February 25, 2017

Movie Review: The Lure

There are some movies that as soon as you see the trailer you know you have to see it. It is the feeling I get when I see a trailer for, say, a new Star Wars movie or like when I saw the preview for John Wick: Chapter 2. Well, that feeling welled up inside of me when I saw a trailer for The Lure. Now, I am sure many of you look at that title as if I were typing in a foreign language. That’s all right, sometimes I feel that way as I am typing. The Lure is the English title for Corki Dancingu, a Polish genre mashup that is definitely a unique experience. Granted, I did not love it as much as I thought I would based on the trailer, but I think it may grow on me with more viewings.

February 22, 2017

Movie Review: John Wick - Chapter 2

Three years ago, a little, unassuming action film was released to theaters. It had the rather dull title of John Wick and starred an actor that, while popular, had been something of a poster child for bad actors for years for his somewhat wooden screen presence. As it turns out, this small little action film turned out to be an incredible blast of adrenaline that shows us just what kind of effect an action movie can have. It has an immediate emotional hook which got the audience involved and the lead upset, essentially getting the hero all wound up and then unleashing him for a journey of vengeance. As soon as it ended I wanted more, it has finally arrived in the form of John Wick: Chapter 2.

February 16, 2017

Movie Review: Fifty Shades Darker

So, I am not one who should be writing about this movie, much less seeing it. I did not see the first film, have no intentions of seeing the first film, and will hopefully be able to live up to that promise. However, with that said, I did find myself sitting in a theater watching Fifty Shades Darker play out on the big screen in front of me. It was not one of my finer moments. Still, my girlfriend wished to see it and offered to pay, who am I to say no? Spending time with her should trump what was sure to be a miserable movie experience, right? I should be glad she wasn’t upset at my making fun of the thing.

February 3, 2017

Movie Review: Split

I guess I should start out by saying I like M. Night Shyamalan films. I am sure that is going to turn away a certain percentage of you as it seems the appearance of his seems to be the punchline to an unspoken joke to many. No, I do not like all of his films, but when he is on his game, he can make a very good film. His last film, The Visit, seemed to indicate a return to form of sorts, so with the release of Split there was every reason to hope the trend would continue. I am very happy to report that the upward trend is there. Split is very good film. Perfect? No, and at times frustrating, but it is always interesting and it has a fascinating conclusion that is not a twist, but does alter the perception of what came before it.

Retro-view: Natural Born Killers

One of the advantages of living within a reasonable driving distance of an Alamo Drafthouse theater is that it gives me access to seeing older films in a theater on a big screen. In many cases this also means being able to see a 35mm print, which is becoming harder and harder to do. For a movie lover, such as myself, the big screen is the best way to see a movie, even if it is one you’ve seen many times over. The latest example of this is Natural Born Killers, a movie I originally saw in theaters as a homework assignment way back in 1994. Let me say that it was a great seeing it in a theater again.

January 28, 2017

Movie Review: Resident Evil - The Final Chapter

It has been almost five years since we last saw Alice fighting to never ending battle against the evil Umbrella corporation. That is a long time to wait, the longest between chapters in the series, but we all knew it was coming. There was no way they were going to let end after the giant cliffhanger that was Resident Evil: Retribution. We may have been forced to wait longer than we may have wanted, but here it is. Resident Evil: The Final Chapter has arrived in theaters, and even it does not seem to be convinced it is the last one. You know, if there is a possibility of money to be made, you can never cut off the future of a franchise.

Retro-view: Se7en

I like to think that I watch a lot of movies. There are movies that get replayed frequently, and there are those that go years and years between viewings. These lesser watched films are not necessarily bad or not worth revisiting, it is just the way it goes sometimes. Even if it is a great movie, I do not always watch them as often. The result of this great time in between viewings means that when I do watch them it can feel like watching them for the first time. This was the case when I recently saw Se7en again. Sure, I remember some, but it is like rediscovering its greatness.

