Archive for the 'Movie Reviews' Category

Beverly Hills Film Festival 2018 – First Film Reviews

And the flicks just keep on coming!  For all LA based film fanatics the 18th Annual International Beverly Hills Film Festival taking place Wednesday, April 4th thru Sunday, April 8, 2018 at the famed TCL Chinese Theatre at Hollywood and Highland (go to www.beverlyhillsfilmfestival.com for more info!) is well underway and there are even more movies to be see.  But we’re giving an initial critical look at three films we’ve now seen and the prognosis is positive.  Two docs – one on commerce vs. creativity in the gaming world and one on the history of women in Hollywood – plus a dramatic indie that examines the consequences of ones actions make up the trio of features dissected below.  Check out the critical opinions on Play Money, The Women Who Run Hollywood and Hunting Lands via our continued BHFF 2018 coverage…First Film Reviews.

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Encapsulated Movie Reviews – Seven New Indie Titles

For your consideration seven Indie titles are dissected this week that run the gamut quality wise.  (Even big budget stuff has ups and downs film fans!)  Tales involving creepy cults and weird worm holes, docs about damage to the poor by big government, car crashes with a side of criminal activity, a down under yarn about race, truth and consequences, crazed chaos surrounding organ harvesting, a murder mystery with memory holes and a tale of otherworldly female revenge all make up the smaller film fare via this week’s edition of Encapsulated Movie Reviews.  Check out the skinny on The Endless, ACORN And The Firestorm, Accident, Sweet Country, Lowlife, Spinning Man and Killing Joan all dissected below!

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Blockers Is Like a Good Pixar Film, Something In It For Both Young & Old To Enjoy (Movie Review)

BlockersI really hope this goes without saying, but you never know.  The worst you can ever do is to assume.  So here’s the million dollar question I feel I need to ask before we start legitimately talking about the new comedy film Blockers.  You all know what the rooster in front of the word “Blockers” here refers to, right?  That title while vulgar would have been so much more what do I want to say…sexy.  Not that this movie needs anything else to sell it since the positive word of mouth from last month’s SXSW screening, but clever marketing never hurts.  However, I completely understand the PC World (not the magazine title) we all live in and Universal’s primary goal is making sure this one is in as many theaters as possible and of course seats are filled.  I think they have a winner on their hands here, but stick around below and I’ll fill y’all in on why I confidently believe so. Continue reading ‘Blockers Is Like a Good Pixar Film, Something In It For Both Young & Old To Enjoy (Movie Review)’


Encapsulated Movie Reviews – Four New Indie Titles

A group of four indie hopefuls out this week that can hopefully take the big budget edge off a new Spielberg outing that will more than likely dominate the box office.  A two-part doc on the enigma that was Gary Shandling, a tale of science infused into family, the effects of back baggage mixed with wine and insight into China’s place in the stock market are all dissected in this week’s edition of Encapsulated Movie Reviews.  Check out the concise opinions on The Zen Diaries Of Garry Shandling, Birthmarked, Back To Burgundy and The China Hustle below!

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‘Ready Player One’ Offers Spectacular Visuals and a Headache

In 2011, a certain sci-fi novel was released called Ready Player One.  It was an instant hit and not only were sales impressive, but the book found its way to the New York Times Best Seller list.  Now, I cannot say that I have read the book, but of those that have, no one has never told me one bad thing about it. Being a bit of literature that flew off store shelves and fulfilled many online shopping carts, it seemed destined to make its way to the big screen.  The novel is filled with references to decades past such as the band Rush, Ultraman, Joust, D&D and a boatloads of 1980’s pop culture favorites. How did all this translate to a somewhat dystopian future where video games are more than just an escape from life? You know the drill. No need to drop another quarter to continue. Just click to read on.

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Forgotten Friday Flick – “Away From Her”

Time to head down the awards road this week in search of some great lesser known films helmed by women (even my #1 film of 2017 The Lure was directed by female filmmaking force to be reckoned with Agnieszka Smoczynska!) – welcome to Forgotten Friday Flick.  Heading north to the home of some stellar Canadian cinema, today’s selection was the debut of a fabulous actress who decided to exercise her filmmaking chops.  Taking an inspiring short story and creating a layered and utterly emotional first feature, this one focuses on what all great films do – the characters. Proving true love for another knows no bounds, it’s impossible for a gent smitten to be…Away From Her.

