Reviews: Extraterrestrial (2014)

Categories: 2013 Films
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Published on: October 30, 2014

extraterrestrialReviews for this film from our members:

Reviews: Nightcrawler (2014)

Categories: 2013 Films
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Published on: October 30, 2014

nightcrawlerReviews for this film from our members:

  • [New - 10/30/14] | Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews
    • Excerpt: Writer/director Dan Gilroy goes for the jugular in his insanely entertaining, disturbing indictment of the media from its insensitivity towards victims to far darker charges. And that’s only “Nightcrawler’s” surface agenda…
  • [New - 10/30/14] | Tony Dayoub @ Cinema Viewfinder
    • Excerpt: Bloom is the embodiment of the kind of detached anonymity modern times have bestowed on us all.
  • [New - 10/30/14] | Mark Dujsik @ Mark Reviews Movies
    • Excerpt: It would be comforting to be able to see Nightcrawler as satire … That would be very comforting, indeed.
  • [New - 10/30/14] | Susan Granger @ www.susangranger.com
    • Excerpt: Dark and cynical, filled with savage, scathing commentary about our media’s relentless exploitation of violence…
  • [New - 10/30/14] | Jeremy Kibler @ The Artful Critic
    • Excerpt: Disconcerting, unnerving, and darkly, twistedly humorous, “Nightcrawler” unsettles and wriggles under your skin, and it’s your best bet for a ghoulish last day of October at the movies. Jake Gyllenhaal is tremendously chilling.
  • [New - 10/30/14] | Oktay Ege Kozak @ Oregon Herald
  • [New - 10/23/14] | Darren Mooney @ the m0vie blog
    • Excerpt: I’m giving you a night crawl…
  • [New - 10/30/14] | Kristy Puchko @ Cinemablend.com
    • Excerpt: Nightcrawler is a joy ride down a path to damnation, it’s exhilarating, disturbing, and brilliant filmmaking. It’s one of the best films of the year. And it’s the absolute perfect choice for Halloween.
  • [New - 10/30/14] | Jamie S. Rich @ DVDTalk
    • Excerpt: While there is some solid writing when it comes to the Lou character–and very little when it comes to any other character–it takes a particular screen presence to give such a fictional construct life. Gyllenhaal is fully committed to the role.
  • [New - 10/30/14] | Cole Smithey @ ColeSmithey.com
    • Excerpt: Filmed primarily at night in Los Angeles, “Nightcrawler” feels like a twisted, more engaging, West Coast version of “Bringing Out the Dead.”
  • [New - 10/30/14] | Frank Swietek @ One Guys Opinion
    • Excerpt: Wants to be cutting-edge, but in the end its creative blade proves rather dull. Still, it’s hard to take your eyes off Gyllenhaal.

Reviews: Ouija (2014)

Categories: 2013 Films
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Published on: October 30, 2014

ouijaReviews for this film from our members:

  • [New - 10/24/14] | William Bibbiani @ CraveOnline
    • Excerpt: They didn’t make a fun commercial, they didn’t disguise it as a good movie, they just told us that their product isn’t worth buying. And they made us buy a ticket to find that out.
  • [New - 10/30/14] | Tim Brayton @ Antagony & Ecstasy
  • [New - 10/30/14] | Jim Dixon @ Examiner.com
    • Excerpt: “Ouija” inarguably suffers from an acute case of horror movie logic. Of COURSE we should wait until dark to go into the haunted basement, particularly when the hostile ghosts in question have a proven track record of draining flashlight batteries and blowing fuses.
  • [New - 10/24/14] | Mark Dujsik @ Mark Reviews Movies
    • Excerpt: This kind of repetitive, transparent deceit is either lazy or cynical, or maybe it’s a combination of both.
  • [New - 10/24/14] | James Jay Edwards @ FilmFracture
    • Excerpt: ‘Ouija’ – You’ve Seen It Before, But It’ll Still Scare You
  • [New - 10/24/14] | Susan Granger @ www.susangranger.com
    • Excerpt: Born out of a desire to explain the seemingly inexplicable, the Ouija board remains enigmatic.
  • [New - 10/24/14] | Jeremy Kibler @ The Artful Critic
    • Excerpt: Ouija pulls out a modicum of effective moments. However, unless ticket buyers are horror-movie virgins, no one will be made a chicken of through much of this temporarily startling, though never-chilling exercise.
  • [New - 10/24/14] | Frank Swietek @ One Guys Opinion
    • Excerpt: A threadbare attempt at a frightfest–dumb, turgid and ultimately tedious.

Reviews: Stonehearst Asylum (2014)

Categories: 2013 Films
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Published on: October 30, 2014

stonehearst_asylumReviews for this film from our members:

  • [New - 10/23/14] | Nicholas Bell @ IONCINEMA.com
    • Excerpt: an injustice to its vintage source material. Anderson can be a director of excitingly high concept, offbeat material, but Stonehearst is too glossy and too lugubrious to consider seriously.
  • [New - 10/24/14] | Tony Dayoub @ Cinema Viewfinder
    • Excerpt: …STONEHEARST ASYLUM is more clever than scary. But there’s a lot to be said for a well plotted thriller in a time when too many horror movies hinge more on shocking their audiences instead of getting under their skin.
  • [New - 10/24/14] | Mark Dujsik @ Mark Reviews Movies
    • Excerpt: Aside from the crucial but completely arbitrary twist at the end, what we see and hear is exactly what we get…
  • [New - 10/30/14] | Mark Harris @ About.com
  • [New - 10/30/14] | Stacia Kissick Jones @ She Blogged By Night
  • [New - 10/16/14] | Marty Mapes @ Movie Habit
    • Excerpt: Edwardian thriller offers formula instead of vision
  • [New - 10/24/14] | Aaron Pinkston @ Battleship Pretension
    • Excerpt: Brad Anderson has made both far better and far worse films and I’d say that Stonehearst Asylum is worth watching, especially if you are into classic horror tales. But the film is limited, refusing to take its most promising parts to the extremes, as its filmmaker has been able to do before.

