the producers who were so preoccupied with making a blockbuster sequel to the profitable Jurassic World, asking if they could rather than if they should.


Continue Reading

Find Us On Facebook

More

Movie News6 days ago

Review: “Skyscraper” Lumbers With Thrills Pulsating and Passive

Dwayne Johnson can work wonders on a lackluster script, but there’s only so much he can do in a Die...

Box Office1 week ago

Incredibles 2 Blast Box Office Records of Animated Film

It may have been 14 years since the first Incredibles movie, but its impression has remained. The appeal was strong...

Movie News1 week ago

Review: “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” is Lost in its World

The tagline for Fallen Kingdom revises the previous film’s tagline of “the park is open” to “the park is gone.”...

Box Office1 week ago

Jurassic World Roars Back Into The Box Office, Incredibles Weathers Storm

2015’s Jurassic World proved to be the most successful summer blockbuster of that year, and it’s no surprise that Universal...

Movie News1 week ago

“Sicario: Day of the Soldado” is a Sullen Sequel, Hope So Separately

The world of Sicario is a dark and depressing one, placing a grimace of realism on an unwinnable war on...

Box Office1 week ago

Ant-Man and the Wasp Towers Over Box Office, Purge Plunders

4th of July weekend brought with it two new movies that performed rather well over the holiday, despite not being...

Movie News1 week ago

Jurassic World Squashes Sicario and Uncle Drew, Incredibes Stays Strong

With no massive tentpole titles to stand its way, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom continues to dominate the box office without...

Movie News1 month ago

Review: “Incredibles 2” is a Fantastic and Fresh Return to Form

Oh, how we waited so long for that sequel to Pixar’s The Incredibles, arguably their most exciting, inventive, and dynamic...

Box Office1 month ago

Ocean’s 8 Snatches Box Office Top Slot

Box Office Report June 8-10, 2018 Ocean’s 8, the all-female remake of the heist picture Ocean’s 8, made a strong...

Movie News1 month ago

Review: An All-Star Cast Makes “Hotel Artemis” Worth Checking In

We don’t know too much about the chaotic future of Los Angeles in Hotel Artemis. We know there is a...

Trending