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Archive for the 'Movie Reviews' Category

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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‘The Post’ Is Spielberg’s Ace In The Hole (Movie Review)

Leave it to director Steven Spielberg to once again turn a history lesson into an invigorating character study with potent relevance. The Post is another excellent movie from one of the most revered filmmakers of all time. A cast led by two of the world’s most well-liked actors is just one of the highlights in a film pushed into production rather quickly and has now arrived at a time when cynicism may be winning out against the drive to do good. At just under two hours, The Post has all it needs to recall a time when real battles were being fought over American liberties. It was great spending that time to see the talents of so many come together for a film that’s not only incredible to watch, but something of a reward to those who want to see what it means to find the truth.

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Encapsulated Movie Reviews – Seven New Indie Titles

With no shortage of end of the year indie fare in sight, it’s been busy as of late getting together both weekly flick dissection and top ten finales done.  But nevertheless I’m braving the bevy of movies lesser known to keep those few hungry film fans in the know – I got you covered.  Romance in the social media age, exposing the wrong side of the law enforcement, hereditary horrors, cartoon stereotypes put on trial, the scary part of sleep, fighting animal instincts and replaying terror all make up the subjects of the seven films covered and dissected via this weeks Encapsulated Movie Reviews.  Check out the critical skinny on People You May Know, What Happened In Vegas, Thelma, The Problem With Apu, Slumber, Somebody’s Darling and Inoperable below!

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The Frustrating Glow Of ‘Wonder Wheel’ (Movie Review)

I’ve had a tough time processing Wonder Wheel. It has nothing to do with writer/director Woody Allen as a person or even the idea of analyzing multiple “awards season” movies at the same time. It has a lot more to do with the familiarity of Allen’s ideas matched to his choices as a visual filmmaker. Wonder Wheel features a lot of great highlights, which includes the excellent cinematography by Vittorio Storaro. There are also some problems concerning my take on individual performances, plot development, and more. That makes Wonder Wheel a problematic film, but there is value to be found here.

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‘The Man Who Invented Christmas’ Revealed (Movie Review)

It’s a credit to Dan Stevens that he keeps finding different sorts of roles to play. Not having watched Downton Abbey, I only started becoming familiar with him when The Guest came out. Now he’s tackled a number of roles, and I continue to enjoy seeing the output. For The Man Who Invented Christmas, Stevens stars as Charles Dickens, and the film tells the story of how “A Christmas Carol” came to be a timeless tale that would go on to redefine how the holiday was celebrated.

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Forgotten Friday Flick – “The Skin I Live In”

Over the next five weeks leading up to both various Top Ten Films of 2017 lists on this site, as well as celebrating the year’s end, I’m going to be reposting now MIA reviews of my #1 films from the last five years to provide all film fans in the dark of such captivating cinema a pinch of glorious five-star movie light – welcome to Forgotten Friday Flick!  This week we’re heading all the way back to 2011 for a damn fine feature that captured not only controversy with it’s spicy story, but also my top film for that year.  A creepy and moody cautionary tale of love and revenge (and not necessarily in that order!), this one lingers long for all who dare to witness it.  So let’s head back, strap in and heed to movie director tour guide Pedro Almodóvar as he takes us on a unique journey known as…The Skin I Live In.

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Pixar’s ‘Coco’ Brings Spirited Joy (Movie Review)

Remaining on top is difficult. Pixar enjoyed a steady hold as one of the most prestigious studios for a good while, but various sequels outside of the Toy Story series and troubled productions have pushed them to be seemingly just one of the many animation studios out there. Coco is a fantastic return to form. While I haven’t outright disliked any film Pixar has had to offer, this latest effort reaches the sort of greatness you want from any movie. Inspired by Mexican culture and based on the holiday of Dia de los Muertos, Coco is a lively, colorful adventure that hits in all the right ways.

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Some Kind Of ‘Wonder’ (Movie Review)

Growing up is a challenge for a variety of reasons. Not being comfortable in your own skin is easily one of them. R.J. Palacio’s bestselling children’s novel Wonder examines this thought in a fairly literal fashion, as it deals with the plight of a young boy with a facial deformity. The book was a huge hit, and now it’s become a likable studio film with A-list actors filling in for the roles. It’s good enough to warrant the natural teary-eyed reactions that come with this sort of coming-of-age drama. That said, it also weaves around areas that could be played too sentimental in lesser films. All of that makes Wonder pretty wonderful.

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