Logan is a film that really needs no elaborate setup to whet your appetite for. If you’re not already, you should be practically dying to see this one. The mere fact that this even got made with an R-rating is no doubt thanks to the brilliance and success of last year’s Deadpool. Had it not been for that film, which proved in a world of failed Kick-Ass movies R-rated comic book films can indeed thrive, I’m quite sure Logan would have been slapped with that dread PG-13 rating. Luckily for us that’s not the case in our present scenario. So let the bloodshed ensue with glorious reveal and the F-bombs roll off tongues like spit flies when yelling because we’re gathered here to talk all things Logan. Hell yeah! Continue reading ‘The Legend of Old Man ‘Logan’ (Movie Review)’
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Since this week saw the arrival of the lovers holiday known as Valentine’s Day, it felt appropriate to steer our 80’s past movie time in a more romantic direction (albeit a dark one!) – welcome to Forgotten Friday Flick! Today we’re heading into more somber territory for a black comedy filled with plenty of laughs, romance and guys with guns. Taking all high school movie conventions and turning them upside down and inside out, it’s a teen tale of lunch polls, cow tipping and a little murder before recess. Geeks, punks, brains and jocks look out for the ever popular…Heathers!
I remember reading about The Great Wall over a year ago when I put together my list of most anticipated films for 2016. The concept of dropping Matt Damon and Andy Lau, among others, into a Zhang Yimou (Hero) film about soldiers fighting off monsters at the Great Wall of China sounded pretty amazing. The concept is inherently goofy, but the film would no doubt look amazing. It turns out I was right. While not all that deep from a story level, The Great Wall has plenty of visual delights and enough consciously silly choices to make this Chinese production feel like a near parody of similar Hollywood fair, despite mostly playing it straight. The result is a colorful monster movie with little depth.
I would like to propose something. Many will argue how A Cure for Wellness has few tricks up its sleeves that audiences have not seen before. What if director Gore Verbinski knows that as well? Fitting in the same league as gorgeously designed, but narratively challenged films such as Shutter Island and Crimson Peak, A Cure for Wellness plays like a film where the destination is perhaps clear, but the journey is so cinematically interesting. Like those other films, it may be overlong and overstuffed, but the fact that a major studio funded such an odd project feels like a triumph for film in general. It doesn’t hurt to note just how disturbing some of the visuals are, which does play well to the genre fans looking for strange jolts.
To keep the totally rad 80’s movies kick going, this week sees a special edition of my regular column of all things five-star film past – welcome to Forgotten Friday Flick! Since the good folks over at Mill Creek Entertainment decided to finally release the film I’ve chosen here on a more lush than VHS Blu-ray format I thought why not kill two birds with one critical stone. The result – a film review and Blu-ray review rolled into one for your reading convenience! That’s right folks! Not only do you get the full review of my favorite produced by Michael Mann 80’s misfit flick for Forgotten Friday Flick time, but you also get a bird’s eye view into the Blu-ray specs on the latest release ala Mill Creek to boot. So let’s get the team together, form a bond and become one of the five fingers ala…Band Of The Hand!
A good thing happened back in 2014. Not only did the assassin world learn John Wick was back, but audiences found out Keanu Reeves was back as well. While not exactly slumming (Reeves has starred, produced and directed many films over the last decade alone), John Wick became the first notable action film for the former Matrix star in a while. Solid reviews and good word-of-mouth turned that film from stuntmen-turned-directors Chad Stahelski and David Leitch into a modest hit. That was enough to give audiences John Wick: Chapter 2, a film that delves further into the colorful world of assassins introduced in the first film, with a whole lot of crazy action that delivers stylish, violent fun.
In another world, it would not be too surprising to say this latest cinematic Batman adventure is a homerun. However, given how troubling things have been for the Dark Knight just last year, I am even happier to say just how enjoyable The LEGO Batman Movie really is. Given how awesome and surprisingly insightful 2014’s The LEGO Movie managed to be, I could point to how this spin-off is a bit of a downgrade as far as what it really accomplishes. At the same time though, this is a film that has a surprising amount of depth as far as examining the Bruce Wayne/Batman persona. The film is also a laugh-a-minute joke fest, with tons of clever references and visual joy to entertain anyone looking to have some colorful fun in the DC universe via LEGOs.
With recent fests ending and tons of reviews needing to be wrapped up, I fell slightly behind on my regular week-to-week movie skinnies. So to get back up to speed here are some flicks that have come out and are coming out to help fill in the indie gaps for those who need to know. Family dramas, important docs, horror flicks and romances in space all grace this week’s gaggle of Encapsulated Movie Reviews. Check out the skinny on Youth In Oregon, I Am Not Your Negro, Havenhurst and The Space Between Us below!
We’re keeping 80’s hilarity going this week to keep smiles on anyone and everyone’s face at a time when laughs are needed most – welcome to Forgotten Friday Flick! Today it’s time to check out a flick that has every color of the comedy rainbow present and accounted for. Slapstick, outlandish characters and witty humor all wrapped up in a salacious and vivacious flick that begins with a simple – or perhaps not so simple – heist. Ready to dive into farcical infested waters? Do it with….A Fish Called Wanda!
