Sitting back and watching the documentary The Prime Ministers: Soldiers and Peacemakers brought back the memory of the history taught in my school years depicting the establishment of the State of Israel. But the information I received back then does not compare with what you will see in this film. Told by the late Yehuda Avner who witnessed the beginning of a nation through all the turmoil and frustration, you’ll see how the country evolved into what it is today. Now in Theaters. Read more
Just when you thought you knew what was going on in your child’s brain, up pops Inside Out a funny little film from Disney/PIXAR. The animation is PIXAR flawless, the direction pin point and the voice acting, well “pitch perfect”. Now on Blu-ray and DVD in a combo pack, it’s fun for the whole family. It may be a little harsh for the young tikes so be there when they want to give you a comfort hug. Read more
There’s a blast of horror in Lavalantula a scary little film in the comedic genre that will be released on DVD on November 3rd. It’s a reunion of sorts from Police Academy featuring several of the cast members that made that comedy a hit in 1984. Familiar faces who know how to work with tongue-in-cheek humor. It’s another film directed by Mike Mendez who brought one of my favorites Big Ass Spider to the screen. Not too scary, the film can be watched by teens and tweens to get their Halloween fix of horror. Read more
If you like Halloween to be scary and bloody then you’ll want to see the film Charlie’s Farm. The movie now on DVD and VOD has all the trappings of some of the most famous horror flicks like Friday the 13th and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Made to frighten the movie has an ominous beginning leading to a ghastly finale. Good acting and direction make this flick horrifyingly evil. If you didn’t get enough scares on Halloween then pick this film up on November 3rd wherever DVD’s are sold. Read more
One of the best actors in the business today Michael Fassbender will have you spellbound as he brings one of the most difficult characters to the screen, Steve Jobs. You can feel the penetrating persistence in his delivery of the massive dialogue that’s contained in the script by Alan Sorkin (The Social Network). He’s the whole show and whether you like the man he portrays or not, go see it for Fassbender’s performance. Read more
QUICKIE VIDEO REVIEWS
Here are some video releases now available that I had an opportunity to view.
SKIN TRAFFIK, R for violence throughout, language, sexual material and some drug content, DVD, 1 hr. 37 min., Drama, Crime, Action
Here’s a very violent film that has a lot of energy and a recognizable cast that works hard to make the action drama work. Things that prevent it however, are the uneven direction and a story that you’ve probably seen in a number of movies. The saving grace on this one however, comes with the twist ending hiking the letter grade to average.
Hit man Bradley (Gary Daniels) takes a job retrieving a computer disk and thumb drive from crime boss Vogel (Mickey Rourke) who resists. Not wanting to upset his boss (Eric Roberts) by not getting what he came for he threatens to kill Vogel’s daughter if he won’t comply and the ploy works. On the run Bradley comes across a sex trafficking ring and helps one of the harlots Anna (Dominique Swain) get away. Falling for her charms she tells him her sister Jessica (Sarah Coyle) is in grave danger at a branch brothel where the traffickers are holding her. The two team up to try and free Jessica and then flee the country.
FINAL ANALYSIS: The script is lame and cliched but if you like violent films this one has a lot of that. (C )
I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE III, Not Rated contains violence, nudity, rape, language, Blu-ray/DVD, 1 hr. 31 min., Crime, Horror, Thriller
If you are looking for something to turn up the violence level then look no further than I Spit on your Grave III. This is one film you really don’t have to know what happened in the previous two. It gives you the gist of it right away and in some of the horror in flashbacks that follow. However, if you did see the first film than you’ll know why this woman is out to get everyone in town. I liked the film for the acting and directing, but the direction could have been better.
Angela (Sarah Butler) still has nightmares about how she was raped by several men and a cop and left her to die. It’s been sometime and her therapist (Harley Jane Kozak) wants her to attend a group therapy meeting to witness others who have found themselves without a way to recover. At the meeting she meets Marla (Jennifer London) a hardnosed woman who has been able to live with her problem by insulting males and turning to other females for comfort. The two are like a poison trying to figure out what to do for revenge. When Cassie (Megan Raich) a teenager opens up to the group that her stepfather has been forcing sex on her, Marla and Angela go on the warpath.
