THE HANDMAID’S TALESEASON THREE Episode Five“Unknown Caller” Review by: Christopher Haskell “We’re all in danger.” — Mr. Lawrence (Bradley Whitford) The moment that baby Nichole/Holly made it to Canada, I began worrying for everyone involved. Not only is June (Elisabeth Moss) now separated from both of her children, but there is a massive target on Luke’s (O. T. Fagbenle) back for harboring the child. … Read More TV Review: The Handmaid’s Tale 3×05 — “Unknown Caller”
AVENGERS: ENDGAME Review by: Christopher Haskell “Whatever it takes.” — Steve Rogers aka Captain America (Chris Evans) [If you have not yet taken the ride that is “Avengers: Endgame,” please recuse yourself from this review and rectify that. That said … SPOILERS!] Over eleven years and twenty-two films, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has amassed a substantial amount of fans. Lifelong comic lovers, decadelong fans … Read More Proof Review: Avengers: Endgame (2019)
WONDER PARK Review by: Christopher Haskell “We are the wonder in Wonderland” — June Bailey (Brianna Denski) “Wonder Park” may entertain your six-year-old with its sleek, crisp animation, but it doesn’t come close to packing the same emotional punch as anything Disney, Pixar, or Dreamworks puts out. For kids, it looks and feels enough like big studio fare to keep them enthralled, but for … Read More Proof Review: Wonder Park (2019)
SORRY TO BOTHER YOU Review by: Christopher Haskell “If you get shown a problem but have no idea how to control it then you just decide to get used to the problem.” Squeeze (Steven Yeun), “Sorry To Bother You” Boots Riley breaks through the clutter with his directorial debut. Take a step back and look at the absurd era we live in, where our … Read More Proof Review: Sorry To Bother You (2018)
HALLOWEEN: THE CURSE OF MICHAEL MYERS Review by: Christopher Haskell “You can’t control evil. You can lock it up, burn it, and bury it, and pray that it dies, but it never will.” Tommy Doyle (Paul Rudd) For being the sixth film in a series about a masked serial killer wreaking havoc on a small-town, almost no one in “Halloween: The Curse Of Michael … Read More Proof Review: Halloween 6: The Curse Of Michael Myers (1995)
THE NUN Review by: Christopher Haskell “I’m afraid there is something very wrong with this place. “ Father Burke (Demián Bichir) In 2014, when Warner Bros. announced that it would be spinning off stories from its highly acclaimed “Conjuring” series, which at the time had just come off of a $41.9 million domestic opening weekend and a worldwide total of $319.5 million, against a … Read More Proof Review: The Nun (2018)
“Had this film come out in the early 2000’s, when Paris Hilton was making the dog an accessory, toting her chihuahua in her purse, it might have felt more prevalent. Instead, it comes off stale and tired.”
SHARP OBJECTS Episode 1: “Vanish” Directed by: Jean-Marc Vallée Written by: Marti Noxon Original Air Date: July 8, 2018 Network: HBO Fully formed and tragically designed, Jean-Marc Vallée’s HBO series “Sharp Objects” kicks off with a mood as distinguishable as the green wallpaper lining Adora’s Southern mansion. Adapting the first novel from author Gillian Flynn (best known for “Gone Girl”), actress Amy Adams submerges … Read More Proof TV: Sharp Objects – Episode 1: “Vanish” (2018)
THE HANDMAID’S TALE: SEASON TWO Episode 13: “The Word” Directed by: Mike Barker Written by: Bruce Miller Original Air Date: July 11, 2018 Network: Hulu Sophomore seasons of TV can be a gamble, especially when the source material ran out after the first one. By focusing on filling in the gaps of this unique world and diving deeper into the already established characters, “The … Read More Proof TV: The Handmaid’s Tale Season 2 – Episode 13: “The Word” (2018)
PREDATOR Review by: Christopher Haskell “El cazador trofeo de los hombres” means the demon who makes trophies of men.” Anna (Elpidia Carrillo) John McTiernan’s 1987 “Predator” defines machismo, cast with a couple of dozen men and one lone woman, who is only along for the ride. The alien doesn’t even attack her, because, you know, she’s not a threat. There is an opening close-up … Read More Proof Review: Predator (1987)
THE HANDMAID’S TALE: SEASON TWO Episode 12: “Postpartum” Directed by: Daina Reid Written by: Eric Tuchman Original Air Date: July 4, 2018 Network: Hulu Secrets and unease are what drive “The Handmaid’s Tale.” Not knowing what the characters’ true motivations are casts a veil of ambiguity over the series and keeps you guessing what will happen next. But the more a spotlight gets shined … Read More Proof TV: The Handmaid’s Tale Season 2 – Episode 12: “Postpartum” (2018)
FAHRENHEIT 451 Review by: Christopher Haskell “Fahrenheit four five one is the temperature at which book paper catches fire and starts to burn” Guy Montag, “Fahrenheit 451” Now is the era of television. We’re in the heyday of the long-form medium, where the quality of TV surpasses most feature films by a long shot. It’s a medium that allows for a slow burn, where … Read More Proof Review: Fahrenheit 451 (2018)
THE HANDMAID’S TALE: SEASON TWO Episode 5: “Seeds” Directed by: Mike Barker Written by: Kira Snyder Original Air Date: May 16, 2018 Network: Hulu How do you show the person who has been so loyal to you throughout the years that you value them? In the Republic of Gilead, you gift them with an arranged marriage to a barely teenage girl freshly ripped from … Read More Proof TV: The Handmaid’s Tale Season 2 – Episode 5: “Seeds” (2018)
THE HANDMAID’S TALE: SEASON TWO Episode 4: “Other Women” Directed by: Kari Skogland Written by: Yahlin Chang Original Air Date: May 9, 2018 Network: Hulu Over the course of a full season, and now well into the second season, we’ve come to know June/Offred (Elisabeth Moss) as one personality type. Her “fight the system” attitude pushes through in this dystopian future and rightfully so, … Read More Proof TV: The Handmaid’s Tale Season 2 – Episode 4: “Other Women” (2018)
THE WALKING DEAD: SEASON EIGHT Ep 15: “Worth” Directed by: Michael Slovis Written by: David Leslie Johnson & Corey Reed Original Air Date: April 8, 2018 Running Time: 52 minutes Network: AMC Eugene (Josh McDermitt) is busy making bullets for the Saviors. While Gabriel (Seth Gilliam), who is still sick, deliberately and openly tries to sabotage the bullets. Instead of ordering him killed, however, … Read More Proof TV: The Walking Dead Season 8 – Episode 15: “Worth” (2018)
READY PLAYER ONE Review by: Christopher Haskell “These three words were always the last thing an OASIS user saw before leaving the real world and entering the virtual one: READY PLAYER ONE” ― Ernest Cline, “Ready Player One” (novel) Taking a 385 page novel and truncating it into an enjoyable two-and-a-half hour feature is no easy feat, yet director Steven Spielberg and writers Zak … Read More Proof Review: Ready Player One (2018)
THE WALKING DEAD: SEASON EIGHT Ep 14: “Still Gotta Mean Something” Directed by: Michael E. Satrazemis Written by: Eddie Guzelian Original Air Date: April 1, 2018 Running Time: 43 minutes Network: AMC Last week, after an attack on Hilltop by the Simon (Steven Ogg) led Saviors, the Saviors that were being held captive at Hilltop were inadvertently let go by young Henry (Macsen Lintz), … Read More Proof TV: The Walking Dead Season 8 – Episode 14: “Still Gotta Mean Something” (2018)
THE WALKING DEAD: SEASON EIGHT Ep 13: “Do Not Send Us Astray” Directed by: Jeffrey F. January Written by: Angela Kang & Matthew Negrete Original Air Date: March 25, 2018 Running Time: 43 minutes Network: AMC Last week, Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) was taken by Jadis (Pollyanna McIntosh), so his absence this week leaves Simon (Steven Ogg) to take charge and move forward with … Read More Proof TV: The Walking Dead Season 8 – Episode 13: “Do Not Send Us Astray” (2018)
INGRID GOES WEST Review by: Christopher Haskell “You are by far the coolest, the most interesting person I’ve ever met.” — Ingrid (Aubrey Plaza) Our culture has changed, and many of those changes are disheartening. This past holiday season, my family and I stumbled upon an event at the Los Angeles Zoo aptly named the L.A. Zoo Lights, where the entire zoo is decked … Read More Proof Review: Ingrid Goes West (2017)
WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES Review by: Christopher Haskell “All of human history has lead to this moment. The irony is we created you. And nature has been punishing us ever since. This is our last stand. And if we lose… it will be a Planet of Apes.” — The Colonel (Woody Harrelson) Andy Serkis’ Caesar is Jesus, Moses, and Willis all … Read More Proof Review: War For The Planet Of The Apes (2017)
Artist: Paramore Album: After Laughter Number of Releases: 5th Studio Album Release Date: May 12, 2017 Label: Fueled By Ramen Genre: Pop Origin: American REVIEW Paramore has gone retro. And someone has definitely hurt Hayley Williams. Gone are the days of the Paramore punk-pop that we’ve grown accustomed to. From the band that got discovered on MySpace to Hayley Williams taking the reigns … Read More Album Review: Paramore – “After Laughter”
Artist: Andrew McMahon In The Wilderness Album: Zombies On Broadway Number of Releases: 2nd Studio Album (as AMITW) – 8th Total Release Date: February 10, 2017 Label: Vanguard Genre: Pop Origin: American REVIEW Andrew McMahon takes some calculated risks on his latest album, “Zombies On Broadway,” and they absolutely pay off. He’s come a long way since his punk days in Something Corporate … Read More Album Review: Andrew McMahon In The Wilderness – “Zombies On Broadway”
THE WOMAN IN BLACK 2:ANGEL OF DEATH Review by: Christopher Haskell “We are the wonder in Wonderland” June Bailey (Brianna Denski) “The Woman In Black 2: Angel Of Death” lives and dies by jump scares. Void of any real horror innovations or standout performances, the tension is built through atmospheric suspense, relying on dark corners and moving shadows to do all the heavy lifting. … Read More Proof Review: The Woman In Black 2: Angel Of Death (2015)
Release Date 25 December 2014 Director Angelina Jolie Screenplay Joel and Ethan Coen Richard LaGravenese William Nicholson Drama, War Rated PG-13 for war violence including intense sequences of brutality, and for brief language 137 minutes Unbroken Incredibly inspirational, “Unbroken” finally tells the unbelievable true story of USA Olympian and WWII veteran Louis “Louie” Zamperini, who just passed away in 2014. Based on the non-fiction … Read More Proof Review: Unbroken (2014)
Release Date 15 August 2014 Director Michael Dowse Screenplay Elan Mastal Comedy, Romance Rated PG-13 for sexual content, including references throughout, partial nudity and language 102 minutes What If “What If” or “When Wallace Met Chantry”: Can men and women just be friends? Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan attempt to answer this question in their latest romantic comedy, “What If”. Meeting at a party … Read More Proof Review: What If (2014)
Release Date 8 August 2014 Director Jonathan Liebesman Screenplay Josh Appelbaum Andre Nemec Evan Daugherty Action, Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy, Science Fiction Rated PG-13 for sci-fi action violence 101 minutes Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Michael Bay’s “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” are definitely not the ones you knew from your childhood. This time around they are motion captured CGI rather than complete animation or dudes in … Read More Proof Review: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014)
Release Date July 11, 2014 Director Bong Joon-ho Screenplay Bong Joon-ho Kelly Masterson Based On Graphic Novel By Jacques Lob Benjamin Legrand Jean-Marc Rochette Budget $40 million Action, Adventure, Drama, Science Fiction, Thriller Rated R for violence, language and drug content 126 minutes Snowpiercer “Passengers, eternal order flows from the sacred engine. We must occupy our preordained position. I belong to the front, you … Read More Proof Review: Snowpiercer (2014)
Release Date October 17, 2014 Director David Ayer Screenplay David Ayer Distributed By Columbia Pictures Budget $68 million Action, Drama, War Rated R for strong sequences of war violence, some grisly images, and language throughout 134 minutes Fury “Ideals are peaceful. History is violent” -Wardaddy (Brad Pitt) FURY // With a thundering blow, “Fury” joins the ranks of classics like “Saving Private Ryan” and … Read More Proof Review: Fury (2014)
Release Date May 23, 2014 Director Bryan Singer Screenplay Simon Kinberg Jane Goldman Matthew Vaughn Distributed By 20th Century Fox Budget $200 million Action, Adventure, Science Fiction, Thriller Rated PG-13 for sequences of intense sci-fi violence and action, some suggestive material, nudity and language 131 minutes X-Men: Days Of Future Past “Just because someone stumbles and loses their path, doesn’t mean they’re lost forever.” … Read More Proof Review: X-Men: Days Of Future Past (2014)
Release Date June 6, 2014 Director Josh Boone Screenplay Scott Neustadter Michael H. Weber Based On The Novel By Josh Green Distributed By 20th Century Fox Budget $12 million Drama, Romance Rated PG-13 for thematic elements, some sexuality and brief strong language 126 minutes The Fault In Our Stars Forming a connection with actress Shailene Woodley and her character, Hazel Grace Lancaster, is the … Read More Proof Review: The Fault In Our Stars (2014)
Release Date May 16, 2014 Director Gareth Edwards Screenplay Max Borenstein David Callahamd Distributed By Warner Bros. Pictures Budget $160 million Action, Adventure, Science Fiction, Thriller Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of destruction, mayhem and creature violence 123 minutes Godzilla an·ti·he·ro noun: a central character in a story, movie, or drama who lacks conventional heroic attributes. The term antihero is becoming a staple in … Read More Proof Review: Godzilla (2014)
Release Date August 29, 2014 Director John Erick Dowdle Screenplay Drew Dowdle John Erick Dowdle Distributed By Universal Pictures Budget $5 million Horror, Mystery, Thriller Rated R for bloody violence/terror, and language throughout 93 minutes As Above So Below “As Above, So Below” is a smart horror film packaged to be consumed by the average viewer. Set in the claustrophobic nightmare that is the … Read More Proof Review: As Above So Below (2014)
Release Date May 30, 2014 Director Kelly Reichardt Screenplay Jonathan Raymond Kelly Reichardt Distributed By Cinedigm Action, Drama, Thriller Rated R for some language and nudity 112 minutes Night Moves Released almost exactly a year apart, the May 2013 release “The East” and the May 2014 release “Night Moves” are both films about activists fighting the law in an almost terroristic fashion. Both containing … Read More Proof Review: Night Moves (2014)
Release Date April 11, 2014 Director Ivan Reitman Screenplay Rajiv Joseph Scott Rothman Distributed By Summit Entertainment Lionsgate Budget $25 million Drama, Sport Rated PG-13 110 minutes Draft Day Before watching “Draft Day”, an exert from a David Denby, New Yorker review resonated in my mind: “Ivan Reitman’s dull-witted movie about the flurries of player trading on N.F.L. draft day might be a commercial … Read More Proof Review: Draft Day (2014)
Release Date August 1, 2014 Director James Gunn Screenplay James Gunn Nicole Perlman Distributed By Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Budget $170 million Action, Adventure, Science Fiction Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action, and for some language 121 minutes Guardians Of The Galaxy Marvel wins again with their biggest gamble to date, “Guardians Of The Galaxy”. Taking an almost unknown … Read More Proof Review: Guardians Of The Galaxy (2014)
Release Date March 28, 2014 Director Darren Aronofsky Screenplay Darren Aronofsky Ari Handel Distributed By Paramount Pictures Budget $125 million Action, Adventure, Drama Rated PG-13 for violence, disturbing images and brief suggestive content 138 minutes Noah Visually stunning and equally captivating, “Noah”, at its core, is the story we all know from the Bible. As most people would roll their eyes at a big … Read More Proof Review: Noah (2014)
Release Date April 18, 2014 Director Wally Pfister Screenplay Jack Paglen Distributed By Warner Bros. Pictures Budget $100 million Drama, Mystery, Romance, Science Fiction, Thriller Rated PG-13 for sci-fi action and violence, some bloody images, brief strong language and sensuality 119 minutes Transcendence Give Wally Pfister a break. In his directorial debut, Pfister was placed against impossible odds. Having been Christopher Nolan’s cinematographer for … Read More Proof Review: Transcendence (2014)
