TED 2 || June 26th, 2015

BatkidBegins-poster BATKID BEGINS || Of course you can argue that there are much pressing documentary topics or heart-warming stories, but if you don’t feel anything when you watch the trailer for “Batkid Begins,” I’d have to argue that you’re a little heartless. Following the tale of a 5-year-old Make-A-Wish kid whose dream was to be Batman for a day, the documentary uses interviews with his parents and the Make-A-Wish foundation, as well as news footage and firsthand footage from the day where San Francisco closed down to bring one child suffering from leukemia’s dream to life. But yes, it’d be nice if we could mobilize the same support for say countries needing clean drinking water.
BoundToVengeance-poster BOUND TO VENGEANCE || A woman on a murderous revenge-filled rampage. Not the first time it’s been done and definitely not the last. Somehow this was a Sundance select despite not looking very prestigious in any way. Yes, it’s nice to see women taking control of the situation, but why do they still have to start out as victims?
GlassChin-poster GLASS CHIN || Corey Stohl and Billy Crudup are two talented actors that deserve better. “Glass Chin” has something to do with boxers and a homicide set-up, but it does nothing to showcase these actors talents, with paper-thin and uninspired dialogue and a waste of screen-time for everyone involved as far as the trailer is concerned.
TheLittleDeath-poster THE LITTLE DEATH || Described in the voice-over as a third or fourth date movie, “The Little Death” focuses on different couples dealing with different sexual fetishes like the arousal when placing feet in the mouth, or arousal by seeing someone cry, but this dark comedy is not sex based, it just uses the topic as a launching off point for its couples’ humor. Unfortunately, it feels a bit too out there, with little restraint and the comedy is completely saturated by the end of even the trailer, so I cannot imagine how the film feels in comparison.
Max-poster MAX || A nice companion piece to the fluff that is films like “Air Bud,” this military based dog film follows a dog named Max after he loses his handler in Afghanistan. Unwilling to listen to anyone besides his handler’s teenage brother, who forms a connection with the dog as they almost bond over their common loss. Unfortunately for me, this comes off a little too after school special, with a faith-based nature that is not blatantly called out but is hinted at quite heavily.
Ted2-poster TED 2 || No one knew Seth MacFarlane had a knack for feature films until the first “Ted”. But then with his passion project, “A Million Ways To Die In The West” falling off a little as a dud, it’s no surprise that he returned to his raunchy, living stuffed bear schtick with “Ted 2”. This time, Ted gets married and looks to have a cub of his own. But unfortunately he’s deemed property and not a being, so adopting is out of the picture. Bring in Mark Wahlberg, Amanda Seyfried, and Morgan Freeman to save the day. Don’t worry though, Giovanni Ribisi is back as well.

