Movies

Movies

Tue
08
Sep

Direct-to-DVD Too Good for Cats & Dogs 3: Paws Unite

Cats Dogs 3 Paws Unite DVD

The CATS & DOGS franchise operates on the conceit that animals can all talk, and that cats and dogs work together to operate a high-tech MI-6 inspired operation to protect the world from other cats and dogs who have evil plans for the world. Using voice actors and CGI, it was an entertaining franchise for children to watch, and had enough of a plot to keep the adults awake.

With this third installment, PAWS UNITE, the notion of an engaging plot has been thrown out with the kitty litter.

Fri
28
Aug

Monster Force Zero Fun Fan Film

Monster Force Zero

One of the fun activities while attending comic and scifi conventions is heading off to one of the side rooms to watch fan films. These range from the basic no-budget stories shot on a smart phone while making it up as you go along, to large budget Star Trek stories with special effects and -- sometimes -- actors from the actual series. Mostly they're a mix, with a modest budget, inexperienced actors, and a simplistic plot. The goal overall is just to have fun watching them as well as making them.

Fri
28
Aug

Cancer Takes Black Panther Actor: Chadwick Boseman, 43

Chadwick Boseman, 43

The Associated Press has been informed that Chadwick Boseman, who portrayed the groundbreaking and inspirational superhero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR, BLACK PANTHER, and AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR, has passed away today at the age of 43 from colon cancer.

Boseman was diagnosed with the illness four years ago, about the same time CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR introduced the Black Panther to live action audiences. He never spoke publicly about his condition, choosing instead to continue filming.

The Boseman family statement to the press said that Boseman was 'a true fighter,' “Chadwick persevered through it all and brought you many of the films you have come to love so much; from MARSHALL to DA 5 BLOODS, AUGUST WILSON'S MA RAINEY'S BLACK BOTTOM, and several more — all were filmed during and between countless surgeries and chemotherapy."

"It was the honor of his career to bring King T’Challa to life in BLACK PANTHER.”

Wed
29
Jul

Halfway Through Watching, You Realize: You Should Have Left

You Should Have Left

The arthouse horror film YOU SHOULD HAVE LEFT has more than a few good elements to work with when crafting a haunted house story. Unfortunately, it doesn't make as much use of them as it should.

A former banker, Theo (Kevin Bacon), and his actress wife, Susanna (Amanda Seyfried), rent a house in the Welsh countryside while Susanna films a movie there. If you're immediately thinking about the age disparity between Bacon (who has apparently grown up to become Randy Travis) and BIG LOVE actress, it's actually acknowledged in the plot, when one of Susanna's co-workers question if Theo is her father.

Tue
28
Jul

The Best Sports Movies of All Time

Greatest Sports Movies

With the exception of a few sports like WWE, sporting events are unscripted. It’s this unpredictability that leaves people at the edge of their seats until the last seconds of a game. Additionally, the success of underdogs can be a big plot twist that no one sees coming.

For example, the Toronto Raptors won the NBA Championship in 2019, even though no one even considered them a contender at the start of the year. In Formula 1, the 2009 championships were won by Brawn GP and Jenson Button, and yet the team had no sponsors and almost didn’t make it to the first race of the year.

These factors make sports a great subject for movies. Some are complete works of fiction, while others are based on real events. Here are some of the greatest examples of these films.

Rounders

Thu
16
Jul

Russian SF Flick Attraction 2: Invasion Visually Fun -- So Watch Muted

Attraction 2 Invasion

ATTRACTION 2 is a visually stunning work of science fiction, and the trailers for it certainly communicated that fact, drawing in new fans as well as those who had already seen the 2017 ATTRACTION to which this is the sequel. It's shots of outer space satellite action, the scenes of flying through the city in a miniatur pod craft -- in fact, the entire cinematography is a thing to be admired from beginning to end.

And if visuals were all it took to make a great film, then this one would be a success. But there's also story and dialogue to be considered, and that's where this Blu-ray release just fails to capture me. To be fair, I am watching an American dub; the dialogue in the original Russian, were I able to do more than say 'good morning' and 'let's get coffee', might make more sense.

Mon
13
Jul

From Depp, Heard Libel Case Arises Heist Story of Staggering $750 Million!

Depp Robbed of 750 million

Celebrity divorces have seldom been as replete with salacious details as has been that of Johnny Depp and Amber Heard, with each side throwing accusations ranging from physical abuse to purposeful defecation on the marital bed.

However, testimony on Monday, July 12, went into a reason for one of the altercations, in which Depp claimed that Heard had thrown a "haymaker" at him on her birthday (a reference to which was later captured on one of the many secret recordings Heard made of Depp prior to their divorce).

