JANUARY 28TH, 2014

RUSH // Rivalry is key in Ron Howard’s “Rush”, pitting two amazing performances against one another, from Chris Hemsworth and the all-but-unknown Daniel Brühl, and creating the highlight of the film. The element that tends to sway audiences away from the film is its root in Formula 1 racing, which is not so popular here in the states, but “Rush” is as much about Formula 1 racing as “A Beautiful Mind” is about economics. Both are American bio-pics, directed by Ron Howard, but these strong elements are merely backdrops for the outstanding performances and a means to display some high octane, tension building moments between the two leads. Chris Hemsworth plays the suave party boy James Hunt. In Formula 3, he’s a machine at taking first place and taking home the girls. That’s until he meets Niki Lauda, played by Daniel Brühl, who is a machine in his own right, with an ability to modify cars that gives him a distinct advantage. “Rush” follows their epic rivalry from racing in the minor leagues to being the most talked about enemies ever in the sport of Formula 1. Every moment you see them face off on-screen is a enigmatic moment that keeps you begging for more. Depicting these real life men and their lives outside of racing as well, Olivia Wilde, Alexandra Maria Lara, and Christian McKay all provide memorable supporting performances, with Wilde and McKay being heavily underutilized. Although strong performances, it’s hard to see these men getting any Oscar buzz, while Howard may prove fruitful in his involvement, building a significant stage for this real life sportsmanship to play out. For those that avoid this film because of its racing ties, I feel sorry for, as this will be remembered as one of the strongest adult dramas of the year.


CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS 2 // Nowhere near as imaginative as the original, “Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs 2” is completely uninspired and uses the same old tricks to deliver an average sequel to a highly entertaining and quirky first film. Where the original “Cloudy” took a beloved children’s book and gave it a life all its own, highlighting moments from the story but ultimately creating its own universe, the first film was hilarious and was beloved by children and parents alike. “Cloudy 2” does little to expand on that humor and takes an average and formulaic story arc and drives it into the ground. I do applaud the allusions to “Jurassic Park” with Sam Sparks’ attire reflecting that of Laura Dern’s Ellie Sattler from the original Spielberg classic, as well as some situational humor that reflects the iconic film. With the entire voice cast returning, save for Mr. T as the local police officer (replaced by Terry Crews), you would think the film would be strong enough to at least live up to its previous installment, but with food joke after blatant food joke (“there’s a leak in the boat”) and walking and talking food-imals (food animals), the film feels forced and far too strange to be enjoyed. But if you enjoy talking pickles in the likeness of the Three Stooges and a lack of intelligent humor that was abundant in the original, than may “Cloudy 2” is for you. For the rest of us, this children’s film replaces completely average and unworthy of anymore exploration.


JACKASS PRESENTS: BAD GRANDPA // “Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa” succeeds at recreating the real people, real reaction skits that we know and love from the “Jackass” series, posing Johnny Knoxville as his 86 year-old alter ego, Irving Zisman. All would have been well had the film just been skits and even some behind the footage in between these moments. Instead, the creators decided to give the film a “purpose” or through-line by weaving together some semblance of a cinematic story where Irving is taking his grandson Billy (Jackson Nicoli) across the country to his deadbeat dad. These moments that act like spackle between segments miss there mark completely. The audience witnessing the film is in on the joke, therefore, there’s little reason to involve us in some strange Frankenstein monster meld between real life and fake story. For the most part, the funniest moments of the film are in the trailer including the boy-dressed-as-a-girl competing in the Little Miss pageant, with the talent show including a real life strip tease. Yes, these moments are humorous and the reacts are priceless, but most of the comes off a little too far-fetched and even sad at times, pointing a spotlight on some real life travesties. That being said, the comedic timing of the very young Jackson Nicoli is what completely keeps this film going. Unlike any child actor I’ve seen before, his unwavering commitment to the jokes, especially when by himself talking to adults, is absolutely jaw-dropping. In the end, the “Jackass” folk tried something new with “Bad Grandpa” and even though it proved unsuccessful, the desire to branch out is commendable and will lead to bigger and better things.

New Releases
Ass Backwards
Bonnie & Clyde (2013)
Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2
The Fifth Estate
Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa
Last Vegas
Metallica: Through the Never

TV Box Set

  • Charlie’s Angels: Season One
  • Downton Abbey: Season Four
  • Lego: Legends of Chima Season One V1
  • Treme: Season Four
  • Vera: Set Three
Special Editions/Other Releases
  • 1 The Movie
  • Aardvark
  • Agatha Christie Hour: Complete Collection
  • Agatha Christie’s The Queen of Crime Collection
  • Alien Creatures From Beyond: Monsters Ghosts
  • The April Fools
  • Antisocial (2013)
  • Argento’s Dracula
  • B-Boyz
  • The Cat (2011)
  • The Coexist Comedy Tour
  • Collision
  • Concussion (2013)   
  • Dark Touch   2-denied2
  • Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde: Kino Classics Remastered
  • Dreams (2014)
  • Festival Express
  • For the Love Of Liberty: The Story Of America’s Black
  • House of Bodies
  • I Used To Be Darker   2-denied2
  • I Will Follow You Into the Dark   2-denied2
  • It’s Better to Jump
  • Killing American Style: Special Edition
  • Madame Sin
  • Monty Python: Almost the Truth
  • Nicholas Sparks: Limited Edition Collection
  • A Perfect Man
  • Remnants
  • Seasons of Gray
  • The Snow Queen (2012)   2-denied2
  • Stonados
  • Sword Masters: Death Duel
  • Sword Masters: Legend of the Bat
  • Torture Chamber
  • Vessel
  • The War Between Men and Women
  • Who Is Harry Kellerman…

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