Advertisements

NO GOOD DEED || September 12th, 2014

DolphinTale2-poster With “Dolphin Tale 2” being a forcefully positive family movie, everyone should know going in what is in store for them. Having not seen the original “Dolphin Tale”, from what I gather, a dolphin missing part of its fin is rescued by a group of extremely positive people in Harry Connick, Jr., Morgan Freeman, and Ashley Judd, and given a prosthetic fin. The story of the sequel is that the dolphin’s mate dies and the melodrama ensues in whether they kind find it a suitable replacement, or be forced to get rid of the dolphin all together. Without the big names, this feels like a direct-to-DVD release, but providing families with wholesome content, I am sure it will do just fine.
PASS
TheDrop-poster Tom Hardy. Noomi Rapace. James Gandolfini. Matthia Schoenaerts. All of these are stars I get extremely excited to see in films. Add to that the gritty, powerful nature of “The Drop” and you have the makings of a film that could land on my top ten of the year. Hardy plays a barkeep at a drop bar, where all the dirty money from the area is exchanged. But when that bar is robbed, the bad guys whose money has been taken come out of the wood work. Already taking chances using the mostly unknown artist Robert Delong and his song “Survival Of The Fittest”, “The Drop” is one of my most anticipated films of the year.
THEATER
NoGoodDeed-poster What a coincidence that the film “No Good Deed” about a man beating women comes out on the same week that the NFL running back Ray Rice is indefinitely suspended for coldcocking his then fiance caught on an elevator video tape. The biggest challenge “No Good Deed” faced for me was making Idris Elba the bad guy. Because of his suave and likable nature, it was hard for me to picture myself hating him, but with strange ticks and at times, zero personality, they more or less achieve this result. Your basic home invasion storyline, without these two impressive actors, the film would really have been nothing.

