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News & Reviews Archives - Cinedraft | Cinedraft

Rob’s Quick Review: Nerve

Nerve has gotten much more realistic since I walked out of the theater a few weeks ago. It seems scarily prescient in the wake of Pokemon Go’s release.  Millions of people walking

Rob’s Quick Review: John Wick

John Wick is a stylish, fast-paced take on the revenge action genre. It’s very well written, interlacing funny moments into the action sequences, reminding me of the best of Shane Black’s writing.

May Movie Preview: Part 1

We hope that many of you went to the movies this past weekend.  Maybe you saw the new Spider-Man, or maybe you caught up on something that you’ve been meaning to see.

From The Web: Supercut of 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die

If you’re not familiar with the 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die book, I really recommend it for movie lovers.  The book itself (in any of its many updated versions) is

April Movie Preview: Part 1

Now that we’re post awards season, we’re in that weird in between before the summer movie explosion.  That being said, there are several movies of note trying to get the jump on

 

News & Reviews

Reviews for movie-lovers, by movie-lovers.

Rob’s Quick Review: Nerve

Nerve on Cinedraft.com
Letter Grade:
(?)

B
The Good:

Franco and Roberts have good chemistry
Dave is, by far, my favorite Franco


The Bad:

Loses its way when it tries to get too serious
Juliette Lewis' mother character

Cast & Crew:

Directed by: Henry Joost, Ariel Schulman
Written by: Jessica Sharzer
Staring: Emma Roberts, Dave Franco, Emily Meade, Miles Heizer, Colson Baker, Kimiko Glenn, Marc John Jefferies, Brian Marc, Samira Wiley and Juliette Lewis

Rated PG-13 for thematic material involving dangerous and risky behavior, some sexual content, language, drug content, drinking and nudity-all involving teens

Nerve has gotten much more realistic since I walked out of the theater a few weeks ago. It seems scarily prescient in the wake of Pokemon Go’s release.  Millions of people walking around, staring at their phones, doing stupid things because a game told them to? Yup. That’s real life now…

Franco and Roberts are good together, and Nerve has good energy when it’s engaged in its game of truth or dare, but every once in a while it tries to tap the brakes and look at the consequences, and that’s where it stumbles. It’s confident with the thrills but doesn’t really know what to do when it gets away from that, especially with the ham-handed way they try to cram Juliette Lewis in as the mother.








Rob’s Quick Review: John Wick

John Wick on Cinedraft.com
Letter Grade:
(?)

A-
The Good:

Stylish
Fast-paced
Shane Black-like writing


The Bad:

They try to get a little too cute with the subtitles.
Doesn't quite understand the physics of the timing of lightning and thunder.

Cast & Crew:

Director: Chad Stahelski, David Leitch
Writer: Derek Kolstad
Stars:Keanu Reeves, Michael Nyqvist, Alfie Allen, Willem Dafoe, Dean Winters, Adrianne Palicki

John Wick is a stylish, fast-paced take on the revenge action genre. It’s very well written, interlacing funny moments into the action sequences, reminding me of the best of Shane Black’s writing. I don’t quite understand the decision to go and seemingly randomly bold and colorize certain words in the subtitles.








May Movie Preview: Part 1

We hope that many of you went to the movies this past weekend.  Maybe you saw the new Spider-Man, or maybe you caught up on something that you’ve been meaning to see.  There is a lot going on in May. Here is what’s happening during the first part of the month. Some of our comments are relevant…

The Amazing Spider-Man 2

Release Date: May 2

Synopsis: Peter Parker runs the gauntlet as the mysterious company Oscorp sends up a slew of supervillains against him, impacting on his life. Directed by Marc Webb and starring Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Jamie Foxx, Dane DeHaan, Paul Giamatti and Sally Field.

Our Thoughts:

Dave: I generally think I liked the first movie in this rebooted series more than most people did. I’m cautiously optimistic about this… Even if the Jamie Fox villain looks kind of dumb.

