Thursday, December 31, 2015

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

According to: Selina

20 – Exposed (1/22)

Tag Line: Some things are better left buried.
Production Company: Company Films, Emmett/Furla Films, Fortitude International, PalmStar Media, Remark Films
Director: Declan Dale
Writer: Gee Malik Linton, Declan Dale
Actors: Keanu Reeves, Ana de Armas, Mira Sorvino, Christopher McDonald, Big Daddy Kane, Laura Gomez
Genre: Thriller, Drama
Rated: R

To be honest, I found the pickings for January to be very slim so some duds crept in.

For example, Exposed is on this list only because of Keanu Reeves (John Wick, 47 Ronin, Constantine). It doesn’t look like anything special otherwise. It could easily just be a drawn out episode of Criminal Minds (2005-) or NCIS (2003-), from what the trailers suggests. Granted, I enjoy both those shows…. but I don’t expect everyone else to.

I expect Exposed will very strictly stick to a recipe, but Keanu Reeves is in it, so I still kind of want to see it. Once I can see it for free, anyway.

19 – The Boy (1/22)

Tag Line: Every child needs to feel loved.
Production Company: Huayi Brothers Media, Lakeshore Entertainment, STX Entertainment, Vertigo Entertainment
Director: William Brent Bell
Writer: Stacey Menear
Actors: Lauren Cohan, Rupert Evans, Ben Robson, Diana Hardcastle, Jim Norton, Jett Klyne, James Russell
Genre: Supernatural, Thriller
Rated: PG-13

Alright, this film doesn’t look very original. Typical dummy-comes-to-life recipe. However, the trailer makes it look sufficiently creepy and Lauren Cohan (The Walking Dead, Reach Me, The Vampire Diaries) is someone I could watch in pretty much anything and be happy. In fact, even her episode of Whose Line Is It Anyway? (2013-) is my favorite.

I’m not sure whether or not I expect this film to be good, but I expect Cohan will be good in it and I still want to see it.

18 – Visions (1/19)

Tag Line: Blood will stain the land.
Production Company: Blumhouse Productions, Chapter One Films
Director: Kevin Greutert
Writer: Lucas Sussman, L.D. Goffigan
Actors: Isla Fisher, Anson Mount, Eva Longoria, Jim Parsons, Gillian Jacobs, Joanna Cassidy
Genre: Thriller
Rated: R

This is another movie that looks like it’ll be following a relatively easy recipe. Much like the last one I wrote about, it also looks creepy enough to make up for the lack of originality.

You should know by now that I don’t condemn movies just because they follow a recipe. All chocolate chip cookies follow one, but they don’t all taste the same. I view recipe movies the same way. Some are better than others and certain recipes simply speak to me more than others.

Isla Fisher (The Great Gatsby, Now You See Me, Burke and Hare) and Eva Longoria (Mother Up, A Dark Truth, Desperate Housewives) are actresses that naturally catch my eye and I look forward to seeing Jim Parsons (Home, Sunset Stories, Wish I Was Here) in something that is not the Big Bang Theory (2006-), even though it looks like he’s not a main character.

At the very least, I expect a decent amount of jump scares.

17 – Monster Hunt (1/22)

Tag Line: Unknown
Production Company: Edko Films
Director: Raman Hui
Writer: Alan Yuen
Actors: Bai Baihe, Wu Jiang, Boran Jing, Eric Tsang, Wei Tang, Wallace Chung, Chen Yao
Genre: Action, Comedy, Fantasy
Rated: NR

Movies that aren’t in English don’t normally make the Top 20. It’s not because we here at Trust the Dice don’t like foreign movies, it’s that we’re on a deadline and we often can’t find subtitled trailers to help us figure out what the movie is about in time. How can we decide if we want to see a film without knowing the premise?

The trailer for Monster Hunt had some English captions, but even without them the plot would have been clear enough, and adorable enough, for me to put it on my list.

I grew up watching Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988). I must have watched that film a hundred times. When Space Jam (1996) came out, I did the same thing with that one. Movies that mix the real world with cartoons touch a nostalgic part of my soul that I can’t ignore.

Besides, a man giving birth to a monster baby seems like it’d be amusing to watch. Very Men in Black (1997).

16 – The Benefactor (1/15)

Tag Line: His help comes at a price.
Production Company: Big Shoes Media, Audax Films, End Cue, Magnolia Entertainment, Soaring Flight Productions, TideRock Media, Treehouse Pictures
Director: Andrew Renzi
Writer: Andrew Renzi
Actors: Richard Gere, Dakota Fanning, Theo James, Clarke Peters, Lyssa Roberts, Brian Anthony Wilson, Rory Ogden
Genre: Drama
Rated: NR

I have trouble seeing this film as a drama. The score of the trailer, and some of the scenes, leads me to believe The Benefactor will be more of a thriller. We all know that trailers can lie better than serial killers, but my mind won’t let me believe it’s a drama anyway.

As a result, I’m picturing this movie taking a dark turn where Richard Gere’s (Shall We Dance, Chicago, Pretty Woman) character is concerned. A direction I’ve never seen the veteran actor portray. That is what makes me want to see it.

The problem is, there’s every possibility that I’m wrong about the direction of the film’s plot. I guess we’ll find out.

15 – Dirty Grandpa (1/22)

Tag Line: Lose your way. Find your manhood.
Production Company: Lionsgate, QED International, Josephson Entertainment, Ninjas Runnin’ Wild Productions
Director: Dan Mazer
Writer: John Phillips
Actors: Robert De Niro, Zac Efron, Aubrey Plaza, Zoey Deutch, Dermot Mulroney, Julianne Hough, Catherine Dyer, Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman, Adam Polly
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Rated: R

Let me first say that this film looks nothing like Bad Grandpa (2013), so get that out of your head.

Moving on.

There was a point in time when Robert De Niro (The Godfather Part II, Taxi Driver, A Bronx Tale) was super gangster. I’m not talking about today’s “gangsters,” with their pants so far down that they’re no longer frightening. I’m talking about the gangsters from when I was a kid. Suits and ties and calm voices letting you know you were about to spray blood out the back of your head.

…..I sound like a curmudgeonly old woman. I should get a cane so I can shake it at people and tell them to get off my lawn.

…..I should get a lawn.


De Niro used to be that kind of gangster in films and that’s the De Niro I still think of when I hear his name. So when he’s in a movie like Dirty Grandpa…. I just have to see it. It’s so contrary to the image of him I have in my mind that I can’t pass up the opportunity to watch it.

Zac Efron (We Are Your Friends, Neighbors, The Lucky One) is a bonus. 