Reviews: White Bird in a Blizzard (2014)

Categories: 2013 Films
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Published on: October 30, 2014

white_bird_in_a_blizzardReviews for this film from our members:

  • [New - 10/30/14] | Jason Bailey @ Flavorwire
    • Excerpt: Araki pulls off a rather remarkable bait-and-switch here, indicative of a filmmaking sophistication that continues to impress (particularly after sitting through the ugly, screeching likes of The Doom Generation). And Woodley reminds us that she’s not just the hippie queen of YA adaptations, but a bracing actress who’s not averse to taking some gutty risks.
  • [New - 10/23/14] | Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews
    • Excerpt: lurid camp
  • [New - 10/24/14] | James Jay Edwards @ FilmFracture
    • Excerpt: ‘White Bird In A Blizzard’ Is A Mystery That No One Is Trying To Solve
  • [New - 10/23/14] | Travis Hopson @ Examiner
    • Excerpt: White Bird in a Blizzard lacks momentum as a tawdry mystery, but it’s worth seeing for Woodley, Green, and Araki’s intoxicating sense of mood.
  • [New - 10/24/14] | Jeremy Kibler @ The Artful Critic
    • Excerpt: If 2005’s “Mysterious Skin” was his most grown-up film and 2011’s offbeat, defiantly rudderless oddity “Kaboom” had him boomaranging back to old times, then “White Bird in a Blizzard” might be Araki’s most accessible—this is relative—and yet it’s still transgressive and quite haunting.
  • [New - 10/23/14] | Benjamin Kramer @ The Voracious Filmgoer
  • [New - 10/23/14] | Betty Jo Tucker @ ReelTalk Movie Reviews
    • Excerpt: Too slow-moving for a thriller, but shocking ending is almost worth waiting for.

Reviews: Housebound (2014)

Categories: 2013 Films
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Published on: October 23, 2014

houseboundReviews for this film from our members:

Reviews: John Wick (2014)

Categories: 2013 Films
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Published on: October 23, 2014

john_wickReviews for this film from our members:

  • Nicholas Bell @ IONCINEMA.com
    • Excerpt: Fast, fun, and with care taken on elements outside of the requisite action sequences, it’s a film that succeeds in generally conquering the fatigue of its own familiarity.
  • Bill Clark @ From The Balcony
  • Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews
    • Excerpt: When Reeves, who seems to be challenging Cruise in the ‘what, me 50?’ do-my-own-stunts department, gets back in gear, he’s like a ghost warrior, twirling, rolling, spinning, stabbing, firing on all cylinders so quickly he’s gone before the bodies drop.
  • [New - 10/23/14] | Jim Dixon @ Examiner.com
    • Excerpt: “John Wick” doesn’t have the brains to be a genuine existential film noir, and doesn’t have the heart to do much else. Technically dazzling, emotionally void, “John Wick” is heartless, artless and ultimately an empty-headed glorification of violence with delusions of grandeur.
  • Billy Donnelly @ This Is Infamous
  • Mark Dujsik @ Mark Reviews Movies
    • Excerpt: The film is really a study of efficiency—not only in its characters and plotting but also in how its hero works.
  • James Jay Edwards @ FilmFracture
    • Excerpt: ‘John Wick’ Features A Bunch Of Awesome Fighting…And Not Much More
  • Travis Hopson @ Examiner
    • Excerpt: John Wick is a slick, funny and brutally intense flick that does everything it seeks to do just right.
  • Charlie Juhl @ Citizen Charlie
    • Excerpt: If you want to make a film with Keanu Reeves out for blood, I am all for it, but please, spend the extra four minutes it takes writing your screenplay to give him more plausible motivation than some goons killing his dead wife’s puppy dog present.
  • Jeremy Kibler @ The Artful Critic
    • Excerpt: Straightforward, bare-bones stuff as the plot goes, “John Wick” embraces the basic, stalk-and-kill structure of a hit list with a knowing sense of humor, full-tilt pacing, and efficient, no-frills plotting. Quite simply, it’s a badass blast.
  • Kristin Dreyer Kramer @ NightsAndWeekends.com
  • [New - 10/23/14] | Dan Lybarger @ ArkansasOnline.com
  • Brent McKnight @ The Last Thing I See
    • Excerpt: At every juncture, ‘John Wick’ asks “what would be the most awesome thing that could happen here,” and it does that.
  • Jamie S. Rich @ DVD Talk
    • Excerpt: John Wick is the latest in a recent spate of old-men-seek-vengeance vehicles for aging action stars, like the aforementioned Tom Cruise and Denzel Washington movies, or any number of choices Liam Neeson has made since the first Taken. I don’t think I’m going too far out on a limb, though, to say that John Wick is my favorite of any of these.
  • [New - 10/23/14] | Jonathan Richards @ www.jonrichardsplace.com
    • Excerpt: Reeves is at his best – taciturn, athletic, and cool. If you abhor violence, for god’s sake don’t see this movie.
  • Frank Swietek @ One Guys Opinion
    • Excerpt: Efficient and stylish, rattling off genre conventions with aplomb.
  • [New - 10/23/14] | Ron Wilkinson @ Monsters and Critics
    • Excerpt: Down and dirty revenge flick with a cast of guns that rivals the actors

