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The Latest Movie Reviews
'The Book Of Life' Is A Visual Masterpiece With A Great Story
Production: Score & Soundtrack: 
Animation: 
The Book of Life is not your average animated film as it features very few of the traditional tropes. It's style is all its own; and it doesn't rely on kitschy concepts as much as animated features like Madagascar or Cars. Unfortunately, that means it likely won't make much money at the box office, and may not...

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'Extraterrestrial' Is A Fun Throwback To Classic Sci-Fi That Still Manages To Feel Modern
Production: Sound: 
Scary Factor: 
The Vicious Brothers, otherwise known as Colin Minihan and Stuart Ortiz in the horror world, burst onto the scene with their found-footage movie Grave Encounters and its subsequent sequel. Not wanting to make ghost movies forever, the filmmakers have switched gears to aliens with their newest film, Extraterrestrial. Extraterrestrial...

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'Men, Women, & Children' Sends An Obvious Message 10 Years Too Late
Production: Writing: 
After a string of early success with Juno and Up in the Air, director Jason Reitman has struggled as of late. His most recent films, Young Adult and Labor Day, still tried their best to convey modern themes in unique ways, but Reitman's ability to tap into the zeitgeist so effortlessly has seemingly faded with...

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'Whiplash' Is The Most Exciting Band Geek Movie Ever
Production: Acting: 
Score & Soundtrack: 
At one point in Whiplash, a teacher tells his student that "there are no two words in the English language more harmful than 'Good Job'." It's his way of explaining that security breeds complacency. Whiplash explores the hell out of the concept of pushing oneself to be their best. Whiplash is the story...

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'Fury' Is A Familiar Feeling War Movie That Still Packs A Punch
Production: Acting: 
Action Sequences: 
The tagline to Oliver Stone's 1986 Vietnam War movie Platoon is "the first casualty of war is innocence." This statement could apply to just about any war movie, but it is especially descriptive of Fury. Fury stars Brad Pitt (Moneyball) as Don 'Wardaddy' Collier, a tank commander in Germany at the tail...

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'Kill the Messenger': One Half Of An Engaging Drama
Production: Acting: 
Much like 2012's Argo, Kill the Messenger puts the spotlight on an often-overlooked moment in modern US history. Both are tight political dramas with strong leading characters, and both try to deliver historical events in a very matter of fact manner. And where Affleck's film highlighted the good in the US government,...

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'Dracula Untold' Shows A Kinder, Gentler Prince Of Darkness
Production: Action Sequences: 
Scary Factor: 
The rumor going around the horror world is that Universal is planning to incorporate its stable of classic monsters in a way similar to what is being done with the Marvel Universe, with each character getting his or her own movie until they finally culminate in a The Avengers-type of spectacle. If that's the...

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'The Judge' Is Shameless Melodramatic Oscar Bait
Production: Acting: 
Long before Robert Downey Jr. donned the elaborate facial hair of Tony Stark in Iron Man, he was a dramatic actor with a bright future. Known for portraying deeply challenging, but undeniably charming characters, Downey had become an Oscar contender right out of the gate. Then, life got in the way. Now...

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'The Pact II' Is Just Another Mediocre Horror Sequel
Production: Cinematography: 
Scary Factor: 
While The Pact director Nicholas McCarthy was off making At the Devil's Door, the writing/directing team of Dallas Richard Hallam and Patrick Horvath (the duo behind Entrance) got their chance to continue the story that McCarthy started. Of course, the resulting film is called The Pact II. The Pact...

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James Wan Gives The People What They Want - 'Annabelle' Gets Her Own Movie
Production: Cinematography: 
Scary Factor: 
For horror movie fans, James Wan's The Conjuring was one of the high points of last year. As frightening and compelling as the movie was, audiences wanted to know more about what was essentially a prop in the drawn-out introduction: the creepy doll that stole the show for the first ten minutes of the film. Now,...

