Author Archives: Rob Bernard

Rob’s Quick Review: Nerve

Nerve on
Letter Grade:

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
Letter Grade:

The Good:

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.

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


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Rob’s Mini Review: Robocop

Robocop on
Letter Grade:

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)
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

Rob’s Review: Ender’s Game

Ender's Game on
Letter Grade:

The Good:

Good acting from the teen leads.
Ending well-paced.
Top notch visual effects.

The Bad:

Tries to cram a lot of story into 2 hours of movie. Feels rushed.

Cast & Crew:

Directed by: Gavin Hood
Written by: Gavin Hood
Stars: Asa Butterfield, Harrison Ford, Hailee Steinfeld, Abigail Breslin, Ben Kingsley, Viola Davis

Rated PG-13 for some violence, sci-fi action and thematic material.

“I didn’t want to see you.”
“They told me.”
“I was afraid that I’d still love you.” ― Orson Scott Card, Ender’s Game

I need to start this review off with a disclaimer. Ender’s Game is my favorite book of all time, and that puts me in a tricky spot here. The desire to see it on the big screen has fought mightily with the fear that they’d just screw it up. They didn’t screw it up, but they didn’t quite hit it out of the park either.

Ender's Game on Cinedraft.comAndrew “Ender” Wiggen is a child who has been drafted into the International Fleet, who are training child soldiers to lead their space fleets against the Formics, aliens who invaded Earth 50 years previously. Asa Butterfield plays Ender,  Abigail Breslin is Ender’s sister who is left behind on Earth as Ender is taken to the orbiting Battle School where students/soldiers train in armies and fight wargames in Zero-G. Hailee Steinfeld is one of Ender’s fellow child soldiers, and Harrison FordBen Kingsley, and Viola Davis are in charge of the training program. The performances are quite good throughout, which is especially impressive given the young age of most of the cast.

Ender's Game on Cinedraft.comI was torn when I heard Gavin Hood would be writing and directing. On the one hand, he wrote and directed Tsotsi, which is good. On the other hand he also directed X-Men Origins: Wolverine, which is not good. Especially when you consider that the worst part of X-Men Origins: Wolverine (except for maybe the unwieldy title) were the special effects, which seemed about half finished.  With so much of Ender’s Game being Zero-G battles of one kind or another, it was always going to be a special effects-heavy film and I had serious doubts about whether Hood could handle that. Luckily, I was pleasantly surprised by how the effects turned out, they’re really exceptional throughout.

Ender's Game on Cinedraft.comTo the extent that the movie does falter, it’s in the writing. I don’t think Hood ever really figured out how to fit 350 pages of story into 120 pages of script. He hits on all the high points of the original story, but there’s not enough time to spend on any of them to really build the tension and emotional connection that are needed. As a result, the first 3/4 of the movie feels very rushed.  What the first 3/4 lacks in heart, though, the last 1/4 makes up for in soaring music. As a fan of the books I could criticize it about all kinds of niggling details like the location of Command School, or colonial governorships, but I won’t. Within the context of the movie the end works very well. It’s well paced and hits the right notes, and you leave the theater on a high note.

Ender’s Game has good acting, great visuals, and is generally a faithful adaptation of the book. I felt it could have used another half hour or so to reinforce the perils of Battle School, but if they did that most people would probably be complaining that it was too slow…

Horror Film Tournament Champion: Night of the Living Dead

Night of the Living Dead on

Ladies and Gentlemen, we have a winner. After 5 rounds of voting, spread out over the entirety of October, George Romero’s Zombie classic  Night of the Living Dead is our Horror Film Tournament Champion! It faced some stiff competition to get here. It had to beat out 28 Days Later, its own sequel, Dawn of the Dead, The Exorcist,Halloween, and finally eeked out a win versusNosferatu.

Happy Halloween!

Cinedraft Horror Tournament - Champion


Horror Film Tournament – Round 5 – The Championship

Night of the Living Dead on

All right folks, this is it. We’ve been whittling down the list for a month now, and we’re finally down to the final two! Nosferatu took down Hitchcock’s Psycho last week, and Romero’s Night of the Living Dead beat out John Carpenter’s Halloween. That leaves us with the first real Vampire movie going up against the first real Zombie movie this week.

Halloween is Thursday, so voting will only run through midnight on Wednesday this week, so vote now!

Cinedraft Horror Tournament Championship

Cinedraft Horror Tournament Championship

Horror Film Tournament – Round 4 – The Frightful Four

Cinedraft Horror Film Tournament







We’re getting down to the end and there are only four contestants left in our Horror Film Tournament. Last week Nosferatu burned Frankenstein’s windmill down, Michael Myers took down the Xenomorph, Norman Bates’ mother took out the other vampire still in the running, and the possessed girl was no match for the zombie horde.

That leaves us with just two matchups this week.Nosferatu takes on Psycho, and Halloween is up on the block against Night of the Living Dead. Vote now, polls will close at midnight on Friday and next week we’ll be back one more time with the ultimate matchup!
Full Draft-4thRnd



The Frightful Four

Cinedraft Horror Film Tournament

Horror Film Tournament – Round 3 – The Eerie Eight

Cinedraft Horror Film Bracket

We’re down to just eight movies here in the third round of our Horror Film Tournament. Last week Nosferatu beat up on a demonic baby, Norman Bates fended off some birds, the Body Snatchers were drained by Dracula, Michael Myers massacred Leatherface, and an old priest and a young priest put down the Deadites.

This week Frankenstein takes on a vampire, in what could be a warmup for the Frightful Four if Dracula can take down Norman Bates. On the other side of the brackets we’ll see if Michael Myers gets his chest burst and the priests will spend the night fighting off the living dead.

As in the past two rounds, you can vote in Round 3 until Midnight on Friday. Let us know in the comments and on Facebook what your think about the Second Round matchups!

Cinedraft Horror Film Bracket


Classic Films

Cinedraft Horror Film Bracket


Modern Films

Cinedraft Horror Film Bracket







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