January 22, 2017

Movie Review: Absurd

When you see a movie called Absurd, you should know that you are in for something, well, absurd. This Italian production was known by a number of different titles, but Absurd seems to fit the best. However, if that title doesn’t ring a bell, how about Horrible, Zombie 6, Monster Hunter, Grim Reaper 2, Anthropophagus 2, or, as the title on this print called it, Rosso Sangue (Blood Red)? I think there may be a few more variations as well, but I always go with Absurd. Of course, you could just call it “Someone Saw Halloween and Tried to make it Their Own.” it’s a mouthful, but that is what it amounts to.

January 21, 2017

Movie Review: The Autopsy of Jane Doe

Movies that come with a considerable amount of hype always run the risk of disappointing, of letting someone down after the buildup. It is always a fear of mine, I may listen to some of it, but I try not to get too wrapped up in said hype for fear of letting it sway my actual feelings about any given film. The Autopsy of Jane Doe is the latest film to arrive with a lot of hype and positive buzz around it. Friends messaged me asking if I’d seen it, positive comments on social media, even Stephen King is singing its praises. So, while I was anxious to see it, I went in trying to keep myself in check, just in case.

Movie Review: The Bye Bye Man

You know, there are movies every year that I know I should not see. Movies that look terrible and do not deserve to be seen. Sometimes I am successful at avoiding the temptation, but other times I am not so good at staying away. In the case of The Bye Bye Man, I saw the trailer and immediately put it on the avoid list. I have to be honest, it looked horrible, suffers from a terrible title, and what looked to be a ridiculous premise. Somehow, I found myself with some time to kill and that movie fitting right into the time available. Can you guess what I did? Of course you can. I sat by myself in a theater being bored for 90-minutes.

January 19, 2017

Blu-ray Review: Train to Busan

This past summer, I had the opportunity to check out a new zombie film from South Korea, it had been garnering a lot of buzz and I was curious to see if it would live up to the hype. The movie is called Train to Busan and it more than lives up to the hype. The film turned out to be an amazingly executed zombie film that delivers the action and also carries a strong emotional hook. It ramps up a little slowly, but it gives us characters, characters that are interesting and make us invested in their survival, or lack thereof.

January 18, 2017

Movie Review: Underworld - Blood Wars

Hard to believe the Underworld franchise has been chugging along for more than a decade and is looking at at least one more sequel before all is said and done. I actually used to enjoy this franchise, led by a latex-clad Kate Beckinsale. There is plenty of potential in an epic tale of a war between vampires and werewolves. I used to anticipate each new episode in the series to see just what was going to happen, even when they replaced Beckinsale with Rhona Mitra and took us into the past to see early monster altercations. Now, I look at a new Underworld movie and think “Another one?” It doesn’t help that I revisited the franchise recently and found them to be kind of dull. Stylish, but dull.

January 17, 2017

Movie Review: Sleepless (2017)

It’s January again. You know, that time of year when expanding Oscar-bait movies fight for theaters against a wave of cheap and/or low expectation titles at the local cinema. It is a feast or famine month, depending on your point of view. I decided to take a shot with an early 2017 release that has a little star power in its favor, with Jamie Foxx, Michelle Monaghan, and Dermot Mulroney on the cast listing. The movie is called Sleepless, and, to be honest, when I first saw the trailer, it felt like a lot of movies that have come before it. With that said, I was pretty sure what to expect going in, and I was not disappointed. Well, maybe I was.

January 16, 2017

2016: Favorite Movies of the Year

For 2016, my overall viewing was down, but I was still able to see a lot of really good movies. I would go so far as to say that I saw more excellent movies than I was expecting to. Of course, there are always those that I miss and I have to say that the late year crop of Oscar-type movies have not really excited me. Whether my lack of interest is due to the change in my viewing habits or taste, or that it is a weaker than usual Oscar class, I do not know. In the end, I don’t think it matters. The fact remains, I saw 19 movies that racked four stars or higher over the year. Below are said movies, all of which were seen in a theater.