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'Gone Girl' Plays A Little Too Fast And Loose With Tone
Production: Acting: 
Directing: 
Much like with the best selling novel on which the film is based, it's hard to talk about Gone Girl without getting deep into the plot. However, since a lot Gone Girl's appeals rest with its many twists and turns, it's important to preserve as much of the mystery as possible. And so, without even getting into...

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'Believe Me' Entertains, Informs, And Enlightens, Without Anyone Realizing It
Production: Comedy Factor: 
Writer/director Will Bakke and his writing partner, Michael B. Allen, have challenged both Christians and Atheists alike to believe what they want to believe with their documentary films One Nation Under God and Beware of Christians. Now, the pair takes the same basic message to the realm of fiction with Believe...

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'The Maze Runner' Is Mild Entertainment With A Deflating Resolution
Production: Acting: 
The Maze Runner, like most movies featuring a cast of young relative unknowns, is an adaptation of a wildly popular young adult (YA) novel. Its story focuses on a series of mysteries that slowly unfold over the course of the book/film, before opening up to an overarching world far bigger than the individual premise...

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'A Walk Among the Tombstones' Recycles The Same Liam Neeson Character Into A Paint-By-Numbers Crime Drama
Production: Cinematography: 
It's official: Liam Neeson has been typecast. He played the badass a little too well in Taken, and now he can't get away from using his "very particular set of skills." His latest badass role comes courtesy of A Walk Among the Tombstones. A Walk Among the Tombstones stars Neeson as Matt Scudder, a recovering...

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Also Playing in Theatres
'Tusk' Is A Bizarre Fever Dream Courtesy Of Kevin Smith
'The Skeleton Twins' Proves Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader Are Ready For Prime Time
'The Drop' - This Amazing Movie Is Not Your Father's Crime Drama
'At The Devil's Door' Tries Really Hard, But Just Doesn't Deliver Any Scares
'The Identical' Is A Bad Impersonation Of A Rock And Roll Movie
'The Pact II' Is Just Another Mediocre Horror Sequel
'As Above/So Below' Makes Up For Its Contrivances With Some Freaky Scares
'The Calling' Has A Religious Serial Killer, And Endless Tropes
'The November Man' Is A Spy Thriller Without the Thrills
'Sin City: A Dame To Kill For' Is A Fitting Sequel That Also Stands On Its Own
'If I Stay' Is Heart-Wrenching, But Not Enough To Save The Movie From Mediocrity
'The Expendables 3' is Self-Aware, Goofy, and the Series' Best
'The Giver' Wastes An Intriguing Premise On A Disappointing Third Act
'Into the Storm': Batten Down The Hatches And Let This One Pass By
'Guardians of the Galaxy': Marvel's Crowd Pleasing Cosmic Adventure
'Magic In The Moonlight' - Woody Allen's Not-So-Romantic Comedy Is A Hit
'Lucy' Combines Solid Execution With A Weak Script
'A Most Wanted Man' - See It Just Because Of Philip Seymour Hoffman
'Land Ho!' Will Make You Want To Visit Iceland With Your Grandpa
'Sex Tape' Is A Clever Concept Masked By Moronic Execution
'The Purge: Anarchy' Ruins The Entire Purge Concept
'Boyhood' Is An Instant Timeless Classic
'Venus in Fur' - Roman Polanski Makes The Most Of Two Characters And A Room
'Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes' Delivers Plenty Of Ape Action
'Snowpiercer' is Smart Sci-Fi Executed Well
'Earth To Echo' Earns Its 'E.T.' Comparisons - But Not In A Good Way
'Deliver Us from Evil' - "True" Story That Is Heavy On Mystery, Light On Scares
'Jersey Boys' Makes The Audience Sing Along With Both The Comedy and The Tragedy
'Obvious Child' Is The Funniest Abortion Movie Ever Made
'We Are the Best!' Will Put A Smile On The Face Of Even The Most Jaded Punk
'How to Train Your Dragon 2' Delivers Another Magical Ride
'We Are the Best!' Will Put A Smile On The Face Of Even The Most Jaded Punk
'The Grand Seduction' Tickles The Audience's Funnybone While Tugging At Its Heartstrings
'Words And Pictures' Brings Out The Best In Clive Owen And Juliette Binoche
'Maleficent' Flips The Script On The 'Sleeping Beauty' Story