Release Date July 18, 2014 Director Richard Linklater Screenplay Richard Linklater Distributed By IFC Films Budget $4 million Drama Rated R for language including sexual references, and for teen drug and alcohol use 166 minutes Boyhood Never has a director been more ambitious than Richard Linklater, whose latest feature “Boyhood” spans over twelve years, both in production and time within the narrative. Using the … Read More Proof Review: Boyhood (2014)
Release Date June 24, 2014 Director Michael Bay Screenplay Ehren Kruger Distributed By Paramount Pictures Budget $210 million Action, Adventure, Science Fiction Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action, language and brief innuendo 165 minutes Transformers: Age Of Extinction Michael Bay gets me. He understands that I was once an eight-year-old boy who had a huge collection of Hot Wheels cars … Read More Proof Review: Transformers: Age Of Extinction (2014)
Release Date June 6, 2014 Director Doug Liman Screenplay Christopher McQuarrie Jez Butterworth John-Henry Butterworth Based On A Novel By Hiroshi Sakurazaka Distributed By Warner Bros. Pictures Budget $178 million Action, Adventure, Science Fiction Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi action and violence, language and brief suggestive material 113 minutes Edge Of Tomorrow If you have ever owned a Nintendo in your lifetime, … Read More Proof Review: Edge Of Tomorrow (2014)
Release Date February 12, 2014 Director José Padilha Screenplay Joshua Zetumer Edward Neumeier Michael Miner Distributed By Sony Pictures Releasing Budget $100 million Action, Crime, Science Fiction Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of action including frenetic gun violence throughout, brief strong language, sensuality and some drug material 117 minutes RoboCop Gary Oldman is a bonafide savior. Now, do not get me wrong, I do … Read More Proof Review: RoboCop (2014)
Release Date May 2, 2014 Director Marc Webb Screenplay Alex Kurtzman Roberto Orci Jeff Pinkner James Vanderbilt Distributed By Sony Pictures Releasing Budget $200 million Action, Adventure, Science Fiction Rated PG-13 for sequences of sci-fi action/violence 142 minutes The Amazing Spider-Man 2 Emotions run high in Marc Webb’s superhero sequel, “The Amazing Spider-Man 2”. Spider-Man has been my favorite superhero since I was a … Read More Proof Review: The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)
Release Date April 11, 2014 Director Mike Flanagan Screenplay Mike Flanagan Jeff Howard Distributed By Relativity Media Budget $5 million Horror, Mystery Rated R for terror, violence, some disturbing images and brief language 104 minutes Oculus Turning an inanimate object into the main antagonist of a story is a huge accomplishment, especially when it comes to horror. Setting the right tone and building enough … Read More Proof Review: Oculus (2014)
Release Date April 4, 2014 Director Anthony Russo Joe Russo Screenplay Christopher Markus Stephen McFeely Distributed By Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Budget $177 million Action, Adventure, Science Fiction Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence, gunplay and action throughout 136 minutes Captain America: The Winter Soldier Over the weekend, you are going to hear the words ‘70s espionage thriller tossed around quite a … Read More Proof Review: Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
Release Date December 25, 2013 Director Peter Berg Screenplay Peter Berg Based On The Book By Marcus Luttrell Patrick Robinson Distributed By Universal Pictures Budget $40 million Action, Biography, Drama, War Rated R for strong bloody war violence and pervasive language 121 minutes Lone Survivor Not since “Saving Private Ryan” has war felt so real. Through the help of the real life accounts from … Read More Proof Review: Lone Survivor (2013)
Release Date March 21, 2014 Director Neil Burger Screenplay Evan Daugherty Vanessa Taylor Based On The Book By Veronica Roth Distributed By Lionsgate Budget $85 million Adventure, Mystery, Science Fiction Rated PG-13 for intense violence and action, thematic elements and some sensuality 139 minutes Divergent A strong willed female character living in a dystopian future is forced out of her comfort zone as she … Read More Proof Review: Divergent (2014)
Release Date September 20, 2013 Director Dennis Iliadis Screenplay Bill Gullo Dennis Iliadis Distributed By IFC Films Science Fiction, Thriller Rated NR 95 minutes Plus One (+1) No doubt, at some point in your life, you’ve heard the Golden Rule, but in case you haven’t, it is “do unto others as you would have them do to you”. This old adage is meant to … Read More Proof Review: Plus One (2013)
Release Date August 3, 2012 Director Conrad Jackson Screenplay Aaron Golden Parker Croft Conrad Jackson Budget $50,000 Drama, Romance Rated NR 86 minutes Falling Overnight Completely bare bones, “Falling Overnight” is a love story using the streets of Los Angeles as a backdrop. Presented as completely natural, it embodies a quality of independent film-making that projects every day life in the most interesting of … Read More Proof Review: Falling Overnight (2012)
Release Date November 27, 2013 Director Brian Percival Screenplay Michael Petroni Based On The Novel By Markus Zusak Music By John Williams Distributed By 20th Century Fox Budget $19 million Drama, War Rated PG-13 for some violence and intense depiction of thematic material 131 minutes The Book Thief Having never read the book and having only experienced the trailer, I was fully under the … Read More Proof Review: The Book Thief (2013)
Release Date December 25, 2013 Director Ralph Fiennes Screenplay Abi Morgan Based On The Book By Claire Tomalin Distributed By Sony Pictures Classics Budget $15.8 million Biography, Drama, History Rated R for some sexual content 111 minutes The Invisible Woman Charles Dickens was a selfish man. “The Invisible Woman” depicts his true story courting of his mistress Ellen “Nelly” Ternan in 1857 while still … Read More Proof Review: The Invisible Woman (2013)
Release Date October 11, 2013 Director Paul Greengrass Screenplay Billy Ray Based On A Book By Richard Phillips Stephan Talty Distributed By Columbia Pictures Budget $55 million Biography, Drama, Thriller Rated PG-13 for sustained intense sequences of menace, some violence with bloody images, and for substance use 134 minutes Captain Phillips Great film-making is taken for granted. With so many films coming out every … Read More Proof Review: Captain Phillips (2013)
Release Date June 14, 2013 Director Richard Linklater Screenplay Richard Linklater Ethan Hawke Julie Delpy Distributed By Sony Pictures Classics Budget $3 million Drama, Romance Rated R for sexual content/nudity and language 109 minutes Before Midnight Of all the relationships I’ve encountered throughout my life, none have gotten as far as the main one in “Before Midnight”. I have had my fair share of … Read More Proof Review: Before Midnight (2013)
Release Date March 10, 2012 Director Brian Savelson Screenplay Brian Savelson Distributed By Cinedigm Entertainment Group Drama Rated NR 118 minutes In Our Nature Father and son. The relationship has taken on new meaning in this day and age where divorce rates are skyrocketing and mid-life crises lead to second families. No matter how you slice it, divorce has its effects, mostly on the … Read More Proof Review: In Our Nature (2012)
Original Air Date June 16, 2013 Director Phil Abraham Written By Andre Jacquemetton Maria Jacquemetton Network Aired AMC Drama Mad Men: Season 6 Episode 612: “The Quality Of Mercy” With only one episode left of this dark season of “Mad Men”, there’s still plenty of questions in the air that cannot possibly be answered by the finale. The biggest question: is someone going to … Read More Proof TV Review: Mad Men: Season 6 – Episode 12: “The Quality Of Mercy”
Release Date May 24, 2013 Director Justin Lin Screenplay Chris Morgan Distributed By Universal Pictures Budget $160 million Action, Crime, Thriller Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action and mayhem throughout, some sexuality and language 130 minutes Fast & Furious 6 Had you told me twelve years ago that “The Fast and the Furious” would be one of the highest grossing action … Read More Proof Review: Fast & Furious 6 (2013)
