Thursday, October 2, 2014

The Family (2013)


Number Rolled: 44
Movie Name/Year: The Family (2013)
Genre: Comedy
Length: 111 minutes
Rating: R
Affiliated Companies: EuropaCorp, Relativity Media, TF1 Films Production, Grive Productions, Canal+, Malavita
Executive Producer: Jason Beckman, Ron Burkle, Jason Colbeck, Jason Colodne, Martin Scorsese, Tucker Tooley
Director: Luc Besson
Writer: Luc Besson, Michael Caleo, Tonino Benacquista
Actors: Robert De Niro, Michelle Pfeiffer, Dianna Agron, John D’Leo, Tommy Lee Jones, Jimmy Palumbo, Domenick Lombardozzi, Stan Carp, Vincent Pastore, Jon Freda, Michael J. Panichelli Jr., Paul Borghese, Anthony Desio, Ted Arcidi, David Belle, Raymond Franza, Christopher Craig, Cedric Zimmerlin, Serge Tranvouez

The Manzoni’s are a former mafia family. They gave up their life of crime when Fred Manzoni, the patriarch, ratted on his business associates. In return they got a sweet life of moving around and complete lack of stability. They’ve just been relocated, again, to Normandy where they’re having a little trouble adjusting.

The Family did exactly what it set out to do. It wanted to give a nod to all the awesome 80’s and 90’s mob films while pushing a comedy aspect. What it wound up being is something violently hilarious.

Robert De Niro (Goodfellas, A Bronx Tale, The Godfather Part II) and Michelle Pfeiffer (Scarface, Hairspray, Dark Shadows) have acted in movies together; namely Stardust (2007) and New Year’s Eve (2011). This is the first movie, however, that they actually had a scene together in. It’s about-fucking-time, too. I could praise them on their performances, but it goes without saying. Both are veteran actors with a long list of accomplishments. They don’t need my two cents.

Dianna Agron (Glee, I Am Number Four, Heroes) and John D’Leo (Wanderlust, Brooklyn’s Finest, Cop Out) were outstanding. I’m familiar with Agron’s work and I expected her to be good, but D’Leo caught me off-guard. Despite his young looks, he’s actually right around 18 in the movie, though his character is younger. He reminded me, physically, of Lillo Brancato from A Bronx Tale (1993). Acting wise, Brancato wishes he was as good in that movie as D’Leo was in The Family.

Rotten Tomatoes critics panned this movie. A lot of their comments lead me to believe it’s because they were expecting something more on the serious side. I think they’re all nuts; they need to lighten up. I loved this movie, I will likely watch again and I will definitely recommend it.

I might have renamed it, though. Would you have gone to see it if it was titled: The Art of the Word ‘Fuck’? Nah, I wouldn’t have either. It’s a terrible title.

Accurate, though.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 29%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 42%

Netflix’s Prediction for Me – 4.7/5
Trust-the-Dice Score4/5

Movie Trailer: 


Monday, September 29, 2014

Top Ten Movies to Look Out For In October


10 – ABCs of Death (October 31)


Director: Aharon Keshales, Navot Papushado, Alejandro Brugues, Bill Plympton, Chris Nash, Dennison Ramalho, Erik Matti, Evan Katz, Hajime Ohata, Jen Soska, Sylvia Soska, Jerome Sable, Jim Hosking, Juan Martinez Moreno, Julian Barratt, Julian Gilbey, Julien Bustillo, Alexandre Maury, Kristina Buozyte, Bruno Samper, Lancelot Imasuen, Larry Fassenden, Marvin Kren, Robert Boocheck, Robert Morgan, Rodney Ascher, Soichi Umezawa, Steven Kostanski, Todd Rohal, Vincenzo Natali
Writer: Robert Boocheck, Alejandro Brugues, Jeff Buhler, David Chirchirillo, Julian Gilbey, Toby Harvard, Jim Hosking, Juan Martinez Moreno, Nicolas Musurca, Chris Nash, Jerome Sable, Jen Soska, Sylvia Soska, Ant Timpson, Marc Walkow, Alex de la Iglesia
Actors: Various
Genre: Horror
Rated: Unrated

It’s no secret that I hated the first ABCs of Death. There are some things that you just never get over watching.

