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Tag (2018)

Take Me Home Tonight (2011)

From the apparent, routine plot line, it is easy to dismiss Take Me Home Tonight, but with the right cast, the perfect era, and the allowance of an R-Rated comedy, there is a redeeming quality about the film. Topher Grace nails another great underdog performance and finds a way to revive an otherwise generic character. Teresa Palmer is gorgeous and the perfect actress to play the attractive, high school crush, coming off both unattainable and completely approachable. The honesty and straight-to-the-punch nature of the film makes it an admirable comedy at best.

Take Shelter (2011)

Take Shelter is the result of perfect performances colliding with absolutely extraordinary storytelling. Michael Shannon plays Curtis, a father and husband suffering from dreams of terrible storms and traumatic experiences. While most of his fear is written off as mental illness, a trait that is carried in his family, he continues to build up a storm shelter in his backyard despite the growing unease of his family and friends. Jeff Nichols rides the line between delusion and reality perfectly and creates such a convincing story that the audience never quite knows which way is up until the conclusion of the film.

Take This Waltz (2012)

Conflicted throughout the entire film, “Take This Waltz” presents a realistic longing for the greener grass through spectacular performances from Michelle Williams and Luke Kirby. With excellent scenarios, wonderful cinematography, and a passionate arsenal of emotions that translates perfectly through the screen, even the supporting characters prove that they have a future in dramatic performances, especially Seth Rogen and Sarah Silverman.

Taken (2009)

Relying completely on Liam Neeson’s tiger-eyed performance, Taken is an “against-all-odds”, action-thriller that is a little too unbelievable but still supplies enough smash ’em up fun to be enjoyable.

Taken 2 (2012)

Just as decent an action film as the first installment, “Taken 2” finds an interesting way to follow-up the original plot and keep the story fresh and exciting. Liam Neeson returns as Bryan Mills, as he sets off for work in Istanbul. Reconnecting with his daughter (Maggie Grace) and ex-wife (Famke Janssen), they again find themselves in an exotic location only to end up in potential hostage situations. Instead of the daughter being taken, Bryan and ex-wife Lenore are taken, in a revenge plot from the original film, as the fathers, brothers, and other relatives of those that Bryan killed to get his daughter back return to repay the debt. With help from his daughter and his ever apparent knowledge of getting out of sticky situations, the film progresses in a quick and high octane way that steamrolls you through the 90 minute run-time in the most entertaining way. Although the ending comes off very anti-climactic, the film as a whole plays out so well that its hard to let this conclusion ruin the film. Were they to leave the story here, it would probably be best, but knowing how Hollywood works, this isn’t last family members to be taken. The saddest part is we’re probably entering into the spin-off/straight-to-DVD portion of the sequels where Liam Neeson will be replaced by a nobody and quality of the films will fall dismally.

Taking Chances (2009)

There is very little that could have saved this film. The cast was stacked despite its straight-to-DVD feel and even then, the comedy does not hit the surface as the writers probably want it to. Long can only carry the film so far and events just tend to happen without any real reason or logic to back them up.

Taking Of Deborah Logan, The (2014)

Taking of Pelham 1,2,3, The (2009)

Tale, The (2018)

Tale Of Tales (2015)

Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (2006)

Tall Man, The (2012)

Tamara Drewe (2010)

Three stars for Gemma Arterton. She is my new favorite actress to watch in absolutely anything. Keep ’em coming.

Tangerines (2015)

Tangled (2010)

With humor in line with the likes of “Shrek”, “Tangled” is a pretty standard Rapunzel recreation. The songs are not quite up to par with classic Disney, but the animation is still entertaining and the voice acting is nicely done. A step up from Disney’s 2009 venture of “the Princess and the Frog.”

Tanna (2016)

Team America: World Police (2004)

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows (2016)

Teen Titans Go! To The Movies (2018)

Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny (2006)

Terminator, The (1984)

Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)

Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003)

Terminator Genisys (2015)

Terminator Salvation (2009)

Terri (2011)

While Jacob Wysocki as Terri does not sell this film for me, John C. Reilly’s performance mixed with the subtle subject matter of the disaffected youth translates well enough to keep this film interesting and satisfying. Though rather predictable, the writing, for Reilly’s character especially, raises this film slightly higher than a normal Indy-feeling drama-comedy.

Tetro (2009)

Vincent Gallo is easily one of my favorite new actor discoveries. His performance in “Tetro” is masterful! Coppola continues his brilliant directing to this day and I have a feeling Gallo and Coppola were inspirational together. I will eventually need to own this film.

