A surprisingly strong and capable film by Ron Howard. Not a big fan of the man's work, but the camerawork here was well above average, the actors did a really fine job and the adventure itself was quite a thrill, though a tad long. The film lacks something to make it truly stand out, but it's by far the best thing I've seen from Howard so far.
Worthy but flawed
Better than the current batch of Star Wars films, but that's not saying much. Because the story is more straight-forward, the sci-fi get a little extra room to breathe. The comic relief is terrible, action scenes are poor and the fanboy pandering annoying, but at least there are some good moments to balance it out.
A rather tired rehash of the previous films. The mystery is a bit too simple, the threat isn't strong enough and it's all a bit too predictable. Hanks lacks character and Jones is too on the nose. I still like the setup of these films, but unless they find a better director, I think it's better to just bury Langdon.
Light-hearted social commentary on reality TV. A cast filled with famous faces, some romance, some drama, some overstated morality. It's all rather plain and overdone, but if you look beyond the social commentary there's a pretty passable film underneath. Not great, but not the worst thing either.
Ron Howard's ode to the firefighters, Hollywood-style. That means you can expect some pretty big and expensive action scenes, mixed with some very cringeworthy drama. Sadly the balance is a little off and the wait between the action set pieces is a little too long to keep the film interesting.
Performances are quite poor, with Kurt Russell and William Baldwin playing two bickering brothers. Russell is the older brother, while Baldwin is a fresh recruit that joins the firefighter squad. This doesn't sit well with Russell etc. It's all very predictable and with a cast of second grade actors it doesn't make much of an impression.
But at least the fires are impressive and Howard does a decent job milking these scenes for adrenaline. There just aren't enough of them and the film runs 140 minutes long, which is ridiculous for a simple story like this. It's all supposed to be very epic and heroic, but it would've been a lot better if someone had realized this is really just cheesy action flick material.
Like most American comedies, the film start off as a full-blown comedy but is ruined by some ill-advised drama during the second half. The characters become truly annoying, the light-heartedness disappears almost completely and the drama has absolutely no impact whatsoever. Should've been 30 minutes shorter.
For those looking at the poster of Hillbilly Elegy and telling themselves it can't be as bad as it looks ... it's really that bad. Ron Howard is hardly the most subtle director and even though he can turn out a decent film if all the stars align, Hillbilly Elegy is the worst imaginable kind of Hollywood dreck.
The film serves family drama, following three generations of trashy hillbillies. It's a subject that has the potential to quickly dissolve into clichés, rather than try a more subtle approach Howard goes full in and exploits those clichés until the film becomes an absolute parody of itself. It's just a shame he never even seems to realize it, as it tries to keep a straight face from start to finish.
Not sure if the Razzies are on this year, but Close and Adams certainly deserve one. Howard and Zimmer too, just invite them all on stage at once and it'll be a short show. This was absolute drivel, the worst kind of drama stretched to reach the 120-minute mark. A real low point in Howard's career.