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Cinedraft http://cinedraft.com Films For Filmlovers Mon, 25 Dec 2017 17:26:59 +0000 en-US hourly 1 50490517 Rob’s Quick Review: Nerve http://cinedraft.com/review/robs-review-nerve/ http://cinedraft.com/review/robs-review-nerve/#respond Wed, 27 Jul 2016 20:25:12 +0000 http://cinedraft.com/?post_type=review&p=1729

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

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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.

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Rob’s Quick Review: John Wick http://cinedraft.com/review/robs-quick-review-john-wick/ http://cinedraft.com/review/robs-quick-review-john-wick/#respond Thu, 30 Oct 2014 02:24:22 +0000 http://cinedraft.com/?post_type=review&p=1723

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.

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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.

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Jennie’s Review: Transcendence http://cinedraft.com/review/jennies-review-transcendence/ http://cinedraft.com/review/jennies-review-transcendence/#respond Sat, 10 May 2014 16:28:20 +0000 http://cinedraft.com/?post_type=review&p=1713

I know this isn’t a new release anymore, but based on box office numbers, you probably haven’t seen it… We meet Dr. William Caster (Johnny Depp) and his wife Dr. Evelyn Caster (Rebecca Hall) at their home as he is setting up a copper screen above their backyard and garden area.  The screen’s purpose is

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I know this isn’t a new release anymore, but based on box office numbers, you probably haven’t seen it…

We meet Dr. William Caster (Johnny Depp) and his wife Dr. Evelyn Caster (Rebecca Hall) at their home as he is setting up a copper screen above their backyard and garden area.  The screen’s purpose is to make a technology free zone so that they may have some respite from the completely science driven rest of their lives.  (This of course, it TRANSCENDENCEobvious foreshadowing even the first time you see it, but that’s OK.) Shortly after this lovely scene they are at a rather large speaking engagement and fundraising event, where despite William’s dislike of doing these sorts of things, he being the seemingly most famous genius alive at the time, is the main event.  His topic; the creation of a sentient computer that will create technological singularity (or as he calls it, Transcendence) and change the world.  After the lecture, a young man (Lukas Haas) who seems to be a religious zealot shoots William.  They originally believe that it is only a minor wound, but then discover it is far more serious, and the conspiracy goes much further than they suspected.  With only a few weeks to live, William wants to spend time with his wife.  Evelyn however is not ready to let go and uses her knowledge to “save” him by uploading his consciousness and officially creating the sentient computer they had been working towards for years.

For anyone interested in developing Artificial Intelligence of any kind, I recommend you watch any movie on the subject from over the past 50+ years.  Or maybe I’ll just save you some time, it’s always a bad idea.  Don’t let that cute kid from A.I. convince you otherwise.  It’s always a bad idea!  Stephen Hawking agrees, so I must be right.

TRANSCENDENCEThe science and ethics surrounding it in Transcendence is complex and confusing, but that’s OK, you don’t actually need to understand it, so don’t over think it.  All you really need to know is that all the knowledge that could never be contained in one person could easily be contained in a computer and if you gave that computer the ability to think for itself and be able to solve questions that a computer would not normally propose to itself, the possibilities are endless.  The foreshadowing throughout was a bit much, but with a complex scientific plot, they probably thought they needed it to make sure everything made some semblance of sense.

If you completely buy into reviews (I mean other peoples… not mine… mine is right of course…) and sites like rottentomatoes, you would think this movie is just terrible.  Maybe that’s why I was open to enjoying it more.  I did not see it opening weekend so I heard all the negativity, which as much as I tried not to let it, my expectations were still lowered. Perhaps that made for a more flattering review, but that’s my perspective. Several of the reviews I heard/read before I saw this movie mentioned the beginning being intriguing but then falling off.  I couldn’t disagree more.  I actually preferred the last third of the movie much more than the beginning. It felt more like a classic Science Fiction film.  There are several scenes where the population of the small town where the supercomputer has laid its roots are acting on its behalf like robots or aliens with one conscious.  It’s very Invasion of the Body Snatchers or a less ridiculous The World’s End.

