Monthly Archives: October 2018

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Movie Review – In Darkness

Category : Movie Review

Director: Anthony Byrne

Starring: Natalie Dormer, Ed Skrein, Emily Ratajkowski

Year: 2018

Now that she’s caught a bit of fame and made a bit of money, Natalie Dormer decided to co-produce and co-write a movie with her fiance Anthony Byrne, an Irish director mostly known for Peaky Blinders, but a guy who has dabbled in a lot of TV and cinema.  Dormer has dabbled herself over the years, with her roles in The Tutors, The Hunger Games, and Game of Thrones marking her career, which is off to a pretty great start.  She’s 36, looks much younger, has great presence, and is perhaps on her way up, but I’m not sure that writing herself into thrillers directed by her boyfriend is the path I would recommend.  It’s a genre fraught with peril, and there’s no easy way to reach the finish line without injuring your pride or making yourself look like an idiot.  Dormer succeeds in not embarrassing herself with this film, it’s not half bad, but it was probably, and unadvisedly, too near a miss.

Sofia is a professional piano player in London, a woman who lives on her own, doesn’t have family or a boyfriend, and who values routine in her day to day.  She’s also blind, which does not slow her down at all, which has aided her musical ear, but which perhaps keeps her at a distance from those who might become friends, or possibly more.  She talks to her coworkers some, to the busker at the coffee shop occasionally, and to the young Eastern European woman named Veronique who lives upstairs.  She often has arguments, Sofia hears them, and sometimes says strange things in the hallway when the two pass, but Sofia is shocked one evening when a noise comes from above and Veronique passes by the window on the way down.  Her death is ruled a suicide at first, but Sofia knows better; perhaps because she has picked up on a few secrets that others might have overlooked but also perhaps because she has secrets of her own.

In Darkness is a little like Red Sparrow, but with a blind protagonist, which isn’t as bad as it might sound, but also isn’t something you want to stake your reputation on.  Dormer had never written a movie before, Byrne did once 13 years ago, but it was obvious that neither have a special talent for it, or maybe they just got it completely wrong and were unaware, although that’s hard to imagine.  A blind woman, the death of a hot lady, Russians, Serbians, evil Brits, crooked spies, chases, captures, Wagner; it was a bit all over the place.  The story starts well, but then loses its ever-loving mind; I wish the happy couple had hired a ghostwriter to give them a hand, because it would have done a world of good.  The acting was nice, the mood was dark, the tension was thick, there are plenty of positives, but these semi-professionals couldn’t make it all come together correctly, and that’s not surprising, it’s just too bad.

My rating: ☆ ☆ ☆

 

 


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Movie Trailer – Holmes & Watson

Category : Movie Trailer

Director: Etan Cohen

Starring: Will Ferrell, John C. Reilly, Rebecca HallRalph Fiennes

Steve Coogan, Rob Brydon, Kelly Macdonald, Hugh Laurie, Lauren Lapkus

Release: December 21st, 2018

Despite myself, I want to see this movie.


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Movie Trailer – The Quake

Category : Movie Trailer

Director: John Andreas Andersen

Starring: Kristoffer Joner, Ane Dahl Torp

Release: 2019

This is simply The Wave but with an earthquake; same producers, same lead actor, similar setting, similar plot.  And I liked The Wave, it was a well-made disaster flick, Joner knows how to play it, I just don’t know if I want to watch it again.


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Movie Review – 13 Cameras

Category : Movie Review

Director: Victor Zarcoff

Starring: Brianne Moncrief, PJ McCabe, Neville Archambault

Year: 2015

Oh my god, there’s a 14 Cameras, which I think it one more camera than I can take.  13 Cameras was my limit, and I barely made it out alive, or without destroying the video so that I never had to watch again and no one else would be subjected to it either.  It’s not that this random, gross, creepy horror flick is so terrible, it does nothing wrong that a million haven’t done before it, but it does feature one or two specific oddities that make it almost unwatchable, and that’s why I can’t recommend that you give it a chance.  There are better and/or potentially better slasher flicks and gory movies out there that are worth your time; 13 Cameras simply isn’t one of them, because it does a few things very wrong and not nearly enough right.

Claire and Ryan have just moved to the west coast from the east, following Ryan’s career, and are preparing for the arrival of their first child.  Their new landlord is a bit weird and smells funny, but the house is nice, it has a pool, they’re just feeling a little off because of the relocation, it’ll all get better in time.  But their marriage is a little on the rocks because of the new baby; Claire is nesting and hates her body, Ryan is tired of the decorating and misses having sex.  And on top of that, unbeknownst to the couple, the owner of the building is watching them through secret fiber optic cameras he has strategically placed throughout the home; in the pool, in the bedroom, in the bathroom, in the shower.  Everything Claire and Ryan do and say is viewed by creepy Gerald, their darkest secrets revealed to a man they don’t know sees all.

