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Trailer Reviews for January 17, 2013

JACK RYAN: SHADOW RECRUIT



I’m looking forward to this movie. I like Chris Pine. I liked the other Jack Ryan movies (especially The Sum of All Fears) and I don’t mind that they’re departing from the Tom Clancy source material (I find his books too dense and technical anyway). He’s a little more James Bond-y than he used to be, but that could be a good thing. The James Bond movies have moved away from James Bond-y ness and into the realms of grittiness and shaky cam, so there may be niche there to be refilled. Actually, now that I watch the trailer again, I’m thinking it’s more complicated and mysterious (more Mission Impossible) than James Bond. If it plays its cards right, it could become my second favorite spy franchise.

THE NUT JOB



I do not like that purple squirrel’s voice. It’s too deep and harsh for a light family film about squirrels stealing nuts. Also, if I wanted to see a movie about animals planning an elaborate operation, I’d watch Chicken Run or The Fantastic Mr. Fox.I know it’s a kids’ movie, but this trailer didn’t even make me laugh once. Cliched movie dialogue doesn’t automatically become funny just because it’s being delivered by a squirrel.

DEVIL’S DUE



So she’s possessed by her devil baby? That’s interesting I guess. But the trailer took all the life out of the idea for me. They showed everything except for the very end, which I’m assuming will be along the lines of The Exorcist. And can I just say: enough with the found footage. I’m tired of the contortions the characters have to go through just to explain why they’re filming every horrible thing that happens to them, just so the movie can look cheap.

RIDE ALONG



Stop talking and show me the damn trailer! Also, WHY is that lovely woman dating that immature loser? That’s another thing I’m tired of! Beautiful, intelligent, well-to-do women in movies who are dating lazy, unattractive morons for no other reason than ‘the plot demands it.’ The trailer was three minutes long, yet I saw no hint of a redeeming quality that might make me believe those two were in a relationship. So no, even though I like buddy cop movies and even sometimes movies where the main character is an idiot, I will not see this movie.

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DVDs for January 7, 2014

runner runner

Runner Runner

I like both Ben Affleck and Justin Timberlake (as an actor) but this movie just doesn’t do anything for me. It’s hard to sympathize with a character who is dumb enough to risk his college tuition in an online poker game. And dumb enough to go abroad to confront the website owner. Dumb enough to fall in with this guy, and dumb enough to be surprised when the guy turns out to be evil. There are plenty of other movies who do the poker shark and/or seduced by bad guy thing with less dumbness. Watch those instead.

Buy Runner Runner on DVD or on Blu-Ray.

closed circuit

Closed Circuit

If you like MI-5/Spooks and also enjoy legal thrillers such as those of the Law & Order or John Grisham persuasion, you’ll like this movie. Eric Bana and Rebecca Hall play lawyers who are tasked with defending the people accused of a terrorist attack. During their investigation they uncover ties between the perpetrators and MI-5, which makes them a target. A thrilling thriller starring the world’s most adorable human being and a few good explosions. What more could you want?

Buy Closed Circuit on DVD or on Blu-Ray.

thanks for sharing

Thanks for Sharing

If you’re looking for a romantic comedy with a unique gimmick or a less depressing version of Michael Fassbender’s Shame, you should watch Thanks for Sharing. It’s an ensemble comedy about a handful of couples who know each other through their sex addiction support group. It covers a lot of bases – established relationships, new relationships, and friendships, and though the characters are sex addicts, their struggles with their addictions don’t get so graphic that you might feel like it should be sold in a paper bag. Check it out.

Buy Thanks for Sharing on DVD or on Blu-Ray.

big ass spider

Big Ass Spider

If you liked Sharknado or any movies from the new ‘intentionally bad disaster movie’ genre, Big Ass Spider is for you. As the title suggests, a Big Ass Spider is on a rampage through Los Angeles and it’s up to a smart-ass exterminator and his plucky ethnic support character (a hospital security guard) to stop it. Greg Grunberg (previously a comedic support character on Alias) unleashes his inner ham on the tongue-in-cheek script, resulting in surprisingly hilarious experience. Check it out.

