Archive for June, 2014

Little Magic Films, Automatik Entertainment, IM Global,

Mark Webber, Rutina Wesley, Devon Graye, Pruitt Taylor Vince, Tom Bower, Ron Perlman, Christopher Berry, Stephanie Honore

Elliott Brindle (Mark Webber) is a salesman, who is really having a rough streak. Things are falling apart every which way, and he’s badly in need of cash, fast. To top it off, he’s planning on getting married and is in the hole financially. Strangely, a phone call comes through his cell phone telling him he is selected to play a game and the top prize after 13 tasks are completed is a million dollars. The first couple tasks are not hard, so he is pulled into this strange game which turns very serious in a hurry. If he quits the game he loses everything he has earned, but furthermore will definitely be arrested, but if he goes on with the game they will have all the charges “go away”. Once he’s in, it’s hard to get out, and it doesn’t take very long for him to see he made a very stupid choice.

I should not have liked this movie. Certainly the idea is really far fetched. These people, whoever they are, know where he is every moment and can see his every move. How does that happen?
There are logic holes all over the place. But this is not to be taken as a literal happening. It’s a story to make you think about what you would be willing to do. How far would you go. The story is very clever. I haven’t seen these kind of challenges before. It’s like “Deal With It” on steroids. Mark Webber does a great job as Elliott and whoever the voice on the phone is, he does a perfect job coming off as an arrogant snob who has no morals and no shame. Each of the “levels” are very clever, and we are pulled into the story. It’s a small movie, not much budget, independently done, but very well crafted. The story is very fresh, born out of reality TV of today, although this is private game and not blamed on the media. This movie is very far off the scope of most people, and one that is very cleverly done and deserves some attention. You have to recognize that it’s allegorical and not literal, and you’ll enjoy it and find yourself talking about it for a while to come. What would you do?

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 


 

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rate this movie:
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)

Author: EdG

There are currently No Comments on this post.

Paramount Pictures, Skydance Productions, Mace Neufeld Productions,

Chris Pine, Kevin Costner, Kenneth Branagh, Keira Knightley

Jack Ryan (Chris Pine) was recruited by the CIA and placed undercover as a Wall Street financial wizard, but his real job is watch for terrorist plots in the financial markets of the U.S. When he uncovers a plan in Russia to destroy the U.S. economy he tells his boss (Kevin Costner) that he needs to go to Russia to investigate. He’s deeply undercover, and his fiance (Keira Knightley) has no clue who he really is. When she follows him to Russia to figure out what he’s really up to, she gets involved in the plot too, and Jack is not only working to expose and prevent the attack, but he has to protect her as well.

This is a relatively decent action adventure film. Chris Pine is certainly good in the Jack Ryan role and he is very believable as a Wall Street nerd with a wild side to kick some Ruskie butt. Kiera Knightley is a bit more miscast, but she does a decent job. She gave it her all and comes off with a valid mix of wily fox and disappointed girlfriend. The action is pretty decent, and it’s a spy flick for sure. There are some covert break ins and some decent chases. It has danger and suspense. Though not a blockbuster, it’s a worthy film and if you’d like to see a solid spy drama, this is as good as any. I’m impressed with how far Chris Pine has come, and I expect we’ll see him in a lot more action films. I’ve seen a lot that fell flat, and this one kept me interested. I’m not a big spy guy fan, but I enjoyed this one. This isn’t a must see, but it’s definitely worth it if you’re inclined to watch a good spy movie whose star isn’t named James Bond and doesn’t star Tom Cruise.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rate this movie:
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)

Author: EdG

There are currently No Comments on this post.

Annapurna Pictures,

Joaquin Phoenix, Scarlett Johansson, Amy Adams, Rooney Mara, Olivia Wilde, Chris Pratt, Matt Letscher, Portia Doubleday

Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix) is a lonely writer and a divorced man who still is hung up on his ex. An upgrade to his OS on the computer brings him a companion to talk to in Samantha (Scarlett Johansson), the voice of his new OS. Samantha is the first self aware artificial intelligence, and she offers a lot to Theodore who is really lonely and has a hard time adapting to being alone. But as he finds himself falling in love with this voice in his ear, he finds there are limitations to a cyber girlfriend and problems that he never thought existed.

Let’s face it, this is not intended to be a literal factual story. This is certainly an allegory, looking at the cyber world and those who get so attached to it, that they lose their life and merge with the machine. Some of this film is really silly. An odd attempt for Samantha to move from computer sex to real world actual sex is really stupid. That should have been cut, but I guess they needed something juicy for the previews or something. Theodore is really a nerd, and he’s not going to gain much sympathy. He’s dysfunctional, and delusional. In fact, Theodore isn’t that much different from the losers who sit in the strip bars every night burning hundreds and thousands of dollars buying attention to make themselves that the pretty girls really love them, and are not just after the money. Theodore thinks his OS loves him, and when he finds out the truth, I don’t think he ever comes to realize how pathetic he is.

