Thursday, July 30, 2015

Top Ten Movies to Look Out For in August (2015)

10 – Regression (August 28)

Director: Alejandro Amenábar
Writer: Alejandro Amenábar
Actors: Emma Watson, Ethan Hawke, Aaron Ashmore, David Thewlis, Devon Bostick
Genre: Thriller
Rated: NR

This doesn’t look like the average ‘cult conspiracy’ thriller. It has an amazing cast on board, and so for that reason alone we really want to see what they do with it.

There’s a mini Harry Potter (2001-2011) reunion going on between Emma Watson (The Bling Ring, Noah, The Tale of Despereaux) and David Thewlis (War Horse, Macbeth, Kingdom of Heaven), who played Remus Lupin in that film series.

Where Aaron Ashmore’s (My Brother's Keeper, Warehouse 13, The Shrine) twin has been in well-known films before; his own work has been predominantly concentrated on the small screen. We’re excited to see him branch out more.

Fans of The 100 (2014-) rejoice -- you don’t have to wait to see Devon Bostick (Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days, Small Time, A Dark Truth) in action. Given the nature of the film, we wonder what will happen to him!

9 – Some Kind of Beautiful (August 21)

Director: Tom Vaughan 
Writer: Matthew Newman 
Actors: Pierce Brosnan, Salma Hayek, Jessica Alba, Malcolm McDowell, Marlee Matlin 
Genre: Comedy, Romance 
Rated: R 

We were sold at the mention of Pierce Brosnan (Laws of Attraction, Mamma Mia!, November Man). We’ve enjoyed watching his work since before he became James Bond.

Then you throw in the likes of Malcolm McDowell (Halloween II, Bolt, The Employer) – who has an impressive 16 current projects listed in IMDb, Salma Hayek (Savages, Puss in Boots, Everly), and Jessica Alba (Into the Blue, Awake, Honey)… and now you’ve really got our attention.

This looks like an endearing movie full of laughs and some emotional moments, too.

8 – Sinister 2 (August 21)

Director: Ciarán Foy 
Writers: Scott Derrickson, C. Robert Cargill 
Actors: James Ransone, Shannyn Sossamon, Robert Daniel Sloan, Dartanian Sloan, Lea Coco, Tate Ellington
Genre: Horror 
Rated: R 

We can’t help but want to see where they go with this sequel. The trailer made it look nice and creepy.

It’s expected that there will probably be a few jump scares that will have our hearts racing. (Cat notes that she startles easily, much to the delight of her prankster family).

We are intrigued to see what Shannyn Sossamon (The End of Love, The Holiday, Wayward Pines) does with this one, as fans of hers since A Knight's Tale (2001).

7 – Hitman: Agent 47 (August 21)

Director: Aleksander Bach 
Writers: Skip Woods, Michael Finch 
Actors: Zachary Quinto, Rupert Friend, Ciarán Hinds, Hannah Ware, Thomas Kretschmannm Emilio Rivera 
Genre: Action Adventure, Sci-Fi 
Rated: R

This movie looks like a good action-packed summer flick with lots of big stunts, explosions, and crazy shootouts.

Aside from all that, Zachary Quinto (Heroes, Star Trek Into Darkness, I Am Michael) is in it! We would watch him in just about anything.

For fans mourning the loss of Sons of Anarchy (2008-2014), there’s a familiar face in this one! Emilio Rivera (High Crimes, Collateral, Act of Valor), who played Marcus Alvarez on that series is in this film also.

How would you stop a super-human assassin bent on mayhem? If the trailer is any indication, answer to that promises to be quite entertaining.

6 – We Are Your Friends (August 28)

Director: Max Joseph 
Writers: Richard Silverman, Meaghan Oppenheimer, Max Joseph 
Actors: Vanessa Lengies, Zac Efron, John Bernthal, Jonny Weston, Wes Bentley, Shiloh Fernandez 
Genre: Drama 
Rated: R

Even if this movie didn’t feature Zac Efron (Neighbors, The Lucky One, New Year's Eve), Jon Bernthal (The Walking Dead, Snitch, Fury), and Wes Bentley (Soul Survivors, Interstellar, Gone), we’d still want to watch it.

