Movie Review: BLACK MASS

BLACK MASS movie poster | ©2015 Warner Bros.

Rating: R Stars: Johnny Depp, Joel Edgerton, Benedict Cumberbatch, Dakota Johnson, Kevin Bacon, Corey Stoll, Julianne Nicholson, Jesse Plemons, Rory Cochrane, W. Earl Brown Writers: Mark Mallouk and Jez Butterworth, based on the book by Dick Lehr and Gerald O’Neill Director: Scott Cooper Distributor: Warner Bros. Release Date: September 18, 2015 James “Whitey” Bulger was an infamous figure for decades and the story of his rise and fall seems even more likely fodder than most for a cinematic biopic. Not only was Bulger the head of a South Boston mob for decades, but his younger brother became a powerful state …Read On »


Movie Review: COOTIES

COOTIES movie poster | ©2015 Lionsgate

Rating: R Stars: Elijah Wood, Rainn Wilson, Alison Pill, Jack McBrayer, Leigh Whannell, Nasim Pedrad, Jorge Garcia Writers: Leigh Whannell & Ian Brennan, story by Ian Brennan & Leigh Whannell & Josh C. Waller Directors: Jonathan Milott & Cary Murnion Distributor: Lionsgate Premiere Release Date: theatrical & VOD, September 18, 2015 How good is COOTIES? The first twenty-five minutes or so (minus an opening sequence that will validate every vegetarian in the audience and make everyone else question fast-food chicken forever) could easily be mistaken for a quality comedy pilot about elementary school teachers on HBO or Showtime. Then the …Read On »



MAZE RUNNER: THE SCORCH TRIALS movie poster | ©2015 20th Century Fox

Rating: PG-13 Stars: Dylan O’Brien, Ki Hong Lee, Kaya Scodelario, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Dexter Darden, Alexander Flores, Jacob Lofland, Rosa Salazar, Patricia Clarkson, Giancarlo Esposito, Aiden Gillen, Lili Taylor, Barry Pepper, Alan Tudyk, Nathalie Emmanuel Writer: T.S. Nowlin, based on the novel by James Dashner Director: Wes Ball Distributor: Twentieth Century Fox Release Date: September 18, 2015 To answer one burning question about MAZE RUNNER: THE SCORCH TRIALS, yes, it’s easily possible to follow what’s going on in without having seen 2014’s original THE MAZE RUNNER. To answer a second question, no, this isn’t because we get tackled with a ton …Read On »



PAWN SACRIFICE poster | ©2015 Bleecker Street Media

Rating: PG-13 Stars: Tobey Maguire, Liev Schreiber, Michael Stuhlbarg, Peter Sarsgaard, Lily Rabe, Robin Weigert Writer: Steven Knight, story by Stephen J. Rivele & Christopher Wilkinson and Steven Knight Director: Edward Zwick Distributor: Bleecker Street Media Release Date: September 16, 2015 Chess is not an inherently cinematic game. Couple it with a main character who is actively unlikable, and it sounds like the makings of a movie that is at best hard to watch. Yet PAWN SACRIFICE turns out to be immersive. Directed by Edward Zwick and scripted by Steven Knight from a story by Stephen J. Rivele & Christopher …Read On »


Blu-ray/DVD Review: LOVE & MERCY

LOVE AND MERCY Blu-ray | ©2015 Lionsgate

Rating: PG-13 Stars: Paul Dano, John Cusack, Elizabeth Banks, Paul Giamatti Writers: Owen Moverman and Michael Alan Lerner, based on the life of Brian Wilson Director: Bill Pohlad Distributor: Lionsgate Home Entertainment Release Date: Blu-ray/DVD, September 15, 2015 By all accounts – including the one in this film – the life of Beach Boys’ founding member Brian Wilson, one of the most influential singer/songwriters of the twentieth century, was and is a complex affair. A single feature film of normal running time wouldn’t be able to tell Wilson’s story in linear fashion. LOVE & MERCY, which was released theatrically last …Read On »


