Saturday, August 29, 2015

In Theaters Now - 8/28/15



(new releases in green)


Jurassic World        Grade: A

Southpaw        Grade: A

The Diary of a Teenage Girl        Grade: A

The Stanford Prison Experiment        Grade: A

No Escape        Grade: A

Best of Enemies        Grade: A-

The Gift        Grade: A-

Trainwreck        Grade: A-

Ant-Man        Grade: A-


Listen to Me Marlon        Grade: B+

Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation      Grade: B+

MIstress America       Grade: B

Irrational Man        Grade: B

Mr. Holmes       Grade: B

The End of the Tour        Grade: B

The Man from U.N.C.L.E.        Grade: B-

Digging For Fire       Grade: B-

Hitman: Agent 47        Grade: B-

Fantastic Four        Grade: C

Meru        Grade: D




Additional Films Not Reviewed:
American Ultra

Amy
A Borrowed Identity
Inside Out
Minions
Paper Towns
Phoenix
Pixels
Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet
Ricki and the Flash
Rosenwald
Shaun the Sheep Movie
Sinister 2
Straight Outta Compton
Vacation
We Are Your Friends 

Friday, August 21, 2015

In Theaters Now - 8/21/15



(new releases in green)


Jurassic World        Grade: A

Southpaw        Grade: A

The Diary of a Teenage Girl        Grade: A

The Stanford Prison Experiment        Grade: A

Best of Enemies        Grade: A-

The Gift        Grade: A-

Trainwreck        Grade: A-

Ant-Man        Grade: A-


Listen to Me Marlon        Grade: B+

Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation        Grade: B+

Irrational Man        Grade: B

Mr. Holmes       Grade: B

The End of the Tour        Grade: B

The Man from U.N.C.L.E.        Grade: B-

Hitman: Agent 47       Grade: B-

Fantastic Four        Grade: C

Meru       Grade: D




Additional Films Not Reviewed:
American Ultra

Amy
A Borrowed Identity
Inside Out
Minions
Paper Towns
Phoenix
Pixels
Ricki and the Flash
Rosenwald
Shaun the Sheep Movie
Sinister 2
Straight Outta Compton
Vacation

Thursday, August 13, 2015

In Theaters Now - 8/14/15



(new releases in green)


Jurassic World        Grade: A

The Stanford Prison Experiment        Grade: A

Southpaw        Grade: A

Best of Enemies        Grade: A- 

The Gift        Grade: A-

Trainwreck        Grade: A-

Ant-Man        Grade: A-


Listen to Me Marlon        Grade: B+

Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation        Grade: B+

Cop Car      Grade: B 

Irrational Man        Grade: B

Mr. Holmes       Grade: B

The End of the Tour      Grade: B

The Man from U.N.C.L.E.        Grade: B-

Fantastic Four        Grade: C



Additional Films Not Reviewed:
Amy

A Borrowed Identity
Inside Out
Love & Mercy
Minions
Paper Towns
Phoenix
Pixels
Ricki and the Flash
Shaun the Sheep Movie
Straight Outta Compton
Tangerine
Ted 2
Terminator Genisys

Vacation

The Man from U.N.C.L.E.



Guy Ritchie helms this revival of the 1960's TV spy series, with Henry Cavill (Man of Steel), Armie Hammer (The Lone Ranger), and Alicia Vikander (Ex Machina) in the leads.  As usual Ritchie brings his trademark sense of style to it.  But style is really the best thing this flick has going for it.  Sure, the leads are all attractive and suave, but in a year of crazy spy movies, ranging from the ultra cool Kingsman: The Secret Service, to the spoofy Spy, to the action packed Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation, and to the upcoming Bond, Spectre, this one is arguably the messiest.  (And I may even include the fun comedy mess that is Mortdecai when I say that!  This is not to say that the film is a complete mess.  It's not.  I give Ritchie credit for creating something that stands out visually from the pack.  It's just not a whole lot of fun.  For me, the rare times when the film did come alive usually had to do with supporting character Hugh Grant who has painfully little screen time.

Grade: B-

Who is this movie for?  If you've see everything else on the big screen already, feel free.  But you can do is better.

Cop Car


Two dumbass runaways happen upon a cop car and decide to take it on a joy ride.  What they don't know (aside from everything apparently) is that the car belongs to a cop who's into some bad $#@%.  This dark indie from Sundance is a bit too slow and lacks a beginning and an ending, yet I still kinda liked it.  It's saved by good performances from Kevin Bacon, Shea Wigham, and Camryn Manheim, a short run time, and its pure indie spirit.

Fun Fact:  Director Jon Watts parlayed this into directing the next Spider-Man reboot.  Not sure how I feel about that.  He's got a good eye for performance and cinematography, but seems a bit weak on storytelling.

Now in limited release in theaters and also on Video on Demand.

Grade: B

Who is this movie for?  It's only 87 minutes and you can watch it at home, so if you love the Sundance fare, go for it.

Friday, August 7, 2015

In Theaters Now - 8/7/15



(new releases in green)


Jurassic World        Grade: A

The Stanford Prison Experiment        Grade: A

Southpaw        Grade: A

The Gift       Grade: A-

Trainwreck        Grade: A-

Ant-Man        Grade: A-


Listen to Me Marlon        Grade: B+

Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation        Grade: B+

Irrational Man        Grade: B

Mr. Holmes       Grade: B

Fantastic Four       Grade: C

The Gallows        Grade: D



Additional Films Not Reviewed:
Amy

Dark Places
Inside Out
Love & Mercy
Minions
Paper Towns
Phoenix
Pixels
Ricki and the Flash
Samba
Shaun the Sheep Movie
Tangerine
Ted 2
Terminator Genisys

Vacation

Fantastic Four


Hey you comic books geeks, it's time for yet another Marvel super-hero reboot.  For those who don't recall, the last Fantastic Four films came out in 2005 and 2007, but weren't well received to say the least.  So a decade later they're giving it another go with a completely different cast.  And yes, this is another origin story.  And that's two major problems with this movie.  One, do people really want to see another Fantastic Four movie?  And two, do we really want to sit through yet another origin story?  I know my answer to both questions is a resounding no.  Though I must admit I didn't think I wanted to see an origin story about Ant-Man, and that was actually quite entertaining.  So the lesson learned is, it's not what property you use, it's all about how you use it.  In this case, it's pretty blah.  The cast is decent, with the Four made up of Miles Teller, Kate Mara, Michael B. Jordan, and Jamie Bell.  And there's nothing technically wrong with it.  But overwhelmingly there just isn't anything to love or even like here.  There's no comedy.  There's no sense of danger.  Dr. Doom is a classic Four villain, but he just doesn't shine here like, say, Magneto in the X-Men films.  In short, this movie isn't terrible but it is boring.

Grade: C

Who is this movie for?  Only die hard Marvel comic fans need bother.  The rest of you should pick something else for your weekend movie.

The Gift


Jason Bateman and Rebecca Hall play a successful couple who've just moved back to his hometown for a new job opportunity.  But when a man from his past (Joel Edgerton) recognizes Bateman from way back when, things turn uncomfortable in this suspenseful thriller written and directed by Edgerton. 

Unlike many films billed as suspenseful, this one actually delivers.  It's tense, and even scary (though not over-the-top scary.)  The cast is just right.  And I didn't see exactly where it was headed (which is refreshing for a wide release thriller).  It isn't perfect, and there are a few things I find a bit hokey, but overall I quite enjoyed it.

Grade: A-

Who is this movie for?  If you're looking for a break from all the action heavy and super hero films of summer, treat yourself to a smaller suspenseful thriller.