It’s not a terrible premise, a horror movie based on invasion of privacy and some masturbating whacko who carries around the odor of rotten mayonnaise, which I thought was a humorous and physical way that the writers picked to explain things.  But that’s about where the good stuff leaves off, except for a bit of voyeuristic nudity and a few uncomfortable/suspenseful moments.  The reason the positives didn’t continue is because PJ McCabe can’t act, not even a little, and he basically ruined the show.  Not that anyone else was doing a bang up job, Brianne Moncrief wasn’t much better, nor were the stupid side characters, but at least they were trying with moderate success; I don’t think PJ knew what actors were supposed to do.  He was horrendous, the plot was dumb other than the watching, there was this giant, annoying, detestable story line on the fringe, nothing went according to plan, and the whole project came crashing down; why someone made a sequel might stay as one of the world’s great mysteries until the end of time.

My rating: ☆

 

 


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Movie Trailer – Cold Pursuit

Category : Movie Trailer

Director: Hans Petter Moland

Starring: Liam Neeson, Emmy Rossum, Laura Dern

Release: February 8th, 2019

I have a feeling that this movie, like many others, will be a very crappy American version of a much better foreign film.  Cold Pursuit is a remake of In Order of Disappearance, and much like Oldboy (2013), the remake of the phenomenal Oldboy (2003), I think it will fail in deliver.  It looks cool, the story is there, they ought to know what to do, but they will mess things up, that can be almost guaranteed on account of how often it’s happened before.  The same director did do both movies, so maybe there’s a chance it works, but I just wouldn’t bet on it.


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Movie Trailer – Vox Lux

Category : Movie Trailer

Director: Brady Corbet

Starring: Natalie Portman, Jude Law, Raffey Cassidy

Release: December 7th, 2018

It’s like Black Swan meets A Star Is Born meets The Killing of a Sacred Deer, and if that isn’t a movie you want to see I don’t know how to help you.  What’s more, Natalie Portman and Jude Law are two of the best actors in film history, two of the absolute best, and I’d stand in line to see them in a project together; Closer and Cold Mountain were too long ago.


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Movie Review – Compulsion

Category : Movie Review

Director: Craig Goodwill

Starring: Analeigh Tipton, Marta Gastini, Jakob Cedergren

Year: 2016

The Netflix Steamy Romance section has always been a den of sin, sex, and sub-par filmmaking, and Compulsion is no exception.  It was hard to find a photo to set as the Featured Image of this post, only because ever picture that showed up in my search was a naked shot of Analeigh Tipton, which was basically the majority and the highlight of the movie.  And by ‘highlight’ I mean ‘only semi-positive thing’, because god knows there was nothing for any member of this cast or this crew to hang their hats on except for the erect nipples of the film’s star.  It became something of a joke, just another oddity of one of the world’s worst movies, instead of the sensual aspect it was supposed to be, because it (they) was (were) featured so often and so heavily.  But in case you think that’s a reason to watch, let me warn you; it is most definitely not.

Sadie is a world-renowned author of erotic fiction, her books heralded from Paris to Peking to Peoria, but to get her intimate knowledge of the darker aspects of sex, she has had to pay a hefty price, a sum not worth the sleepless nights and passionless encounters she is now a slave to.  She’s attempting to date a normal man, but that’s not going well, and when she stumbles upon an ex-lover while on her book tour, Sadie is quickly drawn back into the world of high-class sadomasochism.  Alex is very persuasive, and she still desires him, so Sadie goes along with the plan, a weekend trip to an Italian villa that promises as much as it demands.  Along for the ride is a dancer named Francesca, who Sadie is instantly attracted to, but who may simply be a pawn in some wicked game that ends with both climax and blood.

Not to be confused with the Heather Graham Compulsion, which I’m sure is just as bad, this film is an attempt to be a mix between Eyes Wide Shut and Fifty Shades of Grey, which of course is a goal it does not meet.  Not that I’m a Fifty Shades fan, but Compulsion is about 1/1000th of its quality, if you can imagine such a thing, such an ugly, awful, unbelievably horrible thing.  This really is one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen, a dull wannabe of so many other things that it had no business aspiring to, a stupid erotic tale that is anything but.  Tipton’s nipples are the stars of the show, but it’s more pathetic than arousing, and she must be so regretful of this choice, even more than Dakota Johnson is, since she at least made money.  The plot is ridiculous, the acting is awful, the sex is strange, the story makes no sense, and there is not one single part I can point to that would make this feature worth a second of your time, not even streaming at 3am for a cheap thrill; if nothing better is available you’re better off going to sleep and saving yourself the secondhand embarrassment.