14 – JeruZalem (1/22)

Tag Line: On Judgement Day, hell shall inherit the Earth.
Production Company: Epic Pictures Group
Director: Doron Paz, Yoav Paz
Writer: Doron Paz, Yoav Paz
Actors: Yael Grobglas, Yon Tumarkin, Danielle Jadelyn, Tom Graziani
Genre: Horror
Rated: NR

It’s an apocalypse film, let’s all faint from shock at the knowledge that Selina wants to see it!

What… no takers?

Fine. I admit it. I’m an apocalypse-holic. As long as there’s some kind of apocalypse or dystopian thing going on in a film, I’ll watch it. Regardless of who makes it or who stars in it. Even if it’s got the worst title of a film I’ve ever seen; such as JeruZalem.

I could deal without the shaky cam, but the movie still looks interesting. It’s not following a completely original plot, but I feel like I’ll wind up being able to connect JeruZalem and World War Z (2013) with some ridiculous headcanon.

I enjoy headcanon connections almost as much as I enjoy zombies.

13 – The Great Gilly Hopkins (1/29)

Tag Line: Finding where you belong isn’t always easy.
Production Company: Arcady Bay Entertainment
Director: Stephen Herek
Writer: David Paterson, Katherine Paterson
Actors: Sophie Nelisse, Julia Stiles, Glenn Close, Kathy Bates, Octavia Spencer, Bill Cobbs
Genre: Drama, Family, Comedy
Rated: NR

When I was young, I knew a boy who was very much like Gilly is in the trailer. He was abandoned, angry and difficult to deal with until a stubborn girl forced him to open up and refused to believe they couldn’t be friends.

The Great Gilly Hopkins speaks to me on a deeper level because of my own experiences. It looks both heart-breaking and heart-warming.

It also has an amazing cast that’s hard to ignore. Kathy Bates (American Horror Story, Failure to Launch, Misery), Glenn Close (Fatal Attraction, Mars Attacks!, The Stepford Wives), Julia Stiles (Blue, Silver Linings Playbook, It’s a Disaster) and Octavia Spencer (Insurgent, Red Band Society, Snowpiercer) are all significantly recognizable and masters of their craft.

I have no doubt this film will be great.

12 – Martyrs (1/22)

Tag Line: Unknown
Production Company: Blumhouse Productions, The Safran Company, Temple Hill Entertainment
Director: Kevin Goetz, Michael Goetz
Writer: Mark L. Smith, Pascal Laugier
Actors: Troian Bellisario, Caitlin Carmichael, Kate Burton, Baily Nobel, Taylor John Smith, Blake Robbins
Genre: Thriller
Rated: NR

Although Martyrs looks like it’s going to be very torture-porny, the plot still seems decent enough to give the movie a deeper quality.

I’m not familiar with the actors in the film, but the Goetz brothers made their full-length directorial debut with Scenic Route, and I was super impressed with that film. I am greatly looking forward to their second movie and I hope it’s at least half as good as the first.

11 – Lazer Team (1/27)

Tag Line: Four unlikely heroes have to save the planet. Whether we like it or not.
Production Company: Rooster Teeth Productions
Director: Matt Hullum
Writer: Chris Demarais, Joshua Flanagan, Matt Hullum, Burnie Burns
Actors: Burnie Burns, Alan Ritchson, Colton Dunn, Irina Voronina, Alexandria DeBerry, Arryn Zech, Gavin Free, Joel Heyman, Michael Jones
Genre: Action, Comedy
Rated: PG-13

It’s like Iron Man’s suit was split into various parts and locked onto a bunch of spazzes. In my mind, that makes for one hell of a movie. I’m looking forward to it.

10 – Ride Along 2 (1/15)

Tag Line: The brothers-in-law are back.
Production Company: Cube Vision, Universal Pictures, Will Packer Productions
Director: Tim Story
Writer: Phil Hay, Matt Manfredi, Greg Coolidge
Actors: Kevin Hart, Ice Cube, Tika Sumpter, Olivia Munn, Benjamin Bratt, Ken Jeong, Sherri Shepherd, Glen Powell, Nadine Velazquez, Tyrese Gibson, T.I.
Genre: Comedy, Action
Rated: NR

There’s only one reason this movie made the list and that’s because the first Ride Along was hilarious.

I saw the film at my in-law’s house and all I remember is a ton laughing. Kevin Hart (Get Hard, Top Five, About Last Night) is a funny guy and putting him in a film with someone as serious as Ice Cube (22 Jump Street, The Longshots, Torque) is a recipe for funny.

Of course, the first film wasn’t super amazing, but hilarious is still good.

9 – The Finest Hours (1/29)

Tag Line: 32 survivors, room for 12.
Production Company: Walt Disney Pictures, Whitaker Entertainment
Director: Craig Gillespie
Writer: Scott Silver, Paul Tamasy, Eric Johnson, Casey Sherman, Michael J. Touglas
Actors: Chris Pine, Casey Affleck, Eric Bana, Holliday Grainger, Ben Foster, Kyle Gallner, Graham McTavish, Beau Knapp, John Magaro, Keiynan Lonsdale, John Ortiz, Michael Raymond-James, Rachel Brosnahan
Genre: Drama
Rated: PG-13

The fact that this film is based off a true story makes it even more harrowing. Judging from the trailer, it seems like Craig Gillespie (Lars and the Real Girl, Fright Night, United States of Tara) was trying to make the Titanic (1997) for the new generation.

The cast is phenomenal and the story looks in depth and engrossing. Just because it was a true story once upon a time does not always mean that it’s an interesting story. Those things do not always go hand in hand.

In this case, I believe it will be an interesting movie and I can’t wait to see how Chris Pine (Into the Woods, Star Trek, Unstoppable) handles that accent.

8 – The Forest (1/8)

Tag Line: Everyone comes here looking for a way out.
Production Company: AI-Film, Lava Bear Films
Director: Jason Zada
Writer: Sarah Cornwell, Nick Antosca, Ben Ketai
Actors: Natalie Dormer, Taylor Kinney, Yukiyoshi Ozawa, Stephanie Vogt, Eoin Macken, Rina Takasaki, Noriko Sakura, Yuho Yamashita, Masashi Fujimoto
Genre: Horror, Thriller
Rated: PG-13

Natalie Dormer (Elementary, The Riot Club, The Scandalous Lady W) is an amazing actress. I loved her in Game of Thrones (2012-) and in the The Hunger Games: Mockingjay (2014-2015) movies. When I found out she was going to be in a film this January, I jumped on it.

