Movie Review: THE FOREST

THE FOREST movie poster | ©2016 Gramercy Films

Rating: PG-13 Stars: Natalie Dormer, Taylor Kinney, Yukiyoshi Ozawa, Eoin Macken Writers: Ben Ketai and Sarah Cornwell and Nick Antosca Director: Jason Zada Distributor: Gramercy Pictures Release Date: January 8, 2016 In Japan, the Aokigahara Forest at the base of Mount Fuji is known both as “the Sea of Trees” and “the Suicide Forest.” In ages past, elderly and/or ailing people were left in the forest to die. More recently, it has become a destination for those seeking to end their lives, so much so that there are patrols specifically for the purpose of dissuading the still-living from killing themselves […]Read On »

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Blu-ray Review: THE CAR

THE CAR - Blu-ray | ©2015 Shout! Factory

Stars: James Brolin, Kathleen Lloyd, John Marley, Elizabeth Thompson Writers: Dennis Shryack & Michael Butler & Lane Slate based on a story by Shryack & Butler Director: Elliot Silverstein Distributor: Shout! Factory Suggested Retail Price: $29.99 You have to hand it to Universal Pictures in 1977. Still reeling from the blockbuster success of JAWS in 1975, they were clearly anxious to replicate that success. Instead of immediately dipping back into shark-infested waters, they tried something else with THE CAR. Taking the major beats from JAWS and replacing the shark with a demonic car, it seemed as if this would be […]Read On »

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Blu-ray/DVD Review: BONE TOMAHAWK

BONE TOMAHAWK poster | ©2015RLJ Entertainment

Rating: Not Rated Stars: Kurt Russell, Patrick Wilson, Matthew Fox, Lili Simmons, Richard Jenkins, David Arquette, Sid Haig, Zahn McClarnon Writer: S. Craig Zahler Director: S. Craig Zahler Distributor: RLJ Entertainment/Image Entertainment Release Date (Blu-ray/DVD): December 29, 2015 Movie Westerns are still being made, but the old cowboys-and-Native Americans subgenre is no longer very active, for what can be hoped are obvious reasons. BONE TOMAHAWK gets around those reasons with one of the great gifts that horror provides – when it’s not acceptable to depict a whole group of human beings as bloodthirsty monsters, use actual bloodthirsty monsters. BONE TOMAHAWK […]Read On »

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Movie Review: STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS – Review #2

STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS poster | © 2015 Lucasfilm Ltd.

Rating: PG-13 Stars: Harrison Ford, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Carrie Fisher, Andy Serkis, Gwendoline Christie, Peter Mayhew, Domnhall Gleeson Writers: Lawrence Kasdan & J.J. Abrams and Michael Arndt, based on characters created by George Lucas Director: J.J. Abrams Distributor: Disney Release Date: December 18, 2015 — Here there be spoilers — Read at your own risk! There has probably never been a better use of movie magic than STAR WARS. In its potent mixture of human archetypes as old as our deepest past, laser blasters and starships from as far in the future as we can […]Read On »

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TV Review: SUPERNATURAL – Season 11 – “O Brother, Where Art Thou?”

Mark Pellegrino as Lucifer in SUPERNATURAL - Season 11 - "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" | © 2015 The CW/Katie Yu

Stars: Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles, Mark A. Sheppard, Ruth Connell, Emily Swallow, Mark Pellegrino Writers: Eugenie Ross-Leming & Brad Buckner, series created by Eric Kripke Director: Robert Singer. Network: The CW, Wednesdays @ 9 PM Original Airdate: December 9, 2015 The Season 11 SUPERNATURAL episode “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” is a little like one of those inquiries where each response is met with another “Why?” The title refers specifically to Amara’s (Emily Swallow), aka Darkness, quest to find her brother – that is, God – but by the end, we’ve got plenty of questions of our own. Is Amara’s […]Read On »

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TV Review: SUPERNATURAL – Season 11 – “Just My Imagination”

Jensen Ackles is Dean in SUPERNATURAL - Season 11 - "Just My Imagination" | © 2015 The CW/Bettina Strauss

Stars: Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles, Nate Torrence, Carrie Genzel, Dylan Kingwell, Dylan Everett, Anja Savcic Writer: Jenny Klein, series created by Eric Kripke Director: Richard Speight, Jr. Network: The CW, Wednesdays @ 9 PM Original Airdate: December 2, 2015 SUPERNATURAL normally doesn’t do heartwarming (it’s much more inclined toward heart-ripping, in the literal sense). However, in the Season 11 episode “Just My Imagination,” the show goes surprisingly warm and fuzzy, with charming results. We see a little girl having a tea party in her well-appointed room. The child, but not her parents, can see her companion Sparkle, a unicorn man […]Read On »

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Movie Review: CONCUSSION

CONCUSSION movie poster | ©2015 Columbia Pictures

Rating: PG-13 Stars: Will Smith, Alec Baldwin, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Albert Brooks, David Morse, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Luke Wilson Writer: Peter Landesman, based on the GQ Magazine article “Brain Game” by Jeanne Marie Laskas Director: Peter Landesman Distributor: Columbia Pictures/Sony Release Date: December 25, 2015 There were some rumors circulating that the National Football League had persuaded Sony Pictures to tone down the criticism of the NFL in CONCUSSION. If this is true, the imagination staggers at what the film was like earlier, because what’s onscreen here is pretty damning. Based on a true story, CONCUSSION begins in 2002 Philadelphia, where onetime […]Read On »

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Movie Review: JOY

JOY movie poster | ©2015 20th Century Fox

Rating: PG-13 Stars: Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro, Bradley Cooper, Edgar Ramirez, Diane Ladd, Virginia Madsen, Isabella Rossellini, Dascha Polanco, Elisabeth Rohm, Aundrea Gadsby, Gia Gadsby Writer: David O. Russell, story by Annie Mumolo and David O. Russell Director: David O. Russell Distributor: Twentieth Century Fox Release Date: December 25, 2015 JOY is, in broad strokes, the story of Joy Mangano, though how closely this hews to actual history is an open question so far as onscreen crawls go. On its own terms, JOY works, and if it never exactly produces the title sentiment, it’s still a satisfying experience. JOY […]Read On »

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Movie Review: THE HATEFUL EIGHT

THE HATEFUL EIGHT movie poster | ©2015 The Weinstein Company

Rating: R Stars: Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Walton Goggins, Demian Bichir, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, Bruce Dern, James Parks, Channing Tatum Writer: Quentin Tarantino Director: Quentin Tarantino Distributor: The Weinstein Co. Release Date: December 25, 2015 There are a lot of clashes of sensibilities on display in writer/director Quentin Tarantino’s eighth feature film, THE HATEFUL EIGHT. Part of the movie is a big-screen, wide open spaces epic that, in its 70mm road show format, is almost literally breathtaking in its stark beauty. Another big part of the movie is a kind of Agatha Christie one-room murder […]Read On »

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Movie Review: STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS – Review #1

STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS logo | © 2015 Lucasfilm Ltd.

Rating: PG-13 Stars: Harrison Ford, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Carrie Fisher, Andy Serkis, Gwendoline Christie, Peter Mayhew, Domnhall Gleeson Writers: Lawrence Kasdan & J.J. Abrams and Michael Arndt, based on characters created by George Lucas Director: J.J. Abrams Distributor: Disney Release Date: December 18, 2015 If there ever was a movie where just about nobody cared what the reviews were like, STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS is it. The legions who love George Lucas’ original creation don’t give a flying Fett what anyone has to say – if there’s a chance that the magic spark has […]Read On »

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