Release Date May 23, 2013 Director Todd Phillips Screenplay Todd Phillips Craig Mazin Distributed By Warner Bros. Pictures Budget $103 million Comedy, Crime Rated R for pervasive language including sexual references, some violence and drug content, and brief graphic nudity 100 minutes The Hangover Part III I remember my first experience with the original “The Hangover” from Todd Phillips. For some reason, I had … Read More Proof Review: The Hangover Part III (2013)
Release Date April 5, 2013 Director Danny Boyle Screenplay Joe Ahearne John Hodge Distributed By Fox Searchlight Pictures Budget $20 million Crime, Drama, Thriller Rated R for sexual content, graphic nudity, violence, some grisly images, and language 101 minutes Trance Danny Boyle wastes nothing in his latest psychological thriller “Trance”. It is electrifying and suspenseful from start to fiery finish. Delving deep into the … Read More Proof Review: Trance (2013)
Original Air Date May 13, 2012 Director Scott Hornbacher Written By Erin Levy Network Aired AMC Drama Mad Men: Season 5 Episode 509: “Dark Shadows” It’s Thanksgiving time in “Mad Men” Ville. Fat Betty is stirring up shit by bringing up Anna Draper in front of Sally after seeing Megan’s hot bod while creeping around Don’s apartment. Sally continues to show signs of being … Read More Proof TV Review: Mad Men: Season 5 – Episode 9: “Dark Shadows”
Original Air Date May 6, 2012 Director Phil Abraham Written By Matthew Weiner Network Aired AMC Drama Mad Men: Season 5 Episode 508: “Lady Lazarus” One episode ago, Megan is hitting the Heinz winning home run ad, the next she’s lying to Don and sneaking off to acting auditions. And further yet, quits the firm, with Don’s unexpected approval (“don’t want her to end … Read More Proof TV Review: Mad Men: Season 5 – Episode 8: “Lady Lazarus”
Original Air Date April 29, 2012 Director Michael Uppendahl Written By Jonathan Igla Network Aired AMC Drama Mad Men: Season 5 Episode 507: “At The Codfish Ball” Don’s in-laws are in town. Henry’s mother trips over a phone cord, which is rather hilarious, bringing Sally and Bobby in on the festivities. Sally is definitely turning into a young woman, wearing makeup and a party … Read More Proof TV Review: Mad Men: Season 5 – Episode 7: “At The Codfish Ball”
Release Date November 23, 2012 Director Jacques Audiard Screenplay Jacques Audiard Thomas Bidegain Based On A Story By Craig Davidson Music By Alexandre Desplat Distributed By Sony Pictures Classics Budget $20 million Drama, Romance Rated R for strong sexual content, brief graphic nudity, some violence and language 120 minutes Rust And Bone “Rust and Bone” is a showcase of two of the best foreign … Read More Proof Review: Rust And Bone (2012)
Release Date November 16, 2012 Director Joe Wright Screenplay Tom Stoppard Based On The Novel By Leo Tolstoy Distributed By Focus Features Budget $31 million Drama, Foreign, Romance Rated R for some sexuality and violence 129 minutes Anna Karenina Despite its tragic and flawed characters, “Anna Karenina” is both visually evocative and perfectly stylized, combining the ideas and set design of live theater with … Read More Proof Review: Anna Karenina (2012)
Release Date December 19, 2001 Director Peter Jackson Screenplay Fran Walsh Philippa Boyens Peter Jackson Based On The Novel By J.R.R. Tolkien Distributed By New Line Cinema Budget $93 million Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Science Fiction Rated PG-13 for epic battle sequences and some scary images 178 minutes The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring J.R.R. Tolkien and Peter Jackson are both … Read More Proof Review: The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)
Release Date November 9, 2012 Director Sam Mendes Screenplay Neal Purvis Robert Wade John Logan Based On A Novel By Ian Fleming Cinematography By Roger A. Deakins Distributed By Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Sony Pictures Columbia Pictures Budget $200 million Action, Adventure, Thriller Rated PG-13 for intense violent sequences throughout, some sexuality, language and smoking 143 minutes 007: Skyfall What I would consider the best James Bond … Read More Proof Review: Skyfall (2012)
Release Date September 7, 2012 Director Brian Klugman Screenplay Brian Klugman Lee Sternthal Distributed By CBS Films Budget $6 million Drama, Thriller Rated PG-13 for brief strong language and smoking 97 minutes The Words As much as “The Words” is a rehashing of films and stories that came before it, this literature drama still poses a set of important and thought-provoking questions about morality. … Read More Proof Review: The Words (2012)
Release Date September 7, 2012 Director Leslye Headland Screenplay Leslye Headland Distributed By The Weinstein Company Budget $3 million Comedy, Romance Rated R for sexual content, pervasive language, and drug use 88 minutes Bachelorette If not for the impressive showing from the leading ladies, “Bachelorette” would be extremely lacking. Kirsten Dunst, Lizzy Caplan, and Isla Fisher display female vulgarity at its finest, with an … Read More Proof Review: Bachelorette (2012)
Release Date May 6, 2011 Director Michael Goldbach Screenplay Michael Goldbach Distributed By eOne Films Drama, Romance Rated R for drug and alcohol use, sexual content, language and some violent images – all involving teens 98 minutes Daydream Nation Unsure of what this coming-of-age, teenage drama is really supposed to be, the performances just barely make “Daydream Nation” tolerable through its 98 minute run-time. … Read More Proof Review: Daydream Nation (2011)
Release Date August 29, 2012 Director John Hillcoat Screenplay Nick Cave Based On The Novel By Matt Bondurant Distributed By The Weinstein Company FilmNation Entertainment Budget $26 million Crime, Drama Rated R for strong grisly violence and language 116 minutes Lawless “Lawless” is the perfect Prohibition-era film, with everything it takes to make a phenomenal period piece. Set in the backwoods of Virginia, the … Read More Proof Review: Lawless (2012)
Release Date July 20, 2012 Director Christopher Nolan Screenplay Christopher Nolan Jonathan Nolan Distributed By Warner Bros. Pictures Budget $230 million Action, Crime, Drama, Thriller Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, some sensuality and language 164 minutes The Dark Knight Rises Expectations and presumptions can kill a film. That’s why I went into “The Dark Knight Rises” with neither. Too many … Read More Proof Review: The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
Release Date July 18, 2008 Director Christopher Nolan Screenplay Christopher Nolan Jonathan Nolan Distributed By Warner Bros. Pictures Budget $185 million Action, Crime, Drama Rated PG-13 for for intense sequences of violence and some menace 152 minutes The Dark Knight “This city deserves a better class of criminal. And I’m gonna give it to ‘em.” –The Joker, “The Dark Knight” Going on record to … Read More Proof Review: The Dark Knight (2008)
Release Date March 9, 2012 Director Jennifer Westfeldt Screenplay Jennifer Westfeldt Distributed By Lionsgate Roadside Attractions Budget >$10 million Comedy, Romance Rated R for sexual content and language 107 minutes Friends With Kids Our generation’s values and opinions grow further and further from our ancestors’ with each passing year. How else do you explain our president in the White House, the dying debate on … Read More Proof Review: Friends With Kids (2012)
Release Date June 15, 2005 Director Christopher Nolan Screenplay Christopher Nolan David S. Goyer Distributed By Warner Bros. Pictures Budget $150 million Action, Adventure, Thriller Rated PG-13 for intense action violence, disturbing images and some thematic elements 140 minutes Batman Begins “…this is the movie I did not realize I was waiting for, because I didn’t realize that more emphasis on story and character … Read More Proof Review: Batman Begins (2005)
Release Date April 30, 1981 Director Steve Miner Screenplay Ron Kurz Phil Scuderi Distributed By Paramount Pictures Budget $1.25 million Horror, Mystery, Thriller Rated R 87 minutes Friday The 13th Part II Audiences (mainly teenagers) cannot get enough of slasher films. That fact was true in the eighties just as much as it is true now. “Friday The 13th Part Two” proves that fact, … Read More Proof Review: Friday The 13th Part Two (1981)
