Today:  06/20/2018

Review: Zoey Deutch blossoms in 'Flower'

Posted June 19,2018 - 12:11 PM


Things I learned after watching Zoey Deutch in Flower: she truly is worth the buzz that she is getting and her mom is Lea Thompson.

I will admit that other than having an interesting sounding name, I wasn't exactly blown away by her other performances up until this point. I mean, sure, she added some interesting supporting elements to Everybody Wants Some and Dirty Grandpa, but I was less than enthused by her lead performance in Before I Fall.

You know, that's the one where a young woman has to relive her death day over and over again. No, not that one, the other one. Yeah, I forgive you if you have trouble remembering the movie. I was left with a sense of "meh" after watching it and I was convinced that Zoey Deutch was all hype and very little substance.

So, when the opportunity to...

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Review: 'I Can Only Imagine' hits all the right notes

Posted June 12,2018 - 04:31 PM

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Pop quiz: What film is the third highest-grossing musical biopic of all time?

If you answered I Can Only Imagine, then you are a genius or more likely able to put one and one together given the movie reviewed. But still, that's quite a feat to think that only Straight Outta Compton and Walk the Line have earned more money at the box office than I Can Only Imagine.

Is it me or has Dennis Quaid transitioned into the Mel Gibson roles of every man's father now that, well, Mel has had a bit of a following out with the mainstream. That's not to belittle Dennis Quaid because he is very good at what he does, but it seems like that he's been a bit typecast as of late.

In I Can Only Imagine, Quaid is called upon once again to inject his trademark charm into a character that has more than his...

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Review: 'An Ordinary Man' is anything but ordinary

Posted June 12,2018 - 02:50 PM

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Allow me to introduce you to Hera Hilmar. She might not be a household name yet, but if Peter Jackson has anything to say about it, she will be the next hot big thing in Hollywood come Christmas.

Hera is an Icelandic actress (think Bjork, but less bizarre) that is set to blow up on the big screen in Mortal Engines, but you can be among the first to discover her by checking out this week's An Ordinary Man. Trust me, after seeing her in this film, my interest level in Mortal Engines went through the roof, and that's saying something given she has to match wits with venerable Ben Kingsley in every one of her scenes.

Sir Ben plays an infamous war criminal who is shuttled from flophouse to flophouse to escape arrest. Hera plays a maid who becomes the former general's only connection to the...

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Review: Catch and release with 'Sea Change'

Posted June 12,2018 - 12:15 PM

Sea change

If you were to take a blender, add equal parts of The Shape of Water and Twlight, and turn it on, the resulting concoction would look a lot like Sea Change. I mean they don't even try to bury the lede in the artwork. Guillermo del Toro is going to sue someone up in here.

Sea Change is a Lifetime TV movie based on a young adult book by the same name published in 2009, you know at the height of Twilight's frenzy. Stop me if you've heard this one before, but a young girl finds herself in a love triangle between two boys, but one of them (maybe both of them? Maybe all three of them?) might actually be a mythical Seawalker creature.

Here is where I would usually show you a trailer of the film to give you a visual representation of the film, but shockingly Lifetime has scrubbed their site...

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Review: 'Dirty Grandpa' still fails to perform on 4K

Posted June 12,2018 - 10:58 AM

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Look, I have a thing with Zac Efron. Note, I said "thing with" and not "thing for" lest you think what follows is some sort of misplaced amorous desire. While I have softened a bit (no pun intended) on Zac recently, I still stand by my contention that his films are simply foreplay leading up to the moment when he gets to take his shirt off to show off his chiseled abs.

I'm not afraid to admit this, Zac Efron has a great body. And if my body looked like that, I would be taking off my shirt as much as possible too. But, it gets a bit distracting like looking for the Hitchcock cameo when you're watching one of his films just waiting for him to disrobe. Oh God, I just compared Zac Efron to Alfred Hitchcock.

On the other side of the coin, I absolutely adore Robert De Niro, so this film...

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Review: 'Orange is the New Black' debuts risky fifth season

Posted June 12,2018 - 09:14 AM


While Netflix is notoriously tight-lipped about ratings data for its shows, it is widely accepted that Orange is the New Black is its most-watched original series. The highly successful and critically-acclaimed comedy (drama?) certainly has matured over its five seasons from a whimsical lark to an important political statement on our prison system.

That fact is never more apparent than in the divisive fifth season in which the inmates of Litchfield Prison spend the entire season in riot mode after Poussey's death in season four. Don't get me wrong, there are still enough comic moments to tickle anyone's funny bone, but it seems that season four really signaled a tonal shift in the series and season five only adds gasoline to that fire, no pun intended.

The season's riot...

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Review: 'Ancient Aliens' isn't just for conspiracy nuts

Posted June 12,2018 - 09:12 AM

Ancient aliens

I must admit that I love watching shows on the History Channel. Whether it's Oak Island or a new theory about the Templars or who really shot JFK, there's just something about the production value that sucks me in.

Interestingly, since I spend so much time watching the History, I have seen countless commercials for Ancient Aliens, but I have never tempted to tune in. Perhaps it was the daunting reality that with 13 seasons under its belt, it would be quite an investment, both in time and money, to get caught up on the show.

So, when the opportunity to review the 10th Anniversary Edition of Ancient Aliens popped up, I jumped at it. Needless to say, I was instantly hooked. The series primarily serves the purpose to the question, "What if aliens?" If you have ever seen this guy and his...

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Review: The stars shine in 'A Wrinkle in Time'

Posted June 05,2018 - 04:53 PM

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If you told the average adult that there was an upcoming film starring Oprah Winfrey and Reese Witherspoon, you would most likely get an excited response in return. If you said the same thing to a five-year-old, they would most likely ask if there are robots or dinosaurs in it.

The innocence of youth is an amazing thing and that wonderment of the world is something that we slowly lose as get older and become more jaded. But, a funny thing happens when you have children, you get the opportunity to tap into that splendor one more time and experience the world through their eyes.

That's a long way of saying that a decade ago when I was still a single man with no children, there's no way I would have watched A Wrinkle in Time. Flash forward a decade and two kids and suddenly the prospect...

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Review: 'The Hurricane Heist' is full of hot air

Posted June 05,2018 - 03:01 PM

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As a casual movie fan, you might not immediately recognize the name Rob Cohen. That's OK, he was only the one who took the screenplay for The Sting off the reject pile and convince his employers to sell it. The rest, as they say, is history.

Ever since his promising start, Cohen has had mixed success in Hollywood from passion project Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story to Daylight. But, you most likely would know him as the director of the original The Fast and the Furious. But for every Fast and the Furious on his resume, there's a head-scratcher like Stealth. He is the quintessential hit and miss director but with The Hurricane Heist he pulls double duty as writer and director for the first time since Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story.

Unfortunately, the result didn't live up to the success of...

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Review: 'Escape Plan' breaks out on 4K UHD

Posted June 05,2018 - 11:34 AM

Escapeplan 4k

When I was just a wee lad in the 1980s, the two biggest names in Hollywood action films were Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger. We all dreamed that one day these two action heroes would team up to save the world from an unspeakable atrocity.

In 2010, we sort of got that in The Expendables, but Arnold's role was reduced to basically a glorified cameo and we were left wanting. Not from the film because The Expendables was a fine movie, but we still wanted to see Sly and Arnold together on the big screen as the two lead actors.

Enter 2013's Escape Plan and it seemed that our long unanswered prayers were granted, but the initial box office response was tepid. Perhaps it was due to the lingering overkill from The Expendables or simply the ages of our beloved action heroes, but...

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