Frame Of Mind

Cannibal HolocaustThe reason that The Blair Witch Project was so effective is that audiences thought that it was real; the movie had a genius viral internet marketing campaign that helped fool the public into believing that the three filmmakers were really missing and presumed dead.  Unfortunately, now that the hoax has been exposed and every aspiring director with a camera has made a found footage movie, there will never be another movie like The Blair Witch Project; today’s viewers are too astute to be fooled twice.  That doesn’t mean that there hasn’t been a movie like The Blair Witch Project in the past, however; in 1980, another film convinced the public that its subjects had met with horrible fates.  This film, sometimes called “the most controversial movie ever made,” is Cannibal Holocaust.

A Bay of BloodThe roots of the modern slasher movie can generally be traced back to 1960 and the release of Psycho and Peeping Tom.  Between then and the late seventies, when the golden age of the slasher began with the release of films like Halloween and Friday the 13th, a handful of modest films kept the blood flowing, movies like Fright and Black Christmas.  However, in 1971, the Italian giallo master Mario Bava made a film that seemed to lay down the blueprint for the modern slasher, a movie called A Bay of Blood.

Kirsten Dunst in THE TWO FACES OF JANUARY, a Magnolia Pictures release. Photo courtesy of Magnolia Pictures.Adapted from the best-selling novel of the same name by Patricia Highsmith (who also wrote "Strangers on a Train," the basis for Hitchcock's classic), The Two Faces of January is a brightly painted portrait drenched in noirish tendencies.

Sleepaway CampThere is nothing more satisfying for a horror fan than a surprise ending.  From The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari to Saw, twist endings have been keeping horror audiences guessing for decades.  Whether it’s a simple last second jump scare or a jaw-dropping revelation, the shock of the unexpected is something that makes a movie really memorable.  In 1983, a movie was released that had the mother of all shock endings.  That movie is Sleepaway Camp.

EvilspeakAnytime a new technology is introduced into the popular culture, a horror movie will come along to exploit it and make people afraid.  Cinema Fearité has already covered this phenomenon with TerrorVision’s treatment of cable television and Videodrome’s take on home video.  Modern movies have explored the darker side of personal computers in films like Cry_Wolf and Smiley.  Computers were a target of horror movies well before the 21st century, however; in 1981, when home computers will still relatively new, Evilspeak was there to make them scary.

Take Me to the RiverAround the same time that Motown Records was doing its thing in the big city of Detroit, Stax records was recording and releasing music down south in Memphis.  The output from these two labels represented the best of what American music had to offer, and continued well into the days of the British Invasion of the mid-sixties.  Although Motown had more chart success and record sales, Stax had the attitude; the cool mix of blues, gospel, funk, and jazz that became a recognizable sound all its own.  Director Martin Shore tells the Stax story, but not in the traditional way, in his new documentary Take Me to the River.

The Beast Must DieWith roots that stem from various mythologies as opposed to any single source, the werewolf has been depicted in many different ways over the history of cinema.  From the silent classic Wolf Blood to the teen romance Twilight series, werewolves have been brought to the screen by both costumed actors and CGI artists.  Seemingly every studio and director has had their own individual take on lycanthropy.  Even Amicus Productions, the British studio that was mainly known for its anthology films, got into the werewolf act in 1974 with The Beast Must Die.

The Living GhostMost people think of zombies as, depending on their age, either the slow moving walkers of George Romero’s movies or the athletic sprinters of films like 28 Days Later.  The original cinematic zombies, however, were the voodoo zombies of films like White Zombie, Revolt of the Zombies, and I Walked with a Zombie, real people who were turned into the walking dead by witch doctors or Haitian priests.  In 1942, a film that introduced traditional zombies into the murder mystery genre was made called The Living Ghost.

