Monthly Archives: August 2018

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Movie Trailer – Peterloo

Category : Movie Trailer

Director: Mike Leigh

Starring: Rory Kinnear, Maxine Peake

Release: November 9th, 2018

This has a chance to be powerful, given that it has anything new to say or any original content whatsoever.  There’s a chance it doesn’t, we’ve seen this type of movie before, but also we enjoy it, and are pretty open to seeing it again.  I just like British people more than regular people, and I love history, so I’m in regardless.


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Movie Trailer – Ben Is Back

Category : Movie Trailer

Director: Peter Hedges

Starring: Julia Roberts, Lucas Hedges

Release: December 7th, 2018

Talk about a tease.  This is barely anything but a tiny clip, but I already don’t like what I see.  Mainly, Julia Roberts, who is awful, right?  Don’t other people think so?  She’s a bad, over-dramatic actress, always has been.  I love Lucas Hedges, but I think he’s making a bad choice here, with an Oscar-bait film that won’t become what they’re hoping that they made.  Also, it’s directed by Lucas’ dad Peter, who really only does bad movies, so.


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Movie Review – Unsane

Category : Movie Review

Director: Steven Soderbergh

Starring: Claire Foy, Jay Pharoah, Joshua Leonard

Year: 2018

The hook with Unsane is that it was shot on an iPhone.  That’s right, an iPhone, that’s the camera that was used to film this movie, an iPhone 7 plus.  That deserves some applause, that a filmmaker was willing to bring things down to their bare bones, to capture a feature on something simple, to make it all about the action and the characters and the script, to take everything else away.  It’s a great idea for this genre, horror/thriller, because we don’t really care how amazing the visuals look, we simply want to be entertained.  The problem arises from the feel that filming on an iPhone brings; instantaneously audiences are hit with the thought that it looks like we’re watching something our artistic, eccentric filmmaker friend captured on video because he was being weird.  In other words, directors use expensive cameras for a reason, and I think we all just saw why.

Sawyer, a young woman who has just moved to a new city for a new job and a chance to start again, is running from something.  A man named David became obsessed with her when she lived in her native Boston, taking it to the point of stalking Sawyer and endlessly declaring his “love”.  When restraining orders and expert advise didn’t help, she left the problem behind and started fresh in Pennsylvania, where she hoped she would never see David again.  But she constantly feels him over her shoulder, can’t get away from the idea that he will come for her, and so can’t possibly find happiness or peace in her new surroundings.  When Sawyer talks to a therapist about these concerns, she somehow signs herself up for observation is a psych facility, where who should show up but David, posing as a technician.  But is it really her stalker or is she seeing him everywhere?  Is she really sane and locked up by accident or is a ward the only place where she can finally defeat her demons?

It’s a cool concept I guess, forcing audiences to wonder at the stability of the main character; can we trust what she’s saying or not, is she reliable or is she actually going crazy?  It’s a smart idea, but I think the answer is revealed too early, and the rest of the movie turns messy as a result.  After the reveal, if you will, what we’re left with is a fairly standard plot without much original content to offer.  And then there’s the acting, which is pathetic and embarrassing, especially from anyone besides Foy, who was passable.  Everyone else felt like they were extras, or at least that quality, and it was no fun to watch.  The iPhone gimmick got old fast too, because, honestly, I don’t want to watch movies made on iPhones.  It just looks bad, like someone tried to make a feature film on an iPhone!  Doy.  What was he thinking?  It looks more amateur than it is, cheaper than it ought to be, and lazier than I’m sure it really was.  This was a cool experiment gone wrong, neither an impressive low-budget film or a well-made horror flick, settling somewhere in between at a place no one wants to go.

My rating: ☆ ☆

 

 


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Movie Trailer – King Lear (2018)

Category : Movie Trailer

Director: Richard Eyre

Starring: Anthony Hopkins, Emma Thompson, Florence Pugh

Emily Watson, Tobias Menzies, Jim Carter, Jim Broadbent, Andrew Scott

Release: September 28th, 2018

I’m shocked that this looks as horrible as it does, considering the foundation and the talent.  Maybe it’s just a terrible trailer or an odd style choice, but I really don’t like the modern military look, it throws me off and feels doubly strange when they use the text verbatim.  Three years ago, Eyre directed The Dresser, which was about Hopkins playing Lear on stage, and it was an incredible film; I almost wish he had simply stuck to that.


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Movie Trailer – The Land of Steady Habits

Category : Movie Trailer

Director: Nicole Holofcener

Starring: Ben Mendelsohn, Thomas Mann, Edie Falco

Release: September 14th, 2018

Netflix is really getting back on the horse after a few hard falls.  Ben Mendelsohn is a genius, this story seems relevant, and I bet it’ll be a nicely-wrapped package for audiences to take home.  BUT, I am still a little concerned.  This director is more TV, a bit amateur when it comes to anything major, and I just don’t trust that anything original is coming our way.  And I’m getting a little tired of Thomas Mann; he impressed when he emerged but since then he hasn’t really risen in the ranks.  I’m at least curious about this film, so we’ll see.


