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Today:  07/18/2018

Review: Joaquin Phoenix gets violent in 'You Were Never Really Here'

Posted July 17,2018 - 04:40 PM

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It's odd, but this week brings us two films about human trafficking. See, I told you it was a hot button topic for Hollywood these days. While Traffik represents everything that is wrong in trying to exploit an exploitation film in the name of justice, You Were Never Really Here proves that the most effective justice is often of the bare-knuckled variety.

If you were to take the protagonists from Taken, Leon, The Professional and John Wick and combine them into one person, then you would have Joaquin Phoenix's Joe in You Were Never Really Here. In a word, he is a badass. In more words, he is the type of deeply disturbed individual with a tenuous grasp on reality that you do not want to meet in a dark alley some night.

Joe is a veteran who is a traumatized survivor of child abuse in...

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Review: 'Traffik' exploits in the exploited

Posted July 17,2018 - 03:23 PM

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I get it. There are many ways to tell the same story. Of course, some ways are more effective in conveying the intended message than others.

Case in point: human trafficking is a huge hot button issue in Hollywood these days. Of course, there are as many ways to convey the evils of human trafficking as there are ways to traffick a human. You could go total badass ala Liam Neeson in Taken or you could go straight up sentimental as they did in Priceless.

Or, if you're truly bold, you could exploit the entire concept of the exploitation completely and arrive at something like Traffik.

A romantic getaway turns deadly when a group of friends crosses paths with a ruthless biker gang running a human trafficking ring. After becoming aware of the bikers' misdeeds, the friends must find a way...

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Review: 'T2' is back on 4K UHD, or is it?

Posted July 17,2018 - 01:44 PM

T2

The curious case of the 4K UHD version of Terminator 2: Judgment Day is one that would almost be as compelling as the film itself. Initially announced for a Fall 2017 release, the 4K UHD disc and alternate Limited Collector's Edition complete with Terminator EndoArm were pushed back by Lionsgate.

Finally, on December 26, the 4K UHD disc was released, but the Collector's Edition with EndoArm listed at the whopping suggested retail price of $174.99 was suspiciously absent. Of course, this is The Terminator, so it was only a matter of time for it to be "back." Fast forward to this week and we finally have the release of the Limited Collector's Edition 4K UHD Blu-ray with "Exclusive Terminator EndoArm Packaging."

When I got word that I would be able to review the 4K UHD of T2, I was...

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Review: 'Chappaquiddick' rises above the Kennedy curse

Posted July 10,2018 - 04:56 PM

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As a child of the late 1970s, I was introduced to the allure of the Kennedys from a young age. My parents lived through the turbulent 1960s that saw that rise and fall of two powerful young Kennedy men. Some would say that the Kennedy curse hit the youngest brother Ted the hardest.

Of course, some will say that he deserved it.

And that is the crux of the difficulty in bringing the events that happened on Chappaquiddick on the evening of July 18, 1969, to the big screen. The facts are simple. Ted's car ended up going off a bridge, he survived, while his passenger Mary Jo Kopechne did not. From there, things are a bit murky as everything we know about the accident comes from Ted himself. Throw in the fact that two days later, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin would take man's first steps...

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Review: Rosario Dawson shines as 'Krystal'

Posted July 10,2018 - 04:00 PM

Krystal

Ever since Clerks II, I have been in love with Rosario Dawson. OK, that's not true. Her allure dates back much further, probably all the way back to the first time I saw her on the big screen in Kids. She just has one of those illuminating personas that lifts up the world around her. Or so I would imagine. I have never met her in real life and the expected restraining order if, by chance, she were to ever read this review will undoubtedly kill that dream in its tracks.

And yet, I still can't deny her powerful attraction.

That, in a nutshell, is probably the best way you could describe the bizarre film Krystal. As the titular character, Dawson is an ex-stripper (because all Krystals with a K are in the adult entertainment business) thirty-something woman with an uncanny knack of making...

