Friday, July 31, 2015

In Theaters Now - 7/31/15



(new releases in green)


Jurassic World         Grade: A

The Stanford Prison Experiment         Grade: A

Southpaw         Grade: A

Trainwreck         Grade: A-

Ant-Man         Grade: A-


Boulevard         Grade: A-

Spy         Grade: B+

Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation        Grade: B+

Beyond the Brick:  A LEGO Brickumentary       Grade: B

Irrational Man       Grade: B

Mr. Holmes        Grade: B

The Gallows         Grade: D



Additional Films Not Reviewed:
Amy

Infinitely Polar Bear
Inside Out
The Look of Silence
Love & Mercy
Magic Mike XXL
Minions
Paper Towns
Pixels
Tangerine
Ted 2
Terminator Genisys
Vacation
The Vatican Tapes

Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation


Don't you miss the good ol' days when sequels were numbered?  Now they have either a colon or a dash followed by some generic phrase.  That kinda annoys me.  Well this one has both a colon AND a dash in the title!  Crazy!  But I digress ...

For the fifth time Tom Cruise returns as super spy Ethan Hunt.  And if he ain't man enough for you, you also get Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg, Ving Rhames, AND Alec Baldwin.  That's an awful lot of coolness in one movie.  And of course, since it's a Mission: Impossible, it's super heavy on action.  Good action.  But perhaps too much good action and not enough story.  The plot felt pretty thin, thrown together as a means to connect one action scene after another.  And at 2 hours and 12 minutes, it felt too long.  In my opinion this is one of the weakest in the franchise.  But it's still pretty entertaining.

Grade: B+

Who is this movie for?  Like action?  Already seen Jurassic World?  Sure, then go for it.  Just don't expect too much, should you choose to accept this as your weekend movie.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Southpaw



A few words of advice.  If a movie has Jake Gyllenhaal, you should definitely see it.  If a movie has Forest Whitaker, you should definitely see it.  If it has both, rejoice.  And then most definitely see it.

Sure, it's just a boxing movie.  And it's not really bringing anything mindblowingly new to the boxing table.  But the reality is, it's not an overdone genre, and that helps.  How many boxing movies have we had in recent years?  Grudge MatchThe FighterCinderella Man?  Comparing and contrasting them just isn't even worth it.  Any reviewer that brings up Rocky or Raging Bull is just wasting time (and probably getting paid by the word.)  The fact is, these are all great movies and you should see them all, including this one.  Gyllenhaal is always amazing.  (Seriously, have you seen Prisoners, Nightcrawler, Enemy, and End of Watch?  Someone give this guy an Oscar already!)  Whitaker always gives me chills, he's so damn good.  Rachel McAdams is great too.  (It helps us forget what a forced, wasted character she is on True Detective Season 2.)  And directed by Antoine Fuqua and written by Kurt Sutter?  I mean, you had me at written by Kurt Sutter.  The rest is just icing.

Grade: A

Who is this movie for?  Who doesn't love a good heartfelt boxing drama?  Warning:  You will get choked up and/or cry.

Studio Movie Grill - Upper Darby, PA


I rarely do blog posts on things other than movies or destination movie events.  But I just experienced the newest movie theater to open in the Philadelphia area and I think it is blog worthy.  For those of you outside of the Philly area, you should know that one of the worst things about this city is its lack of mainstream movie theaters in the downtown area.  Quite frankly it's outrageous that nowhere in Center City, Philadelphia is a there large multiplex where you can enjoyably see mainstream movies.  Sure, there are the newly reopened Roxy and Prince theaters, run by the Philadelphia Film Society, which are great, but are only two screens and one screen, respectively.  And yes, this is a terrific city for artsier films, with the three Landmark owned Ritz theaters showing 12 screens of arthouse films, all within a few blocks of each other, in lovely Society Hill.  But where can we see Jurassic World?!?  Is it really too much to ask in a major city like Philadelphia that we not have to travel to West Philly, North Philly, South Philly, or South Jersey just to see what the rest of the world can easily access?  And furthermore, all of the aforementioned options are terrible!  You can pretty much count on a poor experience going to any of them.  But now we have the Studio Movie Grill on 69th street in Upper Darby.   So here's the scoop.

The Theater:  Nine screens.  Comfortable seating with tray tables to eat on.  Full menu and bar delivered right to your seat by their friendly staff, with a push of a button for service.  Great audio and video.  Nice lobby, bar, and bathrooms.  A great way to watch a movie.  Though take note, it was extremely cold in there.  (Movie theaters are notoriously chilly, but this was a bit Arctic.  Bring a sweater.)

Location:  Well, the good news is it's very convenient to the El, right off the 69th street stop, a few doors down from The Tower Theater.  The bad news is, it's on 69th street.  If you're familiar, you know what I mean.  This ain't the Saks Fifth Avenue stretch of Philly.  But it's not much worse than the other options.

Price:  I love a good matinee.  It's cheaper and emptier, so I don't have to be near anyone.  My Saturday 11:30 AM screening of Southpaw was only $6.00! (plus $1.50 surcharge for reserving my seat online.)  I can't remember the last time I saw a movie in a theater that cheap.  That will increase, I'm sure.

Menu:  It's pretty large, not unlike any American chain restaurant.  For a movie theater it's amazing.  But I can't say I saw a ton of healthy options.  A few.  I opted for the coconut chicken bite appetizer which was very tasty, but very small.  But for $8, how much can you expect to get?

Customer Service:  Amazing.  Everyone was extremely friendly.  You don't get that anywhere else in Philly.

Organization:  Honestly, they just opened, but they do need to get their stuff together a little bit.  I pre-purchased my ticket online from the official Studio Movie Grill site for 11:30 AM a few days prior.  I arrived early (at like 10:30) because I wanted to check out the lobby, the bar, the menu, etc...  They didn't open the doors until 11:20, which was annoying.  And then I found out they changed the movie time from 11:30 to 11:55.  Not a huge deal, but you really shouldn't be changing movie times after you release the official schedule for that week, sell tickets, and not contact people about it.  But, again, they did just open.  Not the biggest deal.

Overall:  It's a great new option for Philly moviegoers, and I look forward to going back anytime I want to see a mainstream release.  The Rave in West Philly, The Pearl in North Philly, The Riverview in South Philly, and the AMC in Cherry Hill definitely should be concerned.  Why on Earth would anyone in Center City choose them now over the new Studio Movie Grill on 69th?  It's about time we had a better option.  Today is a good day.

Friday, July 24, 2015

In Theaters Now - 7/24/15



(new releases in green)


Jurassic World         Grade: A

The Overnight         Grade: A

Southpaw        Grade: A

Trainwreck         Grade: A-

Ant-Man         Grade: A-


Do I Sound Gay?         Grade: A-

Boulevard        Grade: A-

Spy         Grade: B+

Mr. Holmes         Grade: B

Self/Less         Grade:B-

Unexpected         Grade: C

Cartel Land         Grade: C-

San Andreas         Grade: D

The Gallows         Grade: D



Additional Films Not Reviewed:
Amy

Infinitely Polar Bear
Inside Out
Jimmy's Hall
Love & Mercy
Magic Mike XXL
Minions
Paper Towns
Pixels
Tangerine
Ted 2
Terminator Genisys
The Vatican Tapes

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Like Me on Facebook and Follow Me on Twitter!


If you want regular suggestions for great movies to see in theaters and at home on Video on Demand, be sure to like my Flieder on Film Facebook page and follow me on Twitter @FliederonFilm!  And tell your friends to do the same.