I can’t wait to see this movie. The suicide forest is a well know place of urban legend and adding that setting to an already great cast is a recipe for success. I may even try to see this film in theaters. I’m not always willing to spend that much money on a single film.

7 – Jane Got a Gun (1/29)

Tag Line: Strength, justice, power, vengeance.
Production Company: 1821 Pictures, Boies / Schiller Film Group, Handsomecharlie Films, Scott Pictures, Straight Up Films, Unanimous Pictures, WeatherVane Productions
Director: Gavin O’Connor
Writer: Brian Duffield, Anthony Tambakis, Joel Edgerton
Actors: Natalie Portman, Joel Edgerton, Ewan McGregor, Rodrigo Santoro, River Shields, Jacob Browne, Asher Corbin, Noah Emmerich, Boyd Holbrook
Genre: Drama
Rated: R

I’m not normally into westerns, but I’ll make an exception for this one.

Natalie Portman (Thor, Black Swan, Where the Heart Is) in an action flick sounds like a whole lot of goodness. The story seems strong and there was a quip or two in the International trailer (easily found on YouTube) that makes me believe there’s a touch of comic relief in it. Not enough to ruin the film, but enough to make the drama easier to swallow.

Even the movie poster is epic.

6 – 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi (1/15)

Tag Line: When everything went wrong, six men had the courage to do what was right.
Production Company: 3 Arts Entertainment, Dune Films, Latina Pictures, Paramount Pictures
Director: Michael Bay
Writer: Chuck Hogan, Mitchell Zuckoff
Actors: John Krasinski, James Badge Dale, Toby Stephens, Pablo Schreiber, Max Martini, David Denman, Dominic Fumusa, Freddie Stroma
Genre: Drama
Rated: R

Everyone has heard of Benghazi. It was all over the news. That makes it obvious that this film is based on a true story.

However, it IS being directed by Michael Bay (Pearl Harbor, Transformers, Pain & Gain)…. So I have to assume it is LOOSELY based on a true story.

Still, I’m looking forward to this film. John Krasinski (The Office, Monsters University, Aloha) has been great in everything I’ve seen him in and I tend to find myself enthralled by war films. My one issue is the director.

I really hope that Bay doesn’t turn the movie into explosion porn.

5 – The Revenant (1/8)

Tag Line: Blood lost. Life Found.
Production Company: New Regency Pictures, Anonymous Content, Appian Way, RatPac Entertainment, Soho VFX
Director: Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu
Writer: Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Mark L. Smith, Michael Punke
Actors: Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Will Poulter, Lukas Haas, Domhnall Gleeson, Brad Carter
Genre: Thriller, Drama
Rated: R

Someone give this poor guy a fucking Oscar already. If he’s even half as good as he seems to be in the trailer, this might actually be Leonardo DiCaprio’s (The Wolf of Wall Street, The Great Gatsby, Django Unchained) year.

I’m crossing my fingers for him.

4 – Intruders (1/15)

Tag Line: They should have left her alone.
Production Company: Black Fish Films, Campbell Grobman Films, Jeff Rice Films, Vicarious Entertainment
Director: Adam Schindler
Writer: T.J. Cimfel, David White
Actors: Beth Riesgraf, Rory Culkin, Martin Starr, Jack Kesy, Leticia Jimenez, Joshua Mikel
Genre: Thriller, Psychological
Rated: R

This film might look like a recipe film, but it’s definitely a recipe with a twist. Like the first time someone decided to put bacon on a cupcake. Unexpected and awesome.

I have high hopes for Intruders.

3 – 400 Days (1/12)

Tag Line: Time to kill.
Production Company: New Artists Alliance
Director: Matt Osterman
Writer: Matt Osterman
Actors: Brandon Routh, Dane Cook, Caity Lotz, Ben Feldman, Tom Cavanagh, Grant Bowler
Genre: Thriller, Sci-Fi
Rated: NR

400 Days has several things going for it.

The first thing I noticed, was that Dane Cook (Mr. Brooks, Answers to Nothing, Detention) was in a serious part and, quite frankly, I’m not used to that. It makes me need to know how he does. We know his sense of humor is polar – either you love or hate it. Very few people land in the middle where he’s concerned. I want to see how he does in a psychologically demanding film like this.

Second, the plot is amazing. Astronauts train plenty, but none of it is like the training shown in this film. Training for deep space travel involves an isolation factor that can produce terrifying results.

A plot like this, reminds me of the Russian sleep experiment urban legend.

The movie has an interesting cast and plot, making it a must-see.

2 – Kung Fu Panda 3 (1/29)

Tag Line: Grab destiny by the rice dumplings.
Production Company: China Film Co., DreamWorks Animation, Oriental DreamWorks
Director: Jennifer Yuh, Alessandro Carloni
Writer: Jonathan Aibel, Glenn Berger
Actors: Angelina Jolie, Jack Black, David Cross, Dustin Hoffman, Bryan Cranston, Kate Hudson, Jackie Chan, Seth Rogen, Lucy Liu, J.K. Simmons, James Hong
Genre: Animation, Adventure, Comedy
Rated: PG

I’m not ashamed to say I’m a full grown woman that loves the hell out of the Kung Fu Panda series. I even played the video game. Don’t care, it’s awesome.

Don’t judge me.

1 – The 5th Wave (1/22)

Tag Line: Wave 1: Darkness. Wave 2: Destruction. Wave 3: Infection. Wave 4: Invasion.
Production Company: Columbia Pictures, GK Films, LStar Capital, Living Films, Material Pictures
Director: J. Blakeson
Writer: Susannah Grant, Akiva Goldsman, Jeff Pinkner, Rick Yancey
Actors: Chloe Grace Moretz, Zackary Arthur, Live Schreiber, Ron Livingston, Nick Robinson, Maggie Siff, Tony Revolori, Alex Roe, Maika Monroe, Talitha Bateman, Maria Bello
Genre: Sci-Fi, Thriller
Rated: PG-13

The trailer looked so awesome for this film that I went out and bought the book. I’m not going to watch it until I finish reading it, but it’s definitely on my to-do list.

I feel as though this film is going to be the kind of movie no one regrets seeing.

