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Archive for the 'Movie Reviews' Category

Forgotten Friday Flick – “Southern Comfort”

Having recently watched another oldie but goodie in remembrance of the late great Powers Boothe (the previous being Extreme Prejudice!), I thought why not throw it up this week to keep the tribute going – welcome to Forgotten Friday Flick!  Today’s hidden gem was the first collaboration between famed Director Walter Hill and the brilliant Boothe as the two took on the dangers of the Louisiana bayou.  (Both in front and behind the camera!)  Seems a gang of ill equipped National Guardsman find themselves in the crosshairs of some very sinister swamp folks after a little not-so-harmless prank and end up fighting for their very lives.  Bravado and bullets, explosions and spear beds, killers and Cajun Cooder music all set the stage for a little unwelcome…Southern Comfort. Continue reading ‘Forgotten Friday Flick – “Southern Comfort”’

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‘Pirates of the Caribbean’: At Franchise’s End (Movie Review)

Keep in mind this review is arriving before we learn what amount of treasure Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales manages to plunder at the box office, but what could be next for this series? Disney has managed to make a multi-billion dollar franchise out of a popular amusement park ride, proving anything is possible, including turning that weirdo Johnny Depp into an international superstar. Now we are five films deep in a sub-genre that has still failed repeatedly with everyone else. There is no telling what Disney plans to do, but at the very least, Dead Men Tell No Tales manages to course correct after the disastrous On Stranger Tides and give way to a fitting finale if this film indeed is that.

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Baywatch Is Bodacious With Beaches, Babes and Blasts (Movie Review)

Baywatch MovieIf you’re of my generation, who didn’t watch television’s Baywatch growing up?  I mean of course we all watched for Knight Rider‘s David Hasselhoff and beach babes like Pamela Anderson, Nicole Eggert, Yasmine Bleech and Carmen Electra were just icing on the cake.  Sure (wink, wink).  Baywatch is not only part of our pop culture, but like The Terminator 1 and 2 to most people, part of our beloved childhood too.  So when word of a reboot surfaced regarding turning the nostalgic show into a motion picture I feared the absolute worst.  Yes I feared my childhood would be butchered and erased just like 2015’s Terminator: Genisys did.  Ugh!  However, rest assured there was a silver lining in all of this.  Baywatch would unite onscreen two of the hottest comedic stars with some pretty rad beach babes too.  Of course I’m talking about involvement from the likes of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Zac Efron to the big busted Alexandra Daddario.  What?  LOL.  I don’t know how else to describe her besides those bright, Blu-ray eyes she has.  So I was saying yeah Baywatch…. Continue reading ‘Baywatch Is Bodacious With Beaches, Babes and Blasts (Movie Review)’

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Forgotten Friday Flick – “Extreme Prejudice” (In Memory of Powers Boothe)

With the passing of the Powers Boothe this week a tribute to the iconic actor for any fan of great film is a movie must.  But since his best work in my opinion has already been given the past picture royal treatment via former movie home (see the Forgotten Friday Flick review of John Boorman’s The Emerald Forest at Starpulse.com HERE!) time for a secondary selection to give the late great actor his due – welcome to Forgotten Friday Flick!  This week were going back to 1987 for a second cinematic collaboration between legendary director Walter Hill and Boothe (the first being the harrowing thriller Southern Comfort!) involving a Texas Ranger who finds himself face-to-face with a bad guy involved in serious drug trafficking – who is also a childhood friend.  Double crosses, harrowing heists, old west showdowns and thick levels of tough guy testosterone riddle a flick with…Extreme Prejudice! Continue reading ‘Forgotten Friday Flick – “Extreme Prejudice” (In Memory of Powers Boothe)’

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Encapsulated Movie Reviews – Seven Indie/Two Studio Titles

Since last week saw such few releases, I held onto the reviews plus added some already out selections to make this weeks crop truly a hodgepodge movie assortment.  Not to mention that there are a massive nine films covered – seven indie titles and two big budget studio flicks.  (I see the big titles too, just don’t usually review them – but when in Rome!)  Groups of people all deciding to live together and the consequences, brides ‘not-to-be’ taking drastic actions, old fairy tales with a new caustic comedic twists, issues of trust in a world gone mad, alien abductions from a famed forest, the effect of constant bad luck on one woman’s life, a doc on the hidden world of UFO’s and two studio pictures dealing with aliens and overbearing moms all make up the flicks covered in this weeks Encapsulated Movie Reviews.  Check out the skinny on The Commune, The Wedding Plan, The New Adventures of Aladdin, The Survivalist, Beacon Point, A Woman’s Life, Unacknowledged, Alien: Covenant and Snatched below! Continue reading ‘Encapsulated Movie Reviews – Seven Indie/Two Studio Titles’

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‘Alien: Covenant’ Plays By Fassbender’s Rules (Movie Review)