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Thought – 2019 Oscar Preview

Category : Thought

Of course it’s too early to make Oscar predictions; the nominees are months away from being announced.  Some of what may be the best films of the year haven’t even come out yet.  But that doesn’t mean we can’t talk about it anyway and make guesses based on almost nothing.  At the very least, here is a list of movies that deserve a watch, as they might be in the Oscar conversation soon.

This is the AwardsCircuit.com

ranking of top possible Academy Award contenders:

  1. A Star is Born
  2. If Beale Street Could Talk
  3. Roma
  4. The Favourite
  5. Beautiful Boy
  6. Green Book
  7. First Man
  8. BlacKkKlansman
  9. The Front Runner
  10. Capernaum
  11. Black Panther
  12. Boy Erased
  13. Backseat
  14. Destroyer
  15. Mary Queen of Scots
  16. Widows
  17. Can You Ever Forgive Me?
  18. Peterloo
  19. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
  20. Ad Astra
  21. Eighth Grade
  22. The Happy Prince
  23. At Eternity’s Gate
  24. Mary Poppins Returns
  25. Bohemian Rhapsody
  26. The Old Man & the Gun
  27. On the Basis of Sex
  28. Crazy Rich Asians
  29. Wildlife
  30. A Quiet Place

Snubbed: Private Life, Mid90s, Goldstone, Mary and the Witch’s Flower, Avengers: Infinity War, Mission: Impossible – Fallout, Leave No Trace, Game Night, The Kindergarten Teacher, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, Solo, A Futile and Stupid Gesture, The Polka King, Annihilation, Lean on Pete, 7 Days in Entebbe, Don’t Worry He Won’t Get Far on Foot, Incredibles 2.

 


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Movie Trailer – Green Book

Category : Movie Trailer

Director: Peter Farrelly

Starring: Viggo Mortensen, Mahershala Ali

Release: November 21st, 2018

This movie has the smell of something that’s trying to trick me, but I think it might already be working.  The director really only does comedy, but he’s trying to stretch himself here, which I guess is admirable, but perhaps not recommended.  You can tell that someone new to this genre is trying their hand at it, but again, I’m almost drawn in anyway, despite the knowledge that it most likely won’t be the quality of drama I want to see.


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Movie Trailer – Outlaw King

Category : Movie Trailer

Director: David Mackenzie

Starring: Chris Pine, Florence Pugh, Aaron Taylor-Johnson

Release: November 9th, 2018

I’m confused; when they said “untold story” did they mean “Braveheart 2”?  Or, more specifically, “Braveheart: Retold from Robert’s Perspective”?  Because this looks like the same movie I’ve seen & loved before; Braveheart is one of the greatest epic films ever made.  It’s the same scenes even; the killing of the relatives, attacking smaller castles, rallying the Scotsman, the arrows, the spears, the English king.  Am I missing something?  I know that Braveheart wasn’t 100% historically accurate, but does this time around have anything new to offer other than a different main hero?  I love Chris Pine, he’s incredible, and I loved Hell or High Water, it was exceptional.  But I’m really confused as to why people are pretending that this exact story hasn’t already been told.  I think these events will happen immediately after the William Wallace events, so it’s basically a second open rebellion against England, but that doesn’t really change anything; we’ve still seen this before, this isn’t original cinema.


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DVD Review – Color of Night

Category : DVD Review

Director: Richard Rush

Starring: Bruce Willis, Jane March, Ruben Blades

Year: 1994

That this movie exists is the first surprise; what isn’t surprising is that it’s so awful.  I must have missed its release in 1994, and I would have been too young to see it anyway, although right on the cusp of wanting to.  I can remember a time that seeing skin on USA Network was a big deal, and this film has that sort of feel, a too-shabby-to-be-anywhere-else vibe that’s much more becoming of a TV movie than an actual feature film.  It comes across as a terrible idea gone even more terribly wrong, something you’d expect to see at 2am one summer night, not starring Bruce Willis and being advertised as a legitimate entity.  It’s not, it’s really not, even if you remember this movie fondly from when you were a teenager and simply wanted to see Jane March naked.  You still can, this Blu-ray is a thing you can watch, you may just want to avert your eyes for literally every other scene.

The Movie

Pyschoanalyst Bill Capa has a nice practice going in New York, has good mentors, feels confident in his inherent competition with other therapists, has a full client list, and a large office in a high rise that was built to impress.  But the death of a patient right before his eyes will derail his gilded path and send him down a spiraling tunnel toward rock bottom.  All of a sudden he can’t keep it together, can’t stop seeing that girl laying dead at his feet.  And oddly enough, he can no longer see the color red, the color of blood, it has turned to gray, and a part of his emotional side has gone as dead as his senses.  Because he needs a break from the stress, Bill heads to L.A. for a little vacation to see his college buddy Bob Moore, a fellow psychologist who has also done rather well for himself.

