Posted on Friday, September 11th, 2015 by David Chen
I was skeptical but hopeful when I first heard about M. Night Shyamalan’s new low-budget found-footage film, The Visit. With The Happening, After Earth, and The Last Airbender, Shyamalan has demonstrated not only a decline in his ability to draw big box office, but also an inability to write or direct basic scenes competently.
But with The Visit, Shyamalan not only proves he still he has the skills to thrill us — he also knows how to mine absurd and horrifying situations for humor and humanity. Watch my full video review of the film after the break.
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Posted on Friday, July 31st, 2015 by Angie Han
Any franchise could be forgiven for growing a bit stale after twenty years and five installments, but against all odds the Mission: Impossible series is still going strong. While the new entry directed by Chris McQuarrie may not be an all-time high, it’s another solid entry that equals its predecessors in the stunt department, and features the most engaging new character since Simon Pegg and Philip Seymour Hoffman in III. Read our full Mission Impossible Rogue Nation review after the jump. Read More »
Posted on Monday, June 29th, 2015 by Angie Han
The first Magic Mike was billed as an over-the-top stripper comedy, but underneath those gold lamé thongs it turned out to be something far more surprising: a sober examination of the American dream. We watched Mike Lane try to pull himself up by the bootstraps, only to find himself judged, used, discarded, and creatively constrained.
The sequel Magic Mike XXL, in contrast, is all gold lamé thongs — or rather, it would be if the boys hadn’t decided gold lamé thongs were passé. The former kings of Tampa have ditched all depth and ambivalence in pursuit of drunken good times. And it works, albeit in a completely different way from the first Magic Mike. The result is the perfect summer movie: dumb, sweet, eager to please, and hard not to like. Read More »
Lets face it: You’re probably not very excited about the new Terminator movie. And why should you be? The last two films were varying levels of bad, and this one doesn’t look much better. The marketing focuses on a much older-looking Arnold Schwarzenegger, who seems to be regurgitating catch phrases from decades past for what might seem to be nothing more than a paycheck. And maybe that works in Terminator Genisys‘ favor, as it is much easier to beat expectations when they are low.
I was pleasantly surprised by Terminator Genisys, and I think you will be too. So here is my (virtually) spoiler free Terminator Genisys reaction, giving you my thoughts and observations about the latest installment in the Terminator franchise. Read my Terminator Genisys review after the jump.
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Note: This review was originally published during Sundance, in January 2015.
Four days in, Rick Famuyiwa‘s Dope is the best film I’ve seen so far at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival. A coming of age story for the “post hip hop generation” best described as a mix of three films: Doug Liman’s Go, Greg Mottola’s Superbad and John Singleton’s Boyz n the Hood. I’m posting this review the morning after the premiere and its being reported that six studios are rabidly bidding to distribute this film — its insanely accessible movie for a Sundance film and will sure to be a hit that lives on past its festival and theatrical runs. Read my Dope review after the jump.
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It’s June 12th, and that means Jurassic World is officially in theaters everywhere for audiences to feast their eyes on. The reviews are all over the place for this one with our own Peter Sciretta mostly enjoying the sequel and Germain Lussier finding some pretty serious flaws in it. Still, the film is sitting pretty firmly on a 70% rating at Rotten Tomatoes, which isn’t bad at all. You’ll just have to see the flick for yourself to see how you feel about it.
However, the folks at The Onion have just delivered their review, and they have revealed a massive problem with the sequel. For a movie focused so much on dinosaurs, it’s maddening that you can’t understand what the dinosaurs are saying. Thankfully though, this review also provides the necessary subtitles to make the movie much better. Watch The Onion Jurassic World review after the jump! Read More »
Editor’s Note: Below is our review of from the Sundance Film Festival. We’re republishing it now that Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is open in limited release. Find theaters here.
On paper, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl doesn’t seem particularly exciting. An adaptation of a book by Jesse Andrews, it’s the story of a high school senior who is forced to become friends with a school acquaintance who is diagnosed with leukemia.
Interesting, yes but not that exciting. Thankfully, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl isn’t merely on paper. It’s a film — in fact, a film that loves film, celebrates film, and is very much about the medium – with beautiful shot composition, tense long takes and elaborate tracking shots. It tells a touching and incredibly funny story with very realistic, honest characters and enough self-awareness to make it all feel modern. Directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon and adapted by Andrews, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl had its world premiere at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival this weekend. Read our Me and Earl and the Dying Girl review here. Read More »
I got an opportunity to visit Jurassic World last week and lived to tell you about it. After the jump you will find my virtually spoiler-free Jurassic World review, which gives you an idea of what to expect, what was good, and what was not, without spoiling anything that couldn’t otherwise be learned from the marketing.
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For a few scenes in Colin Trevorrow‘s Jurassic World, I was transported back to 1993. I was 13 years old, sitting with huge popcorn on my lap, watching Steven Spielberg’s original Jurassic Park for the very first time. Unlike the last two sequels in the series, Jurassic World has a handful of those wondrous moments in it and, for that reason alone, I found more to like than dislike about the movie. But there are things to dislike about the movie and some are pretty damning.
Nevertheless, those few perfect moments, along with some of the best action scenes you’ll see this year, made Jurassic World mostly enjoyable. You just have to enjoy it enough to overlook the cracks. Below, read the rest of my Jurassic World review. Read More »