Six years ago I fell in love with the Alien franchise when I was forced to tackle the Alien Anthology Blu-ray box set in my complete review of it all here.  I had never seen the third or fourth flicks before then.  Two years later I became of a bonafide disciple of Ridley Scott’s franchise with the release of Prometheus (as reviewed here).  No dispute here that the original four Alien films are legendary.  You’d be hard pressed to find anybody trash talking those, but Prometheus well that’s a whole different ball of wax.  If you want to talk about a completely divided movie, look no further than 2012’s Prometheus.  Holy hell either people loved it or long time Alien fans completely loathed it.  There was no middle ground whatsoever.  Like it or not it made enough money for Fox to green light a sequel.  That’s the reason we are all here today too, but is Alien: Covenant really a sequel to Prometheus or is something all completely different?  That’s what I was most interested in learning going into last week’s press screening. Continue reading ‘‘Alien: Covenant’ Plays By Fassbender’s Rules (Movie Review)’

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Brain Damage Limited Edition (Blu-ray Review)

It’s a headache from hell!  From Frank Henenlotter, the man behind such cult horror favorites as Basket Case and Frankenhooker, comes Brain Damage – the ultimate head-trip, now finally on Blu-ray from Arrow Video and MVD Entertainment Group!  Meet Elmer.  He’s your local, friendly parasite with the ability to induce euphoric hallucinations in his hosts.  But these LSD-like trips come with a hefty price tag.  When young Brian comes under Elmer’s addictive spell, it’s not long before he finds himself scouring the city streets in search of his parasite’s preferred food source – brains! Featuring late TV horror host John Zacherley as the voice of Elmer, Brain Damage boasts some of the most astonishing bad taste gore-gags ever realized, including the notorious “brain-pulling sequence” and a blow-job that ends with a distinctly unconventional climax.  Extras on this Brain Damage Limited Edition Blu-ray include an all-new full length Commentary by Frank Henenlotter, a gaggle of featurettes, Image Galleries, an Isolated Score track and much more!  Thinking of not getting it?  Tacky Brian, tacky!

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‘Alien: Covenant’ Presents A New Ship But A Familiar Story (Movie Review)

Director Ridley Scott is 79-years old and excited to keep making Alien movies. He first jumped back into the universe he helped create with 2012’s Prometheus. While I was among those who embraced the mix of intriguing (and sometimes puzzling) ideas and technical wizardry, the film certainly received mixed reactions overall. Prequels always tend to be tricky business, regardless of certain ambitions. Alien: Covenant seems to have wanted to rectify the problem by providing a continuation of the story that began in Prometheus and adding many of the greatest hits found in Alien and other entries in the franchise. The result makes for an overall entertaining experience, but I miss the big ideas floating around with the previously doomed crew.

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A Ritchie In ‘King Arthur’s Court (Movie Review)

Through thick and thin, I seem to want to stand by Guy Ritchie. Okay, so maybe Swept Away took things a bit too far, but I’ve been happy to support Ritchie from his London gangster film days into his more commercial fair. I dig the man’s style and have found his hyper-kinetic filmmaking approach to Sherlock Holmes and other recent efforts as a refreshingly exciting way to tackle familiar properties. So what to make of King Arthur: Legend of the Sword? Well, it is a shame we could not have simply started with Arthur already being King, as every attempt to do something unique is seemingly undone by trite origin story plot elements. That said, the attitude of this film, the supporting characters and overall production design made for something more interesting than any of the mediocre advertising has been selling.

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Forgotten Friday Flick – “Down Twisted” (Saturday Edition!)

A day late and a dollar short.  Okay, it is Saturday, but sometimes life happens and things get pushed.  (I’m human film fans!)  But I say better late than never and since the very engaging new doc Golan A Farewell To Cinema recently had its showing at the Beverly Hills Film Festival (see review HERE!) and was given a glowing stamp of approval by yours truly it seemed only fitting to match this weeks selection with a Golan-Globus Cannon Films hidden gem – welcome to the Saturday edition of Forgotten Friday Flick!  Today we’re digging deep into the Golan-Globus vaults for a lessor known outing (and given the B-movie Cannon catalog that’s saying something!) filled with style and on-screen sirens guaranteed to knock cinematic socks off.  (Or at least entertain!)  It’s a heist/humor combo flick about a gal whose boring life gets a lot more interesting – and a lot more dangerous.  So follow closely as the deal is about to go down but it’s going…Down Twisted!

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NBFF 2017 Review: Animated, Irish & Horror Shorts

Wrapping up my coverage of this year’s Newport Beach Film Festival, I wanted to shine the spotlight on some of the short film programs I was able to see. Thanks to some hype created by my lovely girlfriend, I was particularly excited to see the animated and Irish short programs but was also able to see a set of horror shorts as well. There is always plenty to admire in these films, as they must tell a full story in a limited amount of time while also showing off a level of cinematic talent from newer and veteran filmmakers alike. Here are some thoughts on the short films in particular that stuck out to me in the programs I saw.

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Intense Mind Games Found Behind ‘The Wall’ (Movie Review)

There’s something quite commendable about the minimalist nature of The Wall. Seeing director Doug Liman come down from films such as Edge of Tomorrow Live. Die. Repeat. and Jumper for a claustrophobic thriller may or may not just be something of a stylistic exercise in between Tom Cruise adventures, but it is certainly entertaining. Armed with one desert local, minimal production design, two actors and a disembodied voice, here’s a film that manages to stretch a simple premise into pulpy cat and mouse game. Hiding a genre film under the guise of a war movie makes it all the more intriguing.