Movies to Look out For
According to: Cat

Exposed .20
Dirty Grandpa .19
The Great Gilly Hopkins .18
400 Days .17
The Submarine Kid .16
Norm of the North .15
Moonwalkers .14
Intruders .13
The Finest Hours .12
The Boy .11
The 5th Wave .10
The Revenant .9
The Abandoned .8
Mojave .7
Diablo .6
The Forest .5
The Benefactor .4
Band of Robbers .3
Monster Hunt .2
Kung Fu Panda 3 .1

Monday, December 28, 2015

The Lazarus Effect (2015)

Number Rolled: 58
Movie Name/Year: The Lazarus Effect (2015)
Tagline: Evil will rise.
Genre: Horror
Length: 83 minutes
Rating: PG-13
Production Companies: Blumhouse Productions, Chapter One Films, Lionsgate, Mosaic
Executive Producer: Jeannette Brill, Luke Dawson
Director: David Gelb
Writer: Luke Dawson, Jeremy Slater
Actors: Mark Duplass, Olivia Wilde, Sarah Bolger, Evan Peters, Donald Glover, Ray Wise, Scott Sheldon, Emily Kelavos, James Earl, Amy Aquino, Sean T. Krishnan, Cato

Blurb from Netflix: A team of researchers develops a serum that can resurrect the dead, but they soon discover that the drug causes terrifying side effects.

Selina’s Point of View:
Well… this movie was just terrible.

When The Lazarus Effect came out, I was so excited. It has an awesome cast and the trailer really seemed great. Turns out the trailer was incredibly misleading and had every single interesting part in it to begin with. The in-between moments during the film were poorly written, involved depth-less characters and did not live up to its horror genre.

I’m a huge American Horror Story (2011-) fan, so I love Evan Peters (Adult World, The Good Doctor, Invasion). Equally, I was a huge House M.D. (2004-2012) fan and I have enjoyed the work Olivia Wilde (Better Living Through Chemistry, Drinking Buddies, Third Person) since. It almost annoys me that this film is going to be such a bold black mark on their credits. Neither of their characters were any more believable than any of the others.

No, wait, that’s not completely true.

Let me tell you a story.

Once upon a time there was this ridiculously good and short-lived TV show. I’m not talking about Firefly (2002-2003), so fangirls/boys calm yourselves.

This TV show was called Reaper (2007-2009).

I fell into fangasm with Reaper immediately. It was quirky and hilarious with a thread of B-movie style horror, but with a bigger budget and more of a comedic edge.

I won’t bore you with the specifics of the show, which is unfortunately no longer on Netflix, but I will say that it left a lasting impression on me. One that changed my headcanon for every single movie or TV show that starred Ray Wise (Big Ass Spider, Jeepers Creepers II, RoboCop).

In Reaper, Wise played the devil and now, in my mind, his character is always the devil playing a part. It really doesn’t help the situation that almost every project he takes on places him as a character that’s causing some kind of chaos or committing some kind of crime.

How does that apply to The Lazarus Effect?

Well, Wise played one of those very under developed characters I mentioned and, although he had roughly 30 seconds of on-screen time, my mind still filled in the blanks with the idea that he was the devil playing a part. What’s really interesting is that my headcanon made the entire movie slightly more interesting for me.

In the end, I definitely do not recommend The Lazarus Effect. I do, however, recommend you all go find a way to see Reaper.

Cat’s Point of View:
I’ve been interested in watching this movie since the trailers for it aired on television. The premise looked really interesting. It’s not the most original plot in the world – the whole animal and human resurrection thing has been done before, after all.  I figured it would be an interesting story at the very least.

I have mixed emotions about this one.

On one hand I really liked it. On the other, I felt like I was watching some sort of modernized version of Flatliners (1990) with a different twist.

I do believe that this was a pretty decent horror directorial first-showing for David Gelb (A Vision of Blindness, Jiro Dreams of Sushi, A Faster Horse) – considering his prior work is primarily in documentaries.

I wasn’t entirely sold on Mark Duplass (Hannah Takes the Stairs, Zero Dark Thirty, Tammy) as Frank. He just didn’t seem quite desperate enough when he should have been.  On the other hand, Olivia Wilde (Turistas, Rush, Love The Coopers) delivered an eerie performance.

I spent a little bit of this film, off and on, wondering where in the world I’d seen Sarah Bolger (The Spiderwick Chronicles, Crush, My All American) before. Quite a few might recognize her from playing Princess Aurora on Once Upon A Time (2011-), or even the phenomenal new AMC show Into the Badlands (2015-) as Jade.

Her emotional delivery was on par with Olivia Wilde’s and Evan Peters’ (Never Back Down, Kick-Ass, Safelight); while the others seem to fall a bit flatter.

Speaking of Evan Peters… there’s an interesting bit of trivia regarding one of his wardrobe pieces.  In one scene, he's wearing a t-shirt featuring DC's The Flash. This is amusing, considering he played Marvel's speedster, Quicksilver, in X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014). While that movie was released before this one, The Lazarus Effect was actually filmed prior to X-Men - it was just significantly delayed in release.

I’m not sure I would shell out any money to purchase this movie in any format, but that’s the wonderful thing about Netflix. As long as it’s free, I’d be fine with watching again.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 13%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 23%

Netflix’s Prediction for Selina – 3/5
Selina’s Trust-the-Dice Score1.5/5

Netflix’s Prediction for Cat – 3.5/5
Cat’s Trust-the-Dice Score3/5

Movie Trailer:

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from Trust the Dice! Regularly scheduled blog posts will return on Monday.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Zoom: Academy for Superheroes (2006)

Number Rolled: 60
Movie Name/Year: Zoom: Academy for Superheroes (2006)
Tagline: They’re going to save the world… as long as they’re home for dinner.
Genre: Family
Length: 88 minutes
Rating: PG
Production Companies: Revolution Studios, Team Todd, Boxing Cat Films, Underground Films and Management, Underground
Executive Producer: Trevor Engelson, Neil A. Machlis, Nick Osborne
Director: Peter Hewitt
Writer: Adam Rifkin, David Berenbaum, Jason Lethcoe
Actors: Tim Allen, Courteney Cox, Chevy Chase, Spencer Breslin, Kevin Zegers, Kate Mara, Michael Cassidy, Ryan Newman, Rip Torn, Tom Wilson, Alexis Bledel, Wilmer Valderrama, Devon Aoki

Jack lost his superhero team a long time ago, so when people come around asking him to take back his identity as Zoom, he isn’t very excited to help out. Even when he meets the children he’s supposed to take on to meet the great threat that’s just over the horizon.

Selina’s Point of View:
I’ve been waiting for this to come up since I saw it was on Netflix.

Superheroes are my thing. I love everything about them. The storylines in comics, the costumes, the powers, the villains… literally everything. When I was a kid, some of my favorite TV shows were about superheroes: The Flash (1990-1991), Wonder Woman (1975-1979), and The Incredible Hulk (1978-1982). When I found out there was a superhero MMORPG out there, City of Heroes (2004-1012), I played for almost 8 years. At least, until NCSoft brutally killed it.