TRANSCENDENCEAs with most movies around this theme, the acts of violence that the anti-technology groups perpetrate throughout the film actually expedite the horrors they believe they are trying to stop.  R.I.F.T. (Revolutionary Independence From Technology) kills William, which leads to his wife desperately trying to save him in the best way she knows how, by uploading his consciousness into a machine.  The artificial intelligence research, which seemed to be stalling out, now takes a giant leap forward when a human brain was added to the equation.   I get the sense that the writers want you to eventually feel sympathy (or at least empathy) for R.I.F.T., but you don’t.  If that isn’t what they were going for, then its members should not have been in the movie so long.  It’s not that I think characters need be all good or all bad, I just don’t think it having them continue through the storyline worked here.

The cast is all really great.  Rebecca Hall works perfectly as Evelyn desperate to hold on to Will despite the cost.  Paul Bettany is convincing as fellow scientist and very conflicted best friend of the couple. I think over the past few years people have gotten used to hot/eccentric Johnny Depp and are not so interested in serious actor Johnny Depp. They like Captain Jack Sparrow and The Mad Hatter… not so much Tonto, but The Lone Ranger is a whole other issue.  Don’t get me wrong, I also enjoy all that eccentricity, but personally I like being reminded how versatile TRANSCENDENCEDepp really is.  I do wish there was more of Morgan Freeman (well always) and Cillian Murphy throughout the movie. Their characters are pretty pivotal but I do not think their screen time reflects this.

This is Wally Pfister’s directorial debut and I think a pretty good one.  It’s amazing what someone who is already established in the business can do for their “first” movie. Pfister previously had been the Director of Photography (or Cinematographer) on (among others) Inception, Moneyball, and all three of the Dark Knight Batman movies.  It must have been nerve wracking for Jess Hall to be the cinematographer on this film with him as the director.  Pfister knows how a movie should look, and I think it shows.  It looks good, really good at times. There weren’t any moments that I was distracted by visuals that looked fake or shots that didn’t make any sense.  Also, the computer graphics evolve as the A.I. evolves, which I thought was a really nice subtle touch.

Is it a one of the best movies I’ve seen this year? No.  Is it anywhere near as bad as the internet would lead you to believe? Absolutely not.  I think if you like movies that involve A.I., and/or if you like Johnny Depp (really, not just as Captain Jack Sparrow), you should give it a shot. I’m sure it will be at the cheap theater and streaming any day now.

//www.youtube.com/watch?v=QheoYw1BKJ4

*Photos courtesy of Alcon Entertainment, LLC.

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May Movie Preview: Part 1 http://cinedraft.com/2014/05/eg-html/ http://cinedraft.com/2014/05/eg-html/#respond Thu, 08 May 2014 02:15:51 +0000 http://cinedraft.com/?p=1695

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

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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

//www.youtube.com/watch?v=nbp3Ra3Yp74

*Photo courtesy of Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. 

 

Belle

Release Date: May 2

Synopsis: An illegitimate mixed race daughter of a Royal Navy Admiral is raised by her aristocratic great-uncle.  Directed by Amma Asante and starring Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Tom Wilkinson, Miranda Richardson, Penelope Wilton, Matthew Goode, Emily Watson and Tom Felton.

Our Thoughts:

Dave: I may have fallen asleep during this trailer. It doesn’t look bad per se (that’s right, I said “per se”) just not something I’m going to run out and see. That being said… Tom Wilkinson is pretty awesome.

Jennie: It seems like a standard historical drama. It will be heart wrenching and heartwarming, and there will be several characters you really hope get the plague and die painfully.

Felix: It seems like Oscar bait that bored the fish away. I’ll see it, when it’s available on video streaming.

Nicole: This looks good if not fairly predictable. The lead actress looks fantastic. On a side note, I really wish Tom Felton could play a nice guy. I feel like that damn Malfoy character is going to be all people think he is capable of!

Jennie: I think he’s a nice guy in From the Rough

Rob: Aww, I miss Michael Clark Duncan

//www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Qx90wdRD2I

 

Walk of Shame

Release Date: May 2

Synopsis: A reporter’s dream of becoming a news anchor is compromised after a one-night stand leaves her stranded in downtown L.A. without a phone, car, ID or money – and only 8 hours to make it to the most important job interview of her life. Directed by Steven Brill and starring Elizabeth Banks, James Marsden, Gillian Jacobs, Sarah Wright, Ethan Suplee, Oliver Hudson, Willie Garson.

