Timing for this horror flick is just right with the Halloween season upon us. Nocturna the direct to DVD/Blu-ray thriller tries hard to scare up a cauldron of ghastly treats, but fails miserably in the acting and direction departments. While it does have a decent storyline however, the film is not played out compelling enough to make it frightful. The make-up artists do have a field day here, but nothing more. Read more
Turning a brutal crime story into a masterpiece of filmmaking can be quite hard for any filmmaker, but director Denis Villeneuve gets the right cast with an awesome script called Sicario. Putting his actors to work he presents a grisly look at the Mexican border where he stages his play that gets very tense and compelling. I can definitely see a shot at some of the bigger awards come Oscar Time. Especially the performances by Emily Blunt and Benicio Del Toro. Read more
Releasing this weekend and battling stiff competition The Martian movies into theaters everywhere. The edge of your seat movie turns up the excitement early then settles down as audiences watch a stranded astronaut waste no time in finding a way to survive against unsurmountable odds. It’s Cast Away under more intimidating conditions and the tenseness of Gravity times two. The film pushes the envelope several times with exciting situations that involve the possibility of certain death. Excellent acting by Matt Damon and the usual high intensity of director Ridley Scott make The Martian a must for science fiction and action junkies.
Opening this weekend is a romantic comedy with a twist called Sleeping with Other People. The film has a big cast of notable actors and a director/writer who knows how to dish out romance from more than one perspective. The film should attract couples and females, but beware of the message as it may tantalize and titillate those seductive areas of your psyche. Nevertheless it’s a fun film and doesn’t get dull. Read more
A two fold documentary called Rosenwald gets released this weekend telling two historical and enlightening stories of Americana. Connected by philanthropy and concern for the welfare of African Americans in the South following the Civil War, the film documents the life of Julius Rosenwald and his legacy that includes being instrumental in their education. Not preachy or over sentimental, the straight forward biographical presentation makes for intelligent understanding of the plight of both immigration and social development. Read more
Finally a different kind of Zombie movie that, although low budget, really has a different kind of plot. It’s called A Plague so Pleasant and tells a wild and weird tale of surviving in a different kind of setting than the usual. Nicely acted and directed the movie treats the viewer to all the guts and gore, but adds a twist. The horror thriller is only available on DVD starting today. Read more
Taking a loony trip to horror flicks of the past, the movie Queen Crab comes to home video. The campy little film uses similar techniques as 50’s monster movies like Attack of the 50ft Woman and The Blob. Although there has been success in the not too distant past with the genre, the cost of making any movie now days can be a huge deterrent and it shows here. If you are a connoisseur of old fashion horror or even the recent crop of low budget zombie movies, then you’ll find your crown in Queen Crab. Read more
The taut thriller, Return to Sender spins a wicked tale of rape, revenge and redemption. Very good acting, direction and cinematography, the movie raises tension levels with each chapter. If you like your drama suspenseful and compelling then this film should keep you on the edge of your seat. The edgy Return to Sender is now available on Blu-ray and DVD for home viewing. Read more
The lackluster story of SWAT: Unit 887 with problematic acting and cinematography enters the home video market on DVD. Not the sharpest tool in the shed, the movie gets very predictable, shows its low budget and makes novice mistakes. That said the film does have a lot of police action and some tense moments. Read more
An exciting little film with a lot of drama from an enjoyable 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 that kind of sick humor, but on its own the movie plays with surprising spirit that sometimes overshadows the hit TV show. Nicely written and excellent direction, if you like movies that get more twisted as they play out, then Cop Car’s for you. Now on Blu-ray and DVD for home viewing. Read more
One of the tensest films this year Pawn Sacrifice takes the prize for egoism, stare downs, insanity and arrogance. Although the acting in the film far outweighs any drama I’ve seen this year, it’s really not enough reason to see the biography of a man who single handedly faced off against a superpower using the game of chess. Only if you have an IQ of over 121 would you even care how the game is played or what move wins, the filmmakers want you to feel the pressure and the madness of it all. It’s not all about the game you see, but the man and his quest. Read more
Told from the point of view of writer and director Anna Muylaert the movie The Second Mother (Que Horas Ela Volta?) shows the heartrending plight of a woman who gives up personal happiness for her daughter. Now in select theaters in America the movie shows the lengths a mother will go just to provide a modest life for their child. Fascinating yet compassionate the fictional light drama mirrors a good portion of real life in Brazil. The film won the “Audience Award” at the Berlin Film Festival. Read more
Captivating and compelling the film The New Girlfriend opens this weekend at select theaters around the nation. Filled with surprises that reveal an alternate lifestyle the movie can be as much challenging as it is acceptable reality. Although it may be a bit cliched and predictable, it still entertains with a story that’s both titillating and provocative. Read more
A very cool film for older kids that has a lot of adventure and a nature theme comes to DVD. It’s called The Journey Home (originally Midnight Sun when it was in theaters) and features a very good performance by Dakota Goyo. In conjunction with an equally good acting bear cub named Nanuk and his bear trainers Kyle Doig and Dawn Dumas the movie plays out featuring a good bit of movie magic. It’s a good film for the whole family that shows well under the guidance of a parent. The cinematography of the Canadian wilderness gets kudos as well. The film opens with a quick animation presentation by the World Wildlife Federation to set the tone. Read more
Going into the jungle of Shri Lanka, Disneynature captures the emotional, fun loving and complicated world of Monkey Kingdom. Now on Blu-ray and DVD the excellently written and narrated the film is a treat for families and nature lovers. If you are a follower of Disneynature then you know what you are in for, a complete visual live documentary of the subject matter and a fun romp around the habitat of primates. It’s a family event and a chance to view it with your youngsters for a learning experience they will never forget.