Given the successful (non-superhero or animated) movies that have come out over the past few years, it would seem audiences have a thing for space-based adventures and romantic dramas. The Space Between Us combines these ideas into one film, which fits well for distributor STX Entertainment. This is the studio that has tried to match high concepts with moderate budgets, making The Space Between Us (a co-production with H. Brothers pictures, originally acquired from Relativity Media) something of an ambitious venture. Still, while the science of putting a film like this together is sound, the results are a little less than stellar.
The 2017 Sundance Film Festival has come to a close and it was interesting to actually be in Park City to experience an event I’ve only heard about all these years. So to finish off all things Sundance related below are seven final feature film reviews including Bitch, XX, Where Is Kyra?, The New Radical, Nobody Speak: Hulk Hogan, Gawker And Trials Of A Free Press, Axolotl Overkill and Gook, a short review with the apt title F@cking Bunnies, plus a Sundance Thoughts section where I get honest about everything from venues to the films that played. (Candid commentary alert!) Plus as an extra bonus I’m doing a retro-review on a Slamdance 2017 documentary that took both the Audience and Jury prize titled Strad Style. So slap on your snow boots and follow me into movie review territory for a final gander at all things Sundance 2017!
I honestly never saw this happening. Today I walked out of Resident Evil: The Final Chapter with a giddy smile on my face rather than one of disgust and regret. After covering Resident Evil: Afterlife a few weeks back here on 4K Ultra HD and rewatching Retribution I wasn’t sure about my decision to check out The Final Chapter. I debated waiting for the inevitable home media release, but Jordan Grout kind of gave me the courage needed to check it out. I even spent the eight bucks and change to see it in 3-D. The latter wasn’t worth it, but the decision to check out The Final Chapter so was. I had the time of my life. Okay, I’m exaggerating. How about this? I had the best experience in a theater this dreaded month of January. Is that better? Who would have ever thunk it? I am finally able to give a Resident Evil film a score of 3. I’ll be darn as its the last one too. Continue reading ‘Resident Evil Saves The Best For Last With ‘The Final Chapter’ (Movie Review)’
Resident Evil: The Final Chapter is an aggressively silly movie, fueled only by jump scares and bum dialogue. Fans of the series might be sad to realize that this finale returns to a more grounded reality of the first film, as opposed to the fever-dream aesthetics of the last two films. Fear not though, all the energy is still in place, striking the audience in the most relentless way imaginable. I must give credit where credit is due; director Paul W.S. Anderson is having the time of his life, and no matter how absurd his films are, their playfulness is infective. I can’t help but smile big.
By the end of Gold, I was more concerned with star Matthew McConaughey’s choice to invest himself into the character of Kenny Wells than the story I was just told. Given how the film is loosely based on the Bre-X mining scandal from 1993, seeing McConaughey develop a gut and shave his head to create a balding effect was puzzling. Did this amount of effort ultimately make the character (who has a physical resemblance to no real life figure) more interesting thematically? I did not really think so, which speaks more to how unremarkable this film felt as a whole.
The illustrious Slamdance Film Festival 2017 is almost over and it’s been a wild ride. Movies, jury duties and reviews galore, have made the Park City excursion a memorable time indeed. But before we announce winners in Narrative (and the many other respective categories!) wanted to get up a few more reviews of flicks I saw outside my official duties. Strange mother/son stories, docs about strong gals and backward boys and flick about finding closure all adorn the four reviews enclosed. Check out the skinny on The Erlprince, Hotel Coolgardie, Supergirl and Suck It Up below.
Gotta say that in the Midnight section and late night movies line-up, Sundance has been surprisingly disappointing to me so far. (Sole exception being the five-star Northern Ireland revenge flick Bad Day For The Cut!) A handful of flicks dabbling in gross and disturbing plus a disappointing doc have brought the magnificent movie vibe to a low. (But rest assured I have film faith and many more to go!) So check out the skinny on some flicks that may or may not be hitting a theater near you – the review of the fearsome foursome via the Sundance Film Festival 2017 below! Continue reading ‘Sundance 2017 – Four Feature Film Reviews’
Things are moving at light speed here at Slamdance 2017 and with features, shorts and my own Narrative Jury duties it’s quite a haul. (But an amazing one!) First up are my reviews for a gaggle of shorts handed to me over my time here. Whether it was through a personal reach out by the filmmaker or one I saw before a feature, anyone who got their short into my movie loving hands has equal consideration below. So in various categories including animation, documentary, anarchy, experimental and simple block section, check out the massive twenty-two short film reviews below. (In keeping with the shorts theme each review is quick!) Plus hit the bottom for a little behind the scenes insight via my special Jury Section – enjoy!
Sundance 2017 – “Bad Day For The Cut” Director Chris Baugh Talks Revenge (Plus Bonus Five-Star Review!)
After a few underwhelming film false starts for me via the famed Sundance Film Festival 2017 (those reviews coming later!) I recently came upon a mecca movie here in Park City in the form of a five-star fabulous flick. The movie in question goes by the name of Bad Day For The Cut, but fortunately for film fans it’s proves to be one good night at the movies. An Irish import and official selection for this year’s Midnight Section, the film is about an average farmer who decides to seek some revenge for the murder of his mother. Steeped in bold black comedy, colorful kills and bloody satisfaction, Bad Day For The Cut also features tasty turns by leading man Nigel O’Neill as the payback seeking son and Susan Lynch as the truly nasty baddie of the piece. Continue reading ‘Sundance 2017 – “Bad Day For The Cut” Director Chris Baugh Talks Revenge (Plus Bonus Five-Star Review!)’