Monthly Archives: October 2016

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Movie Trailer – Life (2017)

Category : Movie Trailer

Director: Daniel Espinosa

Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Jake Gyllenhaal, Rebecca Ferguson

Release: May 26th, 2017

Call me a sucker, but this movie is everything I want.  Sci-fi, horror, drama, thriller, outer space; and with these actors?  You might as well just ignore me from this point forward, because I was bred to love this film.  The starring trio are all excellent, the premise is current, the action looks well-made, and I can’t wait to watch everything unfold.  I worry about the director a little, since he hasn’t done much, but I’m willing to bet that the content & the talent speak for themselves.


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Movie Review – Hello, My Name is Doris

Category : Movie Review

Director: Michael Showalter

Starring: Sally Field, Max Greenfield, Tyne Daly

Year: 2015

Last year, I’ll See You in My Dreams was the first For Your Consideration screener I received to start the season.  The early discs are never the real Oscar front runners, and that film was no exception, but it was surprisingly solid, a story about an aging woman coming to terms with her life and the way she would deal with the younger generations.  Hello, My Name is Doris was the first screener I received this year, and coincidentally is turns out to be from the exact same genre.  Instead of Blythe Danner we have Sally Field, but we still have an early death that rattles the main character’s world, a love affair that just might brighten up their autumn years, and lessons galore that are there for the learning if only they’d open there eyes.  Also similarly, Doris is quiet good, as was Dreams, so let’s hope this style/tradition continues.

Doris is a woman in her sixties who has never really grown up.  She still lives with her mother in the family home, still ferries to work in the city every day, still owns every piece of junk she & her mother have collected over the years, and has never committed to becoming an adult; love, marriage, children, independence.  But when Doris’ mother dies, her world is shaken, and she’s forced to honestly look at herself in the mirror for the first time.  Before she does though, she has time for one small fantasy, and that is the idea that her young, newly hired boss might fall in love with her. Doris begins a friendship with John after finding out what his interests are and copying them for herself, a game that won’t end well.  And when the charade collapses, she will be left with a house that needs uncluttered, a series of poor choices that will need addressed, and a life that must be nudged back on track.

There is a lot to touch on with this film, so let’s dive in.  Showalter, who isn’t really a movie director, actor, or much of a writer for that matter, actually does a fine job.  He starred in Wet Hot American Summer, does some bad TV work, but isn’t a big film guy, so it’s surprising that he crafts a nice feature here, though most of that is to Sally Field’s credit.  She’s super here, very funny, quite lovable, and quietly deep.  Much like Danner is Dreams, Field plays both goofy & serious to a tee.  She’s helped along by Tyne Daly, playing her best friend to immaculate perfection.  There were a couple Ally McBeal moments tossed in that weren’t my favorite, but I saw the point, a couple side actors that were unnecessary, although I’m starting to like Kyle Mooney, and a general sense that this movie is good, not great.  But much more went well than poorly, and I can recommend Doris to most everyone, especially female baby boomers.

My rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

 

 


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Movie Trailer – The Handmaiden

Category : Movie Trailer

Director: Chan-wook Park

Starring: Kim Tae-ri, Min-hee Kim, Jin-woong Jo, Jung-woo Ha

Release: October 2016

I’d watch this based on the director alone, who created Oldboy, a phenomenal film that was remade in America to dismal failure.  And this movie reminds me a lot of a combination of Nymphomanic and Lust, Caution, both great, original, creepy, sexy films.  I’m in.


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Movie Trailer – Pet

Category : Movie Trailer

Director: Carles Torrens

Starring: Dominic Monaghan, Ksenia Solo

Release: December 2nd, 2016

I’m oddly into this movie; hopefully that makes me a horror fan and not a psychopath.  I love the set up and then the seeming twist, that she might be a little bit crazy too.  I want to know what happens, but I also think this team could do a stellar job.  I’m in.


