Tag Archives: Movie Reviews

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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Mel Gibson Gives Blood Father an Unexpected Poignancy!

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‘…but you can’t be a prick all your life and then just say never mind.

I can’t fix everything I broke… all I can do is not drink, so I won’t do that today.’

Mel Gibson’s John Link says these words at the beginning of Blood Father, but the conviction with which he says them could be a reflection of his own thinking. It’s a movie, so we’ll never know for sure, but even acknowledging Gibson’s problems in such a roundabout way adds some poignancy to what is otherwise could have been a standard B-movie thriller.

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Florence Foster Jenkins Sings – Even If She Can’t!

(L-R) Hugh Grant as St Clair Bayfield, Meryl Streep as Florence Foster Jenkins and Simon Helberg as Cosme McMoon in FLORENCE FOSTER JENKINS by Paramount Pictures, Pathé and BBC Films
(L-R) Hugh Grant as St Clair Bayfield, Meryl Streep as Florence Foster Jenkins and Simon Helberg as Cosme McMoon in FLORENCE FOSTER JENKINS by Paramount Pictures, Pathé, BBC Films and eOne

Florence Foster Jenkins is a film that is based on the last few months of the title character’s life. Jenkins was a fierce music lover – she supported the music scene in New York and eventually decided that she had to sing.

It was not the smartest move she could have made – she is considered to be one of the all-time worst singers.

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Pete’s Dragon Is Magical!

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The original Pete’s Dragon was a hybrid live-action/animated film with an animated dragon that attempted to recapture the vibe of Disney’s big hit Mary Poppins. It didn’t quite make it and so it’s joined the ranks of the charming but slight Disney family films that Mary Poppins moved above.

As the choice for a remake, it’s pretty smart because it takes a property with no real baggage and actually does something with it (unlike the live action Cinderella which was a much bigger gamble).

The result is a family film that is pure Disney magic.

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Movie Review: The Suicide Squad. Characters & Audience Deserve Better

Suicide Squad Cast

Even though Suicide Squad turned out to be a mess of a film, Warner Brothers should be applauded for going off script in their latest failure. I’ve been vocal about how I hate the entire idea of every DC film being dark and grim just because for some reason the folks in charge think it’s cool and equates to some imagined “realism.”

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