Movie Review: EVIL DEAD

EVIL DEAD (2013) movie poster | ©2013 Screen Gems/Film District

Rating: R Stars: Jane Levy, Shiloh Hernandez, Jessica Lucas, Lou Taylor Pucci, Elizabeth Blackmore Writers: Fede Alvarez & Rodo Sayagues, based on characters created by Sam Raimi Director: Fede Alvarez Distributor: TriStar/FilmDistrict The original EVIL DEAD film was made in Michigan in 1981. It launched the careers of its director/writer Sam Raimi, producer Robert Tapert and star Bruce Campbell. The trio reteamed on EVIL DEAD 2: DEAD BY DAWN and the third film in the series, ARMY OF DARKNESS. It’s the latter two that most people remember, with Campbell as the astoundingly dense protagonist Ash smashing plates over his own […]Read On »

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Movie Review: LUCKY BASTARD

LUCKY BASTARD movie poster | ©2013 Vineyard Haven Pictures

Rating: NC-17 Stars: Don McManus, Jay Paulson, Betsy Rue, Chris Wylde, Catherine Annette, Lee Kholafai, Lanny Joon Writers: Robert Nathan & Lukas Kendall Director: Robert Nathan Distributor: Vineyard Haven Pictures Release Date: April 5, 2013 “Found footage” is a popular horror subgenre these days. LUCKY BASTARD applies it to a thriller that is not supernatural and not exactly horror, though it’s right on the border, using the format deftly to draw us into the action right across the room. It’s unnerving and unsettling, because we like most of the readily credible characters and also because of the structure. We’ve seen […]Read On »

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Interview: Getting wicked with the witches of OZ THE GREAT AND POWERUL

MIchelle Williams in OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL poster | ©2013 Disney

OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL continues to rule the boxoffice as easily as Oz (James Franco) himself rules in the Emerald City. Before the film opened the very talented actresses that play the three witches of the movie spoke of their witchy roles. Michelle Williams plays Glinda the Good Witch, Rachel Weisz is Evanora Witch of the East, and Milla Kunis is Theodroa Witch of the West. All three of the actresses had a good time making the movie, and not a single one of them didn’t enjoy being in wires and flying about the sets. “I think we all […]Read On »

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Movie Review: OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL

OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL Witch poster | ©2013 Disney

Rating: PG Stars: James Franco, Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz, Michelle Williams Writers: Mitchell Kapner and David Lindsay-Abaire, screen story by Mitchell Kapner, based on the books by L. Frank Baum Director: Sam Raimi Distributor: Walt Disney Pictures Release Date: March 8, 2013 Although the most famous by far of L. Frank Baum’s books is THE WONDERFUL WIZARD OF OZ, the author actually wrote fourteen OZ books total (as well as a number of other titles), which had storylines and characters that continued one to the other, albeit none had cliffhangers. The OZ books have not only great imagination but tremendous […]Read On »

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Movie Review: WARM BODIES

WARM BODIES movie poster | ©2013 Summit Entertainment

Rating: PG-13 Stars: Nicholas Hoult, Teresa Palmer, Rob Corddry, Dave Franco, Analeigh Tipton, Cory Hardrict, John Malkovich Writer: Jonathan Levine, based on the novel by Isaac Marion Director: Jonathan Levine Distributor: Summit Entertainment Release Date: February 1, 2013 WARM BODIES takes some of the conventions of the vampire romance genre and applies them to the zombie genre with a gentle sense of humor and a metaphor that sort of works but could have used a little more oomph. It’s been about eight years since a plague swept through the world, turning most people into flesh-eating zombies and forcing the survivors […]Read On »

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Movie Review: THIS IS 40

THIS IS 40 movie poster | ©2012 Universal Pictures

Stars: Paul Rudd, Leslie Mann, Maude Apatow, Iris Apatow, Jason Segel, Annie Mumolo, Robert Smigel, Megan Fox, Graham Parker Writer-Director: Judd Apatow Distributor: Universal Pictures It’s hard not to be pulled into the comedic films of Judd Apatow. As a writer-director of THE 40-YEAR OLD VIRGIN, KNOCKED UP, FUNNY PEOPLE and now THIS IS 40, Judd Apatow has created a vision and a voice all of his own. His films are so personal, they conjure up the best work of Woody Allen, James L. Brooks, Cameron Crow and Albert Brooks (who also has a major role in THIS IS 40). […]Read On »

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Movie Review: ZERO DARK THIRTY

ZERO DARK THIRTY movie poster | ©2012 Sony Pictures

Rating: R Stars: Jessica Chastain, Jason Clarke, Kyle Chandler, Jennifer Ehle, Harold Perrineau, James Gandolfini Writer: Mark Boal Director: Kathryn Bigelow Distributor: Columbia Pictures Release Date: December 19, 2012 By now, pretty much everybody knows about the U.S. Navy SEAL raid in the compound in Pakistan that led to the death of Osama Bin Laden, head of Al-Qaeda, which claimed responsibility for the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the U.S. What most people don’t know is exactly how the compound was found, how long it took and how it was determined to be the residence of Bin Laden. ZERO DARK […]Read On »

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Movie Review: JACK REACHER

JACK REACHER movie poster | ©2012 Paramount Pictures

Rating: PG-13 Stars: Tom Cruise, Rosamund Pike, Richard Jenkins, Werner Herzog, David Oyelowo, Robert Duvall, Joseph Sikora, Jai Courtney Writer: Christopher McQuarrie, based on Lee Child’s novel ONE SHOT Director: Christopher McQuarrie Distributor: Paramount Release Date: December 21, 2012 As modern star-driven thrillers go, JACK REACHER is pretty good. Tom Cruise stars as the title character, a former military policeman who went off the grid after leaving the army, only to surface when a fellow former soldier is believed to have gone on a shooting rampage The opening of JACK REACHER creates some stomach-churning tension, as it involves a sniper […]Read On »

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Movie Review: ANY DAY NOW

ANY DAY NOW poster | ©2012 Music Box Films

Rating: Unrated Stars: Alan Cumming, Garret Dillahunt, Isaac Leyva Writers: Travis Fine and George Arthur Bloom Director: Travis Fine Distributor: Music Box Films Release Date: December 14, 2012 It should be said upfront that this reviewer agrees completely with the underlying premise of ANY DAY NOW, which is that parentally fit gay people should be able to adopt children. In California, at least, the law seems to have caught up with this notion since the time the film takes place, which is 1979 through the early 1980s. Furthermore – and here the law has not caught up, though common sense […]Read On »

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Movie Review: HYDE PARK ON HUDSON

HYDE PARK ON THE HUDSON movie poster | ©2012 Focus Features

Rating: R Stars: Bill Murray, Laura Linney, Samuel West, Olivia Colman, Elizabeth Marvel, Eleanor Bron, Olivia Williams, Elizabeth Wilson Writer: Richard Nelson Director: Roger Michell Distributor: Focus Features Release Date: December 7, 2012 HYDE PARK ON HUDSON is the name of a real place, the country home in upstate New York where President Franklin Delano Roosevelt lived with his mother when he wasn’t in Washington, D.C. It’s pure coincidence that there’s another famous Hyde in the public consciousness – as in DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE – but this movie has a sense of that second Hyde’s schizophrenia. When HYDE […]Read On »

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