Our Thoughts:

Jennie: I don’t know, it might be funny… usually they put all the super funny stuff in the trailer though…

Dave: This preview got one mild chuckle out of me. I’m assuming it will be one of those “Hey remember this movie! It’s free on Netflix now. Let’s play it in the background while not really paying attention to it” kind of movies.

Felix: Oh, I do not want to see this movie. But if it makes money, I’ll happily see the sequel: Walk of Shame 2: Electric-Walkway-loo

Rob: Are we sure this isn’t a modern remake of The Warriors? It could be good if it weren’t for it being based on the premise that the motive of every person involved is to keep her from getting home for no good reason…

Nicole: Worst walk of shame ever. I love Elizabeth Banks. She has great timing and I think she could easily be a lead but I’m not sure this movie was the right choice. I will absolutely watch it when it is released on DVD.

//www.youtube.com/watch?v=4_XBpBTBv1Y

 

Neighbors

Release Date: May 9

Synopsis: A couple with a newborn baby face unexpected difficulties after they are forced to live next to a fraternity house.  Directed by Nicholas Stoller and starring Seth Rogen, Zac Efron, Rose Byrne and Dave Franco.

Our Thoughts:

Dave: Zac Efron is 26. Unless he’s in med school and in a fraternity, he should be done with college. Looks relatively funny though. There’s something strangely satisfying about seeing Zac Efron getting punched in the face in other previews for this movie. I can’t believe they left that out of this one. Probably the biggest selling point I’ve seen so far for this movie… Aside from Seth Rogen’s general funnyness.

Jennie: I’m at the point of my life that I hope the “old” guys win, which may be where this ends up going. Either that or they are all just going to become friends. Either way, ridiculous vulgar college movies are generally funny.

Felix: I thought this movie was supposed come out last year. Why did it get pushed back?

None the less, I’m actually looking forward to this movie. There are some good running gags in the previews, and Zac Efron GETS PUNCHED IN THE FACE! That’s what happens when you graduate High School Musical!

Nicole: I can’t wait for this movie. No matter how ridiculous he is, I love Seth Rogan. And even though he basically plays the same guy in every movie, I still laugh. I feel like he would like our group of friends. I could see us hanging out at the bar. Plus, for the ladies, a little shirtless Zac Efron. Never gonna pass that up.

Jennie: I think ridiculous is good in this sort of movie.

//www.youtube.com/watch?v=KrAf5ALLxGI

 

Chef

Release Date: May 9

Synopsis: A chef who loses his restaurant job starts up a food truck in an effort to reclaim his creative promise, while piecing back together his estranged family.  Written and Directed by Jon Favreau, who also stars in it alongside Sofía Vergara, John Leguizamo, Scarlett Johansson, Oliver Platt, Bobby Cannavale, Dustin Hoffman, and Robert Downey, Jr.

Our Thoughts:

Dave: Yeah. I’ll see this one. Has potential to be a really nice underrated movie. I like food. I like shows about food. I like Jon Favreau, Dustin Hoffman, Scarlett Johansson, and Robert Downey Jr. I’ll see this movie.

Jennie: What are the Marvel folks doing on their time off? Apparently eating, cooking and buying taco trucks. I’m pretty interested in this one. The cast looks great, the food looks great, plus Anthony Bourdain loved it and I trust him on this sort of thing.

Rob: I’ve heard a lot of chatter about this one, hope it lives up to the hype.

Jennie: I generally trust Jon Favreau. Comboys & Aliens was a bit of a hot mess… but in general….

Felix: Well, all movies in which we judge a director prior to a big film, this is a preview to Jungle Book!

Nicole: I love this cast. Honestly, I hadn’t heard of it but I am definitely putting on my must see list. If only to see the food creations. Excited.

//www.youtube.com/watch?v=tP6SE65F-h4

 

Moms’ Night Out

Release Date: May 9

Synopsis: All Allyson and her friends want is a peaceful, grown-up evening of dinner and fun – a long-needed moms’ night out. But in order to enjoy high heels, adult conversation, and food not served in a bag, they need their husbands to watch the kids for a few hours … what could go wrong?  Directed by Andrew and Jon Erwin and starring Sarah Drew, Trace Adkins, Sean Astin, and Patricia Heaton.