Release Date January 5, 1996 Director Terry Gillam Screenplay David Peoples Janet Peoples Based On Film By Chris Marker Distributed By Universal Pictures Budget $29.5 million Mystery, Science Fiction, Thriller Rated R For Violence and Language 129 minutes 12 Monkeys After Monty Python and the Holy Grail, yet before Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Terry Gilliam directed the science fiction feature, 12 Monkeys, … Read More Proof Review: 12 Monkeys (1996)
Release Date July 3, 2012 Director Marc Webb Screenplay James Vanderbilt Alvin Sargent Steve Kloves Distributed By Columbia Pictures Budget $200–230 million Action, Adventure, Thriller Rated PG-13 for sequences of action and violence 136 minutes The Amazing Spider-Man The Amazing Spider-man is my favorite film so far this year. Perhaps it’s my passion for Spider-man, which dates back to my childhood years as I … Read More Proof Review: The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)
Release Date June 29, 2012 Director Seth MacFarlane Screenplay Seth MacFarlane Alec Sulkin Wellesley Wild Distributed By Universal Pictures Budget $51 million Comedy, Fantasy Rated R for crude and sexual content, pervasive language, and some drug use 106 minutes Ted Ted tells the story of a young boy who wishes for his Christmas present teddy bear to come to life. If that sounds too … Read More Proof Review: Ted (2012)
Release Date May 16, 2012 Director Larry Charles Screenplay Sacha Baron Cohen Alec Berg David Mandel Jeff Schaffer Distributed By Paramount Pictures Budget $65 million Comedy Rated R strong crude and sexual content, brief male nudity, language and some violent images 83 minutes The Dictator Sacha Baron Cohen continues to coin his own brand of comedy, yet why wasn’t I laughing? The Dictator takes … Read More Proof Review: The Dictator (2012)
Release Date May 4, 2012 Director Joss Whedon Screenplay Joss Whedon Zak Penn Distributed By Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Budget $220 million Action, Thriller Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action 143 minutes Marvel’s The Avengers Besides considering myself somewhat of a nerd when it comes to movies and the like, I have never been a huge comic book junkie, … Read More Proof Review: Marvel’s The Avengers (2012)
Release Date May 9, 1980 Director Sean S. Cunningham Screenplay Victor Miller Distributed By Paramount Pictures Budget $550,000 Horror, Mystery, Thriller Rated R 95 minutes Friday The 13th Most people think they remember the story of Jason Vorhees and Camp Crystal Lake, but if you travel back to the original Friday the 13th film, you realize most of what you thought you knew was … Read More Proof Review: Friday The 13th (1980)
Release Date April 29, 2011 Director Werner Herzog Screenplay Werner Herzog Distributed By IFC Films Documentary, Family Rated NR 90 minutes Cave Of Forgotten Dreams Werner Herzog is an effective documentarian. To put it simply, if Herzog is excited about a particular subject matter, he implores the audience to become excited about that same subject. In one of his latest documentaries, Cave of Forgotten … Read More Proof Review: Cave Of Forgotten Dreams (2011)
Release Date October 14, 2011 Director Gerardo Naranio Screenplay Gerardo Naranio Mauricio Katz Distributed By 20th Century Fox Crime, Drama, Thriller Rated R for language, some brutal violence and sexuality 113 minutes Miss Bala Loosely based on a real life occurrence, Miss Bala, a Spanish foreign film, depicts the life of a fictitious young woman, Laura Guerrero (Stephanie Sigman) as she enters into a … Read More Proof Review: Miss Bala (2011)
Release Date March 23, 2012 Director Gary Ross Screenplay Gary Ross Suzanne Collins Billy Ray Based On Novel By Suzanne Collins Distributed By Lionsgate Films Budget $78 million Adventure, Family, Science Fiction, Thriller Rated PG-13 for intense violent thematic material and disturbing images — all involving teens 142 minutes The Hunger Games For months I have circled around the idea of reading the series, … Read More Proof Review: The Hunger Games (2012)
Release Date March 30, 2012 Director Jonathan Liebesman Screenplay Dan Mazeau David Johnson Distributed By Warner Bros. Pictures Budget $150 million Action, Adventure, Fantasy Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of fantasy violence and action 99 minutes Wrath Of The Titans ” For those with a burning curiosity to know how The Lord of the Rings as directed by Michael Bay might look, Wrath of … Read More Proof Review: Wrath of the Titans (2012)
Release Date July 29, 2011 Director Glenn Ficarra John Requa Screenplay Dan Fogelman Distributed By Warner Bros. Pictures Budget $50 million Comedy, Drama, Romance Rated PG-13 for coarse humor, sexual content and language 118 minutes Crazy, Stupid, Love “You can’t blame gravity for falling in love.” –Albert Einstein It would be easy to write Crazy, Stupid, Love. off as just another typical romantic comedy, … Read More Proof Review: Crazy, Stupid, Love. (2011)
Release Date November 11, 2011 Director Lars von Trier Screenplay Lars von Trier Budget $9.4 million Drama, Foreign, Science Fiction Rated R for some graphic nudity, sexual content and language 136 minutes Melancholia “Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.” Thomas Merton – Author As I sat by myself in the packed Nuart Theater in Santa Monica, following … Read More Proof Review: Melancholia (2011)
Release Date March 16, 2012 Directors Phil Lord Chris Miller Screenplay Michael Bacall Jonah Hill Distributed By Columbia Pictures Budget $55 million Action, Comedy Rated R for crude and sexual content, pervasive language, drug material, teen drinking and some violence 109 minutes 21 Jump Street 21 Jump Street is absolutely hilarious, with Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum making a perfect comedic duo. Both actors … Read More Proof Review: 21 Jump Street (2012)
Release Date December 16, 2011 Director Jason Reitman Screenplay Diablo Cody Distributed By Paramount Pictures Budget $12 million Comedy, Drama, Romance Rated R for language and some sexual content 94 minutes Young Adult Young Adult and all its unrelenting qualities is not Jason Reitman’s nor Diablo Cody’s best work, yet it entertains and showcases its talent justly, and ends up a sub-standard comedy. Diablo … Read More Proof Review: Young Adult (2011)
Release Date November 19, 2010 Director Phillip Ridley Screenplay Philip Ridley Distributed By IFC Films Budget $5 million Drama, Fantasy, Horror Not Rated 114 minutes Heartless When has a Faustian bargain ever worked out for anyone? As soon as you make a deal with the devil, something always tends to turn sour. Not that Jamie Morgan (Jim Sturgess) has much of a choice after … Read More Proof Review: Heartless (2010)
Release Date October 28, 2011 Director Michael Brandt Screenplay Derek Haas Michael Brandt Distributed By Image Entertainment Budget $17 million Action, Crime, Drama, Mystery, Thriller Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of action and violence, some disturbing images and language 98 minutes The Double The Double is an interesting beast of a film. If you saw the trailer before seeing the actual film, there’s a … Read More Proof Review: The Double (2011)
Release Date December 2, 2011 Director Steve McQueen Screenplay Steve McQueen Abi Morgan Distributed By Fox Searchlight Pictures Budget $6.5 million Drama, Foreign Rated NC-17 for some explicit sexual content 101 minutes Shame Shame is the story of a conflicted man. Whether you label it sex addiction or unattainable desire, Brendan (Michael Fassbender) lives a life engulfed in sex. With a constant stream of … Read More Proof Review: Shame (2011)
Release Date January 20, 2012 Director Måns Mårlind Björn Stein Screenplay Len Wiseman John Hlavin J. Michael Straczynski Allison Burnett Distributed By Screen Gems Budget $70 million Action, Fantasy, Horror Rated R for strong violence and gore, and for some language 88 minutes Underworld: Awakening Underworld: Awakening is the fourth installment in the Underworld series and the third film of the franchise to star … Read More Proof Review: Underworld: Awakening (2012)
