Tag Archives: Movie Reviews

Pride & Prejudice & Zombies – A Clever Idea Runs Out of Steam!

Lily James and Bella Heathcote in Screen Gems' PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES.
Lily James and Bella Heathcote in Screen Gems’ PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES.

‘It is a universally acknowledged truth that a zombie in possession of brains must be in search of more brains.’

Thus begins Pride & Prejudice & Zombies – the movie adaptation of the novel that married Jane Austin’s social satire to the zombie apocalypse. All the important plot points (and best lines) from the novel are here – along with a large amount of blood and gore.

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The Finest Hours Weathers the Storm!

Presented in Digital 3D (TM) and IMAX (c) 3D, Disney's THE FINEST HOURS is a heroic action-thriller based on the extraordinary true story of the most daring rescue mission in the history of the Coast Guard.
Presented in Digital 3D (TM) and IMAX (c) 3D, Disney’s THE FINEST HOURS is a heroic action-thriller based on the extraordinary true story of the most daring rescue mission in the history of the Coast Guard.

Disney’s The Finest Hours is based on a book about the greatest small boat rescue in the history of the Coast Guard.

Bernie Webber and his crew (four, counting him) rescued thirty-two sailors from the aft half of the Pendleton, a tanker sheared in half by a blizzard in February of 1952. The film, which features Chris Pine as Webber, is a very basic story with a little character development and some impressive effects work – but make no mistake, the storm and the rescue are the film’s stars.

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The 5th Wave Is Just Too Obvious!

Nick Robinson, left, and Chloë Grace Moretz star in Columbia Pictures' "The 5th Wave."

The idea of a teenaged girl leading the forces of good to victory over seemingly overwhelming odds is one of the most used tropes in YA fiction. The 5th Wave is only the latest movie to riff on that idea.

Unfortunately, despite the best efforts of everyone involved, it’s just too easy to figure out what’s going on before the characters do. Not good. Very bad. Go around…

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Dirty Grandpa – Vile, Ugly, Crude & Funny!

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Dirty Grandpa finds an earnest corporate lawyer being persuaded to drive his grandpa to Florida the day after his grandma’s funeral – and a week before his own wedding.

If the movie’s title, TV spots and online trailers haven’t made it clear, Dirty Grandpa is a loud, crazy, vulgar farce that attempts to mix crudity with heart. That it mostly succeeds is something of a surprise.

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Band of Robbers: Tom & Huck Still Looking For A Place to Belong!

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Brothers Aaron and Adam Nee clearly believe that the adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn are timeless – otherwise, why try to update them in the first place?

Between them, the Brothers Nee have written and directed one of the loosest, strangest and most interesting takes on Mark Twain’s wily and unique protagonists.

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Svengali – Wistful Rock & Roll Love Story!

Svengali - Dixie and Shell

Dixie knows more about music than anyone else in Wales and, with his girlfriend Shell, he figures he can get to London, persuade them to let him manage them and make them massive.

Svengali is a love story – between Dixie and music and between Dixie and Shell. It’s wistful, a bit melancholy and gently persuasive and packed to the gills with great music.

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The Revenant – Elegantly Brutal Western Revenge Tale!

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Revenant: 2.A person or thing reborn (Wiktionary).

Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s The Revenant is adapted from a novel that was based on real events, so it comes by its PR as ‘inspired by true events’ the long way round – but that does not lessen its impact.

The Revenant is a riveting tale of brutal survival and the desire for revenge. It is elegantly shot but the violence is brutal and the obstacles unrelenting. It may get Leonardo DiCaprio his long-deserved Oscar® – and it might give cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki a shot at his third consecutive Oscar®.

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The Hateful Eight, Not Tarantino’s Best But Still Worth A Trip! Michelle’s Review

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Every Quentin Tarantino film comes across as a vanity project, which is both good and bad. I’m not entirely clear why it bothers me more for The Hateful Eight than anything else he’s done. Maybe it’s the weird release strategy of having two separate cuts of the film, a standard Digital Release that will go into as many theaters as the Weinstein’s can get it in and a special 1-week engagement that is designed to showcase the 70 millimeter print. The 70 mm versions of the film clocks in at about 3:16 with a 15-minute intermission which I felt nearly every minute of, while the digital version is about 2:45.

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The Hateful Eight – DCP Ain’t 70mm But It’s Not Bad!

SAMUEL L. JACKSON stars in THE HATEFUL EIGHT. Photo: Andrew Cooper, SMPSP © 2015 The Weinstein Company. All Rights Reserved.
SAMUEL L. JACKSON stars in THE HATEFUL EIGHT.
Photo: Andrew Cooper, SMPSP © 2015 The Weinstein Company. All Rights Reserved.

I saw The Hateful Eight a few hours ago and even though we might not have a 70mm house in town, it’s still a great ride on a more or less standard screen with digital projection.

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Concussion – The NFL Vs. Bennett C. Omalu MD!

Will Smith stars in Columbia Pictures' "Concussion."
Will Smith stars in Columbia Pictures’ “Concussion.”

Dr. Bennett C. Omalu is the Nigerian-American coroner who identified the brain damage that was the cause of mental health issues for ex-NFL players. The story is, as they used to say, ‘ripped from the headlines’ – and given that the NFL has just backed out of a concussion study at a Boston University, its release could not have been timelier.

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