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Today:  08/08/2022

Review: Much like its architecture stand-in, 'Mid-Century' is bold and interesting

Posted July 26,2022 - 04:52 PM

Midcentury

When you're talking architecture, the buzz words "bold" and "interesting" are universally regarded as a positive thing. For movies, it could go either way.

This holds true in this week's Mid-Century where the filmmakers try to thread an ambitious needle and mostly succeed. Of course, much like the architectural trend from which the movie takes its name, there is plenty of navel-gazing when all we want is an open concept design and enough bathrooms to support our aging urinary system.

Maybe we are watching too much HGTV on the weekends.

Academy Award-nominee Bruce Dern (NEBRASKA), Stephen Lang (AVATAR) and Shane West ("Gotham") highlight this stylish, intense horror-thriller. Looking for a change one weekend, ER doctor Alice and her husband, Tom, rent a glamorous mid-century modern...

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Review: 'The Lost City' is revealed to be a fun ride

Posted July 26,2022 - 02:23 PM

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I've always found that any film with a comedic cameo from Brad Pitt is worth its weight in gold. See True Romance. Of course, you might be wondering why I started this review highlighting an actor who doesn't even receive top-billing (or second or third...) in the film?

Because the answer is simple, these romantic adventure comedies work best when the lead actors are surrounded by talented actors willing to show up for a few scenes, provide the necessary chuckles, and exit stage right. While I think that Brad Pitt is a fine actor, there was a time right between Meet Joe Black and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button where we gorged ourselves to death on Brad Pitt.

Not literally of course, because eww, but in a metaphorical sense we got our fill of Brad Pitt. So, it's refreshing to see...

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Review: 'Ancient Aliens' gets disclosure in Season 15

Posted July 20,2022 - 12:10 PM

Aa 15

It's the most wonderful time of the year...

No, I'm not talking about Christmas, although you could say that it is a bit of a Christmas in July event because Giorgio A. Tsoukalos is the gift that keeps giving to true believers. It's the annual time where we try and figure out which season the latest episodes released by Ancient Aliens truly belong.

Dubbed as Ancient Aliens: Season 15, the ten episodes that compose this latest offering in alien conspiracy theories actually contain the episodes from Season 18 that aired earlier this year. I could try and explain the odd and bizarre ritualistic nature of their numbering system, but that would take all the fun out of it.

Besides, I much rather post this gif one more time.


Man, I love me some crazy Giorgio A. Tsoukalos theories, and...

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Review: 'Dual' is dark, confusing, and wonderful

Posted July 19,2022 - 05:09 PM

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Every so often, a film comes by and makes you stop and take notice of it. Dual is one of those rare movies.

These days it's hard enough to get people to put down their phones and electronic devices long enough to watch an entire 90-minute film in one sitting. Although to be fair, most movies these days don't really try to entangle you into their plot to the point where you have to pay attention and lock in.

While the latest MCU entry may delight our senses and give us a cultural touchstone necessary to maintain our geek credentials, most of them are less than fulfilling when it comes to challenging our intellect and making us reaccess our place in the universe. Unless we are a victim of Thanos' snap, then all bets are off.

Dual is the type of film that Science Fiction was invented...

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Review: 'Zero Contact' should be quarantined

Posted July 08,2022 - 03:24 PM

Zero

Anthony Hopkins is one of those actors that you could literally watch read the phone book and be mesmerized. After watching Zero Contact, I would welcome some phone books.

Naturally, Hopkins is the best thing about this film, but his presence is fleeting and while his specter certainly hangs over the balance of the movie, it's clear that this one isn't a keeper. You can almost see what the filmmakers were trying to accomplish, bringing the isolation and craziness of the pandemic to the big screen, but the execution was anything but appealing.

Starring Academy Award winner Anthony Hopkins (THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS), this high-tech thriller chillingly reimagines our isolated, virtual world. Hopkins plays Finley Hart, the eccentric genius behind a global data-mining program. Upon his...

