Vadim has written 4 reviews for films rated ★★ during 2015.

  • Benji

    Benji

    ★★

    "'People like Lassie, they liked Rin Tin Tin, but people love Benji,' director Joe Camp said in 1977. 'Everyone who sees him wants to touch him, to hug him, everyone wants to love him. Why is everyone crazy about Farrah Fawcett-Majors?' The comparison hasn’t aged well (women, dogs, etc.), but the general point abides: Benji was a limited-duration pop-culture phenomenon whose fiscal earnings in the first five years of action, according to trainer Frank Inn, totaled $75 million (close to…

  • Child 44

    Child 44

    ★★

    "As Moscow-based agent MGB (the KGB’s predecessor) agent Leo Demidov, Tom Hardy struggles even more with his Russian accent than he did with Bane’s mask: His voice is pitched somewhere between Carlito’s Way-era Al Pacino, and Boris Badenov."

    Garbage, yup yup.

  • Serena

    Serena

    ★★

    "Played as a kind of constant wake, grimly marching on to tragedy, Serena is hurt by relentless applications of Johan Söderqvist’s unimaginatively somber score and DP Morten Søborg’s reliance on lots of over-the-shoulder handheld shots, the camera swinging close to and around people’s faces and shoulders. There’s simply not that much to see in the performances. The Czech Republic stands in for the South, which isn’t necessarily a deal-breaker. But Pemberton’s estate never seems like more than a few laboriously aged constructions populated by anonymous, largely silent extras—in other words, something like McCabe & Mrs. Miller's Vancouver-built mining town, only it never comes to convincing life."

    Meh.

  • The World Made Straight