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.

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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

 

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The latest movie news.

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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.

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Dave’s Review: The Wolf of Wall Street

Letter Grade:
(?)

A-
The Good:

Dicaprio is Great
Great Ensemble Acting
Very Martin Scorsese-y
There's a Monkey in People Clothes


The Bad:

3 Hours Long
Lots of Sex and Nudity
Lots of Drug Use

Cast & Crew:

Directed By: Martin Scorsese
Written By: Terence Winter (screenplay), Jordan Belfort (book)
Starring: Leonardo Dicaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie, Matthew McConaughey, Kyle Chandler, Rob Reiner, Jon Bernthal, Jon Favreau, Jean Dujardin

Rated R for sequences of strong sexual content, graphic nudity, drug use and language throughout, and for some violence

As a general disclaimer before you read this review: Martin Scorsese is hands down my favorite director of all time. I am of the opinion that he’s the most talented and knowledgeable director working today and is pretty high up there on the list of best filmmakers of all time. I literally can’t get enough of Martin Scorsese. I am consistently enthralled by anything he’s involved with; features films, documentaries, discussions about film history and preservation, television commercials…anything. This year for Christmas I received not ONE but TWO signed photos of Martin Scorsese. One of my life-long dreams is to meet him and get to call him “Marty” instead of Martin. I even know which of my friends share a birthday with Thelma Schoonmaker, his longtime editing companion. To say that I enjoy Scorsese films would be an understatement, so factor that into your reading of this review. End Disclaimer.

The Wolf of Wall Street is a dark comedy that tells the real life tale of stockbroker/con-man/sleazy egomaniac Jordan Belfort who builds a dicaprio-wolf-of-wall-street-trailer-2Wall Street empire from the ground up based on debauchery, misleading clients, and scamming the system through unethical and often illegal tactics only to eventually become the focus of SEC and FBI investigations that will eventually be his downfall. Thematically the film, as is the style of these hard times, shines an accusatory light on the excess, materialism, and all-around low ethical standards that seemingly rule Wall Street culture. Belfort, while certainly the focal point of the movie, is not at all portrayed as the protagonist or “good guy” of the film. In contrast to Goodfellas (a similar Scorsese film) where mob-member Henry Hill (played by Ray Liotta) is portrayed in a more favorable (almost heroic) light, I’m not sure you are ever really supposed to “like” Belfort. If he is the “bad guy” in this film, the “good guy” counterpart is the hard-working public that he so nonchalantly abuses and leaves in financial shambles without a second thought.

Technically this is a very well-done film that seemingly “stars” Martin Scorsese and his unique style just as much as any of the actors. There is no doubt that this is a Scorsese film. Many of the hallmarks of s Scorsese film can be seen in this meticulously crafted film. Characters talking directly to the camera, long tracking shots, exaggerated overhead lighting, beautiful slow motion shots, and even a few seemingly archaic screen wipes as a nod to the films of the past that he loves so much.

All that being said, this movie is not Scorsese’s best. It’s not bad by any means, in fact I would say I liked it quite a bit, it’s just not his best. In all fairness, saying this is not wenn5920366Scorsese’s best movie is a bit of misleading statement. It would be like saying that the “Last Supper” is not Leonardo Da Vinci’s best painting because the “Mona Lisa” is clearly better. The “Last Supper” is still a very good painting, just not his best. (Another Disclaimer: Most of my knowledge of Renaissance painters comes from Dan Brown books and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoons. I only have a cursory knowledge of Da Vinci paintings and in no way actually know that either of these are his best paintings. If you happen to be reading this review and are a Renaissance expert, please don’t go yelling at me about my clear lack of knowledge…it’s just an illustration.) It’s perhaps too early to tell where The Wolf of Wall Street falls in the long list of Scorsese movies. Certainly below Goodfellas, Raging Bull, Taxi Driver, The Departed, and Gangs of New York but almost certainly above Shutter Island, The Aviator, Cape Fear, The King of Comedy and probably several others.

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New Trailer: Birth of the Living Dead

romero_edits

To accompany our horror movie brackets, we thought we’d highlight a new documentary about the one that really started it all, Night of the Living Dead.  Director <a href="http://www.imdb generisches viagra kaufen.com/name/nm0474203/?ref_=tt_ov_dr” target=”_blank”>Rob Kuhns presents the story of the little horror movie that could in Birth of the Living Dead.  In this film, Night of the Living Dead Director George Romero and others discuss the unlikely film, how it came to be, and how it changed horror movies forever.  For now, the screenings are pretty limited, but with any luck it will be available for you to check out sometime soon.

*Artwork by Gary Pullin/Courtesy of Predestinate Productions 








October Movie Preview

With our Halloween Brackets in full force, we’re a little behind on the October preview, but here we go.  Have you already seen a couple of these?  We’d love to hear your thoughts.