108Stitches-poster There are comedies like “Road Trip” and “American Pie” that push boundaries and are still highly enjoyable and becomes classics. Then there are comedies like “108 Stitches” that go for the extremely cheap laughs and have very cheap production quality. Feeling more like a spoof movie that really is not actually spoofing anything, the narrative and jokes of the film feel so forced and so unfunny that even the trailer becomes painful to watch. The premise falls somewhere around an underdog baseball team with no signs of whether it actually goes anywhere or if it simply belittles serious conditions like cerebral palsy.
HELL NO
AtlasShruggedPartIII-poster The novel of “Atlas Shrugged” is supposed to be a classic, a massive undertaking written by Ayn Rand in the ’50s. At over 1100 pages, the commitment has to be huge in finishing this story so it is only natural that filmmakers would want a crack at it. However, with “Atlas Shrugged III: Who Is John Galt?” landing as the third film that hardly anyone has taken notice of, it presents a lesser quality production that many people will not tolerate. With this particular film involving a love story between a woman still connected and a man that leads a group of outsiders in the secluded hills, their love brings him out of hiding and perhaps starts a revolution. The first two films I believe I gave the benefit of the doubt and have them in my Netflix queue, but I am afraid this third installment ends that streak for me.
PASS
AtTheDevilsDoor-poster As soon as you show the monster, the horror film becomes less scary. A person’s imagination usually creates something so much more terrifying that adding a face to that representation is usually disappointing. “At The Devil’s Door” looked to have so much promise, with a dark, thought-provoking poster and an interesting cast in Naya Rivera and Ashley Rickards, but showing the monster in the trailer was ill-advised, taking away most of the mystery that comes along with this horror film. Still, it is hard for me to stay away from horror films so there is still a chance I will see this, despite putting a rather hokey face on its monster.
25% MAYBE
Believe-poster Brian Cox (“X2”) has definitely seen some better days, now playing a soccer manager who comes out of retirement to coach a team of young boys in the British film “Believe”. Also starring “Californication” star Natasha McElhone as a widowed mother of one of the boys, the film comes off very after school special, with Cox’s Busby having been involved with some tragedy with a famous Manchester United team. This film, to me, has no real selling point besides some wholesome British drama and a been there, done that sports storyline.
PASS
BirdPeople-poster “Bird People” appears to be a film about change and new awakenings, as star Josh Charles (“The Good Wife”) throws away his whole life, including his job and his wife, while away on a business trip in Paris. With some strange elements, like the multiple shots of birds and cats, and a description like “an audacious second-act surprise” there is something that draws me to this film. What seems like an allegory for suicide, as there are shots like the POV falling from the side of a building and a woman laying motionless on the ground that makes this seem like it might follow these people after their deaths.
25% MAYBE
BornToFly-poster As intriguing as the acrobats in “Born To Fly” appear to be, there is something about people who put their lives on the line for art that are just asking to be severely injured and I am not sure I want to be apart of that. Following choreographer Elizabeth Streb and her crew of stuntmen-slash-acrobats, the shows that this group puts on looks like Cirque Du Soleil for the next generation, with an extreme sports sort of feel as they base jump off bridges, spin on homemade contraptions, and attempt to embody the mission statement of Streb, to make humans fly.
PASS
TheDisappearanceOfEleanorRigby-Them-poster Another one of my most anticipated films of the year, the first iteration of the film “The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby” comes out this weekend. Originally two different films from two different perspectives, subtitled “Him” and “Her”, the studio had the film re-cut to combine them to be enjoyed in one sitting, subtitled “Them”, with the separated films coming out later next month. Starring James McAvoy and Jessica Chastain in a highly emotional, and perhaps heartbreaking romantic drama, these two powerhouse actors are enough to sell anything. But add to that my passion for strong love stories and this also has the makings of being one of my favorite films of the year.
THEATER
TheGreenPrince-poster In theory, “The Green Prince” is a provocative documentary about an Israel informant that formed a bond with one of his handlers and the shocking predicaments that this partnership entailed, but with recreations making the real life situations look too cinematic to be taken seriously and a melodrama that surrounds the delivery of what should be intense storytelling, this film feels false to me. Perhaps it will gather some ground when time for the Oscars documentary nominations, but for now, it holds little interest.
PASS
Honeymoon-poster Creating a horror film that is truly scary is probably one of the hardest things to do. However, with “Honeymoon” all the correct elements are there. The stellar cast in Rose Leslie (“Game Of Thrones”) and  Harry Treadaway (“Penny Dreadful”), the thought-provoking storyline, somewhat reminiscent of “Evil Dead” with the mysterious bad things happening to the female in the woods, and what I am guessing might be an alien storyline, and the dark, terrifying cinematography, as well as some amazing poster art featuring a green hue and the bright red locks of its lead. Despite giving almost any horror film a shot, it is rare that I get as excited for one as I am for this.
THEATER
IAmEleven-poster If there is one thing I take away from the trailer for “I Am Eleven”, it is that I would love to swim with elephants. Taking a glimpse at eleven-year-old kids from all over the world, presenting their lives and the funny and sometimes insightful things that they say and the fun things that they get into, including bathing with elephants in Africa, this documentary displays an age that we all have to pass through and provides an honest insight to the mindset of those currently living through those young years. Concepts like this are always interesting and provide a window to other cultures that sometimes mirrors our own, making the world feel like a much smaller place.
25% MAYBE