Jennie: I know the standard complaint is that there are too many villains, but seriously…

Also, Dane DeHaan’s hair both as Harry Osborn and the Green Goblin is a hot mess. (I understand that isn’t even remotely important, but I don’t trust a movie that didn’t have 1 single person on their staff that said maybe let’s go a different way)

Dave: I’m a little upset that they haven’t brought back that guy from Wings. Who doesn’t like Wings? Someone from Wings should play a villain in all movies.

I heard they are going to cast Crystal Bernard as Venom in the next one.

Felix: Steven Weber as The Vulture

Jennie: Tim Daly as Hobgoblin

Felix: Tony Shaloub as King Ping

Anyway…

Rob: I disliked the first movie in this rebooted series more than most, so things can only go up from there. At least this won’t be another damn origin story…

Nicole: I enjoyed this incarnation the first time, so I assume I will like this as well. Aside from Green Lantern, it is hard to find a superhero movie that I don’t like so I may be slightly biased. Emma Stone also adds to the movie in the sense that her character is not a waif-like damsel. I generally love Kirsten Dunst but Stone’s Gwen is far superior to Dunst’s Mary Jane.

Dave: ^Super Nerd

Nicole: ^absolutely

*Photo courtesy of Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc.  (more…)








From The Web: Supercut of 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die

If you’re not familiar with the 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die book, I really recommend it for movie lovers.  The book itself (in any of its many updated versions) is an interesting overview of some of the greatest movies of all time.  It, like all movie review and criticism, is not definitive due to the opinions involved in building the list, BUT it is still a fascinating look over the history of film. For those who maybe aren’t interested in the book, but are still interested in the movies, the list itself can be found on many websites.  If you’re interested, I have found that the lists and updates on Wikia are the easiest to sort through.

Several of my friends and I are working on watching as many of the films on the list as possible… before we die I guess…  Between all of us we range from seeing anywhere from 150 to a little over 400 of the movies.  That’s a pretty good dent, but still a ways to go.

Filmmaker Jonathan Keogh apparently has at least watched a little bit of all of them.  He spent a year of his life cutting together this awesome compilation of all of the movies on the list, plus a few selections of his own. It’s going to take me several viewings to catch all the intricacies of this 10 and a half minute film, but even on the surface it is amazingly clever and really well done.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did and maybe are inspired to expand your movie watching comfort zone.

*BEFORE YOU HIT PLAY*Be aware that there are many films on the 1001 list that are rated R for violence, language, horror, etc., which all are included in this mash up.   If you’re not OK with this, you may want to skip and/or watch with caution.  I didn’t notice any nudity, but there’s a lot going on here so I may have missed it.








April Movie Preview: Part 1

Now that we’re post awards season, we’re in that weird in between before the summer movie explosion.  That being said, there are several movies of note trying to get the jump on those summer releases (Captain America being the most obvious… why isn’t this a summer movie?  I mean, it’s fine, I’m still super pumped for it.)  Here are a few films coming out the first half of April.  With any luck, at least one of these will catch your eye.

Captain America: The Winter Solider

Release Date: April 4th

Synopsis: 2 years after the events of The Avengers, Steve Rogers still struggles to embrace his role in the modern world and battles a new threat from old history: the Soviet agent known as the Winter Soldier.  Directed by Anthony and Joe Russo and starring Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Cobie Smulders, Robert Redford, and Samuel L. Jackson.

Our Thoughts:

Felix: It will be seen opening day. Marvel has done an amazing job of making better than expected movies even with characters that should be 2 dimensional. Last year’s Thor did a good job of having fun and still make you sit at the edge of the seat. From the early reviews, it seems that this has done the same, and Marvel is already ordering a sequel. Yay and yay.

Jennie: I have been nothing but impressed by this series of Marvel movies. They have done such a great job with story lines that many were skeptical of. They are really well done visually, but honestly I think the writers deserve the most praise. So far this one seems to be falling in line the same way and I’m very much looking forward to it.

Dave: I asked and they wouldn’t take my money ahead of time when they announced they were making this movie like two years ago. I gladly would have given it to them then. Marvel hasn’t made a bad movie in this series yet…which is really really impressive considering the genre they are working in and some of the trainwreck movies that come out of it. If they can make Thor work in theaters (with all his crazy and convoluted backstory) another Captain America movie should be a slam dunk.

