Movies

DVD Review: SANITARIUM

SANTARIUM poster | ©2013 RLJ Entertainment

Rating: Not Rated Stars: Malcolm McDowell, Lou Diamond Phillips, John Glover, Robert Englund, David Mazouz, Lacey Chabert, Chris Mulkey, Mayra Leal Writers: Kerry Valderrama, C.M. Bratton, Bryan Ortiz, Evan Boston, James Hartz, Scott Mercano Directors: Bryan Ramirez, Bryan Ortiz, Kerry Valderrama Distributor: RLJ Entertainment Release Date: December 31, 2013 SANITARIUM is like one of those good old grab bag horror movies that Hammer and Amicus used to make, or like a long episode of NIGHT GALLERY, with each segment having a different director and set of writers. However, as the whole project seems a collaborative venture between the directors and …Read On »

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Movie Review: AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY

AUGUST OSAGE COUNTY movie poster | ©2013 The Weinstein Company

Rating: R Stars: Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Ewan McGregor, Chris Cooper, Abigail Breslin, Benedict Cumberbatch, Juliette Lewis, Margo Martindale, Dermot Mulroney, Julianne Nicholson, Sam Shepard, Misty Upham Writer: Tracy Letts, based on his play Director: John Wells Distributor: The Weinstein Co. Release Date: December 27, 2013 AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY won the 2008 Best Play Tony for its debut Broadway performance, and it’s easy to see why – Tracy Letts’ script is well-constructed and cumulatively devastating. The film version, with a screenplay adapted by Letts and directed by John Wells, opens the play up somewhat by giving us some of the …Read On »

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Movie Review: THE INVISIBLE WOMAN

THE INVISIBLE WOMAN movie poster | ©2013 Sony Pictures Classics

Rating: R Stars: Ralph Fiennes, Felicity Jones, Kristin Scott Thomas, Tom Hollander, Michelle Fairley, Joanna Scanlan, Tom Burke, Perdita Weeks, Amanda Hale Writer: Abi Morgan, based on the book by Claire Tomalin Director: Ralph Fiennes Distributor: Sony Pictures Classics Release Date: December 25, 2013 Victorian-era writer Charles Dickens was such a champion of fairness and kindness in his work that it’s easy to suppose he routinely exhibited these traits in his real life. The truth, according to many biographers, was much more complicated. In THE INVISIBLE WOMAN, based on Claire Tomalin’s nonfiction book of the same name about Dickens and …Read On »

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Movie Review: 47 RONIN

47 RONIN movie poster | ©2013 Universal Pictures

Rating: PG-13 Stars: Keanu Reeves, Hiroyuki Sanada, Ko Shibasaki, Tadanobu Asano, Min Tanaka, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Rin Kikuchi Writers: Chris Morgan and Hossein Amini, screen story by Chris Morgan & Walter Hamada Director: Carl Rinsch Distributor: Universal Pictures Release Date: December 25, 2013 In Japan, the real-life story behind 47 RONIN has roughly the same cultural impact that the Alamo has in the U.S. Indeed, there’s a name – Chushingwa – for the genre of books, plays, films, TV shows and artwork about the 47 masterless samurai, or ronin, who banded together to avenge the death of their lord, even though …Read On »

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Movie Review: LONE SURVIVOR

LONE SURVIVOR movie poster | ©2013 Universal Pictures

Rating: R Stars: Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch, Emile Hirsch, Ben Foster, Eric Bana, Yousuf Azami, Ali Suliman Writer: Peter Berg, based on the book by Marcus Luttrell and Patrick Robinson Director: Peter Berg Distributor: Universal Pictures Release Date: December 25, 2013 Based on the events of the 2005 Navy SEAL mission Operation Red Wings, LONE SURVIVOR depicts a relatively short but devastating clash between U.S. and Taliban forces in the mountains of Afghanistan. Director/writer Peter Berg has adapted the book by Marcus Luttrell and Patrick Robinson in apolitical fashion. We’re following the Navy, so we’re on their side, but the …Read On »