TV Review: DANCING WITH THE STARS – Season 21 – Week 1 – Season Premiere – Busey highs and lows

Gary Busey and Anna Trebunskaya in DANCING WITH THE STARS - Season 21 | ©2015 ABC/Craig Sjodin

Stars: Alexa Pena Vega, Carlos PenaVega, Kim Zolciak, Hayes Grier, Nick Carter, Chaka Khan, Bindi Irwin, Alek Skarlatos,Tamar Braxton, Paula Deen, Gary Busey, Andy Grammer, Victor Espinoza Network: ABC, airs Mondays, Tuesdays Original Telecast: Sept. 14th, 2015 DANCING WITH THE STARS:Season 21 kicked off tonight with hits, misses and… Gary Busey, need I say more. Well, I will anyway. Thirteen couples graced the dance floor tonight for the season premiere episode and from Paula Deen’s soiled pants reference to Gary Busey’s unintelligible lingo we saw a variety of the good, the bad and the talented. Sweet Bindi Irwin stole one …Read On »



BLOODSUCKING BASTARDS movie poster | ©2015 Scream Factory

Rating: R Stars: Fran Kranz, Pedro Pascal, Joey Kern, Joel Murray, Emma Fitzpatrick, Yvette Yates, Justin Ware Writers: Dr. God & Ryan Mitts Director: Brian James O’Connell Distributor: Scream Factory Release Date: September 4, 2015 BLOODSUCKING BASTARDS combines the usual horrors of a dull office sales job – useless products, bored and uncooperative coworkers, a stressed-out boss – with a different kind of scare. What if your old college nemesis swooped in, got the promotion you’d been striving for and was a vampire? This is the situation that confronts our hero Evan (Fran Kranz). Up until now, Evan has been …Read On »


Movie Review: DRAGON BLADE

DRAGON BLADE movie poster | ©2015 Lionsgate

Rating: R Stars: Jackie Chan, John Cusack, Adrien Brody, Siwon Choi, Mika Wang, Lin Peng, Jozef Liu Waite Writer: Daniel Lee Director: Daniel Lee, action director, Jackie Chan Distributor: Lionsgate Release Date: September 4, 2015 Unlikely as it sounds, there really is, or at least was, a Chinese city with a Roman name along China’s famous Silk Road (Google “Chinese city Roman name” for verification). Writer/director Daniel Lee and executive producer/action director/star Jackie Chan have taken this historical nugget and run with it. The result is DRAGON BLADE, a compact epic that espouses peace and interracial/international harmony while engaging in …Read On »



DARK WAS THE NIGHT movie poster | ©2015 Image Entertainment / RLJ Entertainment

Rating: Not Rated Stars: Kevin Durand, Lukas Haas, Bianca Kajlich, Ethan Khusidman Writer: Tyler Hisel Director: Jack Heller Distributor: Image Entertainment/RLJ Entertainment Release Date: Blu-ray/DVD/VOD, September 1, 2015 DARK WAS THE NIGHT makes no pretense of reinventing the wheel. It is a straightforward, slow-burn monster in the woods story. What elevates it, apart from the strong performances of leads Kevin Durand and Lukas Haas, is the sense of certainty demonstrated by director Jack Heller and writer Tyler Hisel, demonstrating that sometimes all a story needs is to be told well. When a logging company starts harvesting in a previously untouched …Read On »



Z FOR ZACHARIAH movie poster | ©2015 Lionsgate / Roadside Attractions

Rating: PG-13 Stars: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Margot Robbie, Chris Pine Writer: Nissar Modi, based on the novel by Robert C. O’Brien Director: Craig Zobel Distributor: Lionsgate/Roadside Attractions Release Date: August 28, 2015 Based on the novel by Robert C. O’Brien, Z FOR ZACHARIAH is a different kind of post-apocalyptic film. There are wastelands we glimpse from afar, but we’re not trapped in them. Likewise, there are no bands of marauders seeking oil, water, slaves or food. Instead, we are in a verdant valley that has somehow been untouched by what our heroine Ann (Margot Robbie) refers to as “the mistake,” which …Read On »

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