Fri
12
Jun

Blumhouse Hunt a Swiftian Satire Through Modern Lens

The Hunt Blu-ray

When THE HUNT was first publicized, it was received with a tremendous amount of online criticism. The elevator pitch was that it was going to be a riff on "The Most Dangerous Game" except that those hunted would be kidnapped Trump supporters released into the wilds of a private estate, to be chased down and killed in gruesome fashion by powerful elites. It was seen as further persecution of conservatives in some corners, and as the seal of approval or an open season on GOP voters by others. Paranoia, as the bards put it so eloquently, runs deep.

In truth, the film is actually a riff on "The Most Dangerous Game" except that those hunted would be... oh. Okay, so maybe the elevator pitch plot was actually spot on in that regard -- but it was hardly the whole story.

Wed
27
May

After 30 Years, Top Gun on Blu-Ray Will Still Take Your Breath Away

Top Gun 4K Blu-ray

In 1986, TOP GUN put audiences in the cockpit for the visual ride of their lives. The story of hotshot Navy pilot, Maverick (Tom Cruise), captured the imaginations of men and women, young and old, with its thrilling camera work with fighter planes and its smoldering romance scenes between Cruise and Navy pilot instructor Charlie (Kelly McGillis).

Maverick and his partner Goose (Anthony Edwards) are sent to Top Gun, the elite fighting academy, to learn combat flight maneuvers so they rely less on their missiles and more on their dogfighting tecniques. But it's more than just a class -- it's a competition among the best the Navy has to offer, and Maverick finds himself in a heated race with Iceman (Val Kilmer) for the top spot.

Wed
13
May

Spirit Reckoning: How the Wild West is Still in Fashion

Wild Wild West

While superheroes and intergalactic mercenaries take over popular entertainment, some old-school themes still linger. They may be less in demand than in the past, but cowboys pop up now and then in movies, video games and even comics to take us back to the grit of the wild west. Not only that, but current projects under development, like Spirit Reckoning, enjoy mixing up old and modern trends to create unique stories that will resonate with today’s audiences. You can find such originality throughout the entertainment industry, each sector often inspiring others. But, first, a bit more detail on this upcoming horror western.

Spirit Reckoning Update

Wed
08
Apr

Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion's Revenge Hits Like a Hard "R" G.I. Joe

Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion's Revenge

MORTAL KOMBAT LEGENDS: SCORPION'S REVENGE opens, as one would expect, by presenting itself as the origin of Hanzo Hasashi (voiced by Patrick Seitz), a great warrior who returns to his village to find it completely eradicated, including his wife. His final vision before his death is the brutal murder of his young son.

Hasashi awakens in the Netherrealm, where he is about to be tortured for all eternity by a demon. But Hasashi's will is indomitable, and he manages to fight his way through an army of demons, to the door of Quan Chi (Darin De Paul), who offers Hasashi an opportunity to get his life and family back -- by obtaining the key to unlock Quan Chi's imprisoned master through a competition held between the many realms. The competition comes with an opportunity for revenge against the man who killed Hasashi's family. And so Scorpion is born.

Sun
22
Mar

Uncut Gems Unsettling Cinema

Uncut Gems Adam Sandler

Howard Ratner (Adam Sandler) is a jeweler living the high life at a high cost. He maintains a home with his wife and children, as well as an apartment with his girlfriend, Julia (Julia Fox), but it takes more than selling high-end jewelry to a select clientele. Howard has so many shady irons in the fire that he has to become an expert juggler and proficient liar just to keep his head above water.

Sun
15
Mar

What if Superman Landed in Soviet Russia? Superman: Red Son Releases on Blu-ray and Digital

Superman: Red Son

The Mark Millar Elseworld's tale gets an animated adaptation as DC Entertainment releases SUPERMAN: RED SON on Blu-ray this week.

The premise of the Elseworld's graphic novels was a genius concept, wherein all the elements of an event in the DC Universe would remain fairly the same save for one change that altered the course. With SUPERMAN: RED SON, that change was a half-day; twelve hours, in which the Earth's rotation made it so that Superman's rocket did not land in a Kansas wheat field, but in a wheat field within Stalin's Russia. This gave Millar the playground to test the ages-old argument of nature versus nurture, as Kal-El is raised to support the State and believe in the ideals of communism, while still having within him the innate desire to help people.

Mon
09
Mar

Charlie's Angels (2019) an Object Lesson in Killing Franchises

Charlie's Angels 2019

It's not uncommon that a film have a theme. In fact, it's expected. You watch the film, you digest the plot, and you come away with the idea that, "This was a metaphor for this particular idea."

