Archive for the ‘Movie Reviews’ Category
Movie Review: Stevie Nicks: In Your Dreams
May 17th, 2013 at 4:00 pm | |
Stevie Nicks: In Your Dreams
Directed by Stevie Nicks & Dave Stewart
Starring Stevie Nicks, Dave Stewart, Glen Ballard, Lindsey Buckingham, Mick Fleetwood, Ann Marie Calhoun
Release date: May 14, 2013 (VOD)
Stevie Nicks, the singer/songwriter who has thrilled and delighted legions of fans for over 40 years now by way of her stint in Fleetwood Mac and her also successful solo career, now has a documentary on the process of making her album, entitled Stevie Nicks: In Your Dreams, available now for instant digital download on iTunes and through On Demand.
The Grammy-winning and legendary artist, responsible for so many chart successes and radio hits with Fleetwood Mac like “Rhiannon,” “Go Your Own Way,” “Gypsy,” “Landslide,” and songs like “Stop Dragging My Heart Around” as a solo act, still tours and is still regarded as one of the top-shelf musicians of that genre of all time. Her fan base still boils over today with a passion and fervor for her, she gives off the kind of heat and adoration which many of her audience (especially women), still absorb. She’s kind of a hero, muse, and inspiration all at once to them, in her style, her slapdash, post-hippie, post-Janis Joplin kind of fashion sense, and her art [...]
Movie Review: Star Trek Into Darkness
May 17th, 2013 at 10:00 am | |
Star Trek Into Darkness
Director: J.J. Abrams
Screenwriter(s): Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman, Damon Lindelof
Cast: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Benedict Cumberbatch, Karl Urban, Zoe Saldana, Simon Pegg, Alice Eve, John Cho
Rated PG-13 | 133 Minutes
Release Date: May 16, 2013
“Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before.”
With Star Trek Into Darkness, director J.J. Abrams stays true to the main themes of Gene Roddenberry‘s classic television series while meeting all the requisite components of an action-packed summer blockbuster.
Roddenberry’s 1966 series highlighted the camaraderie of the USS Enterprise crew and the bonds of friendship between Kirk, Spock, and Dr. McCoy, but Star Trek is remembered most for using science-fiction allegories to explore present-day dilemmas.
In Star Trek Into Darkness, Abrams and writers Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman, and Damon Lindelof introduce post-9/11 anxieties into a futuristic utopia, examining how a universe built on peaceful intergalactic diplomacy deals with acts of terrorism and, as a result, the increasing militarization of the United Federation of Planets.
Commander John Harrison (Sherlock‘s Benedict Cumberbatch) carries out a series of terrorist attacks, bombing a secret Starfleet installation in London before attacking Starfleet headquarters in San Francisco. When the saboteur escapes, Captain James T. Kirk (Chris Pine) leads a mission to the Klingon homeworld of Kronos to hunt down the most wanted man in the universe [...]
Movie Review: The Great Gatsby
May 10th, 2013 at 11:45 am | |
The Great Gatsby
Director: Baz Luhrmann
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, Carey Mulligan, Joel Edgerton
Warner Bros. Pictures
Rated PG-13 | 143 Minutes
Release Date: May 10, 2013
Directed and co-written by Baz Luhrmann, The Great Gatsby follows aspiring stockbroker and would-be writer Nick Carraway (Tobey Maguire) as he leaves the Midwest and comes to New York City in the Spring of 1922 to chase the American Dream.
Carraway ends up on Long Island, next door to a mysterious millionaire, Jay Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio), and across the bay from his cousin, Daisy (Carey Mulligan), and her philandering, old-money husband, Tom Buchanan (Joel Edgerton).
Drawn into the mesmerizing world of the super-rich, Carraway finds himself engulfed by the passions and pleasures of the Jazz Age and the fantasies, romances, and deceits of those around him.
Based upon F. Scott Fitzgerald‘s 1925 novel, Luhrmann’s film adaptation is co-written by Craig Pearce, who penned the scripts for Strictly Ballroom, Romeo + Juliet, and Moulin Rouge! Influenced by Italian Grand Opera and Bollywood films, Luhrmann’s body of work is defined by lush, vibrant images bursting at the seams with life and bombastic soundtracks, often comprised of contemporary music [...]