Gravity

Release Date: October 4

Synopsis: A medical engineer and an astronaut work together to survive after an accident leaves them adrift in space. Co-written and directed by Alfonso Cuarón and stars Sandra Bullock and George Clooney.

Our Thoughts:

Jennie: I am not totally sold on this movie. Now, I know I’ll see it, but I’m not quite sure I’m interested in a feature film (that appears to be mainly) about someone floating by themselves in space. At least it’s not a 2+ hour long movie though.

Editor side note – the below is not actually a spoiler, just snarky.  Moving on…

Felix: 1. Sandra Bullock dies
2. This movie will be about the human existence and about what we do when we know we are going to die. Gravity like death is inevitable.

Dave: 1. SPOILERS!!!
2. Could you sound any more pretentious?? I watched the trailer. It’s about space ‘plosions.

Felix: When Sandra Bullock burns on reentry, is she a “shooting star”?

Rob: Seeing as we’ve already seen most of the movie released in 3-minute chunks I think it’s safe to say that this should be awesome.

*Photo courtesy of Warner Bros.

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New Trailer: Kill Your Darlings

A biographical drama based on the stories and circumstance surrounding the 1944 murder of David Kammerer (who is played by Michael C. Hall) and the Beat Poets (most of whom would later become iconic) whose lives were entangled in the situation. This is the first full length film from writer/director John Krokidas.  It stars Daniel Radcliffe (delivering a seemingly convincing American accent) as Allen Ginsberg and Dane DeHaan (who was definitely the stand out performance in The Place Beyond The Pines) as Lucian Carr.

While it premiered at Sundance, and has been really well received at a couple subsequent film festivals, there seems to be some secrecy/confusion about when this film is actually going to be released to the general public.  It will most likely be in the fall, but I would assume definitely before the end of the year.

*Photo Courtesy of Benaroya Pictures








Lionsgate launches Hunger Games fashion line

The Hollywood Reporter reports today that Lionsgate has partnered with Net-a-Porter to launch a 16-piece fashion and jewelry collection based on the upcoming second installment in the Hunger Games trilogy/quadrilogy. (What are we calling it when 3 books are split into 4 movies?)

So now you too will have the chance to look like either a post-apocalyptic oppressed wretch or a hedonistic, uncaring oppressor!








September Movie Preview

September is upon us, and while there aren’t as many films being released, you can tell that it’s getting a little closer to awards season.  I’ve got a really good feeling about this Riddick movie.  

Riddick

Release Date: September 6th

Synopsis: Betrayed by the Necromongers and left for dead on a desolate planet, Riddick fights for survival against alien predators and becomes more powerful and dangerous than ever before. Soon bounty hunters from throughout the galaxy descend on Riddick only to find themselves pawns in his greater scheme for revenge. With his enemies right where he wants them, Riddick unleashes a vicious attack of vengeance before returning to his home planet of Furya to save it from destruction.  Directed by David Twohy and starring Vin Diesel.  Both having done the previous 2 feature films in the series.

Our Thoughts:

Felix: Pitch Black was better than expected, but unfortunately it gave us Vin Diesel.
Chronicles was… I don’t think I ever saw that movie completely because it was boring, barely had a plot, and Vin Diesel was overacting

Rob: Giving us Vin Diesel… isn’t that bad a thing? We’ve pretty well managed to contain him to Fast and Furious movies and these Riddick sequels which apparently are low budget enough to turn a profit…

Dammit! I jinxed things. – http://www.empireonline.com/news/story.asp?NID=38571

Jennie: While I probably will not be seeing this movie, I do appreciate that they are going back to the R rating category for this film. The first one was R and was reasonably successful. The second one they made PG-13 in hopes to widen the audience (which I get, but abhor for movies that really should be rated R) and it was, all things considered, a flop. This type of movie is supposed to be scary, violent, gory, and not appropriate for young teenagers.

Dave: For the life of me I will never understand why people go see Vin Diesel movies…It just hurts my brain to think about. He’s so awful. I just looked up his filmography…it hurts my head. He’s such a terrible actor and yet he is probably doing backstrokes through olympic-sized pools full of money in his mansion as I type this.

In case that was unclear: I’m going to skip this one.

Felix: But he was the bomb in Iron Giant!

Rob: No, he was the robot.

Felix: Yes but the robot was a giant bomb, hence, he was the bomb

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New Trailer: Divergent

Divergent on Cinedraft.com

Based on Veronica Roth’s novels, Divergent takes place in a dystopian future where society is split into 5 different factions based on personality traits. When Tris Prior comes of age she finds that she doesn’t fit into any one faction, making her “Divergent”, and she must hide this fact or face death.

Divergent stars Shailene Woodley, Kate Winslet, Miles Teller, Theo James, Ashley Judd, and Maggie Q. It is directed by Neil Burger (Limitless,The Illusionist)