“The Purge: Anarchy” Review – Gritter, Darker, And Better Than The Original

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Some sequels are superior than their predecessor, than there are those that aren’t. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is clearly not better than its predecessor, but that really isn’t saying much since the first film set the bar so low.  And considering how other sequels this year are better their predecessor, it should be interesting to see which sequel isn’t better than the first film.  So while The Purge wasn’t the best film last year, it’s concept did lend itself to have a franchise.  And thanks in part to The Purge‘s huge success, Universal went ahead and greenlit a sequel.

The Purge: Anarchy does what every sequel is suppose to do.  Be different, but also use the foundation that has already been set.  Introduce new character that will bring a new dynamic to the potential franchise.  Just be better than the first film.  And that is what The Purge: Anarchy does.  Not only is it darker than the first, but it is so much more engaging and thrilling as well.  It’s the kind of the grittty edge of your seat thriller that is fun, but could have you converse about the political issues that is brought up.  Hit the jump for the full review. [Read more...]

“Planes: Fire And Rescue” Review

Planes was one of the biggest surprise hits of last year. The film had a rough takeoff from the start. It was originally set to be a a direct to DVD film, Planes then took off to be a feature film, but lost its lead voice, Jon Cryer. Dane Cook was named as his replacement, but that name didn’t inspire confidence. And despite the shoddy animation, and familiar screenplay, Planes worked. It was actually a likeable film.

Since the first film was scheduled on the tail end of the summer blockbuster season, it was a perfect time to cleanse the cinematic pallet, which was burdened with an over saturation of superhero films. And because of that, it was one of Disney’s surprise box office hits. Of course since it was a hit, that would mean it would need a sequel. And now we have Planes: Fire And Rescue, which, again, looked like a tired and old animated film that deserves to be a direct to DVD, but is surprisingly good. Hit the jump for the full review. [Read more...]

“Wish I Was Here” Review: Zach Braff’s Sophomore Effort Has Meaning But Is Overly Pretentious

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Though Wish I Was Here is Zach Braff‘s second directorial effort, the filmmaker has never been one to play by the rules. As Garden State was the unconventional film that really put indies on the map, his follow up tries to replicate the same success it had and overall tones and feels, but not too much avail.

Since it has been ten long years since his directorial debut, and Garden State‘s reputation has since lost its luster, which made it the perfect time for Braff to return to the director’s chair for the second time. Unfortunately, Braff’s kind of work isn’t exactly in high demand, not even by smaller studio standards. So understandably the filmmaker looked to his fans’ support and launched a Kickstarter with the intent on producing and finding a distributor for Wish I Was Here. But that made things only worse, considering Braff should have enough pull to get studios interested in his work, even if it isn’t in high demand.

That being said, while the film has heart, the film is so full of itself and thinks that the audience will get all of the jokes, sympathize with the characters’ struggles, and understand the message. There just isn’t really anything to like about the film over all. Hit the jump for the full review. [Read more...]

Top 10 Best Movies Of 2014 (So Far) – Mike’s List

best films of 2014 so far

It’s already July, which means half of the year is already behind us. You’ve already seen what I was disappointed with this year, so let’s finish off our top ten of the year so far on a positive note. Unfortunately there were no real stand outs this year, and half of the films that disappointed me ended up just getting 3/5 stars, but it just wasn’t enough to leave the kind of impression I was hoping for.

I can’t say the same for the films that I liked this year. Again, with no real stand outs, and a lot of the films ending up pretty much mediocre, it was fairly easy choosing a top ten at this point of the year than it was last year. With six more months left, this list could easily change. So you’ve seen a teaser of the kind of films that made it on to the list in the header image above, why not check out the full list below. [Read more...]

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Top 10 Most Disappointing Movies Of 2014 So Far (Mike’s List)

The Most Disappointing Films of 2014 So Far

We have finally reached the midpoint of the year, and it is once again that time of the year where we take a look back at the best and most disappointing films of the year. If you haven’t seen any one or all of the top ten, then you survived some painful moments, at least in my opinion you did. Of course if you have already, and you share my sentiments, why not revisit the disappointment you felt after watching them. But if you haven’t seen them, I am not saying you shouldn’t see these films, because its easy to say which ones were the worst of the year. Picking the ones that disappointed me the most is a harder task, especially this year since there are no real stand outs on both sides of the spectrum. But these films aren’t entirely bad either, they just are the ones that disappointed me the most. Let me say that again, these are not the worst films, they just really disappointed me.