FINAL ANALYSIS: Good acting and directing save this sequel and make it a good horror flick for the spooky season ahead. (B)
PEOPLE PLACES THINGS, R for Language including some sexual references and brief nudity, DVD, 1 hr. 34 min., Comedy and Romance
Now for something enjoyably different, a complicated romantic comedy that will surprise, challenge and let you indulge in sentimental love. The film has three important factors, good acting, able direction and a fun storyline. Not a family film, but perfect for ladies who love romantic novels and like the unfamiliar.
Will (Jemaine Clement) walks in on his wife Charlie (Stephanie Allynne) during their twin daughters Clio (Aundrea Gadsby) and Colette’s (Gia Gadsby) fifth birthday party catching her with Gary (Michael Chernus). She simply says she’s board with her life and wants to move on with Gary. A year later and we find divorced Will in his classroom teaching Comic Book story writing to a High School class. He’s not kicked the delusion that he still loves his wife and finds himself drawing out his life since the divorce as a comic book. To make matter’s worse Charlie informs him that she is pregnant and wants to get married to Gary. When Will finally emerges from his shell and becomes interested in Diane (Regina Hall), one of his student’s mother, things really start to get complicated.
FINAL ANALYSIS: A wonderful little film that’s full of romantic comedy twists. (B)
Probably the most intriguing film in sometime, Bridge of Spies takes on the Cold War with Russia in this compelling true story. Well casted with Tom Hanks in the starring role, written by the ubiquitous Cohen Brothers who gave us No Country for Old Men, and directed by three time Oscar winner Steven Spielberg the film has all the makings of an Academy Award nomination. And it is that good. Read more
The kid friendly Tomorrowland has arrived on home video with a cool adventure that should entertain the 7 to 16 year old crowd. Those of all ages who just can’t miss a sci-fi movie may also be included in this group depending on whether they accept the mild to moderate conflicts and the somewhat realistic message the film presents. As for the production, it’s very good with fine directing, computer graphics and visuals that amaze. Now on Blu-ray and DVD and available in a combo pack, the film has many features that will add to your home viewing pleasure. Read more
The documentary movie Tibetan Warrior offers a look at the plight of the people in a region taken over by the Chinese. The movie brings to light the disturbing practice of self-immolation as a way of letting the world know that Tibetans are opposed to Chinese rule. The film follows Loten Namling a musician and self-acclaimed Tibetan Warrior who walked for days spreading the word about his people in Tibet. It also goes into the visits he has made to the Dalai Lama in India and the United Nations. It is an interesting topic and one that should be addressed worldwide in the vein of any repressed nation wanting to be heard. Read more
Opening in theaters this weekend is the daring and courageous true story of a young boy who out foxed the Germans during WWII Poland for four years. The film digs deep into the heart of the young man who wouldn’t give up even in the face of death. If you see one foreign film this year, make it be Run Boy Run, it will stay with long after you have left the theater. Not enough can be said of the atrocities that took place in Europe during the most diabolical era of mankind that defined genocide and depicted man’s inhumanity to man. Read more
For those of you who are huge fans of South Park or others that want to get a taste of the iconic TV show, try out Season 18 of the hilarious, rude, crude and sometimes unglued adult show. Like all seasons of the popular animated show, it’s all new and no need to have seen other years of the wacky comedy since 1997. In Season 18 the subject matter ranges from being gluten free to “transgendering” to using mobile aps and more in the 10 episodes. It’s a whole lot of fun if you don’t take them seriously or at least not too seriously. Now no Blu-ray and DVD the show can continue to go on inside your home theater. Read more
Disturbing, terrifying and creepy the film Amnesiac takes you into the unknown much like an episode from The Twilight Zone. Now on home video the movie takes you into a mystery that has some cool twists. Even though the movie lags while attempting to keep you in the dark, the eeriness and strange pace of Director Mia Barron’s film is just what the doctor ordered for a darkened room with you a friend and your DVD player. Read more
Here’s a fairly good anthology of horror flicks on one DVD. It’s called Invoking 2 and features an unknown cast that actually pretty darn good and directors that know their stuff. The 6 short films cover a variety of horror subjects of which a couple could raise many goosebumps. Read more
A different take on the honor of dueling the film Blunt Force Trauma comes to home video. The fictional action drama puts the audience inside the “sport” for money pitting the best fast draw artists up against each other for pride and glory. Very good acting, direction and cinematography make the story exciting, compelling and convincing. Now on DVD and Blu-ray for home viewing. Read more