Reviews: Listen Up, Philip (2014)

Categories: 2013 Films
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Published on: October 23, 2014

listen_up_philipReviews for this film from our members:

Reviews: 20,000 Days on Earth (2014)

Categories: 2013 Films
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Published on: October 16, 2014

20000_days_on_earthReviews for this film from our members:

  • [New - 9/18/14] | Chris Barsanti @ Film Journal International
    • Excerpt: Goth rocker turned postmodern bluesman Nick Cave turns himself inside-out for this transformative, electrifying documentary about the dark and often mundane wizardry of creativity.
  • [New - 10/9/14] | Joshua Brunsting @ The CriterionCast
  • [New - 8/15/14] | Simon Miraudo @ Quickflix
  • [New - 10/10/14] | Jason Pirodsky @ Expats.cz
    • Excerpt: One of the most aggressively self-indulgent things you’ll ever come across, and without anything resembling a story it eventually becomes a chore to sit through; memories of Bob Dylan’s infamous Renaldo and Clara occasionally sprang to mind.
  • [New - 10/16/14] | Jamie S. Rich @ DVD Talk
    • Excerpt: …an astonishing dissection of why Nick Cave does what he does…his songs have been full of confessions, both clear-eyed and abstract, yet he’s never delved so deep nor shared so much.

Reviews: The Best of Me (2014)

Categories: 2013 Films
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Published on: October 16, 2014

best_of_meReviews for this film from our members:

  • [New - 10/16/14] | Mark Dujsik @ Mark Reviews Movies
    • Excerpt: The Best of Me isn’t too bad for the majority of its time-crossing story, which means the movie is better than the majority of movies based upon Sparks’ work.
  • [New - 10/16/14] | Stefan Pape @ HeyUGuys
  • [New - 10/16/14] | Jason Pirodsky @ Expats.cz
    • Excerpt: After the utter insanity that was the final twist of Safe Haven, I didn’t think Sparks could possibly top himself; he doesn’t (how could anything top that film’s Sixth Sense-like reveal?), but the filmmakers handle the idiotic resolution here with such unblinking sincerity that we can’t help but laugh at what we’re seeing onscreen.
  • [New - 10/16/14] | Frank Swietek @ One Guys Opinion
    • Excerpt: Every time you go to a new movie based on a book by Nicholas Sparks, you do so believing that it can’t be as bad as the last, but somehow they always manage to exceed one’s lowest expectations.

Reviews: Birdman (2014)

Categories: 2013 Films
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Published on: October 16, 2014

birdmanReviews for this film from our members:

  • Chris Barsanti @ PopMatters
    • Excerpt: A onetime Hollywood superhero takes a stab at respectability by adapting Raymond Carver’s writings to Broadway in Iñárritu’s hallucinogenic satire of the entertainment industry.
  • Nicholas Bell @ IONCINEMA.com
    • Excerpt: Exploding with a vibrant, restless energy, it’s one of those films able to manage the tricky balancing act of melding a real life persona with an allegorical dress.
  • Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat @ SpiritualityandPractice.com
    • Excerpt: Some fresh takes on midlife crises, celebrities in America, and the wild popularity of the social media.
  • [New - 10/23/14] | Bill Clark @ From The Balcony
    • Excerpt: Birdman is a true original; a work of technical wizardry, virtuoso acting, and compelling storytelling unlike anything we’ve seen before.
  • Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews
    • Excerpt: Iñárritu displays a flair for comedy and shows off great technical skill but his high wire act always has that carnival barker in the background.
  • Tony Dayoub @ Cinema Viewfinder
    • Excerpt: Despite Keaton’s real life decision to rise above the expectations connected to stardom, his investment of autobiographical details into his performance is an acknowledgement that artists at any level cannot easily ignore criticism when they are so tied into their vehicle for expression.
  • Mark Dujsik @ Mark Reviews Movies
    • Excerpt: Here is a biting dissection of people whose egos must be big enough to compensate for their soul-crushing insecurities.
  • James Jay Edwards @ FilmFracture
    • Excerpt: ‘Birdman’ Is A Perfect Blend of Technical Filmmaking And Artistic Storytelling…With A Superhero
  • Candice Frederick @ Reel Talk
  • [New - 10/23/14] | Sarah Gopaul @ Digital Journal
    • Excerpt: ‘Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)’ delivers the highest standards in all categories to convey the story of a man risking it all to reinvent himself before it’s too late.
  • [New - 10/23/14] | Mark Hobin @ Fast Film Reviews
    • Excerpt: The proceedings have an immediacy that is exhilarating. Iñárritu directs his cast like a symphonic piece, each one carefully entering and exiting the scene at various parts of the 119 minute movement.
  • Travis Hopson @ Examiner
    • Excerpt: Birdman is a remarkable achievement on both sides of the camera, and it’s going to be tough for any film to compete with it as the best of the year.
  • Charlie Juhl @ Citizen Charlie
    • Excerpt: Birdman’s script is tight and intricate, the actors bringing it to life and on the top of their game, and the result is one of the best movies of the year. My biggest problem is firmly declaring whether Birdman is very good or great.
  • Ben Kendrick @ Screen Rant
    • Excerpt: Birdman provides a thought-provoking and inventive exploration of artistry, family, and the difference between power, popularity, and prestige.
  • Jeremy Kibler @ The Artful Critic
    • Excerpt: Each year, only a handful of films really evoke a “wow” or blow one away. There is a frisson in seeing a motion picture so original, unclassifiable and rule-breaking that it invigorates. For 2014, meet “Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance).”
  • Oktay Ege Kozak @ Oregon Herald
  • Donald Levit @ ReelTalk Movie Reviews
  • Brent McKnight @ Giant Freakin’ Robot
    • Excerpt: For all there is to praise in ‘Birdman,’ a movie convinced of it’s own cleverness, there is always a ‘but’ looming.
  • Kristy Puchko @ Kristy Puchko
    • Excerpt: There’s a splendid lunacy to Birdman. It radiates with emotion and energy, spinning through its continuous editing style with an elegance and ego that is intoxicating.
  • [New - 10/23/14] | Jamie S. Rich @ DVDTalk
    • Excerpt: For about 80 or 90 minutes, Birdman is good, heady fun with a virtuoso filmmaking style and dynamite performances. Then for the last half hour, it’s a lot of squelchy philosophy and narrative flailing as its various pieces malfunction and fall by the wayside.
  • Frank Swietek @ One Guys Opinion
    • Excerpt: A savage satire of Hollywood celebrity gone to seed…delivered with an irresistible degree of cinematic panache.
  • Andrew Wyatt @ St. Louis Magazine
    • Excerpt: Birdman is a relentlessly focused film, a voyeuristic scramble through Riggan’s troubled production as opening night approaches.

