Here Are The 2022 Gotham Winners!


The Gotham Awards were handed out last night and Everything Everywhere All At Once took best picture.  Danielle Deadwyler may have been snubbed by the Spirit Awards but that didn’t prevent the Gothams from honoring her performance in Till.  While the Gothams may not be as strong an Oscar precursor as some of the other groups that will be handing out prizes over the next two months, every win helps.

Here are all the winners:

Breakthrough television under 40 minutes
“Abbott Elementary” (ABC)
“As We See It” (Amazon Prime Video)
“Mo” (Netflix)
“Rap Sh!t” (HBO Max)
“Somebody, Somewhere” (HBO)

Breakthrough television over 40 minutes
“Pachinko” (Apple+)
“Severance” (Apple+)
“Station Eleven” (HBO Max)
“This Is Going To Hurt” (AMC+)
“Yellowjackets” (Showtime)

Television performers:
Bilal Baig (“Sort Of”)
Ayo Edebiri (“The Bear”)
Janelle James (“Abbott Elementary”)
Matilda Lawler (“Station Eleven”)
Britt Lower (“Severance”)
Melanie Lynskey (“Yellowjackets”)
Sue Ann Pien (“As We See It”)
Minha Kim (“Pachinko”)
Zahn McClarnon (“Dark Winds”)
Ben Whishaw (“This Is Going To Hurt”)

Breakthrough nonfiction series
“The Andy Warhol Diaries”
“The Last Movie Stars”
“Mind Over Murder”
“The Rehearsal”
“We Need to Talk About Cosby”

Breakthrough director
Charlotte Wells (“Aftersun”)
Owen Kline (“Funny Pages”)
Elegance Bratton (“The Inspection”)
Antoneta Alamat Kusijanovic (“Murina”)
Beth De Araújo (“Soft & Quiet”)
Jane Schoenbrun (“We’re All Going to the World’s Fair”)

Best screenplay
Kogonada (“After Yang”)
James Gray (“Armageddon Time”)
Lena Dunham (“Catherine Called Birdy”)
Todd Field (“Tár”)
Sarah Polley (“Women Talking”)

Breakthrough performer
Frankie Corio (“Aftersun”)
Kali Reis (“Catch the Fair One”)
Gracija Flipovic (“Murina”)
Anna Diop (“Nanny”)
Anna Cobb (“We’re All Going to the World’s Fair”)

Outstanding supporting performance
Mark Rylance (“Bones and All”)
Brian Tyree Henry (“Causeway”)
Ke Huy Quan (“Everything Everywhere All at Once”)
Raúl Castillo (“The Inspection”)
Gabrielle Union (“The Inspection”)
Nina Hoss (“Tár”)
Noémie Merlant (“Tár”)
Hong Chau (“The Whale”)

Oustanding lead performance
Cate Blanchett (“Tár”)
Danielle Deadwyler (“Till”)
Dale Dickey (“A Love Song”)
Colin Farrell (“After Yang”)
Brendan Fraser (“The Whale”)
Paul Mescal (“Aftersun”)
Thandiwe Newton (“God’s Country”)
Aubrey Plaza “(Emily the Criminal)”
Taylor Russell (“Bones and All”)
Michelle Yeoh (“Everything Everywhere All At Once”)

Best international feature
“Athena”
“The Banshees of Inisherin”
“Corsage”
“Decision to Leave”
“Happening”
“Saint Omer”

Best documentary feature
“All That Breathes”
“All the Beauty and the Bloodshed”
“I Didn’t See You There”
“The Territory”
“What We Leave Behind”

Best feature
“Aftersun”
“The Cathedral”
“Dos Estaciones”
“Everything Everywhere All at Once”
“Tár”

Lisa Marie’s Oscar Predictions For October


Even though Horrorthon has taken up the majority of my time this October, I still have been watching as this year’s Oscar race has developed over the past 29 days.  And that’s a good thing because it’s time for my monthly predictions!