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‘Pacific Rim Uprising’ Divides Me (Movie Review)

Pacific Rim Uprising Movie ReviewAs a huge fan of the first Pacific Rim I can honestly say I have been waiting for the second installment for quite some time now.  Dubbed Pacific Rim Uprising we finally get another story, which Guillermo del Toro said one day would happen.  However, no one really believed so did they?  This time though del Toro has passed on the directing torch.  We’ll talk more about that down below.  For now I want to focus on the mere surprise that this film actually exists and I believe we have China to thank for that.  The people there enthusiastically embraced the first outing and I’m sure the studio/producers are banking on this one’s success out there again.  Lightning can strike twice and let’s hope it does because while I want more movies made like this I’m not going to lie.  The film’s trailers left me very underwhelmed, but I love being proven wrong.   I was hoping that would at least be the case here. Continue reading ‘‘Pacific Rim Uprising’ Divides Me (Movie Review)’


Encapsulated Movie Reviews – Five New Indie Titles

Five flicks brave indie dissection this week in the humble continuation of shedding some light on the lesser-known cinematic outings.  Suspense tales that may or may not be a figment of the imagination, a disturbing look at what happens after an assault, a boy searching for his trusty four-legged companion on an isolated island, a girl fighting bullies, family and even monsters from another realm and high school love rekindled in the center of a wrestling ring make up the films featured in this edition of Encapsulated Movie Reviews.  Check out the short opinions on Unsane, Beauty And The DogsIsle Of Dogs, I Kill Giants and Chokeslam below!

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Forgotten Friday Flick – “High Art”

Keeping the current theme of dissecting the work of wondrous women behind the camera alive and well, this week sees yet another awesome indie with a talented female filmmaker proudly at the helm – welcome to Forgotten Friday Flick!  Continuing the highlighting of films with a distinctive feminine flair, the selection below was an impressive feature from a gutsy gal with serious cinematic style.  Combining bold ideas like ambition, inspiration, love and their cost within the turbulent world of being an artist and then matching it with sincere performances and a stark but stripped-down camera style, this debut flick was an outing that to no surprise took Sundance by storm.  True to its name in every fascinating frame, such stellar stuff is truly…High Art.

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Encapsulated Movie Reviews – Six New Indie Titles

What a wild and utterly varied week for indie films – I can honestly say it’s been a cinematic roller coaster ride for yours truly.  The six films below are so interesting, unique and envelope pushing that even the few on the bottom of the list still manage to linger long.  (That’s a film feat!)  Dangerous digs, wacky women, tricky teens, female fighting taxi drivers, undead with a distinctive southern flair and sexual predatory behavior by women are all featured via this extremely bold edition of Encapsulated Movie Reviews.  Check out the skinny on Demon House, Flower, Josie, Cold Hell, Attack Of The Southern Fried Zombies and Allure below! Continue reading ‘Encapsulated Movie Reviews – Six New Indie Titles’


Tomb Raider Is Like A Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich, Plain But Tasty (Movie Review)

Tomb RaiderI feel like I have been waiting forever for this reincarnation of the Tomb Raider movie franchise.  While we just covered the Angelina Jolie films in 4K over here and here recently I never truly identified with them.  I found Angelina Jolie likable in the looks department, but was not able to fully marry myself with the goofiness of her role.  Oh well.  It mattered not as the franchise ended prematurely with only two adventures.  It’s all water under the bridge now.  I guess the same could be said for the Tomb Raider/Lara Croft video game series because in 2013 they were also rebooted too.  However, that was very much a good thing, a step in the right direction, and ultimately the reason why we’re all here today.  So let’s get started. Continue reading ‘Tomb Raider Is Like A Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich, Plain But Tasty (Movie Review)’


Forgotten Friday Flick – “Tank Girl”