Texas Chainsaw (2013)

Without a doubt, the best representation of the “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” since the original, “Texas Chainsaw 3D” not only revamps the themes from the original but completely turns the franchise into something new and exciting, hopefully leading to more films to follow, which is something I say very rarely in concerning horror remakes. During the trailer, there were small glimpses of this film’s potential, including a tracking, rack-focus shot of the leading lady, Alexandra Daddario, who is beyond sexy in this film, along with a well-framed wide shot of Leatherface in a buttoned up shirt and tie, revving his trademark chainsaw. Once the film began and Tobe Hooper, the original director, had a credit as executive producer, I knew I was in for a treat. The film surprises on all levels, always alluding to past themes, but never actually showing them, for example, the interrupted sex scene. Also, by twisting the story so that Leatherface becomes an anti-hero is beyond anything I could have dreamed for this franchise, and breathes new life into a series that was otherwise falling to the straight-to-DVD depths. With plenty of avenues to take from here, including a potential plot not so different from “House at the End of the Street”, I remain completely impressed with Lionsgate and director John Luessenhop in their ability to show me an effectively made horror remake.

Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The (1974)

Was alright for a classic horror film. The storyline was about all the film had going for it. Was pretty sweet that most of the actors weren’t actually actors. Wasn’t as good as I remembered, but still better than the remakes (as if it were hard), just because of the old-eeriness that classic films carry.

Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The (2003)

Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The : The Beginning (2006)

Texas Killing Fields (2011)

Showing a few flairs of excellence in an otherwise methodical crime drama, Texas Killing Fields is packed with rising stars yet somehow lacks in the thrills and suspense department. Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Sam Worthington occasionally fit the eccentric police roles and almost make the film enjoyable, yet with little screen time from fellow stars Chloe Moretz and Jessica Chastain and a half-baked “mystery” plot, the film fails to become anything exceptional.

Thank You for Smoking (2006)

That Awkward Moment (2014)

Theeb (2015)

Thelma & Louise (1991)

Theory of Everything, The (2014)

There’s Something About Mary (1998)

There Will Be Blood (2007)

Daniel Day-Lewis owns this film. The shot selection is masterful, the acting superb, and the writing does justice to its time period. There is something eerie about this film all the way through and the score plays a huge part in this.

Thin Ice (2012)

Trying slightly too hard to live up to its Fargo comparison, Thin Ice pits Greg Kinnear as a craft insurance agent who eventually tries to swindle an old man (Alan Arkin) out of a valuable violin. The best performance of the film comes from Billy Crudup, who plays a sleazy locksmith who gets Kinnear in over his head when he commits a murder. Fumbling with a haphazard plot and confusing twist ending, the film just fails to ever have a hook and abandons everything it builds by flipping it all by the end.

Thing, The (2011)

For being billed as a trip to CG City, The Thing (2011), a prequel to the original, actually uses CG for good instead of evil. Normally CG tends to take away from the film, yet with The Thing, the CG actually adds to the story in a positive way and stays fairly steady throughout. With more gore than scares, the horror side of the film falls off slightly, but overall, this remake/prequel adds nicely to the original film.

This is 40 (2012)

Props must go to Judd Apatow for “This Is 40”, as it is a realistic look at a couple’s life in their 40’s. The major problem with “This Is 40”, however, is it’s a far too realistic look at a couple’s life in their 40’s. Yes, there are portions of the Apatow-written film that are humorous, but to wade through its two hour plus run-time to find them is atrocious. Paul Rudd steps up to the challenge of carrying this film as the lovely Leslie Mann often just comes off naggy and ill-equipped. Had this film taken a much tighter, less rounded approach to displaying this couple, relating a little more to the characters we knew of “Knocked Up”, and cut down on the painstaking length, this could have been much more enjoyable.

This Is Where I Leave You (2014)

This Means War (2012)

I have a hard time enjoying this film for several reasons, which include but are not limited to: (1) my complete dislike for Reese Witherspoon’s character, who comes off catty and the constant “victim” (2) the overindulgence into the “spy” world, and (3) the forceful hand of the director trying to make the audience feel the way he wants them to, instead of creating organic feeling out of chemistry and emotions on-screen and allowing the audience to get to those feelings on their own. Tom Hardy and Chris Pine have great screen presence and are probably what sell this film, but beyond that, this is no one’s finest moment.

Thor: Ragnarok (2017)

Thoroughbreds (2018)

Three (2007)

For some reason, I think this movie actually was in theaters and for that I cry… This was a second-rate movie with a second-rate story. If you go to film school, the first thing they usually tell you is not to finish a movie where someone wakes up at the end and everything was a dream… this movie had that sort of twist ending that made no sense.

