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Today:  08/08/2020

Review: 'The Outsider' is a grand slam of chills and thrills

Posted July 28,2020 - 05:34 PM

Outsider

Unfortunately, there is going to come a day when this Earth will no longer be home to Stephen King. Sadly for the 72-year-old author, that day is going to be upon us sooner rather than later.

With this week's spate of celebrity deaths, it really hits home that our heroes are truly mortal and one day they will cease to exist. The adding of years to his age hasn't slowed down the prolific writer one bit and our entertainment options are forever grateful.

There has been no shortage of adaptations of his work over the years, but it really does feel like we are hitting peak Stephen King time. With Castle Rock, It and Mr. Mercedes all dominating our entertainment options lately, sometimes it feels like it's a Stephen King and we all live in Maine.

It's this last property that really gave...

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Review: 'Legacy of Lies' leaves little legacy of its own

Posted July 28,2020 - 04:33 PM

Legacy

I have to admit that I spent way too much time googling Legacy of Lies writer/director Adrian Bol. It wasn't so much that his feature film debut blew me away, but I was convinced that he was the long-lost son of famed German director Uwe Boll.

I was so far down the rabbit hole of tinfoil hat territory that I was convinced that the younger Bol had spliced off an "L" from his last name in a fit of spite that would be so on-brand for the elder, fiery German filmmaker. But alas, my queries were for naught and even though there is a slight resemblance if you squint at just the right angle, they are indeed not related at all.

Perhaps the younger Bol spent time watching Uwe Boll's films growing up because as Legacy of Lies progressed, I was more convinced of my fledgling hypothesis. Of...

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Review: 'The Room' is a cinematic wish come true

Posted July 21,2020 - 05:16 PM

Room

In our last review, we talked about the grim slate of new releases for the foreseeable future. The longer that cinemas are closed due to COVID-19, the more "creative" the studios will be forced to become to keep retail stocked with desirable films.

While Survive The Night is an example of a casualty of this pandemic, The Room is on the other end of the spectrum. This is a film that might have been lost in the clutter of a busy release date, but with less competition, it is given a chance to find a wider audience. If you those off-kilter, bizarre films, then this is a very good thing for you.

A couple leaves the troubles of big city life behind for a more authentic experience in an old house in the country. They soon discover a secret room that has the extraordinary power to...

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Review: 'Survive the Night' is a sign of our times

Posted July 21,2020 - 01:26 PM

Survive

Welcome to COVID cinema 2020. May we suggest either the tired retread of a film that everyone loved five years ago or the third direct-to-video sequel of a film that has nothing to do with the supposed franchise?

The reality is that today's home entertainment offerings in the physical media realm are as paltry as they were during the height of the Hollywood writers strike from 2007-2008. But this time, Hollywood had even less time to prepare and it seems that the old shelves are barer now than ever before.

Enter Survive The Night. Or Deep Blue Sea 3. Or Cats & Dogs 3.

It seems that Hollywood has a neverending supply of these types of films, but if their lack of quality is any indication, that well might be running dry. And yet, thanks to the shuttering of cinemas across the...

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Review: 'You Don't Nomi' is a classy homage to a trashy film

Posted July 21,2020 - 11:20 AM

Nomi

What do RoboCop, Total Recall, Starship Troopers, Basic Instinct and Showgirls have in common? In addition to being landmark films in their particular genres, they were all helmed by the one and only Paul Verhoeven.

Yes, the dude who got Arnold Schwarzenegger to Mars also gave us an up-close and (too?) personal look at Sharon Stone and Elizabeth Berkley nether regions. Verhoeven has always had an exploitation eye towards filmmaking, whether that vice is violence or nudity or whatever. And yet, the unexpected critical acclaim that Basic Instinct garnered instantly elevated his status, and his follow-up Showgirls is one of the industry's most loathed films, but also one that has gained cult status among his devotees.

And that's where You Don't Nomi comes in.

Billed as a look at the...