Movie Review: Mud
May 7th, 2013 at 7:00 pm | |
Director: Jeff Nichols
Screenwriter: Jeff Nichols
Cast: Matthew McConaughey, Tye Sheridan, Jacob Lofland, Reese Witherspoon, Michael Shannon, Sam Shepard, Sarah Paulson
Rated PG-13 | 131 Minutes
Release Date: April 26, 2013
Written and directed by Jeff Nichols, Mud stars Matthew McConaughey as the title character, a charismatic desperado on the run from ruthless bounty hunters.
“Galen said it’s been here awhile. He thinks the last flood did it.” Neckbone, an adolescent boy in camouflage pants and a Fugazi t-shirt, and his friend Ellis are exploring a small island on the Mississippi River where they discover a motorboat stuck in the branches of a twisted old tree.
Like a Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer, Neckbone (Jacob Lofland) and Ellis (Tye Sheridan) are two poor boys on a great adventure through the American South. After investigating the motorboat, the two encounter Mud, a drifter with a gun in his waistband and crosses in his heels – nails in the shape of crosses – that protect him from evil spirits [...]
Movie Review: Iron Man 3
May 2nd, 2013 at 2:09 pm | |
Iron Man 3
Director: Shane Black
Screenwriter(s): Drew Pearce, Shane Black
Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Don Cheadle, Gwyneth Paltrow, Ben Kingsley, Guy Pearce, Rebecca Hall
Walt Disney Studios
Rated PG-13 | 129 Minutes
Release Date: May 3, 2013
Directed and co-written by Shane Black (Kiss Kiss Bang Bang), Iron Man 3 is both an end – the definitive conclusion to the Iron Man trilogy – and a beginning; the first entry in Phase Two of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
It’s New Year’s Eve, 1999. A disheveled, bespectacled scientist by the name of Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce) approaches Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) at a technology summit in Bern, Switzerland. Killian invites Stark to join his think tank, Advanced Idea Mechanics (AIM), but the billionaire playboy (not yet a philanthropist) is too busy puttin’ the moves on fellow scientist and all-around hottie Dr. Maya Hansen, played by Rebecca Hall.
Fast-forward 13 years where Aldrich Killian has become a charismatic titan of industry. His new human enhancement program, Extremis, turns crippled test subjects into super soldiers – most of the time. Sometimes candidates become human H-bombs and explode, vaporizing everyone around them into shadows and dust. That’s OK though because Killian has aligned himself with the Mandarin (Ben Kingsley), leader of the international terrorist organization The Ten Rings, who needs soldiers (and bombs) for his movement. [...]
Movie Review: Antiviral
April 29th, 2013 at 10:00 pm | |
Director: Brandon Cronenberg
Screenwriter: Brandon Cronenberg
Cast: Caleb Landry Jones, Sarah Gadon, Malcolm McDowell, Douglas Smith
Not Rated | 110 Minutes
Release Date: April 12, 2013
Directed by Brandon Cronenberg, the son of filmmaker David Cronenberg, Antiviral stars Caleb Landry Jones (X-Men: First Class) as Syd March, a technician at the Lucas Clinic, a dispensary that sells injections of live viruses harvested from sick celebrities to obsessed fans.
These viruses, which range from stomach flu to Herpes simplex, allow for “biological communion” between idol and idolizer. Looking to make some extra money, Syd hacks the chemical copyright of these viruses and sells illegal samples on the black market, smuggling them from the clinic inside his own body.
The Lucas Clinic has an exclusive contract with the gorgeous young celebutante Hannah Geist (Sarah Gadon, Cosmopolis). When Geist becomes infected with a new, unknown disease, Syd injects himself with it and becomes a target for collectors and rabid fans. The gaunt and sickly-looking technician must unravel the mystery surrounding the virus before he loses his sanity and his life [...]