(more…)








Jennie’s Review: The Grand Budapest Hotel

Letter Grade:
(?)

B+
The Good:

All of the Artistic Aspects
Great Cast


The Bad:

The R Rating Limits It

Cast & Crew:

Directed By: Wes Anderson
Starring: Ralph Fiennes, Tony Revolori, F. Murray Abraham, Mathieu Amalric, Adrien Brody, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum, Jude Law, Harvey Keitel, Bill Murray, Edward Norton, Saoirse Ronan, Léa Seydoux, Jason Schwartzman, Tilda Swinton, Tom Wilkinson, Owen Wilson, and more

Rated R for language, some sexual content and violence

The story opens with an author (Tom Wilkinson) revisiting how his younger self (Jude Law) came about the story of The Grand Budapest Hotel and its current owner (F. Murray Abraham)/ former lobby boy (Tony Revolori) Zero Moustafa.  It is sort of a story within a story within a story.  Luckily the main focus of the film resides with the early 1930’s storyline.  The main story is set in a fictionalized European styled location called Republic of Zubrowka.  In an also fictionalized history that somewhat mimics the years leading up to World War II.  So much so, that there is an occupation of the hotel towards the end of the movie by the ZZ (seemingly replacing the Nazi SS).  This movie, like all Wes Anderson movies, is quirky and strange throughout.  This one however is not so far over the edge that is distractingly so.  With many of his films, about 1/3 of the way through you’re thinking “No one is actually like this” and start just focusing on the absurdities. Not that this one isn’t absurd in many ways, but something about it already being set in a fictional place in an alternate history makes this OK. (more…)








Looking Back: The Best, The Worst, and Everything Else I Saw In 2013

Oblivion

Hello world!








Rob’s Mini Review: Robocop

Robocop on Cinedraft.com
Letter Grade:
(?)

A
The Good:

Action sequences are slick and very well-paced.
Social commentary of the original is taken seriously and updated to fit the times.
ED-209 doesn't try to navigate a stairwell.


The Bad:

Still not a fan of the black armor, but even that can be explained away as social commentary.

Cast & Crew:

Director: José Padilha
Writer: Joshua Zetumer
Stars: Joel Kinnaman, Gary Oldman, Michael Keaton, Abbie Cornish, Jackie Earle Haley, Michael K. Williams, Samuel L. Jackson

Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of action including frenetic gun violence throughout, brief strong language, sensuality and some drug material

I… wasn’t expecting that out of the reboot of Robocop… I expected a dumbed down version ofRobocop, caring more about the action than the satire and social commentary of the original, but I think this new version might actually be the better version. Where the original tended toward campy satire and over-the-top gore, this version takes both the action and the social commentary a little more seriously.

Implications and motivations seem much better thought out this time around, and are much more thoroughly explored. We spend a lot more time now seeing Robocop’s development, and we see that to the extent that Omnicorp is “evil”, it’s not about some megalomaniac desire to take over the world or to just be evil for evil’ sake. It’s about the banality of deadlines and performance targets and marketing research and stock prices. Each step in the wrong direction leads then further down the rabbit hole.

I seriously entered the theater expecting to, at best, not hate this new version and it wound up wildly exceeding my expectations at every step. The action sequences are slickly produced and the entire film was very well paced. Robocop is really worth seeing.

