Archive for the 'Movie Reviews' Category
September 26th, 2016 by Aaron Neuwirth
Perhaps it was just a matter of time until we saw director Tim Burton make a YA novel adaptation. It makes plenty of sense, as Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children allows Burton to explore an entire household filled with loners, outcasts and “freaks”, as opposed to focusing on just one. Instead of following just Edward [Scissorhands] or Ichabod, Burton works with the many characters found in Ransom Riggs’ novel, which has its share of wonder and peculiar kids. Typical of the YA novel sub-genre, it can mean the setup may be more interesting than the payoff, but it was fun to get a very Burton-y Tim Burton film again.
Continue reading ‘Tim Burton Seems At Home With ‘Peculiar Children’ (Movie Review)’
September 26th, 2016 by Brian White
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is a “peculiar” name in its own right, don’t you think? So here’s the deal. There’s a guy I know in my work/personal life that has been talking about this film for over a year now. He seems to be quite the movie connoisseur, but here’s the kicker. He never goes to the theater. He always watches from home (maybe it’s safer that way). I had to almost drag him out of work to see Hell or High Water, which is basically his life story down here in Texas. And guess what? He loved it! So when I got the press invite for Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children I knew I had to invite him. After all, it was only right as he was my only co-worker who bought me a birthday present. Feast your eyes on this Cleveland sports beauty here. Continue reading ‘Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar “X-Men” Children (Movie Review)’
September 23rd, 2016 by Jason Coleman
With the weather hot as hell down here in sunny LA it brings to mind a sizzling screen gem that is ripe for resurrection – welcome to Forgotten Friday Flick! This week we’re take a sharp right turn into the mind of the late great Dennis Hopper as a director and what a mind trip it is. A turbulent Texas tale of blackmail, bank robbery and plenty of beautiful babes ripe with scorn and sweetness, it’s a flick so sizzling that it divided critics right down the middle. Ready for a little noir via the head games of Hopper – then let’s hit…The Hot Spot!
Continue reading ‘Forgotten Friday Flick – “The Hot Spot”’
September 22nd, 2016 by Jason Coleman
Since this week’s big budget remake might have some in a ho-hum movie mood, it felt right to insert a little indie help. So taking titular inspiration off the upcoming weekend western rehash, I’ve braved a whopping seven different feature films – though not all are ‘magnificent’ – to help distract and dissect what else is out there for cinefiles. (Plus I’ve even added a review of a short at the end for those with a low attention span!) Sassy seamstresses, controversial docs, fictitious post secondary hazing stories, game show horror and even tech guys run amok keep us cinematically covered this week. Check out the Encapsulated Movie Reviews of the seven features The Dressmaker, Audrie & Daisy, The Lovers & the Despot, 31, Chicken People, I.T., Goat and the short The Many Sad Fates of Mr. Toledano below!
Continue reading ‘Encapsulated Movie Reviews – Seven New Indie Titles’
September 21st, 2016 by Aaron Neuwirth
Sometimes it is hard to be in check on how closely one is really supposed to examine a film. Storks is an animated comedy that presents a world where the use of Storks to deliver babies was a common understanding with humans. The very idea of this makes me overthink things to a ridiculous degree. Am I supposed to dial this down, given the nature of the film? Because it’s a goofy comedy made for families, should I not explore this setup? It helps that the film provides its share of laughs, but to what degree should a story be looked over, when there are so many questions?
a Continue reading ‘‘Storks’ Deliver A Silly Baby Story (Movie Review)’
September 20th, 2016 by Aaron Neuwirth
It seems funny calling The Magnificent Seven a remake. Beyond knowing that 1960’s Magnificent Seven was a remake of Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai, this basic story of innocent people recruiting a ragtag group to help them stop an evil threat has been seen many times over the decades. Even Pixar has used this formula with one of their earliest features, A Bug’s Life. All of that is to say that the latest iteration of this story is not adding a whole lot to the conversation, but it does feature a strong cast and its fair share of engaging gun fights.
