Thursday, May 5, 2016

Technical Difficulties

We apologize for the lack of regularly scheduled movie review post today.
Our Monday edition will publish at its normal time on 05/09/2016.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Top 20 Movies to Look Out For In May (2016)

According to: Selina


20 – The Trust (5/13)


Tag Line: Bad cops make the best criminals.
Production Company: Highland Film Group (HFG), Hassell Free Production, Ingenious Media, Saban Films, The Electric Shadow Company, Prettybird, Saeculum Productions
Director: Alex Brewer, Benjamin Brewer
Writer: Benjamin Brewer, Adam Hirsch
Actors: Nicolas Cage, Elijah Wood, Jerry Lewis, Sky Ferreira, Kevin Weisman, Steven Williams, Jeff Howard, Christie Beran, Ethan Suplee
Genre: Thriller, Crime
Rated: R

I feel like there’s pretty much at least one Nicolas Cage (Left Behind, Rage, The Frozen Ground) movie made every month. It doesn’t always make the list… but sometimes he just looks like he’s at his best in the trailer. Sure, we get the overacting and corny humor, but there’s one part at the end of the trailer where he’s yelling and his face is red and it looks like a perfectly acted scene.

Obviously, I’m not only interested in The Trust because of Nick Cage. I’m interested in the character portrayed by Elijah Wood (Wilfred, Grand Piano, Pawn Shop Chronicles) and the nods to comic relief throughout the action and thrills as well.

19 – The Offering (5/6)


Tag Line: The chosen will be sacrificed.
Production Company: Boku Films Pte Limited, Boku Films, PEP Pictures
Director: Kelvin Tong
Writer: Kelvin Tong
Actors: Matthew Settle, Elizabeth Rice, Pamelyn Chee, Jaymee Ong, Elizabeth Lazan, Adrian Pang, Adina Herz
Genre: Thriller
Rated: NR

I love a good possession movie.

This one does have some unique and terrifying scenes shown in the trailer, however, it also shows a great deal of reverence to the original Exorcist (1973). It’s a toss-up on whether or not The Offering will meet expectation. Either way, I look forward to seeing it.

18 – Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising (5/20)


Tag Line: Parenthood vs. Sisterhood
Production Company: Good Universe, Point Grey Pictures
Director: Nicholas Stoller
Writer: Andrew Jay Cohen, Brendan O’Brien, Evan Goldberg, Nicholas Stoller, Seth Rogen
Actors: Zac Efron, Seth Rogen, Rose Byrne, Dave Franco, Chloe Grace Moretz, Selena Gomez, Ike Barinholtz, Lisa Kudrow, Kiersey Clemons, Beanie Feldstein, Carla Gallo, Awkwafina, Billy Eichner, Clara Mamet, LL Cool J, Hannibal Buress,
Genre: Comedy
Rated: R

I was really looking forward to the first Neighbors (2014) movie and now I’m looking forward to the new sequel almost more than the first. Unfortunately, I haven’t seen the first one yet, but I love the comedic style of Seth Rogen (The League, Kung Fu Panda 3, The Interview). I’m also a fan of Zac Efron (Dirty Grandpa, The Paperboy, Charlie St. Cloud), Dave Franco (Now You See Me, 22 Jump Street, Warm Bodies) and Chloe Grace Moretz (The 5th Wave, The Equalizer, Laggies). There’s really nothing about this film that I’m not looking forward to.

I have to see the first one!

17 – The Darkness (5/13)


Tag Line: Evil comes home.
Production Company: Blumhouse Productions, Chapter One Films
Director: Greg McLean
Writer: Greg McLean, Shayne Armstrong, Shane Krause
Actors: Kevin Bacon, Radha Mitchell, Jennifer Morrison, Matt Walsh, David Mazouz, Ming-Na, Lucy Fry, Trian Long-Smith, Parker Mack
Genre: Horror, Thriller
Rated: NR

The majority of this film looks relatively recipe-ish. However, I kind of like what seems to have been done with the recipe. It even seems like the child actor, David Mazouz (Gotham, The Games Maker, Touch), actually knows what he’s doing.