*Photo courtesy Sony Pictures Entertainment








Rob’s 2013 Oscar Checklist

Seen? Movie # of Noms
X American Hustle 10
X Gravity 10
X 12 Years a Slave 9
X Captain Phillips 6
X Dallas Buyers Club 6
X Nebraska 6
X Her 5
X The Wolf of Wall Street 5
X Philomena 4
X Blue Jasmine 3
X The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug 3
X August: Osage County 2
X Despicable Me 2 2
X Frozen 2
X Inside Llewyn Davis 2
X Lone Survivor 2
X The Grandmaster 2
X The Great Gatsby 2
X The Lone Ranger 2
X 20 Feet from Stardom 1
X All is Lost 1
X *Aquel No Era Yo (That Wasn’t Me) 1
X *Avant Que De Tout Perdre
(Just Before Losing Everything)
1
X Before Midnight 1
X *CaveDigger 1
X Cutie and the Boxer 1
X Dirty Wars 1
X Ernest & Celestine 1
X *Facing Fear 1
X *Feral 1
X *Get a Horse! 1
X *Helium 1
X Iron Man 3 1
X Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa 1
X *Karama Has No Walls 1
X Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom 1
X *Mr. Hublot 1
X Omar 1
X *Pitääkö Mun Kaikki Hoitaa? (Do I Have to Take Care of Everything?) 1
X *Possessions 1
X *Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack Hall 1
X Prisoners 1
X *Room on the Broom 1
X viagra prices Saving Mr Banks 1
X Star Trek Into Darkness 1
X The Act of Killing 1 buy cialis online
X The Book Thief 1
X The Broken Circle Breakdown 1
X The Croods 1
X The Great Beauty 1
X The Hunt 1
X The Invisible Woman 1
X *The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life 1
The Missing Picture 1
X The Square 1
X *The Voorman Problem 1
X The Wind Rises 1

(* Indicates a Short)

–1/16: Added Cutie and the Boxer

–1/16: Added Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa viagra generic

–1/16: Added The Grandmaster

–1/17: Added Dirty Wars

–1/17: Added The Hunt

–1/18: Added The Square

–1/20: Added Ernest and Celestine, and The Lone Ranger

–1/21: Added Despicable Me 2

–1/22: Added The Great Beauty

–1/23: Added The Book Thief, All is Lost, and The Broken Circle Breakdown

–1/29: Alone Yet Not Alone disqualified

–1/31: Added The Invisible Woman

–2/1: Added the Oscar Shorts

–2/3: Added The Act of Killing

–2/4: Added The Croods

–2/5: Added Prisoners

–Added 20 Feet From Stardom

–2/22: Added Omar

–2/28: Added The Wind Rises








Dave’s Review: Her

Letter Grade:
(?)

A+
The Good:

Beautifully shot
A lot of time was spent on creating a believable world
Realistic portrayal of love and relationships
Amazing acting by Phoenix and Johansson
Surprisingly funny


The Bad:

Some may find it too...shall we say...quirky
Some will find it slow
Just vulgar enough to not be for everyone

Cast & Crew:

Directed By: Spike Jonze
Written By: Spike Jonze
Starring: Joaquin Phoenix, Scarlett Johansson, Amy Adams, Rooney Mara, Chris Pratt

Rated R for language, sexual content and brief graphic nudity

I watch a lot of movies over the course of a film year (Oscar Season-Oscar Season) and I’m going to go ahead and say it, “Her” is the best film I’ve seen all year…hands down.

Set in Los Angeles in the not-so-distant future, “Her” begins by showing a seemingly average day in the life of Theodore Twombly (Joaquin Phoenix). In the midst of a painful (as they often are) divorce, Theodore spends his working hours being paid to write love letters to other people and his non-working hours in a HERdepression fueled haze. He absent-mindedly sorts through emails, plays video games, and frequents online chat rooms all while clearly yearning for real, meaningful human interaction. This all changes when Theodore sees an advertisement for a new computer operating system that touts an artificial intelligence that learns and evolves on it’s own. His new operating system names herself Samantha (Scarlett Johansson). As Theodore and Samantha get to know each other they fall in love and begin an unlikely, yet beautiful, romantic relationship.

With a summary like that it’s easy to understand why some people think this movie may be just a little too off-the-wall for them. This isn’t however, the story of a weird loner/nerd that creepily falls in love with his computer. It’s far more complex than that. It’s a love story, between two equally fleshed out characters that are both growing and evolving in their own ways.

This is not at all your typical feel-good romantic movie…and that’s great news. It’s complex and not just a fluff movie about how wonderful love is. It’s strange to say about a movie where half of the main characters are not “real” people, but this is the most “real” romantic film I’ve seen in a long time. It’s not nice and neat and tidy. We see the euphoric highs and depressing lows in love just as we have all experienced them in our own lives.

(more…)