FrankIf you have not seen Frank, stop at the end of this paragraph and go see it.  Do not check IMDB, watch a trailer, or read any reviews or publicity materials for the film, just go see it.  The rest of this article will deal with a spoiler that is not really a spoiler, because just about all promotional materials for the film make it common knowledge.  But, Frank is the kind of movie where the surprise reveal of the identity of the title character is a key aspect of the effectiveness of the film.  So do not pass go, do not collect $200, just go watch Frank.  We’ll be right here.

Wetlands PosterMeet Wetlands' Helen (Carla Juri). She is in her post-teen years, still lives at home, is quite pretty with her tomboy haircut that is juxtaposed with her liking for very short shirts. She is a tiny bit insecure, and extremely precocious; exhibiting a child-like sense in her very much young adult body. Helen is also extremely vulgar in everything that she does. Obsessed with sex, sexuality, and pushing the boundaries of appropriateness there is no end to what Helen will do. Or what those around her will be compelled to do by her influence. Helen is, in a word, amazing. Solely for the fact that she exhibits everything that is wrong for a girl of her age, and you instantly fall in love with her because of this fact.

Rich HillRich Hill, Missouri, is a small town of less than 1400 located about 90 minutes south of Kansas City.  The town’s citizens are a mixture of the working class and the poverty stricken, but they hold on to hope.  A new documentary, simply called Rich Hill, paints a picture of the town as seen through the eyes of three of its residents, all teenaged boys.

One Hour PhotoAs everyone has heard by now, Robin Williams died earlier this week at the age of 63.  A comedian first and foremost, the actor broke into Hollywood playing humorous roles in movies like Popeye and Mrs. Doubtfire, but quickly proved his meddle by taking on dramatic parts in such films as Dead Poets Society and What Dreams May Come, even winning an Oscar for his performance in Good Will Hunting.  Williams showed time and again that he was a versatile and talented actor, and he even got to prove his chops in the horror genre with a truly creepy performance in One Hour Photo.

Jimi: All Is By My SideJimi: All Is By My Side is a film with multiple problems serious enough that the couple of very good things it has going for it stand little chance of compensating. As written and directed by 12 Years A Slave scribe John Ridley, the narrative sets off down familiar musical biopic lane: musician discovered; gains success; deals with distractions and behaves badly; and that's it.. Perhaps because the production was denied the use of Hendrix's music by his estate (holding out for full control of the production), the story ends in mid-1967, with Jimi and his Experience trooping off to Monterey and international fame.

Under the Electric Sky (2014)Every year, hundreds of thousands of people flock to Electric Daisy Carnival, an electronic dance music festival held in several different locations all over the world during the summer months.  The festival brings fans together into a musical circus-like atmosphere for three days of non-stop partying.  The largest of these gatherings is the one that takes place in Las Vegas, NV, and that is the one that is at the center of Under the Electric Sky.

Supermensch: The Legend of Shep GordonIn Yiddish, the word “mensch” refers to “a person of integrity and honor.”  One would not think that it would be a term that could apply a showbiz manager, but it is the best description for Shep Gordon.  Even those who have never heard of Shep Gordon are probably familiar with his clients.  He’s one of the entertainment industry’s most powerful players, having represented musical heavyweights like Alice Cooper, Anne Murray, and Teddy Pendergrass.  His list of A-list friends is exponentially longer than his artist stable, and the guest lists to his famous parties read like a who’s-who of Hollywood.  And every one of these friends and acquaintances has nothing but good things to say about him.  He’s more than a mensch, he’s a Supermensch, hence the title of the intriguing documentary about his life and times, Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon.