When I watched The ABCs of Death it was torture. I don’t think I can ever get my brain quite as clean as it was before that day.

So why would I suggest the second one?

The answer comes from the base idea behind the movies. The ABCs of Death, as well as the sequel, comes from 26 different directors making short horror films based around one letter of the alphabet. Despite my overall opinion of the first anthology, I do believe the idea is pretty cool.

In ABCs of Death 2 there are all new directors, all new ideas and, well, it’s the same letters because it’s set to the English alphabet. None-the-less, there’s enough different that I think it’s worth a shot.

9 – Laggies (October 24)


Director: Lynn Shelton
Writer: Andrea Seigel
Actors: Keira Knightley, Chloe Grace Moretz, Sam Rockwell, Mark Webber, Ellie Kemper, Jeff Garlin, Gretchen Mol, Kaitlyn Dever, Sara Coates
Genre: Comedy
Rated: R

Chloe Grace Moretz (Kick Ass, If I Stay, Carrie) is getting a ton of work. Granted, I think she’s a great actress and it’s totally deserved, but her face is becoming just super recognizable. If she keeps this pace up, she’s going to be a household name before she turns 20.

Hell, in some households she already is.

Laggies looks like it’s going to be hilarious. Between Keira Knightley (Pirates of the Caribbean, Pride & Prejudice, Begin Again) and Moretz, I expect some awesome banter and timing. I’m also really interesting in seeing Sam Rockwell (The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, Iron Man 2) in something that doesn’t portray him as a villain. He may have played the hero before, but I’ve only seen him in his villain roles; dancing in his villain roles.

I wonder if he’ll dance as a protagonist, too.

8 – St. Vincent (October 10)


Director: Theodore Melfi
Writer: Theodore Melfi
Actors: Bill Murray, Melissa McCarthy, Chris O’Dowd, Naomi Watts, Jaeden Lieberher
Genre: Comedy
Rated: PG-13

Bill Murray (Ghostbusters, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Zombieland) is the man. The first movie I ever saw him in was Ghostbusters and now I simply associate him with awesome. I could take or leave the rest of the cast.

Not taking into account the actors involved, this movie looks like a grumpy, fantastic comedy. What the trailer shows is some basic grandfather-ish bonding between an old man and a young boy. It’s almost painfully obvious what road the movie will take, but I still can’t help wanting to sit through the story anyway.

7 – Dracula Untold (October 10)


Director: Gary Shore
Writer: Matt Sazama, Burk Sharpless, Bram Stoker
Actors: Luke Evans, Sarah Gadon, Diarmaid Murtagh, Dominic Cooper, Samantha Barks
Genre: Action & Adventure
Rated: PG-13

Yes, it’s another Dracula movie.

I think Dracula Untold will be decent because of the stance the writers took.

Regardless of anything else, this movie seems to be meant as an origin film. A lot of movies touch on who Dracula is, how he was turned or how he was eventually defeated. What Dracula Untold seems to do differently is take an alternate stance on why he became a vampire. The twist is decent enough that it seems a lot more original than most Dracula-based films.

6 – The Judge (October 10)


Director: David Dobkin
Writer: Nick Schenk, Bill Dubuque, David Dobkin
Actors: Robert Downey Jr., Robert Duvall, Vera Farmiga, Vincent D’Onofrio, Jeremy Strong, Dax Shephard, Billy Bob Thornton, Ken Howard, Emma Tremblay, Balthazar Getty, David Krumholtz, Sarah Lancaster, Grace Zabriskie, Denis O’Hare, Leighton Meester
Genre: Drama
Rated: R

Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man 3, The Avengers, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows) is a good enough reason to want to see any movie. The story involved in The Judge, however, is even more of a reason.

I’m not a fan of drama in general, but the genre has its moments and I do get into a good courtroom or crime drama pretty easily. With this kind of cast, it’s easy to imagine the jaw-dropping line delivery that could take place.

My only concern is David Dobkin (The Change-Up, Fred Claus, Wedding Crashers). I don’t like him as a director. With any luck, The Judge will be the exception.