And every recipe can be elevated with Bacon (The Following, Cop Car, R.I.P.D.).

16 – The Horde (5/6)


Tag Line: Fight back or die.
Production Company: 313 Films, Razors Edge Productions, Traplight Media
Director: Jared Cohen
Writer: Paul Logan
Actors: Paul Logan, Bill Moseley, Vernon Wells, Costas Mandylor, Tiffany Brouwer, Sydney Sweeney, Matthew Willig, Nestor Serrano
Genre: Horror
Rated: NR

For the Horde!

No, sorry. I’m a horde player in WoW and I couldn’t help myself. I’m in a super corny mood tonight.

Speaking of super corny, this film looks the part. The reason I want to see it, and the reason it’s this high on the list, is because there seems to be an interesting twist as well a merger of genres that don’t often meet. You’ve got the military man, you’ve got zombie-types, you’ve got the damsel in distress, and you’ve got jerky hillbillies.

I believe this film will either spectacularly succeed or phenomenally fail. I don’t think there’ll be any ambivalence in the reviews.

15 – The Ones Below (5/27)


Tag Line: How well do you know your neighbors?
Production Company: Cuba Pictures, Tigerlily Films, BBC Films, Kreo Films FZ
Director: David Farr
Writer: David Farr
Actors: Clemence Poesy, David Morrissey, Stephen Campbell Moore, Laura Birn
Genre: Thriller, Psychological
Rated: R

This film looks pretty familiar to me. Not because it’s unoriginal, but because I think I’ve seen the trailer for it before. It might have come out during one of the film festivals. It might have been released on a limited basis previously. I’m not sure.

Whatever the reason for its familiarity, it seems to be getting a wider release now.

I think this film looks creepy as hell. The psychological aspect of it really comes through and David Morrissey (The Walking Dead, Line of Sight, The Missing) makes a phenomenal villain (or perceived villain as this film may go). I have a feeling there may be some triggering moments, however…

14 – Kill Command (5/13)


Tag Line: You can't fight the future.
Production Company: Vertigo Films
Director: Steven Gomez
Writer: Steven Gomez
Actors: Vanessa Kirby, Thure Lindhardt, David Ajala, Tom McKay, Deborah Rosan, Bentley Kalu
Genre: Action, Horror, Sci-Fi
Rated: NR

This looks like a well-made, well-acted, well-written science fiction film. The graphics look pretty amazing as a bonus. I’ve got nothing against the low budget B-Movies out there, but sometimes it’s nice to get those great graphics backing up a decent film. It’s as much fun, just for a wider audience.

The story actually reminds me of a short story I read in an anthology a few years back. I don’t remember what the anthology was called, though. I remember thinking it would probably make a great film.

If I remember the name of the book later, I’ll add it to this part.

13 – All the Way (5/21)


Tag Line: Politics is war.
Production Company: Amblin Entertainment, HBO Films, Moon Shot Entertainment, Tale Told Productions
Director: Jay Roach
Writer: Robert Schenkkan
Actors: Bryan Cranston, Frank Langella, Anthony Mackie, Melissa Leo, Stephen Root, Marque Richardson, Bradley Whitford, Aisha Hinds, Todd Weeks, Mo McRae, Spencer Garrett, Joe Morton, Ned Van Zandt
Genre: Drama, Biography
Rated: NR

I don’t mind the occasional biographical, based-on-a-true-story, film. It just has to feature a story that’s worth telling.

It is in my opinion that Lyndon B. Johnson’s story is definite worth telling and seeing. I think Bryan Cranston (Trumbo, Breaking Bad, SuperMansion) was a wonderful choice to play him, as well. Anthony Mackie (Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Shelter, Ant-Man) as Martin Luther King Jr. might seem like another story, but I’m not so sure about that.

Sure, Mackie looks nothing like the civil rights leader, but there are few people who would have the acting chops to truly pull him off. I believe suspending disbelief on his appearance will allow people to greater appreciate the amount of heart Mackie puts into the part.