Cat is a fan of MTV’s Catfish: The TV Show (2012-). This movie happens to be the major motion picture debut for director Max Joseph, whom is an integral part that program.

He missed a few episodes of the current season because of filming this movie, so there is definitely curiosity to see how it turned out!

We’re in luck, though, that those accomplished actors are among the cast that will take us on this young DJ’s journey with his friends.

5 – Air (August 14)

Director: Christian Cantamessa 
Writers: Christian Cantamessa, Chris Pasetto 
Actors: Norman Reedus,m Djimon Hounsou, Sandrine Holt 
Genre: Sci-Fi, Thriller 
Rated: PG-13

We saw Norman Reedus (Blade II, Pandorum, The Walking Dead) was a co-lead in this one and that was it. The film was instantly on our list.

We’ve been a fan of his since The Boondock Saints(1999).

Now throw into the mix the fact that we are card-carrying Sci-Fi lovers and also enjoy the work of Djimon Hounsou (Never Back down, The Tempest, Furious Seven) and you’ve got the recipe for what should be a good movie experience!

The trailer seems to promise a tension-packed feature as the timeclock ticks swiftly downward for humanity’s chances of survival – especially if their only potential saviors are battling each other rather than the loss of life support.

4 – Underdogs (August 14)

Director: Juan José Campanella 
Writers: Juan José Campanella, Roberto Fontanarrosa, Gastón Gorali, Eduardo Sacheri 
Actors: Rupert Grint, Anthony Head, Katie Holmes, Nicholas Hoult, John Lequizamo, Ariana Grande, Bella Thorne 
Genre: Animation, Family 
Rated: NR

This one looks like it’ll be a fun family movie.

The concept of foosball ‘players’ coming to life to help in a real soccer game is interesting and fresh. With the cast they’ve packed into this movie, there should be some good laughs, too.

We think it’s also a nice change of pace for Nicholas Hoult (Warm Bodies, Mad Max: Fury Road, Dark Places) to play the antagonist role.

As they say, people like to root for the underdogs. We’ll definitely be hoping this film lives up to our expectations.

3 – Fantastic Four (August 7)

Director: Josh Trank 
Writers: Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Simon Kinberg, Jeremy Slater, Josh Trank 
Actors: Kate Mara, Miles Teller, Michael B. Jordan, Toby Kebbell, Jamie Bell 
Genre: Superhero Action Sci-Fi 
Rated: PG-13

We’re a little torn on this remake. However, we are Marvel fans and The Generalissimo, himself; Stan Lee has spoken out to say he thinks that the casting for this new take on the story is pretty spiffy.

It’s a superhuman comic book hero movie, so it’ll definitely be entertaining, regardless. We are also curious what they’ve changed and what they’ve kept of the story.

2 – Absolutely Anything (August 14)

Director: Terry Jones 
Writers: Terry Jones, Gavin Scott 
Actors: John Cleese, Terry Jones, Michael Palin, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Simon Pegg, Kate Beckinsale, Robin Williams, Eddie Izzard 
Genre: Comedy, Sci-Fi 
Rated: NR

This movie shot to the top of our watch list in the first few seconds of the trailer, when we heard the voices of the Monty Python Team.

We have a winner! This is a surefire setup for an automatic ticket to awesome. Carrying on through the rest of the teaser, our anticipation for this movie only grew.

Simon Pegg (The Boxtrolls, Shaun of the Dead, Star Trek) is hilarious. We’ve always enjoyed Kate Beckinsale (Total Recall, Whiteout, Van Helsing), and it will be nice to see her in a comedy.

Eddie Izzard (Igor, Valkyrie, Cars 2) should also fit right in to a Python production. Last but definitely not least, Robin Williams (The Face of Love, Boulevard, Old Dogs) voices the talking dog.

If the film is as funny as the trailer was, we know we’re going to love it.

1 – The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (August 14)

Director: Guy Ritchie 
Writers: Jeff Kleeman, David C. Wilson, Guy Ritchie, Lionel Wigram, Sam Rolfe 
Actors: Alicia Vikander, Henry Cavill, Armie Hammer, Hugh Grant, Elizabeth Debicki, David Beckham (rumored) 
Genre: Action, Adventure, Comedy 
Rated: PG-13

This film has all the ingredients for a summer blockbuster. It looks like a wild ride with a seriously high-powered cast.

