Tag Archives: Movie Reviews

The Magnificent Seven – Fun But Not Quite Magnificent!

(l to r) Vincent D'Onofrio, Martin Sensmeier, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, Ethan Hawke, Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt and Byung-hun Lee star in Columbia Pictures' THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN.
(l to r) Vincent D’Onofrio, Martin Sensmeier, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, Ethan Hawke, Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt and Byung-hun Lee star in Columbia Pictures’ THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN.

Antoine Fuqua’s The Magnificent Seven is not the movie that the John Sturges one was and that’s okay. Fuqua has a lot of fun playing with the clichés/tropes of westerns and succeeds in producing a fun movie that is most notable for having a uniquely integrated Seven – and least notable for having a villain who is an unmodulated black hole of evil that sucks the energy out of almost every scene he’s in.

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Sully Soars!

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Tom Hanks has another Oscar®-worthy role in another very entertaining movie.

Clint Eastwood’s Sully tells the story we never knew about – the NTSB investigation into whether Captain Chesley ‘Sully’ Sullenberg made the right/only choice when he landed Castle 1549 in the Hudson River in January of 2009. All 155 souls aboard survived, but the investigators claimed he didn’t have to land there.

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The Light Between Oceans Is Second-Rate Nicholas Sparks!

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Maybe it’s because if you’ve seen the trailer you don’t need to see the first 45 minutes of The Light Between Oceans, or maybe it’s just because it’s boring but I could barely keep my eyes open while watching The Light Between Oceans.

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Hell or High Water: The Old and New Wests Collide!

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Hell or High Water is a simple story with a lot of layers – it’s about brothers who are robbing branches of the bank that’s about to foreclose on their family’s ranch in order to pay the bank off. It’s about a Texas Ranger on the brink of retirement who gets one last big case. It’s about the old and the new – and how no matter how much things change, they always remain the same.

It’s also one of the best films of the year.

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Mechanic: Resurrection – Fun Action Flick Proves You Don’t Need a $200 Million Mission: Impossible Budget!

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Mechanic: Resurrection – Arthur Bishop (Jason Statham). )Photo by Daniel Smith/Courtesy of Summit Entertainment)

Mission: Resurrection stars Jason Statham, returning as Arthur Bishop, an assassin whose specialty was making his kills look like an accident. At the end of Mechanic, he had faked his own death so that he could retire in peace.

Unfortunately, a man from his past has found him and wants him to kill three people – making the kills look like accidents, of course – or a woman he knows, and the Cambodian children she cares for, will be sold into slavery.

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Don’t Breathe – Brisk Efficient Thriller Turns Sour!

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Don’t Breathe is the second film from Fede Alvarez, the man who directed the lean, underrated Evil Dead remake – so you know it’s going to be rife with twists, turns and bloody scares.

What you might not expect is the way it crosses some lines in the final act – one that makes sense for the situation and one that goes way too far. Remove the second crossing of lines and you have a Grade A thriller, but with it, it manages – through muscular direction and solid performances – to avoid dropping into mediocrity.

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Only Thing Right Trailer: Mechanic: Resurrection!

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Jason Statham’s Arthur Bishop is back! The mechanic (assassin) whose specialty is making it look like an accident is forced back into action by a duplicitous woman.

A new clip from Lionsgate suggests he may have met his match. Check it out after the break. Mechanic: Resurrections opens on August 23rd.

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Kubo and the Two Strings Is Laika’s Best Film Yet!

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Kubo and the Two Strings is a genuinely amazing film. It’s a story of family on both an intimate and mythic level. It’s also absolutely gorgeous to look at.

If not for the Pixar release Zootopia, it would be almost certainly a lock for this year’s best animated film Oscar®.

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Ben-Hur Is Efficient But Unmoving!

Toby Kebbell plays Messala Severus and Jack Huston plays Judah Ben-Hur in Ben-Hur from Paramount Pictures and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures.
Toby Kebbell plays Messala Severus and Jack Huston plays Judah Ben-Hur in Ben-Hur from Paramount Pictures and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures.

I went in to the advance screening of Ben-Hur expecting a disaster. While the trailers weren’t brilliant, they showed both some promise and the possibility of a total bleep-up.

Instead, it was neither the film of that promise nor the Golden Raspberry contender it could have been.

It was a technically proficient film that had some decent performances and some good ideas, but it left me curiously unmoved.

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Sausage Party – Groceries Learn the Ugly Truth!

Columbia Pictures’ “Sausage Party.”
Columbia Pictures’ “Sausage Party.”

Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg’s Sausage Party is the harrowing tale of the difference between the stories groceries tell themselves in the supermarket and what really happens to them when the ‘gods’ take them home.

Inside the abundant f-bombs and salacious humor, there are moments of nuanced thought and some scary depictions of human beings (all the more scary for being sorta kinda true).

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