In the grand scheme of things, I haven’t been a fan of The Room (2003) for long. The first time I saw it was at the Tribeca Film Festival about 3 years ago and Rifftrax was doing a live show to commemorate the cult following that The Room has attained. Since then I’ve watched the film maybe two or three other times because let’s be honest, it’s a little difficult to get through because it is THAT bad. However, I do enjoy how much of a cult classic it’s become and I’m incredibly fascinated with the mastermind behind it, Tommy Wiseau. Fast-forward to a year after my first viewing and my boyfriend informs me that there is a book titled “The Disaster Artist” that I have to read, and man oh man, what a glorious vortex of insanity that book is.
Welcome witches and warlocks,
Today I will be reviewing the science fiction feature BLADE RUNNER 2049 by director Denis Villeneuve. To best describe the story, I will turn to the IMDB plot summary:
"A young blade runner’s discovery of a long-buried secret leads him to track down former blade runner Rick Deckard who has been missing for thirty years."
The 4K home video releases that have been churning out over lately are a mixed bag. There are some that I’ve upgraded, spent the extra money and didn’t see a difference. Then, there’s the gorgeous Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children that was probably the most stimulating visual home video experience. This DC universe has also been a bit of a letdown as now I simply can now just see more of the grain effect used in many of Zach Snyder’s films. Luckily, that trend stops here with the most welcome superhero surprise in Patty Jenkins’ WONDER WOMAN.
Western thrillers have made a spectacular comeback in recent years, with films such as Hell or High Water garnering both critical and financial success. The newest genre entry, LAST RAMPAGE, comes to us from director Dwight H. Little (Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers) and follows the true events of Gary Tison’s infamous prison break in the summer of 1978.
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2 is directed and written by James Gunn. The original cast returns starring Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Michael Rooker with Vin Diesel as the voice of Baby Groot and Bradley Cooper as the voice of Rocket. In this new chapter, the Guardians of the Galaxy must once again work together to fight the evil beings of the universe while learning how to be a family and unraveling the mystery of Peter's (Star Lord) father, Ego (Kurt Russell).
What makes an action film? Explosions, bullets, muscly dudes, big vehicles, more explosions and of course, the total babe that the most muscly dude of all saves at the end of the film, right? Well, sometimes, but if there's one thing that no action film can survive without it's a basic story that we, as the audience, can get behind. Explosions and really hard punches are awesome and all, but they can get tiresome (believe it or not) if we don't believe, or even care, in what our hero is trying to accomplish. Unfortunately, I don't think that Tim Smit, and the team behind this year's KILL SWITCH, got that memo.
KING ARTHUR: LEGEND OF THE SWORD is the latest film from director Guy Ritchie that incorporates breathtaking visuals and a hypnotic score, with surprisingly sub-par acting from the leads. The film boasts an array of A-list actors that include Charlie Hunnam ("Sons of Anarchy"), Astrid Bergès-Frisbey (Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides), Jude Law (Sherlock Holmes), Djimon Hounsou (Gladiator) and Eric Bana (Munich).
This year women have been dominating the big screen in films such as Wonder Woman, Killing Ground, and Raw. With that said, we were long overdue for a film to come out that would rival the fandom that surrounds the James Bond movies. In David Leitch's latest film, ATOMIC BLONDE, we may have found our female Bond in the form of Charlize Theron's character, Lorraine Broughton, and it truly is everything we could hope for and more.
Amir Asgharnejad is the real name of a real guy, who happens to be appearing in a fake version of real events in this real movie, titled DRIB. ''Drib" is the fake name for a real energy drink, changed to avoid legal repercussions. DRIB - a partially real movie - is part documentary, part mockumentary and part dramatization. It's an awkward beast and completely unconventional, but somehow manages to keep itself upright while straddling a variety of filmmaking styles to create a scathing criticism of media's representation of reality.
LOWLIFE is the feature length directorial debut from Ryan Prows and stars Ricardo Adam Zarate (Deadly Sins), Nicki Micheaux ("Six Feet Under"), Jon Oswald ("Mata Hari") and Mark Burnham (Hidden in the Woods). The film intertwines three stories presented to the viewer from the eyes of a luchador wrestler, an addict, and an ex-con after an organ harvesting deal goes wrong.
I love a domestic thriller and UNFORGETTABLE really delivers on that subgenre with over the top dialogue and performances to match. The Lifetime Channel has found plenty of success in pouring out TV movies about women pushed to the brink and will do what it takes to claim what is theirs. Hollywood has embraced this and found that there's money to be made. The right casting can make it all the more intriguing and seeing Katherin Heigl outside her comfort zone was pure pleasure for me.
BEAUTY MARK claims to be based on true events, and while many other films make the claim as though an assurance of veracity is an assurance of quality, the statement here means something a little different. I'm doubtful it means the characters are based on actual people, or that the situations occurred in reality, rather denoting that similar stories happen all the time in our money-hungry society.
There aren't many films that leave a lasting impression on me, especially when they were first released 20 years ago. This could partly be because I have a horrible memory but also because they aren't a lot of films that really get under your skin and nestle there for years to come. With that said, there are two films that immediately come to mind when I think back to the mid-90/early 2000s: TRAINSPOTTING and REQUIEM FOR A DREAM. I couldn't tell you where I was when I first watched either film, but I can tell you that each of those films has stayed with me since.
DON'T COME BACK FROM THE MOON is a diet sci-fi story focused more on the inevitable coming of age of its teenage characters than on developing anything else it contains. Do not be fooled by the slightly tempting plot description about men who disappear and leave behind notes to their children saying they "went to the moon." There are some compelling details squeaking out of this LA Film Festival flick, but a satisfying resolution is not quite one of them.
With the recent passing of Adam West, what better time than to watch a BATMAN movie? I received the opportunity to watch THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE for the first time and was super stoked. I love anything to do with BATMAN and I've only heard good things about this one. So, did it live up to its Batty-goodness?
Starring veteran talent like Josh Charles (TV's "The Good Wife"), Julia Stiles (THE BOURNE IDENTITY), Tracie Thomas (DEATHPROOF) and rising actor Avan Jogia (TUT), comes the latest film from director Bette Gordon since 2009's drama HANDSOME HARRY entitled THE DROWNING. Based on the novel by Pat Barker and written for the screen by Stephen Molton and Frank Pugliese, Gordon orchestrates a growing tension filled expression that slowly wraps and tightens around your heart, soul and insecurities.
It's hard to avoid politics from discussion nowadays as our current president is literally a TV personality and continues to make headlines on a daily basis, mostly for non-political reasons. One hot topic as of late is for businesses to refuse service based on religious beliefs. There are plenty of legal ramifications that come with this, but one could argue this promotes discrimination while another could say this allows government to say what's okay when it comes to religious beliefs. As an openly gay Mexican-American, this obviously makes me extremely uncomfortable and I do my best to avoid conversations like these as I always get nervous that someone is going to say something outrageously offensive. Hulu has found great success in their new series "The Handmaid's Tale", set in a future where women's rights are taken from them and serve only to reproduce. There's a flashback to when this movement started and two women are attempting to make a purchase at a coffee shop and the barista kicks them out while yelling obscenities. Both the women and viewers are furious watching this, but for that barista and other customers in the show, this is just another day and it's completely acceptable behavior. When I saw that scene, all I could think was "This is the shit I'm afraid of."
Shayna Connelly wrote and directed GARDENING AT NIGHT in which she describes her own work as an exploration of haunting and mourning, and this twelve minute short definitely fits snugly between those two categories. It takes the viewer over the course of a single night, where Samantha is anticipating the death of one of her oldest friends, Anne, who is across the country. She is receiving updates via phone calls and while waiting for the unfortunate, yet inevitable news, she decides to work on her neglected garden in the middle of the night.
I love disaster movies. I don't know if it's because even though they can be far-fetched at times, there is still a realistic nature to them. Disaster movies tend to scare me more than modern day horror films, to the point where I find myself incredibly stressed out and anxious over whatever intense, over-the-top calamity is unfolding. When I had the chance to review TUNNEL, which finds our main character trapped after a poorly constructed tunnel collapses, I couldn't pass up the opportunity.