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017)

Three Musketeers, The (2011)

Who doesn’t love sword-fighting? This entire film could have been the musketeers sword-fighting throughout and I would have enjoyed it just as much. The acting is above average and Milla fills her role well enough to make this adventure exciting. Waltz was poorly underutilized and Orlando Bloom appears out of place as the villain. Always lovely to see Juno Temple branching out. This doesn’t need a sequel, but it will probably get one.

Thunderball (007) (1965)

The most action packed Bond yet, set in the beautiful Bahamas with a water and shark theme throughout. Domino tops the list of beauties to appear in the films. The writers have set up a nice formula for these films and it appears to work.

Thunder Road (2018)

Tim and Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie (2012)

Tim and Eric take their underground humor to the next level, with a comedy that can only be described as a close cousin to the South Park creator’s film Baseketball, yet not nearly as mainstream and accessible. I appreciate where these two dead-pan comedians take their humor, but it fails to impress in the long run.

Timbuktu (2015)

Timecode (short) (2016)

Time Machine, The (2002)

TiMER (2010)

“TiMER” delves past its Indie shortcomings and delivers an interesting and thorough science fiction, romantic comedy about a world where wristwatches embedded in your skin provide a countdown to the moment you will meet your soul mate. A highly entertaining concept, the film is able to provide twists without ever leaping too far over the top. Emma Caulfield carries herself well, rising above what a normal Indie actress would often muster for the role, while John Patrick Amedori and Desmond Harrington both step out of their regular roles and basically steal the show.

Time Traveler’s Wife, The (2009)

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011)

Entering into Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, you best be ready to become actively involved in the mystery, lest you get left behind in the storytelling. You must pick up on the stellar cast of names. You must follow their lineages as director Tomas Alfredson takes you through their world of espionage. And you must pick up on the subtle hints sprinkled throughout because never will the writers blatantly give you the answers. Tinker Tailor is masterfully crafted and genuinely sincere, with no heavy-handed action sequences but instead rich dialogue and conversation that enthralls as if it were. Every performance is of the highest caliber, delivering an eerie paranoia that keeps you guessing.

Titanic (1997)

T.N.T. Jackson (1975)

A blaxploitation, kung-fu film, “TNT Jackson” stands up to films like “Jackie Brown”, delivering some memorable moments for a film that is only 70 minutes long. “Essentially remade” twice after, the topless karate scene involving Playboy Playmate Jeanne Bell fighting over a light switch is probably the most interesting thing to come out of the film.

Tomb Raider (2018)

Tomorrow Never Dies (007) (1997)

Though “GoldenEye” was considered the 007 film that brought Bond into the new age, “Tomorrow Never Dies” instills that, with the notion that the supervillain in the film is worried more about ratings than actually taking over the world. With a somewhat weak Bond Girl in Michelle Yeoh as Wai LIn and a non-threatening villain in Jonathan Pryce, the 18th installment in the Bond series just doesn’t build on the previous entries enough to be incredible.

Toni Erdmann (2016)

Tonight You’re Mine (2012)

Although “Tonight You’re Mine” could have been so much more, given the Indie, romantic nature of the film, it falls victim to a thin plot and an even thinner supporting cast. The two leads, Luke Treadaway and Natalia Tena, play off one another well enough to believe their sudden changes of heart, but the feature length run-time of this film attempts to intertwine uninteresting characters into the mix as well, eventually leading to a predictable conclusion. What saves this film is the relevant punk rock music, an actual music festival as a backdrop, and an “old-fashion” look and feel of the film, helping display it as a timeless piece.

Top Five (2014)

Top Gun (1986)

Total Recall (1990)

At times pointlessly violent, “Total Recall” explores the fragility of the mind in a science fiction action film. Out-shined constantly by the female co-stars Sharon Stone and Rachel Ticotin, Schwarzenegger keeps this from being a B-level film, but brings very little to his performance besides blank stares and believable fight scenes, giving a better performance on the cover of the film than in the actual movie. With great pace for an action film, the sets and mutants on Mars become too hokey for their own good and the exploding glass and oxygen volcano climax lose their footing, leaving you question whether this was a victory or not.