William Eubank“I don’t know if they’re here, or have ever been here, but I definitely do believe in them.”  William Eubank, director of The Signal ponders the existence of aliens and UFOs.  It’s a fair question; The Signal is all about the possibility of extraterrestrial life on Earth, and Eubank’s first film, Love, was produced and scored by the rock band Angels & Airwaves, whose famous frontman, Tom Delonge, is an outspoken alien conspiracist.  Eubank speaks fondly of Delonge - “I’ve sat in his backyard many a time with night vision goggles, looking at the sky.  He’s a good dude.”

Watermark - Courtesy Entertainment OneWater is something we all take for granted.  We couldn’t exist without it, yet we only think about it when it’s running scarce.  We use it to cook, clean, work, and play, and we do it all on a daily basis.  Renowned photographer Edward Burtynsky has teamed up with filmmaker Jennifer Baichwal (Payback) to pay tribute to the most overlooked and underappreciated of the Classical Elements in the documentary Watermark.

Finding Vivian Maier - Courtesy Sundance SelectsIn 2007, a young realtor named John Maloof was looking for pictures of different areas of Chicago for a book that he was compiling.  He bought a storage unit for $380 that contained thousands of negatives and a bunch of undeveloped rolls of film.  When he examined the negatives, he saw some of the most captivating street photography that had ever been taken.  He knew that he was onto something, so he snooped around the locker a bit more and found pieces of mail addressed to a woman named Vivian Maier.  Seeing that there was a story developing, he enlisted producer Charlie Siskel (“Tosh.0”) to help him tell it, and the resulting documentary is Finding Vivian Maier.

Movie News | Trailers | Events | Goodies

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 Rebel Warriors PosterYou knew it was bound to happen, and it has officially. The character posters for the Rebel Warriors of The Hunger Games; Mockingjay Part 1 have been released. You've got Gale, Pollux, Messalla, Cressida, Boggs, and Castor all looking very serious, and very ready to battle.

Disney's Are you ready for your daily dose of adorableness?  Disney's "Feast" is here to help you on your way with brand-new images from the upcoming short film. Who knew an animated puppy could bring so much joy, and such a big smile to one's face.

"Feast" will release in theatres November 7, 2014, playing with Big Hero 6.  Until then, go ahead and fall in love with the adorable puppy, Winston.

AnnabelleI will admit, the trailer for Annabelle may not be terrifying to you. For me, it is, thanks to a debilitating fear of creepy dolls. Annabelle is one of the scariest dolls I have ever seen on film--I have The Conjuring to thank--and I have seen an incredible amount of movies. Regardless, the trailer for Annabelle will get your senses going, and your anticipation peaked for this sort-of prequel to The Conjuring.

Keanu Reeves in John WickEveryone who enjoys viewing the 'Sad Keanu' picture that is plastered all over the internet--you know the one, don't deny it--well, it is time to play homage to a new Keanu Reeves photo...that of him looking bad ass in the upcoming John Wick.

Reeves plays ex-hitman John Wick who must come out of retirement in order to battle gangsters. Yes, you read that correctly...gangsters vs. Keanu Reeves. Amazing.

ChefIt is a special treat when a movie like Chef is created. A film full of heart that brings out your emotions organically, without the need for gimmicks or special circumstance. Jon Favreau's Chef deserves the accolades it has received thus far since release in May and those that are sure to follow come awards season (fingers crossed).  Chef is being re-released in theatres for a special engagement begininning August 29, 2014. If you did not have a chance to catch this gem of a film before in theatres now is your chance--and do not pass it up.

Paul Rudd In Ant-ManIt has taken years for a movie version of Marvel's Ant-Man character to the screen. Some may say it is unnecessary; others are full of joy and anticipation.  Either way, the Ant-Man movie has started production in San Francisco, CA and a first-look photo of Paul Rudd as Ant-Man has been released.

Here he is, Paul Rudd as Ant-Man.

