Archive for February, 2014

Lagniappe Films, I’m So Sorry Productions, Mega Playground,

Justin Long, Evan Rachel Wood, Keir O’Donnell, Busy Philipps, Sienna Miller, Peter Dinklage, Brendan Fraser

Sam (Justin Long) is a writer, feeling lonely and attracted to the pretty coffee barista, Birdy (Evan Rachel Wood), he sets out to win her by studying her Facebook profile. He find out everything she likes, then pretends to be the perfect guy for her. In the beginning, it’s just a joke, but when he finds himself really falling for her, he can’t decide whether to come clean or keep up the charade in this romantic comedy.

This had a lot of promise with the great cast of characters in this film, but it’s basically the story of Sam and Birdy, and I must admit I’m not really a huge Justin Long fan. I’m not sure why I’m not, but it’s partly the material he gets, but perhaps more likely the fact that he seems like a 30 minute sitcom actor rather than a leading man in a feature film. Although the movie was not at all the worst I’ve seen lately, it just didn’t strike me as that great. Something in the chemistry is off, and these two just don’t seem to be a pair. The story is not all that original, and this concept has been done over and over before the Facebook days with other methods of finding out what the girl likes and pretending to be that. Facebook is not that “hot” these days, and so it’s not novelty enough to be able to be a unique enough hook to bring you in. Besides, without being friends with a person, you can’t see all these details about someone. But that’s just poetic license here, really, and the problem is just that we don’t like the characters enough to really care about what happens to them. If you’re in need of a rom-com, this one is certainly watchable, but I would not go out of my way to search for this one. It’s just mediocre at best.

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Summit Entertainment, Emmett/Furla Films, Mark Canton Productions,

Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jim Caviezel, Sam Neill, Vincent D’Onofrio, Vinnie Jones, 50 Cent, Amy Ryan

Ray Breslin (Sylvester Stallone) is an expert in structural security, and designs the securest prisons anywhere, but had become obsessed with the idea that he can break out of any prison. A new privately owned under the radar prison hires him to enter into the prison to see if it is truly escape proof as they suspect. But things go horribly wrong when he finds out it’s all a set up and he may truly be in prison for the rest of his life. He makes friends with Rotmayer (Arnold Schwarzenegger) who tries to help him find a weakness in the security system.

This movie is a quandary for me. It’s an interesting premise, but one that’s been done before. Going “undercover in the prison” isn’t exactly new. And let’s face it, these two are really getting OLD! The Governor still looks pretty decent, but Sly is showing his age. So it’s a bit far fetched, the athleticism of these two guys. But on the other hand, it’s like a reunion of old friends and it’s very pleasant to see these guys working together again. So the suspense isn’t as great as it ought to be, because we know these guys are going to win in the end, but by the same token, it’s a very enjoyable evening with friends. I actually found this movie to be much more enjoyable that I ever expected, and was pleasantly surprised as I didn’t expect that much. Because I like it so much, I give it a good rating, and if you’re a fan of the old action movies of this pair, give it a look. There are some other folks in this movie, Sam Neill, for example, is pretty good, but there’s no doubt it’s about Sly and Arnold all the way.

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Tribeca Film, American Express,

Peter Cilella, Vinny Curran, Zahn McClarnon, Bill Oberst Jr., Kurt David Anderson, Emily Montague, Skyler Meacham

Michael (Peter Cilella) and Chris (Vinny Curran) have been best friends since childhood. But while Chris has grown up and is newly married, Chris is in the throes of meth addiction, and is constantly out of his mind. Chris is living in a remote abandoned house by himself, sleeping on the floor, and taking drugs all the time. Michael sets out to find him, imprison him in the house, and wait for the drugs to wear off and force him through withdrawal to try to save his life. But it’s not going to be that easy. Turns out there are some other people around, and the house in on some private property, and the owners are not very nice. With someone out to find and kill them both, they will have to rely on their wits, something Chris is not very good at, to try to survive. But they keep getting strange packages delivered with something unusual inside.