There were many things to take into consideration before I compiled my list, but the one that is most important is the release. Whether the film was released theatrically or during a film festival, as long as the film was screened between January 1st and June 30, you could end up on this list. So as you can see from the header image, those are the five films that ended up disappointing me this year. Hit the jump to see the rest of the top ten and where they rank. [Read more...]

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“Transformers: Age Of Extinction” Review (Kevin’s Take)

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Many say that 2011′s Transformers: Dark of the Moon was the worst of the Transformer movies. It made a boatload of money though, so Michael Bay has returned with another one. As the tagline says, in Transformers: Age Of Extinction: “The rules have changed”. Changes are everywhere, from the main human actors, to the introduction of Dinobots, to even the Transformer voices. What we still get is Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, and many other Transformers in what promises to be an action extravaganza.  Has Bay found a way to improve on the series? Hit the jump to see what I thought. [Read more...]

“Transformers: Age Of Extinction” Review: The Best Kind Of Chaotic Mess Money Can Buy

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Michael Bay has run into some bad luck, because Transformers: Age of Extinction is actually pretty decent fun. There, I said it. And yes, this is after criticizing the last two films like there was no tomorrow. Yes, Revenge of the Fallen was written during the Writer’s Strike, but some how I suspect nothing would have changed had it not happen. Yes, Dark of the Moon was a convoluted mess. But for Age of Extinction, the film actually works, despite its completely unnecessary runtime and need to interject the typical Michael Bay tropes.

The film has a new cast of humans and transformers dealing with a new threat that could change the world. Of course since this is a Michael Bay film, there has got to be those Michael Bay tropes: the explosions, the camera circling shot followed by a speedy zoom in, the excessively sexed up females, the racism, and Because this wouldn’t be a Transformers film without any of them. And even with those tropes, this Age of Extinction is the kind of bat shit fun I remember watching in the first Transformers film. Hit the jump for the full review. [Read more...]

“Snowpiercer” Review: Strong Political Driven Actioner Running On Cool Sci-fi Themes

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Snowpiercer will probably never get the kind of recognition most widely released films get, but it sure has hell of a chance having a long shelf life on the indie circuit. Bong Joon Ho adaptation of Snowpierecer is no ordinary comic book adaptation, it’s in a class of its own. The film based on the cult French comic book series Le Transperceneige has strong political allegory, which is all balanced out with some terrific action sequences, stellar set pieces, and sci-fi themes that have the potential to be real in the near future. Bolstered by an all international cast, Snowpiercer is just the kind of action film moviegoers will be looking for if they are already bored by tentpole blockbusters. Hit the jump for the full review. [Read more...]

“The Signal” Review: Too Ambitious For Its Own Good, But Still A Satisfying Sci-Fi Mystery Thriller

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It’s hard to describe a film like The Signal. For one thing, it switches between so many genres you start to lose track of what kind of a film you are actually watching. What starts out as a sci-fi mystery thriller turns into some sorts of quasi-romance found footage conspiracy film. There are probably a few others, but those are some of the ones I actually do remember watching.

And while William Eubanks‘ sophomore film tries to do too many things at once, the film isn’t afraid of picking up where it leaves off, and keeps on turning the dial until it finds the right frequency. Hit the jump to read the full review of The Signal. [Read more...]

“Edge of Tomorrow” Review

edge of tomorrow tom cruise emily bluntTom Cruise is surely still one of hollywood’s most bankable stars. He hasn’t hit every movie out of the park financially, but for a typical hollywood movie, he still brings in big numbers. Recently, he’s been on a tear with high concept action-type movies, and Edge of Tomorrow appears to be more of the same. Marketed as a kind of Groundhog Day meets Independence Day, I didn’t have very high hopes for what seemed like a effects heavy so-so project. I was actually surprised, and more. Hit the jump for more. [Read more...]