Monthly Archives: January 2017

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Movie Trailer – Catfight

Category : Movie Trailer

Director: Onur Tukei

Starring: Sandra Oh, Anne Heche, Alicia Silverstone

Release: March 3rd, 2017

I wouldn’t watch this unless you paid me a dufflebag full of cash.  Even then, it would only be so that I could call it what it most likely is: the worst movie of the year by far.  What was I watching in the trailer even?  Fake fight scenes and?  And?  And nothing.  Movie like this make me mad.


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Movie Trailer – Wolves

Category : Movie Trailer

Director: Bart Freundlich

Starring: Taylor John Smith, Michael Shannon, Carla Gugino

Release: March 3rd, 2017

As sports movies go, this one doesn’t look half bad.  If Michael Shannon weren’t in it, perhaps I’d just let it slip by, but with him attached, I’m more willing to give it a chance.  There looks to be the standard recipe here; parents, girlfriends, coaches, colleges, pressure, opportunities, all that.  But maybe it’s done well enough to make the impact it’s going for.


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Movie Review – The Ones Below

Category : Movie Review

Director: David Farr

Starring: Clemence Poesy, Stephen Campbell Moore, Laura Birn

Year: 2015

In the vein of The Hand That Rocks the Cradle, The Ones Below is a film made to horrify new parents and, well, all decent humans.  David Farr has very little experience, this being his directorial debut, and it shows here, as he’s willing to borrow heavily from other films in order to make his work.  Everyone does that from time to time, genres recycle themselves, but there’s a fine line between paying homage and photocopying.  Farr manages a few originals moments, but leans a lot of weight on those creepy thrillers that came before, resulting in a movie that leaves audiences with the feeling that they may have seen it before.  Still, there’s something captivating about this genre, if only because it’s so terrifying without requiring ghosts to jump out of the shadows, and there’s something to be said for capturing true fear.

Kate & Justin are finally expecting a baby, after 10 years of a relationship that they weren’t sure required a child to perfect.  They are a happy couple, will make great parents, and await the wonderful upcoming day.  When a new couple moves in downstairs, Theresa & Jon, the four are introduced and are delighted to learn that both women are pregnant, both babies close to the same age.  If the new neighbors are a little odd, Kate just associates that with Jon’s business persona, his time in China, and Theresa’s breathy demeanor.  But when a tragic accident shocks the house, these couples will no longer be able to be friends, and the arrival of babies will no longer be a joyful subject.

I can’t give too much away, some of the “enjoyment” you’ll receive from this film is due to its surprises and traumas, so go in with as little knowledge as possible.  But this is a drama/horror/thriller, there are upsetting elements, so at least know that if it’s a sensitive topic for you personally.  Moving on, the film is good, but it isn’t great.  It’s far too similar to others and doesn’t quite bring enough new material to the table.  Farr fell back on what’s worked before, threw in a couple twists, and called it a film, which isn’t exactly to his discredit; at least he didn’t try to do too much.  It’s a relatively short film, flies by, scares you, exhibits solid acting, so feel confident going in that what you’re about to watch is at least well-done.  It just isn’t special, and Poesy never blows us away in the way that we needed her too if we were to love this movie.

My rating: ☆ ☆ ☆

 

 


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Movie Trailer – Don’t Hang Up

Category : Movie Trailer

Director: Damien Mace

Starring: Gregg Sulkin, Garrett Clayton

Release: February 10th, 2017

These movies are silly.


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Movie Trailer – Lowriders

Category : Movie Trailer

Director: Ricardo de Montreuil

Starring: Gabriel Chavarria, Demian Bichir, Eva Longoria

Release: May 12th, 2017

For a bad movie this doesn’t look so bad.  I hate to disparage it right away, but you can just tell that this film will be cheesy; my dad doesn’t love me, I’m gonna make it, this world can’t hold me down.  So that’s to its discredit, but there might be just enough to pull it out of the muck and make it a watchable cheeseball.  I see Mexican Bob, howdy Bob.  I see Eva Longoria, who I could do without.  And I also see Supergirl and that kid from Grand Budapest with the drawn on mustache.  The cast is unique at least, even if the story isn’t.


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Movie Review – Kama Sutra: A Tale of Love

Category : Movie Review

Director: Mira Nair

Starring: Indira Varma, Sarita Choudhury, Naveen Andrews

Year: 1996

With a name like Kama Sutra, a film will garner a certain reputation.  Sex positions, intense climaxes, basically soft core porn.  But A Tale of Love is the part of the title that should carry more emphasis, as this film is a romance first, a steamy romance second, not the other way around.  This is a love story set in ancient India, a look at the traditions of the past with a melodramatic flare for our entertainment.  It isn’t exactly Bollywood, but rather a mix of Bolly & Hollywood in a way that appeases our desire for that culture but with the added dramatic elements that we so often see in American movies.  And the film is in English anyway, so look elsewhere for the musical you might be expecting.  No, this is paperback romance set in a foreign land, but not all bad for that.

Young princess Tara’s best friend and playmate is the servant girl Maya, and both grow up to be beautiful women full of a passion for the lives ahead of them.  For Tara, that means a marriage to the King and a life of wealth & luxury.  For Maya, that means a betrothal to Tara’s brother the prince, and shouldn’t a servant be so lucky.  But things don’t always go as planned.  As both their sexual and jealous selves awaken, the girls become rivals for the King’s affection, creating a war between them that can only end badly.  So while Tara does become the Queen, Maya learns the ways of the Kama Sutra, becoming a vixen and a temptress in ways that no man can deny.