Reviews: The Book of Life (2014)

Categories: 2013 Films
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Published on: October 16, 2014

book_of_lifeReviews for this film from our members:

  • William Bibbiani @ CraveOnline
    • Excerpt: I don’t know about you and your kids, but after watching The Book of Life, I couldn’t WAIT to die. It certainly looks like a serious improvement on everything I’m doing right now.
  • Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews
    • Excerpt: If only the story, which includes an awkwardly defined character called Candle Maker voiced by Ice Cube(?!), were up to its visuals.
  • Tony Dayoub @ Cinema Viewfinder
    • Excerpt: While not the animation game-changer that THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS may have been, THE BOOK OF LIFE perhaps has even more room to grow into a classic in the coming years. And curiously it has a similar pedigree.
  • Mark Dujsik @ Mark Reviews Movies
    • Excerpt: Here is a movie of impressive imagination and surprising sympathy that still winds up feeling like the product of less pure intentions.
  • [New - 10/23/14] | Cynthia Fuchs @ PopMatters
  • Kenji Fujishima @ Slant Magazine
  • MaryAnn Johanson @ FlickFilosopher.com
    • Excerpt: The animation is fresh, unique, and gorgeous. But we don’t need another tale of a man having exciting adventures while a woman waits around to marry him.
  • Charlie Juhl @ Citizen Charlie
    • Excerpt: n this global and interconnected time, I suppose it is about time a Mexican fairy tale complete with Mexican traditions, culture, and its people find a place on the big screen.
  • Brent McKnight @ Paste Magazine
    • Excerpt: Despite revolving around a formulaic love story and a climactic battle with a largely inconsequential villain, The Book of Life carves out a stunning visual niche and a fantastic world full of memorable characters that provides a different perspective than the typical animated feature.
  • Darren Mooney @ the m0vie blog
    • Excerpt: A real livewire…
  • Stefan Pape @ HeyUGuys
  • Kristy Puchko @ Kristy Puchko
    • Excerpt: Kids will likely eat up this candy-colored confection offered up just in time for Halloween/Day of the Dead. But Fox Animation still lacks that something extra, that compelling plot and jaw-dropping level of animation detail that makes their movies a must-see for anyone over the age of ten.

Reviews: Fury (2014)

Categories: 2013 Films
Comments: No Comments
Published on: October 16, 2014

furyReviews for this film from our members:

Reviews: The Good Lie (2014)

Categories: 2013 Films
Comments: No Comments
Published on: October 16, 2014

good_lieReviews for this film from our members:

Reviews: Nas: Time Is Illmatic (2014)

Categories: 2013 Films
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Published on: October 16, 2014

nas_time_is_illmaticReviews for this film from our members:

  • [New - 10/2/14] | Candice Frederick @ Reel Talk
  • [New - 10/9/14] | Travis Hopson @ Examiner
    • Excerpt: A celebration of the seminal album’s 20th anniversary, but also a dissection of the influences that allowed a street poet like Nas to create such an influential album.
  • [New - 10/10/14] | Charlie Juhl @ Citizen Charlie
    • Excerpt: “Life’s a Bitch” are apt words to describe Queensbridge, but for some folks out there, it is home.
  • [New - 10/2/14] | Mike McGranaghan @ The Aisle Seat
    • Excerpt: An engaging document of how – and, more importantly, why – this particular album had such an impact.
  • [New - 10/2/14] | Aaron Pinkston @ Battleship Pretension
    • Excerpt: Nas: Time Is Illmatic, a look at the influential album twenty years later, doesn’t feel like the complete account that some may want, but it is a sharp and entertainment profile of an important artist.

Reviews: St. Vincent (2014)

Categories: 2013 Films
Comments: No Comments
Published on: October 16, 2014

st_vincentReviews for this film from our members:

