In Fifty Shades of Grey, bland and bookish Anastasia Steele gets whisked into the the fantasy world of the handsome and rich Christian Grey only to find he has a particular set of desires he wants her to endure. She naively goes along with it hoping to win his heart. You may have heard of this one, the soft-core book that was originally a work of Twilight fan fiction. Well, now it’s a movie brought to us from Universal and directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson.
This week The Boy Next Door meets Jenny from the Block in this January thriller from Universal Pictures and Blumhouse. Jennifer Lopez plays Claire, a woman who after being cheated on by her husband (John Corbett) is on the mend as her broken family reels from the events. Things are tough for her as her son Kevin (Ian Nelson) grapples with his parents divorce and school where he is relentlessly picked on and her best friend (Kristin Chenoweth) pushes her to get back to the dating scene. When Noah (Ryan Guzman) moves in next door to help his uncle, he becomes a godsend who helps her with her kid and becomes close to her–but like really close to her. A little on the Stacy’s Mom side at first. Don’t worry he’s like twenty and adds into her son’s high school to take her English class for credits toward his diploma. Not weird at all, right?
The holiday movie that has a draw for everyone is Disney’s Christmas release of Into the Woods. It’s Rob Marshall’s (Chicago) adaptation of Sondheim’s broadway gem that showed audiences that happily ever-afters can be trickier than–well what we’ve been led to believe.
So few true story-based films capture a descent percentage of the subject they are capturing. Even if it isn’t a true story, films like Whiplash don’t even come close to the pressures the students feel. So for a film like Foxcatcher to come out, it has to be on point. Bennett Miller’s latest directorial effort is a dark look into the world of the obsession to the a champion and the dangerous lengths some go through to stop being overshadowed by those greater than themselves. That dark and dismal atmosphere that surrounds the film only gets colder and colder as the film progresses. Thanks in part to powerful performances from Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo, and a nearly irreconcilable Steve Carell, Foxcatcher is one of the this year’s best.
Hit the jump for the full Foxcatcher review. [Read more…]
The original Dumb and Dumber was funny. Simple, but funny. And though the film was released in 1994, the comedy still resonates today. With a comedy as hilarious and successful as Dumb and Dumber, a sequel was bound to happen. But comedy sequels are difficult to write, it needs to keep the humor fresh and the characters interesting while not falling into the trap of repeating itself by using silly nods to the original. And maybe because Dumb and Dumber‘s potty humor – and the fact that I watched it when I was ten – made the film so funny. So we get older and the way film’s approach comedy changes. Unfortunately Dumb and Dumber To didn’t get the memo. The sequel lacks everything that made the first one so hilarious, and soils whatever charm the first one had as well. Hit the jump for the full review of Dumb and Dumber To. [Read more…]
Since Disney acquired Marvel Comics back in 2009, the metaphorical door of what the studio could come up with using the properties from the famed comic book house was endless. But instead of going the obvious route by having an animated adaption of an A-list title like Avengers or whatever property they had the rights to, director Don Hall went with a lesser known title called Big Hero 6. We could have gotten a straight up adaptation of the comic book itself, but we get something else. We get something that we have all be waiting for in these kinds of superhero films, a refreshing take that is not only grounded, but good wholesome entertainment.
Big Hero 6 mixes Disney’s gorgeous animation with Marvel’s sense of comic book action well, and Hall and co-director Chris Williams even throw in a few curve balls that changes the traditional storytelling seen in animated films, much like how Frozen changed the way we see characters and themes. The film swings for the fences, and hopefully it will inspire some of the younger audience members to see science in a new light. Hit the jump for the full review. [Read more…]
Disney’s Planes franchise (yes it is a franchise) is one of the most underrated franchises in the studio’s library. Even though the film shares the same universe as Cars, Planes didn’t exactly fit into Pixar’s mold, but still found a home over at Disney’s smaller studio DisneyToons. The first Planes was funny and heartfelt, and while it does have some familiar talent, it doesn’t have the A-List talent we are accustomed to seeing. So Planes is continuing being its own brand of fun by having a sequel, Planes: Fire and Rescue, which was a relative hit at the box office. Now that the DVD/Blu-ray is scheduled for a November 4 release, we are taking a look at whether or not it is worthy of being on your home entertainment shelf. Hit the jump to see if it does. [Read more…]
Rage rage against the dying of the light. Just one of the famous refrains from Dylan Thomas‘ poem that is recited on an almost consistent basis in Christopher Nolan‘s Interstellar. While it’s a powerful poem that is basically lyrical exposition, it does nothing but remind us about the bleak future that awaits our characters should their mission to save earth by finding a new one in galaxies far away fail.
There is no doubt that Nolan is a master of the filmmaking craft. While the average person does not possess the means to travel to worlds beyond our own, we write stories that have characters who do. And they written in such beautiful and descriptive detail, that makes the reader believe that these worlds actually exist. Now you add a visual medium to that story, it becomes enhanced, more life-like than ever before. There is no doubt that Nolan knows how to use empty space and fill it with beauty. Interstellar throws around plenty of ambition, and has deep-provoking thoughts on science and our relationships to our fellow human beings, but all of that is lost in a poorly written script that has familiar beats. Hit the jump for the full review. [Read more…]
Dracula is a pretty iconic character. Since 1931, the character has seen many revisions and alterations, and numerous origins stories, so to sell first time director Gary Shore‘s Dracula Untold, Universal is pitching this as the untold story of Vlad the Impaler, who would become Dracula, by mixing history (or lack thereof), fiction (there is a whole lot of it), visual effects, and by subtly telling us that he isn’t the only monster to walk the earth. In fact, the film is actually an extension of the larger monster universe that Universal is now building where the classic monsters of yesteryear are now walking amongst us in modern times.
Because everyone else’s films are serialized and building to have larger story arcs, why not use it on the classic monsters that we all know and love. Problem is, Dracula Untold kicks things off in the most generic way. While it is a seemingly fun twist on the iconic character, Dracula Untold wastes a whole lot of potential. Hit the jump for more. [Read more…]