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Encapsulated Movie Reviews – Five New Indie Titles

A handful of indie flicks counter the big budget Guardian weekend to varying results.  (There’s yet another five-star flick this week – no great cinema!)  Artists who push the creative line, bad guys gone good, fancy meals complete with a side of guilt, military men leading multiple lives and an ode to all things mom covers the crop of this weeks smaller film hopefuls.  Check out the Encapsulated Movie Reviews of Burden, Black Site Delta, The Dinner, The Shadow Effect and Mom & Me all below.

 

 

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Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2: I Am Groot (Movie Review)

The first Guardians of the Galaxy holds a special place in our hearts within our household.  It’s how we found our son.  His name is Star-Lord.  Wait!  Let me back up and catch you up to speed here.  It was my 40th birthday, August 31, 2014.  Like usual here in Austin, TX we could not find anything to do.  Our friend Serena was in town visiting too.  She had never been to an Alamo Drafthouse before and likes to drink so we took her there.  I think she was apprehensive at first not really wanting to see Guardians, but I digress as that’s not important.  My fiancée and I had already seen it twice and we loved it.  Nevertheless Serena ended up liking it too.  However, the crux of my story revolves around us walking out of the screening and into the theater lobby.  I spotted what I thought to be the cutest little puppy I ever seen and muttered my famous words “hey Kori look at the puppy.”  That was it.  We ended up talking to an Asian woman who held the little guy.  She said she found him crying, left for dead in the dumpster behind the nearby grocery store.  His rear leg was wounded and his whiskers were all tinged off, burnt obviously.  She was trying to find a good home for him.  And that’s ladies and gentlemen how we ended up with my son, our little Star-Lord. Continue reading ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2: I Am Groot (Movie Review)’

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Beverly Hills Film Fest 2017 – Eight Feature Film Reviews

So many amazing film fests – so little time!  The recent star-studded 17th Annual Beverly Hills Film Festival happened this past week (at the famed TLC Chinese 6 Theatres in Hollywood!) and it was a massive five day movie event indeed.  Not only were there amazing docs and features, but also a slew of short films in various genres guaranteed to please every moviegoers.  (There were a whopping 87 competition films!)  Of course it’s impossible to check out everything (again, I’m only a single movie geek!), but the power of a passionate one still prevails as I managed to check out eight feature film hopefuls.  From flicks about the pleasure of dream life and not giving up to docs about tigers, underdogs, former movie moguls and Aussie hotshots, we’re hitting the films of the BHFF fest hard and fast to provide some cinematic insight into what to possibly seek out in the future.  Check out the Encapsulated Movie Reviews of Zen Dog, The Girl Who Invented Kissing, John G. Avildsen: King of the Underdogs, Mable, Mable, Tiger Trainer, Golan A Farewell To Mr. Cinema, Rod Taylor: Pulling No Punches, Gun and Legendary AD below! Continue reading ‘Beverly Hills Film Fest 2017 – Eight Feature Film Reviews’

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‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ Episode II: Attack Of The Groot (Movie Review)

It’s fitting that mixtapes play a pivotal role in these Guardians of the Galaxy films. Like the first movie, Vol. 2 continues to mix a variety of different styles into one enjoyable cinematic playlist that will easily entertain the huge audience ready to hop into Star-Lord’s Milano and go for a ride. Writer/director James Gunn delivered something special back in 2014, and he’s now returned to provide more for this group of a-holes to do. An added level of confidence, as well as a boost in ambition and budget, allows the film to deliver some wild space opera pyrotechnics while doubling down on the character interaction and sarcastic bent that helped separate the first from the rest of the MCU. It’s a shame the actual plot is not more compelling or propulsive, but when you have this much fun watching these characters, that only matters so much.

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Forgotten Friday Flick – “Teachers”

Feeling strangely movie academic this week leads us to a past picture selection that helps both educate and entertain…welcome to Forgotten Friday Flick!  Today we’re hitting the books and heading to class for a cinematic story about the ups, downs and student clowns that make up one ruckus high school.  It’s a dramatic yet comically caustic look at one wild inner city institution from both the scholar and pupil perspective.  Faculty fights over the copy machine (ink will fly!), student stab wounds, teachers getting bit by undergrads and hallway streaking all in the name of standing up for yourself – and the bell hasn’t even rung yet!  We learn it all from those marvelous mentors known as…Teachers!

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NBFF 2017 Review: The Exception

Closing out the 18th Annual Newport Beach Film Festival is The Exception, a World War II drama that may as well be called The Good Nazi. Adapted from the novel “The Kaiser’s Last Kiss” by Alan Judd, the film tells the story of a German Nazi Captain who falls in love with a Jewish Dutch spy. The conceit is pulpy enough to fit right in with Paul Verhoeven’s great 2006 WWII thriller Black Book, but there is a major problem in the film’s attempt to be anything more than serviceable at best. Leave it to star Jai Courtney to make a film like this duller than it ought to be.

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