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Archive for the 'Movie Reviews' Category

Forgotten Friday Flick – “The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover”

Want a little five-star foreign film avant-garde experience for the couch crowd with added controversial kick – then welcome to Forgotten Friday Flick!  Can there actually be a film that captures colors and visuals that scream stunning, but is also immersed in some of the most explicit, disgusting, vile and downright jaw-drop shocking moments ever caught on celluloid?  If your name is Peter Greenaway, master filmmaking craftsman, it’s not only possible, but can be found at the local video store.  (Or available via the nearest streaming device!)  The title may be long, but the effect of the film will linger a lot longer, as we delve into the 1989 NC-17 classic…The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover.

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‘Mary and the Witch’s Flower’ – The Rise Of Broom Girl (Movie Review)

For a story mainly focused on a young girl, her broom, and a cat, there is a lot of action and excitement to be found in Mary and the Witch’s Flower. Here’s an animated film that opens with explosions and a mid-air chase scene involving a witch on a broom and flying fish-like creatures. It also happens to be a delightful coming-of-age story about perseverance and understanding who you want to be. Bringing these two ideas together, Mary and the Witch’s Flower is a colorful blast of adventure, magic, and the sort of thrilling animation one would hope to see from an animation studio that isn’t afraid to embrace the abstract.

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Forgotten Friday Flick – “Red Cliff” (US & International Versions)

Keeping the love of all things past foreign film going we’re heading into movie battle with an ample outing that has no less then two different versions – welcome to Forgotten Friday Flick!  Today we’re hitching a ride with a modern master of action who after making a notable US run headed back home to helm one of the most glorious epic Asian war films to date.  It’s a tasty little ditty staged at the end of the Han dynasty filled with love, passion and some brutal battles that all but announce the signature style of the films’ famous Hong Kong helmer.  With two movies of different lengths for fans to choose from it’s time to dissect the various versions of John Woo’s…Red Cliff!

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‘Paddington’ Most Wanted (Movie Review)

It’s practically unfair how good Paddington 2 is when considering other movies. Seriously, there’s no reason the first Paddington should have been great, let alone have a sequel that tops it, and now other films coming this year will have to compete with hopes to have the same genuine level of quality. This is the rare family film treat that can work for everyone due to how enjoyable the comedy is, how sweet the film is, and just how well it puts in a message without drowning it out thanks to the terrific work from all the actors involved. If that praise seems excessive, so be it, but Paddington 2 is exceedingly good at being a charming, fun film that also finds a way to matter in today’s age.

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Forgotten Friday Flick – “District 13: Ultimatum”

With a brand new year ahead I have a desire to delve into all things cinema outside the US for a while and highlight some memorable movies with a fine foreign flair – welcome to the first 2018 Forgotten Friday Flick!  Today we’re heading to the city of lights for a little sizzling sequel action that doesn’t require first film knowledge to seriously satisfy.  Seems some ambitious government boys decide to pull a fast one on the regular folk and a rogue cop and his high-flying buddy must use their fast fists skills to take them down.  (Alongside a bevy of brutal gang leaders out to do some damage of their own!)  Set-ups, double crosses, corruption at the highest levels and a pinch of parkour – there’s gonna be trouble in…District 13: Ultimatum!

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Gerard’s “They Saved the Best for Last” Top 10 Films of 2017

They saved the best for last, that’s why I’m last. It was a great year for movies and a shame that I couldn’t include more than what’s already included, but my Top 10, give or take, of 2017 is a nice and hearty list. A fellow reviewer from a different website used a cool word for his list when I noticed that he had a particular film one would not consider for traditional Top 10 year-end accolades. “Iconoclastic.” I am taking that word and using it for my list. Some of the films on my list are on there just for the sheer enjoyment I had in viewing them – not necessarily for their cinematic merits. Enough with the pleasantries – step right up and enjoy the show!  Continue reading ‘Gerard’s “They Saved the Best for Last” Top 10 Films of 2017′

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‘Insidious: The Last Key’ Takes Us A Bit “Further” Into The Further With Some Twists (Movie Review)