Release Date October 7, 2011 Director George Clooney Screenplay George Clooney Beau Willimon Grant Heslov Distributed By Columbia Pictures Budget $12.5 million Drama, Thriller Rated R for pervasive language 101 minutes The Ides Of March Talk to me about primaries, polls, and politics and I will respond to you with a blank stare. However, divulge to me that Senators are making backhanded deals, Governors … Read More Proof Review: The Ides Of March (2011)
Release Date January 24, 2011 Director Mike Cahill Screenplay Mike Cahill Brit Marling Distributed By Fox Searchlight Pictures Budget $100,000 Drama, Romance, Science Fiction Rated PG-13 for disturbing images, some sexuality, nudity and drug use 92 minutes Another Earth Another Earth is less a film about discovering another planet inhabited with life and more-so about the connections between certain individuals and finding a way … Read More Proof Review: Another Earth (2011)
Release Date June 3, 2011 Director Matthew Vaughn Screenplay Ashley Edward Miller Zack Stentz Jane Goldman Matthew Vaughn Sheldon Turner (story by) Bryan Singer (story by) Distributed By 20th Century Fox Budget $140–160 million Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Science Fiction Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of action and violence; some sexual including brief nudity and language 132 minutes X-Men: First Class X-Men: First Class both … Read More Proof Review: X-Men: First Class (2011)
Release Date May 13, 2011 Director Paul Feig Screenplay Annie Mumolo Kristen Wiig Distributed By Universal Pictures Budget $32.5 million Comedy, Romance Rated R for some strong sexuality and language throughout 125 minutes Bridesmaids Truth be told, I was not a huge fan of Bridesmaids after my initial viewing. Partial blame rests on the hype that surrounded the film after its opening weekend. Billed … Read More Proof Review: Bridesmaids (2011)
Release Date August 5, 2011 Director Rupert Wyatt Screenplay Rick Jaffa Amanda Silver Based On A Novel By Pierre Boulle Distributed By 20th Century Fox Budget $93 million Action, Drama, Science Fiction Rated PG-13 for violence, terror, some sexuality and brief strong language 105 minutes Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes In a reboot to the franchise, Rise of the Planet of the … Read More Proof Review: Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011)
Release Date May 15, 2009 Director Stephen Belber Screenplay Stephen Belber Distributed By Samuel Goldwyn Films Comedy, Drama, Romance Rated R for language 94 minutes Management Management is a low budget wonder with a borderline big budget cast. I am convinced that since her days on Friends, Jennifer Aniston can sell just about anything. She’s gorgeous yet adorable, witty and smart, and all the … Read More Proof Review: Management (2009)
Release Date December 7, 2007 Director Guy Ritchie Screenplay Guy Ritchie Luc Besson Distributed By Samuel Goldwyn Films Action, Crime, Drama, Foreign, Thriller Rated R for violence, language and nudity 115 minutes Revolver Love him or hate him, Guy Ritchie has created a genre in film that is all his own. A mobster mentality mixed with stunning visuals and a clear, discernible voice, Ritchie … Read More Proof Review: Revolver (2007)
Release Date August 12, 2011 Director Ruben Fleischer Screenplay Michael Diliberti Matthew Sullivan Distributed By Columbia Pictures Budget $28 million Action, Adventure, Comedy Rated R for crude and sexual content, pervasive language, nudity and some violence 83 minutes 30 Minutes Or Less Explain to me, with a cast of established comedians and well-known actors, how the newest comer is the highlight of the film. … Read More Proof Review: 30 Minutes Or Less (2011)
Release Date October 1, 1999 Director John Schultz Screenplay Todd Strasser Rob Thomas Distributed By 20th Century Fox Budget $8.5 million Comedy, Drama, Family, Romance Rated PG-13 For Teen Alcohol and Drug Use, and For Language 91 minutes Drive Me Crazy The year 1999 was packed with romantic teen comedies, especially ones involving make-overs and blending social groups. While Freddie Prinze Jr. was busy … Read More Proof Review: Drive Me Crazy (1999)
Release Date December 9, 2011 Director David Gordon Green Screenplay Brian Gatewood Alessandro Tanaka Distributed By 20th Century Fox Budget $25 million Comedy Rated R for crude and sexual content, pervasive language, drug material and some violence 81 minutes The Sitter What should you expect from a film that opens with its lead actor going down on his pseudo-girlfriend (pseudo as in she doesn’t … Read More Proof Review: The Sitter (2011)
Release Date June 13, 1967 Director Lewis Gilbert Screenplay Roald Dahl Harold Jack Bloom Based On A Novel By Ian Flemming Distributed By United Artists Budget $10.3 million Action, Foreign, Thriller Rated PG 117 minutes 007: You Only Live Twice James Bond is dead. The first glimpse we get of Bond (Sean Connery) in You Only Live Twice is a familiar sight; Bond in … Read More Proof Review: 007: You Only Live Twice (1967)
Release Date May 20, 2011 Director Rob Marshall Screenplay Ted Elliott Terry Rossio Distributed By Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Budget $250 million Action, Adventure, Comedy Rated PG-13 for sexual content/nudity, language and some violence 136 minutes Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides For being a pirate film, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides contains just about the bare minimum of pirating … Read More Proof Review: Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011)
Release Date August 31, 2011 Director John Madden Screenplay Matthew Vaughn Jane Goldman Peter Straughan Based On Film By Assaf Bernstein Ido Rosenblum Distributed By Focus Features Miramax Budget $20 million Action, Crime, Drama, Thriller Rated R for some violence and language 113 minutes The Debt From the trailers, what came off as an action-packed thriller was anything but. Instead of fighting a list … Read More Proof Review: The Debt (2011)
Release Date July 29, 2011 Director Lee Tamahori Screenplay Michael Thomas Based On The Book By Latif Yahia Distributed By Lionsgate Budget $19.1 million Action, Crime, Drama, Foreign, Thriller, War Rated R for sstrong brutal bloody violence and torture, sexual content, graphic nudity, drug use and pervasive language 109 minutes The Devil’s Double Within the last few years I developed an affection for the … Read More Proof Review: The Devil’s Double (2011)
Release Date June 8, 1984 Director Joe Dante Screenplay Chris Columbus Produced By Amblin Entertainment (Steven Spielberg) Distributed By Warner Bros. Pictures Budget $11 million Comedy, Fantasy, Horror Rated PG 106 minutes Gremlins Somehow in the midst of Christmas season rituals like decorating the house after Thanksgiving and the countless television stations playing “A Christmas Story” and “Elf” all day on Christmas Eve, a … Read More Proof Review: Gremlins (1984)
Release Date July 1, 2011 Director Tom Hanks Screenplay Tom Hanks Nia Vardalos Distributed By Universal Pictures Budget $30 million Comedy, Romance Rated PG-13 for brief strong language and some sexual content 98 minutes Larry Crowne Ever walk into a room and get the feeling that something is missing? Larry Crowne gives off that same vibe. There is a void and initially I could … Read More Proof Review: Larry Crowne (2011)
Original Air Date November 7, 2011 Director Kate Woods Written By John C. Kelley Network Aired Fox Network Drama, Medical House M.D.: Season 8 Ep 5: “The Confession” Part of the old team is back this week on House, with Taub and Chase returning to their old positions. Though the gimmick of “One Year Later” does not always work for television, in this case, … Read More Proof TV Review: House M.D. Season 8 – Episode 5: “The Confession” (2011)
From frame one, it is hard not to fall in love with these actors. Yelchin and Jones form the key to any engaging love story with chemistry that drives into the end scenes of the film. Style and meaning exude out of every frame of this film and each selected moment with this couple appears both thoughtfully structured, yet carelessly organic. Like Crazy takes a step away from the standard Hollywood romance and brings to life a painfully truthful and touching glimpse into a couple’s life. There is always something so enriching when a film evokes from you an entire spectrum of emotion in such a short period of time and this film does just that. Like Crazy lived up to my high expectations and so much more.
