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The Latest Movie Reviews
'Get Hard' Is The Definition Of Lazy Comedic Filmmaking
Production: Comedy Factor: 
Hey, did you know that in prison there is a chance of sexual assault? Is that funny?! In case you didn't know, let me point you in the direction of Get Hard, the comedic pairing of last-gen funny man Will Ferrell (The Campaign) and new-gen funny man Kevin Hart (Ride Along). Get Hard is what you get when a series...

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'Serena' May Be The Movie That Bradley Cooper And Jennifer Lawrence Will Want People To Forget
Production: Acting: 
Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper are currently two of Hollywood's brightest stars, her being at the center of the successful The Hunger Games franchise and him coming off of an impressive Oscar-nominated performance in American Sniper. The pair have even struck gold when appearing in movies together, both...

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'The Gunman' Has Too Much Muscle, Not Enough Brain
Production: Action Sequences: 
Sean Penn is not an action star. As a two-time Oscar winner, Penn has established himself as a method actor capable of immersing himself into any role, but never has that performance required an overwhelming sense of machismo...until now with The Gunman The Gunman is very much up Sean Penn's alley, with its...

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'Insurgent' Is A Step In The Right Direction, But Still Falls Into The Same Old Traps As 'Divergent'
Production: Action Sequences: 
The only thing better than a hit movie is a hit franchise. So, of course, movie producers love the new wave of young adult books - there's never just one, they all come in series. And what's not to love about a loyal, built in audience? Following closely on the heels of the Twilight and The Hunger Games franchises...

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'Backcountry' - Just When You Thought It Was Safe To Go Back Into The Woods
Production: Cinematography: 
Sound: Scary Factor: 
Man-versus-nature is one of the most tried-and-true setups for a horror movie. There's nothing quite like Jaws to make a viewer afraid of the ocean, or The Blair Witch Project to scare someone out of going hiking. But, just because a theme has been done a few (hundred) times doesn't mean that it isn't effective....

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'Wild Tales' Is A Wildly Entertaining Batch Of Explosive And Volatile Short Films
Production: Directing: 
Argentinian writer/director Damián Szifrón has extensive experience in television ("Hermanos y detectives") and short films (Punto muerto), so it really comes as no surprise that his latest film, Wild Tales, which is also the Argentinian submission into the best foreign language film category for the 2015 Academy...

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'Run All Night' Is Just Another Liam Neeson Movie
Production: Action Sequences: 
If ever there were a low risk, of-the-moment proposition in Hollywood it would be Liam Neeson in an early year action/thriller. Ever since Taken, the now 60-year-old actor has been on an action heavy tear, popping out slightly different thrillers with the regularity of a spring chicken. His latest, Run All Night,...

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'It Follows' Throws Back To The Teen Horrors Of Yesteryear - And It Scares The Hell Out Of You, Too
Production: Cinematography: 
Score & Soundtrack: Scary Factor: 
Sex has always been a dangerous thing in horror movies. It's been an unwritten rule since the golden age of the slasher that sex equals death, and modern movies like Teeth and Contracted have raised the stakes by finding creative ways for impure teenagers to die. Following the same tradition, It Follows is enough...

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The Glass Slipper Still Fits In 'Cinderella'
Production: Writing: 
Over the last few decades, filmmakers far and wide have tried their hand at delivering a live action Cinderella. Some have been more successful than others, with a few opting for a more free form adaptation while most adhere as close to the original as possible. Disney's latest attempt at a live action adaptation,...

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''71' - The Other Jack O'Connell War Movie
Production: Cinematography: 
Sound: 
Last year, Jack O'Connell portraying an American prisoner of war was one of the bright spots in the mostly disappointing Unbroken. In '71, the young actor gets to show off his range; this time, he plays a member of the British Army who is trapped in enemy territory. O'Connell stars in '71 as Private Gary Hook,...

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Also Playing in Theatres
'Unfinished Business' Is Barely A Movie
'The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel' Is The Second Best Movie in the Franchise
'Chappie' Lacks Focus, And Not Even Fighting Robots Can Fully Save It
'Timbuktu' - An Important Film Whose Little Moments Are More Compelling Than Its Story
'The Salvation' Is An All-American Western Made By A Bunch Of Danes
'Focus' Is A Sexy Con Movie That's A Little Too Neat
'The Lazarus Effect' Should Come With A Do-Not-Resuscitate Order
'Leviathan' Is The Feel-Bad Movie Of The Winter
'Gett: The Trial Of Viviane Amsalem' Is Not Just Another Standard Courtroom Drama
'The DUFF' Is A Modern Teen Comedy That's DULL
'Hot Tub Time Machine 2': Wasted Time
With 'Digging Up The Marrow,' Adam Green Makes A "Good" Found Footage Movie
'The Last Five Years' Is A Romance Made For The Bitter, And The Sappy
'What We Do In The Shadows' Provides More Laughs Than Screams, But Still Has Plenty Of Bite
'Kingsman: The Secret Service' Is Slick Spy Action With A Hard Edge
'Fifty Shades Of Grey' Is Destined For Life As A Cult Classic Midnight Movie
The Visual Beauty of 'The Duke Of Burgundy' More Than Makes Up For Its Lack Of Plot
'Jupiter Ascending' Fails To Rise Above Generic Sci-Fi Fare
Julianne Moore's Masterful Performance Anchors 'Still Alice,' A Film That Is As Heartfelt As It Is Heartbreaking
'Black Sea' Packs A Ton Of Suspense And Intrigue Into A Tiny Little Submarine
Jean-Pierre And Luc Dardenne Let Marion Cotillard Shine In 'Two Days, One Night'
'Blackhat': Hacking For Dummies
'Paddington' Will Have Children Of All Ages Smiling From Ear To Ear
'Inherent Vice': Results May Vary On Your Psychedelic Trip
'Selma' Takes A Powerful Look Into The Life Of A Great Man
'A Most Violent Year' Tries To Hide A Tediously Wordy Story Behind A Bunch Of Gloss...And It Almost Works
'Into the Woods' Captures The Spirit Of Sondheim In A Fun Hollywood Mashup
'The Gambler' Is An Aimless Remake Of Little Import
'Big Eyes' Is A Paint By Numbers Biopic
'Wild' Is A Wildly Unbalanced Journey, But At Least It's Pretty
'Exodus: Gods and Kings' Is A Hollow Biblical Epic
'Late Phases' Brings Back The Classic Werewolf Fighting Movie
'Life Partners' Keeps It Light And Familiar, But Still Stays Fun

