Category Archives: All Movie Reviews

House of Cards (2015) S03E02 Recap/Review

Caution: major spoilers for season three: episode two (and possibly prior episodes) ahead.

 

You can find my recap/review of season three: episode one here.

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The second episode of House of Cards season three opens on a hearing over Claire Underwood’s (Robin Wright) proposed nomination to the title of Ambassador to the U.N. She is heavily interrogated by Republican Senator Mendosa–who pledged in the previous episode to not fight her nomination openly–which causes a media frenzy. While this is going on, Frank (Kevin Spacey) walks into a meeting where he is informed by other party leaders that the Democratic Party does not want him to run for President in 2016. Things aren’t going well for the Underwoods.

 

The ramifications of these two events carry on for a few scenes. Probably for a few too many. A cross-cutting and split-screening montage ofcampaign phone calls from Claire and Frank seems a bit much.

 

The more interesting plot line Continue reading House of Cards (2015) S03E02 Recap/Review

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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

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

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.

Continue reading Fifty Shades of Grey (2015) Movie Review

Hits (2015) Movie Review

“Get ready to laugh more than three times, but less than 10,” comedian David Cross says in the pay-what-you-want intro to his directorial debut Hits, warning the audience that what they are about to see is a dark comedy and, as such, not a laugh riot. This is a humble opinion of the film. Dark as it is, there are plenty of opportunities for deep belly laughs.

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The film, which Cross wrote and directed, follows a hapless dump worker Dave Stuben (Matt Walsh) and his daughter Katelyn (Meredith Hagner), who is determined to Continue reading Hits (2015) Movie Review

Dead Snow: Red vs. Dead (2014) Movie Review

 

CAUTION: Spoilers of the original film’s ending are present in this review.

 

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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