Movies

Movie/VoD Review: HARBINGER DOWN

HARBINGER DOWN | © 2015 Vertical Entertainment

Cast: Lance Henriksen, Camille Balsamo, Matt Winston, Giovonnie Samuels, Winston James Francis, Mick Ignis, Michael Estime Writer: Alec Gillis Director: Alec Gillis Distributor: Vertical Entertainment Release Date: August 7, 2015 HARBINGER DOWN is a pretty blatant rip-off of the John Carpenter classic THE THING. However, the people who made the film – on the back of a successful Kickstarter campaign combined with funds from their own pockets – make clear that’s what they were going for in a homage to not just THE THING but also other science fiction monster movies from the 80s including LEVIATHAN and even a bit …Read On »

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Movie Review: KAHLIL GIBRAN’S THE PROPHET

KAHLIL GIRAN'S THE PROPHET | © 2015 Gkids/Participant Media

Rating: PG Stars (voices): Liam Neeson, Salma Hayek, John Krasinski, Frank Langella, Alfred Molina, Quvenzhane Wallis Writer: Roger Allers, poetry and quotations by Kahlil Gibran Director: Roger Allers; chapter directors, Michal Socha, Nina Paley, Joann Sfar, Joan Gratz, Bill Plympton, Tomm Moore, Mohammed Harib, Gaetan Brizzi & Paul Brizzi Distributor: GKids/Participant Media Release Date: August 7, 2015 There’s no question that KAHLIL GIBRAN’S THE PROPHET is an admirable enterprise in its visual scope, its differing animation styles and its international nature. However, it’s pitched as a children’s film. As such, it feels much more like a lesson and less like …Read On »

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Movie Review: THE DIARY OF A TEENAGE GIRL

THE DIARY OF A TEENAGE GIRL | © 2015 Sony Pictures Classic

Rating: R Stars: Bel Powley, Alexander Skarsgard, Christopher Meloni, Kristen Wiig Writer: Marielle Heller, based on the book by Phoebe Gloeckner Director: Marielle Heller Distributor: Sony Pictures Classics Release Date: August 7, 2015 It’s easy to imagine that THE DIARY OF A TEENAGE GIRL. Those who find it true to their own experience, metaphorically (and possibly though not necessarily literally), are likely to love it. Those whose teen years went in completely other directions may still be intrigued, but could equally be disbelieving, alienated and/or bored. For those open to its appeal, THE DIARY OF A TEENAGE GIRL is full …Read On »

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Movie Review: THE VATICAN TAPES

THE VATICAN TAPES | © 2015 Lionsgate

Rating: R Stars: Olivia Dudley, Michael Pena, Kathleen Robertson, Djimon Hounsou, Dougray Scott, John Patrick Amedori, Peter Andersson Writer: Christopher Borrelli, story by Chris Morgan and Christopher Borrelli Director: Mark Neveldine Distributor: Lionsgate Release Date: July 24, 2015 Exorcism films run the gamut. At the high end, there’s the William Peter Blatty/William Friedkin 1973 classic THE EXORCIST and more financially modest but tremendously effective efforts like THE LAST EXORCISM. At the low end is some truly astonishing schlock. THE VATICAN TAPES is well-made enough to stay out of the latter category, but as an exorcism horror film – or any …Read On »

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Movie Review: SOUTHPAW

SOUTHPAW | © 2015 The Weinstein Co.

Rating: R Stars: Jake Gyllenhaal, Forest Whitaker, Rachel McAdams, Oona Laurence, Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, Naomie Harris, Miguel Gomez Writer: Kurt Sutter Director: Antoine Fuqua Distributor: The Weinstein Co. Release Date: July 24, 2015 SOUTHPAW has one big plot twist the unspoiled may not see coming. Otherwise, even though it’s scripted by SONS OF ANARCHY creator Kurt Sutter, this boxing drama is solid but standard fare. Jake Gyllenhaal stars as boxing champ Billy Hope, whose victories are fueled by rage. However, when he’s outside the ring, his life revolves around beloved wife Mo (Rachel McAdams) and precocious daughter Leila (Oona …Read On »

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Blu-ray and DVD Reviews for the Week of July 14, 2015

EX MACHINA | © 2015 Lionsgate 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: EX MACHINA – There have been a number of interesting films that delve into the artificial intelligence/robot aspect and how they would act if they ever became self-aware. EX MACHINA does a great job of not treading on any of the territory that these other films have …Read On »

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Movie Review: TRAINWRECK

Trainwreck | © 2015 Universal Pictures

Rating: R Stars: Amy Schumer, Bill Hader, Tilda Swinton, Vanessa Bayer, LeBron James, Brie Larson, John Cena, Colin Quinn, Norman Lloyd, Mike Birbiglia, Randall Park, Ezra Miller Writer: Amy Schumer Director: Judd Apatow Distributor: Universal Release Date: July 17, 2015 Somewhere between a character study and a semi-unconventional romcom, TRAINWRECK is more funny and enjoyable than not. Its politics aside (what’s one more female screen protagonist primarily defined by her approach to romance at this late date?), Amy Schumer’s script tries to keep us on our toes while getting us to laugh and make us uncomfortable, all at the same …Read On »

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Movie Review: ANT-MAN

Ant-Man | © 2015 Disney

Rating: PG-13 Stars: Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas, Evangeline Lilly, Corey Stoll, Bobby Cannavale, Michael Pena, Tip “T.I.” Harris, Wood Harris, Judy Greer, David Dastmalian, Abby Ryder Fortsom Writers: Edgar Wright & Joe Cornish and Adam McKay & Paul Rudd, story by Edgar Wright & Joe Cornish, based on the comic books created by Stan Lee & Larry Lieber & Joe Kirby Director: Peyton Reed Distributor: Disney Release Date: July 17, 2015 Although it is unmistakably from the Marvel stable, ANT-MAN is sometimes reminiscent of films from another of distributor Disney’s partners, Pixar. With its cheerful sense of goofiness and acute …Read On »

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Movie Review: SELF/LESS

SELF/LESS movie poster | ©2015 Focus Features

Rating: PG-13 Stars: Ryan Reynolds, Natalie Martinez, Matthew Goode, Ben Kingsley, Victor Garber, Derek Luke, Jaynee-Lynne Kinchen, Michelle Dockery Writers: David Pastor & Alex Pastor Director: Tarsem Singh Distributor: Focus Features/Gramercy Pictures Release Date: July 10, 2015 There are a number of problems with SELF/LESS, but much could have been forgiven if the movie had gotten one thing right. Anyone who has seen the trailer knows that the set-up consists of dying billionaire Damian Hale (Ben Kingsley) paying a huge amount of money to have his consciousness put into another body (Ryan Reynolds). The body in question is reportedly lab-grown, …Read On »

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Movie Review: MAGIC MIKE XXL

MAGIC MIKE XXL poster | ©2015 Warner Bros.

Rating: R Stars: Channing Tatum, Joe Manganiello, Matt Bomer, Adam Rodriguez, Kevin Nash, Gabriel Iglesias, Donald Glover, Jada Pinkett-Smith, Amber Heard, Andie MacDowell, Elizabeth Banks Writer: Reid Carolin, based on characters created by Reid Carolin Director: Gregory Jacobs Distributor: Warner Bros. Release Date: July 1, 2015 MAGIC MIKE XXL is an example of a sequel that improves on the original. In 2012’s MAGIC MIKE, we met the title character (Channing Tatum) and his cohorts at a Miami male strip club. The film registered as one of the least hysterical stories ever told about people who remove their clothes for a …Read On »

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