Below, you’ll find my predictions for October!  In order to see how my thinking has evolved over the course of the year, be sure to check out my predictions for February, March, April, May, June, July, August, and September!

Best Picture

Babylon

The Banshees of Inisherin

Elvis

Everything Everywhere All At Once

The Fabelmans

She Says

TAR

Till

Top Gun: Maverick

Women Talking

Best Director

Chinonye Chukwu for Till

Todd Field for TAR

Martin McDonagh for The Banshees of Insherin

Sarah Polley for Women Talking

Steven Spielberg for The Fabelmans

Best Actor

Austin Butler in Elvis

Tom Cruise in Top Gun: Maverick

Colin Farrell in The Banshees of Insherin

Hugh Jackman in The Son

Brendan Fraser in The Whale

Best Actress

Naomi Ackie in I Wanna Dance With Somebody

Cate Blanchett in TAR

Olivia Colman in Empire of Light

Danielle Deadwyler in Till

Michelle Yeoh in Everything Everywhere All At Once

Best Supporting Actor

Brendan Gleeson in The Banshees of Insherin

Tom Hanks in Elvis

Woody Harrelson in Triangle of Sadness

Judd Hirsch in The Fabelmans

Ke Huy Quan in Everything Everywhere All At Once

Best Supporting Actress

Jessie Buckley in Women Talking

Claire Foy in Women Talking

Nina Hoss in Tar

Janelle Monae in Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery

Carey Mulligan in She Says

Here Are The 2022 Gotham Nominations!


And just like that, the 2022 Awards Season began.

The 2022 Gotham Nominations were announced earlier today.  While the Gothams have recently started to get some attention as an Oscar precursor, it is important to remember that the Gothams are specifically designed to honor low-budget, independent films.  There’s some very strict rules about which films are eligible and which are not.  So, don’t be shocked at the lack of nominations for something like The Fabelmans.  Spielberg has never been eligible for a Gotham.

If any one film is really going to benefit from these nominations, it’s probably Everything Everywhere All At Once.  Seeing as how it’s been a while since Everything Everywhere came out, the Gotham nominations may (or may not) serve to remind the members of the Academy of the excitement that was generated by the film earlier in the year.

Here are the Gotham nominations for 2022.  The winners will be announced on November 28th.

Breakthrough television under 40 minutes
“Abbott Elementary” (ABC)
“As We See It” (Amazon Prime Video)
“Mo” (Netflix)
“Rap Sh!t” (HBO Max)
“Somebody, Somewhere” (HBO)

Breakthrough television over 40 minutes
“Pachinko” (Apple+)
“Severance” (Apple+)
“Station Eleven” (HBO Max)
“This Is Going To Hurt” (AMC+)
“Yellowjackets” (Showtime)

Television performers:
Bilal Baig (“Sort Of”)
Ayo Edebiri (“The Bear”)
Janelle James (“Abbott Elementary”)
Matilda Lawler (“Station Eleven”)
Britt Lower (“Severance”)
Melanie Lynskey (“Yellowjackets”)
Sue Ann Pien (“As We See It”)
Minha Kim (“Pachinko”)
Zahn McClarnon (“Dark Winds”)
Ben Whishaw (“This Is Going To Hurt”)

Breakthrough nonfiction series
“The Andy Warhol Diaries”
“The Last Movie Stars”
“Mind Over Murder”
“The Rehearsal”
“We Need to Talk About Cosby”

Breakthrough director
Charlotte Wells (“Aftersun”)
Owen Kline (“Funny Pages”)
Elegance Bratton (“The Inspection”)
Antoneta Alamat Kusijanovic (“Murina”)
Beth De Araújo (“Soft & Quiet”)
Jane Schoenbrun (“We’re All Going to the World’s Fair”)

