Movie Review: THE IMITATION GAME

THE IMITATION GAME poster | ©2014 The Weinstein Company

Rating: PG-13 Stars: Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode, Mark Strong, Rory Kinnear, Charles Dance, Allen Leech, Matthew Beard, Alex Lawther Writer: Graham Moore, based on the book ALAN TURING: THE ENIGMA by Andrew Hodges Director: Morten Tyldum Distributor: The Weinstein Co. Release Date: November 26, 2014 By now, it is generally known that, during WWII, the British set up a secret code-breaking unit in Bletchley Park dedicated to deciphering the messages put out by Germany’s Enigma Machine. Information once hidden under the Official Secrets Act also includes the fact that mathematical genius Alan Turing (played in the film by […]Read On »

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Movie Review: HORRIBLE BOSSES 2

HORRIBLE BOSSES 2 movie poster | ©2014 Warner Bros.

Rating: R Stars: Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis, Charlie Day, Jennifer Aniston, Kevin Spacey, Jamie Foxx, Chris Pine, Christoph Waltz, Jonathan Banks Writers: Sean Anders & John Morris, story by Jonathan M. Goldstein & John Francis Daley and Sean Anders & John Morris, characters created by Michael Markowitz Director: Sean Anders Distributor: Warner Bros. Release Date: November 26, 2014 2011’s HORRIBLE BOSSES was a pretty funny if not always on-target riff on STRANGERS ON A TRAIN. HORRIBLE BOSSES 2 suffers in part because it’s not organized as a riff on anything in particular, and partly because a notable portion of its […]Read On »

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Movie Review: OPEN WINDOWS

OPEN WINDOWS movie poster | ©2014 Cinedigm

Rating: R Stars: Elijah Wood, Sasha Grey, Neil Maskell Writer: Nacho Vigalondo Director: Nacho Vigalondo Distributor: Cinedigm Release Date: November 7, 2014 OPEN WINDOWS declares its intentions right from the start, when we appear to be watching an especially cheesy horror movie starring scream queen Jill Goddard (Sasha Grey). Then it turns out we’re watching a trailer, being watched at a convention, which is in turn being streamed live on the computer of Nick Chambers (Elijah Wood). We can’t say we weren’t stylistically warned that the film is going to play more than a few tricks on its characters and […]Read On »

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Movie Review: THE PACT 2

THE PACT 2 movie poster | ©2014 IFC

Rating: Not Rated Stars: Camille Luddington, Caity Lotz, Scott Michael Forster, Patrick Fischler, Mark Steger Writers: Dallas Richard Hallam & Patrick Horvath Directors: Dallas Richard Hallam & Patrick Horvath Distributor: IFC Midnight Release Date: Theatrical and VOD October 31, 2014 The good and bad news about THE PACT 2 is that it’s a horror sequel that stands perfectly well on its own; there’s no need to have seen the original PACT. The good news is that newcomers will feel up to speed; the bad news is that this means the plot is relatively sparse. June Abbott (Camille Luddington) is a […]Read On »

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Movie Review: OUIJA

OUIJA movie poster | ©2014 Universal Pictures

Rating: PG-13 Stars: Olivia Cooke, Ana Coto, Daren Kagasoff, Bianca Santos, Douglas Smith, Shelley Hennig, Lin Shaye Writers: Juliet Snowden & Stiles White Director: Stiles White Distributor: Universal Release Date: October 24, 2014 Maybe this isn’t what happened at all. However, OUIJA looks like the result of producers and/or the studio deciding that they wanted to bring out a PG-13 horror movie right around Halloween. Upon realizing/recalling that a lot of genre fans eye PG-13 horror warily – afraid that such films will have the flaws that afflict OUIJA – the production team opted to bypass the adult and even […]Read On »

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Movie Review: INNER DEMONS

INNER DEMONS movie poster | ©2014 IFC Midnight

Rating: R Stars: Lara Vosburgh, Morgan McClellan, Kate Whitney, Brian Flaherty, Colleen McGrann, Christopher Parker, Ashley Sutton, Susan Ateh, Richard Wilkinson Writer: Glenn Gers Director: Seth Grossman Distributor: IFC Midnight Release Date: October 3, 2014 While INNER DEMONS isn’t particularly innovative, it is at least a lot more coherent and thought-out than many in the found-footage horror genre. The acting is good, the progression works, and while the premise has been done before – is the main character addicted, psychotic or actually possessed? – it is handled here with verisimilitude. The premise is that a reality TV show called “Step […]Read On »

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Movie Review: GONE GIRL

GONE GIRL movie poster | ©2014 20th Century Fox

Rating: R Stars: Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Neil Patrick Harris, Tyler Perry, Carrie Coon, Kim Dickens, Patrick Fugit, Scoot McNairy Writer: Gillian Flynn, based on her novel Director: David Fincher Distributor: 20th Century Fox Release Date: October 3, 2014 GONE GIRL achieves something rather unusual – it keeps us engaged and eager to know what will happen next, even as we’re not sure that we like the people who are most affected by the story’s events. Based on Gillian Flynn’s best-selling novel, with a screenplay by Flynn that’s directed by David Fincher, GONE GIRL takes turns in showing us several […]Read On »

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Movie Review: ANNABELLE

ANNABELLE movie poster | ©2014 Warner Bros.

Rating: R Stars: Annabelle Wallis, Ward Horton, Tony Amendola, Alfre Woodard, Kerry O’Malley, Brian Howe, Eric Ladin Writer: Gary Dauberman Director: John R. Leonetti Distributor: Warner Bros./New Line Release Date: October 3, 2014 ANNABELLE is a prequel to last year’s THE CONJURING, explaining the history of that way creepy doll that was seen in the earlier film. We even get a scene from the earlier film, with two young nurses earnestly explaining to psychic investigator Ed Warren (who is off-screen here, though his voice is still that of THE CONJURING’s Patrick Wilson, going uncredited in ANNABELLE) that the doll one […]Read On »

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Movie Review: THE PARANORMAL DIARIES: CLOPHILL

PARANORMAL DIARIES: CLOPHILL poster | ©2014 RLJ Entertainment/Image

Rating: Not Rated Stars: Craig Stovin, Criselda Cabitac, Kevin Gates, Michael Bartlett, Mark Jeavons, Rob Whitaker Writer: Kevin Gates Directors: Kevin Gates and Michael Bartlett Distributor: RLJ Entertainment/Image Entertainment Release Date: September 30, 2014 DVD and digital download At the start, let’s salute the independent, do-it-yourself filmmaking ethos of writer/producer Kevin Gates and his co-director Michael Bartlett, along with their excellent choice of locations and the naturalistic performances they get from their cast. They’ve found a creepy location with some real mythology behind it. Leads Craig Stovin and Criselda Cabitac are just right as two participants in a three-day experiment […]Read On »

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Movie Review: THE TWO FACES OF JANUARY

THE TWO FACES OF JANUARY movie poster | ©2014 Magnolia Pictures

Rating: PG-13 Stars: Viggo Mortensen, Kirsten Dunst, Oscar Isaac, David Warshofsky Writer: Hossein Amini, based on the novel by Patricia Highsmith Director: Hossein Amini Distributor: Magnolia Pictures Release Date: September 26, 2014 If Alfred Hitchcock were in a low-key mood – no crop-dusters or briefcase bombs – he might have made something like THE TWO FACES OF JANUARY, the directing debut of Hossein Amini, who adapted the screenplay from Patricia Highsmith’s novel. In fact, Amini has taken pains to make JANUARY look as though it was made in the year it takes place, 1962, when Hitchcock was still active, with […]Read On »

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