  • Jason Bailey @ Flavorwire
    • Excerpt: The big tearjerker ending is maudlin and manipulative, which would be a bigger problem if it didn’t totally get me anyway, sniff sniff. In that sequence, and throughout the movie, Murray elevates the material — but the scene itself is a bit worrisome, since it is, in essence, a celebration of Bill Murray, and that kind of pandering isn’t what we like about him, as a personality or an actor.
  • Nicholas Bell @ IONCINEMA.com
    • Excerpt: Melfi puts in a bit more elbow grease in this tried and true concoction, to make an effective, though utterly formulaic film.
  • Luke Bonanno @ DVDizzy.com
    • Excerpt: St. Vincent would not be nearly as endearing with a different actor in the title role.
  • Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat @ SpiritualityandPractice.com
    • Excerpt: A heart-affecting cinematic parable about the saints among us who enable us to come alive in new ways.
  • Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews
    • Excerpt: …we’ve seen all this before (“Bad Santa” being but one example). Still, Murray is Murray and watching his sweetness peek through his outer curmudgeonly crust is worth the price of admission. More surprising is Naomi Watts…
  • Billy Donnelly @ This Is Infamous
  • Mark Dujsik @ Mark Reviews Movies
    • Excerpt: It gives us a character who is completely unlikeable on the surface, and without changing a thing about who the character is, the film dares us not to like him by the end.
  • [New - 10/23/14] | Susan Granger @ www.susangranger.com
    • Excerpt: Slyly subversive, Bill Murray is already generating Oscar buzz.
  • Steven Greydanus @ Crux
    • Excerpt: “St. Vincent” is a movie essentially without a single surprise, which doesn’t make it disagreeable.
  • [New - 10/23/14] | Mark Hobin @ Fast Film Reviews
    • Excerpt: Bill Murray settles into the role with a relaxed easiness. We are intrigued by this heightened version of his embittered self.
  • Charlie Juhl @ Citizen Charlie
    • Excerpt: Bill Murray engraves his name with authority on the growing list of movie adults who should be banned from interacting with children. Picture Billy Bob Thornton’s Bad Santa, Adam Sandler’s Big Daddy, and to make sure the charges stick, we must not forget any man who has played Humbert Humbert as he helps ‘guide’ Lolita through those tough adolescent years.
  • Jeremy Kibler @ The Artful Critic
    • Excerpt: What one will find nice and heartwarming, another will find forced and cloying, but “St. Vincent” is the definition of a perfectly pleasant crowd-pleaser done well enough.
  • Kristin Dreyer Kramer @ NightsAndWeekends.com
  • Jamie S. Rich @ DVD Talk
    • Excerpt: riter/director Theodore Melfi’s major-league debut is hard to dislike and certainly will work as a crowd-pleaser for folks looking to warm their hearts. For all the salty language and Vin’s rowdy lifestyle, there is a nice message here and a genuine sense of inclusion.
  • Frank Swietek @ One Guys Opinion
    • Excerpt: Bill Murray’s irascibility, even at the most mawkish moments, is enough to save the picture from drowning in a sea of sentimentality.

Reviews: Whiplash (2014)

Categories: 2013 Films
Comments: No Comments
Published on: October 16, 2014

whiplashReviews for this film from our members:

  • David Bax @ Battleship Pretension
    • Excerpt: To Chazelle’s credit, he asks questions seriously and seriously ponders the myriad outcomes. In the end, though, his film never uses its fangs enough for the questions to leave a mark.
  • Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat @ SpiritualityandPractice.com
    • Excerpt: A mesmerizing drama about the toxic fallout from perfectionism and unbridled ambition.
  • Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews
    • Excerpt: Damien Chazelle begins his film with a black screen, the sound of a drumbeat escalating into a frenzy, before we see Andrew isolated with his kit at the end of a hall. Tunnel vision. In one brief moment, Chazelle’s set his primary theme.
  • [New - 10/23/14] | Tony Dayoub @ Cinema Viewfinder
    • Excerpt: …one marvels at the command Chazelle exhibits as he enlists Simmons, Teller, Tom Cross’s brilliantly rhythmic editing and the syncopated, drum-centered score by Justin Hurwitz to propel us through a heart-stopping depiction of instructional sadism run amok.
  • Billy Donnelly @ This Is Infamous
  • Mark Dujsik @ Mark Reviews Movies
    • Excerpt: The greatest testament to Chazelle’s accomplishment with these characters is that we dread what’s still to come for them.
  • James Jay Edwards @ FilmFracture
    • Excerpt: ‘Whiplash’ Is The Most Exciting Band Geek Movie Ever
  • Candice Frederick @ Reel Talk
  • [New - 10/23/14] | Cynthia Fuchs @ PopMatters
  • [New - 10/23/14] | Sarah Gopaul @ Digital Journal
    • Excerpt: ‘Whiplash’ is about a young man’s unyielding dedication to become one of the world’s greatest jazz drummers — in spite of his teacher’s ruthless direction.
  • Mark Hobin @ Fast Film Reviews
    • Excerpt: Not since Black Swan have the body modifying rigors generated from one’s dedication to an artistic discipline, been rendered so graphically on film.
  • Charlie Juhl @ Citizen Charlie
    • Excerpt: Instead of metronomes and Mr. Holland’s Opus, the audience plows ahead into an edge of your seat thriller.
  • Jeremy Kibler @ The Artful Critic
    • Excerpt: Never would one expect a film like “Whiplash” about discipline and raw talent in the world of jazz music to be as brutal and emotionally distressing as a blood sport. Miles Teller is fiercely riveting and J.K. Simmons is nothing short of unforgettable.
  • Simon Miraudo @ Quickflix
  • Jamie S. Rich @ DVD Talk
    • Excerpt: Unfortunately, there is some third-act silliness on the way to that finale that nearly kicks Whiplash‘s legs out from under it. After ushering us into the private space of the band room, Chazelle doesn’t really know how to open that back up and return characters to the real world.
  • [New - 10/23/14] | Cole Smithey @ ColeSmithey.com
    • Excerpt: Writer-director Damien Chazelle has made a powerhouse drama about the level of dedication it takes to be great at something.
  • Frank Swietek @ One Guys Opinion
    • Excerpt: Its strength lies in the teaming of Teller and Simmons, who play their scenes together like an inspired jazz duet.