Total Recall (2012)

“Total Recall” is completely a science fiction action film, but that’s all it needed to be. Comparing it with the 1990 version with Schwarzenegger is comparable to comparisons between Sam Raimi’s “Spider-Man” and the recently released Marc Webb’s “The Amazing Spider-Man”. The differences make them completely different films in their own right, but still hit many of the key moments. [spoiler] Uncle Ben always dies, just as Dennis Quaid goes to Rekall and finds out he’s not who he thinks he is. The action scenes are fantastic and every last actor fits their role and plays it well, resurrecting multiple actors back to roles we want to see them in, especially Farrell and Biel. Though the film is getting bad press, had this year’s “Total Recall” been a complete re-hashing of the original, with a trip to Mars and pithy, Macho-Man humor, critics would complain that it brought nothing new to the table. I enjoyed “Total Recall” for everything that it was and nothing more.

To The Bone (2017)

Tourist, The (2010)

Having had the ending ruined for me, I am not sure what this film could have been. It was on the mediocre side knowing what was actually going on, but either way, it is probably worth a couple viewings to say the least. The action is sub-par, the acting is the same, and overall, it is just one of those average films set in a niche location.

Tower Heist (2011)

A definite step up for Ratner, Tower Heist carries itself well, with Ben Stiller and Eddie Murphy returning to the performances that we expect from them at this stage in their careers. An amazing supporting cast puts this one above and beyond, with tons of action, comedy, and heart.

Town That Dreaded Sundown, The (2014)

Toy Story (1995)

Toy Story 2 (1999)

Toy Story & Toy Story 2 in 3D Double Feature (2009)

Great time. I hadn’t seen the 2nd one so this was definitely worth the trip. The 3D element was pretty cool, especially to see the 2nd one & how it looked like it was made for 3D. Never felt like leaving the 3 hours I was there. The Toy Story movies never get old for me and are seriously some of the best stories & most well made films out there today. Love them just as much as I did when I was a kid.

Tracks (2014)

Tracy Morgan: Staying Alive (2017)

Traffic (2000)

Traffic Stop (short) (2017)

Trainwreck (2015)

Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011)

Once again, this is the definition of a blockbuster film and this franchise just happens to be one of my favorite of that bravado. It runs along the lines of the first two very tightly, with just enough tweaks to keep me enthralled for the 2.5 hour runtime. Give Michael Bay all the crap you want, but the man has a way of getting an audience to feel for these “machines”.

The element that sets the third film apart from the rest is a tone of despair. The characters are basically backed into a corner of peril and it really is miraculous to watch them fight their way out. The slow motion sequences were heart wrenching and the entire cinemtography, much like the previous two, was stunning. Walking in, I felt that if there was one 3D movie that would actually win me over, it would be this one. However 3D is still completely unneeded and I will be seeing this again in theaters just to experience it in 2D.

The replacement of Megan Fox was needed to make this feel like a different film while John Malkovich and Patrick Dempsey were also a nice addition. Building Shockwave as an additional threat on top of the other villains gave the film layers that the prior two lacked. Overall, this delivered enough thrills to keep me wanting more.

Transformers: The Last Knight (2017)

Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen (2009)

Somewhat good premise in the age of gruesome films. Didn’t really explain anything and some scenes you might as well have spun the camera around in a circle and expected the audience to see what the hell is going on in the scene. No continuity at all: one scene Amy said she forgot her top somewhere and 3 scenes later she’s wearing the matching top to her bottoms… hmm.

Very hard to say that there was anything wrong with this film. I can listen to all the critics who put the film down, but if you look at this film from an overall position, it hits its mark. Some of the greatest films of all time appeal to all generations and it is getting harder and harder to make films like that these days. Michael Bay gets a lot of heat for including certain characters or dialogue but to appeal to certain masses, like children, chances like that have to be taken.

Though the first film was definitely more solid, this film is a great second chapter to the story. Every shot in this film is beautiful and that is what I respect in the filmmaking. Though this may not be everyone’s “cup of tea” this is exactly what I look for in a film.

Tree of Life, The (2011)

This is a film you only see once in a lifetime, proving that there can still be art in the film medium, despite what Hollywood would have you believe. Tree of Life is not for everyone (you can ask the 6-8 people that walked out during the screening in which I partook). The film is raw, naturalistic, and poignant, displaying some of the most gorgeous imagery I have ever experienced in a movie theater. Landscapes, human emotion, and the basic essentials of life, Tree of Life delves into what it is to be in a family through the ponderings of Sean Penn, as he reflects on his childhood, growing up with two brothers, a lovely mother (Jessica Chastain), and a strict father (Brad Pitt). You could mistake this film for a character study at times, forgetting that these are actors and feeling as though the audience is peering into the real lives of real people. I am writing this review less than an hour after the viewing and I feel like I could write for hours, with so much more reading and researching about the film and its creators.