Our Thoughts:

Dave: Stop. Just stop. OK? Stop. Trace Adkins is one of the big stars in this movie. It’s got to be garbage, right? Just stop making stupid things.

Jennie: They are already scheduling the rotation of this on abc Family

Rob: Zero interest.

Jennie: My guess is one of the only things that will boost the attendance (at least a little bit) is that it’s being released mother’s day weekend.

Seriously though, it looks as though they made a movie for the sole purpose of having something to loop on TV for mother’s day.

Dave: It’s almost as if those marketing people know what they are doing.

Nicole: While I may relate to some of the general sentiment, I have absolutely no interest in seeing this. I saw it advertised at the Christian Book Store and just assumed it was a straight to DVD release. Is this seriously going to the theaters?!

//www.youtube.com/watch?v=Leb6Vnhbp1A

 

God’s Pocket

Release Date: May 9

Synopsis: When Mickey’s crazy stepson Leon is killed in a construction ‘accident’, nobody in the working class neighborhood of God’s Pocket is sorry he’s gone. Mickey tries to bury the bad news with the body, but when the boy’s mother demands the truth, Mickey finds himself stuck in a life and death struggle between a body he can’t bury, a wife he can’t please and a debt he can’t pay.  Directed by John Slattery and starring Philip Seymour Hoffman, Richard Jenkins, Christina Hendricks, John Turturro, Caleb Landry Jones, and Eddie Marsan.

Our Thoughts:

Dave: Huh. I’ll watch this one. Great cast AND it’s directed by Roger sterling. I might even say that I’m excited for this one after seeing the preview.

Jennie: This looks pretty cool. Sort of a Gangster Movie/Blue Collar Thriller. I usually like both those types of movies plus the cast looks great.

Rob: Great cast, still not sure what it’s really about though…

Nicole: I’m with Rob on this. I mean, I get it but I’m not sure I really GET it. I will watch it simply because I miss PSH. Still bummed about that one.

//www.youtube.com/watch?v=eMTdOwyrWzo

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From The Web: Supercut of 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die http://cinedraft.com/2014/04/web-supercut-1001-movies-must-see-die/ http://cinedraft.com/2014/04/web-supercut-1001-movies-must-see-die/#respond Wed, 09 Apr 2014 03:24:46 +0000 http://cinedraft.com/?p=1687

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

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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.

//www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wz-ELUw6xtY

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April Movie Preview: Part 1 http://cinedraft.com/2014/04/april-movie-preview-part-1/ http://cinedraft.com/2014/04/april-movie-preview-part-1/#respond Fri, 04 Apr 2014 20:58:33 +0000 http://cinedraft.com/?p=1679

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

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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.

Dom Hemingway

Release Date: April 4th

Synopsis: After spending 12 years in prison for keeping his mouth shut, notorious safe-cracker Dom Hemingway is back on the streets of London looking to collect what he’s owed.   One car accident and a femme fatale later, Dom realizes his priority must be to reconnect with his long-lost daughter Evelyn. Directed by Richard Shepard and starring Jude Law, Richard E. Grant, Demián Bichir, Emilia Clarke, Kerry Condon, Jumayn Hunter, Mădălina Diana Ghenea.

Our Thoughts:

Jennie: This kind of feels like a Guy Ritchie movie, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

Dave: I’m going to guess this one will fly pretty far under most people’s radar. It doesn’t look bad, but not the type of movie that most people will rush out to see. Reminds me of some of these small British-y films that are generally pretty good, but not well publicized kind of like In Bruges or Brothers Bloom. (Side note: I just looked all these movies up and In Bruges is the only one made by a British Director. I wonder why I assume they are all “British-y”?)

Rob: It’s “(Actor) as you’ve never seen him before!” It must be good!

Jennie: I kind of assume that this is what Jude Law is like in real life.