5 – Fury (October 17)


Director: David Ayer
Writer: David Ayer
Actors: Brad Pitt, Shia LaBeouf, Logan Lerman, Michael Pena, Jon Bernthal, Jason Isaacs, Scott Eastwood
Genre: Action & Adventure
Rated: R

I’ve always been fascinated by World War II. I’ve watched a great deal of the holocaust movies and I’ve read just about every book I can get my hands on. Fury is a movie I’ve known was coming out for a while and I’ve been looking forward to finally getting to see it.

The cast isn’t exactly shabby either. Brad Pitt (Inglourious Basterds, Fight Club, World War Z) and Logan Lerman (Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, 3:10 to Yuma) are the two I’m really looking forward to seeing in this kind of film. Pitt is a given, but Lerman is an actor that’s slowly making one hell of a name for himself. Working with Pitt can only help that goal.

I’m certain that I won’t regret spending time on Fury.

4 – John Wick (October 24)


Director: Chad Stahelski, David Leitch
Writer: Derek Kolstad
Actors: Keanu Reeves, Michael Nyqvist, Alfie Allen, Adrianne Palicki, Dean Winters, Bridget Moynahan, Ian McShane, John Leguizmo, Willem Dafoe
Genre: Action & Aventure
Rated: Unrated

John Wick is the obligatory old guy in an action film pick of the month.

Despite Keanu Reeves’ (47 Ronin, The Matrix, Devil’s Advocate) old-guy flair, this film looks freaking awesome. Filled with all the appropriate action themed fighting and explosion stuff, it also looks like Reeves jumped back into the genre with a vengeance (no pun intended).

I’m a little saddened that the trailer indicates that the dog dies, but hey… whatever moves the story line forward.

3 – Left Behind (October 2)


Director: Vic Armstrong
Writer: Paul Lalonde, John Patus, Jerry B. Jenkins, Tim LaHaye
Actors: Nicolas Cage, Chad Michael Murray, Cassi Thomson, Nicky Whelan, Lea Thompson, Jordan Sparks, Quinton Aaron, Martin Klebba
Genre: Action & Adventure
Rated: PG-13

Another old guy in an action movie! Well, to be fair, Nicolas Cage (Kick Ass, Rage, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice) is still in a lot of action movies.

This is not just any action movie, though, this is an apocalypse movie. Reading through The Random Review you’ll find that I adore apocalypse movies, even the bad ones. Especially bad ones, sometimes. I’m not sure what draws me to this subject, but I love movies, books and discussions based on it.

Left Behind does seem to be a little bit like the HBO series The Leftovers. However, a lot of films use the rapture as a base for their story. After all, This is the End was also based around the rapture and no one is going to argue similarity between it and Left Behind.

I believe this film deserves a chance. Let’s see what road they take.

2 – Stonehearst Asylum (October 24)


Director: Brad Anderson
Writer: Joe Gangemi, Edgar Allan Poe
Actors: Kate Beckinsale, Jim Sturgess, Michael Caine, Ben Kingsley, Brendan Gleeson, David Thewlis
Genre: Horror
Rated: PG-13

Stonehearst Asylum is based off a short story written by Edgar Allan Poe, “The System of Dr. Tarr and Prof. Fether.” There is no better reason in this world that I could use to want to see this movie. Yes, the cast is amazing and the trailer looks incredible, but my main desire to see this film is based on Edgar Allan Poe.

His poetry was what inspired me to write in the first place. Even if the trailer looked horrible, Stonehearst Asylum might have made this list.

1 – Horns (October 31)


Director: Alexandre Aja
Writer: Keith Bunin, Joe Hill
Actors: Daniel Radcliffe, Juno Temple, Heather Graham, Sabrina Carpenter, Joe Anderson, Kelli Garner, Max Minghella, James Remar
Genre: Thriller
Rated: R

I haven’t had a real interest in seeing a movie with Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, Kill Your Darlings, The Woman in Black) in it since the Harry Potter films. It’s not because he’s a bad actor. In fact, I don’t actually understand why none of his movies have appealed to me on any real level.

However, Horns looks great. It seems like something unique and interesting. I believe it will be the kind of movie that actually shocks me. As it is, I can’t even guess, off the trailer, what direction the story is going to take.

Will Radcliffe’s character find redemption? Will he have actually committed the crime? Is he simply hallucinating his way through life? I’m excited to find out.

It seems to be one hell of a Halloween movie, too.