Buy Big Ass Spider on DVD or on Blu-Ray.

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Top 5 and Bottom 5 Movies of 2013

new-year

2013 is over and it’s time to rank the movies I saw according to their bestiness and worstiness. As I paged through my review notebook listing films according to their secret star rating, I noticed three things. One: franchise films have done well with me this year. Two: I only saw 45 movies. And three: only one of them was bad enough to rate one star. My policy this year was not to waste money on bad movies, but it made me realize that bad movies have their uses. They force you to think about WHY the movie bad, and they make for hilarious reviews. I therefore resolve that 2014 shall be the year of using my Scene points to see crappy movies.

And now, the list. If you don’t agree with it, feel free to argue with me in the comments. That’s what they’re for. Just keep it clean, ok?

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DVDs for December 17, 2013

prisoners

Prisoners

It’s almost Christmas and you’re frantically looking for good movies to buy for people on your list. Is this a good movie? Yes. Should you give it as a Christmas gift? NO. Nothing says ‘happy holidays’ like a big old bucket of dark and disturbing. Well acted dark and disturbing, but there’s still a lot more kidnapping and torture of children than a lot of people like to watch on a family holiday. On the plus side, it’s got a really good investigation plot, so do put it on your list to watch for a normal day or read my full review for more.

Buy Prisoners on DVD or on Blu-Ray.

the family

The Family

The Family contains nearly as much violence as Prisoners but because it’s tongue-in-cheek, it’s less not okay to buy and watch on Christmas. Unfortunately, it’s also a lousy movie. Robert DeNiro plays the head of a mafia family in witness protection. Being a family of idiots who think they’re awesome, they make no effort to hide the fact that they are awful and thus end up getting tracked down by the mob they betrayed, putting the lives of their protectors in danger. Read more about it or just trust me and avoid it.

Buy The Family on DVD or on Blu-Ray.

elysium

Elysium

Do you have a sci-fi lover on your gift list who either is a fan of or doesn’t actively hate Matt Damon? Then this is the gift idea you were looking for. Elysium is a District 9 style movie from the writer/director of District 9 about a poor guy who gets pissed off at the fact that the Earth is a garbage heap and the rich get to live in style on a HALO ring, so he drills an exoskeleton into his spine and goes off to attack them. It’s got quite a few plot holes but if you’re into Matt Damon, destruction, or expensive special effects, you and/or your recipient may not even notice.

Buy Elysium on DVD or on Blu-Ray.

lone ranger

The Lone Ranger

And speaking of things that are expensively filmed and exciting but have problems if you think about them too much, there’s also The Lone Ranger. This movie has several things going for it: it’s Pirates of the Caribbean style action/comedy tone, Armie Hammer being hot, Johnny Depp being silly, snappy dialogue, and bombastic destruction of every cliched Wild West setpiece imaginable. On the other hand, there’s also the fact that Johnny Depp being silly is a dicey prospect when no one can figure out if it’s disrespectful to Native Americans or not. Buy accordingly.

Buy The Lone Ranger on DVD or on Blu-Ray.

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Trailer for December 6, 2013

OUT OF THE FURNACE



So… Christian Bale plays Jennifer Lawrence in Winter’s Bone? Plus a rifle and some miscellaneous punching scenes? I don’t know what attracted all those Academy Award nominees (and Zoe Saldana) to this movie, but I’m not interested. It’s too gritty and dude-centric, plus I feel like I’ve already seen this story done really well. Sorry Christian Bale.

I’m big into not wasting money on things I know I won’t like and I’ve already seen all the other movies in theaters that I wanted to see. Looks like I’ll have to find something else to talk about on Sunday.