 

Under the Skin

Release Date: April 4th

Synopsis: In Scotland, an alien takes the body of an attractive young woman and travels the country in a van picking up men. As she lures her victims into sex, the men are trapped in a kind of preserving liquid and their organs are harvested. She is monitored by another alien, who has the body of a male motorcyclist.  Directed by Jonathan Glazer and starring Scarlett Johansson

Our Thoughts:

Jennie: I like Scarlett Johansson and this seems like an interesting role for her. The trailer itself is confusing to me though. I guess that’s to be expected for a Sci-Fi film, but I don’t really think it’s clear that it IS a Sci-Fi film.

Felix: It feels like a drama-sci-fi like Another Earth

Dave: I don’t tend to think Scarlett Johansson is an amazing actor or anything (don’t get me wrong she’s ok.)…But doesn’t this role seem a little beneath her? Hopefully her agreeing to do this role means that it’s a better movie than I’m giving it credit. Just seems like something that should star Megan Fox instead.

Rob: I think the trailer only really works for Kubrick fans. Everyone else is kind of left thinking “what the hell was that?” The Kubrick fans at least are left thinking “what the hell was that, that might be interesting…”

 

Rio 2

Release Date: April 11th

Synopsis: It’s a jungle out there for Blu, Jewel and their three kids after they’re hurtled Rio de Janeiro to the wilds of the Amazon. As Blu tries to fit in, he goes beak-to-beak with the vengeful Nigel, and meets the most fearsome adversary of all: his father-in-law.  Directed by Carlos Saldanha and starring the voices of Jesse Eisenberg, Anne Hathaway, Leslie Mann, Bruno Mars, Jemaine Clement, George Lopez, Jamie Foxx, Will.i.am, Andy Garcia and tons more.

Our Thoughts:

Felix: The first one was a terrible mess and it was badly acted. That’s right, a cartoon that the actors are so bad it seems badly acted. cialis generic brand viagra for sale

In other words, Rio 2: Electric Boogaloo is a pass.

Jennie: I don’t know, I liked the first one more than expected. I’ll probably see this one at some point. Admittedly, definitely not in 3D, and probably at home after it’s released on DVD.

Dave: I didn’t love the first one. I didn’t hate it either. Just seemed like a generic kids movie…which is fine, just not my cup of tea. I don’t doubt that it will make boatloads of money. I feel like a lot of animated movies have been so great over the last 15 years or so, that the bar is set really high. I guess not everything is going to have the crossover kid/adult audience that something like Shrek did. I’ll probably see it at some point…

 

Draft Day

Release Date: April 11th

Synopsis: At the NFL Draft, general manager Sonny Weaver has the opportunity to rebuild his team when he trades for the number one pick. He must decide what he’s willing to sacrifice on a life-changing day for a few hundred young men with NFL dreams.  Directed by Ivan Reitman and starring Kevin Costner, Jennifer Garner, Denis Leary, Sam Elliott, Ellen Burstyn, Chadwick Boseman.

Our Thoughts:

Felix: When a sports movie about the behind the scenes aspect of sports is made well we get a movie like Moneyball. When it’s done mediocre we get Jerry Maguire (actually, that was great until the love story derailed it). This looks like it could be good, but the NFL sanctioned it, so they’ll come off spotless. Regardless, as an Ohio citizen, and as my dad’s son (he still loves Costner because of Best Picture Winner Dances with Wolves), I will see it on opening day (get the sports pun?!?!).

Jennie: This looks pretty good, a bit like Moneyball, but I loved Moneyball so I guess that’s OK. Plus, I ALWAYS prefer my sports movies to be about real teams. I fully understand that there is a risk doing that, but I still prefer it.

Dave: Name a bad Kevin Costner sports movie… You can’t do it.

*Draft Day photo courtesy of Summit Entertainment

 

Only Lovers Left Alive

Release Date: April 11th

Synopsis: A story centered on two vampires who have been in love for centuries. Directed by Jim Jarmusch and starring Tom Hiddleston, Tilda Swinton, Mia Wasikowska, John Hurt, Jeffrey Wright.

Our Thoughts:

Jennie: I do like a good Vampire Movie (not that there’s been one recently), but I’m not sure if this is it. It seems a bit too angst-y. Not to mention the hair! The hair is so distracting…

Dave: This seems like a pretty unique twist on Vampires but it’s a little hard to tell what (if anything) the plot is for this. Looks like Nick Hornby meets Interview with the Vampire.