Insiduous The Last Key Movie ReviewJust when movie going audiences thought it was finally safe to go back into The Further.  Surprise!  It is NOT!  I bet you never saw a fourth Insidious film coming, did you?  Given the low budget and success of the first three this was actually a no-brainer.  I wish there were more surefire guarantees like this in life.  I’d be a rich man, but I digress.  Insidious: The Last Key is yes the fourth installment in the Insidious franchise, but if you’re going by chronology of the in-story timelines this is actually second in order.  Confused yet?  Don’t be!  You just need to refresh up a bit down below before venturing into The Further blindly.  Come on!  I’ll show you around here. Continue reading ‘‘Insidious: The Last Key’ Takes Us A Bit “Further” Into The Further With Some Twists (Movie Review)’

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Forgotten Friday Flick – “An Honest Liar”

The end of the year is near and I’m down to my final previous site Top Ten #1 flashback dissection just before my Top Ten Films of 2017 appears next week, so let’s finish it off – welcome to Forgotten Friday Flick!  This blast from the recent past comes from my 2015 film list and – surprise, surprise – it’s in the form of one damn fine documentary.  Combining both personal and professional insight with natural and engaging ease, it’s the story of a man who prided himself on creating candid make believe…while taking down those who claimed their trickery was real.  Elevating real-life storytelling to a whole other level, it’s time to meet…An Honest Liar.

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Sharpen Your Poker Skills By Playing ‘Molly’s Game (Movie Review)

Molly's Game Movie ReviewI must have a very simple mind.  Alright, I definitely do.  When I first saw the trailer for Molly’s Game I just didn’t get it.  My fiancee had to explain it to me.  Isn’t that sad?  Ha ha.  I blame it on exhaustion and stress from work.  However, after subsequent viewings of it and a second trailer I was down to taking a stake in and playing Molly’s Game.  I mean who doesn’t like illegal gambling operations and making loads of mad money?  I can’t fault anyone for having that American Dream.  On top of that we’re led to believe there’s more than meets the eye with this Molly lady and her motivations for running the successful underground gambling empire.  Therefore, I was fully onboard and invested in Molly’s Game.  What follows below is my account of pretty much everything you can expect from scribe Aaron Sorkin’s directorial debut here. Continue reading ‘Sharpen Your Poker Skills By Playing ‘Molly’s Game (Movie Review)’

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Forgotten Friday Flick – “Borgman”

With the holidays happening, why not celebrate the season with a little #1 pick from 2014 that adds a little creep to your Christmas – welcome to Forgotten Friday Flick!  While filmmakers resort to all sorts of tactics these days to unsettle movie fans like thick blood and gore to slow building tension with a shocking payoff, this week’s past picture perfection has the rare accomplishment of being unnerving from start to finish.  Underground oddballs, gamey gurus, mayhem mind trips and one menacing little man you should never invite in who goes by the name of…Borgman!

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‘The Greatest Showman’ And His Limited Acts (Movie Review)

By all accounts, I would be happy to lavish praise on The Greatest Showman, a musical passion project for Hugh Jackman. He may not have written or produced the film, but Jackman is a Tony Award-winning song and dance man at heart, and he’s been attached to this movie since 2009. If anything, The Greatest Showman certainly wants to celebrate Jackman as well. He’s presented as the best and most well-meaning person out there, with only minor drama coming to set him back now and again. This is precisely the problem, as The Greatest Showman is not without razzle-dazzle, but the greater depth found in truly worthwhile Broadway musicals is absent here.

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‘Jumanji’ Delivers A Welcome Return To The Jungle (Movie Review)

Honestly, the bar wasn’t very high for me when it came to my expectations for Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. I already feel like my title is misleading, as 1995’s Jumanji is not a good movie, let alone some untouchable classic. As much a fan as I was of Robin Williams, there’s a handful of seemingly beloved 90s efforts from the man that I don’t care for.  The idea of taking Jumanji and putting a new spin on it may seem problematic for some and for a good reason, but this 2017 update manages to be another example of how to do nostalgic appropriation right. While the film takes on the premise that was previously explored already, it has some solid new ideas, a game cast and enough adventure-based excitement to make the movie one of the better video game movies not based on a video game.

