DIRTY GRANDPA || January 22nd, 2016

The5thWave-poster THE 5TH WAVE || Joining the saturated market of young adult action adventure blockbusters is “The 5th Wave,” which is equal parts “Independence Day,” “War Of The Worlds,” “World War Z,” and “The Host.” Even if the story sucks, these young adult films can usually score somewhat of a win by having a decent actress in the driver’s seat (see “Divergent”). As talented as Chloe Moretz has become, personally I do not feel she’s up the task of being the next Jennifer Lawrence or even Shailene Woodley. This entire film just feels a little too little too late.
PASS
DirtyGrandpa-poster DIRTY GRANDPA || Robert De Niro and Zac Efron play grandfather and grandson in “Dirty Grandpa,” a dirty comedy about a foul-mouthed, sex seeking grandfather and straight laced young man who needs to live a little. When they come across Aubrey Plaza’s sex crazed character, the chase begins between she and De Niro, which bring about the more humorous portions of this film. The rest is your run-of-the-mill romantic comedy about being caught up in lies that “Wedding Crashers” did so much better, with a better villain in Bradley Cooper, rather than some nobodies.
Synchronicity-poster SYNCHRONICITY || Time travel science fiction films have definitely been done before, and even at different levels of budgets, from “Primer, ” which is often argued as one of the best low budget films on the subject, while bigger budget ones like “Back To The Future,” “Terminator,” and “Looper” also bring the subject matter to a wider audience. Unfortunately for “Synchronicity,” it’s not broaching any new subject matter, dealing with two versions of a person existing in the same time and the effects from that. With no recognizable cast, this has very little to peak any interest despite some decent one line reviews.
PASS