Rob: I’m all for Vampires being less sparkly, but this trailer gives off a very dull vibe. They keep talking about how romantic it is, but I’m not seeing any of that in the trailer.

Jennie: I will say, the casting looks great. I’m at least a little intrigued.

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The Railway Man

Release Date: April 11th cialis cheap

Synopsis: A victim from World War II’s “Death Railway” sets out to find those responsible for his torture. Based on a true story as told in the autobiography of the same name.  Directed by Jonathan Teplitzky and starring Colin Firth, Nicole Kidman, Jeremy Irvine, Stellan Skarsgård, Hiroyuki Sanada, Tanroh Ishida

Our Thoughts:

Felix: This looks like the kind of Oscar Bait that seems to not be award worthy with its April opening date.

Jennie: I saw a trailer for this awhile ago and completely forgot about it. I remember thinking a similar thought the first time — This movie looks like an awards season movie… and then… I wonder what’s wrong with it? Could be nothing and I’m being overly suspicious. Or it could be that it just doesn’t find its footing. Either way, I like War time movies and I like Colin Firth, so I will give it a shot.

Dave: It really does seem like it should be great. I have no idea why this is opening in April. Here’s hoping it’s good despite a strange, non-award season release date. I seem to recall thinking the same things about Salmon Fishing in the Yemen when it was released early in the year. It ended up being ok and even got some award recognition.

Rob: For some reason this seems like the kind of serious movie that seems like it should win awards, but will end up getting one Oscar nomination for best music or something.

Jennie: I agree. I think when awards season pops up it will randomly get nominated for something and everyone will say “oh yeah… I forgot about that movie”

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Joe

Release Date: April 11th

Synopsis: An ex-con, who is the unlikeliest of role models, meets a 15-year-old boy and is faced with the choice of redemption or ruin. Directed by David Gordon Green and starring Nicolas Cage and Tye Sheridan

Our Thoughts:

Jennie: This of course lends itself to the unsolvable question: Nicolas Cage, Good or Bad? (Seriously, click on that link if you haven’t seen the Community bit about Nicolas Cage.  Even if you have already, it’s totally worth a second look.)

Dave: AAAAHHH! Nicolas Cage drives me nuts. I wish he’d just be bad. All things considered he seems to do a pretty good job in this. But maybe my expectations are too low for Nicolas Cage acting performances. This doesn’t look bad. I also really like Tye Sheridan in Mud. I assume this is one of those movies that I wouldn’t mind seeing but will almost certainly not get around to unless it get some Award nominations.

Coincidentally (or not), David Gordon Green, the director of this movie (and cinematic masterpieces like Pineapple Express and Your Highness) went to college with Jeff Nichols, who directed Mud. The more you know… buying cialis mexico pharmacy viagra no prescription

Rob: My money’s on “bad” here. His acting skills here seem to have been devoted mostly to growing a beard and gritting his teeth.

Dave: Growing a beard is hard and rewarding work. Give that man another Oscar.

Jennie: I’m willing to give this the benefit of the doubt. There have been several movies similarly themed and done in this style lately and I have generally enjoyed them. I, like Dave, also thought Sheridan was great in Mud and am looking forward to seeing what else he can do.

 

Cuban Fury

Release Date: April 11th

Synopsis: A former salsa prodigy attempts a comeback years after his career was ruined. Directed by Jon Brown and starring Nick Frost, Rashida Jones, Chris O’Dowd, Olivia Colman

Our Thoughts:

Felix: This looks like a combination of the charming Strictly Dancing and the better than expected Shall We Dance? (J. Lo and Japanese versions). Unfortunately it also seems it has the kind of stereotypical assumptions of Dance with Me. I expect to watch this via streaming if there isn’t a Ken Burns‘ Documentary about Salsa Music

Jennie: I worry that it’s not going to be as funny as it should be for the type of comedy I like and not as sentimental enough for a romantic comedy. I also think (and have noticed a lot lately) that British comedy’s go way overboard with their fat jokes. I think half the jokes they used in that trailer were based on Nick Frost’s weight.

Dave: I feel like saying “From the team behind Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead” is a little misleading. Unless I’m missing something, that really means “Hey! Nick Frost is in this movie!” There’s no Edgar Wright or Simon Pegg (Wright and Pegg co-wrote and Wright Directed the two). I’m skeptical. If I had to wager money on this I would bet it will turn out less like Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead and more like Paul…which wasn’t terribly good.