With CHARLIE'S ANGELS (2019), the theme is explicitly stated up front, and then slowly moves on from there to hammer that idea home. And that idea is this: Men are bad.

In this Elizabeth Banks take on the CHARLIE'S ANGELS franchise, the Townsend Agency has been taken international, just as John Bosley (Patrick Stewart) is retiring. As a tribute of sorts, every agency's lieutenant is given the rank of "Bosley," which doesn't get confusing at all. So Elizabeth Banks' character in this film is called Bosley as she directs the activities of her Angels while also directing the actors playing them.

Sat
07
Mar

The Quest for Family Connection Drives Disney Pixar's Latest Film Onward

Onward

Tom Holland and Chris Pratt lead this charming Disney Pixar road-trip / buddy movie in a literal quest for magic.

ONWARD presents a world that was initially sword-and-sorcery, and allows it to evolve into one of modern convenience while retaining its culture and creatures. Unicorns are nusance animals, small dragons are kept as pets, and the ways of magic have been long forgotten for smart phones.

Fri
06
Mar

Best Film of 2019 Awarded to Iconic Villain: Joker

Joker Critical Blast Best of 2019 Film Award

In the category of Best Film of 2019, we had, perhaps, the most competition of any other category in terms of the number of nominations each vying for the vote of our readers. But there were only three films that cracked the barrier into double-digit percentages of the prize pie.

Coming in for the third place position was the Quentin Tarantino blockbuster with Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio, ONCE UPON A TIME... IN HOLLYWOOD, and its fictionalized account of actors who fell into the orbit of Roman Polanski and Sharon Tate, just before the Manson family murders.

Wed
04
Mar

No Joke: Joaquin Phoenix Nabs Best Film Actor for 2019

Joaquin Phoenix best actor 2019 joker

We've written before how so many of our Best of 2019 contests were nail-biters, close calls, and photo finishes.

That certainly wasn't an issue when it came to the readers selecting who they thought the Best Film Actor of 2019 was. In fact, the field quickly narrowed so that the only significantly reportable actors became a club of five.

Rosa Salazar and Brie Larson made up the superhero contingent of the pack, for their roles in ALITA: BATTLE ANGEL and CAPTAIN MARVEL, but both were overtaken by Taron Edgerton for his exuberant performance in the Elton John musical-biopic, ROCKETMAN. 

Thu
13
Feb

Super Sonic: Sega's Hedgehog Hero Comes Out a Winner

Sonic the Hedgehog Movie

The face of Sega gaming races into theaters this weekend, and the studio execs have got to be crossing their fingers that they hit a home run with the fans. After early images of the CGI-rendered Sonic the Hedgehog were released to the public and met with universal scorn, production went back to the drawing board to get a redesign that was closer to the original version of the character.

They succeeded.

Sonic the Hedgehog came from another dimension, fleeing to this one as a hiding place when evil beings on his home wanted to take his power from him. It's a power he doesn't fully understand himself, but it manifests itself in super-speed. (Warner Brothers may want to push back THE FLASH another year after this.) He's been here for a while, living among the people in a small town, hiding from them. He knows them intimately, even though they don't know he's around.

Thu
13
Feb

DOWNHILL Is An Unfunny Waste Of Great Comedy Talent

DOWNHILL opens 2/14/2020, and the best part will be the trailers  before it starts.

Will Ferrell and Julia Louis-Dreyfus are two living legends in comedy. Both are Saturday Night Live alumni who revel in the absurd. Ferrell graduated to the big screen with Old School and never looked back. Elf, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, Talladega Nights: the Ballad of Ricky Bobby, Step Brothers, The Lego Movie 1 & 2, Get Hard, and my personal favorite of his impressive resume, Stranger Than Fiction -- It seemed like the funny man would never bomb. The same holds true for Louis-Dreyfus,, the only woman in history to have won Emmy Awards for three different comedy series. Seinfeld put her on the map, and The New Adventures of Old Christine and Veep proved that she belonged to be considered among the heavyweights like Carol Burnett and Betty White. 

Tue
11
Feb

An Inept Con Run Against Gullible Rich: This is Parasite

Parasite on Blu-ray

More than a few people expected PARASITE, the film from director Bong Joon Ho, to take the Oscar for Best Foreign Film. But far more were taken aback when the film swept out of that niche and into the broader part of the ceremony, nabbing the coveted Best Picture award.

Is it a good movie? It's okay. It's a bit of a slog in places, and for American audiences it is clogged with cultural references that won't strike any chords. Add to that the fact that the entire thing is subtitled throughout, and you end up with a recipe for Decidedly Not a Blockbuster.

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