Today:  02/18/2020

Review: 'Snatchers' is a bloody good time

Posted February 18,2020 - 03:57 PM


Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this news story. The opinions I share are my own.

If you take equal measures of It's Alive, Gremlins and Clueless or Mean Girls then you start to get in the ballpark of Snatchers. The darling of the 2019 SXSW Film Festival, Snatchers is a darkly comedic horror film that serves both as a warning against teen promiscuity and misusing a blender.

When Sara's simple hunk of a boyfriend returns from Summer vacation a changed man, she decides that it's now or never for her to lose her virginity and keep her man. Unfortunately, her boyfriend contracted an alien bug on his vacation and she wakes up the next morning nine months pregnant with an alien baby. Now, Sara and her best friend must fight for...

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Review: War is bloody and artistic in 'Another Day of Life'

Posted February 18,2020 - 11:28 AM

Another day

It seems silly to say that war is artistic, but that's exactly what the filmmakers were attempting to create in Another Day of Life. Through the use of blunt, realistic animation, they were able to take Polish war correspondent's Ryszard Kapuscinski treatise on the budding war for independence in Angola in 1975 and give it the emotional resonance that the author intended.

To be fair, I wasn't familiar with Ryszard Kapuscinski's work before watching Another Day of Life and that speaks more for our own literary isolationism than the quality of his work. It's evident from the opening scene that Kapuscinski fancies himself in the mold of American gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson, except on the front lines of the latest third world conflict.

Whether he was ever on drugs or not I do not...

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Review: 'The Great War' sheds light on historical diversity

Posted February 11,2020 - 11:30 AM

Great war

It's only fitting that The Great War is set for release during Black History month on a the first street date following the Oscars. Of course, had the Oscars gone a bit more to script, then The Great War would have been helped by a nice little Oscar bump from the success of 1917.

Unfortunately, things don't always go as planned. Parasite was the big winner Sunday night and World War I movies continue to be overlooked in favor of stories of conflict set during World War II or Vietnam. What 1917 did remind us of though is that there are countless forgotten moments from the original Great War that deserve a modern retelling.

In The Great War, a regiment of daring African-American soldiers is caught behind enemy lines as the war approaches its final days. When one of their ranks escapes...

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Review: 'Jay and Silent Bob Reboot' beautifully resurrects the View Askewniverse

Posted January 21,2020 - 04:52 PM

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In early 2018, Kevin Smith suffered a heart attack. Not one of those Dick Cheney every other week type of cardiac arrests, but the infamous "widow maker." Thankfully, the near-death experience did not end with the filmmaker's early demise, but rather inspired him to go back to his roots and breathe new life into his beloved View Askewniverse.

For the uninitiated, the View Askewniverse is a term used by fans of Smith and the filmmaker himself to refer to his burgeoning film catalog that often shares characters over several films. Think of it as the Marvel Cinematic Universe when Iron Man was still in his iron diapers.

While films such as Clerks, Mallrats, Chasing Amy, Dogma, etc. are all hilarious on their own merits, they achieve a higher order of comedy when taken together as a...

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Review: 'The Courier' delivers on its promise

Posted January 21,2020 - 12:07 PM


Sometimes I just don't get critical movie reviews. These jaded, staid supposed purveyors of good taste can't just check their brains at the door and enjoy a film for what it is. No, they need to prop up their fragile ego, by expecting that each and every movie be the next Citizen Kane, Animal House or The Matrix.

Spoiler alert: The Courier isn't any of these, although it does tend to fall into the action-heavy camp of The Matrix more than anything else. But that's OK.

Not every film needs to evoke navel-gazing introspection or a revelation for the audience. No, it's quite OK for a film to be a disposable experience that you can enjoy in the moment and never think about again. The Courier isn't without its flaws, but it's also far from the bottom of heap entertainment that some critics...

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Review: 'Brewster's Millions' Collector's Edition is a home run

Posted January 14,2020 - 05:17 PM


When Brewster's Millions came out, I was 11 and it instantly became one of my favorite films of all time. John Candy was my favorite actor at the time and my parents had introduced me to Richard Pryor a couple of years earlier and I was hooked.

What can I say, we were early cable adopters and my parents were very progressive. Either that or they didn't think a little raunchy comedy was bad for the soul. They were right.

What I didn't know at the time is that this version released in 1985 was only the latest adaptation of a novel from George Barr McCutcheon. In fact, I didn't watch the 1945 version until college and I was blown away by the realization. But I really shouldn't have been.

The story of excess and indulgence and the follies that they bring is a timeless tale that is as...

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Review: 'Jexi' is an non-smart comedy film

Posted January 14,2020 - 04:27 PM

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Everyone has a smartphone these days. Technology has gotten us the point that we are pretty much enslaved to the device that is technically called a phone, but people rarely make phone calls on it.

Seen as a satirical take on the wonderful film Her, Jexi proves that perhaps too much technology is a bad thing. In other words, Jexi is the worthless flip phone to Her's latest and greatest technological achievement and it's not even close.

A lovable loser type, played by Adam DeVine, finds that his obsession with his phone is ruining his life, both socially and professionally. When he gets a new phone and opts to turn over his decisions to a badass A.I. life coach, his life is turned upside down, but it comes with a catch. Jexi, the aforementioned A.I., becomes obsessed with her new owner...

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Review: 'Line of Duty' is a tense ride

Posted January 14,2020 - 03:36 PM


There is no shortage of cop films or media is the devil movies these days, but few are able to weave them together as successfully as Line of Duty. While the film is far from perfect, it was a pleasant distraction from the real news of the day with a bit of old-school escapism that just feels right.

Aaron Eckhart plays disgraced cop Frank Penny who is looking to right one of his wrongs and find the kidnapped 11-year-old daughter of the police chief. Unfortunately, his current suspended status requires Frank to partner with a young guerilla journalist to help catch the kidnappers.

What seems like a cross between The Rookie and 24, Line of Duty is able to deftly navigate the trappings of its TV brethren by its relentless pacing and a stand-out performance from Eckhart. It is...

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Review: 'MacGyver' Season 3 hits its stride

Posted January 14,2020 - 01:27 PM


I have to admit. When I'm wrong, I'm wrong.

Long-time fans of the site will recall that I wasn't the biggest fan of MacGyver: Season 1 when it first came out. In fact, I didn't pick it up when it aired and was only exposed to it when I was asked to review the DVD.

Since then, I have become sort of obsessed with the show and it's becoming a regular Friday night watch for my son and me. You see, I was a massive fan of the original series and like most regurgitated things my initial reaction was to reject it. But something interesting happened when I watched that DVD, my son started to show an interest in the show.

As any parent can tell you, it is a major victory when you can find something that creates mutual interest between you and your children. This is becoming increasingly more...

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Review: 'Krypton' goes with a bang and a whimper

Posted January 14,2020 - 11:17 AM


Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this news story. The opinions I share are my own.

You know the old Neil Young lyric. "It's better to burn out than to fade away."

The gist of it is that it's better to live life to its fullest and die young than to live long and become irrelevant. At least that's how rock stars interpret it and their high mortality rate at a young age would seem to augment their reasoning. Of course, perhaps ironically, Niel Young is 74 years old, but no one would ever claim that he was irrelevant.

Ever since the debut of serialized TV, the same sort of adage has also been debated in network circles. Is it better for a TV series to be contained to a small number of episodes or to let it run its course aimlessly...

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