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Forgotten Friday Flick – “I Declare War”

And my #1 picks of past Top Ten lists just keep on coming with this little ditty from my 2013 selections that dares to mix kids and combat – welcome to Forgotten Friday Flick!  This week we’re heading behind enemy lines to seek out a cinematic tasty little treat that lovingly mixes genres and succeeds.  With stellar comedy, action, drama and a pinch of pint-sized revenge, the flick in question is a bold and brilliant blend of Goonies and Platoon for the kid in us all.  Raise the flag as…I Declare War!

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Encapsulated Movie Reviews – Five New Indie Titles

Since I’m gonna be dealing with family X-mas events over the next few weeks, wanted to get my final film reviews of the year up for those looking to do cinema over the holiday.  And the end of the year indie film fare has all angles covered with cowards forced to turn strong in the old west, smart and sassy women with a knack for business, revenge from a female perspective, killers who use kids games and a love of all things Bill Murray cover the subjects of the flicks in this final 2017 edition of Encapsulated Movie Reviews.  Check out the critical skinny on The Ballad of Lefty Brown, Molly’s Game, In The Fade, The Bill Murray Experience and Hangman all below!

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Very Strong With The Force ‘The Last Jedi’ Is (Movie Review)

Hype for a film is never higher than when it comes to Star Wars. Forty years with this franchise and the world still has an intensive care for what is going to happen next in a galaxy focused on hokey religions and ancient weapons. Writer/director Rian Johnson is fully aware of this and still decided to take on the responsibility of following up The Force Awakens, which happens to be one of the most successful films of all time. Fortunately for him and those many fans around the world, Star Wars: The Last Jedi is an outstanding success. The film is both familiar and the most ambitious entry since George Lucas’ last foray into this series.

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Forgotten Friday Flick – “Sound Of Noise”

Keeping the stellar #1 selections of my previous years going, this week sees the film that captured the top prize from 2012 getting a little past picture love – welcome to Forgotten Friday Flick!  Original is the name of the game for this Swedish import that dared to combine inspired musical concerts with an anarchist sensibility.  The toe tapping tale of a gang of drummers who decide to play out their four musical movements terrorist style – all the while with a music hating cop hot on their tale.  It’s orchestra with an edge via the fully five-star gem…Sound Of Noise.

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‘The Shape of Water’ Is A Fantastical Masterwork: Part 2 (Movie Review)

The Shape of Water Movie ReviewThe Shape of Water had me very curious.  It’s not because it’s brought to you by the masterful mind of Guillermo del Toro, but it’s because of our resident MPAA certified reviewer, Sir Aaron Neuwirth.  He gave it an overwhelming 5 doggies out of 5 doggies over here.  Truth be told he doesn’t hand out that kind of praise for a film very often.  In fact he even went as far as to call The Shape of Water a “Fantastical Masterwork,” hence the continuation of the title here.  His movie review was also tweeted like none other here on the site before even by the del Toro man himself.  If memory serves me correct, he has already seen this one three times too so I felt incredible pressure to at least see it once.  Therefore, that’s why I am here folks plus the fact that the trailer (provided below) looked freaking phenomenal.  Let’s get started! Continue reading ‘‘The Shape of Water’ Is A Fantastical Masterwork: Part 2 (Movie Review)’

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Encapsulated Movie Reviews – Five New Indie Titles (w/Bonus 5-Star Short Link!)

The year is closing down, but that doesn’t mean the indie film fare train is in anyway starting to cinematically slow down.  (Aka there is life besides end of year Oscar fare film freaks!)  Teen detective stories, road racing outings, wild bio-pics, women in the wasteland and cheaters getting their due all make up the five films covered in this weeks Encapsulated Movie Reviews.  Check out the skinny on Hollow In The Land, Fast Convoy, I, Tonya, Apocalypse Road and The Condo below! (Plus check out article end for a special link to the five-star genre short The Plague as a bonus Christmas gift!)

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