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Review: 'I Am Elizabeth Smart' is a visceral experience

Posted July 10,2018 - 02:28 PM

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When you review several films each week, you find a wide variety of movies. Some are good, some are not so good. And then there are those that will haunt you for a bit.

I Am Elizabeth Smart is one of those haunting films.

While I feel that anything that I write will only cheapen the experience, don't let the lack of a long-winded review fool you. I Am Elizabeth Smart is one of those movies that will elicit a response in you and force you to realize that there are real monsters out there in the real world. As the father of two young children myself, the threat of them being taken is a very real scenario that haunts me each and every day.

For those of you that forget, Elizabeth Smart was a teen who was kidnapped by a husband and wife team in Utah. For nine months, Elizabeth was held...

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Review: 'Future World' is beyond apocalyptically bad

Posted July 10,2018 - 11:56 AM

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I remember reading somewhere during the lead up to The Disaster Artist that James Franco was paring down his workload. You know, taking it easy and focusing on fewer projects with the hopes that they would be better for it and his personal stress level would also decrease.

He must have made Future World before he committed fully to this new work ethic. If The Disaster Artist was the high point (so far) of Franco's acting and directing career, then Future World would be its low point. Despite having a top-notch cast assembled and an interesting, if not redundant, story, the film seems to stumble over itself resulting in a disjointed film that will struggle to keep the interest of even the most ardent supporter of genre filmmaking.

Future World (not to be confused with Waterworld,...

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Review: 'Another Wolfcop' is the sequel we need right now

Posted July 03,2018 - 12:15 PM

Wolfcop

Everyone knows my disdain for most sequels and reboots, but every now and then one will actually surpass the original in terms of quality. I'm talking about classics such as The Godfather Part II, The Empire Strikes Back and Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.

I am happy to report that we have another sequel to add to this list. While it's not a knock on the original film, Another Wolfcop is indeed a better film than its predecessor. Of course, I might just be biased with my unabashed love for anything involving Kevin Smith, but I'm willing to bet that I won't be the only to come to this conclusion.

Another Wolfcop is a follow-up to 2014's Wolfcop in which local cop Lou Garou is unwittingly transformed into a werewolf by power-hungry alien cultists. In this installment, Lou is back and...

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Review: Shark Week celebrates 30 years of 'Sharktacular Adventures'

Posted July 03,2018 - 10:48 AM

Shark week

Forty-three years ago last week, Steven Spielberg introduced the world to its greatest water-bound fear, sharks. Whether intentional or not, Jaws not only revolutionalized movie distribution with the introduction of the summer blockbuster, but also instilled fear of the Great White into an entire generation of youngsters.

I was barely six months old when Jaws debuted at theaters, but that didn't stop the movie from creating an inexplicable fear of sharks in me. Case in point, when I was a child, I was convinced that a shark was going to swim up the toilet and bite me on the back end.

Thirty years ago, the fledgling cable network The Discovery Channel (now simply Discovery Channel) debuted a week's worth of shark content loosely cobbled together under the banner of "Shark Week" and the...

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Review: Tyler Perry misses his mark with 'Acrimony'

Posted June 26,2018 - 05:02 PM

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Allow me to throw out some synonyms for Acrimony that I gathered up from Dictionary.com. Bitterness, animosity, spitefulness. Yep, that pretty much sums up the film.

Sadly, these words will probably also explain your reaction after watching Tyler Perry's latest dramatic effort Acrimony. But let's not put the cart in front of the horse as they say.

Taraji P. Henson stars as a faithful wife who learns that her husband of nearly 20 years has been cheating on her and that sort of sets her off. This devious behavior leaves her feeling betrayed and she acts out to get revenge on him and his new love interest.



The main problem that I had with the film is that while Taraji P. Henson is clearly the star of the film, by the end of it, you're not quite sure who you should be cheering...

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