Best screenplay
Kogonada (“After Yang”)
James Gray (“Armageddon Time”)
Lena Dunham (“Catherine Called Birdy”)
Todd Field (“Tár”)
Sarah Polley (“Women Talking”)

Breakthrough performer
Frankie Corio (“Aftersun”)
Kali Reis (“Catch the Fair One”)
Gracija Flipovic (“Murina”)
Anna Diop (“Nanny”)
Anna Cobb (“We’re All Going to the World’s Fair”)

Outstanding supporting performance
Mark Rylance (“Bones and All”)
Brian Tyree Henry (“Causeway”)
Ke Huy Quan (“Everything Everywhere All at Once”)
Raúl Castillo (“The Inspection”)
Gabrielle Union (“The Inspection”)
Nina Hoss (“Tár”)
Noémie Merlant (“Tár”)
Hong Chau (“The Whale”)

Oustanding lead performance
Cate Blanchett (“Tár”)
Danielle Deadwyler (“Till”)
Dale Dickey (“A Love Song”)
Colin Farrell (“After Yang”)
Brendan Fraser (“The Whale”)
Paul Mescal (“Aftersun”)
Thandiwe Newton (“God’s Country”)
Aubrey Plaza “(Emily the Criminal)”
Taylor Russell (“Bones and All”)
Michelle Yeoh (“Everything Everywhere All At Once”)

Best international feature
“Athena”
“The Banshees of Inisherin”
“Corsage”
“Decision to Leave”
“Happening”
“Saint Omer”

Best documentary feature
“All That Breathes”
“All the Beauty and the Bloodshed”
“I Didn’t See You There”
“The Territory”
“What We Leave Behind”

Best feature
“Aftersun”
“The Cathedral”
“Dos Estaciones”
“Everything Everywhere All at Once”
“Tár”

Ten Things That I’m Looking Forward To In October


Yay!  It’s finally October again!  Are you excited because I know I am?  Seriously, it feels like it’s been a year since I last got to celebrate my favorite month!

Here are ten things that I’m looking forward to in October.

  1. Halloween and Horrothon! — You all had to know that this was going to be number one, right?  Halloween is my favorite time of year, both because of the cool weather and the fact that it’s the start of the holiday season!  Plus, this time of year that we do our annual Horrorthon here at TSL!  (I will also be contributing daily horror reviews to Horror Critic!) I spend all year looking forward to and preparing for this month.  Horrorthon can be an exhausting enterprise but it’s always worth it.
  2. Terrifier 2 — Art, the world’s most terrifying clown is back!  Seriously, killer clowns are a bit of a cliché but Art is one of the most frightening horror creations that I’ve ever seen.  Terrifier 2 is going to be 138 minutes long and, with the legacy of Michael Myers being ruined by the current David Gordon Green Halloween trilogy (seriously, don’t even get me started), now is the time for Art to step up and remind people what horror is all about.
  3. TAR — Todd Field’s first film since Little Children looks intriguing and has been getting rapturous reviews.  TAR is getting a limited release on October 3rd before opening wide on October 28th.  It may not be a horror film but I’m still looking forward to seeing the film that could very well make Cate Blanchett a three-time Oscar winner.
  4. Triangle of Sadness — For that matter, I’m also looking forward to Triangle of Sadness, this year’s winner of Palme d’Or.  The film opens on October 7th and it appears to feature Woody Harrelson in the role that he was born to play.
  5. The Banshees of Inisherin — An Irish film, reuniting Martin McDonagh, Colin Farrell, and Brendan Gleeson?  (Previously, all three worked together on the brilliant In Bruges.)  How could I possible resist?
  6. Dark Glasses — Dario Argento’s latest film is coming to Shudder!
  7. Night of the Living Dead, The Shining, the original Suspiria, Carnival of Souls, Robot Monster, Little Shop of Horrors, Nosferatu, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, Bride of the Monster, Plan 9 From Outer Space, the original Halloween — It’s tradition!  These are films that I watch at least once every October and I’m looking forward to watching them this year as well.
  8. Mocking the critics — There are so many snobs out there when it comes to horror.  That’s why it’s always fun to spend October mocking them on twitter.  Forget those who look down on horror.  October is our time.
  9. All The Holiday SpecialsToy Story of Terror?  Yep.  It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown?  You know my sister and I will be watching it.  It’s not October without the holiday specials.
  10. Setting A Record — Last year, at TSL, we posted 487 times over the course of October.  Think we can break 500 this year?  We’re off to a good start!