12 – Maggie’s Plan (5/20)


Tag Line: Chapter Four: Maggie's Plan
Production Company: Freedom Media, Hall Monitor, Hyperion Media Group, Locomotive, Rachael Horovitz Productions, Round Films
Director: Rebecca Miller
Writer: Rebecca Miller, Karen Rinaldi
Actors: Greta Gerwig, Ethan Hawke, Julianne Moore, Bill Hader, Maya Rudolph, Travis Fimmel
Genre: Drama
Rated: R

Normally in a film like this, you get to see woman and man meet, fall in love, betray spouses, and then either get kicked out of their marriage and wind up with the affair or go back to their wife. This film seems to take another route, a more realistic one. Well, up until the ‘plan’ part of the film.

11 – The Do-Over (5/27)


Tag Line: Dying was their first mistake.
Production Company: Happy Madison Productions
Director: Steve Brill
Writer: Chris Pappas, Kevin Barnett
Actors: Adam Sandler, David Spade, Paula Patton, Nick Swardson, Luis Guzman, Kathryn Hahn, Sean Astin, Catherine Bell, Michael Chiklis, Natasha Leggero, Torsten Voges, Matt Walsh, Jared Sandler, Renee Taylor
Genre: Comedy
Rated: NR

This is another Netflix film starring, and produced by, Adam Sandler (Pixels, The Cobbler, Top Five).

It’s hard to expect much considering the ranks of films on Rotten Tomatoes that The Ridiculous 6 sits among: Zapped! (1982), Ed (1996), Alexander the Great (1956), the oh-so-pointless Cabin Fever remake (2016), They Saved Hitler’s Brain (1963) and, of course, Manos: the Hands of Fate (1966). What is the one thing all those films have in common? A 0% rating on Rotten Tomatoes with a similarly bad rating from the audience.

One has to wonder if The Do-Over is going to be exactly that for Sandler and crew, or if it’ll join the Ridiculous 6.

I look forward to finding out.


10 – Love & Friendship (5/13)


Tag Line: A lady never reveals her tactics.
Production Company: Westerly Films, Amazon Studios, Blinder Films, Chic Films, Revolver Amsterdam
Director: Whit Stillman
Writer: Whit Stillman, Jane Austen
Actors: Kate Beckinsale, Chloe Sevigny, Xavier Samuel, Stephen Fry, Emma Greenwell, Morfydd Clark, Jemma Redgrave, James Fleet, Tom Bennett, Justin Edwards
Genre: Drama, Romance
Rated: PG

I found myself completely drawn into this trailer. From the period aspects to the intriguing performance of Kate Beckinsale (Stonehearst Asylum, Total Recall, Contraband), there’s nothing that makes me not want to see this film.

My only issue is that I don’t understand its PG rating. The trailer seems to hint at a relatively PG-13 tongue-in-cheek sense of humor. I may not understand the rating until I’ve seen it, however.

9 – Mothers and Daughters (5/6)


Tag Line: Love is the one thing they can all agree on.
Production Company: Siempre Viva Productions, Aloe Entertainment
Director: Paul Duddridge
Writer: Paige Cameron, Paul Duddridge
Actors: Selma Blair, Susan Sarandon, Eva Amurri, Sharon Stone, Paul Wesley, Christina Ricci, Courteney Cox, Mira Sorvino, Luke Mitchell, Paul Adelstein, Natalie Burn, Quinton Aaron, Ashanti, Liana Mendoza, Christopher Backus, Sebastian Siegel, Steven Scot Bo
Genre: Drama
Rated: PG-13

With Mother’s Day right around the corner, having some mother-centric films set for release was bound to happen. This film, however, really seems to examine the intricacies and complexities of the mother-daughter relationship.

It seems to be in the vein of movies like New Years Eve (2011), but I don’t hate those films. In fact, I rather enjoy seeing how the various storylines wind up connecting in the end.