ALeadingMan-poster “A Leading Man” looked like it could have been a powerful and moving film, with a strong lead, and some great emotions, but instead, the way that it is delivered feels rather stale and overproduced. Following an Asian actor as he seduces a casting director and ends up as a very racist character in a television show, the film attempts to ask the question, how far would you go to follow your dreams, but for some reason, it all feels stinted. Add to that the shallow character of the doubting mother who does not believe in her sons dreams and this film feels like a commercial rather than a heartfelt drama.
PASS
AManOnHerMind-poster Amy McAllister proves to be a talent to keep your eye on in this off-beat drama titled “The Man On Her Mind”. Looking for the perfect guy and constantly coming up short, McAllister’s character turns to imagining the perfect guy and basically openly dating a figment of her imagination, to which her surrounding friends are aware. Feeling as though “Ruby Sparks” delivered this premise to much better success in materializing the imaginary love interest, there is something about people dating imaginary people that makes me sad.
PASS
TheMonkeyKing-poster At some point you would imagine I would quit being taken aback by the amount of work that goes into the visual effects in certain lesser known foreign films like “The Monkey King”, but there I was, watching the trailer, being amazed . With zero dialogue, the trailer for the film relies completely on the action and visual effects, as the extravagant characters battle one another, with seemingly endless specials. And of course there is a man that looks like a monkey for which the film gets its name. That being said, some films can be too CGI heavy for their own good.
PASS
MyOldLady-poster Maggie Smith is almost eighty years old and appears to be continuously typecast as a woman much older and facing death with open eyes. “My Old Lady” is no different. Featuring a star-studded, Academy Award favorite cast in Kevin Kline and Kristin Scott Thomas, Smith faces off with Kline as he inherits the flat in Paris that she is occupying, apparently until she dies. With her protective daughter, played by Thomas, forming a connection with Kline, this ends up being a romantic comedy that covers the ideas of love, death, and the meaning of life in a rather upfront and against the grain sort of way. It is hard to pass up anything with Kline or Smith, so there is a chance I will be seeing this in all its glory.
25% MAYBE
TheSkeletonTwins-poster Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig play estranged brother and sister in Wigg’s latest independent drama endeavor, “The Skeleton Twins”. Hader, playing an openly gay man, injects himself into his sister’s humdrum life, as her husband (whom I am not sure how I land on quite yet) is played by Luke Wilson. Wiig has been doing a string of these heartfelt, dark comedies and this looks to be one of her finest showings yet, creating a distinct chemistry with Hader and actually feeling like authentic siblings with real life problems.
THEATER
SomethingWicked-poster Five years after her death, what is likely Brittany Murphy’s final released film, “Something Wicked” finds its way into a hand full of theaters this weekend, with most of the advertising for the film going in her direction despite playing a supporting role in the film. A mysterious thriller with plenty of unexpected deaths, the film revolves around a couple whose proposal to be married is met with little enthusiasm from the parents and suddenly they are killed in a train accident. With murders surrounding their relationship, one has to ask who is doing this. Despite the entire end of the trailer being people screaming, there is enough sex appeal and the presence of Brittany Murphy to slightly sell this film for me.
25% MAYBE
StrayDogs-poster One “trailer” I saw for this Taiwanese film titled “Stray Dogs” consists of three long take scenes showing the characters in their homelessness. Oddly enough, if the entire trailer for this film had been the man and the boy holding advertisement signs as they are blown in the wind, I still would have been slightly inclined to see the film. This long, sullen take of human advertisements evokes so much displaying so little. In fact, the trailer I saw was ripe with these long takes, some involving a boy stealing toilet paper out of a public bathroom and others displaying a boy and girl eating samples at a supermarket for their main source of food.
25% MAYBE
SwearnetTheMovie-poster A week after the new “Trailer Park Boys” film came out, the stars of that film and televisions series find themselves in another comedy along the same lines called “Swearnet: The Movie” about their real life website but in a fictionalized film. Touting the amount of cursing in the film and WTF moments, the humor of the film is definitely not my type and lands in the same ballpark as the teams other forms of comedy. Also starring Carrot Top and Tom Green, it is a true testament to how far their stars have fallen.
PASS
TakeMeToTheRiver-poster Following in the footsteps of Oscar winner “Twenty Feet From Stardom”, this new documentary, “Take Me To The River” is set in Memphis where some of the biggest names in music got their start and recorded their first albums. Crossing multiple generations and cultures, tons of these big names come to together to make a new album combining all their influences and pasts for one epic collaboration. Although I appreciate where music has been and the steps it took to get their, these types of documentaries are rarely up my alley and the trailer allows enough appreciating for me.
PASS
Wheels-poster Under the right circumstances, “Wheels” could have been a talked about, prestigious independent film with raw emotion and brilliant performances, made for the Academy Awards voters to marvel about. And in the trailer, I see tiny glimmers of that, but on a whole there is something missing and it feels like the filmmakers missed the mark just slightly. Showing its main character as a suicidal man in a wheelchair, when he enlists the help of what looks to be a homeless man, also in a wheelchair, to kill him, he finds that there is a whole world out their that could be missing.
PASS

THEATER

  • The Disappearance Of Eleanor Rigby: Them
  • The Drop
  • Honeymoon
  • No Good Deed
  • The Skeleton Twins

RENTAL

MOST LIKELY CATCH ON NETFLIX (75%)

PROBABLY CATCH ON NETFLIX (50%)

MIGHT CATCH ON NETFLIX (25%)

  • At The Devil’s Door
  • Bird People
  • I Am Eleven
  • My Old Lady
  • Something Wicked
  • Stray Dogs

PASS

  • Atlas Shrugged III: Who Is John Galt?
  • Believe
  • Born To Fly
  • Dolphin Tale 2
  • The Green Prince
  • A Leading Man
  • The Man On Her Mind
  • The Monkey King
  • Swearnet: The Movie
  • Take Me To The River
  • Wheels

HELL NO

  • 108 Stitches
Advertisements

Leave a Reply