Friday, January 31, 2014

Marvel Teases 'Captain America: The Winter Soldier' Super Bowl Commercial


Starting in April, the world of movies and superheroes is going to get very exciting! Just this year, we're getting Spider-Man and the X-Men back on our silver screens. But before those two superhero franchises debut in May, we get our next Avenger-installment in the form of Captain America: The Winter Soldier
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David O. Russell to Direct Miracle Mop Inventor Biopic; Jennifer Lawrence Set to Star


In Jennifer Lawrence's short career, she's managed to woo the American public and is already one of the most sought-after actresses in the business. Last year's Oscar win for Best Actress for David O. Russell's Silver Linings Playbook didn't hurt either. Lawrence has worked with Russell twice so far (the second time most recently in American Hustle) and it looks like she's set to work with the director again for a new biopic about the inventor of the self-wringing Miracle Mop, Joy Mangano. 
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Thursday, January 30, 2014

Review: 'That Awkward Moment', Starring Zac Efron, Miles Teller, and Michael B. Jordan

Release Date: January 31, 2014
Director: Tom Gormican
Screenwriter: Tom Gormican
Cast: Zac Efron, Miles Teller, Michael B. Jordan, Imogen Poots, Mackenzie Davis, Jessica Lucas
Genre: Comedy
MPAA Rating: R for sexual content and language throughout
Movie Examiner Score: ½


If you watch the trailer for That Awkward Moment, it's a little deceiving, as some trailers are. It'll show the three main characters making a pact to not get into a relationship and stay single. You'll see them go through girl after girl and funny moments you might have been looking forward to in the movie which get thrown out the window when the entire scene actually plays out. In a nutshell, first-time director Tom Gormican gives us an occasionally funny romantic comedy (because that's essentially what it is) disguised as a man flick with not much else to look forward to. 
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Review: 'Labor Day', Starring Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin

Release Date: January 31, 2014
Director: Jason Reitman
Screenwriter: Jason Reitman
Cast: Kate Winslet, Josh Brolin, Gattlin Griffith, Clark Gregg, Tobey Maguire, James Van Der Beek, Tom Lipinski
Genre: Drama
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for thematic material, brief violence and sexuality
Movie Examiner Score: 


In the summer of 1987, Henry Wheeler (Gattlin Griffith ) is just about ready to start a new year of school. The story is narrated by the older version of himself (Tobey Maguire) as Harry tells about his life and how he takes care of his depressed, anxious, and agoraphobia-ridden mother Adele (Kate Winslet) after his dad (Clark Gregg) left and married the babysitter. Henry dotes on his mother, playing "husband for a day," and being more adult and responsible than the average kid. 
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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Review: 'Janapar - Love on a Bike', Starring Tom Allen

Release Date: January 28, 2014
Director: James Newton, Tom Allen
Movie Examiner Score: ½


There are a lot of journey and destination movies out there. A lot of them are fiction, several are not. Most recently filling in this journey category is The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. And as much as that film's message is clear, Janapar - Love on a Bike is somehow more fulfilling a movie as it follows the real-life journey of Tom Allen and spans several countries and three years worth of footage from the trip. It's inspirational, intriguing, and contemplative. Allen sets himself up and follows through on a film that's just as fulfilling as the cycling tour he takes. 
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New on DVD & Blu-Ray: 'Rush', 'Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2', 'Last Vegas'

Rush - Director Ron Howard makes a racing movie that isn't just about racing, but about the rivalry and intriguing relationship between real-life Formula One racers James Hunt and Niki Lauda. The movie balances the racers' personal life, their careers, and the impact their relationship has on each other from the moment they began competing. An underrated film of 2013 filled with great performances. The film stars Chris Hemsworth, Daniel Bruhl, Olivia Wilde, and Alexandra Maria Lara. 

BUY NOW
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Monday, January 27, 2014

New 'Maleficent' Trailer Includes a Sinister Twist on a Classic Song


Disney has always had a way of taking their own beloved movies and twisting them around. And with the new trailer of Maleficent, they've even taken what was once a sweet song from Sleeping Beauty and twisted it into something far more creepy and sinister-sounding. The new trailer for the movie doesn't have much in the way of dialogue, but it gives us glimpses into battles, Angelina Jolie's evil laugh, and lots of magical creatures. There's also no doubt that Jolie looks just like the character we've all come to know. 
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Thursday, January 23, 2014

Review: 'Gimme Shelter', Starring Vanessa Hudgens and Rosario Dawson

Release Date: January 24, 2014
Director: Ron Krauss
Screenwriter: Ron Krauss
Cast: Vanessa Hudgens, Rosario Dawson, Brendan Fraser, James Earl Jones, Ann Dowd, Emily Meade
Genre: Drama
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for mature thematic material involving mistreatment, some drug content, violence, and language - all concerning teens
Movie Examiner Score: 


Vanessa Hudgens has come a long way since her High School Musical days. She's definitely grown as an actress and has branched out into roles that no one would have seen her taking on a few years ago. So there's something even more refreshing about her role in Gimme Shelter, and her dedication to playing the part the right way. Her portrayal of pregnant teenager Apple works in a movie where not everything does. 
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Interview: Vanessa Hudgens Talks 'Gimme Shelter' and Tackling the Role of Apple


Vanessa Hudgens has had an interesting career so far. While she started acting in 2002, she didn't get her big break until Disney came calling in 2006 and High School Musical, the Disney Channel TV movie, put Hudgens on the map. After three movies and a few hit and get-stuck-in-your-head songs, Hudgens was so associated with the role of Gabriella that she really needed something different to shake off her previous image. 

And in the last few years, and several varying films that include Frozen Ground and Spring Breakers, Hudgens has proved herself an actress to look out for. She's shown that she isn't willing to rest on her former Disney fame and has taken risks that have served her well in her career. 
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Sunday, January 19, 2014

Michael Peña Gets Serious in New Trailer for 'Cesar Chavez'


The long-awaited trailer for Cesar Chavez is finally here and looks to be a role that star Michael Peña will leave a powerful impression on. Peña plays the title character, based on the true story of the Mexican-American activist who led the Delano grape strike in the 1960s that lasted five years and he helped fight for the rights of farms workers. Chavez earned the support of Robert Kennedy when he went on a 25-day hunger strike in 1968. 
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Friday, January 17, 2014

'12 Years a Slave' Wins Best Picture at the 2014 Critics' Choice Awards


The 19th annual Critics' Choice Awards aired live last night, January 16, on The CW Network and was hosted by Whose Line is it Anyway? host Aisha Tyler. The awards are voted on by the Broadcast Film Critics Association. The top honor this year went to 12 Years a Slave for Best Picture. Lupita Nyong'o also picked up an award for Best Supporting Actress.
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Thursday, January 16, 2014

Review: 'Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit', Starring Chris Pine, Kevin Costner, and Keira Knightley

Release Date: January 17, 2014
Director: Kenneth Branagh
Screenwriters: Adam Cozad, David Koepp
Cast: Chris Pine, Kevin Costner, Keira Knightley, Kenneth Branagh, Alec Utgoff
Genre: Supense, Action
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sequences of violence and intense action, and brief strong language
Movie Examiner Score: 

Kevin Costner was courted to play Jack Ryan way back in The Hunt for Red October, the first film starring Tom Clancy's analyst. We all know how that story goes though, since they cast Alec Baldwin for the role instead because Costner was busy with Dances With Wolves. Ironically enough, Costner finally gets to be in a Jack Ryan movie, albeit not playing the title character himself. 

Kenneth Branagh brings us the reboot of the franchise with a little bit into Jack's background, a little bit of action, a little bit of suspense, and nothing that is ultimately memorable or new to fans of Ryan's stories except for the more modern global economy and readjustments to geopolitics.
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New on DVD & Blu-Ray: Lee Daniels' 'The Butler', 'Riddick', 'Enough Said'

Lee Daniels' The Butler - Cecil Gaines served eight presidents in his lifetime as the one of the butlers in the White House. He sees the Civil Rights Movement, the Vietnam War, and other major American historical events through the inside of the president's walls. The film stars Forest Whitaker, Oprah Winfrey, Terrence Howard, Cuba Gooding, Jr., David Oyelowo, and also includes cameos by Alan Rickman, Liev Shrieber, James Marsden, John Cusack, and Robin Williams. 

BUY NOW!

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Review: 'Ride Along', Starring Ice Cube and Kevin Hart

Release Date: January 17, 2014
Director: Tim Story
Screenwriters: Greg Coolidge, Jason Mantzoukas, Phil Hay, Matt Manfredi
Cast: Ice Cube, Kevin Hart, Laurence Fishburne, Tika Sumpter, John Leguizamo, Bruce McGill, Bryan Callen
Genre: Comedy
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sequences of violence, sexual content, and brief strong language
Movie Examiner Score: ½


It's really hard to dislike buddy cop movies regardless of how many there are out there. Yes, they cover the same territory, one's always more sour than the other, and though they hate each other in the beginning, they become comrades by the end of the film. It's all been there, done that, and Ride Along is much of the same. Director Tim Story doesn't try very hard to make it into anything original, and maybe that's his whole point. 
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'American Hustle' and 'Gravity' Lead the 2014 Oscar Nominees; '12 Years a Slave' Not Far Behind



Awards season is upon us and we've already gotten one down, with a few more to go. And while the Golden Globes aired last Sunday with little overall fanfare and a few surprise winners, it's safe to say that everyone's been awaiting the nominations announcement for the upcoming Academy Awards. 
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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Review: 'G.B.F.', Starring Michael J. Willett and Paul Iocono

Release Date: January 17, 2014
Director: Darren Stein
Screenwriters: George Northy
Cast: Michael J. Willett, Paul Iocono, Andrea Bowen, Xasha Roquemore, Sasha Pieterse, Joanna 'Jojo' Levesque, Mollie Tarlov, Taylor Frey, Derek Mio, Megan Mullally, Natasha Lyonne, Evanna Lynch
Genre: Teen Comedy
MPAA Rating: R for sexual references 
Movie Examiner Score: 


Darren Stein was definitely going for a very Mean Girls-esque film when he sat down to direct G.B.F. Not only does the film include teen queen bees, but also a plethora of semi-quotable lines that have the film feeling very much like the much younger sister of Tina Fey's successful comedy. And that fact seems to sit well with Stein given his take and execution of the film, and winds up serving the movie well. 
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DVD Review: 'Voodoo Possession', Starring Danny Trejo

Release Date: January 14, 2014
Director: Walter Boholst
Screenwriter: Walter Boholst
Cast: Danny Trejo, Ryan Caltagirone, Kerry Knuppe, David Thomas Jenkins, Tomas Boykin
Genre: Horror
Movie Examiner Score: 


Horror is a hard genre to pull off. Some of them are your run-of-the-mill types, other attempt to give us some kind of plot, others are just there to frustrate or scare. More often than not, it's hard to strike a balance between all these things to bring the audience an interesting experience that isn't only about the scares. Voodoo Possession tries to be both a scary horror and a more layered psychological film but has a lot of trouble trying to keep up with itself and its ambition to do far too much with too little.
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Friday, January 10, 2014

Review: 'The Legend of Hercules', Starring Kellan Lutz

Release Date: January 10, 2014
Director: Renny Harlin
Screenwriters: Daniel Giat, Renny Harlin, Sean Hood, Giulio Steve
Cast: Kellan Lutz, Gaia Weiss, Roxanne McKee, Scott Adkins, Liam Garrigan, Liam McIntyre
Genre: Fantasy, Action
MPAA Rating: PG-13 sequences of intense combat action and violence, and for some sensuality
Movie Examiner Score: 


If anyone wants to understand a lot about our modern pop culture, they need only to study Greek mythology. Their heroes, their gods, their stories. And if the Ancient Greeks found out what was to become of their legendary Hercules, his story and his adventures, they'd either be on the floor laughing their asses off or quietly preparing for war against Hollywood. Granted, the story of Hercules has been skewered many times, but Renny Harlin's Legend of Hercules really takes the cake when it comes to being one of the worst adaptations about the hero. Ever. 
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Thursday, January 9, 2014

Review: 'The Past', Starring Ali Mosaffa, Berenice Bejo, and Tahar Rahim

Release Date: January 10, 2014
Director: Asghar Farhadi
Screenwriter: Asghar Farhadi, Massoumeh Lahidji (adaptation)
Cast: Ali Mosaffa, Berenice Bejo, Tahar Rahim, Pauline Berlet, Jeanne Jestin, Elyes Aguis, Sabrina Ouazani
Genre: Drama
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for mature thematic material and brief strong language
Movie Examiner Score: 


When Asghar Farhadi makes a movie, you know it's going to be pretty special. The director knows how to combine human drama and doing the unexpected when you least expect it. Having won an Oscar for his film A Separation, it's not a surprise that The Past (Le Passe in French) is pretty up to par with what we've seen of Farhadi's work before. He gets inside his characters and breaks apart everything you may think you already know. It makes for an intriguing mystery and an intense drama that's well acted and well executed. 
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Review: 'Lone Survivor', Starring Mark Wahlberg and Taylor Kitsch

Release Date: January 10, 2014
Director: Peter Berg
Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch, Emile Hirsch, Ben Foster, Eric Bana, Ali Suliman, Alexander Ludwig, Yousuf Azami
Genre: Action, Drama
MPAA Rating: R for strong bloody war violence and pervasive language
Movie Examiner Score: 


There are just some movies that are hard to watch. That's the reality. Lone Survivor is one of those films. It's based on the true story and book by Marcus Luttrell with Patrick Robinson, and you can immediately tell that everyone involved with the movie wanted it to be as realistic as possible. And even though the title kind of gives away the film's ending, the film keeps its focus on the mission events and its de-construction of war and its anti-glorification when in battle. 
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Two New Pictures Feature Beast and First Look at Quicksilver in 'X-Men: Days of Future Past'


A lot of excitement and anticipation is riding on Bryan Singer's X-Men: Days of Future Past. After the greatness that was X-Men: First Class, and as the director of the first two X-Men films in the franchise, Singer seems more pumped than pressured at this point. It's obviously not a reboot, but not a regular sequel either, since Singer is calling it an "inbetweequel". And in a sense, he's pretty accurate since this will not be the last we see of the X-Men. The next film, which was confirmed by Singer via his Twitter, will include the famed antagonist called Apocalypse and is set to hit theaters in 2016. 
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Review: 'August: Osage County', Starring Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, and Chris Cooper

Release Date: January 10, 2014
Director: John Wells
Screenwriter: Tracy Letts
Cast: Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Chris Cooper, Margo Martindale, Juliette Lewis, Sam Shepard, Ewan McGregor, Benedict Cumberbatch, Julianne Nicholson, Abigail Breslin, Dermot Mulroney, Misty Upham
Genre: Drama
MPAA Rating: R for language including sexual references and for drug material
Movie Examiner Score: 


If there was an award for the most effed up family, it would most definitely go to the family in August: Osage County. As far as family drama goes, Meryl Streep and co. have a lot going for them, but although the movie boasts a star-studded cast, it builds itself up pretty well but then doesn't go anywhere in the second act. It feels like drama piled on top of drama and no leeway for anything deeper than that. The performances, however, are what keep the film from falling apart completely. 
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Wednesday, January 8, 2014

'Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit' Features Keira Knightley in One of Two New Clips


In a little over a week, Paramount will regale us with the tale of Jack Ryan. Except, this will be a newer, more modern version of Jack Ryan and more of an origin story for the well-known Tom Clancy character. It'll be the first movie that isn't based on any of Clancy's previous books about the CIA analyst and Chris Pine will be the fourth actor to step into the character's shoes. 
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New Japanese Trailer for 'Snowpiercer' Debuts New Footage


Snowpiercer has been a long time in the making for director Joon-ho Bong. It's Bong's first English-speaking film and a couple of trailers have already been released for the film, including a new Japanese trailer. The movie is set to hit theaters in Japan on February 7, but it's yet unknown when the U.S. and UK are going to be seeing what looks to be a fantastic science fiction thriller. The trailer is pretty intense and action-packed, giving us glimpses of new scenes that weren't shown in previous trailers. 
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New on DVD & Blu-Ray: 'Runner Runner', 'Thanks for Sharing', 'Closed Circuit'

Runner Runner - Justin Timberlake goes to work for Ben Affleck in this film about a grad student who gets in way over his head when he goes to Costa Rica to confront the head of a gambling website only to end up working for him. Throw in Gemma Arterton and Anthony Mackie as the FBI agent who's been on the look out for Affleck, who plays a pretty good arrogant bad guy, and you've got Runner Runner

BUY IT NOW


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Tuesday, January 7, 2014

News Roundup, Jan. 7: Three New Posters for 'The Amazing Spider-Man 2'; 'Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit' Premieres Extended Clip; More





**Three new posters for The Amazing Spider-Man 2 -- The film hits theaters in a few months, and Sony's getting a head start on marketing what's expected to be a great follow-up to its 2012 predecessor. The sequel sees our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man finding out more about his father's secrets, maintaining his relationship with Gwen Stacy, and battling not one, but two villains. The posters above show Spidey going head-to-head with Electro in Times Square. The film hits theater May 2, and stars Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Jamie Foxx, Paul Giamatti, Dane DeHaan, and Sally Field.  
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