Movie Reviews Archives for 2017-10

Regional Media Movie Review Thank You for Your Service

Thank You for Your Service is a deeply respectful and respectable movie about veterans and PTSD. The film stars Miles Teller as Staff Sgt. Adam Schumann who is just returning from Iraq from a traumatic third tour of duty. Having been praised for his unique ability for locating roadside mines, Adam’s last experience in Iraq was seeing a friend shot in the head and him having dropped that friend as he carried him down the steps of a building under fire by terrorists.

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Regional Media Movie Review Suburbicon

Matt Damon stars in Suburbicon as Gardner, a man in debt to the mob and desiring to get rid of his wheelchair bound wife, Rose (Julianne Moore) so that he can be with Rose’s twin sister Margaret (Julianne Moore). Caught in the middle of Gardner’s scheme is his son, Nicky (Noah Jupe). When after Gardner’s wife is murdered, Nicky goes along to the police lineup, he spies his father intentionally failing to identify the killers. Here is where the façade of his father’s life comes tumbling down.

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Regional Media Movie Review Jigsaw

I am so bummed out by Jigsaw, the continuation of my favorite horror franchise, Saw. It’s not that Jigsaw is bad; much of it is actually pretty good: the scares are good, the gore is outstanding, the acting is top notch B-movie stuff, a staple of the franchise. No, what bums me out is that Jigsaw fails miserably in its attempt to tie back into the original franchise which seemed to definitively end with Saw 3D back in 2010. That film, to me, was a misunderstood piece of horror trash that wonderfully, darkly, and humorously commented on the films that came before. Jigsaw upends the premise of Saw 3D, and that hurts me to my franchise fan core.

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Classic Movie Review Saw

As part of a celebration of Halloween weekend, the Everyone is a Critic Movie Review podcast, which I co-host, will be doing a special bonus episode dedicated to the Saw franchise. We will discuss in-depth each of the Saw movies including the brand new Jigsaw, which opens Halloween weekend in theaters nationwide. With that in mind, I am also writing about each of the Saw movies for Horror.Media. Spoiler alert, I am a huge fan of all seven of the previous Saw movies and I am very much looking forward to the debut of Jigsaw. You can get our Saw Bonus episode and every episode of the Everyone is a Critic Movie Review Podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play or anywhere podcasts are available.

One of the toughest jobs for a screenwriter is finding a unique premise. It seems that everything has been done. Many aspiring screenwriters have had that frustrating moment of having written 10 pages and then realizing everything you wrote sounds exactly like something you just saw, or remember seeing. Who knows how many times that happened to writer Leigh Whannell, but he got over it and found a very unique premise for his film debut Saw.

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Classic Movie Review Saw 3D

In what was thought to be the final installment of the Saw films all seemed to finally come clear to me about this oddly brilliant horror franchise. The murderous Jigsaw, played by Tobin Bell, is the vengeful Old Testament God and his victims are the sinners being delivered through anguish and deciding whether they will repent and live on or die horribly. Biblical scholars can take issue if they like. It’s a loose metaphor but it fits.

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Regional Media Movie Review Only the Brave

Only The Brave is based on a harrowing true story. In 2013 the Granite Mountain Hotshots wildfire fighting team was sent to Yarnell Hill in Arizona to battle a wildfire. When the weather turned and the wind kicked up the flames in a new direction, 19 members of the Hot Shots team was caught behind the fire line. All 19 were killed despite their use of flame retardant covers which proved ineffective for this raging blaze.Click the poster for the full length written review. 

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Regional Media Movie Review Same Kind of Different As Me

I have a genuine pity for the faith-based audience. Few audiences are as underserved as the faithful. And few audiences are as exploited as the faith based filmgoer. The people at Pure Flix have made their fortune exploiting this audience by serving them half-baked, poorly made movies that pander to their faith without serving it. Pure Flix has little interest in the quality of their work and exist solely to make a buck. Just look at the awful roster of Pure Flix movies and you will find it difficult to argue my point. Click the Poster for the Full Length Written Review. 

Regional Media Movie Review Tyler Perry's Boo 2! A Madea Halloween

What is there to be said about Tyler Perry's Boo 2! A Madea Halloween? You already know it’s not any good. We all know that Tyler Perry doesn’t give a damn about the quality of his work. It’s completely critic-proof. I am epically wasting my time writing a review of this, or really any of Perry’s work. And yet, I am somehow here to write a review of Tyler Perry's Boo 2! A Madea Halloween. It really makes me begin to question my profession. Not completely, lord knows I wouldn’t want to get a real job. Click here for the full length written review. 

Regional Media Movie Review The Snowman

Before I formally go into my review of The Snowman, let me preface this review stating my respect for director Tomas Alfredson. In press interviews for The Snowman he is not sugar-coating the film’s problems. He’s been up front about the abrupt production time in Norway, the lack of a finished script and the reshoots that nevertheless failed to find the missing pieces of what is one truly jacked up puzzle of a movie. Click the poster for the full length written review. 

Regional Media Movie Review The Foreigner

It seems that I am not a big fan of the work of actor Pierce Brosnan. It’s not that I have an active dislike for the man, but rather, in looking at my cumulative opinion of his work over his 35-plus year career, I have only given Brosnan two positive reviews. Grant you, I have only been a critic for 20 years, but Brosnan was on TV for most of the time before I came into my profession. He had arguably his biggest successes in the James Bond franchise during my time as a critic. Then again, I don’t have a particularly high opinion of that franchise, either.

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Regional Media Movie Review Professor Marston and the Wonder Women

Professor Marston and the Wonder Women stars Luke Evans as Professor William Moulton Marston, the man who created the Wonder Woman comic book. Marston was an academic who studied and taught psychology before he somehow found himself creating a comic book as a way to sneak his psychological theories into mainstream thought. The character of Wonder Woman was created, according to the movie, as a composite of the two women in Marston’s life, his wife Elizabeth (Rebecca Hall) and Olive (Bella Heathcote) their lover.

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Regional Media Movie Review Marshall

Marshall stars rising superstar Chadwick Boseman in the role of legendary Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. Set years before Marshall rose to be one of the most respected judges in the country, at a time when black people were still fighting for civil rights, Marshall is a terrific introduction to the man. Boseman, future star of Marvel’s Black Panther, demonstrates the supreme intelligence and charisma that Marshall no doubt possessed as he came up through the ranks of the NAACP to become a leader.

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Regional Media Movie Review Happy Death Day

Happy Death Day is one of the best surprises of 2017. This seemingly throwaway teen slasher flick turns out to be a sneaky black comedy version of Groundhog Day if Bill Murray were being murdered every day. The film was directed by Christopher Lambert whose résumé is riddled with mediocre screenplays for the Paranormal Activity franchise and whose first feature was the idiotic Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse, which leaves me to wonder where he’s been hiding this version of his work?

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Regional Media Movie Review The Mountain Between Us

The Mountain Between Us is damn near comedy gold. This so bad it’s fun nonsense romance posits two attractive leads delivering silly dialogue and rote drama in the midst of hyper-circumstances. When Dr. Ben, played by Idris Elba, responds to his new friend Alex, played by Kate Winslet, saying that ‘the heart is just a muscle,’ try to control your gag reflex and for the sake of the few who might be able to process such schmaltz, stifle your giggles.

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Regional Media Movie Review My Little Pony The Movie

Having seen the unique and oddly fascinating documentary Bronies a few years back, I have been trying to come to terms with the adult fans of My Little Pony. Is this simply large scale trolling or are these grown men for real in their pony based fandom? Oddly, I don’t feel like either of the Brony documentaries that have been released in the past couple of years have answered my question. I still don’t get what it is that grown men see in My Little Pony.

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Regional Media Movie Review Blade Runner 2049

“Sometimes, to love someone, you have to be a stranger.”

Out of context, the above line of dialogue from Blade Runner 2049 doesn’t seem so profound. But when it lands in the context of the story being told by director Denis Villeneuve, the line plays as remarkably poignant. I won’t spoil the context in this review. Indeed, I will venture to avoid any spoilers whatsoever. What I can tell you about Blade Runner 2049 is that it has all of the atmosphere of cool that the 1982, Ridley Scott-helmed original had but with even better characters and deeper meanings, and yes, genuinely poignant moments.

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Regional Media Movie Review Battle of the Sexes

I’ve spent a few days wrestling with why I don’t love the new, true life drama Battle of the Sexes from two of my favorite directors, Valerie Faris and Jonathan Dayton. The directors of the wonderful Little Miss Sunshine and the sublime Ruby Sparks have delivered a solid effort in Battle of the Sexes, but there is just something lacking. It’s not the performances either, as both Emma Stone and Steve Carell deliver standout takes on real life counterparts Billy Jean King and Bobby Riggs. So just what’s wrong with Battle of the Sexes?

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