Movie Review: Room 237: Being An Inquiry Into The Shining In 9 Parts
April 26th, 2013 at 2:00 pm | |
Being An Inquiry Into The Shining In 9 Parts
Directed by Rodney Ascher
Release Date: March 29, 2013 (limited)
Available now On Demand
To reduce or repudiate any of Stanley Kubrick’s films would be indescribably mindless. To this day, each one harbors an enduring legacy, not only because of their content, but also for their impeccable craftsmanship. Some are lauded more than others. But the majority of his films have startling subtexts, as fictional as some may initially seem, that cause many avid cinephiles to ruminate for countless of hours, maybe even years.
For those of you who – and there must be many – mismanaged and minimized The Shining‘s potency, submit yourselves to Room 237: Being an Inquiry into The Shining in 9 Parts (or Room 237 for short). It seeks to unearth and unravel conspiracy theories and deeply concealed subtexts that Kubrick either deliberately or arbitrarily instilled in his horror epic The Shining. Kubrick’s version (premiered in 1980) is far removed from Stephen King’s bestselling novel, gutting the majority of the book’s themes in exchange for his own dark visions (Kubrick came up with the idea to have The Overlook Hotel be built on an Indian burial ground). That film opened up to mediocre reviews, not attracting the slightest scholarly knowledge, cult following, or accolades it would attain years later [...]
Movie Review: Pain & Gain
April 26th, 2013 at 11:20 am | |
Pain & Gain
Director: Michael Bay
Screenwriter(s): Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely
Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson, Ed Harris, Rob Corddry, Anthony Mackie, Bar Paly, Tony Shalhoub, Rebel Wilson
Rated R | 130 Minutes
Release Date: April 26th, 2013
Unfortunately, Michael Bay‘s latest film, Pain & Gain, doesn’t star Optimus Prime or John Turturro – but don’t let that discourage you from seeing it – let “Directed by Michael Bay” do that.
The film is based on a series of Miami New Times articles surrounding the brutal kidnapping, extortion, torture, and murder of several victims by the “Sun Gym Gang,” a group of simple-minded bodybuilders turned incompetent criminals.
Mark Wahlberg stars as Daniel Lugo, a bodybuilder who works at the Sun Gym along with his friend Adrian Doorbal (Anthony Mackie). Sick of living the life of a personal trainer, Lugo concocts a plan to kidnap Victor Kershaw (Tony Shalhoub), a filthy-rich businessman, and extort money from him using any means necessary.
With the help of ex-con Paul Doyle (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson), the Sun Gym Gang successfully gets Kershaw to sign over his riches. But when Kershaw survives an attempted murder by the gang, he hires private investigator Ed Du Bois (Ed Harris) to catch the criminals after the Miami Police Department dismisses Kershaw’s implausible story [...]
Movie Review: Oblivion
April 19th, 2013 at 11:01 am | |
Director: Joseph Kosinski
Screenwriter(s): Joseph Kosinski, William Monahan, Karl Gajdusek, Michael Arndt
Cast: Tom Cruise, Olga Kurylenko, Morgan Freeman, Melissa Leo
Rated PG-13 | 130 Minutes
Release Date: April 19, 2013
2077: Jack Harper (Tom Cruise) is one of the last remaining drone repairmen stationed on Earth, which was nearly destroyed by an alien invasion 60 years earlier.
As part of a massive operation to extract the planet’s remaining vital resources, Jack lives in a Skytower floating thousands of meters above post-apocalyptic New York.
He is joined by Victoria “Vika” Olsen (Andrea Riseborough), a by-the-books navigator with whom he shares a romantic interest. In his Bubbleship – a futuristic hybrid of a jet fighter and a Bell 47 helicopter – Jack works with Vika to repair downed drones and dispatch “Scavs” – the aliens who turned Earth into a wasteland.
Their mission is almost complete. In two weeks Jack and Vika will leave Earth behind forever as they travel to Titan, Saturn’s largest moon. There they will join a lunar colony established by Earth’s survivors. The fateful arrival of a stranger (Olga Kurylenko), however, triggers a series of events that forces Jack to question everything he knows about the war and its aftermath [...]