FYI, it’s been 3 years since we lost the city to our own personal villains, and the community is still strong. I was even happy to back City of Titans on Kickstarter. Hopefully we’ll see something from them soon.

I digress. Even now, I find myself drawn to superhero things. I never stopped collecting comics, I’m still drawn to the hero-y shows and movies, and even family films, like Zoom: Academy for Superheroes, draw my attention.

The film did have some cute parts. A few of the scenes made me smile, but not a lot of them.

The acting was fine enough, the script was too, the result is just not what I expect to see in a family superhero film.

Before you go thinking that I was expecting something impossibly graphically fantastic, like The Avengers (2012), or something with an amazing script like Despicable Me (2010), that’s not anywhere near what I thought I’d be getting. I was thinking it’d be more along the lines of a toned-down Super Capers (2008) with a script that would be better and geared toward kids.

What I got was more like a chopped up YouTube series that was squashed into a movie that didn’t really have all that much going for it. Even the main villain battle was reminiscent of the final battle in Fable 2 (2008), short and disappointing.

In the end, this is a movie I’m not likely to watch again or recommend to others unless they have kids that like superhero stuff.

Cat’s Point of View:
My daughter and I got a kick out of watching this one together.  Fresh off a Santa Clause (1994) marathon (tis the season!), this was a nice change of pace.

I’ll be the first to admit that I have to take Tim Allen (The Shaggy Dog, Redbelt, 3 Geezers!) with a large grain of salt.  Home Improvement (1991-1999) was a thing that happened regularly at my house, when I was younger. I couldn’t stand all that grunting that he did and all his alpha-male posturing.

That being said, no matter how neutral I try to be – it still takes quite a bit for me to actually like a movie that he’s physically acting in. Voice-over characters don’t seem to trigger my ‘ugh’ reaction.

I enjoyed this movie – it was hilarious.

It was goofy and also had its sweet moments. There was a lot of physical comedy, as well. Though, one can expect that usually in a Chevy Chase (Funny Money, Before I Sleep, Vacation) movie.

There had been some concern, at first, this might end up like an attempt at a Sky High (2005) sequel. That is one of my favorite movies, and I wasn’t up for seeing the superhero school idea run into the ground. This movie takes a different tack on the superhero training.

I liked the casting for the young characters featured in this film. I was impressed with their delivery, as they kept their characters engaging and didn’t go too over-the-top.

Underneath all the comedy, there were also some pretty positive messages.

Here’s your usual trivia factoid! There was a momentary cameo in this movie by a well-known actor (though not always recognized due to the makeup used in the movies he’s best known for). Tom Wilson (The Informant!, Epic, The Heat), whom played Biff in both young and old incarnations within the Back to the Future Trilogy (1985-1989) is in this film. See if you can spot him!

This is a great family movie that I’d have no problem watching again. I’d gladly recommend it to anyone who needs a good laugh.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 3%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 32%

Netflix’s Prediction for Selina – 3.5/5
Selina’s Trust-the-Dice Score2/5

Netflix’s Prediction for Cat – 3.5/5
Cat’s Trust-the-Dice Score4/5

P.S. Some bloopers during the credits.

Movie Trailer:

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Cockneys vs Zombies (2012)

Number Rolled: 67
Movie Name/Year: Cockneys vs Zombies (2012)
Tagline: London ain’t big enough for the both of ‘em.
Genre: Horror, Comedy
Length: 88 minutes
Rating: NR
Production Companies: Kintop, Limelight, Molinare, Tea Shop & Film Company
Executive Producer: Andrew Boswell, Will Clarke, Simon Crowe, Matthew Joynes
Director: Matthias Hoene
Writer: Matthias Hoene, James Moran, Lucas Roche
Actors: Rasmus Hardiker, Harry Treadaway, Michelle Ryan, Jack Doolan, Georgia King, Ashley Thomas, Tony Gardner, Alan Ford, Honor Blackman, Tony Selby, Georgina Hale, Dudley Sutton, Richard Briers

Terry and Andy have learned that their grandfather’s old folk’s home is going to be demolished. In an effort to keep the place open, they decide to rob a bank. Meanwhile, construction workers working nearby uncover a sealed and ominous tomb.

Selina’s Point of View:
Cockneys vs Zombies was awesome.

Don’t’ expect something on the serious side. This film isn’t exactly World War Z (2013) or The Walking Dead (2010-). When you decide to watch this movie, expect something more along the lines of Shaun of the Dead (2004).

Of course, there were a few parts when the guns were introduced that made me think of Snatch (2000) as well.

The characters aren’t super in depth, but that doesn’t matter because the movie is so hilarious that I wound up not caring at all. It’s almost like watching how people in real life would react to the zombie apocalypse. Zombie fiction is referenced by the characters and people make stupid decisions because in times of fear most people are stupid.

None of the actors stood apart from the others for me. Not because they were bad, either. In fact, everyone played their parts so well that there’s nothing that took me out of the story. Even when I ran into familiar faces like Pussy Galore, Ms. Honor Blackman (The Upper Hand, To Walk With Lions, The Avengers)

I can’t say this is my all-time favorite zombie film… but I’ll be damned if it’s not really close.

Cat’s Point of View:
This movie was hilarious.

Harkening back to films such as Shaun of the Dead (2004), this movie didn’t take itself too seriously. For the horror enthusiast that enjoys British comedy, this film is bloody brilliant. (Yes, yes I did. I’m not sorry.)

I think if you threw that movie and Snatch (2000) in a blender – you pretty much come out with something like this flick.

As a matter of fact, one of the key cast members from Snatch appears in this film as Ray/Granddad - Alan Ford (Mission London, Strippers vs. Werewolves, Airborne). That is one well-seasoned Brit that you wouldn’t want to tangle with…at least that’s the sort of role I generally see him in. Some of the funniest quotables from this film come from his performance.

I loved the brothers Terry and Andy, played by Rasmus Hardiker (Magicians, Lecture 21, Your Highness) and Harry Treadaway (City of Ember, Albatross, The Lone Ranger). Their interaction as siblings was engaging, and set up well.

This cast is also sprinkled with quite a few alums from Doctor Who (1963-1989 & 2005-) that span both runs of the series past and present.

One in particular hails from one of my favorite ‘modern Who’ episodes – “Planet of the Dead.”  Michelle Ryan (Huge, Love's Kitchen, Cleanskin) played Lady Christina the jewel thief in that episode; and she does a bang-up job as Katy in this movie. She’s the badass cousin of Terry and Andy, and delivers a strong performance here.