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DVDs for November 26, 2013

red 2

RED 2

I liked this movie when I saw it in theaters (though not as much as liked the first one). But after a few months, it sort of blended into the latest Die Hard movie: A Good Day to Die Hard. Russian setting, Bruce Willis paired with a younger person (his son in Die Hard, his girlfriend here), madcap action… the difference, I guess, is that RED 2 stars more old people, and that when it’s funny it’s because it’s supposed to be, not because the filmmakers are completely divorced from reality. Read my full review for more.

Buy RED 2 on DVD or on Blu-Ray.

getaway

Getaway

After the success of Taken, there have been many imitators. In this one, Ethan Hawke plays a guy who drives really fast. Some people kidnap his wife in order to get him to drive really fast for them. But they don’t give him a car, so he has to hijack one with way-too-young-for-him eye candy in it (Selena Gomez), and her computer hacking skills (such as they are) end up helping Ethan while he drives really fast. In this movie, driving fast is what throat chopping was to Taken, so I’d really only recommend it to you if you’re a huge fan of Mustangs.

Buy Getaway on DVD or on Blu-Ray.

jobs

JOBS

This movie is trying to be The Social Network, but since we already have The Social Network, it mostly just comes off as two hours of Ashton Kutcher alternately having revolutionary ideas and being a dick to people. It’s based on the popular biography of Steve Jobs’ life, which exposed his dark underbelly, but since everyone already knows about it, there’s nothing revolutionary about the movie. I’d only recommend it for big Steve Jobs/Apple fans, as I’ve never bought an Apple product in my life and my attitude toward the film is a giant ‘who cares?’

Buy JOBS on DVD or on Blu-Ray.

the canyons

The Canyons

Wow, I guess the studios wanted to make sure all the bad movies were out in time for people to not buy them for each other for Christmas. Most of the people who saw this movie were tricked into it by the fact that it was directed by the guy who did Taxi Driver and written by the guy who did American Psycho. But really, it’s just about a crazy dude (a porn star called James Dean, but with two Es) going crazy on the stars of his movie. It’s billed as an ‘erotic thriller’ but that was probably just an excuse to get Lindsay Lohan to take her top off (which, incidentally, is why the rest of the people saw this movie).

Buy The Canyons on DVD or on Blu-Ray.

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DVDs for November 19, 2013

planes

Planes

“Happy almost birthday, Kat! To make up for all the Twilight I’ve given you the past 4 years, here’s some planes!” – Love, The Universe. Yes, I know that Planes is essentially just a mashup of Cars 1 and Cars 2 but with planes, but I DON’T CARE. Cute planes race against other cute planes and there’s a cameo by Iceman and Goose as little fighter planes with eyeballs. And an aircraft carrier wears a hat. What more could you possibly want from a children’s movie ?? Check out my full review for more of me gushing over vehicles in hats.

Buy Planes on DVD or on Blu-Ray.

worlds end

The World’s End

I love the Pegg/Frost/Wright trio, but this movie was kind of a letdown. The story follows a group of guys who meet up (even though most of them don’t want to) to finish a pub crawl they didn’t get through as high schoolers. And their town is taken over by robot aliens in a Stepford Wives crossed with Bodysnatchers way. There seemed to be more arguing and fighting than jokes and the ending was a total downer (I guess I should have expected that, with a title like The World’s End), so I’d rate it as my least favorite of theirs, but still better than most comedies. Read my review for more.

Buy The World’s End on DVD or on Blu-Ray.

paranoia

Paranoia

This movie does have a point about how hard it is for young people to make their way in the workplace these days but does not do a good job in getting us to sympathize with Liam Hemsworth, mostly because he’s a little selfish, a little whiny, and his ideas aren’t nearly as revolutionary as he likes to think… and neither are the trade secrets he’s trying to steal from his boss’s rivalswhile undercover as a rich dude. It’s not very thrilling or surprising, so if you’re looking for a movie about industrial espionage I recommend Cypher instead. Read my full review for more.