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Movie Review – Jack Reacher: Never Go Back

Category : Movie Review

Director: Edward Zwick

Starring: Tom Cruise, Cobie Smulders, Patrick Heusinger

Year: 2016

The most annoying variety of action hero is the one who knows everything before it happens, including exactly where each villain will throw his next punch.  In the original Jack Reacher, the title character was both portentous and pretentious, rubbing his seemingly psychic abilities in our faces in the form of handwritten notes with the answer to our future questions written on them.  Heroes like James Bond or Ethan Hunt often end up one step ahead of the evil doers, that’s how they win, but rarely are they as smugly and unbelievably knowledgeable as Jack Reacher.  One thing that can be said for the sequel, Never Go Back, is that the filmmakers understood this flaw and fixed it, although going the alternate route, keeping Reacher in the dark more often than not.  Either way, this franchise is a complete bust as far as content and quality go, and I pray that no one ever makes a JR3, because I fear that I’ll be compelled to watch it.

Completely separated from the first film, more like an episode in a series instead of a continuation of a story, we meet the infamous Jack Reacher on the road again, doing good because he can, walking away because he wants to.  But he’s made a connection via phone to a woman who works in his old office at his old stomping grounds, a Major Turner who is curious about Reacher and thankful for his help in certain cases.  But when she gets into some trouble of her own, she doesn’t want to pull him into the mess, requesting that he stay away.  Of course, he doesn’t, so Reacher is back on the case, imagining scenarios, finding clues, spotting tails, and generally kicking ass.  A government conspiracy might go up to very high levels, and might be putting the lives of thousands at risk.  Can Reacher stay alive long enough to solve the mystery in time?

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That was my biggest complaint about the first film, that Reacher was so ridiculously smart that he always knew the exact right thing to say, had the answer to every question, could dodge anything thrown at him.  It was an insulting film, pandering down to audiences who were admittedly looking for pure entertainment, but still deserve better than they got.  In the sequel, Reacher takes a different path, knowing very little and always being surprised when goons show up around every corner.  He always wins of course, because he saw their military haircuts and could punch them in the face really hard before they could get up out of their seats.  It’s a shockingly unbelievable and silly movie with contemptible heroes and ridiculous villains.  Reacher and Turner spend much of the movie literally running sprints, because that’s the best way to move unseen, running across a park with Baywatch credibility.

If I had to choose between the two approaches, I would pick Jack being flawed over Jack being omniscient, so I guess that was a step in the right direction, but one thing that definitely was not was the cast.  Cobie Smulders is a huge drop off from Rosamund Pike talent-wise, and the film in general lacked the quality peripheral actors from the last film, namely veterans like Richard Jenkins, Robert Duvall, and David Oyelowo.  Instead, this movie added a kid character, and I literally wanted to painfully pinch myself so that I’d feel something other than complete mental agony each time she opened her mouth.  Danika Yarosh might be the worst young actress I’ve seen on screen in the last ten years, and I wish that was an exaggeration.  Edward Zwick, though a quality director, could not save this franchise from failure, and even his attempts to make Tom Cruise look exactly like Maverick (which were successful) couldn’t hide the multitude of flaws in the film.  I strongly hope we’re done here and that we can let Cruise head back to the M:I series, something that may also be toss-away but is at least well-made.

My rating: ☆ ☆

 

 

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Movie Trailer – I Am the Pretty Thing

Category : Movie Trailer

Director: Oz Perkins

Starring: Ruth Wilson, Paula Prentiss, Lucy Boynton

Release: October 28th, 2016

If you’re looking for something frightening to watch on Halloween, something different than the usual campy fare, then Netflix has the film for you.  This looks terrifying, at least to me, but I have a very weak horror constitution.  This scares me out of my boots, and nothing scary has even happened, but I know that it will, and that’s enough.  Incidentally, Ruth Wilson is both talented & attractive, but even she frightens me in this one.


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Movie Trailer – My Dead Boyfriend

Category : Movie Trailer

Director: Anthony Edwards

Starring: Heather Graham, John Corbett, Gina Gershon

Release: November 3rd, 2016

God Heather Graham is awful.  I think the only thing she’s ever done right was Roller Girl in Boogie Nights, and that was just type casting.  I have to assume she’s as dumb in real life as she is on screen, that’s why directors like her, because what she’s showing us isn’t an act in any way.  I hate to be overly mean, but she’s just not talented, not in the least, and the fact that she’s a millionaire is simply upsetting.  AND this movie is directed by Anthony Edwards, which is basically a joke.