Happy October everyone!  I look forward to sharing this wonderful time of year with all of you!  What are you looking forward to?

Lisa Marie’s Oscar Predictions For September


Horrorthon, my favorite time of year, starts tomorrow!  However, before we get lost in the scary season, I want to take one last look at awards season!  It’s time for me to update my Oscar nominations.  Fortunately, thanks to all of the recent festival premieres, the Oscar picture is finally starting to look a little bit clearer.  There’s still a lot of question marks out there and, as always, anything can happen.  But, finally, I can say that there’s more to my predictions that just lucky guesses and wishful thinking.

Below, you’ll find my predictions for September!  In order to see how my thinking has evolved over the course of the year, be sure to check out my predictions for February, March, April, May, June, July, and August.

Best Picture

Babylon

The Banshees of Inisherin

Elvis

Everything Everywhere All At Once

The Fabelmans

The Menu

TAR

Till

Top Gun: Maverick

Women Talking

A few thoughts on the (potential) nominees:

Babylon, I will admit, I’m including because of the trailer and the fact that it’s a Damien Chazelle film about Hollywood.  The Academy likes films about itself and one can argue that after what happened when La La Land was nominated, Chazelle is owed at least a little bit of recognition.  Then again, that same argument could have been made for First Man and we know how that turned out.

As for The Menu, I’ve got that in my surprise nominee slot.  There’s almost always at least one potential nominee that’s considered to be a long shot until the nominations are announced.  Now that we have a set number of ten nominees, the chances that one nominee will be a surprise seems even more certain than before.

Top Gun: Maverick, Elvis, and Everything Everywhere All At Once all came out early in the year but they’ve all achieved the box office success necessary to be remembered.

Till seems like the type of film that the Academy will want to acknowledge, especially with the presidential election right around the corner.

The Banshees of Inisherin, The Fabelmans, TAR, and Women Talking were all acclaimed when they made their festival debuts.  Banshees, in particular, went from being a probable also-ran to a surefire contender based on the length of the standing ovation that it received.

Best Director

Chinonye Chukwu for Till

Todd Field for TAR

Martin McDonagh for The Banshees of Insherin

Sarah Polley for Women Talking

Steven Spielberg for The Fabelmans

Best Actor

Austin Butler in Elvis

Tom Cruise in Top Gun: Maverick

Colin Farrell in The Banshees of Insherin

Ralph Fiennes in The Menu

Brendan Fraser in The Whale

Best Actress

Naomi Ackie in I Wanna Dance With Somebody

Cate Blanchett in TAR

Olivia Colman in Empire of Light

Danielle Deadwyler in Till

Michelle Yeoh in Everything Everywhere All At Once

Best Supporting Actor

Brendan Gleeson in The Banshees of Insherin

Tom Hanks in Elvis

Woody Harrelson in Triangle of Sadness

Judd Hirsch in The Fabelmans

Ke Huy Quan in Everything Everywhere All At Once

Best Supporting Actress

Jessie Buckley in Women Talking

Jamie Lee Curtis in Everything Everywhere All At Once

Sally Field in Spoiler Alert

Frances McDormand in Women Talking

Janelle Monae in Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery

Here Are The Winners In Venice


The Venice Film Festival has come to a close with the awarding of prizes.  And here they are:

Golden Lion for Best Film: All the Beauty and the Bloodshed, d: Laura Poitras
Grand Jury Prize: Saint Omer, d: Alice Diop
Silver Lion for Best Director: Bones and All, d: Luca Guadagnino
Special Jury Prize: No Bears, d: Jafar Panahi
Best Screenplay: The Banshees of Inisherin, Martin McDonagh
Volpi Cup for Best Actress: Tár, Cate Blanchett
Volpi Cup for Best Actor: The Banshees of Inisherin, Colin Farrell
Marcello Mastroianni Award for Best Young Actor: Bones and All, Taylor Russell

I would say that the big winner of the festival is undoubtedly The Banshees of Inisherin.  Going into the festival, this film was only occasionally mentioned as an Oscar contender and that was just because director Martin McDonagh was previously responsible for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. However, the festival not only saw Banshees win the race for the longest standing ovation but it also won awards for McDonagh’s screenplay and Colin Farrell’s lead performance.

Cate Blanchett won best actress for Tar.  Blanchett was already considered to be a probable Oscar nominee so the award at Venice will certainly help the establish the narrative that will be necessary for Blanchett to take home her third Oscar.

As for Luca Guadagnino winning Best Director, that’s fine.  He’s a good director but I’ll never forgive him for the Suspiria remake.  If he agrees to keep Argento’s name out of his mouth, I’ll add him to my list of Oscar contenders.

Farrell & Gleeson reunite in The Banshees of Inisherin Trailer!


Martin McDonagh (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri) reunites his In Bruges stars Colin Farrell & Brendan Gleeson in The Banshees of Inisherin. I’m really looking forward to this one. The Banshees of Inisherin places two friends at odds when one decides he’s suddenly had enough of the friendship.

The film also stars Kerry Condon (also from Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri) and Barry Keoghan (Dunkirk, The Eternals)

The Banshees of Inisherin is set to release on October 21st.

The Batman (dir. by Matt Reeves)


I slept on it before writing this, to let the euphoria pass.

Matt Reeves’ The Batman surprised me in a number of ways, some of which can’t be mentioned without throwing spoilers. I’ll perhaps write a second piece on this, but for now, understand that this film has effectively pushed The Dark Knight to the side as my favorite live-action Batman film (The Lego Batman Movie stands on a pedestal all it’s own above all the rest). My favorite Batman stories are the detective tales. Gotham by Gaslight. The Long Halloween. Hush.

On film, the Caped Crusader has moments of investigation, but they often took a backseat either to the action or the resolution came as quickly as a Batcomputer search. For me, The Batman had closer ties to films like David Fincher’s Seven, Alan J. Pakula’s Klute, Bruce Malmuth’s Nighthawks, and even Shane Black’s The Nice Guys to some degree. It does all this legwork while finding a way to avoid giving us the same clip of the Monarch Shooting of the Waynes. That alone is worth it for me. This is Batman. After more than 9 films, you’d be hard pressed to find anyone on the planet younger than maybe six who doesn’t know how he got that way.

Living in NYC, I can relate to Gotham City. On the surface, it’s beautiful. For those who can afford it, there are tons of amenities available to its citizens. Peel back that layer, though, and you’ll always have Crime in a city holding 9 million people. It’s a constant as rain. Gotham City is on the verge of breakdown. Looking at the torn poster filled streets and I was reminded of a cross between Walter Hill’s Streets of Fire and Alex Proyas’ The Crow .and the way most of Manhattan looks now with it’s closed down stores. The city almost serves as a character itself in The Batman. It’s a throwback to some of the classic black and white detective movies my parents grew up on like 1947’s Kiss of Death. For all his gadgets and resources, there’s an argument suggesting the Batman can never really save his beloved city, though we love his efforts.

“Forget it, Bruce. It’s Gotham.” one might as well say.