Movie Review: No
April 19th, 2013 at 10:11 am | |
Director: Pablo Larraín
Screenwriter: Pedro Peirano
Cast: Gael García Bernal, Alfredo Castro, Luis Gnecco, Antonia Zegers
Sony Pictures Classics
Rated PG-13 | 118 Minutes
Release Date: April 19, 2013
Based on the unpublished play El Plebiscito by Antonio Skármeta, No stars Gael García Bernal as René Saavedra, a young advertising executive working in Chile in the late 1980s.
After fifteen years of brutal military dictatorship, the people of Chile are asked to vote in the national plebiscite of 1988 on whether General Augusto Pinochet should stay in power for another eight years (YES) or if there should be an open democratic presidential election the next year (NO).
René is approached by the “No” campaign committee to consult on their proposed advertising for the upcoming vote. Behind the back of his politically conservative boss, Lucho (Alfredo Castro), René agrees to head the committee’s advertising department only to find the “No” campaign’s strategy consists of a dourly unappealing litany of the regime’s abuses.
Compelled by his own loathing of Pinochet’s tyranny, René proposes they take a lighthearted, upbeat approach. By using strategies forged in the world of commercial advertising and marketing, the new advertisements will stress abstract concepts like “happiness,” creating upbeat films and promotional material, in the hope it will encourage the Chilean public to vote ‘No.’ [...]
Movie Review: The Place Beyond the Pines
April 14th, 2013 at 2:30 pm | |
The Place Beyond the Pines
Directed by Derek Cianfrance
Screenplay by Derek Cianfrance, Ben Coccio, and Darius Marder
Starring: Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper, Eva Mendes, Ray Liotta, Ben Mendelsohn
Rated R | 140 Minutes
Release Date: April 12, 2013
Directed by Derek Cianfrance (Blue Valentine), The Place Beyond the Pines stars Ryan Gosling as Luke Glanton, a motorcycle stuntman working in a death-defying traveling act.
While performing at a carnival in Schenectady, NY, Glanton reunites with ex-lover Romina (Eva Mendes) and learns that he’s the father of her newborn son.
Glanton hangs up his helmet to stay in town and provide for his child, but Romina has become involved with another man, Kofi (Mahershala Ali).
Imagine Gosling’s tight-lipped wheelman from Nicolas Winding Refn’s Drive joined S.E. Hinton’s The Outsiders and you’ve got Luke Glanton. Covered in homemade tattoos with peroxide blond hair, the grunge motorcyclist hooks up with Robin (Ben Mendelsohn), a retired criminal, and becomes an outlaw to support his family [...]
Movie Review: 42
April 12th, 2013 at 3:19 pm | |
Director: Brian Helgeland
Screenwriter: Brian Helgeland
Cast: Chadwick Boseman, Harrison Ford, Christopher Meloni, John C. McGinley, Lucas Black, Alan Tudyk
Warner Bros. Pictures
Rated PG-13 | 122 Minutes
Release Date: April 12, 2013
Written and directed by Brian Helgeland, 42 stars Chadwick Boseman as legendary baseball player Jackie Robinson.
The biopic begins with Robinson as an up-and-coming shortstop in the Negro leagues with the Kansas City Monarchs, before moving up to the minor leagues, playing second base for the Montreal Royals.
Robinson was signed by Brooklyn Dodgers General Manager Branch Rickey (Harrison Ford), making him the first African-American player in Major League Baseball history. On April 15, 1947, Jackie Robinson emerged from the tunnel at Ebbets Field in a Brooklyn Dodgers uniform – No. 42 – smashing the league’s color barrier and changing the sport of baseball forever.
Helgeland’s gee-whiz approach to “The True Story of an American Legend” is old-fashioned to a fault. Although the film doesn’t shy away from the hateful prejudice and racism Robinson encountered, 42 is so on-the-nose, so heavy-handed, that it borders on Hallmark Channel Original territory at times [...]
