Friday, April 24, 2015

In Theaters Now - 4/24/15



(new releases in green)

5 to 7        Grade: A   (also available on Video on Demand)

It Follows        Grade: A

Alex of Venice        Grade: A   (also available on Video on Demand)

Ex Machina        Grade: A

While We're Young        Grade: A-

True Story        Grade: A-

Wild Tales        Grade: A-

Focus        Grade: B+

Kingsman: The Secret Service   Grade: B+


Unfriended       Grade: B+

What We Do in the Shadows        Grade: B

Black Souls        Grade: B-

Child 44        Grade: C+

The Divergent Series: Insurgent   Grade: C

Clouds of Sils Maria        Grade: C

The Salt of the Earth        Grade: D-




Additional Films Not Reviewed:
The Age of Adaline
Cinderella
Danny Collins
Dior and I
Furious 7
Get Hard
Home
Little Boy
The Longest Ride
Monkey Kingdom
Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2
The Water Diviner
Woman in Gold

Friday, April 17, 2015

In Theaters Now - 4/17/15



(new releases in green)

5 to 7        Grade: A   (also available on Video on Demand)

It Follows        Grade: A

Alex of Venice        Grade: A  (also available on Video on Demand)

While We're Young       Grade: A-

True Story       Grade: A-

Wild Tales       Grade: A-

Focus       Grade: B+

Kingsman: The Secret Service        Grade: B+


Unfriended      Grade: B+

Kumiko the Treasure Hunter        Grade: B

What We Do in the Shadows        Grade: B

Beyond the Reach       Grade: B  (also available on Video on Demand)

Black Souls       Grade: B-

Leviathan      Grade: B-

Seymour: An Introduction       Grade: B-

Child 44       Grade: C+

Clouds of Sils Maria       Grade: C

The Salt of the Earth        Grade: D-




Additional Films Not Reviewed:
Cinderella
Danny Collins
Desert Dancer
The Divergent Series: Insurgent
Furious 7
Get Hard
Home
The Longest Ride
McFarland USA
Monkey Kingdom
Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2
The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
Woman in Gold

True Story



James Franco and Jonah Hill (quite uncharacteristically) star in this quiet mystery/thriller (completely devoid of comedy) as an imprisoned man accused of killing his wife and children, and the journalist he is willing to open up to, respectively.   Franco gives one of his finest performances since 127 Hours as the unsettling suspect who walks the line perfectly as someone who just might be innocent, or could at any moment reveal the psycho within.  And Hill is quite good as well, as the down and out journalist who believes this is his second chance at success.  It brought to mind fond memories of Primal Fear, Silence of the Lambs, and The Life of David Gale.  Though, unfortunately, it's not as satisfying as any of them.  But the journey is more suspenseful than I've seen in a while.

Grade: A-

Who is this movie for?  Do you like suspense?  If so, go see this one this weekend.

Unfriended


It's nice to see some variation in horror films of late.  While some, like the excellent It Follows, are harkening back to older classic styles, others like Unfriended are going the complete opposite direction and showcasing the modern tech-based society we now live in.  This ultra low budget horror features six teens and takes place entirely over Skype, merging horror, teenage drama, and the hot button issue of cyber bullying.  Depending where you reside on the cyber spectrum may determine how much you warm up to it.  Early on I quickly dismissed it as low budget, gimmicky, teen targeted trash.  Though I must admit, once it got rolling it did get pretty fun. 

Grade: B+

Who is this movie for?  If Skype, Spotify, YouTube, Facebook, and iMessaging are your bag, then it might be right up your alley. Teens and twenty-somethings will probably love it.  Those of you past your 20's may find it a bit inaccessible and/or feel a bit removed (read: old).  Though I'm a few years past my 20's and I enjoyed it.  It Follows is much better though.