However, instead of helping Bill with his problems, Bob has a situation of his own that he needs help with.  He has a regular Monday night group therapy session, and he thinks that someone in the group has been threatening his life.  It’s up to Bill to find out who it is, all while attempting to recover from the death of his own patient.  And it gets worse.  Before Bill can crack the case, Bob is murdered, probably by someone in the group, each of whom has serious issues that make them untrustworthy at best.  Sondra is a sex addict, Clark is an obsessive compulsive, Buck can’t get over a personal tragedy, Casey has anger problems, and Richie can’t identify his gender.  Bill’s own life will soon be in danger, as a mysterious young woman enters his world and ignites his desires, only to lead him toward self destruction.

This really is the perfect late night, channel-surfing, steamy thriller, except that it’s supposed to be an actual movie, and it wholeheartedly is not.  It’s a joke, a spoof, right?  Except that it isn’t, and that’s what makes it so horrible; thanks Buena Vista.  All the pieces are there for a Red Shoe Diaries or Silk Stockings episode (why are people obsessed with feet?), but Color of Night is supposed to be something more, while clinging to the exact same recipe.  Los Angeles, a wealthy professional, a host of odd characters, a sexy twig, car chases, a wise-cracking cop, sex in a pool; this really is the worst genre ever, when you start to dissect it into parts.  It’s like a hot tub; you can only enjoy it with your clothes off and if you don’t think too much about it.

A lot of people will remember Jane March for this film, because she’s all kinds of naked, which is really the only reason to watch, if you’re still hanging on to a crush you had for her when you were 14 in 1994.  Bruce Willis gets kind of nude too, which is more shocking, considering what a superstar he is these days, but I guess everyone’s gotta start somewhere.  What shocks me more than the skin is how anyone in their right mind could have cast Willis as a psychologist, how they could possibly have thought he would be believable as an intelligent person.  I like him just fine, but this role is ridiculous enough without casting him in it.  And then there’s the rest of the cast, which is just odd: Scott Bakula from Quantum Leap, Brad Dourif from Lord of the Rings, Lance Henriksen from Aliens, Kevin J. O’Connor from The Mummy, Eriq Le Salle and Kathleen Wilhoite from ER.  It’s a bizarre who’s who, which only makes the movie more out of place than it already is.  The tropes run rampant, the apartments are outrageous, the California nights drip with sweat, the detectives crack jokes, and we all get a little dumber watching what is basically an anti-filmmaking clinic with its very own theme song.

The Blu-ray

Video – With an aspect ratio of 2.35:1 (1920x1080p) and shot using an Arriflex 535 camera, the video quality of this Blu-ray disc is as poor as you would imagine coming out of the 90s, especially when it really doesn’t seem like much effort was put in to making this film any sort of good.  There are a few moments when they highlight the color red, per Bill’s weird condition, and the death at the beginning looks cool, but other than that everything in this movie is a mess.  I actually wish it had been fuzzier, so I would have witnessed less.

Audio – The disc was done in English, with a choice between 5.1 Surround and 2.0 Stereo.  That’s it as far as the audio in concerned, and the only other thing that needs mentioning is the theme song.  Well, that and a continuing thread of music throughout that wasn’t too terrible.  The theme song, with words, plays at the end, and it’s comedic gold.  Also, it gives the film its title, which I don’t remember being referenced otherwise, so there you go.

Extras – The only bonus features on the Blu-ray are audio commentary by the screenwriter and an animated image gallery.  On the director’s cut, which comes with this disc and is 18 minutes longer (basically sex scenes), you can listen to commentary by the director and access trailers.

Final Thoughts

Skip It.  The story and screenplay for this film were written by Billy Ray, who would go on to become a well-known professional after this initial foray.  Again, it’s OK to start at the bottom and work your way up, no shame in that, it’s just weird to look back on the crap people once voluntarily connected themselves with; you wonder if they regret it now or if it was the start they needed.  Either way, this strange mix of smut and sensationalism exists, and I’ve now watched it, for which I am wholly disappointed with myself.  I didn’t need to see Bruce Willis roll a remote controlled tank up Jane March’s naked torso in the bath, nor hear him vocalize the utterly abysmal line “In the what-I-wait-for department, you’re it baby.”  I almost gave up right there, but I finished, which allows me to impart some wisdom to you; don’t watch this movie.  The video is bad, the audio is funny, the special features are few; basically there are no redeeming qualities.  You might have seen Color of Night when you were younger; you don’t want to go back and relive it, trust me.

☆ – Content

☆ ☆ – Video

☆ ☆ – Audio

☆ ☆ – Extras

☆ – Replay

 

 


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Movie Trailer – Slaughterhouse Rulez

Category : Movie Trailer

Director: Crispian Mills

Starring: Simon Pegg, Michael Sheen, Asa Butterfield

Release: October 31st, 2018

No, no, no, no, no.  This is not how you do it.  Come on people, get your heads right.  This isn’t horror or comedy or genre or funny, it’s just dumb, and I’m sad that these actors are involved in it.