We were excited to see Henry Cavill (Stardust, Blood Creek, Immortals) in the role of the American agent. If the interaction shown between Cavill and his co-lead, Armie Hammer (The Social Network, Mirror Mirror, The Lone Ranger), in the trailer was a good indication of the film’s tone; this promises to be both hilarious and witty.

There should also be plenty of excellent action sequences. The car-chase teased in the trailer alone looked pretty amazing – especially where the cars were so close together drifting in a circle.

It's even rumored that famed footballer, David Beckham, has a role in this film. We'll be the first in line when this opens.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Earth to Echo (2014)


Number Rolled: 43
Movie Name/Year: Earth to Echo (2014)
Genre: Sci-fi
Length: 91 minutes
Rating: PG
Production Companies: Panay Films, Walt Disney Studios
Executive Producer: Jason Beckman, Robbie Brenner, Jason Colodne, Mark Benton Johnson, Jack Kavanaugh, David Miller, Tucker Tooley
Director: Dave Green
Writer: Henry Gayden, Andrew Panay
Actors: Teo Halm, Astro, Reese Hartwig, Ella Wahlestedt, Jason Gray-Stanford, Cassius Willis, Algee Smith, Sonya Leslie, Kerry O’Malley, Virginia Louise Smith, Peter Mackenzie, Valerie Wildman

When construction forces people out of their home town, a small group of kids bands together to try to have one last night of adventure.

Selina’s Point of View:
When last year’s “Top Ten to Look Out For In July” came out on Trust-the-Dice, this movie was number four. The trailer gave it a Goonies (1985)/Wall-E (2008)/ET (1982) flavor. I didn’t see much of Wall-E in it, but it was definitely an interesting take on an ET-like plot.

I have to note that I had a raging headache before I watched Earth to Echo. That means that the shaky cam was almost unbearable for me. It was a little like staring into the sun with photosensitivity. Never-the-less, I powered through. I’m glad I did.

For the most part, the actors were fine. No one really made me want to throw anything or fall asleep, but one young man stood out among them.

Teo Halm (Nova, Memoria, Bukowski), who played Alex in the film, doesn’t have much under his belt yet. Still, he showed a LOT of skill in this film. I believed every emotion, every heartbreak, and every single action. It was as if he really understood his character; better than most 16-year-old actors would.

It’s come to my attention that he was a part of the Girl Meets World (2014-) pilot as Cory and Topenga’s son; before the show was cut, altered and aired. I’ve been watching the nostalgic show, and I love it, but I’m not sure cutting Halm was the best idea. James Franco (Child of God, As I Lay Dying, The Broken Tower) gets it. He saw something in the kid and scooped him up for at least two movies so far. I expect he’s going to have an amazing career ahead of him.

In the end, the movie was really good. Even with the headache that the shaky cam turned up the volume on.

Cat’s Point of View:
I have been wanting to watch this film for a while now. I mean, who could resist finding out the story behind the adorable little light-up alien from the trailers and all the promotional graphics, right?

I went in to this movie with an expectation to be quite entertained by the story of these kids finding an alien and the adventure that would ensue. What I didn’t expect, and what the film delivered in spades, was that there was some real depth and heart behind this story.

These boys have been friends forever – and they’re not “the cool kids” so all they have is each other. Circumstances are causing them to split up by moving away, and it’s something no one can do anything about.

I think that this film brilliantly encapsulates the depth of their friendship and the emotions surrounding their impending separation.

When I was little, we moved a few times. While I was in the same city, it was easy to keep up with my friends. I moved out of state for a year, but was able to come back to visit occasionally. When I returned to Louisiana, however, we’d moved to a different city – and the loss of contact with the friends I’d grown up with was devastating. These boys’ plight really resonates with me.

This little alien, Echo, gives them hope and takes them on an epic adventure. I love the anticipation of ‘what’s going to happen next?!’ that this film is steeped in. What mayhem is around the next corner?

My daughter and I loved watching this movie together, and I would highly recommend giving this film a chance so you can find out.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 48%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 47%

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

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

P.S. There is an extra scene after the credits.

Movie Trailer: