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'Terminator Genisys' Is A Baffling Franchise Entry With A Lazy Plot
Production: Action Sequences: 
For a film franchise predicated on time travel, the Terminator series has gotten by relatively unscathed as far as logical deconstructions go. Because the first two films had such a unique vibe, moviegoers were willing to overlook what is largely a very convoluted concept. Terminator Genisys, on the other hand,...

A Strong Cast Makes 'Infinitely Polar Bear' The Most Enjoyable Movie About Manic-Depression That You're Ever Going To See
Production: Acting: 
There's something about autobiographical movies that strikes a chord with audiences. That's what writer/director Maya Forbes (The Rocker, Monsters vs. Aliens) is counting on with her new movie Infinitely Polar Bear.Set in 1978, Infinitely Polar Bear is about a Boston woman named Maggie Stuart (Avatar's Zoe Saldana)...

'I-Lived' Provides Good, Mindless, Forgettable Entertainment, But Very Few Actual Scares
Production: Scary Factor: 
Director Franck Khalfoun had one of the best movies of 2012 with his terrific and terrifying Maniac reimagining. So, how does he follow it up? With the lukewarm techno-horror film i-Lived.I-Lived is about a twenty-something slacker named Josh Fosse (Jeremiah Watkins from "Animeme") who runs a video blog called...

Everyone's Favorite Thunder Buddy Is Back In 'Ted 2'
Production: Comedy Factor: 
After "Family Guy" creator Seth MacFarlane's foul-mouthed teddy bear stole the collective heart of America a few years ago in Ted, the question of a sequel was never "if," but "how long until?" Ladies and gentlemen, the wait is over; Ted 2 is here.Ted 2 picks up a few years after the events of Ted. Ted (again...

'The Overnight' Doesn't Quite Find The Right Balance Between Humor And Heart
Production: Chemistry: 
Comedy Factor: 
After Patrick Brice's first movie, the horror-tinged Creep, made a splash at South by Southwest last year, the writer/director decided to try something completely different for his second feature. He decided to tackle traditional comedy, and the resulting film is The Overnight.The Overnight stars Adam Scott ("Parks...

'Escobar: Paradise Lost' Wastes Good Performances By Benicio Del Toro And Josh Hutcherson On A Mediocre Story
Production: Acting: 
Pablo Escobar was one of the most feared and respected drug kingpins in South America, if not the world. He was known as a cruel and ruthless killer, but he was, in fact, human as well. Escobar: Paradise Lost explores the human side of the monster.Escobar: Paradise Lost is about a young Canadian man named Nick...

'We Are Still Here' Provides A Fresh Take On The Old Haunted House Story
Production: Scary Factor: 
Haunted house movies can be tricky things. When done poorly, they're really bad. When done right, however, they can be unforgettably chilling. The Amityville Horror got it right. So did What Lies Beneath. And The Conjuring. Now, we can add We Are Still Here to that list.We Are Still Here is the story of...

'Dope' Reads Like A Love-Letter To Nineties Hip-Hop Movies
Production: Score & Soundtrack: 
At the beginning of Dope, a title card appears on the screen with the three common definitions of the word; it can mean illegal drugs, it can mean a person of sub-standard intelligence, or it can be a descriptor that refers to something cool or good. All three meanings can be applied to the film in one way or...


Frame Of Mind

Mad LoveThings can get messy when emotions are involved, so love triangles make good backdrops for horror movies, even when two of the three parties don’t realize they’re in a trio.  Whether in 1932 with Tod Browning’s classic Freaks or just last year in Chan-wook Park’s masterpiece Stoker, one thing is perfectly clear; when it comes to horror movies, three’s a crowd.  In 1935, accomplished cinematographer/director Karl Freund (The Mummy) took a love triangle and tossed a mad scientist into the mix, giving the world the aptly titled Mad Love.

Humanoids from the DeepHollywood lost yet another star recently when composer James Horner was killed in a plane crash earlier this week.  Horner is best known by movie buffs as the creator of the scores to Oscar-bait movies such as Titanic, Avatar, and Bravehart, but horror fans remember him for his earlier work on classics like Deadly Blessing, Something Wicked This Way Comes, and, of course, Aliens.  In the early days of his career, Horner went through the “Roger Corman Film School,” and one of his first feature length soundtracks was that of the 1980 creature feature Humanoids from the Deep.

