ENEMIES CLOSER Blu-ray Review

by     Posted 8 days ago

enemies-closer-blu-ray-review-slice

If you’ve always wanted to see Jean-Claude Van Damme as a French-Canadian Mountie/vegan drug-dealer, then Enemies Closer is the incredibly specific movie for you!  It’s a must-see film, not because it’s that great, but because it’s about as crazy a role as JCVD has ever played.  His one-liners are amazing, his antics are worth the price of purchase, and that hair just never quits.  Tom Everett Scott and Orlando Jones also star in the Peter Hyams-directed action thriller that’s available now on DVD and Blu-ray.  Hit the jump for my review.

Marvel’s AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. Recap – “Turn, Turn, Turn”

by     Posted 9 days ago

marvels-agents-of-shield-recap

Welcome back, true believers!  Well, if you have yet to see Captain America: The Winter Soldier, let me tell you that if you don’t want it spoiled for you, hold off on watching this week’s episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. or, obviously, from reading this recap.  Major events went down that not only affected the agents, but also the Marvel Movie-verse at large.  How will these events affect the scooby gang?  Has the Clairvoyant’s identity been truly revealed?  Who is Agent May really working for?  All these questions and more may or may not be answered as you hit the jump for my Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. recap.

BATES MOTEL Recap: “Plunge”

by     Posted 9 days ago

bates-motel-season-2-slice

In “Plunge,” Bates Motel starts the complicated unraveling of Norman.  There have been hints that have burst through the placid surface of how Norman would develop into the man known from Psycho, but the series has shown great restraint in keeping his weirdness present, without making it the only thing.  The expansion into the town of White Pine Bay continued this hour, with Dylan learning more about the business he’s a part of, and Norma making a play for the city council.  But the most shocking thing about Norman’s contribution to his own story this week was how it wasn’t shocking at all.  In a town like White Pine Bay, his actions (and reactions) should barely register.  Still, it makes his desire for anonymity that much harder.  Hit the jump for why, judging by the company you keep, I know all I need to know.

47 RONIN Blu-ray Review

by     Posted 9 days ago

47-ronin-blu-ray-review-slice

The story of the Forty-seven Ronin is well known in Japan, and has been since the historical event occurred early in the 18th century.  It’s not nearly as common knowledge on these shores, but that’s something that Carl Rinsch’s 47 Ronin adaptation looked to change.  Keanu Reeves stars in this tale that reimagines the factual story of revenge, honor, and loyalty as one set within a world rich with the fantastical elements of Japanese folklore.  In its theatrical release, 47 Ronin was a box office dud, never coming close to making its reported $175 million budget back.  Perhaps it was simply a case of the wrong movie at the wrong time.  Since the quality of the production is surprisingly high, 47 Ronin might find new life on home video.  Hit the jump for my 47 Ronin Blu-ray review.

SILICON VALLEY Series Premiere Recap: “Minimum Viable Product”

by     Posted 11 days ago

silicon-valley-season-1-cast-slice

Mike Judge‘s (Office Space) new series Silicon Valley is finely-honed satire.  It’s technically a comedy, but with so much to lampoon about the tech industry, the series shows restraint by taking its time and building in both visual and conversational jokes.  Comedy pilots can be a series’ weakest point, but “Minimum Viable Product” was (probably thanks to Judge’s experience and success) a strong start for a show that knows its purpose and the story it wants to tell.  Hit the jump for why you don’t even know the half of it (and neither does Congress).

GAME OF THRONES Season 4 Premiere Recap: “Two Swords”

by     Posted 11 days ago

game-of-thrones-season-4-final-poster-slice

There’s a reason why HBO had a twenty-five-minute recap of Game of Thrones third season in preparation for the fourth: the tales have become more varied and twisted than the swords that make up the Iron Throne.  Picking up halfway through A Storm of Swords‘ story (the massive third book of the Song of Ice and Fire series), Game of Thrones‘ new season had a lot to catch up on, and a lot to explain moving forward.  The most powerful and meaningful sequence though was its first: the Lannisters are not just conquering their enemies, they’re gobbling them up and repurposing them.  Hit the jump for more.

KILL YOUR DARLINGS Blu-ray Review

by     Posted 11 days ago

kill-your-darlings-daniel-radcliffe-dane-dehaan-slice

Telling the true story of someone’s life in a film is a difficult task.  The trappings of the biopic genre become glaringly apparent when filmmakers try to chronicle an entire life in a two-hour film.  There are innumerable events over the course of a person’s lifespan that alter him or her, for better or worse, and humans are always undergoing change.  Trying to discern which events are most important is a futile effort, and more often than not, the cradle-to-grave biopic results in a droll feature.  However, when the filmmaker focuses on a constrained period of time in a person’s life and frames an entire film around that, the results can be fascinating.  Such is the case with writer/director John Krokidas’ drama Kill Your Darlings, which chronicles the early college years of poet Allen Ginsberg and the beginnings of the Beat movement, using that as a springboard to explore themes of rebellion, obsession, and self-discovery.

The result is an ambitious, bombastic debut feature for Krokidas, buoyed by a pair of fearless performances from Daniel Radcliffe and Dane DeHaan.  My full Kill Your Darlings Blu-ray review follows after the jump.

NYMPHOMANIAC: VOL. II Review

by     Posted 13 days ago

nymphomaniac-images-slice

[Note: This review is of a censored, abridged version of Nymphomaniac: Vol. II.  Director Lars Von Trier gave this version his approval, but did not create this cut.]

