Thursday, October 30, 2014

Top Ten Movies to Look Out For In November

Honorable Mention – A Merry Friggin’ Christmas (November 7)

Director: Tristram Shapeero
Writer: Phil Johnston
Actors: Robin Williams, Joel McHale, Lauren Graham, Clarke Duke, Oliver Platt, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Tim Heidecker, Candice Bergen, Matt Jones
Genre: Comedy
Rated: PG-13

I’ll be honest with you. Christmas movies in November piss me off. Can we get passed Thanksgiving first for fuck’s sake!?

I’m making an exception for A Merry Friggin’ Christmas for one reason and one reason only: Robin Williams (Good Will Hunting, Aladdin, Good Morning Vietnam).

This is the first of 3 movies that are slated to come out starring him after his death. He was a great actor and an even better comic and I will even watch a Christmas movie in November just because he’s in it.

I simply couldn’t leave this movie off the list in good conscious.

10 – Reach Me (November 21)

Director: John Herzfeld
Writer: John Herzfeld
Actors: Sylvester Stallone, Tom Berenger, Kevin Connolly, Kyra Sedgwick, Nelly, Cary Elwes, Thomas Jane, Terry Crews, Danny Aiello, Kelsey Grammer, Lauren Cohan, Ryan Kwanten, Tom Sizemore, Frank Stallone, Danny Trejo
Genre: Drama
Rated: PG-13

To be honest, I watched two different versions of the trailer for this movie and I’m still not 100% sure what it’s about. It made the list solely on the cast.

There is a ridiculous amount of talent in Reach Me. I’m mostly looking forward to Lauren Cohan (The Walking Dead, Archer, The Vampire Diaries) and Cary Elwes (The Princess Bride, Robin Hood Men in Tights, Saw) but, aside from Nelly, there’s really no one involved that I don’t care about.

We’ll see how it goes for the story.

9 – The Imitation Game (November 28)

Director: Morten Tyldum
Writer: Graham Moore, Andrew Hodges
Actors: Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode, Mark Strong, Rory Kinnear, Charles Dance, Allen Leech, Matthew Beard
Genre: Drama
Rated: PG-13

This is the first of a couple of biographical dramas that I’m suggesting for November. It’s not my normal favorite kind of movie, but I couldn’t resist. I don’t know who decided November should be biography month, but they did one hell of a job of making those films incredibly intriguing.

The Imitation Game touches on Alan Turing during World War II. The only reason it’s so low on the list is because it looks like the kind of film that will be super slow for the first hour. It actually made the list because I doubt I’ll be able to look away from the screen after that build up.

It doesn’t hurt that Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock, Star Trek Into Darkness, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug) is playing the lead. He’s an amazing actor.

8 –Penguins of Madagascar (November 26)

Director: Simon Smith, Eric Darnell
Writer: Michael Colton, John Aboud, Eric Darnell, Tom McGrath, Brandon Sawyer
Actors: Tom McGrath, Chris Miller, Christopher Knights, Benedict Cumberbatch, Ken Jeong, Annet Mahendru, Peter Stormare, John Malkovich, Ken Jeong
Genre: Comedy
Rated: PG

Penguins. That is all.

7 – Wolves (November 14)

Director: David Hayter
Writer: David Hayter
Actors: Lucas Till, Stephen McHattie, Jason Momoa, Merritt Patterson, Benedict Carver
Genre: Action & Adventure
Rated: R

As a role-player and a fan of classic horror, I applaud the return of the non-pussy werewolf. It’s probably more the role-player in me, however, that enjoys the non-mindless werewolf form that is portrayed in the trailers.

I’m also ecstatic that Jason Momoa (Game of Thrones, The Red Road, Stargate: Atlantis) will be a part of this film. Until I can see him as Aquaman, I’ll take what I can get.

6 – V/H/S: Viral (November 21)

Director: Justin Benson, Gregg Bishop, Aaron Moorhead, Marcel Sarmiento, Nacho Vigalondo
Writer: Justin Benson, Gregg Bishop, T. J. Cimfel, Ed Dougherty, Aaron Moorhead, Marcel Sarmiento, Nacho Vigalondo, David White
Actors: Various
Genre: Horror
Rated: R

What’s the mark of a successful trailer for a sequel?

It’s actually a really easy question. The answer is: a successful trailer for a sequel is one that makes you look forward to the next movie and make you want to see the others that came before it.

I’ve never seen V/H/S or V/H/S 2. After watching the trailer for Viral, I came to the decision that I’m going to have to see the first two sooner rather than later.

V/H/S: Viral looks amazing, thrilling and absolutely heart-stopping. Every part of me is now curious about the entire series.

5 – Foxcatcher (November 14)

Director: Bennett Miller
Writer: E. Max Frye, Dan Futterman
Actors: Steve Carell, Channing Tatum, Mark Ruffalo, Vanessa Redgrave, Sienna Miller, Anthony Michael Hall
Genre: Drama
Rated: R

This one interests me less because of the story and more because of the actors.

Although I like Channing Tatum (21 Jump Street, Magic Mike, Step Up), he’s not the actor drawing my focus in Foxcatcher.

Steve Carell (The Office, Crazy Stupid Love, Despicable Me) and Mark Ruffalo (The Avengers, Now You See Me, The Kids Are Alright) look absolutely incredible in their parts. In fact, they’re almost unrecognizable. I cannot wait to see what they do together in this drama. The trailer looks incredible and it’s all because of them.