“The Hangover Part II” basically feels like a mad lib created from the original. Making a film sequel in exactly the same way as the original is not healthy for a franchise and I feel like Todd Phillips will learn that with “The Hangover Part II”. With the same exact format, same cast, and attempt at the same general humor, the portions of the film that do stray from the original fall flat and uninspiring. A film that was widely admired for its distinct originality turns the page and completely copies everything it portrayed in the original, losing most of my respect in the process.
“The Hangover” is unafraid to go places and that is what comedy is made of. It plays the line between hilarity and raunch better than any comedy in recent history and after multiple viewings, the film still holds most of its original appeal. Though the hype may have killed its original glory, for me, the film will always have a special place in my heart and will always be high on my list of best comedy films ever.
The third film in the original trilogy, “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End” takes everything that I loved about the first film and brings it back to the level of grandeur that was lacking in the second installment. The performances are perfectly on key and the constant side changes keeps the audience on the edge of their seats. The ‘Pirates’ franchise succeeds highly in creating deep and interesting characters and I believe that is what keeps you coming back. Barbossa and Davey Jones rank highly on my favorite characters of all time, showing treachery and villainy, but also showing compassion and humor. The underlying love stories also build off of the first two films nicely and fill in the gaps between action and strategery.
More so a vehicle to launch the third film, “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest” brings much less to the table than “Curse of the Black Pearl”. Without “Dead Man’s Chest”, however, the third film (“At World’s End”) would not pack as big of a punch. This makes “Dead Man’s Chest” a much less desirable film on its own but makes the trilogy, as a whole, much stronger.
For sheer scale, intricate plot, and in-depth character development, it is hard to top “Pirates of the Caribbean”. “Curse of the Black Pearl” is the perfect first film for a trilogy (soon to be franchise). Johnny Depp lands in one of his greatest roles while Geoffrey Rush becomes one of my favorite characters to ever grace the screen. Every young boy dreams of pirates when they are young and this film is everything I dreamed it would be.
We were there last summer (2010) when the conclusion of “Iron Man 2” revealed the protagonist for this summer’s blockbuster, “Thor”. The nerdiest members of the audience whooped and hollered at the hammer of Thor, as it solidified the continued build up to “The Avengers” film compiling years of story and characters into one single, “mega-film”. I am a fan of the comic book adaptations of late, but Thor never really jumped off the page for me. Even the first trailers for “Thor” did not seem to translate well into an on-earth piece or as grounded as say “Iron Man” or “The Incredible Hulk”. I felt that “Clash of the Titans” would take its slimy tentacles and reign again as God of the bad B-title remakes. I am sitting here today, singing a different tune. “Thor” proved me wrong.
“Scream 4” is simply fun. It is fun to watch the mayhem continue in ridiculous fashion. To me, it comes off as a feat to be able to make an audience roll their eyes, laugh, and shriek all in unison. The ending alone proves the strength of the writers behind the film and really plays true to the state of our youth and their twisted views on being famous (trying not to spoil anything).
Once the writing departments improve, science fiction, alien invasion flicks may be able to compete with films like “Independence Day”. But currently, the state of alien invasion films is bleak. Give me moments like Will Smith punching an alien in the face. Give me Jeff Goldblum quoting Elvis Pressley on an alien mother ship. Give me Bill Pullman delivering the best speech to come out of a film since the days of James Stewart and “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington”. Without these key, impactful moments, audiences will be imagining the better alien invasion films and miss the ones right in front of them.
Perhaps “Limitless” is a glimpse into our not so distant future, but no matter what, the film truly causes viewers to look deeper than the lines of the script or the content of the film. It forces you to take a good, hard look at the world around you and consider what is best for humanity as a whole. With a splash of a love story and the makings of a fantastic drug thriller, “Limitless” truly takes on a life of its own.
Faster (2010) Movie Review >>>>2.5 Stars<<<< Here’s what “Faster” had going for it before the actual viewing of the film. The trailer made it look like a make-and-model revenge flick, much along the lines of “The Punisher” with Thomas Jane and John Travolta. The trailer presented the film as a “Fast & Furious” with Dwayne Johnson taking over for Vin Diesel as the big man bad ass. What the film ended up possessing was nothing more than Dwayne Johnson being released from jail and generically working down a list of people to murder with a halfhearted homage to “the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly”.
Love & Other Drugs>>>>4 Stars<<<<Romantic comedies have been running rampant recently and the one thing setting “Love & Other Drugs” apart from any other lovie-dovie romantic film released lately was its 'R' rating. That may make me sound like a pervert, but some romantic comedies just do not work with out a certain element. This is where a lot of romantic comedies lose steam, getting a 'PG' or 'PG-13' rating and then coming off like a children's romantic comedy. Take “When in Rome” or “The Bounty Hunter” for example. Had these films delved into the riskier ratings, the films would not feel like bonafide Disney comedies.
Megamind>>>>3 stars<<<<Even with the perfect cast and animated film like-ability, the result does not necessarily spell perfection. “Megamind” is the perfect example of this. Will Ferrell is a laugh-a-minute comedic actor whose voice alone should cause sidesplitting laughter, but there is some element missing from “Megamind” that degrades the overall effect of the film.
Natalie Portman steps out of her adorable and virginal on screen presence to add yet another successful film to her long list of accomplishments. In “Black Swan” she plays Nina Sayers, a tormented ballerina dealing with the pressures of an overbearing mother and becoming the next big lead, starting off with the role of the Swan Queen in the ballet “Swan Lake”. Sounds great right? It is until her mental stability begins to unravel in a glorious thriller that comes completed unexpectedly.
Let’s get this out in the air before I even begin my review for the film “No Strings Attached”. We all should know by now what romantic comedies are for. We bring our dates to them, we go to catch a glimpse at Hollywood love, and we go to experience the lighter side of life. Yes, they normally end the same way, a feel good ending where love conquers all, but if they do not end that way, we feel robbed or cheated. Romantic comedies are not cinematic genius, but they still serve a purpose on a much different cinematic level and for that, they still command our respect.That being said, “No Strings Attached” is an above par romantic comedy with more heart than the trailers can project.