Reviews: Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day (2014)

Categories: 2013 Films
Comments: No Comments
Published on: October 9, 2014

alexanderReviews for this film from our members:

  • Nicholas Bell @ IONCINEMA.com
    • Excerpt: To those outside of its heteronormative clutches, the film plays rather like an excellent case study for theories related to population control and the weird social experiment that families tend to resemble.
  • Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat @ SpiritualityandPractice.com
    • Excerpt: Entertaining family film based on the classic children’s book about dealing with difficulties with optimism.
  • Kevin Carr @ 7M Pictures
    • Excerpt: “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” is a cute and fun – if not somewhat disposable – film that both kids and parents can enjoy.
  • Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews
    • Excerpt: a cute enough family film about empathy, but it’s based in a Disney reality where parents never snap…young Ed Oxenbould holds the center as the unfortunate Alexander.
  • Mark Dujsik @ Mark Reviews Movies
    • Excerpt: [F]orces its characters into kooky scenarios with little interest if those scenarios make any sense for the characters or in any form of real-world experience.
  • Sarah Gopaul @ Digital Journal
    • Excerpt: ‘Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day’ is more succinct than its title suggests, as well as an excellent source of family-friendly entertainment.
  • Mark Hobin @ Fast Film Reviews
    • Excerpt: Bad things happening to people has been the basis for many comedies: The Out of Towners, Home Alone, etc. The cast gamely registers discomfort in awkward situations with amusing results.
  • MaryAnn Johanson @ FlickFilosopher.com
    • Excerpt: It’s strictly for kids, this very silly, mostly sweet tale of middle-school angst, with a few nonconformist hand grenades tossed in for good measure.
  • Charlie Juhl @ Citizen Charlie
    • Excerpt: Despite the obvious set ups and a day with so much stuff crammed into it for any family in the history of families, Alexander is borderline recommendable for those with kids.
  • Jeremy Kibler @ The Artful Critic
    • Excerpt: Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day is actually pleasingly solid family entertainment that even makes some bold (or questionable) choices within the Disney banner to go with its accident-filled, “jumping from the frying pan into the fire” plot. If that’s what a pleasant surprise sounds like, then we’ll take it.
  • [New - 10/24/14] | Stefan Pape @ HeyUGuys
  • Josh Spiegel @ Movie Mezzanine
  • Frank Swietek @ One Guys Opinion
    • Excerpt: Though one can name lots of worse family movies, if not horrible, terrible, and very bad this one is–considering its pedigree and the quality of the cast–disappointingly mediocre.
  • [New - 10/23/14] | David William Upton @ So So Gay
    • Excerpt: Alexander… thrives on destruction, gleefully watching as things collapse, explode and burn. It all lives just within the boundaries of realistic, escaping the need to make the audience complicit in Alexander’s belief in the moment of magic granted to him.

Reviews: All Cheerleaders Die (2014)

Categories: 2013 Films
Comments: No Comments
Published on: October 9, 2014

all_cheerleaders_dieReviews for this film from our members:

Reviews: The Blue Room (2014)

Categories: 2013 Films
Comments: No Comments
Published on: October 9, 2014

Reviews for this film from our members:

Reviews: The Dance of Reality (2014)

Categories: 2013 Films
Comments: No Comments
Published on: October 9, 2014

dance_of_realityReviews for this film from our members:

  • Joshua Brunsting @ The CriterionCast
  • Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews
    • Excerpt: Indulgent, Felliniesque, funny, sad, philosophical, political, religious and some might even say incestuous, Jodorowsky’s latest features the filmmaker as the compassionate guardian of his 8 year-old self
  • [New - 10/9/14] | Carlos del Río @ El rincón de Carlos del Río [Spanish]
    • Excerpt: La danza de la realidad peculiar y personal lo es mucho, y de vez en cuando tiene grandes ideas y momentos, pero el conjunto es demasiado caprichoso y disperso.
  • [New - 8/28/14] | Mathieu Li-Goyette @ Panorama-cinéma [French]
  • [New - 10/9/14] | Gregory J. Smalley @ 366 Weird Movies
    • Excerpt: The hallucinogenic excesses of 1970’s ‘El Topo’ and 1973’s ‘The Holy Mountain’ have been replaced with a mellower style that suggests Jodorowsky has moved away from the testicular filmmaking of his youth, and closer to the intellectual playfulness of late Buñuel or Ruiz. This new, wiser Jodorowsky is wistful, less willfully obscure, and, most importantly, much funnier…
  • Cole Smithey @ ColeSmithey.com
    • Excerpt: Hopefully, “The Dance of Reality” will usher in more films from a brave filmmaker whose imagination, inspiration, and execution is pure.

Reviews: Dracula Untold (2014)

Categories: 2013 Films
Comments: No Comments
Published on: October 9, 2014

dracula_untoldReviews for this film from our members:

  • José Arce @ LaButaca.net [Spanish]
    • Excerpt: Universal resta un poco más de épica a su propio legado con esta peliculita que no tiene muy bien a qué agarrarse. Historia disparatada, producción irregular, poca permanencia en la memoria.
  • Nicholas Bell @ IONCINEMA.com
    • Excerpt: While its title will open it up to a countless number of snarky comments, perhaps now that we’ve reached the Untold region we don’t have to march on into the Retold territory.
  • [New - 10/23/14] | Tim Brayton @ Antagony & Ecstasy
  • Kevin Carr @ 7M Pictures
    • Excerpt: Even if “Dracula Untold” isn’t the greatest version of the Dracula legend, I welcome it as a reboot of this shared universe from the 1940s.
  • Bill Clark @ From The Balcony
  • Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews
    • Excerpt: Director Gary Shore and screenwriters Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless meld history with mythology for an entertainingly cheesy period fantasy adventure cum origin film grounded by a committed performance by Luke Evans as Lord Impaler.
  • Jim Dixon @ Examiner.com
    • Excerpt: It’s tempting, if facile and snarky to say “Dracula sucks.” But…
  • Mark Dujsik @ Mark Reviews Movies
    • Excerpt: [W]hat we get is an overly familiar Dracula movie that lacks a distinguishing personality.
  • James Jay Edwards @ FilmFracture
    • Excerpt: ‘Dracula Untold’ Shows A Kinder, Gentler Prince Of Darkness
  • Sarah Gopaul @ Digital Journal
    • Excerpt: ‘Dracula: Untold’ entirely reimagines the famed vampire’s origin story, updating the tale for an audience raised on spectacle over subtlety.
  • Susan Granger @ www.susangranger.com
    • Excerpt: Is it damning with faint praise to say that this horror fantasy doesn’t totally suck?
  • Vadym Grygoriev @ kinoblog.com [Ukrainian]
  • MaryAnn Johanson @ FlickFilosopher.com
    • Excerpt: A solid action fantasy more elemental and visceral than I expected, thanks to the potent presence of Luke Evans.
  • Jeremy Kibler @ The Artful Critic
    • Excerpt: Dracula Untold isn’t a tale that had to be left untold, but couldn’t someone have told it in a less stiff way? At least Luke Evans is the hunkiest Vlad the Impaler this world has ever seen.
  • Stefan Pape @ HeyUGuys
    • Excerpt: Breathes new life into an otherwise tired stomping ground, taking this story back hundreds of years and delving into the unknown origin story of the innovator himself, Mr. Dracula.
  • Jason Pirodsky @ Expats.cz
    • Excerpt: Bram Stoker’s creation enters the world of George R. R. Martin in Dracula Untold, a supposed vampire movie that features precious little gothic horror, and instead combines Game of Thrones theatrics with epic (but bloodless PG-13) Braveheart-styled battle sequences. Terrific. This is exactly what Dracula fans have been clamoring for.

Reviews: The Judge (2014)

Categories: 2013 Films
Comments: No Comments
Published on: October 9, 2014

judgeReviews for this film from our members:

  • José Arce @ LaButaca.net [Spanish]
    • Excerpt: Propuesta que escapa de la mera consideración telefílmica por el trabajo de sus actores principales. Mucho metraje, mucho cliché, poco espacio para la sorpresa. Un descanso para Robert Downey Jr. entre tanto ajetreo Marvel.
  • Nicholas Bell @ IONCINEMA.com
    • Excerpt: Groaning beneath the weight of its desperate grandstanding for awards consideration, David Dobkins’ The Judge launches a continuous covey of clichés at you as it vacillates between middlebrow familial melodrama, murder mystery, and half-baked courtroom drama.
  • Luke Bonanno @ DVDizzy.com
    • Excerpt: The Judge is severely lacking the intelligence and excitement we expect of courtroom dramas.
  • Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat @ SpiritualityandPractice.com
    • Excerpt: Drama about the transformation of a smart and slick Chicago defense lawyer during a visit to his small Indiana hometown.
  • Kevin Carr @ 7M Pictures
    • Excerpt: tries too hard with too much to deliver too little
  • Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews
    • Excerpt: Time and again, the writers attempt sleight of hand – tossing out ideas in order to upend them with a different revelation – but the tactic doesn’t work and Dobkins’ direction of plot is ungainly.
  • Jim Dixon @ Examiner.com
    • Excerpt: A deliberately manufactured, self-conscious class act from beginning to end, this dysfunctional family drama has been cast like a Yankees’ World Series contention team, photographed by Steven Spielberg’s cinematographer and scored by a 12-time Oscar nominee. Director David Dobkin (“Wedding Crashers,” “The Change-Up”) is attempting something more ambitious here, and he keeps his ducks in a row, but “The Judge” relentlessly refuses to pass up any opportunity to remind the audience they’re watching a movie.
  • Mark Dujsik @ Mark Reviews Movies
    • Excerpt: Screenwriters Nick Schenk and Bill Dubuque are working under the misapprehension that having things happen to a character is the same as developing that character…
  • Susan Granger @ www.susangranger.com
    • Excerpt: Robert Downey Jr. and Robert Duvall team up together for the first time in this sentimental journey, following a prodigal son from sin to redemption.
  • Vadym Grygoriev @ kinoblog.com [Ukrainian]
  • Charlie Juhl @ Citizen Charlie
    • Excerpt: The prodigal son returns is frequently a crowd pleaser and Downey and Duvall will entertain you with their version of it.
  • Ben Kendrick @ Screen Rant
    • Excerpt: ‘The Judge’ is a very familiar tale of a man that finds humility in a return to his hometown – albeit one with a few genuinely powerful moments of drama.
  • Jeremy Kibler @ The Artful Critic
    • Excerpt: A slick, sturdily performed middlebrow melodrama that meanders a bit and overstays its welcome, “The Judge” is just fine. If nothing else, Robert Downey Jr. gives this overlong, schmaltzy material a shot in the arm with his no-bull charisma.
  • Kristin Dreyer Kramer @ NightsAndWeekends.com
  • Pat Mullen @ Cinemablographer
    • Excerpt: ‘The Judge’ plays it safe and pleads ‘no contest’. Nothing risked is nothing gained.
  • Jerry Roberts @ Armchair Cinema
    • Excerpt: The Judge resembles those John Grisham thrillers that were popular in the 90s before the public came to the realization that he was basically telling the same story over and over. This is not a Grisham thriller, it’s actually better because it has more investment in the characters. Yes, it’s about a big criminal trial but that’s only a backdrop. It’s just as effective as a human drama.
  • [New - 10/23/14] | Diego Salgado @ Guía del Ocio [Spanish]
  • Frank Swietek @ One Guys Opinion
    • Excerpt: Slick but superficial and overloaded with cliches…entertaining enough, but in a shallow, manipulative fashion.