Another Doctor Who alum also happens to be a member of ‘Hollywood Royalty,’ so to speak – she was a Bond Girl. Ray’s retirement home friend, Peggy, is played by none other than Honor Blackman (Color Me Kubrick, Reuniting the Rubins, I, Anna). She was Pussy Galore in the James Bond film Goldfinger (1964). There are a few neat moments in the movie that, I believe, pay a little homage to that classic role.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention ‘Mental Mickey.’ Ashley Thomas (, The Estate Film, My Brother the Devil) did a fantastic job playing that hilariously psychotic character.

All in all, I loved this movie and would recommend it in a heartbeat.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 73%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 45%

Netflix’s Prediction for Selina – 5/5
Selina’s Trust-the-Dice Score5/5

Netflix’s Prediction for Cat – 3/5
Cat’s Trust-the-Dice Score4/5

The Random Rating: R


Monday, December 14, 2015

Cat Run 2 (2014)

Number Rolled: 69
Movie Name/Year: Cat Run 2 (2014)
Tagline: The chase is on!
Genre: Action & Adventure
Length: 96 minutes
Rating: R
Production Companies: Lleju Productions
Producers: Bill Perkins, Bic Tran, Keith Perkins
Director: John Stockwell
Writer: Andrew Manson, Matt Manson
Actors: Scott Mechlowicz, Alphonso McAuley, Winter Ave Zoli, Vanessa Branch, Leonardo Nam, Gregory Alan Williams, Brittany S. Hall, Maria Rogers, Lawrence P. Beron, Thomas Tah Hyde III, David Maldonado

Anthony and Julian have settled in New York and are working on getting their restaurant right, though they still have their private detective business on the side. Julian enters Anthony into a cooking competition in New Orleans as a way to get the money to refurbish the building, and they head south to take part. There, they are hired to help one of Julian’s family members clear his name.

Selina’s Point of View:
When I wrote about the first Cat Run, I explained my distaste for the word “derivative.” I still hate the word. Plenty of films are like other films or TV shows. Kids watch their favorite movies and grow up to want to honor the writers or directors. How many films are inspired by, or are out-right imitating, something made by someone like Steven Spielberg (Schindler’s List, Jaws, Raiders of the Lost Ark) or George A. Romero (Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead, Land of the Dead)? We don’t need a word that makes people feel bad that they’re influenced by the greats.

The first film was a lot like a very R-rated version of Psych (2006-2014), but the sequel seemed to come into its own.

There was still that buddy-cop Psych-flavored dynamic between the two main characters, but there was less emphasis on the observation skills of Anthony. This is one of those ridiculously rare moments when the sequel is better than the original. It still feels like a near-parody of the cop dramas we’ve come to know, but it adds a touch of other genres and it dials up the humor.

I will say this is not the kind of movie you want to watch when you’re in the mood for a hardcore action film or something more on the serious side. It is very much right on the line between comedy and parody. It doesn’t quite step over into parody, though. It’s a great film to watch if you just want to turn off your brain after a hard day of work and laugh.

Like the first one, the R-rating has to do with a ton of sexual scenes. There’s a thread of plot dedicated to stripping/strippers. Needless to say that leads to a LOT of nudity. Then again, if you see the R-rating and let your kids watch it anyway, what they see is your fault.

There were less plot holes in the sequel than the original and I found myself completely engaged by the film while I laughed my ass off.

Cat’s Point of View:
I remember liking the first movie, and had high hopes for this next installment. I think it fell into the sequel-trap a bit, though. While familiar cast members returned, and hilarity was abundant – it just didn’t seem to have the same spark as the original did.

Now don’t get me wrong, the movie was entertaining.

The action scenes were on point and interesting. The martial arts sequences had me pondering whether or not Winter Ave Zoli (Trust Me, Reservations, The Pagan Queen) had some prior experience and training, or if she just had some great stunt choreography and good preparation.

As a side note, I spent a good chunk of the movie trying to figure out where I’d seen her before. I nearly face-palmed when I realized she was Lyla on Sons of Anarchy (2008-2014).

Scott Mechlowicz (Peaceful Warrior, Eden, Demonic) and Alphonso McAuley (Pride, Walk of Shame, The Submarine Kid) remained an interesting duo. While some of the situations in the film were just silly, they generally made up for it in other areas.

I think one of the things I found funniest in this movie was the subtitling for David Maldonado (The Texas Triangle, 99 Homes, Zipper). He plays a good ol’ boy from South Louisiana that has one of those slurry ‘Cajun’ dialects. (Think Farmer Fran from The Waterboy [1998].)

As a native of Louisiana, with family ‘in the south,’ I can generally understand such things unless someone’s speaking really fast. That being said, the subtitles were hilarious for me because they sterilized what the character was saying. For example, he called himself a ‘coonass’ and it read ‘Cajun.’

I think the first film was far better, overall, but this one wasn’t bad. If someone twisted my arm, I’d watch it again.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – None
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 17%

Netflix’s Prediction for Selina – 2/5
Selina’s Trust-the-Dice Score3.5/5

Netflix’s Prediction for Cat – 2/5
Cat’s Trust-the-Dice Score3/5

P.S. The final scene continues after the first few seconds of credits.

Movie Trailer:

Thursday, December 10, 2015

The Colony (2013)

Number Rolled: 22
Movie Name/Year: The Colony (2013)
Tagline: One day it started to snow, and it never stopped.
Genre: Sci-Fi & Fantasy
Length: 94 minutes
Rating: NR
Production Companies: Alcina Pictures, Item 7, Mad Samurai Productions, 120db Films, Sierra / Affinity, RLJ Entertainment
Executive Producer: Peter Graham, Marc Schaberg, Noah Segal, Mark Slone
Director: Jeff Renfroe
Writer: Jeff Renfroe, Svet Rouskov, Patrick Tarr, Pascal Trottier
Actors: Kevin Zegers, Laurence Fishburne, Bill Paxton, Charlotte Sullivan, Dru Viergever, Atticus Mitchell, John Tench, Lisa Berry, Lucius Hoyos, Kimberly-Sue Murray, Michael Mando, Helen Taylor, Julian Richings

The world is in a state of perpetual winter, causing the few survivors to live in colonies that exist underground. When one colony get an SOS from another, they dispatch a team to find out what’s happening.

Selina’s Point of View:
There’s really very little I didn’t like about this film. Of course, most people would expect that from me. I love almost anything apocalyptic or dystopian. I read it, write it, watch it… hell, I even dream in dystopias. I’ve had apocalypse-based dreams that range from zombies to sun flares to killer sentient washing machines.

