Monthly Archives: February 2017

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Movie Trailer – Dean

Category : Movie Trailer

Director: Demetri Martin

Starring: Demetri Martin, Kevin Kline, Mary Steenburgen

Release: June 2nd, 2017

I’m excited to see something that Demetri Martin created completely on his own, with his drawings and his unique comedy in tow.  I happen to find him hilarious, and I’m hoping that he can transfer that to the screen, not only as an actor but as a writer/director as well.  Kevin Kline is a nice addition, something to anchor down that part of the plot, and I have high hopes for the movie in general.  I guess I just don’t want it to turn into a People Places Things copy, because that film was incredible, and I don’t want to see it remake badly.  Fingers crossed.

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Movie Trailer – The House

Category : Movie Trailer

Director: Andrew Jay Cohen

Starring: Will Ferrell, Amy Poehler, Jason Mantzoukas

Release: June 30th, 2017

I know this looks so stupid but I kinda wanna see it.  That’s how it goes with Will Ferrell; his comedy is so dumb but I can’t help myself.  The addition of Amy Poehler as his counterpart helps out, as I think she’ll balance things out a bit and offer her up her own style of humor.  I don’t expect this movie to be anything at all approaching comedy gold, but I would watch it for pure entertainment.

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Movie Review – Tumbledown

Category : Movie Review

Director: Sean Mewshaw

Starring: Rebecca Hall, Jason Sudeikis

Year: 2015

Tumbledown isn’t a disappointment in many ways, it’s a disappointment in the same way on repeat.  Basically, every piece of the film has been done better elsewhere and every actor in the movie has given us better in another role.  It’s 95 minutes of recycled material and second level performances, not something that’s bad enough to turn off, but definitely not something that’s good enough to recommend.  Director Sean Mewshaw makes his feature-length debut, and in order to pull it off, borrows heavily from literally anything else.  He might have been saved had his cast produced a few original moments, but they seemed to be focused elsewhere, phoning it in for these roles, as if they already knew that it wasn’t exactly worth their time.

Hannah’s husband was an up-and-coming folk musician, a poet with an enormous amount to say and the perfect voice with which to say it.  After one album and the beginning of a promising career, he died in the mountains of Maine after a freak accident, leaving Hannah behind to pick up the pieces and to play caretaker to a grave that would become a shrine.  Tired of people trying to make a buck off of her husband’s legend, she at first scorns professor/author Andrew as just another music junkie or wannabe celebrity.  But she soon discovers that Andrew means to give her husband an immortality that she can’t quite muster on her own, and that moving on after the death of a loved one doesn’t have to be an omission of their memory.

I like these actors, I liked the sad story, and I was prepared to like this film as a whole, but I’ve seen better many times over, and so Tumbledown just doesn’t hold up.  Rebecca Hall is masterful in Christine; watch her there instead.  Jason Sudeikis is a rom/com god in Sleeping with Other People; check that one out with your boyfriend.  Rudderless is a phenomenal film about music & loss; this film just doesn’t compare.  My point is, you can get these qualities elsewhere, and you probably should, since they’ve produced before this, and produced better.  From the plot foundation to the side characters, it’s all something we’ve seen before; it’s not bad, it’s just not special.  And the leads have absolutely no chemistry, which is upsetting, because they are both talented, both capable, but they just didn’t bring it here.  Tumbledown isn’t awful, it just isn’t new, and you’re better served seeking entertainment elsewhere.

My rating: ☆ ☆ ☆



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Movie Trailer – The Institute

Category : Movie Trailer

Director: James Franco

Starring: James Franco, Eric Roberts, Tim Blake Nelson

Release: March 3rd, 2017

When Eric Roberts is the lead-in to your film, you know you’ve made a big mistake.  James Franco does have talent, I think we can all agree on that, but he mostly does either terribly stupid movies or just plain terrible movies, rarely sliding into a part that will actually show off his skills.  This movie looks awful, and Franco just pumps out way too many of these to be taken seriously.