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Review: 'The Bad Guys' is fun for the whole family

Posted June 21,2022 - 03:35 PM

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When you have two kids under the age of 11, trying to find things to watch together as a family is challenging on the best of days. Normally, it ends with tears and some form of punishment for one or both kids.

So, when a film like The Bad Guys comes along, we jump on the opportunity to have a fun family movie night.

Over the last 20 years or so, there's been a real shift in the way studios create and market these types of animated films. In the past, the goal was to find something suitable for repeat viewing by kids with little attempts to capture the parents' attention. Now, most bigger animated films usually have jokes and story arcs that play for both the younger set and those that grew up on these types of movies.

This new approach has allowed parents to enjoy the endless loops...

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Review: You will believe in 'Skinwalker Ranch'

Posted June 14,2022 - 04:34 PM

Skinwalker

Much like last week's History's Greatest Mysteries, this week's The Secret of Skinwalker Ranch DVD packages two seasons on one DVD. Not only is this a great way to market the currently airing Season Three on the History Channel, but it's a value-packed way for new fans to catch up on the show.

So, what is the show? That's a really good question.

The TV series employs several Ancient Aliens veterans as they turn their sights on the mysterious Skinwalker Ranch, formerly known as Sherman Ranch, that has long been the epicenter of supposed alien activity and other supernatural occurrences in Utah. Are they real or simply a rouse by the former owners to stir up interest in the property ahead of a sale?

More importantly, is the TV series real or are they simply creating drama to sell...

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Review: Robert Eggers' 'The Northman' dazzles

Posted June 09,2022 - 04:27 PM

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This review could be simply a Robert Eggers lover letter and it will accomplish the same feat.

Don't get me wrong, The Northman is fantastic and you should definitely check it out, but it's more than a single film. Eggers exploded onto the scene with The Witch and basically introduced the world to Anya Taylor-Joy (THANK YOU!). From there, he brought the atmospheric The Lighthouse to life which is a film that would make Alfred Hitchcock jealous.

Robert Eggers is a young filmmaker that is expanding on the playbook blazed by pioneers such as Guillermo del Toro and Robert Rodriguez by putting his stamp on the horror/psychological terror genre. He along with Mike Flanagan, Ari Aster and Jordan Peele are leading a new resurgence in horror and as a longtime horror fanatic, I'm just hanging...

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Review: 'Fortress: Sniper's Eye' fails to rise to the occasion

Posted June 08,2022 - 04:19 PM

Fortress

I have to admit that I was pretty critical of Bruce Willis' film choices lately. Of course, knowing now that the actor is suffering from aphasia, it's hard to pass judgment on the otherwise venerable action star.

I loved Willis ever since he first uttered those famous Yippie Kiyay words. No, check that, I loved him on Moonlighting and my appreciation only grew when he came to define a modern-day action hero in the late 1980s and 1990s.

There was a particular period of time when he epitomized what a Hollywood A-list was and we were the to lap it up. Sadly, time tarnishes everything and the crown started to slip for me during the run-up to Cop Out. Bruce was mortal and it hurt.

His recent diagnosis is sad, no doubt, but it helps to make sense of his roles in recent years. What I...

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Review: 'History's Greatest Mysteries' makes for fascinating viewing

Posted June 07,2022 - 04:58 PM

Mysteries

I admit it. I'm a huge History dork.

I literally could spend all day and night watching History channel programming, especially their docu-drama recreations of historical mysteries. There was an old show simply called History's Mysteries that ran for like 15 or 16 seasons and tackled everything from the death of Marilyn Monroe to Lizzie Borden and almost anything in between.

While most shows were well-produced and compelling, however, there were a few stinkers along the way. I mean how could you not "phone it in" somewhere around season 10 or so? While the shows were presented by Arthur Kent and narrated by David Ackroyd, the "Scud Stud" could only carry the show so far.

Enter Laurence Fishburne.

Over the last few years, the History Channel has tried to up the ante as it were by...

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