Don’t ask about that last one.

That being said, I found this an interesting world.

Sure, it was very Snowpiercer (2013), but it was still interesting. I particularly liked the idea of the colonies having alliances. Saying there’s an “alliance” between two colonies leads viewers to believe there are also colonies that have strained relationships. It makes sense. Not every country gets along and every colony wouldn’t either. It’d be great if people could just shut up and be nice, but the world doesn’t work that way.

Where the actors are concerned, I had not a single complaint.

Laurence Fishburne (Hannibal, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, The Matrix) is a true professional. Bill Paxton (Edge of Tomorrow, Big Love, Twister) pissed me off to my limit, but I’m certain that’s what he was supposed to be doing. Finally, although I spent the entirety of the film amused at how much Kevin Zegers (Dawn of the Dead, Girl Walks Into A Bar, Air Bud) looks like a guy I went to school with, even that couldn’t pull me out of it because his performance was amazing.

The Colony didn’t get great reviews, but I do not agree with the majority this time.

Yes, there were a couple of issues. There was some unnecessary slow-motion and flashbacking, but that was relatively minor.

I don’t suggest this film was perfect, but if you enjoy the same apocalyptic stuff I do, you’ll enjoy this.

Cat’s Point of View:
This movie was a bit hit and miss for me.

I wouldn’t say that it’s bad, really. There were parts that I enjoyed more than others. I found my attention wandering, though. I’m not entirely sure where I had the disconnect.

The premise for the movie was interesting. The world-frozen-over hasn’t been run into the ground as a plot device yet. I couldn’t quite tell if this was a The Day After Tomorrow (2004) scenario of climate just run amok, or if it was due to human tinkering gone wrong. The design for the weather contraptions looked really cool, either way.

I was surprised when I realized that this film came out in the same year as The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones (2013). I wasn’t entirely impressed with Kevin Zegers (Normal, The Narrows, Vampire) in that one. He got my attention in this movie, though. (I promise it wasn’t because of his cute scruffiness.)

In a frozen world, where the warmth of humanity seems to be leaching out of people’s hearts; he seemed authentic in his portrayal of the protagonist with a conscience, trying to do the right thing.

I enjoyed the character of Kai, played by Charlotte Sullivan (Fever Pitch, The Cry of the Owl, Defendor). I wish there had been more of her in the film. Hopefully we’ll see her on the big screen more often in the future.

I couldn’t help but think that Bill Paxton (Haywire, Red Wing, Nightcrawler) must have been getting a little bit of dejavu in a few of the set pieces for this movie. Some of the corridors could have come right out of Aliens (1986).

Laurence Fishburne (Armored, Contagion, The Signal) fits leadership roles so well. He exudes this vibe of wisdom and badassery, tempered with compassion.

All in all, I’m not sure that I’d watch this movie again; but I wouldn’t try to shoot anyone down if they wanted to watch it. My recommendation is officially “ehhhh… it’s ok.”

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 16%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 22%

Netflix’s Prediction for Selina – 3.5/5
Selina’s Trust-the-Dice Score4/5

Netflix’s Prediction for Cat – 3/5
Cat’s Trust-the-Dice Score 2.5/5

The Random Rating: R

Movie Trailer:

Monday, December 7, 2015

Zathura (2005)

Number Rolled: 80
Movie Name/Year: Zathura (2005)
Tagline: Adventure is waiting.
Genre: Family
Length: 100 minutes
Rating: PG
Production Companies: Columbia Pictures Corporation, Radar Pictures, Teitler Film, Michael De Luca Productions
Executive Producer: Louis D’Esposito, Ted Field
Director: Jon Favreau
Writer: Chris Van Allsburg, David Koepp, John Kamps
Actors: Jonah Bobo, Josh Hutcherson, Dax Shepard, Kristen Stewart, Tim Robbins, Frank Oz

Danny and Walter are brothers, but they don’t really get along. While their dad is out and their older sister is tasked with watching them, they find a game that is out of this world.

Selina’s Point of View:
So, all throughout watching Zathura I couldn’t help but think about its similarities to Jumanji (1995). It wasn’t until after I finished watching and began to research the film that I found out it started out as a book written by the same author and is part of the same world. Apparently, at one point during production, it was even considered the sequel to Jumanji before that idea was scrapped by Columbia.

I disagree with Columbia. Zathura will forever be considered Jumanji 2 to me. Headcanon.

Usually, I have an issue with kid-based movies because the kids seemed to almost be trained to over-act. I think that’s kind of bullshit, because it condemns those kids to short-lived acting careers because they have to learn how to not suck once they hit puberty and Hollywood thinks they’re not cute anymore. Wanna know why child-stars go crazy? See the beginning of this paragraph.

This movie was atypical. The only person in the movie that over acted, no joke, was Kristen Stewart (American Ultra, On the Road, Equals). I know there are some confused faces staring at the screen wondering what an overacting Kristen Stewart looks like. Well, watch the film.

Despite his age, Jonah Bobo (Crazy Stupid Love, The Backyardigans, Around the Bend) was convincing as Danny. At least, as convincing as any child his age can be. There were a few meh moments, but nothing that pulled me out of it. Where Josh Hutcherson (Journey 2: The Mysterious Island, Detention, Red Dawn) is concerned, I can definitely see how he went from his performance in Zathura to that insanely convincing Peeta act in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2. Acting just seems to come naturally to him.

Finally, Dax Shepard (Idiocracy, Employee of the Month, Parenthood) is always awesome. He’s one of those underrated actors that I see rocking a ton of great parts and not getting spoken about nearly as much as he should. In that way, he’s in the same category as Matthew Lillard (SLC Punk, The Bridge, Fat Kid Rules the World) to me. Tons of talent, not enough appreciation for it. Fun fact: Shepard and Lillard co-starred in the 2004 film Without a Paddle.

I enjoyed this film more than I thought I would. I’d both watch it again and recommend it.

Cat’s Point of View:
When this film was released, my daughter was only two; and I didn’t feel particularly interested in it. The previews had me thinking that I’d seen it before – the plot looked like Jumanji (1995) in space, and Robin Williams (August Rush, Shrink, Happy Feet 2) wasn’t in it.

What a difference a decade makes.

Now that my daughter is twelve, we were able to watch this one together. I have to admit that I was hasty in judging the film in the past. It stood well on its own, even with a similar premise and framework.

The special effects team did a bang up job with this one (yes, that was a pun – I couldn’t help it!).  They threw the laws of physics right out the window in such a way that it was whimsical, fitting, and didn’t look hokey. Of course, the tween and I are both Whovians, so that did help a little in suspending disbelief.

