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


Dave’s Review: Her

Letter Grade:

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.


Dave’s Review: The Wolf of Wall Street

Letter Grade:

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.


Jennie’s Review: Out of the Furnace

Letter Grade:

The Good:


The Bad:

If I have to pick, I'd say that it isn't exactly uplifting.

Cast & Crew:

Directed By: Scott Cooper
Written By: Scott Cooper and Brad Ingelsby
Starring: Christian Bale, Woody Harrelson, Casey Affleck, Forest Whitaker, Willem Dafoe, Zoe Saldana, and Sam Shepard

Rated R for strong violence, language and drug content

Out of the Furnace opens with Harlan DeGroat (Woody Harrelson) at a drive in theater.  He is on a date and the woman with him says something that upsets him.  He proceeds to throw her food out the window, jam a cigar down her throat, slam her head against the dash board, and then beats a good samaratatin checking on his date so savagely that onlookers are calling 911 by the end of the scene.  In case you missed the subtlety of this scene, he’s an awful person and the most OUT OF THE FURNACEobvious bad guy of the movie… unless of course you include post traumatic stress disorder and crippling depression as bad guys as well.

We then meet Russell Baze (Christian Bale) a worker at the local Steel Mill and his brother Rodney (Casey Affleck), a Veteran who has done a few tours in the Middle East and is heading out for another due to being stop-lossed.  Rodney has a gambling problem (and a Bare-knuckle boxing to pay off his debts problem), Russell works hard and tries to bail him out as much as he can but it’s not enough.  Their father, who also spent his life working at the Steel Mill, is dying and hooked up to all sorts of medical equipment in his own living room.  Russell’s girlfriend Lena (Zoe Saldana) wants more of a commitment, specifically a baby, but he does not believe he is financially ready for that sort of step.OUT OF THE FURNACE

Then Russell makes a terrible decision that changes his life and the lives of his loved ones forever.

This is the second endeavor for Director Scott Cooper.  His directorial debut was the critically acclaimed, award winning, and box office success Crazy Heart.  While this movie did not garner as much hype as the first one did, and it will not surpass its success, I believe it to be a wonderful piece that Cooper should be proud of. (more…)

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…

November – 1st Weekend Movie Preview

We’re modifying our monthly movie previews starting today.  With all the different movies coming out every month and with awards season upon us, we’re going to do weekly previews so they are a little more manageable to read (and to put together), so here we go.

Ender’s Game is clearly the hot movie of the weekend, but there are a few others if you don’t want to fight the crowds.  Other than the big budget sci-fi film, there’s a family holiday movie, a couple of bio dramas, a romantic comedy, and an old guy buddy comedy.  It should be a fun weekend at the theater. generic viagra for sale online cual mejor generico viagra

Ender’s Game

Synopsis: The International Military seek out a leader who can save the human race from an alien attack. Ender Wiggin, a brilliant young mind, is recruited and trained to lead his fellow soldiers into a battle that will determine the future of Earth.  Based on the novel by Orson Scott Card. Directed and written by Gavin Hood, the film stars Asa ButterfieldHailee SteinfeldBen KingsleyViola Davis, Abigail Breslin, and Harrison Ford.

Our Thoughts:

Rob: Ohmigod, ohmigod, ohmigod… I still can’t quite believe this movie got made. This is my all-time favorite book series. For decorum’s sake I’ll leave it at that…

Felix:  The trailer didn’t evoke any emotion that made me want to see this movie. Other than adults that read the book, who was this trailer targeted to? And maybe the marketing team is the same as those that marketed Oblivion, which was an unfair movie campaign for a decent sci-fi movie.

Jennie:  I have not read the book or any of the series, so I’m going in with no preconceptions. It looks really well done and I’m generally a sucker for over the top sci-fi action movies.

Dave: I’ve read the book (when I was younger and then just again recently as a refresher). I’ve got some reservations in terms of what this story has the potential to turn into when made into a big blockbuster movie, but I’m cautiously optimistic. It does look to be well made. I’m a little worried that the trailer seems to be a little Harrison Ford-centric. This story isn’t about Harrison Ford (or the character he plays), it’s about Ender. I’m hoping that they didn’t shift the focus to Ford because he’s the big name star. I will also go ahead and say that I think I’m getting a little tired of Old Harrison Ford. Is it just me, or is he really not that great of an actor? That’s right, I said it. Please address all hate email to (P.S. Dear George Lucas, Please don’t sue me, or have me murdered, or force me to sit through a Hayden Christensen movie)

Felix: He was the bomb in Witness (because Peter Weir is a better director (PS Dear Mr. George Lucas, Emperor of Ewoks, Please don’t sue me, or have me murdered, or force me to sit through a Hayden Christensen movie. I DO forgive you for making Ewan McGregor, Liam Neeson, and Natalie Portman act like they don’t know how to read in your movies. Please don’t digitally replace my face to look like Jar Jar.)


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







New Trailer: Birth of the Living Dead


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=" generisches viagra” 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