8 – The Curse of the Sleeping Beauty (5/13)


Tag Line: The fairytale was only the beginning…
Production Company: 2B Films, Briar Rose Productions, Nexus Motion Picture Company
Director: Pearry Reginald Teo
Writer: Pearry Reginald Teo, Josh Nadler, Everette Hartsoe, Jacob Grimm, Wilhelm Grimm
Actors: India Eisley, Ethan Peck, Natalie Hall, Zack Ward, Bruce Davison, James Adam Lim, Scott Alan Smith, Mim Drew, Madelaine Petsch, Elizabeth Knowelden, Ryan Egnatoff
Genre: Mystery, Fantasy, Thriller
Rated: NR

At first glance, this comic book film looks visually stunning. By the third or fourth time you view the trailer, however, you get a more realistic sense of what to expect. I don’t believe the graphics will be anything to brag about. That being said, this touch on the fairy tale of Sleeping Beauty seems to have a unique and interesting twist to it.

I find a lot of the baddies in the film remind me of the Silent Hill (2006, 2012, 2017) movie franchise. My adoration of Silent Hill (movies and games) knows no bounds. Even if I hadn’t already wanted to see The Curse of the Sleeping Beauty, the comparison would have made up my mind for me.

7 – Money Monster (5/13)


Tag Line: #FollowTheMoney
Production Company: Allegiance Theater, LStar Capital, Smokehouse Pictures, TriStar Pictures, Village Roadshow Pictures
Director: Jodie Foster
Writer: Jamie Linden, Alan DiFiore, Jim Kouf
Actors: George Clooney, Julia Roberts, Jack O’Connell, Dominic West, Caitriona Balfe, Giancarlo Esposito, Greta Lee, Emily Meade, Olivia Luccardi, Chris Bauer, Condola Rashad, Dennis Boutsikaris
Genre: Drama, Thriller
Rated: R

I’m not the biggest fan of George Clooney (The Men Who Stare at Goats, ER, Gravity). That being said, the rest of the cast in this film are damn good at what they do, and the plot of the movie seems very interesting.

In a time when elections are being screwed up all over the country and politics have reached an all-time high in tension, conspiracy theories are difficult to ignore. This film gives people a conspiracy to follow that doesn’t harm the people of this country.

It also looks really good.

6 – Angry Birds (5/20)


Tag Line: Why so angry?
Production Company: Rovio Entertainment, Columbia Pictures, LStar Capital, Rovio Mobile, Sony Pictures Animation, Sony Pictures Imageworks, Village Roadshow Pictures
Director: Clay Kaytis, Fergal Reilly
Writer: Jon Vitti
Actors: Jason Sudeikis, Josh Gad, Danny McBride, Bill Hader, Maya Rudolph, Blake Shelton, Sean Penn, Peter Dinklage, Kate McKinnon, Charli XCX, Keegan-Michael Key, Tony Hale, Ike Barinholtz, Hannibal Buress, Jillian Bell, Romeo Santos, Max Charles
Genre: Animation, Comedy
Rated: PG

Although this film is made for kids, the trailer is pretty clear that there’s most likely plenty of humor to keep an adult occupied as well. Also, who doesn’t want to see how they made Angry Birds, a game most people play on the toilet, into a film?

5 – Nice Guys (5/20)


Tag Line: Nice pair.
Production Company: Misty Mountains, Silver Pictures, Waypoint Entertainment
Director: Shane Black
Writer: Shane Black, Anthony Bagrozzi
Actors: Ryan Gosling, Russell Crowe, Matthew Bomer, Beau Knapp, Keith David, Kim Basinger, Ty Simpkins, Angourie Rice, Margaret Qualley, Hannibal Buress
Genre: Drama, Thriller, Crime
Rated: R

I am highly amused by the combination of Ryan Gosling (Only God Forgives, The Ides of March, Drive) and Russell Crowe (Fathers and Daughters, Noah, Man of Steel) in this film. What makes me wonder, however, is why it’s not listed as a comedy. The trailer is marketing this film as a crime/action/comedy… but there’s no listing of action or comedy related to it.

It worries me that this film might be marketed badly, because the movie that is suggested by the trailer really does look very good.