Men, Women & ChildrenJason Reitman had a rough time of it last year when Labor Day did not sit well with audiences or critics. A far cry from his previous works that received rave reviews and awards aplenty, such as Up In The Air.  It is a new year and with that comes a new movie for Reitman to deliver to the masses--and hope that this time goes better than the last.  Reitman's latest is Men, Women & Children, yet another dramedy set around familial life, this time with the internet age taking center stage.

Kelly & Cal PosterShe may not exactly be a punk rocker any longer, but being a mother post-punk is tough for Juliette Lewis' Kelly in the trailer debut for Kelly & Cal from IFC Films.  Cal, 17, is having a tough time at life as well. Enter the unlikely friendship of these two different people and the way they will each make everything just a little easier to manage for one another.

Guardians of the Galaxy Rocket and Groot PosterFor those who have seen Guardians of the Galaxy you know the enjoyment there was to be had with Groot dancing. If you have not seen the film, then you're in luck as a clip of Groot dancing has been released. If the clip does not convince you to go see the movie read the review here and get yourself to the movies.

31The process of crowdfunding has been a touchy one among movie fans.  Established filmmakers like Zach Braff and Spike Lee have come under fire for wanting to raise money for their films through campaigns on Kickstarter, while the Veronica Mars movie obliterated its goal in a single day.  Now, another established director is turning to crowdsourcing for movie money: horror icon Rob Zombie.

Into The WoodsDisney is taking multiple stories from The Brothers Grimm fairytales and mashing them up into one intertwined story with Into The Woods.  This is of course nothing new for Disney, as they have been reimagining The Brothers Grimm stories for eons.  But it is a new twist on old stories, and with a cast that includes Meryl Streep, Emily Blunt, James Corden, Anna Kendrick, Chris Pine, Tracey Ullman, Christine Baranski and Johnny Depp, to name a few, it is sure to be a star-studded musical outing. 

SpongeBob SquarePants Movie PosterHave you been forced to watched "SpongeBob Squarepants" with your niece, nephew, friend's child, or more than likely your own child over and over again?  Have you ever been able to figure out the plot or theme of an episode?  Me neither.  There is hope that the movie SpongeBob SquarePants: Sponge Out of Water will make more sense. Or are we asking far too much?  The time will come to decide in 2015 when the movie is released. Until then, I dare you to watch the trailer...

Groot, Guardians Of The GalaxyHave you ever wondered what Vin Diesel would sound like speaking Russian, Mandarin Chinese, or just plain old common Spanish?  Well, you are in luck as videos have been released where you can hear Diesel dubbing his lines for Guardians of the Galaxy in those three languages, and two more.

NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM: SECRET OF THE TOMBIt just so happens that two evenings ago I was in the company of children and they chose to watch Night At The Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian.  Imagine my surprise when the first teaser trailer for Night At The Museum: Secret of the Tomb popped up in my inbox this morning--and I must admit I had no idea they were making a third film in the franchise.  There is more fun to be had this time around with all of the characters we remember from the other two films, and some new ones too. 

Forrest GumpIn case you have not had enough of a fix over the past 20 years of Forrest Gump playing on television you are in luck. Paramount Pictures and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment are re-releasing the film in IMAX theatres to celebrate its 20th anniversary.  You will only have one-week to catch Forrest Gump on IMAX screens, starting September 5, 2014.  Make sure to bring a box of chocolates, and kleenex (Forrest Gump made me cry like a baby).

Hot Tub Time Machine 2To put a little spring in your step, and get your funny bone working, here is the brand-new red band trailer for Hot Tub Time Machine 2. You remember the hilarious original, right? It featured a hot tub, that was a time machine, and a band of misfit comedic actors who got taken back in time to the 80s. Yes, it was epic in all its ridiculousness, and now there is a new chapter of time travelin' hot tubbin' to be done.  Oh, the anticipation!

Scream FactoryScream Factory, the horror imprint of home video distributor Shout Factory which fans have lovingly dubbed “the Criterion of horror,” announced plans for ten new blu-ray titles during their Friday night Comic-Con panel.  Here are the newest members of the Scream Factory Family:

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