In Nymphomaniac: Vol. II, Joe’s (Charlotte Gainsbourg) nymphomaniac has gone from a lilting, slightly melancholy, comically punctuated romp to a place of loss and ruin.  She has passed “innocent” discovery and, like any addict, needs a bigger fix.  She can’t help herself, and she becomes self-destructive as a result.  In this way, writer-director Lars Von Trier is the same as his protagonist.  He can’t get away from his greatest flaws no matter how hard he tries, and in Nymphomaniac: Vol. II, he tries pretty damned hard.  There are still bouts of silly melodrama and off-kilter jokes, but Vol. II is far more brutal than Vol. I [my review], and Von Trier (unsurprisingly) seems to feel more comfortable in an environment of pain and suffering.  Nevertheless, for all the stumbles and false notes, he builds to something emotionally impactful.  And then he fucks it up.

UNDER THE SKIN Review

by     Posted 13 days ago

under-the-skin-scarlett-johansson-slice

[This is a re-post of my review from the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival. Under the Skin opens today in limited release.]

Jonathan Glazer’s Under the Skin is strange, visually absorbing, cerebral, and rarely compelling. The film attempts to obscure its fairly simple story and subtext in order to imply depth, and while it may take a while to figure out the movie’s motives, that’s due to the lethargic pacing rather than the complexities of the themes. Thankfully, there’s no pretentiousness as Glazer clearly knows what he’s going for, and has made some admittedly clever moves to get there. Unfortunately, there’s nothing particularly fascinating beneath the surface.

ARROW Recap: “Deathstroke”

by     Posted 15 days ago

arrow-recap-slice

In anticipation of this week’s episode of Arrow, we thought we were going to see a showdown between the title hero (Stephen Amell) and the season’s big bad, Slade Wilson (Manu Bennett).  What we got wasn’t exactly that straightforward, but was all the more exciting for its mysterious cat-and-mouse plot twists.  Slade has proven to be a match for the team both physically and intellectually, staying a step ahead of them at every turn and weathering every feeble attempt to defeat him either on the island or off of it.  And as we learned in tonight’s episode, he’s got far more in store for Oliver’s family and friends.  Hit the jump for my recap and review.

DOM HEMINGWAY Review

by     Posted 15 days ago

dom-hemingway-jude-law-richard-e-grant-slice

[This is a re-post of my review from the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival.  Dom Hemingway opens today in limited release.]

If the Oscars had a category for Most Creative Use of Vulgar Language (and they should), writer-director Richard Sheperd would be worthy of a Lifetime Achievement Award for Dom Hemingway. Rarely has the use of dirty words become a virtuoso masterpiece of language, but Dom Hemingway turns swearing into high art. Sheperd provides the words, but star Jude Law brings them to vile, explosive, hilarious life in what may be the best performance of his career thus far. There’s also a story and character development that’s all well and good, but Dom Hemingway is mostly about grabbing us by the throat and pummeling us with filthy, hilarious speeches and one-liners.

CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER Review

by     Posted 15 days ago

captain-america-winter-soldier-chris-evans-hi-res-slice

One of the main criticisms leveled against Captain America: The First Avenger was that Steve Rogers/Captain America (Chris Evans) was simply a “good guy” and therefore didn’t have any deep inner conflict (i.e. baggage).  That was one of the things I loved most about the character.  He didn’t need some tragic past to let him know that it was good to be good.  “I don’t like bullies,” Rogers said in the first film, and that was it in a nutshell: “I don’t like bullies.”  The sequel, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, could have made the character more twisted and melodramatic by plunging him into a darker, more complex world.  Instead, Captain America isn’t corrupted by the present day.  He’s not even tested.  His innate goodness is a beacon; it’s a bulwark against corruption.   Captain America: The Winter Soldier celebrates the good guy, and when combined with smart commentary, incredible action, and a wonderful sense of humor, it’s the best Marvel movie so far.

HOMEFRONT Blu-ray Review

by     Posted 15 days ago

homefront-blu-ray-review-slice

In recent years, there have been quite a few attempts at bringing the magic of 80s and 90s action movies back to the big screen, most notably by the big names who owe their success to the era.  So it’s surprising to find that Gary Fleder’s crime thriller Homefront might be the best effort out of the lot.  Perhaps it’s due in part to the strength of Chuck Logan’s novel, which was adapted by Sylvester Stallone and moved from the frozen falls of Minnesota to the bayou of Louisiana.  And while frontman Jason Statham turns in one of the best performances of his career, the entire film is buoyed by an excellent supporting cast that turns in surprisingly reserved performances, including James Franco, Winona Ryder, Kate Bosworth, and newcomer Izabela Vidovic.  Sadly, the Blu-ray is rather bare when it comes to extras, but the feature itself is worth another look.  Hit the jump for my review.

JUSTIFIED Recap: “Starvation”

by     Posted 16 days ago

justified timothy olyphant

Heading into its season finale, Justified picked up a lot of steam with “Starvation.”  The pressure is at a boiling point for nearly every character: from Raylan and Boyd, on down to Jimmy and Mike.  To make matters worse, the Mexicans are in town, turning the heat up under Duffy’s ass.  This episode really saw all the major characters at their most desperate, making for one solidly entertaining 45 minutes of television.  More on this week’s episode of Justified after the jump.

Copyright ©2005 - 2014. All Rights Reserved. Built by topLingo

Click Here