Rob: Just what we need, yet another take on Hollywood’s standard “fat former salsa prodigy gets back in the game to win the girl” genre…

(Also, Felix should be ashamed of knowing every movie he mentioned.)

Dave: agreed.

Felix: In my teens I went through a dance movie phase.

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Jennie’s Review: The Grand Budapest Hotel http://cinedraft.com/review/jennies-review-grand-budapest-hotel/ http://cinedraft.com/review/jennies-review-grand-budapest-hotel/#respond Sun, 23 Mar 2014 23:01:59 +0000 http://cinedraft.com/?post_type=review&p=1676

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

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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.

GHB_3133 2013?02?06.CR2There’s no denying that Anderson makes gorgeous movies and that something about them draws great actors to want to be part of them.  The cast of this movie boasts nearly 20 Oscar nominations between all of them.  I can really only scratch the surface on the acting performances in this film, there are just too many great actors to touch on all of them.  Ralph Fiennes is delightful as the beloved and devoted concierge of the hotel, Monsieur Gustave H.  The relative newcomer Tony Revolori holds his own as the young Zero and has the mannerism and line delivery that fits perfectly in this type of film.  There are several cameos by some of Anderson’s go to actors, Bill Murray and Owen Wilson most notably.  I was disappointed that veteran actress Angela Lansbury was unable to commit to the role as Madame D., but Tilda Swinton (and certainly her makeup artists) did a great job in her brief role.

Digital Fusion Image Library TIFF FileThe use of miniatures, marvelous title cards, matte paintings, unusual aspect ratios, and other artistic stylings are very well done.  It has a vintage movie making style reminiscent of the great Georges MélièsI was immediately and consistently drawn to the way this movie looks.  The 4: 3 (square-ish) aspect ratio that is used predominantly throughout the film lends itself perfectly to the symmetrical style that Anderson has become known for.  Every detail was beautiful, clearly thought out and worked perfectly with the story. I enjoyed this movie far more than I expected to, much like Moonrise Kingdom, but even more so. It never misses a beat.  It is fast paced, funny, well shot, well written, beautifully acted, and at only 100 minutes, it never feels as though it’s dragging.

My only real objection to it, is that I don’t really think it needed to be rated R.  Now, I don’t mean it doesn’t earn its R rating, I mean that I think the moments that earn it that rating seem unnecessary.  There is one brief scene of nudity that could easily have been cut and the swearing in the screenplay could have easily been curbed to a more PG-13 level.  Not that I think teenagers are sneaking in to obscure indie type movies, it just changes the audience in general that will be willing to give it a chance.

GHB_6852 2013?01?21.CR2All that being said, I would definitely recommend this movie. The very full, surprisingly diverse crowd in the theater I was at, I believe would agree with me.  There was even an ovation as the credits rolled. I don’t know if it’s necessary (or even available to you in your area) to see it on the big screen, but it’s a fun movie that I would watch again curled up on my couch.

*Images courtesy of Fox Searchlight

//www.youtube.com/watch?v=2bTbW70umbQ

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Looking Back: The Best, The Worst, and Everything Else I Saw In 2013 http://cinedraft.com/2014/03/looking-back-best-worst-everything-else-saw-2013/ http://cinedraft.com/2014/03/looking-back-best-worst-everything-else-saw-2013/#respond Sun, 02 Mar 2014 18:19:17 +0000 http://cinedraft.com/?p=1666

Hello world!

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Hello world!

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Rob’s Mini Review: Robocop http://cinedraft.com/review/robs-mini-review-robocop/ http://cinedraft.com/review/robs-mini-review-robocop/#respond Sun, 16 Feb 2014 22:31:01 +0000 http://cinedraft.com/?post_type=review&p=1654

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

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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

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Rob’s 2013 Oscar Checklist http://cinedraft.com/2014/01/robs-2013-oscar-checklist/ http://cinedraft.com/2014/01/robs-2013-oscar-checklist/#comments Thu, 16 Jan 2014 15:39:52 +0000 http://cinedraft.com/?p=1622

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

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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

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