Tremors (1990)

There’s something about this film that I have always loved. Maybe it’s the fact that it should come off ridiculous when really it comes off thrilling and frightening. Though the performances are dated, they still somewhat carry through the times, besides the inclusion of Reba McEntire. Kevin Bacon is likeable and daring all while playing the smart-mouthed redneck. This is one of those films that is still enjoyable 20 years later.

Tremors 2: Aftershocks (1996)

For a straight-to-DVD sequel, this film actually works quite well. The opening act is a bit long and the new creatures do not come until well into the film, but they are well worth the wait, remaining the one of the only elements that make this film stick out. Also, for 1995 and what was probably a smaller budget, the graphics are astounding. I am glad that Fred Ward and Michael Gross reprise their roles and at least keep this film interesting.

Trespass (2011)

Exactly what you’d expect and exactly what we have seen time and time again with these hostage-in-your-own-home situations. Unrealistic, time consuming, and the type of quality that is associated with horror remakes and straight-to-DVD productions, the fact that there are such big names behind this film makes it that much more disappointing.

Triple Frontier (2019)

Trip, The (2011)

More frustrating than entertaining, The Trip is a film following two men with very few redeeming qualities. Rob Brydon’s unique sense of humor is off-putting, with his constant dry humor and repetitious impersonations, but far worse is the way that Steve Coogan treats him, with constant condescension and bitter jabs. This films is neither a buddy comedy, nor a love-hate relationship, but instead, two men, both unsure of themselves, on a food tasting adventure.

Trollhunter (2011)

Somewhat lacking in the troll department, Trollhunter spends too much time building up to the reveals and not enough time spent on creating believable trolls. The troll on the bridge and the final troll are masterfully crafted, but for some reason, most of the trolls prior are not computer generated in a fashion that looks appealing on screen. The characters are uninteresting and no major plot changes occur throughout almost the entire film. The place where this film wins all its points is originality and semi-execution, delivering me a film that I have not seen before. Made on such a small budget, though this film is lacking in areas, it still presents a major accomplishment for those involved.

Trolls (2016)

Trolls Holiday (2017)

TRON (1982)

Tron Legacy (2010)

Honestly better than I anticipated. This is an instance where 3D was unneeded since most of the film was not in 3D anyway. I really enjoyed the reinventing of the original concepts and re-exposure the franchise is getting. Jeff Bridges and Olivia Wilde look great in their parts but suffer from the childish Disney watermark seeping through every frame of the PG rated film.

Tropic Thunder (2008)

Trouble with the Curve (2012)

While it tries to be both smart and sincere, “Trouble with the Curve” relies wholly on its A-list cast, Clint Eastwood and Amy Adams, to carry the film. About a stubborn old man pushing his only daughter away, the motives behind his absentee-father excuse are paper thin, as is the backdrop of baseball which sadly holds little stake in the actual plot and could have been any sport. Unlike a more solid baseball drama like “Moneyball”, Eastwood’s latest film is all performance with no depth or originality.

True Cost, The (2015)

True Grit (1969)

True Grit (2010)

Wow! Jeff Bridges effortlessly fills the part that the great John Wayne once played and revolutionizes the reinterpretation. The updated version contains an epicness void of the original and revitalizes my love for the Western genre. Hailee Steinfeld makes an impressive debut. If awards do not come out of this film I will be greatly disappointed.

True Story (2015)

Truman Show, The (1998)

Trumbo (2015)

Tully (2018)

Turistas (2006)

Somewhat good premise in the age of gruesome films. Didn’t really explain anything and some scenes you might as well have spun the camera around in a circle and expected the audience to see what the hell is going on in the scene. No continuity at all: one scene Amy said she forgot her top somewhere and 3 scenes later she’s wearing the matching top to her bottoms… hmm.

Tusk (2014)

Twelve (2010)

Good for a teen drama about drugs, The voice-over narrative gets a little drawn out and monotonous, especially with Kiefer Sutherland’s voice, but the teen acting is done well with a lot of new faces. I am liking Emma Roberts more every time I see her now that she is acting in adult-ish roles.

Two Days, One Night (2014)

Two Faces of January, The (2014)

Tyrannosaur (2011)

Tyrannosaur is not easy to watch, but Peter Mullan’s character Joseph’s life is not easy to live. Having lost his wife and all control over his deeply seeded anger, Joseph’s violent outbursts kills everything around him. The relationship he creates with thrift store manager Hannah (Olivia Colman) then becomes that much more meaningful, especially when you find out what Hannah’s home life is like. The co-dependence these two characters eventually face is inspiring and though the film never quite gets easier to watch, the film remains raw and powerful and filled with emotion.