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Movie Review – Jack Reacher

Category : Movie Review

Director: Christopher McQuarrie

Starring: Tom Cruise, Rosamund Pike, Jai Courtney

Year: 2012

I didn’t see Jack Reacher when it first came out; that’s not my style of movie.  I understand the fun, action genre, I get why people want to watch, but it’s just not for me.  I usually stand around the periphery waiting for something that’s surprisingly good to pop up, then I can swoop in and enjoy.  Cases is point; Edge of Tomorrow and M:I5, which happen to both be written by McQuarrie and star Tom Cruise.  The two often work together, teaming up in Valkyrie as well, and seem to be a solid duo.  When I saw the new trailer for Never Go Back, I decided I had better in order to watch the first film, an action flick that perhaps I didn’t give enough of a chance.  Well, I should have heeded their advice, stayed where I was, and avoided this franchise, despite the talent behind it and its team’s other successes.

When a military-trained sniper kills a group of random people outside a sports arena in Pittsburgh, the prosecution has an open-and-shut case and will use that power to end this man’s life.  But before he is knocked unconscious by angry inmates while awaiting his trail, the alleged shooter asked for Jack Reacher.  Who is Reacher, where is Reacher, and what is Reacher, these seem to be the questions of everyone’s mind.  Well, he’s about to show up and you’re about to find out.  Jack Reacher is an ex-MP for the army, a professional investigator, a practiced killer, and a man you do not want to mess with.  Teaming up with a young, idyllic lawyer, Reacher will solve the case, getting to bottom of what really happened on that fateful day.

It’s bad, let me just put that out there.  I know it’s a genre, I get that it might be a little campy, I understand that this isn’t a film for the most cerebral of audience members, which is putting it kindly/lightly.  But this movie is bad, and I can’t accept otherwise.  Jack Reacher is no Mission: Impossible, no Tom Cruise as his best, action extravaganza, fun for everyone, shoot-em-up, summer blockbuster self.  It’s only bad, and that’s a major disappointment, since I already bought my ticket to see the sequel.  Reacher knows everything in the stupidest way possible, having all the answers before the answers even exist.  He can also fight any number of anyones and solve any problem, even writing notes with words on them that will only make sense to lesser people later.  The whole movie was a giant slap in the face to our collective intelligence, with a plot that only a mother could love.  Cruise phones it in, Pike was sexy but miscast, Courtney was terrible, and only the strong side actors could possibly save the day: Richard Jenkins, David Oyelowo, Werner Herzog, Robert Duvall.  The rest of the film was bad fighting, obvious twists, and a general pandering down to everyone watching.  And what’s more is that I now expect the second one to be even worse.

My rating: ☆ ☆

 

 


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Movie Trailer – Frank & Lola

Category : Movie Trailer

Director: Matthew Ross

Starring: Michael Shannon, Imogen Poots, Michael Nyqvist

Release: December 9th, 2016

The plot of this film already looks convoluted & overworked, and it’s just a two-minute trailer.  What other passion, drama, mystique, betrayal, & life-shattering heartbreak await us when we watch the whole movie I can’t even begin to imagine.  I love Michael Shannon, but this simply looks too muddled, and since Ross is a first-time director, I guess that makes sense.


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Movie Trailer – A Cure for Wellness

Category : Movie Trailer

Director: Gore Verbinski

Starring: Dane DeHaan, Mia Goth, Adrian Schiller, Jason Isaacs

Release: February 17th, 2017

I love similar sci-fi (Ex Machina, The Prestige, The Matrix), I like Gore Verbinski (The Ring, Pirates of the Caribbean, The Lone Ranger), and I think Dane DeHaan is a premier young talent (Chronicle, Lawless, Life).  What a creepy feel and a fascinating plot; I’m in.