First, let’s talk about the sexual element, since that’s what may have caught your eye about this film or may be all you know about it.  There are sex scenes, though brief, and not graphic compared to today’s standards.  It’s mostly breasts and the scenes are mostly short.  The film is more sexy than sex-full, making it the perfect steamy romance without forcing it to be too risque.  The sets and costumes are just as alluring, placing you right in the middle of the era, pleasing your eye with flowers and dyes and dresses and riches.  The acting is a little cheesy, the story is a bit over-the-top, but it all comes together to create a vibrant atmosphere to enjoy rather than to pick apart.  It’s a fine film without any real excitement, a movie that can be enjoyed by couples, if not exactly in the Netflix-and-chill way you might at first imagine.

My rating: ☆ ☆ ☆

 

 


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Movie Trailer – I Am Michael

Category : Movie Trailer

Director: Justin Kelly

Starring: James Franco, Zachary Quinto, Emma Roberts

Release: January 27th, 2017

I don’t exactly trust James Franco with this serious of subject matter, but I can’t say he’s not actually a good actor, because I’ve seen him pull of difficult roles, realistic roles, and the guy’s talented.  I just worry that this is a little too deep for him.  Maybe the presence of Zachary Quinto will solidify things, help keep him afloat, because there’s definitely a great story here.  I’m just uneasy as to whether these are the right people to tell it.


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Movie Trailer – American Fable

Category : Movie Trailer

Director: Anne Hamilton

Starring: Peyton Kennedy, Kip Pardue, Richard Schiff

Release: February 17th, 2017

Looks cool, like Pan’s Labyrinth meets Signs or Super 8.  And it’s nice to see Sunshine in a serious role, he’s a dad, what’s more.  With an amateur director, you always worry about how much they might copy from others, and this film does seem to be recycling a lot we’ve seen before.  But if this girl has the “it” factor, her performance alone might be enough to win us over and to make us forgive the “borrowing”.


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Movie Review – The Last Starfighter

Category : Movie Review

Director: Nick Castle

Starring: Lance Guest, Catherine Mary Stewart, Robert Preston

Year: 1984

Oh the 80s, how we love you.  I was born in 1983, so I guess the 90s were more my “time”, but I’ve always been nostalgic for the awesome 80s, especially the incredibly weird movies that came out of that era.  From Legend to Real Genius, you never could quite tell what was going to appear next, and I grew up watching these wacky, grainy, super-dated but somehow timeless hits.  And since sci-fi is still my favorite genre, it shouldn’t be surprising that 80s sci-fi still holds a place in my heart.  The Last Starfighter is a film I watched a ton as a kid, probably 10 years after it came out, but I’m sure I enjoyed it more than most people did when it was released.  It’s just so awesome, and if you wanted to get critic-y, you could probably make the case that its ideas were parceled out later into many different movies, so hats off to Starfighter, and long live the 80s.

Alex Rogan knows that he’s meant for something much bigger than helping out his mom while she manages their trailer park, but he can’t seem to escape the monotony of the every day, the typical timeline that seems to be his future.  He has a great girlfriend named Maggie, he loves his family, and he spends all his spare time playing an arcade game called Starfighter, but what he really wants is to move away, to travel, to see the world, to experience something new for a change.  Well, be careful what you wish for, because the game that Alex has been playing is actually a test to find those special few who are gifted at piloting a Gunstar.  There’s an intergalactic war brewing, and humanity needs Alex’s help, even if they don’t know it.  He’ll soon be visited by aliens, both good & evil, and he’ll get his chance leave home, but the stars hold both beauty & danger.

Nick Castle has written a surprising number of, well, ‘successful films’ might be a stretch, but solid movies nonetheless.  Escape from New York, The Boy Who Could Fly, Hook, Escape from LA; pretty rad resume, in a cult way at least.  And he directed a few too, mostly 90s flops, but Starfighter is to his credit, and I’m really intrigued by Tag, a Linda Hamilton thriller about college murder.  Anyway, moving on, this is 80s sci-fi done right, and there’s nothing you need to do but sit back and be entertained.  Alien assassins, angry girlfriends, laser battles, brothers with Playboys; what else could you ask for.  And really, movies moving forward had a few Starfighter moments written in, so perhaps it made more of an impact than it would first appear.  This movie is all about fun, I enjoyed it many years ago, I enjoy it still today, and I recommend that you give it another look, if it was something you enjoyed 20-30 years ago; you won’t be disappointed.

My rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

 

 


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Movie Trailer – 1 Night

Category : Movie Trailer

Director: Minhal Baig

Starring: Anna Camp, Justin Chatwin, Isabelle Fuhrman, Kyle Allen

Release: February 10th, 2017

There simply isn’t enough here, in this film or in this trailer, to make this movie worth seeing.  Let’s give it the benefit of the doubt and say that it turns out OK; I think that’s basically its ceiling.  We’ve seen this story, these emotions, those characters, and we aren’t quick to watch it all again unless there looks to be something original added in.  Problem is, I think there obviously doesn’t here.