4 – Alice through the Looking Glass (5/27)


Tag Line: This spring, it’s time for a little madness.
Production Company: Walt Disney Pictures, Roth Films, Team Todd, Tim Burton Productions, Legend3D
Director: James Bobin
Writer: Linda Woolverton, Lewis Carroll
Actors: Mia Wasikowska, Johnny Depp, Anne Hathaway, Sacha Baron Cohen, Helena Boham Carter, Alan Rickman, Rhys Ifans, Mark Rylance, Stephen Fry, Michael Sheen, Andrew Scott, Lindsay Duncan, Barbara Windsor, Frances de la Tour, Matt Lucas, Geraldine James, Matt Vogel, Mohammed Ali
Genre: Adventure, Family, Fantasy
Rated: PG

I did not see the first film, not for lack of want, just for lack of access. Both the first one and this sequel trigger my interest. I’m hoping I’ll have time to see the first one before Alice through the Looking Glass hits theaters.

3 – Pele: Birth of a Legend (5/6)


Tag Line: A boy with nothing, who changed everything.
Production Company: Imagine Entertainment, Seine Pictures, Zohar International
Director: Michael Zimbalist, Jeff Zimbalist
Writer: Michael Zimbalist, Jeff Zimbalist
Actors: Kevin de Paula, Leonardo Lima Carvalho, Vincent D’Onofrio, Rodrigo Santoro, Diego Boneta, Colm Meaney, Seu Jorge
Genre: Biography, Drama, Sport
Rated: PG

I love soccer. I used to play it. I coached it for a short time. I was a better coach than I was a player, for the record. I follow Manchester United and LA Galaxy.

I feel comfortable saying that every soccer fan in the world knows who Pele is. I’m more than looking forward to learning more about his story.

2 – X-Men: Apocalypse (5/27)


Tag Line: Only the strong will survive.
Production Company: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, Marvel Entertainment, TSG Entertainment, Bad Hat Harry Productions, Donners’ Company, Kinberg Genre, Mel’s Cite du Cinema
Director: Bryan Singer
Writer: Simon Kinberg, Bryan Singer, Michael Dougherty, Dan Harris
Actors: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Hugh Jackman, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, Evan Peters, Lucas Till, Olivia Munn, Oscar Isaac, Alexandra Shipp, Sophie Turner, Tye Sheridan, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Rose Byrne, Lana Condor, Ben Hardy, Stan Lee, Monique Ganderton, Josh Helman, Rochelle Okoye
Genre: Superhero, Action
Rated: PG-13

I know the X-Men films don’t always live up to the hype. Logically, I KNOW that. Emotionally….. I don’t give a fuck. I’ll always go see the next one.

I’m part of the problem. I know.

1 – Captain America: Civil War (5/6)


Tag Line: United we stand. Divided we fall.
Production Company: Marvel Entertainment, Marvel Studios, Studio Babelsberg
Director: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
Writer: Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely, Mark Millar, Joe Simon, Jack Kirby, Stan Lee
Actors: Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Chadwick Boseman, Anthony Mackie, Jeremy Renner, Tom Holland, Elizabeth Olsen, Martin Freeman, Daniel Bruhl, Emily VanCamp, Paul Rudd, Paul Bettany, Sebastian Stan, Don Cheadle, Frank Grillo, William Hurt, Marisa Tomei, John Kani, John Slattery, Josh Peck, Stan Lee
Genre: Superhero, Action, Fantasy
Rated: PG-13

Marvel movie. #TeamCap. I already have my tickets for the first showing the day before this film is released. I’ve had them for a month. If you’re #TeamIronMan, you are sooooo wrong.

Also, more looking forward to seeing Black Panther than Spiderman. I don’t get people who aren’t. It’s Black Panther's FIRST time being depicted on the big screen. We’ve had more Spidermans than I have pairs of underwear.

Movies to Look out For
According to: Cat

Money Monster .20
Manhattan Night .19
A Light beneath their Feet .18
The Dresser .17
Sunset Song .16
Mothers and Daughters .15
Crossing Point .14
Search Party .13
Being Charlie .12
The Nice Guys .11
Kill Command .10
I Am Wrath .9
Angry Birds .8
Love & Friendship .7
The Darkness .6
High-Rise .5
The Curse of the Sleeping Beauty .4
Alice through the Looking Glass .3
Captain America: Civil War .2
X-Men: Apocalypse .1