In the horror sequel The Purge: Anarchy, a group of innocent people get caught outside during “The Purge:” a period of 24 hours where all crime in the United States is legal. A mother and daughter, a couple in a tumultuous relationship, and a rogue man with some unclear mission find themselves banding together, running from an army of armored men in trucks and a gang of masked outlaws (and later a third group of murderers).
From premise alone, this film is superior to its predecessor. Where the first Purge film took place largely inside one home, Anarchy Continue reading The Purge: Anarchy (2014) Movie Review
In comedian/actor Jason Bateman’s feature length directorial debut Bad Words, Guy Trilby (Bateman), a grumpy competitive adult, takes on a room full of children in the national spelling bee, having found a loophole in which anyone who has not completed 8th grade by the cut-off date can compete. Meanwhile, Jenny (Kathryn Hahn), Guy’s journalist sponsor, tries to get his story out of him for her online newspaper. Guy is a tough shell to crack, telling us that Jenny will get her scoop once the climax comes.
Guy and Jenny also engage in an unnecessarily strained and awkward sexual relationship, a Continue reading Bad Words (2014) Movie Review
The ABCs of Death: Short-by-Short Review
The ABCs of Death is an anthology horror film that gave 26 directors from around the world free reign to do whatever they wanted with one simple word: Death. Each director was given a letter and had to create a short subject surrounding around a word of their choosing starting with that letter. What follows is Continue reading The ABCs of Death (2012) In-Depth 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.
When a pharmaceutical company takes over their research, Continue reading The Lazarus Effect (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.
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.
Continue reading Fifty Shades of Grey (2015) Movie Review
CAUTION: Spoilers of the original film’s ending are present in this review.
Dead Snow: Red vs. Dead is the sequel to the 2009 splatter horror film Dead Snow by Norwegian filmmaker Tommy Wirkola. The beginning of this sequel recaps the events of its predecessor: a group of friends travel to a cabin in the Norwegian mountains and are, one-by-one, mutilated by Nazi zombies hell-bent on Continue reading Dead Snow: Red vs. Dead (2014) Movie Review
V/H/S: Viral is the third installment in the popular cult anthology horror franchise. V/H/S was a highly-original breath of fresh air to the done-to-death found footage horror subgenre. It may be one of the best indie horror gems of the 21st century. V/H/S 2 was similarly fun to watch, but was ultimately a digression from the previous film. It was a safe sequel that wasn’t trying to go above and beyond what it accomplished with the previous film.
This new sequel is somewhat similar to the first two installments, where a series of short subjects are shown interspersed with an ongoing second plotline. Only, where the original two films had Continue reading V/H/S: Viral (2014) Movie Review
The Rover is a film from Australian director David Michod (Animal Kingdom, writer: Hesher). Ten years after a worldwide collapse of civilization, the Australian outback is a dystopian landscape dominated by crime and poverty. Following a botched robbery, three thieves (Scoot McNairy, David Field, and Tawanda Manyimo) crash their car Continue reading The Rover (2014) Movie Review
American Sniper is a movie, directed by Clint Eastwood, which has been getting a lot of attention. Way more attention than I expected it to get, at that. And I don’t quite know what to make of that. I mean, a major blockbuster in January? Continue reading American Sniper (2014) Movie Review
Escape from Tomorrow follows a family of four on their final day of a Disney World vacation. The day begins with our unfortunate protagonist and father of two, Jim White (Roy Abramsohn), getting a call from his boss letting him know that he’s been fired. Predictably, it can only go downhill from here. Continue reading Escape from Tomorrow (2013) Movie Review