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Review: 'Trolls' brings their 'World Tour' to a triumphant end at home

Posted July 07,2020 - 04:37 PM

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At some point in the near future, Trolls: World Tour might be the answer to an obscure bar trivia question that will net you a million dollars - or at least a free round of drinks. That question will likely be some form of what film was the most successful direct-to-video release of all time?

Unfortunately, my crack research in which I spent a whole ten minutes looking for the current direct-to-video champion yielded no clear-cut answer. Regardless of which terrible Disney sequel like The Return of Jafar or The Lion King 1 1/2 is the reigning champ, they will soon be surpassed by Trolls: World Tour.

This is a small consolation for Dreamworks and Universal which surely had Trolls: World Tour pegged for an early summer smash hit raking in hundreds of millions of dollars at the box...

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Review: 'Force of Nature' will rock you like a hurricane

Posted June 30,2020 - 12:05 PM

Nature

With all due apologies to the German rock band, the only thing missing from Force of Nature was an action montage set to Scorpion's most revered song in their catalog. Heck, even using it for the trailer would have been enough to help its long odds.

But alas, it is a wasted opportunity. Sort of like top-billed actor Mel Gibson's career.

What is the current barometer on Mel Gibson? Ever since his bizarre alcohol-fueled issues in the mid-to-late 2000s and bizarre comments, his stock has been up and down. Once thought to be Hollywood's most bankable star, he hasn't had an acting hit since when? 2002's Signs?

Gibson's odd behavior certainly made him a pariah in Hollywood for about a decade, but he slowly started his comeback culminating in praise for his directorial work on the...

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Review: 'Project Blue Book' hits its stride in Season 2

Posted June 16,2020 - 04:59 PM

Pbb

Since I started reviewing Season Two of Project Blue Book, it was announced that the History Channel has canceled the series. This is a shame because, as you will see below, the drama based loosely on declassified government reports really found its mark this season.

The show was gaining momentum and from the sound of things from the showrunners, they had the next couple of seasons broken already. While there still remains a modicum of hope that another network or streaming service will resurrect Project Blue Book, it will most likely be the latest casualty of an impatient network unwilling to allow a property to build an audience organically.

I truly believe that this show was on the cusp of becoming the next sensational Sci-Fi hit ala The X Files. Now, we may never know, but one...

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Review: Jay Pharoah shines with his '2 Minutes of Fame'

Posted June 16,2020 - 03:49 PM

Fame

This week is an interesting one when it comes to SNL alum. Jay Pharoah, who starred on the sketch comedy show for six seasons, and Pete Davidson, a current SNL cast member, both had new movies debut this week and they couldn't be more different.

The King of Staten Island finds Pete Davidson playing a version of himself in Judd Apatow's latest film that is surprisingly more dramatic than his work on SNL and forces Davidson to face the ghosts in his past. Pharoah, on the other hand, plays a character that is more familiar to his SNL fans in 2 Minutes of Fame.

They both turn in remarkable work and showcase the efforts of SNL lately to not just churn funny comics, but also well-rounded actors.

In 2 Minutes of Fame, Pharoah plays Deandre, an aspiring stand-up comic with a host of...

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Review: Your heart will race while watching 'Outback'

Posted June 09,2020 - 05:26 PM

Outback

I have to admit that my knowledge of Australia is pretty limited. I know that it was first populated as a penal colony, "a dingo ate my baby" and The Outback is a pretty decent steakhouse with a tasty bloomin' onion appetizer. Yeah, I'm basically your typical naive American.

But this week's new film Outback will teach all of us naive Americans that the great Australian arid land that composes a vast majority of the island nation is not a trifle to be reckoned with. No, you'll definitely not make another "shrimp on the barbie" or "this is a knife" joke after watching this film.

Two young lovers take a dream vacation to Australia in the hopes of taking their relationship to the next level while making once-in-a-lifetime memories. When they take an unplanned detour into the dangerous and...

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