One day after a break up stemming from an inability to cope with long distance, I ventured out to see “Going The Distance”, a romantic comedy involving Justin Long and Drew Barrymore. The couple in the film come to question whether love is really enough to keep a romance blooming over an entire country’s length. Not only was “Going The Distance” entertaining, but it definitely nailed the situation head on.
More of a showcase of Seth Rogen’s levity, “Green Hornet” achieves entertainment, but fails to provide longevity. With some work needed in the writing department, “Hornet” loses some steam in unnecessary dialogue and random plot points. Simplicity is key and “Hornet” is all about complications. Jay Chou was enjoyable and believable, but overall, the film failed to grab me like prior “hero” movies.
Either the money was good or the stars of “Piranha 3D” have truly fallen off the deep end. Shue, Scott, Lloyd, and Dreyfuss are too successful to be slumming in this caricature of a relevant horror remake. The graphics are obviously better than the original, 30 plus years later, but otherwise this film should have dropped the big stars, added more adult entertainers, and simply become pornography.
“Easy A” is a refreshing teen comedy that evokes the heart of classic 90′s teen dramas with the ability to remain current and relevant. Emma Stone at the helm of the film makes the experience entirely worth it. There are literary and cinematic references, both of which are wrapped with a smart and sexy bow on top.
“The Human Centipede” is a film. Being warned off prior to seeing the film, I forced myself into the experience, at least once (and only once). The film is not as grotesque as promised, revealing the likes of a horror thriller with a mad doctor, captives, and a secluded house. Creating my own centipede out of previous titles to classify the film “The Human Centipede” I would kidnap and sew together the gruesomeness of a “Hostel” with the restrictive location of “The Glass House” with the mind and uncontrollable nature of “Frankenstein”.
Year after year, M. Night Shyamalan releases films that boggle the average mind. “Devil” is no different. Coming across extremely innocent in the trailer, “Devil” eventually proves that M. Night’s focus should remain on the more sinister ideas rather than his typical twisted thrillers.
“Cold Souls” gives off a brilliance that is not transparent from the first viewing. Catching glimpses of the stills of the film, I am reassured that the film is visually appealing, along with a rare and effective performance by Giamatti, delivering his own, off-kiltered version of “Punch Drunk Love”. It is the presence of Giamatti that makes these Indy films like “Cold Souls” the masterpieces that they are. Without him, the film would be soulless.
With such a great message for the dreamers of the world, there is little reason not to become enthralled in “Morning Glory”. Not many films can boast the ability to send a message to just about any age group that steps into the theater. “Morning Glory” is not just another chick flick. “Morning Glory” is a solid drama masked by the physical features of a chick flick. Just siting here reflecting about the film makes me smile. Long story short, “Morning Glory” is a success on all fronts.
One look at “Splice” and you realize it bears a striking resemblance to the 1995 science fiction horror film “Species”. From the trailers, I anticipated a “Species” remake without actually being a remake and replacing the alien with a genetically engineered “species”. What I got was exactly that, almost to the “T” (or “S” since there really is no “T” in the word “species”).
Nightmare on Elm Street is not even slightly scary. Had the film not been a remake of such a popular franchise, it fails to scare even on the simplest levels of being a horror film. When did scraping fingers on a wall become the scariest part of a film? There is no depth. Just teens ripe for the killing and even that does not appear to even fit correctly.
The Killer Inside Me screams award-winning, but with the unfortunate response to the violence, the film will remain a silent cult classic, only enjoyed by those with an open enough mind to accept absolutely everything depicted in the film. Absolutely stunning and emotion evoking, The Killer Inside Me is guaranteed to cause for discussion among all those that dare to view it.
Giamatti is a man that can fill just about any part in a film and appear perfectly natural, always delivering a spot-on performance. For Paul Schneider’s first time in the director’s chair, the presentation of Pretty Bird comes off spotless and completely sound. The performances, on the other hand, are either overshadowed by the presence of Paul Giamatti or abrasively lacking, especially in the character played by Billy Crudup, who ultimately makes the film hard to attempt multiple viewings.
Green proves he has a gift of producing such different types of material, with none of his films resembling one another and he produces these on such a different level than most directors, becoming an independent director for the masses.
Filled with breakthrough performances still representing these actors and actresses to this day and introducing sexual discovery to a generation over a decade ago, Cruel Intentions continues to carry its same weight today without falling into the oldie, but goodie pile, remaining a pop-culture icon. Though the iconic image of the film was Sarah Michelle Gellar and Selma Blair sharing a passionate kiss, the film reaches far further than just shock value and becomes one of the most memorable films from that generation and for that generation.
Basing the entire film around Scott’s trademarked cynicism creates a genuine Indy classic worthy of mainstream status. The fact that Adam Scott has not made more of a stir in the commercial film world is mind boggling, but to have a star like Scott floating around in the Indy world is a refreshing new experience in many Indy films including his huge success in The Vicious Kind.
Talk about a film that is too smart for its own good. The Oxford Murders makes the average viewer feel isolated and ostracized. Whatever means the producers took to get leading man Elijah Wood on board, they should consider themselves extremely lucky.
Robert De Niro warrants respect. Most critics revere the man. That sort of admiration is earned, not by luck, but with hard work and ventures with great directors such as Francis Ford Coppola and Martin Scorsese, both of which tend to draw the best out of De Niro.
Prince Of Persia takes all the major plot points from several of its Disney predecessors and combines them into a live action Arabian family feud film, with a hint of the metaphysical and mythological. Though well cast, the film falls short of a film such as 300 and rides the fine line between child’s film and adult action adventure.
Walking into Due Date, the stage had been set for me to experience a sub-par comedy. No high expectations were allotted for the film with few critics gleaming it an absolute knock-out like The Hangover. However, my actual recollection of the film brings up my argument about hype, and what it does for films and their audiences. Due Date was absolutely hilarious and I enjoyed every minute of it.
Adrien Brody and Forest Whittaker are truly enough to make the film interesting, but if you lose their star power, the film would be just another episode of Veronica Mars (minus the beautiful Kristen Bell). If you have not yet experienced any form of this story associated with The Experiment, it would not hurt to catch a viewing of the film, as the plot is somewhat original, save for in the aforementioned media listed above.
I am not here to say that the Academy does not know what they are doing in awarding the Oscar to The Secret In Their Eyes. I am simply here to state that out of the two Oscar nominated foreign films that I viewed this year, The White Ribbon appeared superior to The Secret In Their Eyes in a majority of categories. The Secret In Their Eyes does, however, hold key moments that sets it apart from a large chunk of foreign films being released this year and for that, it becomes worth viewing at least once in a lifetime.
The 21st Century version of Robin Hood is not your mom and dad’s Robin Hood. Most know Robin Hood the outlaw, set with his merry men and Maid Marian, stealing from the rich and giving to the poor and portrayed by the likes of Kevin Costner. Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood, however, dares to look at an unseen Robin Hood lore, where Russell Crowe delves into Robin Longside, who is simply looking to fight alongside his fellow man.
The Marc Pease Experience is a typical underdog story with the atypical Schwartzman at the helm, producing a unique adventure into the life of what appear to be normal people. Without Stiller, Marc Pease would truly feel like the low budget film that it is, but with the star power Marc Pease comes off more like the film Election.
The Replacements is not a hilarious movie by far, but it does have its moments and has enough of a well-known cast to keep you entertained. Plus, with Madden commentating the games, the actual football footage comes off authentic and completes the film effectively.
The Town is one of the first films this year that has true Academy Award nominations written all over it. Not only with great performances from Ben Affleck, Jon Hamm, and Jeremy Renner, but with Ben Affleck at the helm as director, the movie screams Best Director nominee. The Town is simple yet completely entertaining, not relying on gimmicks, but instead taking the heist genre to a superior dramatic level.