a Continue reading ‘‘The Magnificent Seven’ Ride Into An Average Sunset (Movie Review)’
September 20th, 2016 by Brandon Peters
Throughout fairy tale history, Beauty and the Beast is a story that is a well, with directors, writers, studios, theatres and such constantly going back to it. Its been done on the stage, in film, on television and I’m sure in the comic book format as well. My youth had a week to week series back in the day, a modernized version where a Ron Perlman Beast lived in the sewers woo’ing his beauty that was Linda Hamilton. No matter how many, there are only two interpretations that have really stood the test of time and become the “go to” definitive versions. One obviously being the Disney animated film (Which I just review the new Blu-ray for last week). The other, is the masterpiece of French cinema, Jean Cocteau’s 1946 film. And next year, Disney is doing a live action rendition of their animated feature with Emma Watson and Dan Stevens. Today, we are taking a look at 2014’s French take on the classic story from the director of Brotherhood of the Wolf and Silent Hill. Continue reading ‘Beauty And The Beast (La Belle et la Bete) (Movie Review)’
September 19th, 2016 by Aaron Neuwirth
There are a variety of reasons to praise the latest Disney sports flick, Queen of Katwe. Moving away from more traditional sports stories involving Football or Baseball, Disney opted to support Indian American director Mira Nair in making a film based on the true story of Ugandan chess prodigy Phiona Mutesi. The film is set in Africa, features a non-Caucasian cast and does not shy away from the troubles surrounding its setting. In an age where many PG-rated biopics do shy away from the rougher elements, Queen of Katwe does a good job of embracing them, as well as serving as a heart-warming story of triumph.
d Continue reading ‘‘Queen Of Katwe’ Makes Plenty Of Right Moves (Movie Review)’
September 16th, 2016 by Jason Coleman
This is the week where we finally see the release of the five-star doc De Palma on Blu-ray, so there’s time for one more grandiose gander at past picture pleasure via the master of suspense – welcome to Forgotten Friday Flick! For a final stab at De Palma dissection the last choice is an obvious one. Carrie and Scarface are far from forgotten, Snake Eyes is a roll of the dice that comes up short (amazing opening shot not withstanding!) and the underrated Raising Cain has recently been reviewed by my WhySoBlu cohort Brandon Peters. (Go fan cut!) So with one more lurid look grab your binoculars and prepare to enter a movie world where nothing is what it seems (aka Hollywood!) – time to bring in the….Body Double!
Continue reading ‘Forgotten Friday Flick – “Body Double”’
September 16th, 2016 by Aaron Neuwirth
Following You’re Next and The Guest, two thrillers that received solid acclaim (but sadly not higher profits), director Adam Wingard and writer Simon Barrett are back with the surprise that is Blair Witch. This will be mere trivia in years to come, but the film that was originally known as The Woods is actually a sequel to 1999’s breakout found footage film The Blair Witch Project. That bait-and-switch marketing approach matters little, as there is much more to appreciate in seeing a new set of characters explore some haunted woods.
a Continue reading ‘‘Blair Witch’ Brings Us Back To The Woods And Back To Basics (Movie Review)’
September 15th, 2016 by Jason Coleman
Plenty of indie fare to examine this week – even some denied to yours truly! (Both Blair Witch and Eddie Murphy’s dramatic turn Mr. Church gave a resounding NO when asked to be seen by little old me!) But rest assured there’s more than enough to go around including some deep documentaries about everything from injustice to the Internet, plus flicks about fake moon landings, artificial humanoids and white trash gals out of control. Check out the Encapsulated Movie Reviews of Southwest of Salem: The Story of the San Antonio Four, Operation Avalanche, Killswitch: The Battle to Control the Internet, Morgan and White Girl below!
