Today:  12/12/2017

Golden Globes gets in 'Shape' for 2017

Posted December 11,2017 - 12:24 PM

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If there's one thing that you can count on when it comes to the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and their Golden Globes awards, it is to expect the unexpected. I mean, this is the awards show that classified Get Out as a comedy this year.

So, when they announced their nominations this morning for the 2017 Golden Globes awards, I was a bit surprised that they weren't as out there as usual. Guillermo del Toro's period piece of interspecies love led the way with a massive seven nominations. More traditional Awards season fare The Post and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri paced the nominations with six apiece.

Aside from the Get Out kerfuffle, there were some other other rather interesting nominations. The international May-December male homosexual love story Call Me by Your...

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Review: 'American Assassin' scratches that familiar itch

Posted December 05,2017 - 02:30 PM

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Jason Bourne.

Jack Ryan.

Ethan Hunt.

James Bond.

Eggsy Unwin.

Evelyn Salt.

These names are just some of the countless spies working hard in film today to save the world by defeating one bad guy/girl at a time. There's a reason that we have so many spy movies and more in the development pipeline, that reason is that these films sell a bunch of tickets.

Enter a new name in this crowded field: Mitch Rapp. The thing is while American Assassin is his first film, Mitch Rapp has been a household name in the spy business for almost two decades. The protagonist of a series of bestselling books from Vince Flynn, Mitch Rapp has a firmly established cover story over the course of 16 books and counting.

I started reading the Mitch Rapp series at the behest of my father-in-law and it was love...

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2017: The year as seen through movie trailers

Posted December 04,2017 - 03:19 PM

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This has been a year of change. We completely redesigned our site and offered the ability to order movies (and video games, accessories, toys, collectibles, etc.). Beyond the scope of our website, the world around us took a decidedly negative turn with politics, the tension in the Korean politics and the #MeToo revolution that has blown the lid off sexual harassment that has long given Hollywood an unspoken black eye.

One thing that remains the same though is how films mirror the changes in society perfectly. Over the years, there have been a few wonderfully talented individuals that have captured the sentiment in these end of the year mashups of the year's films. Kees van Dijkhuizen Jr. is a talented Dutch editor that recently parlayed his skill of creating these mashups to a real...

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Review: 'Better Watch Out' is the new standard for holiday horror

Posted November 30,2017 - 04:29 PM

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We all know the traditional, family-friendly Christmas films that delight and entertain us every holiday season. From White Christmas to It's a Wonderful Life to Elf, there are countless classic Christmas to fill the season and it seems that the Hallmark channel is churning out new ones by the hour.

However, there is another type of Christmas film that has its own horde of followers and that is the holiday slasher flick. Whether it's Gremlins or Die Hard, there seems to be a particular demographic that rather enjoys mixing in some violence with their eggnog. I consider myself to be a proud card-carrying member of this sadistic subset, and no, I don't consider Die Hard a true Christmas movie.

While there may have been earlier films to mix murder with holiday merriment (like Black...

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Review: 'Logan Lucky' is a fun ride

Posted November 28,2017 - 03:46 PM

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If you ever wondered what Channing Tatum or Adam Driver would sound like as rednecks, then Logan Lucky is for you.

If you secretly wished that the Ocean's Eleven films would have been set at a NASCAR track, then Logan Lucky is for you.

If you wanted the "Blonde Bond" to become the "Platinum Blonde Bond," then Logan Lucky is for you.

If you want to be highly entertained by a smart caper film filled with characters a few bricks shy of a load, then you need to check out Logan Lucky.

Director Steven Soderbergh retired from filmmaking after 2013's Behind the Candelabra, but thankfully, he didn't stay away from a movie camera for long. Logan Lucky signals the end of Soderbergh's retirement and proves that his decision to continue making movies was the right one.

Logan Lucky follows a...

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Review: Antonio Banderas is in over his head in 'Acts of Vengeance'

Posted November 28,2017 - 11:39 AM


I know what you're going to say. 'Of course, John didn't like this film. He's anti-action films.' You would be wrong.

No, not about the not liking Acts of Vengeance part, the part about hating all action films. I primarily just hate the dumb ones. And that's what Acts of Vengeance has in spades, a whole heaping of stupidity that they try to gloss over with slick action sequences. For me, it doesn't work at all.

But, I'm not anti-action films. I recently loved the John Wick films and True Romance is in my all-time top five. The problem is that Acts of Vengeance tried to mimic the John Wick formula, but failed miserably.

The loose plot, if you want to call it that, revolves around Antonio Banderas' character who is a workaholic lawyer who makes very little time for his family. One...

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Review: 'Valerian' aims for the moon, lands in the stars

Posted November 20,2017 - 04:25 PM

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I think I have that old adage correct. If you always aim for the moon, even when you miss, you'll land among the stars. Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets is certainly an ambitious film from the king of ambition Luc Besson, but one that I believe hits more than misses.

Luc Besson is the visionary genius behind the Sci-Fi classic The Fifth Element and while Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets doesn't quite live up to those lofty standards, it certainly provides an enjoyable ride that is perhaps Besson's best popcorn film ever.

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets is based on French comic book and follows the adventures of two special space police officers tasked to keep some semblance of order in the vastness of space. The two officers are assigned to retrieve a...

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Review: 'Good Time' is a good film, perhaps deceptive advertising

Posted November 20,2017 - 01:39 PM

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When you call your film Good Time, there's an immediate inclination that the film will be a happy, fun ride. Good Time is anything but. And yet, it's a powerfully moving film that made me rethink my feelings for its lead actor. So, I suppose it all works out in the end.

Good Time is another in a long line of excellent releases from A24. As I've heralded many times before, for my money, there isn't a better company at putting our entertaining films right now than A24. They are known not only for their high-quality films, but they don't seem to shy away from the bizarre and off-kilter films that put audiences on edge, but still send them home with something to talk about.

The film is a seedy look at the underbelly of New York City that would find itself at home in a double bill with...

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Review: Hit the snooze bar on 'Amityville: The Awakening'

Posted November 14,2017 - 04:48 PM


Amityville: The Awakening was originally set to be released in theaters on January 2, 2015.

Then, it was moved to April 15, 2016.

Of course, that date didn't last and it was pushed up to April Fool's day 2016.

Bad test screening scores pushed it to January 6, 2017.

For Christmas 2016, fans of the long-running horror series were given coal in their stockings when Amityville: The Awakening was moved yet again to June 30, 2017.

Sadly, that date didn't stick and finally, the film was dumped in a very limited release over Halloween weekend a couple of weeks ago (I bet you have a new appreciation for all of the release date work we have to do now). How limited was the release? It played in 10 theaters and earned a measly $742 total, that's like 5 tickets sold per each theater.


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Review: 'Hamilton: Building America' strikes at the perfect time

Posted November 14,2017 - 03:23 PM


Before Lin-Manuel Miranda introduced the world to the "forgotten founding father" with his smash hit play "Hamilton," most people only knew who Alexander Hamilton was when they looked at their $10 bills. Sure, we learned about him in our history classes, but among the myriad of brave rebels that helped to shape and form our country, he was given the short shrift.

That all changed with a little hip-hop and some sick beats. Now, there's probably no other revolutionary figure with greater name recognition save for maybe George Washington. That's the power of music and Broadway. And yes, before you ask, I'm listening to the soundtrack of the musical as I write this review ("Rise Up!").

And yet, as slick as the musical is, it really does gloss over many of the important details of...

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