Robert Riley's Profile - Rotten Tomatoes

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Rating History

Long Shot
Long Shot (2019)
5 months ago via Rotten Tomatoes

"50/50" director Jonathan Levine continues his jaunt down studio comedy lane with "Long Shot," a film whose first and second halves may not exactly line up in terms of tone, but whose leads are just charismatic and likable enough to get you through its excessive runtime. There's just a general watchability when it comes to Rogen and Theron's chemistry that pervades through even some of the slower parts of the plot, which does end up spreading itself too thin, to say the least. The humor works, though there are more than a handful of jokes that sort of fall out of the realm of "sophisticated political satire" and into the "2010's SNL skit" pool, ultimately hampering the overall comedic identity as a whole. Again, it's not perfect at all, but it is an effort of sorts.

John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum
6 months ago via Rotten Tomatoes

John Wick is back and he's brought all of the engrossing action and world-building that you've come to expect from any installament of the now celebrated franchise. Now on the run from the likes of every person he once trusted and knew, John has to venture into the deepest recesses of his past in order to conquer the current mess he's found himself in. Like its predecessor, this is most certainly a step or two removed from the primal emotionality that fuelled the first film. But in that same vein, it's also a significant step up in terms of set piece work, fight choreography, and gunplay. Every skirmish, shooting, and chase is filled with brilliant mechanics and effect work. And to top it all off, it's framed and staged beautifully by a veteran stunt performer turned director with a visceral appreciation for the art of designing action. It's another terrific achievement in action filmmaking and it should be seen.

The Revenge of the Pink Panther
6 months ago via Rotten Tomatoes

This -- tragically -- final entry in the Peter Sellers canon of "Pink Panther" films closes things out on a bit of a whimper, as it represents one of the first discernible moments in my times as a moviegoer where I can tell a film is simultaneously caught up in and unaware of its own narrativity. So much of it is focused on the plot at hand, yes. Clouseau is wrapped up in yet another scheme involving some criminal mastermind asking for his head, and while some of the events therein are mildly humorous, the overall tone is severely hampered by an over reliance on plot development. But with that, there's also one baffling moment where the canon of the entire franchise is thrown for a loop by. . .I don't even know what to call it. A narrative oversight? The laziest retcon ever? It's something I'd honestly take as an attempt at comedy, if the movie were a lot funnier. But, alas, a lot of the magic of the prior installments are gone. Clouseau fooling around in some millionaire's home gym. Clouseau unwittingly missing an entire robbery happening in a store just feet away from him. Clouseau giving away his luggage and clothing to some strange man in a hotel through a few simple conversational mistakes. All of these gags made for some of the best moments in a series that (I thought) valued nuance over grandiosity. But here we are, watching Clouseau parade around in "yellowface" and a bevy of other over-the-top disguises. To be fair and clear here, it's far from the worst comedy I've ever seen, and I wouldn't even say it's the worst in the franchise. But my regrets remain.

Bringing Up Baby
6 months ago via Rotten Tomatoes

Often regarded as the finest screwball comedy of its kind, Howard Hawks' "Bringing Up Baby" represents a very delicate high-wire act of undoubtedly humorous persuasions, skillfully dangling the audience between the zones of unbridled hilarity and persistent agitation for almost the entire running time. This sensation is due in large part to the effective performances at hand, namely the wily and goofy antics of Katharine Hepburn and the hapless straight-man-isms of Cary Grant. The two make for an infectiously goofy onscreen pairing, with the surprisingly meticulous plot of the film facilitating a journey that is -- again -- somehow both exhausting and exhilarating at once. It's a sure-fire success that I won't soon forget.

Pokémon Detective Pikachu
6 months ago via Rotten Tomatoes

After Warner Bros. swiftly acquired the cinematic rights to the Pokemon franchise back in 2016, I was utterly gobsmacked when they announced almost in the same breath that a "Detective Pikachu" adaptation was going to be their first move in bringing this world into the live-action arena. And I don't think I'm speaking for myself here, but the team behind things has constantly proven me wrong ever since that announcement. Even up until I left my screening of the actual film itself. To say this is the greatest video game movie of all time might not hold much discernable weight at this juncture -- and for good measure -- but what "Detective Pikachu" pioneers for should not be left unsung. Video game adaptations for the cinema that aren't just hollow fan service? With living, breathing characters that have needs and who are capable of being cared for? A story that's worth a damn, with sweetness and even a few surprises along the way? It's possible and "Detective Pikachu" is that adorable and plucky proof.