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FOCUS (2015)
"No "Maudlin's Eleven""
2 stars
Peter Sobczynski says... ""Focus" is a film in which Will Smith plays an ultra-slick con man who embarks on an elaborate scheme to relieve someone with more money than common sense of millions of dollars utilizing charm, bluster and a story that even the most gullible of individuals might find themselves questioning at times if it was put forth to them. (No, there is no truth to the rumor that it was originally intended to be titled "The Making of After Earth.") In theory, this sounds like it might have the makings for a reasonably diverting night at the movies but somewhere along the lines between conception and execution, something clearly went horribly wrong because the end result is a smug, soulless and deeply annoying contraption that spends too much time trying to throw its increasingly implausible narrative curveballs at the audience and not nearly enough time giving them a story or characters that they can invest enough interest in so that they can at least be somewhat surprised by the relentless rug-pulling on display." (more)
"It's a gimmick, but it's a good one."
4 stars
Jay Seaver says... "SCREENED AT THE 2015 BOSTON SCI-FI FILM FESTIVAL: Mock documentaries are inherently gimmick movies; it is a rare one that does not crash hard up against the form's limitations, and when that happens, it doesn't matter whether the disappointment comes from the filmmaker having to cheat or the presentation just fizzling out. "The History of Time Travel" inevitably paints itself into a corner, but unlike most cases, that's where it wants to be." (more)
"Bland isn't the worst thing a B-movie can be, but it's close."
2 stars
Jay Seaver says... "SCREENED AT THE 2015 BOSTON SCI-FI FILM FESTIVAL: I don't miss the days when science fiction films tended to be obviously cheap productions with second-class actors and effects, but it was a lot easier to spot a disposable B-movie then. Now decent effects are maybe not cheap but they're not out of reach, and people who have had some success will sign up rather than see it as beneath them. Thus you get things like "Robot Overlords", more capable than its ancestors but still not much more than filler at best." (more)
"Manly man."
4 stars
Rob Gonsalves says... "According to the Wikipedia page on the concert film "Nick Offerman: American Ham," Nick Offerman is an “American actor, writer, and carpenter.” That description might please him, though having “carpenter” ranked before the other two might please him more." (more)

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