Frame Of Mind

Jacob's LadderSome of the most horrifying movies ever made have been war movies.  No one can argue that the opening scene of Saving Private Ryan and the Russian roulette scene in The Deer Hunter are as scary as any traditional horror film.  When horror movies mix with war movies, things get really frightening   Case in point: Jacob’s Ladder.

The Hunting GroundA couple of years ago, writer/director Kirby Dick and producer Amy Ziering broke the silence on the issue of sexual assault in the military with their gripping documentary The Invisible War.  Now, they have tackled the same problem on college campuses with their newest film The Hunting Ground.

Night TerrorDriving can be such a repetitive and menial chore – unless the driver happens to be in a horror film.  Because of the loneliness and isolation, long stretches of roadway make great settings for movies, whether the action takes place during the day or night.  From Steven Spielberg’s Duel to Victor Salva’s Jeepers Creepers, drivers are never safe as long as they’re on the road.  This message was delivered loud and clear in a 1977 television movie called Night Terror.

Merchants of DoubtWhenever there’s a controversial subject, each side of the debate has its experts that provide scientific and credible evidence of their argument’s superiority to the opposition.  The practice of spin doctoring has been around for decades without a whole lot of change.  But who are these “experts,” and what makes them so knowledgeable?  That’s the question at the heart of Merchants of Doubt.

The Wrecking CrewGuitar Player magazine once described guitarist Tommy Tedesco as the most recorded guitarist in history.  The funny thing is that most listeners would never even know it was him playing.  The twangy galloping acoustic guitar on the “Bonanza” theme?  The fuzzy, distorted intro riff to “Green Acres?”  The silly wah-wah solo that signaled the beginning of “Three’s Company?”  All Tommy Tedesco.  It turns out, Tedesco was only one of the unsung studio musicians of the Los Angeles scene.  There was a group of about twenty or so seasoned professionals who seemingly played on every record made on the west coast in the sixties and seventies.  This group, and the documentary film that is named after them, is known as The Wrecking Crew.

Red ArmyWhen sports fans think about dynasties, there are certain names that come to mind.  The New York Yankees have dominated Major League Baseball for nearly a hundred years.  The Chicago Bulls of the nineties ruled the basketball courts.  The National Football League’s San Francisco 49ers won five Super Bowls in the eighties and early nineties.  But perhaps the most successful dynasty of all time worked its magic on the ice, and we’re not talking about the Montreal Canadiens.  For a long time, the most feared hockey team on the planet was the USSR Men’s National Ice Hockey Team, and they are the subject of a fascinating new documentary called Red Army.

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.

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.

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.

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

Hollywood Sign - Photo Source: Wikipedia CommonsIf you're pursuing a career in the entertainment industry or simply like to know what's going on in Hollywood, you're likely interested in keeping up with the latest news and offerings in the industry as-they-happen. Because the television and movie industries move forward and evolve so quickly, it can oftentimes be challenging to stay current--it doesn't have to be.

2015 Oscar PreviewThe Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has released the list of nominees for the 87th Academy Awards, with the ceremony scheduled to take place on February 22, 2015.  As usual, there are safe bets and snubs, but the quality of the cinematic output for the year was high enough to make some of this year’s decisions pretty tough.  Here’s a look at the nominees – and potential winners – in some of the major categories.

Jurassic World Poster - 1The moment has arrived, Universal unleashed the first trailer for Jurassic World. Call it a re-boot, a re-make, a complete waste of time, or the best thing to come in 2015. Whatever you do, don't ever tell this movie lover that you don't care about Jurassic World; my bite is ferocious.

From the trailer, there are questions that will surely be raised. My biggest one is whether or not there will be a reference to the prior three films, or whether Jurassic World is poised to stand on its own and in fact be a new telling of the famous story about the dinos we love ever so much on screen. The trailer makes me think that it is an entirely new story, with the park being created anew and any signs of the past washed away by Hollywood's ever-present eraser.

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).

**Read more from Frame Of Mind and the News Section**
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