And now for something different. You may have seen a lot of action comedies, but I venture to say there’s nothing more wild and crazy than American Ultra. Filled with sight gags, surprises, laughs a plenty and a whole lot of thrills, this stoner film equals classics like Up in Smoke, 30 Minutes or Less, Pineapple Express and even Ted. Starring two of the screen’s finest dead pan actors Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart, the off-beat film provides an excitement jammed rollercoaster ride that never stops until you exit the theater. Read more
One of the better foreign films I’ve seen this year Marshland (La isla minima) paints a very morbid picture of a serial killing. Well-acted the film grips you from the very beginning never letting you go till the credits roll. Although it may give you a feeling of déjà vu from the myriad of both screen and TV films that feature the same subject, this film puts a different twist on the sordid crime. If you are not tired of the worn out theme and would like to see what Spain has to offer, check out Marshland opening in theaters this weekend. The film took 10 statuettes at the Goya Awards (Spain’s Oscars). Read more
Taking on a daring role and giving a very good performance, Nicole Kidman works her magic in Strangerland. Taking her back to her Australian roots, Kidman looks like she’s right at home in the vast openness of the unbridled territory. The captivating film has a fine cast and incredibly stunning cinematography that uplifts the good, but somewhat challenging storyline. Now available on DVD and Blu-ray. Read more
In the brooding, dark Blood Cells indie audiences will find the film filled with emotion, despair and psychological conflict. It’s their cup of tea with an extra spoonful of sugar. Extremely well-acted, directed and photographed the movie digs deep into the soul of the protagonist on his journey from hell. Now on DVD for home video it would make a nice centerpiece for invited guests who share the same interests.
Emotional, disturbing and astounding the film Straight Outta Compton takes its audience on a journey from ghetto to greatness. The biographical film tells all showing how five creative music artists broke away from a life of crime or degradation to a career that allowed them to speak their piece. Told and created by the guys who lived it, the film puts a stamp on the beginning of the rap era that took a stand against social intolerance by raising their voices in the best way they knew how. Read more
A sly little film with a lot of drama from a small cast Cop Car stands toe to toe with the outstanding Indies released this year. At first I thought that it was another episode of “Fargo” with the kind of sick humor that last year’s cable show delivered, but on its own the movie just plays out with that kind of fell to it. Nicely written and excellent direction, if you like movies that get more twisted as it goes along, then Cop Car’s for you.
With a good measure of supposition that most people will have been exposed to the 1960’s TV Show “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” is a mistake on the part of the producers of this low energy spy adventure. Even though it’s mainly an introduction to the characters and a set-up for future sequels, it has no charm, oomph or likable protagonists or villains. Slow and steady does not win the race in this turtle speed spooling of this James Bond style movie and falls flat. Give me a stand out thriller and a roller-coaster ride when it comes to spy action films, this one is too slow and sophisticated for my taste. Read more
The perfect expense thriller The Gift entertains those who like their dramas filled with mystery. Packed with a punch, the movie sets up an intriguing story, moves along with a good tempo, become very compelling then turns the table with a finale that you thought you saw coming, but not the twist. It has all the necessary elements of good acting, direction and photography that work together to make the cunning story work. Read more
Dropping below the level of the previous sequel, Fantastic Four fails to entertain. Slow moving, lacks excitement, fails to intrigue and for all intense and purposes, unremarkable. The movie that reboots the Marvel characters does nothing more than rehash the story of how they came to be and the introduction of Doctor Doom. The production does not match the Disney’s Avengers products that have taken the superhero genre by storm. Dismal sets, novice direction and 80’s TV special effects doom the film. Originally intended to be remastered for release in 3D, the producers must have realized the film as a failure and trashed the idea to save money.
Fall releases are hot on Blu-ray and DVD. Most of the films may also be out there on VOD. The genre’s are work on crime to comedy and include some long awaited theatrical hits. We will be reviewing select titles so check back to get opinions from our writing staff. You might also discover a gem that you didn’t know existed or a hilarious comedy to brighten your day. Whether you’re on the lookout for horror, action-adventure, drama, comedy, crime or lifestyles— the list below has a lot to offer. Read more
In a surprisingly good mystery drama, Dakota Fanning impresses as one of the central figures in Every Secret Thing now on DVD. Very disturbing and incredibly cunning in her performance she makes the film compelling keeping the audience off guard till the very end. Together with Danielle Macdonald in her first major role, the two along with the youngsters playing their early years, give Every Secret Thing the strength necessary to pull off one surprise after another. If you like your crime mysteries that keep you guessing, then this film should keep you entertained. Read more
Delivering sexy hot energy, the film Chocolate City has a Magic Mike feel, but with an intense edge. Well-acted and choreographed, the indie has a good, but ordinary, storyline that may seem trite to some yet exciting to others, especially to women. Even though it’s a ladies only film, there’s much more to it than just sexy dancers. Ladies if you pick up this DVD, better be ready with the drinks and treats because once the word gets out, you’ll be hosting your lady friends for sure. Read more
Lavishly filmed showing all the beauty and dreariness of 1800’s France, the film Madame Bovary is now available on Blu-ray and DVD. This production marks at least the sixth time the film has been brought to the big screen and TV. Not much different in story as the 2000 release starring Frances O’Connor as the cheating wife, but let me analyse this film as if you had not seen it or even read the novel. As most costume dramas and period pieces go, this depiction of the book by French writer Gustave Flaubert written in 1856 isn’t half bad. If you would like a pleasant afternoon with tea, toast and a heartfelt movie, then you will be thoroughly entertained.
Taking a few ideas from High School Musical and adding offspring of four of Disney’s evil villains makes Disney Channel a winner with their newest teen/tween adventure Descendants. It’s a well-made film with fine direction, young Disney stars and a whole lot of fun for the whole family. Yep, even dad if he watches with his daughter. Targeted toward females, it makes a perfect film for the sleep over or pajama party crowd. Now on DVD the film has no commercial interruptions and some bonus material that keeps the party going. Read more