‘The Divergent Series: Insurgent’ Review

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Here is the thing with adaptations that act as middle part of a franchise, the film lacks a conclusion needed to hook the audience in for the final film – or should I say two films since splitting the final book into two parts is the norm. Many of these adaptations suffer from this ordeal, and it only stands to reason that if these kinds of films aren’t rushing to meet a deadline they can be considered quite good. And so we have The Divergent Series: Insurgent, a film based on the second book of a YA trilogy that has everything you could imagine seeing in a middle part of a franchise, and gives you nothing for you to care about the next installment.

Whatever vague and loose similarities Insurgent may draw from, it really doesn’t do much to stand out from its YA adaptation crowd. But devout fans may have no problem overlooking the narrative flaws in the film and accept the fact that the characters didn’t bring the personality to the sequel. And that’s okay. But Insurgent is tonally lost and thematically repetitive, and it’s dull characters makes the film boring and uninteresting. [Read more…]

‘Cinderella’ Review

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Disney’s business of adapting their animated classics into live-action films may be perceived as tired or a quick cash grab (maybe even both), but there are a few films that fall through the cracks, films that can actually be considered good. Cinderella just happens to be one of those films, in fact, it is very good. This new vision of the fairy tale classic remains faithful to the animated film that it is based on, but also expanding upon it by building on its characters and their relationships. The fact that director Kenneth Branagh doesn’t repeat the some of the same mistakes that previous live-action fairy tale films gives us hope that Disney is now on the right path with these new adaptations. Cinderella is nothing short of enchanting, beautiful, and one of the best fairy tale revisions seen in recent years. Hit the jump for the full review [Read more…]

Movie Review: Fifty Shades Of Grey

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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.

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Movie Review: The Boy Next Door

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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?

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Review: Into The Woods

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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.

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‘American Hustle’ Vinyl For The Movie Fan Hits Stores On Record Store Day!

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Film enthusiasts rejoice! Studios are listening to your wishes for certain objects in movies. In a campaign that celebrates the tangibility of music in a digital age, the folks over at Sony music have released a limited edition of the American Hustle soundtrack on glorious vinyl. Seems to be a fitting pair to gift with a certain popular mixtape coming to cassette for the movie fan in your life. Oh nostalgia!

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‘Foxcatcher’ Review

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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…]

‘Dumb And Dumber To’ Review

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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…]

‘Big Hero 6′ Review: Dazzling Fun That Fuses Disney’s Magic With Marvelous Science

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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…]

‘Planes: Fire And Rescue’ DVD/Blu-ray Review

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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…]