Vadim has written 23 reviews for films rated ★½ .

  • Killers Anonymous

    Killers Anonymous

    ★½

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    I'm the kind of person who'll read plot synopses of horror/thriller films I'll never see just to find out what the twist is. Wikipedia does not have a full synopsis for this at this time, so if you're morbidly curious (this was a Sight & Sound assignment): this is one of those mostly-one-set thrillers where people sit around and talk at each other to kill time until enough of the running time has been achieved and the Big Twist can be…

  • The Case for Christ

    The Case for Christ

    ★½

    "The Case For Christ is pretty slow going, tedious rather than offensive, with Strobel repeatedly whiteboarding out the evidence as callback voice-overs add up all the pieces until he’s convinced. 'All right, God,' he finally says. 'You win.' Despite the relative mildness, this is finally a fairly familiar Pure Flix story about an atheist whose hatred for Christianity ('You people and your God!') is probably rooted in something other than rationality; Dunaway’s psychologist explains that the 'father wound' caused by…

  • God's Not Dead 2

    God's Not Dead 2

    ★½

    "The first film pandered to a heavy persecution complex; this installment’s relatively subtler, but there are dog whistles aplenty. When the school board is unwilling to directly punish Grace, a board member wonders, 'How do we make this go away without getting blood on our hands?' The public school system and those pesky teachers’ unions are Pontius Pilate, while the ACLU are the Roman soldiers prepping for another round of martyrdom. Kane approaches the parents of the student who asked…

  • The Farewell Party

    The Farewell Party

    ★½

    "The Farewell Party hedges its metaphorical bets by making Yehezkel’s wife Levana (Levana Finkelstein) the appalled voice of caution, decrying what she sees as both legally dangerous and ethically untenable. The movie and Yehezkel seek to win her— and hence skeptical members of the audience—over, and that’s thoroughly admirable. What doesn’t work at all is the movie’s alternately bathetic and comic tone (which isn’t smoothed out one bit by sub-functional blocking and digital cinematography from Tobias Hochstein). There’s 'black comedy,'…

  • Everly

    Everly

    ★½

    "Consumer guidance first: Everly went down a storm at Austin’s annual Fantastic Fest, where it was well-received by viewers inclined to enjoy all things “badass” in a fanboy idiom. Director Joe Lynch comes by this sensibility presumably honestly and from a place of deep affection (the title of his previous feature, Knights Of Badassdom, says it all). As such, viewers similarly convinced that girls with guns versus sadistic and eccentric Japanese killers equals automatic entertainment will probably be gratified."

    Not great, Bob.

  • Think Like a Man

    Think Like a Man

    ★½

    Watched this to prepare to review Think Like A Man Too, because I'm idiotically conscientious, and it's about as vile as things can get. Steve Harvey teaches that men and women are here to make each other miserable: women have to manipulate men into getting married, and men need to be grateful for this. There's of course underlying historical context informing the black ladies' rapacious desire for fiscal stability conspicuously displayed and their desire that the men be on the…

  • The Big Ask

    The Big Ask

    ★½

    "The canine is confiscated by Andrew, and turned into a metaphorical mirror he can use to come to terms with himself. 'You’re a dick,' he seethes at the innocent animal. Men are dogs!"

    Another week, another bad movie bemusedly reviewed for The Dissolve.

  • The Last Days on Mars

    The Last Days on Mars

    ★½

    Sight & Sound review, not online. Soporific.

  • Escape from Tomorrow

    Escape from Tomorrow

    ★½

    Simply awful; can't imagine how it could've been 15 minutes longer at Sundance, because it feels endless as is. The very concept of the "Disney-fication" of America/the world is valid shorthand for how a mega-corporation can take any aspect of life and render it toothless and smotheringly cute for hefty ancillary profits, but it's also an easy word to deploy for the smug to congratulate themselves on seeing through all that bullshit without attempting all that much actual analytical thought.…

  • The Faculty

    The Faculty

    ★½

    I "honored" this movie on the "occasion" of its 15th anniversary here. The fact that I didn't mention Robert Rodriguez's name once is hopefully an indication of the contempt I hold his mostly anonymous/terrible work in. He's a cut above Robert Luketic, but he's not even Nimród Antal.

    Anyway, if you like me being mean, you'll like this one. It's a harmless enough target.

  • Battle of the Year

    Battle of the Year

    ★½

    Sight & Sound review, not online.

    This is an awful, awful movie. For some reason, this is the movie I took the most notes at this year, no joke, so let me share some choice quotes:

    • Dante Graham (Laz Alonso) recruiting washed-up alcoholic/b-boy pioneer/basketball coach Jason Blake (Josh Holloway) to coach a b-boy team: "They're only missing one thing — you"

    • Blake's response: "I ain't that guy anymore."

    • Graham's appraisal of Blake's alcoholic state: "This ain't you"

    •…

  • Closed Circuit

    Closed Circuit

    ★½

    Of all the movies to have the editorial go-ahead to write 800 words on. But hey, I got to write an all-too-rare review.