Movie Review: Trance
April 12th, 2013 at 12:00 pm | |
Director: Danny Boyle
Screenwriter: Joe Ahearne, John Hodge
Cast: James McAvoy, Rosario Dawson, Vincent Cassel, Danny Sapani
Fox Searchlight Pictures
Rated R | 101 Minutes
Release Date: April 12, 2013
Directed by Oscar-winning Slumdog Millionaire director Danny Boyle, with a script by Trainspotting and Shallow Grave screenwriter John Hodge, Trance is partially adapted from the 2001 made-for-television feature of the same name by writer/director Joe Ahearne.
The psychosexual thriller stars James McAvoy (Atonement) as Simon, a prominent art auctioneer struggling with a serious brain trauma after teaming with underworld crime boss Franck (Vincent Cassel) to steal Francisco Goya’s Witches in the Air from an auction house.
Simon tries (unsuccessfully) to double-cross Franck, who returns the favor by knocking Simon unconscious with a devastating blow to the skull, wiping out any memory concerning the whereabouts of the prized painting. Simon has no recollection of where he hid the stolen masterpiece, forcing Franck to enlist talented hypnotherapist Elizabeth (Rosario Dawson) to try and pinpoint its location – but the deeper Elizabeth probes into Simon’s subconscious, the more complex (and misleading) the mystery becomes [...]
Movie Review: G.I. Joe: Retaliation
March 29th, 2013 at 11:01 am | |
G.I. Joe: Retaliation
Directed by Jon M. Chu
Screenplay by Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick
Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Channing Tatum, Ray Park, Bruce Willis
Rated PG-13 | 110 Minutes
Release Date: March 28, 2013
Directed by Jon M. Chu (Step Up 3D), G.I. Joe: Retaliation is the sequel to Stephen Sommers’ instantly forgettable 2009 film, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra.
At the conclusion of that film, Zartan (Arnold Vosloo), having had his physical appearance altered by nanomites, infiltrates the White House and assumes the identity of the President of the United States of America (Jonathan Pryce).
Chu’s sequel begins with Zartan in control of the United States government. The master of make-up and disguise frames the G.I. Joes as traitors and launches an all-out attack on the Joes, wiping out their ranks (including Channing Tatum‘s Sgt. Duke) in one fell swoop.
Meanwhile, Storm Shadow (Lee Byung-hun) and Firefly (Ray Stevenson) infiltrate a top-secret subterranean prison to free Cobra Commander. Previously portrayed by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, the supreme leader of COBRA is played by Australian actor Luke Bracey this time around and voiced by Robert Baker.
Cobra Commander’s plan is simple: eliminate the world’s stockpile of nuclear weapons so COBRA can rule the world unopposed by using Zeus, a sub-orbital weapon of mass destruction that’s twice as powerful as a nuclear bomb [...]
Movie Review: VH1 Rock Doc ‘Downloaded’
March 27th, 2013 at 5:39 pm | |
Director: Alex Winter
Cast: Shawn Fanning, Sean Parker, Don Lenner, Hilary Rosen, Henry Rollins, Billy Corgan, Lars Ulrich, Trent Reznor
VH1 Rock Docs
Not Rated | 106 Minutes
Release Date: March 10, 2013 (SXSW)
Directed by Alex Winter (Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, Freaked), Downloaded chronicles the evolution of digital media, focusing primarily on the rise and fall of the pioneering peer-to-peer file sharing Internet service Napster.
Featuring exclusive interviews with Napster co-founders Shawn Fanning and Sean Parker, software developers, musicians, and the music industry elite, Downloaded explores the controversial file sharing software and follows Napster’s rise in 1998, through the gauntlet of copyright infringement lawsuits, to its acquisition by Rhapsody in 2011.
Some of those interviewed for Winter’s documentary include Henry Rollins, Billy Corgan, Island Records founder Chris Blackwell, former Sony Music Chairman Don Lenner, former CEO of the RIAA Hilary Rosen, Beastie Boys’ Mike D, and Noel Gallagher of Oasis.
Although there were already networks that facilitated the distribution of files across the Internet, such as IRC, Hotline, and USENET, Napster specialized in MP3 files, a user-friendly interface, and lightning-fast search speeds. At its peak, Napster had about 80 million registered users and revolutionized the music industry for better or for worse [...]