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Movie Trailer – Sandy Wexler

Category : Movie Trailer

Director: Steven Brill

Starring: Adam Sandler, Jennifer Hudson, Rob Schneider

Release: April 14th, 2017

Why did someone make this movie, that’s my only question.  Like, why and how did someone think this was a good plot for a film?  I understand that Adam Sandler is kind of an idiot; a rich idiot, but an idiot all the same.  But how did even he and/or his team think that this story was something that needed to be told, even for a couple cheap laughs.  You can be funny in other ways, or at least other people can, and maybe Sandler should branch out.  Or maybe he should just stop being a moron and leave us all alone.

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Thought – 2017 Oscar Picks

Category : Thought

Sunday February 26th, 2017, the Academy Awards!  I’ve very excited about this year’s Oscars; there are a ton of excellent films represented, as well as the annual snubs left out.  It should be a great show, with Jimmy Kimmel hosting, and I’m sure I’ll be reacting live during the event on Twitter (@OlieCoen).  You can check out my Oscars page for a complete listing of the nominees in the six major categories, but here are both my predictions and my picks for the best films of 2016:

Best Actor

Best Supporting Actor

Best Actress

  • Winner – Natalie Portman – Jackie
  • Runner-up – Ruth NeggaLoving
  • My choiceNatalie Portman – Jackie

Best Supporting Actress

Best Director

Best Picture


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Movie Trailer – Brain on Fire

Category : Movie Trailer

Director: Gerard Barrett

Starring: Chloë Grace Moretz, Thomas Mann, Tyler Perry

Release: 2017

This might be the worst movie ever made.  Partly because, I mean, it’s, well, just watch the trailer.  And partly because it looks Hallmark quality or less but is being hyped as an actual film.  It isn’t, it’s a flaming heap, please don’t watch it.  Moretz is so, so bad, not just here, but in everything, and hopefully this movie will be the Jump the Shark moment that reveals that fact to more people, because I just can’t.

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Movie Trailer – Everything, Everything

Category : Movie Trailer

Director: Stella Meghie

Starring: Amandla Stenberg, Nick Robinson

Release: May 19th, 2017

What terrible book is this movie based on?  It looks like something some girl wrote in high school for a class project, not an actual novel that actual adults would read.  As far as the film goes, I don’t see how anyone other than 14-year-old girls who like to write poetry about loneliness could possibly enjoy it.  I pass, with vigor.

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DVD Review – Come What May

Category : DVD Review

Director: Christian Carion

Starring: August Diehl, Matthew Rhys, Olivier Gourmet

Year: 2015

There was such a vast percentage of humanity affected by WWII that we’ll literally never run out of stories to glean from that time period, to turn into sagas and dramas that both teach a lesson and give us a taste of the history that we dare not forget.  Come What May comes at the era from a different direction, showing us a world gone mad through the eyes of those whose stories haven’t been loudly told.  In a way, these are tales from before the heart of the war was at hand, tales of the lives that were changed by the approach of battle, just as so many were destroyed by the actual chaos.  I appreciate the fresh viewpoint and the atypical delivery, but what’s even better is the quality put in to bringing this chapter to life, and the heart written into every scene.

The Movie

In the spring of 1940, Germany was already on their way to a sure victory over a cowering Europe.  Having already taken neighboring, Germanic territories, the Nazis were pushing on into France, crushing the token British and French forces, ending the war before it had scarcely begun.  The Brits were forced back to Dunkirk, the French never stood a chance, and Hitler’s forces began their takeover of the farmlands of central Europe, the fields that would feed a world army.  The French peasants were left with few options; stay in their villages and hope the German tanks would pass them by or flee south toward a possible safe haven, leaving everything they had ever known behind and in the hands of Nazi occupation.

This is the story of the struggle of the native people of this land, as they fought to hold on to any memory of their past peace, a dream that was slowly fading away.  Hans, a German rebel who worked for an underground radio station but was forced to leave his homeland, finds himself in a French jail, with no support from either side.  His son, Max, is living in a village that will soon be on the move, led by their mayor, a man who is used to having others follow his decisions but has never had to travel through a war zone before.  When Hans escapes jail, only to befriend a marooned Scottish officer, the two trek across the countryside in order to find Max, to find safety, to find some sort of sanity in the insanity that is the beginning of a world war.

