The Lazarus Effect (2015) Movie Review

The Lazarus Effect is a thriller/horror film from director David Gelb. The film stars Olivia Wilde, Mark Duplass, Evan Peters, and Donald Glover as four grant researchers testing the effects of a special serum on dead animals. During their research, the manage to revive a dead and blind dog. The dog, miraculously healthy (even regaining his eyesight), shows extreme activity in his brain from the serum, which doesn’t seem to be decaying from his body as the scientist’s expected it would. Clay (Peters) points out that the increased neural firing will have an adverse affect on the aggression center of the dog’s brain, causing the animal to become dangerous.

 

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When a pharmaceutical company takes over their research, Continue reading The Lazarus Effect (2015) Movie Review

2015 Academy Awards: The Winners

Best Picture

  • American Sniper
  • Boyhood
  • Birdman
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • The Imitation Game
  • The Theory of Everything
  • Selma
  • Whiplash

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Academy Awards 2015: Reaction & Surprises

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Best Makeup & Hair-styling

The Grand Budapest Hotel started racking up the wins early on with their shoo-in win for Best Costume Design and a more surprising win for Best Makeup and Hair-styling. The transformations in Budapest, were fine, sure, but it doesn’t quite live up to the other nominees in my opinion. Guardians of the Galaxy should have taken this one by a light year for the intricate makeup work.

Continue reading Academy Awards 2015: Reaction & Surprises

A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (2014) Movie Review

A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night is a horror film written and directed by Iranian-American filmmaker Ana Lily Amirpour. It is Amirpour’s directorial debut. In it, The Girl (Sheila Vand), a silent vampire, stalks the empty streets of fictional location Bad City at night, preying on the seedy people that inhabit the same empty nighttime landscape.  Soon swept into the world of this vampiric prowler are an aging drug-addict Hossein (Marshall Manesh), his drug dealer, and his son Arash (Arash Marandi).

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This film isn’t a traditional horror film.The tagline for it reads: Continue reading A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (2014) Movie Review

Scary Movie 5 (2013) Movie Review

Scary Movie 5: A Scene-by-Scene Analysis (sort of) and Movie Review

Caution: Spoilers ahead

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From the opening scene, it is clear that the Scary Movie franchise lost its comedic value at least two installments ago. In the cold open, Continue reading Scary Movie 5 (2013) Movie Review

A Tribute To Harris Wittels

 

In the few short weeks that I’ve been commandeering this site, I’ve focused much of my attention on reviewing movies, because movies have been a major influence on my life. A second huge influence for me is comedy. Whether it be stand-up, improv, podcasts, TV, or movies, quality comedy keeps me going. Let’s just say I’d be in a dark place without my daily dose of laughter.

 

This brings me, ironically, to a moment of sadness. Earlier today (Feb. 19, 2015), comedian, writer, drummer, producer, and podcast host Harris Wittels died from what sources are saying is an overdose. Wittels was 30 years old.

 

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Fifty Shades of Grey (2015) Movie Review

Fifty Shades of Grey is an erotic romance film adapted from E.L. James’ novel of the same name. In it, nervous lip-biter Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) is subbed in to interview billionaire playboy Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan) for a graduate school newspaper. During the interview, sparks fly (I’m using this phrase loosely) and they become romantically involved. But Mr. Grey is oddly distant and afraid of commitment. Ana soon finds out Grey’s secret: a hidden life of playing out a sexual domination fantasy. Virgin innocent Ana doesn’t know how to handle this news at first, but soon becomes wrapped up in the “taboo” world of BDSM, falling for Christian in the process.

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From the title sequence, we are immediately flooded with exorbitantly sleek mise-en-scene, namely with shots of Christian’s wardrobe. We are also given beautiful landscape shots of the Seattle skyline. All the while, Annie Lennox singing “I Put a Spell On You” fills the scene with soulful body. This lush opening is enticing and inviting. It is only when characters begin to speak that problems arise.

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