I was definitely not blown away with Her. I was interested in the story after seeing the previews over and over again, but when I finally got to see it on DVD, I wasn’t overly impressed. Not that it’s bad, or horrible, or anything like that. I’m really glad that I watched it, as it was an interesting story, and thought provoking. But the whole thing Joaquin did with the “quitting show business and becoming a rap star” thing was so stupid and annoying, including the bizarre interview on the Jay Leno show. This was classless promotion of a stupid film, and Joaquin Phoenix stock in my eyes fell a lot over that series of unfortunate events. He became a quirky little strange man and perhaps a bit off his rocker. I think that spoiled him in other roles (Has he had any since then?). Then he does this quirky strange little man character again and again he looks a bit off his rocker. I guess that was part of the reason I was somewhat put off by this film. I found myself despising Theodore and wishing he would wise up. So that kind of spoiled my enjoyment of the movie. Furthermore, using Scarlett Johansson as the voice of Samantha was really off putting as well. There is no question who it is, and her voice is so very recognizable. Therefore instead of sexy disembodied voice, I thought of Samantha as Scarlett all through the film. I can see the attempt to make parallels to other situations and know I should not take it literally, but it just wasn’t that great of a story to begin with. So I wasn’t highly impressed with this film, and I don’t recommend it very highly. Of course, that just my opinion.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rate this movie:
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)

Author: EdG

There are currently No Comments on this post.

Treehouse Pictures, Anonymous Content,

Emma Roberts, John Cusack, Evan Peters, Armando Riesco, Cloris Leachman, John Cullum, Catherine Lloyd Burns, Shannon Woodward, Reed Birney

Amy (Emma Roberts) is a college graduate with a dream to be an honored poet. She submits poems constantly trying to win a prize and become published, but it costs a lot. She’s been spending Dad’s money, and he’s turning off the tap cause it’s just not working out. Amy sets out to find a job on her own, but jobs were hard to come by. She finally settles on a job at Adult World, and adult bookstore and forces a meeting with her hero, Rat Billings, and starts out by stalking him as she tries to figure out if she has what it takes or not.

This is a cute little independent film that was a bit of a surprise. Emma Roberts has really grown as a star and is very good in this role of a lost college grad who is mostly a dreamer. John Cusack plays a real dick, who has long passed his prime and wants to be left alone, but had this bright eyed kid chasing him down, much to his dismay. There are some other minor characters in the story as well that are very well played. This is not a perfect film by any means, but it was fresh and new, and as I started by saying, one that really caught me by surprise. I didn’t expect much from this, but was pleasantly surprised at the depth of the story. It was an interesting story, and there were a number of interesting sub plots going on that helped keep the story flowing. The interactions and character development were very well done also, making the movie a pleasure to watch. Not much action, not much excitement, this is a slow paced character study with a lot of dialog, and thoughts and feelings. But it’s an interesting story and I’d recommend it as something out of the ordinary.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rate this movie:
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)

Author: EdG

There are currently No Comments on this post.

Polsky Films,

Emile Hirsch, Stephen Dorff, Dakota Fanning, Kris Kristofferson, Joshua Leonard, Noah Harpster, Garrett Backstrom, Andrew Lee, Nancy Youngblut, Jenica Bergere, Oren Skoog

Frank Lee (Emile Hirsch) and Jerry Lee (Stephen Dorff) are brothers. They swear an oath to their dying mother that they will stick together and take care of each other, so when one brother accidentally kills someone in a hit and run accident and completely freaks out, the brothers take to the road and hide out from the cops, try to score some cash, and basically waste their lives without a care or a clue.

Sometimes when you watch the new releases and find the obscure movies that no one has ever heard of, you find a hidden gem. This is not one of those. I guess it makes sense when you’re searching for gold occasionally you’re going to find a bad one. This film has it’s cult following. The actors are not all that bad, but the story is pointless and doesn’t go anywhere. These guys must be stupider than the Dumb and Dumber guys. Dakota Fanning is back in this proving that she can still get a movie, even if it’s an awful one. I don’t know what has happened to Kris Krisofferson. He just randomly appears every now in then in a small role in a forgotten picture, I guess to let us know he’s still alive. It’s like every now and then he wakes up on a random morning and thinks it’s time to make another movie, then drives over to the studio and asks, “What are you guys making today?”. I have no idea why he’s in this picture. Nothing to see here, folks. Just move along. What a waste of time. Don’t bother with this clunker.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rate this movie:
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)

Author: EdG

There are currently No Comments on this post.