Visually, the movie is a little dark, but that makes sense given the tone of the film. Cinematographer Greig Fraser (Dune, Zero Dark Thirty) is somewhat new to me, but I’m liking his work, which felt a little like Janusz Kaminski’s Lost Souls. It wasn’t dark to the point where I couldn’t make out elements (and I was sitting in the front row, far left side in my theatre), I’ll say that much. I’ll keep an eye on him in the future.

The Batman takes place in our hero’s second to third year, according to an early narration (much like Blade Runner). Batman has a good rapport with Lt. James Gordon (Jeffrey Wright, No Time to Die) and his butler, Alfred (Andy Serkis, reuniting with Reeves since Dawn of the Planet of the Apes), for the most part, there are some results. Criminals flee when the bat symbol shines in the night sky, because no one really knows where The Dark Knight will strike. A new murder brings both Gordon and the Batman into play, as his opponent leaves various riddles for them to solve. The mystery brings Batman into various circles, including those of Selina Kyle (Zoe Kravitz, Kimi), crime boss Carmine Falcone (John Turturro, The Big Lebowski) and Oz (Colin Farrell, The Gentlemen). They all bring in great performances, including Peter Sarsgaard (Green Lantern), but it’s Paul Dano (Ruby Sparks, There Will Be Blood) who really runs away with things as The Riddler. I’ve never considered The Riddler to be a creepy villain, but this was quite dark, even for DC’s standards. I can’t imagine how it would have turned out if this was a Rated R film. I’m really curious to know.

Lt. James Gordon (Jeffrey Wright) and The Batman (Robert Pattinson) do some Detective work in Matt Reeves’ The Batman

Bruce Wayne has never been an easy character to handle on screen.

There are whole books written on the Psychology of the Batman. Here you have an individual who witnessed his parents being murdered as a kid and grows up in a near empty mansion with butlers and maids. The individual decides to dedicate his life (and vast resources) to studying criminal investigation techniques, martial arts and even Ninjitsu for a singular focus: To rid Gotham City of Crime. Add to this the concept of instilling fear in one’s enemies, and dressing up like a Bat to pummel thugs with fists and gadgets just adds to Wayne’s madness. Pattinson honed in on this and turns Bruce Wayne into a pretty isolated and brooding individual. For someone with nearly unlimited resources, he doesn’t seem happy with any of it at all. At least Keaton pretended to party and Clooney’s Wayne truly did party. Bale’s Wayne let Fox focus on research and development. Hell, even Affleck’s Wayne recognized he was rich and flaunted it like a superpower all its own. Pattinson’s Batman is lean and really looks like the kind of guy you might find stepping out of the shadows just past Wall Street late at night. No offense to Affleck’s Batman, who for some is the pinnacle of what the character should be, but I’ve always associated that look with the older, fresh out of retirement Batman of Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns.

Together, Pattinson and Kravitz’ chemistry was really nice on screen. I’ll admit, I enjoyed the romance between the two. Both characters accept tha they’re Creatures of the Night, and there’s this sweet give and take between the two as they nudge each other. Selina doesn’t have to do crime, and Batman doesn’t have to be the spirit of Vengeance, but they’re caught up in what works best for them. I enjoyed that aspect.

At first listen (about a week ago), I thought Michael Giacchino’s theme needed something outside of the four note motif it had. Hearing the music with the movie is a different beast, and I have to say, it works really well here. In some places, it’s as minimalistic as Hans Zimmer’s Nolan scores.

Now, a little Devil’s Advocate. The main problem I had with The Batman was the same I had with Spider-Man: No Way Home. I understand DC & Warner Bros. want to draw people into the theatre, but in this age where every element of a trailer is scanned and studied, I’d argue that 40% of the action you watched on screen were already somewhat spoiled by the trailer (or trailers, if you watched every one the Warners released). I’m not saying one should refrain from watching trailers – I only watched the teaser and the main trailer – but I would have liked if they held some scenes back. One might also argue The Batman was lighter on action than the other films, but it’s the detective work and the character performances that make up for it.