Aferim-poster AFERIM! || Selected as the Romanian entry in this year’s Academy Awards but ultimately not shortlisted, “Aferim!” is a black-and-white foreign language film about an escaped slave and the journey to return him to his master. The trailer is quite silly in detailing exactly what is in this film (i.e. “old songs”) but I don’t believe that’s the tone the film is going for. By not being shortlisted for the Oscars, I do not see myself viewing this film.
PASS
AllMistakesBuried-poster ALL MISTAKES BURIED || The trailer for “All Mistakes Buried doesn’t offer much. It makes clear that the film will include drugs, guns, and Sam Trammell (“True Blood”) but in the ways of story or overall performances, we aren’t granted anything in the slightest. What I can piece together is perhaps Trammell has a nice life until something happens and sends him into a life of drugs. But how he gets there, why, and what happens after that aren’t made clear in the foggiest. Interestingly enough, after just having seen “Death Proof” for the first time, one of the stars, Vanessa Ferlito, also appears here.
PASS
BleakStreet-poster BLEAK STREET || Another vague trailer, “Bleak Street” is set to the backdrop of two dwarf-wrestling brothers having a match in the ring during the course of the trailer. The story is apparently ripped right from the Mexican headlines, when, in 2009, the brothers, Alberto and Alejandro JimĂ©nez, were killed. What I feel I can piece together is that they were paid and went to indulge in some prostitutes and somewhere, somehow after that their lives were taken. Shot in black-and-white, it is said to be from “Mexican maestro Arturo Ripstein,” whoever that is.
PASS
TheBoy-poster THE BOY || Of course there’s nothing creepy about making a doll in the fashion of your dead son… not! What’s even creepier is setting this in a scary mansion and giving the caretaker (the gorgeous Lauren Cohan of “The Walking Dead”) a list of instructions that MUST be obeyed. And when they aren’t is when the “doll” begins its rampage. Cohan looks great and despite this being one of the PG-13 horror films and not really containing much in terms of scares (also I have a guess at how this ends) I still would likely see it for her.
RENT
IpMan3-poster IP MAN 3 || Donnie Yen returns as Ip Man in “Ip Man 3,” being billed as “one final fight” but I will believe that when I see it. What makes this story different? How about Yen’s big baddie being Mike Tyson and martial arts fight with the brute. Pretty good for top billing. Otherwise this looks like your normal martial arts film, with the Grandmaster basically being some version of America’s superheroes, like say Batman.
PASS
JeruZalem-poster JERUZALEM || With the “Z” strategically placed in “JeruZalem,” my guess was zombies. But unfortunately it’s demon spawns from hell, with a line from the Bible describing three gates to hell, with one being in Jerusalem. Going with the found footage style, this is reminiscent of “As Above, So Below” even with moments of confined underground corridors. But instead the winged monsters that inhabit the film are the main source of antagonistic behavior. That and the government quarantining. None of this is particular interesting however.
PASS
Martyrs-poster MARTYRS || If you were 10-years-old and escaped a brutal life from family you barely knew, a decade later would you really go looking for answers? I guess I wouldn’t. “Martyrs follows a young woman who was brutalized before escaping and being sent to a foster home. When she’s older she does just that, in looking for answers, and finds herself once again at the hands of what is basically a cult looking to sacrifice young woman for their “gifts,” whatever those are. This looks less like a decent horror film and more like a reason to get fake blood on camera.
PASS
Mojave-poster MOJAVE || Pitting Garrett Hedlund and Oscar Isaac against one another, the talent of those two men alone is enough to draw some attention. Hedlund is a rich artist with a gorgeous girlfriend who finds himself in the desert looking for inspiration, only to come across Isaac’s drifter character. When their meeting turns dark and Hedlund heads back to his life in Hollywood, he finds out that you can’t quite leave anything behind, as Isaac finds him and threatens to destroy his perfect little life.
RENT
MonsterHunt-poster MONSTER HUNT || Mixing live action and animation, “Monster Hunt” is a Chinese martial arts film that borders on being an action adventure film for kids. When a human man gives birth to a monster creature that is said to be the next king, they must fight their way past man and beast to keep the creature safe. The animation quality isn’t great and the acting is the normal stiff delivery that comes from most action comedies of this sort. It’s apparently making money in China, so good for them.
PASS
NazAndMaalik-poster NAZ & MAALIK || The title charaters of “Naz & Maalik” are two closeted Muslims who are under surveillance from the FBI. How this all relates to the topics of homosexuality and the Muslim religion is beyond me. There are a few decent moments in the trailer, one of which where the leader of prayer offers a welcome to the people of the FBI that are present and the other is a young woman asking if one of the characters will always be gay. Other than those brief moments however, none of this is memorable.
PASS
PrescriptionThugs-poster PRESCRIPTION THUGS || As we’ve come to expect out government being shading and sweeping certain topics under the rug in benefit of making certain people rich, “Prescription Thugs” delves into the world of pharmaceuticals. As with most topics like this, the United States is a small population of the world but becomes a large percentage of the abusing narcotics population. Talk to people from any other country and you’ll find this to mostly be true. Despite being interested in this subject matter and wanting to side with the film-makers, the people being interviewed are hard to want to side with.
PASS
RabidDogs-poster RABID DOGS || Truth be told, there are some decent visuals in the trailer for “Rabid Dogs,” a film about a bank robbery gone wrong, which turns into a road trip film headed to the border with three hostages, a family with a sick daughter in tow. The best visual is the end of the trailer where a man gets out and approaches a downed police officer, looking to attack. With a one shot take and some great depth in the background, it almost makes you want to see the film… but everything else makes you not want to.
PASS
Terminus-poster TERMINUS || After a strange entity lands on earth and inhabits a local man that has a car accident around the landing site, he must face off with the government officials looking to bring in this strange entity and its unlimited power. The man swears to protect it and in return is apparently given some of its power. What this film lacks is a support system in acting. Yes, the ideas may be there, but execution appears rather short.
PASS

THEATER

  • “Dirty Grandpa”

RENT

  • “The Boy”
  • “Mojave”

STREAM

PASS

  • “The 5th Wave”
  • “Aferim!”
  • “All Mistakes Buried”
  • “Bleak Street”
  • “Ip Man 3”
  • “JeruZalem”
  • “Martyrs”
  • “Monster Hunt”
  • “Naz & Maalik”
  • “Prescription Thugs”
  • “Rabid Dogs”
  • “Synchronicity”
  • “Terminus”
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