Clayton has written 9 reviews for films rated ★½ .

  • Kinetta

    Kinetta

    ★½

    Too elliptical and elusive for its own good. You can see Lanthimos’ neurons beginning to fire here in his solo directorial debut, but his slowly unfolding tapestry centering on a trio of loosely related characters and one bizarre film project never coheres. It’s like trying to experience theater from the lobby, only catching faint impressions of the stage every time the door is cracked open by someone walking out to take a piss. Speaking of urine, I want to strangle the cinematographer. My craft stout keeping me company with its silky chocolate aromas and heroic 9% alc / volume was my only consolation. For completists only.

  • Venom

    Venom

    ★½

    That kind of epic movie collapse which can be empirically felt in the marrow of your bones as it’s happening in real time. I was actually with Venom for about its first 45 minutes. It was nothing extraordinary but it was competent and tumbled along. Tom Hardy, the sensitive, eccentric bruiser of an actor, was trying to be normal in a big Hollywood movie, and failing. No big surprise. Michelle Williams was taking a paycheck. Girl’s gotta eat. Riz Ahmed...I…

  • The Vast of Night

    The Vast of Night

    ★½

    I don't understand the love.

    Agreed, it's an inspired take on a budget to buy bread loaves with the gift of gab, but what an unwelcome gift. The cacophony of blather becomes more vigorous white noise than anything on the radio, undermining some genuinely clever filmmaking and effectively gauzy color grading. This thing could give Aaron Sorkin a sore throat. I wanted to jam one of Faye's connectors on the switchboard into my auditory cortex, just to be calmed by…

  • The Amazing Panda Adventure

    The Amazing Panda Adventure

    ★½

    I can't grasp the dilemma of the panda cub needing mother's milk. Why didn't they just change its batteries?

  • Swiss Family Robinson

    Swiss Family Robinson

    Revisiting for the first time since I was a kid. Seemed like good comfy quarantine viewing. Meh.

    The tree house is the only thing of interest in the plot, and it's also its biggest plot hole. They were supposed to build that ingenious arboreal mansion in a matter of days in screen time? Maybe the 1960s bought it, but I sure fucking didn't. The rest of the movie plays like a cross between Rex Harrison's Dr. Dolittle and Stupid Survivor.…

  • The A-Team

    The A-Team

    Written Jun 15, 2010

    *Disclaimer: I've never seen an episode of The A-Team

    It took 10 years to bring a film adaption of the hit 80's show The A-Team into a theater near you, and unfortunately, I could give a shit. The Hollywood treatment given to Hannibal Smith, The Face, Baracus, and Murdock, a slam-bang group of soldiers given the first crack at just about every hot covert op in the Iraq war, is merely an exercise in chaotic, queasy-cam…

  • Cowboys & Aliens

    Cowboys & Aliens

    Written Jul 31, 2011

    I love both of these signatures. The Western is perhaps the only genre that America can claim for its very own, fictionally representing the cross-country migration and (double) dealings that our forbearers carved into the National conscience. What's more, early pioneer filmmakers ala John Ford created larger-than-life screen presences to anchor their fresh, scenic backdrop, seemingly inventing the rules as they went along. The filmmaking often feels as lawless as the narratives. Science fiction, conversely, occupies…

  • The Help

    The Help

    Written Aug 14, 2011

    Director Tate Taylor's The Help, adapted from the eponymous novel, is an inspiring story that fumbles its chances at becoming a great film. Any film dealing with the South's perspective of the civil rights movement has to toe the thin line between portrait and caricature, letting the story speak for itself while resisting the hammer blows of soap box preaching. The result is a mixed bag.

    We are presented with a slew of characters, but focus…

  • Johnny Be Good

    Johnny Be Good

    ★½

    Johnny was not very good.