This is a thriller that has some serious suspense to keep you on the edge of your seat as you try to figure out along with these two, just what is going on and why. It’s definitely a strong thriller, and for an unknown little film, this was surprisingly watchable. Not great acting, not a perfect story, but it’s well done in a low budget sort of way, and I enjoyed watching this very strange little movie. Vinny does a pretty good job as the unpredictable gun toting addict, and Peter is very good as the uptight yuppie trying to help him. But the bad guys in this movie are the best, and they certainly do keep you guessing.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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Rampart Films, Raven West Films Ltd., Resonance Film & Video,

Dustin Milligan, Amanda Crew, Richard de Klerk, Alexia Fast, Gabrielle Rose, Hrothgar Mathews, Benjamin Ratner, Tom Scholte, Michael Adamthwaite, Manoj Sood

Three drug addicts are incarcerated at a rehab facility where things are not going very well. On a Wednesday, they take off on a day pass, to run their separate errands, but they keep crossing paths and things turn really ugly. That night, the three of them are victims of a shock, and when they wake up in the morning, they find that it’s Wednesday again, and all the same things are happening. Stunned, they try to recreate the date, but the following morning find it again the same day. As they are reliving the same day over and over again, they, at first, go for the fun of it all, and act like the jerks they really are, but as it repeats over and over again, the fun wears off and they have to try to figure out what they really want to learn from the experience.

Once upon a time there were thousands of heartwarming Christmas movies, and then one that came out about an evil Santa who breaks into the sorority house and starts murdering the girls one after another on Christmas Eve. Well, there are a bunch of “Groundhog Day” type movies where the guy or girl lives the same day over and over until they are able to figure out the right way to make it a perfect day, and they can move on. This is the same premise, but turned dark, like the first example. This is a nasty bunch of people. They don’t seem to have any morals at all, and are unblinkingly evil. This is a story of redemption, at least a little bit, but it’s also about how bad these people can get. This is a very graphic horror story of epic proportions. But it’s a decent twist on the “live it over till you figure out the secret” genre. If you can handle the inmates of the insane asylum without going insane yourself, this is a dark movie that will keep you tuned in. Perhaps the crimes didn’t have to be quite so graphic, but for sure you won’t get bored. It always kept me guessing, and the ending was worth the wait. This is a twisted little film!

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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Identity Films (I), Wind Dancer Productions,

Claire Danes, James Marsden, Thomas Mann, Sarah Bolger, Jeremy Sisto, Anika Noni Rose, Peter Fonda, Rhys Coiro, Alanis Morissette, Mario Batali, Jon Tenney

Lucy (Sarah Bolger) is a bit of a tomboy, having trouble with her parents and not really happy with life. Her Mom, Lainee (Claire Danes) is cheating on her never home Dad (James Marsden) and it’s clear that in this family Lucy is the grown up one. Furious with her mother, and aching for some attention from her father, Lucy is coming of age, and learning about boys while trying to be the parent in a struggling and collapsing family.

This movie caught me off guard. I wasn’t expecting much, and this 2013 film was lounging away in my queue when I notice this film airing on Showtime, so I watched it. I wasn’t expectng much, but to my surprise it was a really decent little movie. Granted Claire Danes was a bit wimpy, but I think she played it pretty well considering her character had a baby when she was very young, and was forced into growing up too quick. Wanting the best for her daughter, she tries very hard, but just isn’t grown up herself. Sarah Bolger, on the other hand, runs away with this film. She is really the star here, and does a wonderful “Juno-ish” type interpretation of the 16 year old trying to figure it all out. She truly makes this film worth checking out. There is a lot of heart in this movie, and a touch of really funny humor, and it’s share of tragedy. All in all, for a small film about a struggling family, this is not at all bad, and well worth catching should you find the opportunity. More of a LifeTime style movie, but that’s not bad in this case. It’s a well done little movie that you will probably enjoy.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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