There’s also a lot of rain. Almost too much. Remember the sequence in Jurassic Park with the first appearance of the T-Rex? I would say that most of The Batman is set under somewhat similar conditions. It felt like it either just rained, was about to, or you were in the middle of a downpour. Then again, so did The Crow. Perhaps that’s just a nitpick on my part.

Also, clocking in at 2 hours and 56 minutes, it’s a long film. You might not really notice it, but I’d go so far to say that the time didn’t feel wasted. I noticed 3 or 4 people who left for the restroom in my showing, if that’s any indication.

Overall, The Batman was a wonderful surprise from the DC side of things, and I’m liking the direction it’s going. It might not be a completely connected universe like Marvel’s lineup, but they’re proving they can still weave some amazing stories with the characters they have.

DCFanDome presents the 2nd Trailer for The Batman!


On the DCFanDome today, Matt Reeves, Robert Pattinson and Zoe Kravitz shared the 2nd Trailer for The Batman, which is looking pretty good!

We’ll let the visuals and Michael Giacchino’s score do the talking. The Batman releases in cinemas March 4, 2022.

Enjoy!

The Films of 2020: Artemis Fowl (dir by Kenneth Branagh)


What exactly is Artemis Fowl about?

Basically, it opens with news reports about the home of millionaire businessman Artemis Fowl (Colin Farrell) being raided by the police and the discovery that Fowl has apparently been stealing ancient artifacts from across the world.  A bearded man named Mulch Diggums (Josh Gad) is arrested at the house and is interrogated by …. someone.  I guess he’s being interrogated by an intelligence agency, I don’t know.  Mulch explains that he’s a dwarf and that he’s about to tell a story that will prove that magic exists which …. okay, I guess.

The story is about Artemis Fowl’s 12 year-old son, who is also named Artemis Fowl (Ferdia Shaw).  The younger Artemis Foul is a criminal mastermind, just like his father, and he wears a suit and dark glasses and basically, he looks like a 12 year-old who dressed up like one of the Men In Black for Halloween.  Artemis Fowl the younger is investigating the disappearance of Artemis Fowl the older which leads to a search for a missing magical object.  Somehow, it all involves faeries and other magical figures. Judi Dench pops up a few times, looking stern.  There’s a lot of chase scenes and a few fight scenes, none of which really make much of an impression.

The plot of Artemis Fowl is pretty much impossible to follow, especially if you haven’t read (or, in my case, recently reread) the books on which the film is based.  A huge part of the problem is that the film itself doesn’t really develop any sort of individual personality.  For a film about a 12 year-old wearing a suit and concocting criminal schemes, Artemis Fowl is surprisingly bland.  It feels like a collection of scenes from other YA adaptations.  We get the slow motion fight scenes.  We get the magical scenes that feel as if they were lifted from a lesser entry from the Harry Potter series.  Indeed, a huge chunk of the film seems to be made up of discarded scenes from director Kenneth Branagh’s previous excursion into the world of fantasy and vaguely defined magic, Thor.  The film moves quickly but since nothing interesting or unusual is happening, you find yourself wishing that maybe the film would slow down for a just a minute or two and spend a bit of time exploring the world in which the two Artemis Fowls live.  It’s a remarkably undetailed fantasy world that Artemis Fowl presents us with.  I spent the majority of the movie wondering whether Judi Dench was supposed to be an elf or a faerie.  One of the great actress, Dench spends the entire film wearing pointed ears and looking rather annoyed.

Much like Dolittle, Artemis Fowl ends with the promise of more cinematic adventures, though it’s doubtful that promise will actually be fulfilled.  Also — and again like Dolittle — it’s hard not to feel that Artemis Fowl would have worked much better as an animated film than as a live action spectacular.  Unfortunately, Artemis Fowl is just too bland and borderline incoherent to really make much of a lasting impression.