My rating: ☆

 

 


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Sports – Covers.com NBA Picks

Category : Sports

NBA Picks, presented by Covers.com

The NBA season is in the early stages, but predictions have come in from every major sports site and news network, with opinions on which team will ultimately raise the Championship trophy.  It’s never too early to jump on a bandwagon or to make bold predictions, and your picks are as likely as anyone else’s, even the sports experts and the veteran journalists.  Here are some of the most high profile predictions from around the NBA world and who they think will be hoisting hardware at the end of the season:

Playoff teams in East

Washington Post: 1. Celtics, 2. Raptors, 3. 76ers, 4. Bucks, 5. Pacers, 6. Wizards, 7. Heat, 8. Pistons

FiveThirtyEight: 1. Raptors, 2. Celtics, 3. 76ers, 4. Wizards, 5. Bucks, 6. Pacers, 7. Heat, 8. Pistons

CBS Sports NBA: 1. Raptors, 2. Celtics, 3. 76ers, 4. Pacers, 5. Heat, 6. Bucks, 7. Pistons, 8. Wizards

ESPN’s Zach Lowe: 1. Celtics, 2. Raptors, 3. Bucks, 4. Sixers, 5. Pacers, 6. Heat, 7. Wizards, 8. Pistons

Playoff teams in West

Washington Post: 1. Warriors, 2. Jazz, 3. Rockets, 4. Thunder, 5. Pelicans, 6. Nuggets, 7. Trail Blazers, 8. Spurs

FiveThirtyEight: 1. Warriors, 2. Rockets, 3. Jazz, 4. Thunder, 5. Nuggets, 6. Lakers, 7. Timberwolves, 8. Pelicans

CBS Sports NBA: 1. Warriors, 2. Rockets, 3. Lakers, 4. Thunder, 5. Nuggets, 6. Jazz, 7. Spurs, 8. Pelicans

ESPN’s Zach Lowe: 1. Warriors, 2. Rockets, 3. Thunder, 4. Jazz, 5. Nuggets, 6. Lakers, 7. Pelicans, 8. Trailblazers.

Conference winners / title winners

Washington Post: East – Celtics, West – Warriors; title: Warriors

Sports Illustrated: Five of six writers picked the Celtics in the East and Warriors in the West; title: Warriors

ESPN’s Zach Lowe: East – Celtics, West – Warriors; title: Warriors

MVP

Washington Post: Antetokounmpo

ESPN’s Zach Lowe: Antetokounmpo

ESPN experts: Nine picked James, four picked Anthony Davis, two picked Kevin Durant, two picked Kawhi Leonard, two picked Antetokounmpo, one picked James Harden, one picked Kyrie Irving.

The Warriors are the clear favorites to win the Championship, but the season title belongs to whichever team has the talent, luck, and determination to claim it, not the team who is the most likely or who everyone picks.  Anything can happen during this long, winter season, and we’ve seen upsets before, so get ready for a wild ride throughout the playoffs and a great NBA season.

Visit Covers.com for all your sports betting needs, as well as expert analysis, picks, odds, and news from around the world of sports.  NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, NCAAF, NCAAB, & more; Covers has you covered.

 


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Movie Trailer – The Prodigy

Category : Movie Trailer

Director: Nicholas McCarthy

Starring: Jackson Robert Scott, Taylor Schilling, Colm Feore

Release: February 8th, 2019

The Babadook mixed with Hereditary; no thank you, no nightmares here please, not interested.


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Movie Trailer – Bird Box

Category : Movie Trailer

Director: Susanne Bier

Starring: Sandra Bullock, Trevante Rhodes, John Malkovich

Release: December 21st, 2018

Oh come on.  Really?  Really?!  Do they think we didn’t just watch A Quiet Place, do they think we won’t notice that they changed sight for sound and kept the rest, do they not understand that we are smarter than that?!  I feel like boycotting this movie, not just not watching it, it feels like something more extreme must be done to prevent idiocy on this level from ever happening again.  My god.  And I just realized that this is the woman who directed Serena, the flop of all flops.  She casts Sandra Bullock as the savior of her career and of this terrible plot?  Not even Trevante Rhodes and Lil Rel Howery can save the day; please, let’s never talk about this film again.