Robbing a bank can be a disaster for everyone concerned and that’s what the film Checkmate’s story really has to say. Not well-acted and loosely directed, the story actually needs explaining if you want to know what the script writer intended. For entertainment purposes it’s easier to just go with the film as a robbery gone badly. Now on DVD it may be more of a Redbox rental than something you want to own.
Just released, the movie A Walk in the Woods showcases the fine acting of Robert Redford and Nick Nolte. Providing a lot of laughs mixed with drama the “never-ending” journey of their characters make for good entertainment. The film reminds me of The Bucket List, with good measure of last year’s Wild and even a little of Grumpy Old Men. While the story’s a bit wacky, it’s very amusing to see the two consummate actors up on the big screen in a comedy together. Read more
One of Robin Williams’s last motion pictures has come to Blu-ray. It’s called Boulevard and takes on a dark secret that his character has from the past. Nicely filmed and directed the movie catches you off guard in the beginning then slowly tells its unusual tale. If you are a film buff it’s a must see, for others it’s an acquired taste in subject matter. The film is now available on Blu-ray and DVD for home viewing. Read more
A comedy of errors but with a serious tone the film 7 Minutes comes to Blu-ray and DVD with a story that may seem a bit familiar, yet fun to watch. The low budget movie has a recognizable cast good uses of their fine talent within the loosely scripted storyline. If you like movies that get to the point, are action based and are not complicated, then invite your best buds over for a brewski or two and whoop it up with 7 Minutes. Read more
The very tense drama Good Kill based on actual events puts the audience inside the Middle East dealing with drone attacks. The high pressured men who control the payloads delivered by the unmanned air ships are at the center of the film and by all accounts convey a very realistic view of the ‘new’ warfare. Now on Blu-ray and DVD the movie stars 4 time Academy Award nominee Ethan Hawke in a poignant role that’s made for him to play.
For those that like a good gruesome movie, a lot of gore and some brutal deaths there’s The Curse of Downers Grove now on DVD. The interesting low budget thriller puts you in touch with your high school years, but not in a good way. The story plays out with deaths occurring similar to a Final Destination flick by unexpected means and from out of nowhere. It’s a cool little film that shows you can make a small production look big. Read more
Here’s a very quirky comedy that turns on the charm with some twists that you won’t see coming. The D Train now on Blu-ray and DVD does have its moments showing a lot of off color humor with Black kicking up his character old style much like days of his movies past. However directors Andrew Mogel and Jarrad Paul depend on James Marsden to carry the heavy role to make the film work and there’s no doubt that his performance saves the day. Read more
An inspirational drama The Surface comes to Home Video with very good acting and a different kind of story. The movie takes a look at the lives of two men and how they have to come to terms with their past. Directed by Gil Cates Jr. with script written by Jeff Gendelman the central theme is about despair and overcoming difficult odds at sea. The DVD has special extras that are well worth the watch. Read more
Sex, drugs and 1970’s San Francisco, what more do you need to tell a story about a coming of age teenager? Fortunately there’s enough to make the movie The Diary of a Teenage Girl, a wild and wacky film that leaves nothing to the imagination. Easy to burst testosterone levels of male teens, this feature should sell a lot of tickets to any PG-13 rated film so they can pull off an auditorium shuffle.
Relentlessly brutal the movie No Escape takes the audience into a different kind of survival. Just as violent and all-consuming as the tsunami film The Impossible, the only difference comes with humans killing humans instead of nature. The momentum builds so quickly that you’ll find yourself glued to the electrifying run for your life story on the screen. Your hands are grasping the arm rests and that drink you have in the cup holder is getting watered down by the ice melting. You have become a witness to an emotional bond between a family that will not give up and with no end in sight and you just turn away from them until the final curtain.
Aimed at male teens the action film Big Game sets up a fun adventure that involves saving the President of the United States. To that audience, it pretty darn good showing how even the youngest of teens can achieve if they try. Even though the story gets a little farfetched, the sincerity and strong will acted out in the film make up for the highly fictional script. Now on DVD your more mature youngsters should enjoy this fast moving adventure. Read more
Using the backdrop of the BP oil spill for this political drama, the film The Runner works more as an open forum about legislator inappropriateness than a sincere interest in the devastation the spill caused. Although well-acted, the film drags in parts, gets a little repetitive and easily predictable. Now on Blu-ray it’s a challenging film that opens old wounds.
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