4 – Miss Meadows (November 14)

Director: Karen Leigh Hopkins
Writer: Karen Leigh Hopkins
Actors: Katie Holmes, James Badge Dale, Callan Mulvey
Genre: Action & Adventure
Rated: UR

There’s something so very appealing to me about a “don’t judge a book by its cover” message. In a movie about a seemingly gentle teacher going around killing bad guys, what else could the message possibly be?

Besides, I’ve loved Katie Holmes (Batman Begins, Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, Teaching Mrs. Tingle) since her days on Dawson’s Creek as Joey Potter. I haven’t seen many of her movies since then, but that doesn’t stop me from getting all nostalgic whenever I see her face.

3 – Big Hero 6 (November 7)

Director: Don Hall, Chris Williams
Writer: Don Hall, Jordan Roberts, Robert L. Baird, Daniel Gerson, Duncan Rouleau, Steven T. Seagle, Paul Briggs
Actors: Ryan Potter, Scott Adsit, T. J. Miller, Jamie Chung, Damon Wayans Jr., Genesis Rodriguez, Maya Rudolph, James Cromwell, Alan Tudyk, Daniel Henney
Genre: Comedy
Rated: PG

This is quite possibly the cutest trailer ever. Everything about it is appealing.

In fact, there’s no reason to not see this movie. Just watch the trailer. Seriously… how could you resist?

2 – The Theory of Everything (November 7)

Director: James Marsh
Writer: Anthony McCarten, Jane Hawking
Actors: Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones, Charlie Cox, Emily Watson, Simon McBurney, David Thewlis
Genre: Drama
Rated: PG-13

I’d like to start off by saying that I’ve never actually read the book Travelling to Infinity: My Life With Stephen by Jane Hawking. I don’t think it matters, though. The person who put together the trailer for this movie knew exactly what he was doing. It gave me chills and filled me with curiosity.

The idea of learning more about Stephen Hawking is very appealing to me, especially in the form of an entertaining and heart-wrenching movie. However, the trailer also makes me want to read the book.

So, I suppose I have a book purchase in my near future.

1 – The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 (November 21)

Director: Francis Lawrence
Writer: Danny Strong, Peter Craig, Suzanne Collins
Actors: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Julianne Moore, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Jeffrey Wright, Sam Claflin, Jena Malone, Stanley Tucci, Donald Sutherland, Willow Shields, Natalie Dormer, Stef Dawson
Genre: Sci-Fi & Fantasy
Rated: PG-13

It’s The Hunger Games.

I have read the series three times and I’m reading it again in preparation to go see the midnight showing of Mockingjay – Part 1. I’ve watched every episode on CapitolTV and I follow Hunger Games related Tumblr accounts like I couldn’t breathe without them.

There’s nothing I dislike about the series. Sure, the books are better than the movies, but I adore the movies also.

Now, I know there are going to be some significant differences between the Mockingjay movies and book. That doesn’t scare me. The main reason is because Suzanne Collins, author of the books, is an executive producer on the movie. That means she had a hand in how her story was handled.

I can’t wait to see it.

Monday, October 27, 2014

The Grey (2012)

Number Rolled: 25
Movie Name/Year: The Grey (2012)
Genre: Action & Adventure
Length: 117 minutes
Rating: R
Affiliated Companies: Open Road Films, Inferno Distribution, LD Entertainment, Scott Free Productions, Chambara Pictures, 1984 Private Defense Contractors
Executive Producer: Ross Fanger, Bill Johnson, Jennifer Monroe, Tony Scott, Jim Seibel, Adi Shankar, Spencer Silna, Jon Turtle
Director: Joe Carnahan
Writer: Joe Carnahan, Ian Mackenzie Jeffers,
Actors: Liam Neeson, Frank Grillo, Dermot Mulroney, Dallas Roberts, Joe Anderson, Nonso Anozie, James Badge Dale, Ben Bray, Anne Openshaw

A horrible plan crash leaves 7 oil-rig ruffians stranded in the Alaskan Wilderness. They have to force themselves to work together in order to stay alive. If that weren’t bad enough, a pack of wolves has decided they’re a threat and begin hunting them down.

In general, the movie wasn’t bad at all. There were some significantly thrilling moments that evoked the exact response the writers and the director were going for. Many of the other moments had me glued to the screen.

I wish I could say that about the entire thing.

The problem with the movie comes when you break it down. That’s when you truly get a taste of the utter pretention behind it.

I can’t say too much without adding a spoiler alert, so I’ll just say that I could have lived without the internal monologue in the beginning and the various, badly placed, flashbacks throughout the rest of the movie. The poem the main character kept repeating seemed vaguely out of place too, despite the fact that you do eventually learn where it came from and why it’s important to him.

In the end, even though I mostly enjoyed the film, I almost feel like it was pointless.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 79%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 61%

Netflix’s Prediction for Me – 4.7/5
Trust-the-Dice Score3/5

P.S. There’s a short scene after the credits.

Movie Trailer: 

Ok, this next video is FULL of spoilers but… it’s so good. I said some of this stuff to my friend while we watched.

“Ten Things Wrong With The Grey In 6 Minutes Or Less”