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ELYSIUM Highlights this week in Blu-ray, DVD and VOD Releases

ELYSIUM | (c) 2013 Universal Home Entertainment

Your time is short. We know this. So in order to expedite your buying and Netflix decision making, we provide you with a list of the cool and not-so-cool titles coming out for movies, television and everything in-between. So put your feet up, grab some popcorn and check out this week’s selections. Movies ELYSIUM – Neill Blomkamp made a huge splash when he directed DISTRICT 9 a few years ago. This is his follow-up – another science fiction epic set in a distant future where the Earth is no longer the habitable place we enjoy today. ELYSIUM is very ambitious. …Read On »

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Movie Review: ANCHORMAN 2: THE LEGEND CONTINUES

ANCHORMAN 2 - THE LEGEND CONTINUES movie poster | ©2013 Paramount Pictures

Stars: Will Ferrell, Steve Carell, Paul Rudd, David Koechner, Christina Applegate, Meagan Good, James Marsden, Kristen Wiig Writers: Will Ferrell, Adam McKay Director: Adam McKay Release Date: December 18, 2013 Distributor: Paramount Pictures It’s a given that it’s getting harder to create funny mainstream comedies with the bar so heavily skewed in the direction of lowest common denominator crass, potty humor. That kind of humor is the easy way, but something like ANCHORMAN 2: THE LEGEND CONTINUES does things the hard way, trying to create a world filled with word play, crazy situational comedy and some actual satirical moments thrown …Read On »

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Movie Review: SAVING MR. BANKS

SAVING MR BANKS movie poster | ©2013 Walt DIsney Pictures

Rating: PG-13 Stars: Emma Thompson, Tom Hanks, Colin Farrell, Annie Rose Buckley, Ruth Wilson, Paul Giamatti, Bradley Whitford, B.J. Novak, Jason Schwartzman Writers: Kelly Marcel and Sue Smith Director: John Lee Hancock Distributor: Walt Disney Pictures Release Date: December 13, 2013 (limited); December 20, 2013 (wide) Something you realize very early on in SAVING MR. BANKS is that the filmmakers are very fortunate that Emma Thompson exists to play MARY POPPINS author P.L. Travers. As Mrs. Travers (as she insists on being addressed) is written in the screenplay by Kelly Marcel and Sue Smith, the woman is inconsiderate, heedless of …Read On »

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Movie Review: AMERICAN HUSTLE

AMERICAN HUSTLE movie poster | ©2013 Sony Pictures

Rating: R Stars: Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, Jennifer Lawrence, Louis C.K., Michael Pena, Alessandro Nivola Writers: Eric Warren Singer and David O. Russell Director: David O. Russell Distributor: Columbia Pictures Release Date: limited, December 13, 2013; wide, December 20, 2013 It’s hard to do a good story about con artists. The con has to be plausible, the players have to be engaging, and the payoff has to be something that neither the marks nor the audience see coming. AMERICAN HUSTLE is a great example of the genre, piling twist upon twist, mentioning about halfway through which …Read On »

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Movie Review: THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG

THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG movie poster | ©2013 Warner Bros. / New Line / MGM

Rating: PG-13 Stars: Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Benedict Cumberbatch, Evangeline Lilly, Lee Pace, Luke Evans, Stephen Fry, Ken Stott, James Nesbitt, Orlando Bloom Writers: Fran Walsh & Philippa Boyens & Peter Jackson & Guillermo del Toro, based on the novel THE HOBBIT by J.R.R. Tolkien Director: Peter Jackson Distributor: Warners/New Line/MGM Release Date: December 13, 2013 On one level, filmmaker Peter Jackson and his loyal companions have a problem uncommon in book-to-film adaptations. Most of these require that large chunks of the source material be removed or at least condensed and altered to fit into a running time …Read On »

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