Fresh DressedAh, the good old days.  The birth of hip hop music.  Back when it was possible to judge a book by its cover – or, as the case may be, a person by his fat-laced Adidas sneakers, baggy sweatpants, and Kangol bucket hat.  This is the time period in popular culture that is explored by music journalist Sacha Jenkins’ new documentary Fresh Dressed.

'Index Zero'Italian Director/Screenwriter Lorenzo Sportiello has a very unique vision of the future, as seen in his debut feature film Index Zero. It is the year 2035, and gone are the European Countries we know so well; in their place is the United States of Europe. How this came to be we shall never know. It is accepted, as is the fact that the powers that be are not open and inviting to others. Nor is freedom an option any longer, or the ability to live your life as you wish. The new world order is bleak.

Richard Gere In 'Franny'If you have ever wanted to see Richard Gere (Pretty Woman, The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel) at his eccentric best, watch Franny. Gere stars as the title character Franny, a wealthy philanthropist who has always been a tad outlandish. His behavior becomes altogether erratic after he loses his best friends in a car crash and he is left ultimately alone. Five years later and a call from their daughter Olivia (Dakota Fanning from The Runaways), who Franny always referred to as Poodles, and he is suddenly drawn out of his reclusive state and hell-bent on helping her and her new husband build a life. The catch is of course that Franny has deep psychological wounds following the accident that claimed Olivia’s parents life but spared his and he does not exactly know how to acclimate himself into the young couple’s life.

Tim Roth as Hank Harris in '600 Millas'Simplicity. There a few films made today that act upon the word. They instead feel the need to fill space with the unnecessary, oftentimes to mask the problems that lie within the story being told. Mexican Director Gabriel Ripstein’s 600 Millas (600 Miles) takes the simplistic route to produce a film worthy of the art form. 600 Miles makes simplicity look like the best choice for a filmmaker, and viewers are sure to agree.

Oliver Hirschbiegel's '13 Minutes'A mere 13 minutes would have changed the world forever, and one of the greatest atrocities in history could have been avoided. In German director Oliver Hirschbiegel’s (Downfall, Das Experiment) newest film, the WWII-centered thriller 13 Minutes (Elser), he tells the true story of how one man, working alone, tried to change the world in 1939 by assassinating Adolf Hitler. The film is by far one of the best tellings of real life heroics enacted during the time period, and it is done so as an homage to a man who went unrecognized for his valiant actions for decades.

The Wicker ManLast week, the horror world was rocked by the death of one of its most prolific actors, the iconic Sir Christopher Lee.  Throughout his long and storied career, Lee got to play key villains in Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movies, the Star Wars prequels, and the James Bond film The Man with the Golden Gun.  However, he was best known to horror fans as one of the faces of Hammer horror, appearing in classics like The Curse of Frankenstein, The Devil Rides Out, and Scream of Fear, as well as portraying the legendary Dracula several times for the studio.  Lee also made many horror movies away from Hammer, and one of the most memorable films in his catalog is the 1973 cult classic The Wicker Man.

The WolfpackWhen filmmaker Crystal Moselle first met the Angulo brothers in 2010, they were six wide-eyed teenagers running loose on the streets of the East Village in New York City.  It was literally one of the first times they had ever been outside of their family’s apartment.  Sensing a bigger story, and appealing to the brothers' interest in filmmaking, Moselle made friends with the boys and was granted access to their isolated world for the next five years.  The result is her compelling documentary The Wolfpack.

Robert Carlyle in 'The Legend of Barney Thomson'Barney Thomson is an unassuming Glasgow, Scotland, barber. That is, until a pair of scissors finds its way into the chest of his employer, and Barney is mildly to blame. So begets the story of how Barney Thomson became a legend in his small corner of a big city. As a barber who was on his way to being fired, he now finds himself tasked with covering up a murder, maybe two. In The Legend of Barney Thomson the happenstance of murder is carefully crafted in a dark comedic style, with the guidance of actor-turned-director Robert Carlyle (28 Weeks Later, Trainspotting) who also plays the starring role of Barney.

What Lies BeneathOver the years, some of the most memorable horror films have been made by directors who don’t usually work in the genre.  The Exorcist, a film which is arguably the greatest horror film ever produced, is William Friedkin’s only pure horror film.  After making Near Dark, Kathryn Bigelow turned her attentions to Oscar-bait war movies.  The terrifying Misery was made by Rob “Meathead” Reiner, who came from (and returned to) a comedy background as both an actor and a director.  In 2000, Robert Zemeckis, a filmmaker known for such family classics as Back to the Future, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, and Forrest Gump, dipped his foot into the horror pool with the spooky haunted house flick What Lies Beneath.

Madame BovaryThe classic novel “Madame Bovary” by Gustave Flaubert has been adapted for the stage and screen on numerous occasions, the latest for the screen being director Sophie Barthes’ with screenwriter Felipe Marino. Madame Bovary is the story of a young woman who marries a country doctor only to discover the life she has been given is far from what she desires. The simpleness of country life does not suit Madame Bovary, and in order to gain fulfillment she looks elsewhere—in the beds of multiple men and in the all too inviting local merchant who tempts her with the splendors of the wealthy, regardless of cost and future detriment.

Mark of the VampireTod Browning is known to most movie fans as the director of the classic Universal horror film Dracula.  The seminal Bram Stoker tale is not Browning’s only foray into the vampire mythos, however; four years earlier, in 1927, Browning made London After Midnight with Lon Chaney, and four years after, in 1935, Browning essentially remade the same movie with his Dracula star Bela Lugosi, calling it Mark of the Vampire.

Monkey ShinesThe modern incarnation of the zombie was practically invented by George A. Romero.  Even with the added speed and agility of the remake-era zombies, the blueprint of Romero’s mindless undead brain-eater is still readily apparent.  Because of all of his influential work within the zombie subgenre, it’s easy to forget that he made non-zombie movies as well, and great ones at that, movies like Martin and The Dark Half.  One of Romero’s greatest non-zombie movies is also one of his best overall films, the animal horror movie Monkey Shines.

Dark Star: H.R. Giger's WorldVisual artist Hans Rudolf Giger is one of the most enigmatic of pop culture icons.  His distinct work is everywhere, from the production design for the sci-fi/horror movie Alien to his album covers for groups like Emerson, Lake & Palmer and Dead Kennedys, but few fans know much about the man himself.  And, after seeing Dark Star: H.R. Giger’s World, they still won’t know much about him.

Kurt Cobain: Montage of HeckFor as iconic of a figure as Nirvana leader Kurt Cobain is, fans of the musician really haven’t gotten the documentary about the man that they have always wanted.  There was Kurt & Courtney, Nick Broomfield’s totally unsanctioned 1998 film that focused more on the suspicious circumstances that surrounded the death of the rock star than on his life itself.  Then, there was About a Son, the 2006 snorefest that paired up author Michael Azerrad’s interview tapes with Cobain with a bunch of boring cinematography in an attempt to capture the desolation and despair of the singer’s old Washington state stomping grounds.  But audiences have never gotten an honest depiction of the man behind the music.  Until now.

Lambert & StampEvery good rock and roll act has been backed up by a good manager.  Elvis Presley had Colonel Tom Parker.  The Beatles had Brian Epstein.  And The Who had Kit Lambert and Chris Stamp, who are the subjects of a conveniently titled documentary called Lambert & Stamp.

Avengers: Age of UltronMovies that take place in the Marvel universe are hit-or-miss for the majority of filmgoers--uber fans of the characters/mythology tend to have a blind eye to a respective films misgivings. Every so often a Marvel movie gets its right, as with Iron Man and Thor. The Avengers was not so lucky, if luck really has anything to do with it in Hollywood. The pairing of a great many of the favorite Marvel universe characters has been redeemed in the follow-up sequel: Avengers: Age of Ultron.

Blue SunshineHorror movies are so simple when there’s a clear-cut antagonist, someone like Jason Voorhees, Freddy Krueger, or Michael Myers to play the villain role.  Sometimes, things aren’t quite so obvious, such as when zombies look like regular people in movies like Dead & Buried or when aliens take the form of other organisms such as in The Thing.  And things get really complicated when the threat is completely ambiguous, as is the case with the newest sensation horror film It Follows.  Way back in 1978, however, underdog horror writer/director Jeff Lieberman pondered what would happen if something that someone experienced in their past could affect their present state, using drugs as its example, and brought us Blue Sunshine.

Courtesy of Sony Pictures ClassicsFor more than forty years, Sabastião Salgado has been one of the premier social documentary photographers in the world.  He’s worked for newspapers and magazines, photo agencies and photographers’ cooperatives, and has even been a UNiCef Goodwill Ambassador.  Now, Sebastião’s son, Juliano Ribeiro Salgado, has teamed up with narrative and documentary filmmaker Wim Wenders (Buena Vista Social Club, Pina) to make a movie called The Salt of the Earth about his father’s life, work, and most importantly, his photographs.

Wild CardLas Vegas. The mere mention of its name provokes Hollywood movie memories from all genres. It is an eternal movie city that can feature any sort of hijinks, madness, mayhem, murder, sin, romance, and anything else a Hollywood screenwriter can dream up to place on the page. The time has come for Las Vegas to meet Jason Statham in Simon West's Wild Card. The meeting of the pair, a city and an actor who both play the same character whenever they appear on screen, is an exciting idea that has come at a price. That price being a loss of wonder for both as Wild Card is without a doubt a disordered attempt at merging two of the movie world's best "characters" on screen.

An Honest LiarRandall James Hamilton Zwinge, better known as The Amazing Randi, is one of the greatest and most renowned magicians in the world.  In his day, he would amaze and confound audiences with his Houdini-like escapes and tricks.  Later on in his life, also like Harry Houdini, Randi would serve the same masses that he used to deceive by routinely exposing fraudulent clairvoyants and debunking phony psychics.  Because of this, he was known as one of the “good” magicians, an illusionist on the people’s side.  The perfect name for a documentary about him is An Honest Liar.

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.

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.

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.

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'Masterminds' PosterIf you took Zach Galifianakis, Owen Wilson, Kristen Wiig, and Jason Sudeikis and put them in a movie the last thing you would think to call it is Masterminds. Unless it is a comedy, of course. Director Jared Hess’ (Napolean Dynamite, Gentlemen Broncos—one of my favorite comedies, ever) newest film is Masterminds, and it features all of the aforementioned A-list comedy talent. Are you interested? You should be.

Jurassic WorldEveryone loves dinosaurs. Everyone especially loves movies that feature dinosaurs. If you don’t believe me, let the numbers speak for themselves.

Jurassic World has set a new record for biggest global opening in history.

Jurassic World is a movie that features dinosaurs…lots of dinosaurs.

'Everest' Trailer 1 ScreenshotWith an opening line to the trailer that screams drama—”Our bodies will be literally dying”—Everest is painting a very vivid picture of what is in store for the characters, and us as viewers, during the film. To watch the trailer is to marvel at the environment that is Mount Everest, to establish the connections between characters and their lives, but most of all it is to witness how control is something one loses when you decide to go where your own body has no right being, naturally. 

Mission: Impossible Rogue NationThe last Mission: Impossible franchise film, Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol, was released in December 2011. A popular time of year for big movie releases, but not ideal for action-packed offerings. That all changes with Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation because it is getting a summer release right smack in the middle of the season, July 31.

'Fantastic 4' Character BannerTen years ago, Fantastic Four debuted in cinemas when superhero movies were few and far between. That was 2005, it is now 2015, and the superhero subgenre dominates the box office each and every year thanks to the large stable of Marvel characters, and the occasional other. There is no set amount of time for when a franchise may be rebooted, and Fantastic Four is the newest in a long line that has been given such treatment.

Four character posters have been released for the film, just in case you have forgotten who the "Fantastic Four" are in the Marvel universe.

'The Visit' PosterOnce upon a time, a hot new director/writer named M. Night Shyamalan came on the Hollywood scene, stumping audiences worldwide with The Sixth Sense and brandishing a name for himself as one who would challenge moviegoers. Then he made another film, called Signs, and then Unbreakable, The Village, and before long each and every film created by M. Night Shyamalan fared worse than the last. It wasn't just bad luck, it was horrific moviemaking.

Hollywood should have given up completely on him by now. But they have not.

Tom Hardy in Mad Max Fury RoadThere is no denying that the Mad Max trilogy of films is iconic. To say they have created a legacy that stands to continue is perfectly acceptable, especially when it involves filling Mel Gibson's shoes with Tom Hardy in the titular role of Max Rckatansky, akaMad Max. It has been 30 years since audiences were engulfed in the post-apocalyptic wasteland that is the backdrop for the Mad Max series of films. The time has surely come to revisit it, and Mad Max: Fury Road will do just that when it hits theatres May 15.

The Gallows, 2015Summer would not be complete without at least one horror movie on the schedule. Blumhouse Productions, who is responsible for scaring audiences with such films as Oculus and Insidious: Chapter 2, has big plans for the 2015 summer season. Insidious: Chapter 3 hits theatres June 5, but another movie on their roster wants to scare the living daylights out of you in July--The Gallows.

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.

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