Continue reading ‘Encapsulated Movie Reviews – Five New Indie Titles’
September 14th, 2016 by Aaron Neuwirth
Putting acclaimed and occasionally controversial writer/director Oliver Stone behind the lens for a movie about Edward Snowden seemed like an intriguing proposition. It could be a film to take him out of the funk he’s been in for quite some time now. At 69 years of age, Stone’s intentions can certainly be interesting, but why does Snowden still feel so tame? The man who gave us JFK and Born on the Fourth of July can clearly make a confident and compelling feature bristling with larger ideas and themes, but his latest effort seems to lack the risk-taking energy that once helped him stand out among his peers.
d Continue reading ‘Oliver Stone Exposes ‘Snowden’ Pretty Plainly (Movie Review)’
September 8th, 2016 by Jason Coleman
Giving smaller cinema a place to hang it’s hat, on the film docket this week there are tales of women withholding sex (all in the name of getting rid of guns!), found footage anthologies, a lesson in still frame narrated performance art and even a little wedding day possession to keep things interesting. So check out the Encapsulated Movie Reviews of Is That A Gun In Your Pocket?…, The Dark Tapes, The Royal Road and Demon below!
Continue reading ‘Encapsulated Movie Reviews – Four New Indie Titles’
September 7th, 2016 by Aaron Neuwirth
It can be tough to imagine why Sully is a film that needs to be seen. Working as a dramatization of an event that took place not too long ago, it would appear as if audiences already have a good handle on what took place with the “Miracle on the Hudson”. However, it appears director Clint Eastwood had set out to prove something, as he delivers a film that is characteristically well-acted and efficiently made. There is also some sly commentary underneath the surface in addition to the visual grandeur that came from filming with IMAX cameras. The film may feel a bit padded to tell a feature-length story, but there is some cleverness here that is much appreciated.
Continue reading ‘‘Sully’ Is A Non-Essential Look At Heroism (Movie Review)’
September 2nd, 2016 by Aaron Neuwirth
As one who has let his teenage fandom of Kevin Smith grow into continual admiration, as the New Jerseyan writer/director has forged a new career centered around podcasting and various forms of public speaking, in addition to occasionally making films, Yoga Hosers feels like another test. Following the walrus-themed horror-comedy Tusk, his latest features finds Smith directing his focus on his daughter and her best friend (Johnny Depp’s daughter). One can respect a parent for going to such lengths, but the resulting film is still just not very good.
a Continue reading ‘‘Yoga Hosers’ Is A Skippable Midnight Movie Mess (Movie Review)’
September 2nd, 2016 by Jason Coleman
Having kept the love of all things De Palma going again this week (me and my kid were first and second in line winning free meals for a year from Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers – Lithgow’s multiple personalities would be proud!) in anticipation of the soon to be released doc on Blu-ray, I’m keeping the cinematic retrospective going too – welcome to Forgotten Friday Flick! This time out we’re going with a film that gave plenty of movie ammunition to naysayer fans of previous master of suspense Alfred Hitchcock. Chocked with everything from a famous female icon used as a big part of the plot twists to the sexuality of characters being called into question, some say this was De Palma’s artistic ode to Psycho, some say a carbon copy. But for the fans who love the film it’s simply called…Dressed to Kill!
Continue reading ‘Forgotten Friday Flick – “Dressed To Kill”’
September 1st, 2016 by Jason Coleman
There’s no shortage of lessor known film fare this week, though not all the movie news is good. But frankly scouring the smaller cinema is a lot like gambling – even though the house has the advantage there’s always hope for that rare big payday. (Aka gems and duds will get reviewed!) Going from high school to college, dying to live again, forced relationships, fetching teens with feathers and Muay Thai mayhem – we cover all movie bases. Check out the Encapsulated Movie Reviews of Summer of 8, The 9th Life of Louis Drax, Skiptrace, Maximum Ride and Kickboxer: Vengeance below!
Continue reading ‘Encapsulated Movie Reviews – Five New Indie Titles’
August 31st, 2016 by Aaron Neuwirth
Director Derek Cianfrance has explored romance to great degrees before with his acclaimed film Blue Valentine. He followed that up with the multi-generational crime drama The Place Beyond the Pines. With his latest feature, The Light Between Oceans, Cianfrance finds himself back in romance territory, but from a new direction. The story, adapted from a novel by M.L. Stedman, is more in line with something Thomas Hardy could have come up with. With lush locations and a strong cast and score, the film overcomes its melodramatic weight and tear-jerker sensibilities to work overall.
d Continue reading ‘‘The Light Between Oceans’ Shines On Loss (Movie Review)’