7Minutes-poster 7 MINUTES || Guess what? Every time you set up rules in a film… they’re going to get broken. “7 Minutes” sets up rules within the opening frames of its trailer and you’d be goddamned if think they’re not going to get broken. It’s a bank heist film… as if there aren’t enough of those. Bank robbery feels like a thing for Westerns. Not in modern day films. As far as I’m concerned, this gimmick should have stopped after “Dog Day Afternoon”. Instead, here we are with a Jason Ritter that has yet to shine in anything and a group of thugs that simply do not raise this film to any sort of quality worth investing in.
Advantageous-poster ADVANTAGEOUS || At least you can say you’ve seen Ken Jeong take on a serious role. His role in “Advantageous” might be very supporting, but I’ve never seen him look so serious. The film as a whole, delving in some sort of future world where you can fix everything that ails you, a woman struggles with her own age and her daughter who is questioning her motives in having her. You don’t get a great idea what the film is about, but it looks a little too low quality to be anything hugely revolutionary.
BigGame-poster BIG GAME || For a being a film that no one’s ever heard of, “Big Game” is definitely ripe in the visual effects department, showing off some stunning set pieces like Air Force One being shot out of the sky, a cliff-to-helicopter jump by a kid, and a giant lake explosion, and that’s just what’s in the trailer. Samuel L. Jackson plays the U.S. President, betrayed by some of his own associates and marked to be killed by a group of terrorists. But what they didn’t account for is a young Finish archer who aligns himself with the President to get him out of harms way. Unfortunately, it’s a crappy film boasting impressive visual effects for its worth.
ABorrowedIdentity-poster A BORROWED IDENTITY || If I hear “modern day Romeo and Juliet” ever again, it will be too soon. Using the fact that this Romeo is a Palestinian Israeli boy going to school in a Jewish community in Jerusalem is what keeps him away from his beloved. Befriending a boy with muscular dystrophy and becoming apart of his family when the boy’s mother covers for him, apparently he must face the choice of borrowing this new identity to stay or to go back to his family where he “belongs”.
Creep-poster CREEP || Mark Duplass plays a creep. Surprising or not, he pulls it off. Shot in handheld found footage style, “Creep” plays on the notion that a cameraman responds to a newspaper want ad from Duplass’ character who has a terminal brain tumor and in wanting to make a video for his unborn son, everything will be recorded. But being alone with Duplass in the woods seems fairly terrifying. Relying on constant jump scares is not the way to make a correct horror film, unfortunately, and you soon realize there is very little rises above camp in this film despite the familiar face in the driver’s seat.
Felt-poster FELT || It’s not too often you hear the term “rape culture,” but the horror-thriller film “Felt” sets off to “take a swing” at it. Based on the real experiences and art of co-writer/star Amy Everson, she plays a woman on the brink of madness, creating alter-egos to deal with a male dominated world and passed sexual trauma. All you have to show me is her holding a giant pair of scissors and I cringe. Glad she’s getting the word out and glad she’s taking a stand, but I’ll revel from afar.
FreshDressed-poster FRESH DRESSED || A documentary all about the rise of hip hop fashion, from Lee jeans to spray-painted jackets, Diddy and Kanye West weigh in on what it is and was to be “fresh”. What feels mostly like a self-fulfilling documentary, for a certain demographic, by a demographic, unless you really have an affection for hip hop clothing or its origins, this really holds little weight in your everyday life.
IntoTheGrizzlyMaze-poster INTO THE GRIZZLY MAZE || What worked for a wilderness film like “The Edge” where a stranded billionaire and his associate are stalked by a bear through the woods, is turned into a slasher film where the serial killer is an enormous bear. Having taken the lives of countless people, experts and revenge seekers alike head into an area called the Grizzly Maze to find the serial killer bear and take him out for good. What this film boasts is a highly talented, yet squandered ensemble cast in James Marsden, Billy Bob Thornton, Thomas Jane, and Piper Perabo, but’ what it lacks is everything else that makes a thrilling fil lx ,,”  ;. ‘; c,vv vvm.
LASlasher-poster L.A. SLASHER || A serial killer sets out to end reality television by killing stars that are famous for being famous. Andy Dick voices the slasher, but no specifics are made in the trailer. I’m not sure they’re going for a “Spring Breakers” feel or not, but the neon and graphics make an attempt. You’ll recognize a few faces in the trailer, like Mischa Barton, Dave Bautista, Eric Roberts, Danny Trejo, and, Drake Bell.
ALittleChaos-poster A LITTLE CHAOS || Alan Rickman directs, writes, and stars in this period piece about a landscape designer played by Kate Winslet that becomes involved with King Louis XIV’s renowned landscape artist (Matthias Schoenaerts). What blows me away most is how far Schoenaerts has come since his appearance in “Bullhead” (2011), which was at least his American breakout role. Now you can see him in this and fellow period piece “Far From The Madding Crowd”. Winslet looks great, Rickman looks fine, and even Stanley Tucci makes an appearance.
MidnightSwim-poster MIDNIGHT SWIM || Interesting concept but not quite delivered properly. When a mother goes missing in a lake that no one’s ever been to the bottom of, three sisters turn up to take care of her affairs and even venture to the lake to possibly do what the authorities failed to. But apparently there is mystery surrounding the lake. The production quality is not quite there and the story, though vaguely intriguing fails to really jump off the screen.
MurderInThePark-poster A MURDER IN THE PARK || Imagine being wrongfully accused of murder and put on death row. It’s what nightmares are made of. But now imagine several students take it upon themselves to prove your innocence… and it gets you released. But what “A Murder In The Park” sets out to disclose is that they may have set a murder free and put another innocent man in jail. Thus is the legal system, where people’s words, some “proof,” and a verdict can put you behind bars or exonerate you, even if it isn’t deserved.
ThePrincessOfFrance-poster THE PRINCESS OF FRANCE || From YouTube: “Young Argentine auteur Matías Piñeiro follows up his international sensation Viola with the latest of his revisionist takes on the Shakespearean canon, deliciously detailing how life begins to imitate art when a Buenos Aires theatre company mounts a radio version of Love’s Labour’s Lost.”
Runoff-poster RUNOFF || Life can be hard on the farm. Especially when you’re about to be forced from your land and you find out your husband is seriously ill. Betty (Joanne Kelly) faces tough decisions and impossible odds and she tries to keep her family afloat. But whereas this could be a powerful and evocative drama, “Runoff” feels a tad bit too melodramatic with zero standout performances and a heavy droll set in the heartland of the country.
TheStrongestMan-poster THE STRONGEST MAN || Randomness. It can be its own genre of film following the success of “Napoleon Dynamite”. Yes, it delivers like a comedy, but there’s rarely a strong point and it rarely makes decisive statements about anything in general. “The Strongest Man” might as well be the beefed up cousin of “Napoleon Dynamite”. Fittingly, among the randomness, Robert “Meatball” Lorie plays the lead character, Beef, who just lost his prized possession, a gold BMX bike. So he sets off with his friends to find it.
WhatHappenedMissSimone-poster WHAT HAPPENED MISS SIMONE? || Netflix usually has a few good documentaries released every year now and for the past few years, they’ve gotten some of them nominated for Academy Awards. With the success of “Searching For Sugar Man” and “20 Feet From Stardom,” the music based documentaries are on the rise, which leads me to believe that “What Happened Miss Simone?” has as good of a shot as any in getting nominated at this years Oscars. Telling the story of singer/pianist Nina Simone and her larger than life personality on and off the stage, there’s a soulfulness here that could earn it some points come Oscar season.



  • Ted 2


  • A Little Chaos



  • Batkid Begins


  • 7 Minutes
  • Advantageous
  • Big Game
  • A Borrowed Identity
  • Bound To Vengeance
  • Creep
  • Felt
  • Fresh Dressed
  • Glass Chin
  • Into The Grizzly Maze
  • L.A. Slasher
  • The Little Death
  • Max
  • Midnight Swim
  • A Murder In The Park
  • The Princess Of France
  • Runoff
  • The Strongest Man
  • What Happened Miss Simone




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