Buy Paranoia on DVD or on Blu-Ray.

2 guns

2 Guns

Just in case you haven’t seen enough buddy cop movies, here are Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg in another one. Denzel is a DEA agent and Mark is Army Intelligence (for some reason) and neither knows who the other is until everyone else in the world decides to kill them and they have zero other people to turn to for help in taking down their targeted cartel. I mock, but I actually liked 2 Guns. It was mildly comedic (not as funny as The Other Guys but not as depressing as Savages) and the action sequences were unique enough to make me take notice. Check it out.

Buy 2 Guns on DVD or on Blu-Ray.

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Trailer Reviews for November 8, 2013

THOR: THE DARK WORLD



Thor! Hey buddy! Good to see you again! Any chance you’re gonna take a few minutes in this movie to stumble over some hilarious Earth customs? I’d love to be able to add something like ‘Thor Goes to the Grocery Store’ or ‘Thor Uses an ATM’ to my list of potential Marvel picture book plotlines. No? You plan on smashing things and arguing with Loki for two straight hours? Yeah, that’s what the trailer looked like. I just thought I’d ask. I’ll still come, of course. Because there’s Team Thor/Jane/Loki. But in the future, if you want to throw in a little more ‘myeh myeh,’ I’ll be really happy.

KILL YOUR DARLINGS



Ugh. Please, no more Beat Poets! They’re so pretentious and annoying! And the stories about their lives are always so messed up and depressing. I’m sorry, Daniel Radcliffe, you’re very good. But there’s no way I’m seeing this movie.

THE SUMMIT



Looks cool. It’s like the Into Thin Air for K2. They make it seem like there’s a big conspiracy but then one of the reviewer quotes describes it as a cliffhanger… I hope she meant literally because I don’t want to see it if they don’t at least decide on a theory as to what happened to everyone.

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Top 5 Horror Movies That Could Really Happen

pumpkin

It’s almost Halloween and this week’s new releases were pretty underwhelming. None of them were even horror movies! Being poor, I’m into voting with my wallet, so I decided to save money and do another list instead of subjecting myself to a movie I knew I wouldn’t like. This list is all about horrifying things that are actually real and could really happen to you (so no vampires, aliens, giant monsters, sharks inside a tornado, etc.) not all of the movies on here are technically horror movies, but I really liked each one and they all contain at least one scene that I wished I could un-see. If you’re a horror fan and you’ve already seen all the good horror movies, or if you’re just looking for new ideas for your Halloween party, maybe this will help you broaden your horizons and/or scar yourself for life.

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Trailer Reviews for October 25, 2013

This is the big week when Empire Theaters becomes Cineplex, so if you live in Atlantic Canada, whether or not your theater opens Thursday or Friday or not for a while may be up in the air. I’m excited to start spending my Scene points, but it does make finding out what’s playing this week a little tricky, as the schedule’s not up. As far as I can tell, these are the movies that are likely to be playing.

ALL IS LOST



I don’t care what all those quotes in the trailer say, this movie looks BORING. One guy alone at sea wasn’t even that interesting when it was Life of Pi, and that guy had a tiger to contend with. Don’t get me wrong, survival at sea makes for a great story. But I think I would like it better as a book.

THE COUNSELOR



Nope. No thanks. And double ‘no’ on the Cormac McCarthy factor. I think Michael Fassbender is great, but even he’s not going to be enough to save this movie for me. This guy has everything – great love, great job, great house so he decides: what the hell – let’s smuggle some drugs! I would find it impossible to sympathize with a guy like that. Plus McCarthy’s books are all depressing as hell.

JACKASS PRESENTS: BAD GRANDPA



I think the studios all got together and decided to release only movies that I would hate this weekend. I can’t stand these movies where they go out in public and act like a**holes just to film bystanders’ reactions. Also, they ripped off that beauty pageant scene from Little Miss Sunshine.

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