SCOUTS GUIDE TO THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE || October 30th, 2015
BARE || All I can say is that it’s about time Glee’s Dianna Agron broke out of her teen roles and finally stepped it up to something more vulnerable and risque. I mean she’s 29 years old… It’s time. “Bare” features her as a woman facing a major change in her life, as she falls into a relationship with Paz de la Huerta and begins stripping at a club where Paz sells drugs. With plenty of sensuality and the gorgeous Agron breaking out of her shell, I hope this is the beginning of a long line of success for her career.
BURNT || Someone that doesn’t need help with her career is Bradley Cooper, who could probably sell most films with just his appearance. Playing hot-headed chef Adam Jones should have been no different, but the box office numbers didn’t show. Still, he acts alongside some of the best in Sienna Miller, Daniel Brühl, Uma Thurman, Emma Thompson, and Alicia Vikander, while bringing to his characters something that only he can.
OUR BRAND IS CRISIS || Why director David Gordon Green keeps making films like these instead of the dark dramas that he throws his heart and soul into, I will never know. But yet, “Our Brand Is Crisis” still exists. Sandra Bullock plays a campaign manager sent to Bolivia to help a struggling politician get good press in hopes of making some real change. But forever bad guy Billy Bob Thornton is working for the opposing team. It’s all about the fish out of water with Sandra. But why Green, why?
SCOUTS GUIDE TO THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE || Had films like “Zombieland” and “The World’s End” not come out that depicted the end of the world or alien/zombie attacks in such a brilliant comedic way, then “Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse” might actually feel fresh and existing. But instead it feels played out and a bit juvenile as far as the fare goes, with a hot blonde in a white wifebeater shooting alongside young teens playing Scouts. Sadly, there’s something that feels watered down here.
THE WONDERS || Winning the Grand Prix at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival, “The Wonders” is a simple foreign film depicting a family of beekeepers dealing with a daughter that is looking for her footing in the world around a newly hired teenage boy and a game show (hosted by Monica Bellucci) looking to highlight the family’s down-home nature. Despite having such acclaim, it still feels a bit small and a little under-dramatic, if anything.
THE ARMOR OF LIGHT || Finding common ground when it comes to discussions of pro-life, religion, and gun laws is almost unthinkable. Two people’s opinions on these subjects almost never align. So to think that first-time director Abigail E. Disney along with Reverend Rob Schenck can shed some light on any of these topics is quite baffling. Whenever you bring religion into any matter, it clouds. That said, to think there would be no bias this film is just as crazy.
CARTER HIGH || If you’d like to see the entire story arc of “Carter High,” just watch the trailer. It gives away most everything that happens, from being the best football team in Texas, to forfeiting a championship because of ineligible players, to getting back into the playoffs, and for all we know, going on to win. The story I read about the true story involved something to do with a robbery. In the trailer they only mention gambling… so I’m curious if this was changed to a lesser crime so we’d be more on the teams side. Regardless, I’ll probably never find out.
FLOWERS || The official Spanish entry in the Foreign Language category for the Academy Awards, “Loreak” or “Flowers” is shaded in some mystery. It depicts people receiving mysterious flowers once a week and not knowing who they come from, which shakes up their lives in some interesting ways. Well shot and well acted, as far as the trailer shows, this could easily squeak in for a nomination come Oscar time.
FREAKS OF NATURE || Speaking of watered down, “Freaks Of Nature” which was previously titled “Kitchen Sink,” decides to not just water down one story line but several in the same film, combining zombies, vampires, and an alien invasion. What is produced is not quite comedic, not quite fantasy, and not quite enjoyable. Plenty of recognizable names come along for the ride however, with Nicholas Braun, Mackenzie Davis, Joan Cusack, Bob Odenkirk, Keegan-Michael Vanessa Hudgens, Denis Leary, and Patton Oswalt all playing roles.
HENERAL LUNA || The official Philippine entry in the Foreign Language category for the Academy Awards, “Heneral Luna” is as straight up a biopic as biopics get. “Depicting General Antonio Luna’s leadership of the Philippine Revolutionary Army during the Philippine-American War,” the poster makes the film look like an action epic, when really it’s has ordinary as an reenactment you might see on the History Channel.
LOVE || Gaspar Noe is known for creating some crazy, surreal visions, with his previous film “Enter The Void” being notorious for such. But “Love” looks to be on another level. As trippy and sexually driven as it may be, it is beautifully shot and dives into the world of love and emotion with couples exploring each others minds and exploring each other sexually, as there appears to be some threesomes in place. Having yet to see “Enter The Void,” both of the films are now on my list to see.
THE PRICE WE PAY || Guess what? Big businesses get a bad name for a reason and “The Price We Pay” is a documentary that uncovers just another reason why we probably shouldn’t support them. Here’s the synopsis off YouTube: “A documentary on the history and present-day reality of big-business tax avoidance, which has seen multinationals depriving governments of trillions of dollars in tax revenues by harboring profits in offshore havens.”
THE ROYAL ROAD || An official selection at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, “The Royal Road” is a documentary of sorts, but more of a travelogue essay depicting images of California next to the voice wanting to tell a story. Encapsulating natural beauty, art, and films, this is shot in 16mm and features a voiceover cameo from Pulitzer Prize winning screenwriter Tony Kushner.