We’ve recently touched upon dramatic work, suspense cinema and even a little horror for the genre fans all under the watchful eye of women.  Feels about time for a past picture with some sassy superhero fun – welcome to Forgotten Friday Flick!  Today we’re loading up and putting it in gear for a blast from the past that proves that a spirited gal does indeed rule the roost.  Armed with merely quick quips and a rebellious nature (oh, and yes a very big and cool monster tank!), this week’s selection features one lethal lady in charge who knows how to have fun.  Water and power, genetically modified supersoldiers, a long and deadly shrinking pipe, a gigantic jet and one metal vehicle with some very decorative modifications – all play things for the feisty female known as Tank Girl!

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‘The Strangers’ S10: 10 Years Later (Movie Review)

I often credit 2008’s The Strangers as one of the last times a horror film unsettled me. Others have scared me since, but that one was something different. Now, ten years later, we have a sequel, The Stranger: Prey at Night. It’s nowhere near as terrifying and often feels like a different move that happens to have some familiar faces…er…masks, but it’s reasonably effective for what it’s doing. The film suffers from a wider setting and dimmer character choices, but it’s stylish in a way that had me admiring the new direction this follow-up decided to take.

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Encapsulated Movie Reviews – Three New Indie Titles

Small crop of only a mere three lesser-known cinematic hopefuls this week, but thankfully I’ve got my first five-star indie flick of 2018.  (So don’t lose hope film fans!)  Girls with an affinity for quips and killing, a gang of grifters play a game of who’s conning who and a bad son tries to do a little good by finding his mother’s killer all make up the exciting line up of this edition of Encapsulated Movie Reviews.  Check out the critical skinny on Thoroughbreds, The Swindlers and Juggernaut all below!

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Forgotten Friday Flick – “American Mary”

Today’s distinctively female helmed past flick marks a twisted family pairing to die for – welcome to Forgotten Friday Flick!  Ever remember watching early work by odd auteurs and having an epiphany moment of ‘here is a talent not to ignore’ – welcome the Soska Sisters.  Steeped in both a love of horror and a skill of making truly unforgettable films, the Soska’s revel in all things genre related and this week’s perversely and passionately abnormal flick is one of their best.  A wonderfully insane conundrum of horror, drama, revenge and the effect power has over people – in other words a seriously savory mind job known as….American Mary!

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Encapsulated Movie Reviews – Six New Indie Titles

Indie is the secret word for today and the lesser-known cinema out this week is as plentiful as ever.  Tales of damaged writers, fame seeking hypochondriacs, money stealing psychos, folks fixated on love, damaged dads and moms and big brutal bigfoots all provide a little movie escapism for film fans looking of the beaten movie path.  Check out the six Encapsulated Movie Reviews of The Vanishing of Sidney Hall, 5 Doctors, Midnighters, November, Foxtrot and Primal Rage for your reading convenience below.

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Forgotten Friday Flick – “Surveillance”

Dark wondrous cinematic wares from women continue this week with a look at another movie helmed by a talented female filmmaker – welcome to Forgotten Friday Flick.  This week’s selection proves that some filmmakers do indeed get better with age.  Case in point is Boxing Helena filmmaker and daughter of wizard of weird Jennifer Lynch, who after making the half-decent film with an unfortunately atrocious ending over fifteen years earlier, went on to create one disturbing, thought provoking and totally lingering piece of celluloid.  That’s the film we focus on this week – an unsettling story that can be dissected with just the right…Surveillance.

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Encapsulated Movie Reviews – Nine New Indie Titles

And the indie train just keep on trucking with another gaggle of nine new lesser-known outings that make up the smaller cinema scene featured here.  Sex and romance from a female point of view, social media gone psychotic, life after being a zombie, a wordy battle of the sexes, creation turning obsessive, time traveling for justice, crisis in the cockpit, getting some payback and animal cruelty taken to a whole other level all make up the subjects in the crop of films dissected this week.  Check out the Encapsulated Movie Reviews of Half Magic, Like Me, The Cured, Toss It, Chimera, Curvature, Beast Of Burden, Agenda: Payback and Days Of Power below.

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