We know the history of the Holocaust very well, and there is no saturation point when it comes to the films that can tell us the stories from that horrible time, both from a dramatic standpoint and from a humanitarian one.  But there was much more to the war than battles and terror, there were smaller tales that may have slipped through the cracks of time, individual accounts that might be smaller on scale but still deliver a powerful impact.  Come What May is a very personal film that sheds light on a very unique group of people; the displaced French.  Their struggles may not have been as vicious as others, but the way in which their roots were uplifted is just another crime to throw at the feet of the Nazis, just another way they destroyed so much.

It’s clear from the beginning that this movie is slightly documentarian in style, partly war drama, and always full of real feeling from a director/writer who felt that he had something very important to share with us.  It won’t capture your attention, entertain you, if that word can be used about the abuse of a population, in the way that many American-made war films can, but it also won’t bore audiences with an overly-artistic depiction of the times either.  Instead, it falls somewhere in the middle; a little action, a bit of beauty, but mainly focusing on telling a generally true story as it might have happened, allowing us to be there and to understand the panic behind the flight of so many who would never see their homes again.  The acting is strong enough to share the message, the Spring scenery is beautiful, the German advancement is frighteningly steady, and the film as a whole is a well-made point piece with just enough Hollywood to hook those who don’t want to forget what happened all those years ago.

The Blu-ray

Video – With an aspect ratio of 2.35:1, the video quality of the Blu-ray disc isn’t exactly stunning, but it won’t disappoint those looking for a crisp image from a high quality medium.  The picture is saturated with rich color and showcases the beauty of the countryside, as well as the dark gore of war.  It’s a strong visual, with realistic cinematography and a nice brightness.

Audio – Done in DTS-HD Master Audio, the audio quality of the disc is quite excellent.  There is also a choice of 5.1 Dolby Digital, as well as subtitles in English.  Throughout the film, French and German subtitles will automatically appear.  The sound quality of the Blu-ray is superb, with an incredible soundtrack as well, crafted by the renowned Ennio Morricone.

Extras – There are many extras on the Blu-ray disc, beginning with an option of audio commentary with director Christian Carion.  A theatrical trailer is available to view.  The Making of Come What May is a look into the creation of the film.  Behind the Scenes with composer Ennio Morricone is exactly that.  And an Interview with Christian Carion and Richard Peña can be selected for your enjoyment as well.

Final Thoughts

Highly Recommended.  An unusual WWII film, at least in the direction from which it attacks the subject, Come What May is nevertheless an important piece to the greater puzzle of those impacting years and the people who survived to tell the tale.  We learn about the quick French collapse, but we don’t know much about the peasants who fled for their lives, and this is their story.  In that, it’s a film worth watching, with an added bonus of some solid acting and storytelling as well.  It won’t join a group of award-winners perhaps, but it at least deserves its time in the sun.  The video is pleasantly done, the audio is a highlight, and there are many extras to enjoy as well.  Taken as a whole package, there is much to appreciate here, especially for those wanting to dive into learning about WWII and the people who make it worth studying.

☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ – Content

☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ – Video

☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ – Audio

☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ – Extras

☆ ☆ ☆ – Replay









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Movie Trailer – The Bad Batch

Category : Movie Trailer

Director: Ana Lily Amirpour

Starring: Suki Waterhouse, Jason Momoa, Keanu Reeves

Release: June 23rd, 2017

What the who now?  This movie looks weird.  A little Neon Demon weird, a little Mad Max weird, a little Automata weird, a little Planet Terror weird, but definitely weird, and probably a big ripoff.  And did you see the rest of the cast?  Giovanni Ribisi, Jim Carrey, Diego Luna; are they all cannibals in the desert too?  I almost want to see this to see just how strange it gets.  But I also think I better not.