Reviews: Kill the Messenger (2014)

Categories: 2013 Films
Comments: No Comments
Published on: October 9, 2014

kill_the_messengerReviews for this film from our members:

  • David Bax @ Battleship Pretension
    • Excerpt: There are ways in which both fictional and documentary films can bring the truth to a life that is bigger than the facts alone. Kill the Messenger is just an adaptation of a Wikipedia entry.
  • Nicholas Bell @ IONCINEMA.com
    • Excerpt: Avoiding the trap of a procedural, Cuesta’s film feels very much like an intimate character drama spliced with its overarching message concerning easily manipulated media frenzies and the undiscussed corruption going on within our governmental agencies.
  • Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat @ SpiritualityandPractice.com
    • Excerpt: A drama made memorable by a Jeremy Renner’s mercurial performance as the passionate investigative journalist Gary Webb.
  • Mark Dujsik @ Mark Reviews Movies
    • Excerpt: What’s missing is some expression of the emotional and psychological toll on Gary beyond the basic acknowledgement that these events are affecting him…
  • Candice Frederick @ Reel Talk
  • [New - 10/23/14] | Cynthia Fuchs @ PopMatters
  • Susan Granger @ www.susangranger.com
    • Excerpt: Suspenseful political thriller, focusing on the fate of yet another truth-seeking whistleblower.
  • Mark Hobin @ Fast Film Reviews
    • Excerpt: What makes this so watchable is Jeremy Renner’s portrayal of newspaper reporter Gary Webb. He is really good at getting the audience to like him.
  • Charlie Juhl @ Citizen Charlie
    • Excerpt: The subject remains strong enough to recommend but Kill the Messenger is too choppy to rank as one of the harder hitting political thrillers.
  • Kristin Dreyer Kramer @ NightsAndWeekends.com
  • Cole Smithey @ ColeSmithey.com
    • Excerpt: “Kill the Messenger” is a frustrating movie. It fails both as a brief biopic and as a political thriller. It works somewhat as a sketch character study, but that’s not enough to satisfy a movie audience.
  • Frank Swietek @ One Guys Opinion
    • Excerpt: A solid fact-based period piece…anchored by a vivid performance from Jeremy Renner…a welcome throwback to the days of activist Hollywood David-vs.-Goliath films.
  • Andrew Wyatt @ St. Louis Magazine
    • Excerpt: Director Michael Cuesta and screenwriter Peter Landsman have difficulty structuring the story to best exploit its intrinsic drama, leaving Messenger feeling somewhat lumpy.

Reviews: Men, Women & Children (2014)

Categories: 2013 Films
Comments: No Comments
Published on: October 9, 2014

men_women_and_childrenReviews for this film from our members:

  • Jason Bailey @ Flavorwire
    • Excerpt: Following last year’s bizarrely tone-deaf adaptation of Joyce Maynard’s ‘Labor Day,’ Reitman’s latest is a peculiarly alarmist ensemble piece about how, in spite of our copious technology, we’re all just so disconnected, man. When Reitman burst on the scene with ‘Thank You for Smoking’ back in 2005, he seemed bent on making another ‘Dr. Strangelove'; based on his new picture, he’s apparently spent those years harboring the desire to make another ‘Crash.’
  • William Bibbiani @ CraveOnline
    • Excerpt: The kids are all right. The internet is all right. It’s this dreary, futile, meandering movie that sucks the life out of everything.
  • Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews
    • Excerpt: I didn’t like this movie when it was called “Disconnect,” and cowriter/director Jason Reitman’s (“Juno,” “Labor Day”) adaptation of Chad Kultgen’s novel lays on pretension masquerading as deep thought for an even less convincing mix
  • Mark Dujsik @ Mark Reviews Movies
    • Excerpt: Considering its lack of concern in addressing a solution to the problem it raises, the movie’s fascination with masturbation is appropriate.
  • MaryAnn Johanson @ FlickFilosopher.com
    • Excerpt: Jason Reitman is way too young to have produced a work of such fuddy-duddy handwringing over These Kids (And Adults) Today and how we play with our e-toys.
  • Charlie Juhl @ Citizen Charlie
    • Excerpt: Future Reitman analysts will have his early period to begin their dissections and then will move on to his films which feel aimed at his neighborhood Rotary Club, which feels like the only demographic Reitman will end up scaring here.
  • Jeremy Kibler @ The Artful Critic
    • Excerpt: Critically, “Labor Day” was unfairly mocked because it was filmmaker Reitman in a different, more earnest mode, many claiming that he was losing his way and his spiky edge. Correction: “Men, Women & Children” is his first miscalculation.
  • Kristin Dreyer Kramer @ NightsAndWeekends.com
  • [New - 10/23/14] | Dan Lybarger @ KCActive.com
    • Excerpt: What’s missing here is a sense of darkness and unfamiliarity that drove Reitman’s earlier films.
  • Jamie S. Rich @ DVD Talk
    • Excerpt: Given the fact that Men, Women & Children has a kind of a forest-for-the-trees thing happening, it’s not surprising that some details are lost in the earnest pursuit of so many others. The problem that co-writer and director Jason Reitman has, though, isn’t that he can’t see the forest, it’s that he thinks he does, and he ignores the good trees within it by trying to have it all
  • Frank Swietek @ One Guys Opinion
    • Excerpt: Banality posing as profundity.
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