Jon Favreau (Iron Man, Cowboys and Aliens, Chef) did a wonderful job with this movie. I can’t wait to see his vision for the upcoming MTV series based on author Terry Brooks’ Shannara (1944-) books.

I tip my proverbial hat to the cast of this film. Jonah Bobo (Choke, The Fox and the Hound 2, Disconnect), Josh Hutcherson (RV, The Kids Are All Right, Epic), and Kristen Stewart (Jumper, The Runaways, Camp X-Ray) had chemistry at a level that I would have really believed they were siblings, had I not known otherwise. Their sibling rivalry was excellently executed.

I halfway wish that I had watched this movie years ago, instead of giving it a pass – if no other reason than perhaps getting a glimpse at Kristen Stewart’s acting ability before the sparkly vampire movies colored my perception of her.

I geeked out a bit when I realized that the legendary voice actor responsible for so many beloved characters, Frank Oz (Sesame Street, Star Wars Rebels, Inside Out), had a role in this movie. It wasn’t one of his iconic characters, either. See if you can guess, as you watch without looking it up!

We had a lot of fun watching this movie, and I would gladly recommend it.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 75%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 51%

Netflix’s Prediction for Selina – 4/5
Selina’s Trust-the-Dice Score4/5

Netflix’s Prediction for Cat – 4.5/5
Cat’s Trust-the-Dice Score4/5

Movie Trailer:

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Jinn (2014)

Number Rolled: 49
Movie Name/Year: Jinn (2014)
Tagline: None
Genre: Thriller
Length: 97 minutes
Rating: PG-13
Production Companies: Exxodus Pictures
Executive Producer: Ajmal Zaheer Ahmad, Richard Mandell, Najam Syed, Shahid Syed
Director: Ajmal Zaheer Ahmad
Writer: Ajmal Zaheer Ahmad
Actors: Dominic Rains, Ray Park, William Atherton, Faran Tahir, Serinda Swan, Ajmal Zaheer Ahmad, Arman Pirzada, Imtiaz Ahmad, Dennis North, Milica Govich

Shawn gets a mysterious package one day and it leads him to a couple of strange people insisting that the world is different than he believes.

Selina’s Point of View:
I didn’t think I’d enjoy this film. I was expecting something much different than I got.

Sure, some of the graphics weren’t exactly top of the line, but I have seen MUCH worse. The acting was well above what I was expecting and the script was too.

I should have expected something decent out of Ray Park (Heroes, The King of Fighters, X-Men), but he wasn’t the star. The star was Dominic Rains (How to be a Gangster in America, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, General Hospital). There were some scenes where Rains really blew me away. None of the other actors really left an impression on me, for better or worse.

Although I mostly enjoyed the film, there were some issues.

At times, the story was disjointed. In fact, there was one scene that was set to the sound of a heart beating that was cut so strangely that it seemed like a movie trailer right smack in the middle of the film. There were some scenes at the end that were also really difficult to follow, but at that point in the story that might have been on purpose. I didn’t think those scenes were necessary or enjoyable.

There were also a few issues with the script. A redundancy that was only visible in a few spots.

Despite the flaws, I liked Jinn and would watch it again.

Cat’s Point of View:
The trailer for this movie was exciting and intriguing, and reeled me in. I wanted to like this film so very much. It definitely didn’t blow me away in the way that I hoped – but it wasn’t bad, either. I was a bit disappointed.

Parts of the movie left something to be desired. They could have done better with their transitions between scenes. At some points I had to jiggle my mouse to make sure my monitor hadn’t gone to sleep because the screen had just gone black. Don’t adjust your tech, everyone – the movie does that. It’s not you.

I think the film got a lot of bang for its small amount of ‘buck’ with the special effects. Sometimes you can really tell when a movie is having to cut corners for the bottom line – that wasn’t necessarily the case here.

The writing was a little on the weak side and the movie seemed a little choppy. It felt like there needed to be more room for character development. There are big question marks in my mind, even after the final credits had rolled. I think they could have put that ‘black-screen’ time to better use, really.

It’s possible that some of those answers might be planned for revelations in a sequel. I’m not sure that’s going to happen, given the abysmal box office.

All that being said, there are some positive things I enjoyed about this film.

I’m not all that familiar with Dominic Rains (Mind of the Warrior, Broken, Camino), but he did a decent job with what he had to work with here.  There was too little screen time for Serinda Swan (Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, Creature, Sister) in this film, plain and simple.

I had a good giggle over William Atherton (Kush, The Girl Next Door, The Citizen) as the helpful priest. In my mind, he will forever be Walter Peck from Ghostbusters (1984).

While I didn’t recognize him at first with the facial hair going on, I was pleasantly surprised that the role of Gabriel was played by Ray Park (Hellbinders, The Legend of Bruce Lee, Black Box). I think they seriously under-utilized him in this movie.  Most of his big “action” sequence was in slow motion. What?!?!

I mean come on! We’re talking about Darth Maul from The Phantom Menace (1999) and Snake Eyes from G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra (2009) here. They could have done so much more with his martial arts ability. Though, maybe they just didn’t want him to out-shine the main character. The special effects around his big scene were really cool, though.

We now come to the biggest reason I wanted to watch this movie. I’ll admit it – I was geeking out, the whole time. FireBreather. It practically had a role of its very own in the film – and for $60,000, 50 lucky people among the ‘general public’ had the opportunity to purchase one for themselves.

Yes, I’m talking about the car.

Writer, Director, and Executive Producer of the film, Ajmal Zaheer Ahmad (The Citizen, Alliance, It's a Mismatch) designed the vehicle to enhance the fire theme of the supernatural element of the movie. As a Michigan man, he wanted to blend the state’s automotive history with his film-making.

Classic Design Concepts in Novi, Michigan accomplished this by taking a fifth generation 2010 Chevrolet Camaro and stripping it down completely to rebuild it in the spirit of what a brand new Firebird might look like today, had GM not canned its Pontiac line. It was a beast, and took on a life of its own in the film. 

Can you tell what my favorite car is? Just a little?

I liked the film – the car is making it onto my list of favorites; but, sadly, not the movie.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 10%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 33%

Netflix’s Prediction for Selina – 2.5/5
Selina’s Trust-the-Dice Score3.5/5

Netflix’s Prediction for Cat – 2.2/5
Cat’s Trust-the-Dice Score3/5

P.S. There’s a mid-credits scene and another scene after the rest of the credits.

Movie Trailer: