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Top Ten Movies of Summer 2015

 

The Summer movie season is over. As such, the obligatory Summer wrap-up list must come out. A lot of movies graced moviegoers’ popcorn-greased faces this Summer, making it hard to whittle a list down to an even and psychologically-pleasing 10.

 

So, let’s start with some honorable mentions.

 

Continue reading Top Ten Movies of Summer 2015

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Cop Car (2015) Movie Review

 

Director Jon Watt’s Cop Car opens on two boys (Hays Wellford and James Freedson-Jackson) walking through a field carrying walking sticks as big as their bodies. They alternate reciting swear words; one gleefully energetic and the other dourly reluctant. Both are confident in their juvenile assumptions.

 

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The pair come across a police squad car parked in the woods with no one attending to it. They cautiously approach it as if it is some wild beast, throwing rocks at it and fearfully running up to touch it. Then, they realize that Continue reading Cop Car (2015) Movie Review

Cheap Thrills (2014) Movie Review

Craig Daniels (Pat Healy) is a mechanic and a family man. At least, he was a mechanic. Then he got fired. On the same day that he received an eviction notice. As he scrubs his grimy hands at the end of his short last day, a closeup reveals the wedding ring on his finger. A finger that is tensely tapping against the sink with the knowledge that its owner has fallen into dire straits.

 

Enter Vince (Ethan Embry), the sleazy but well meaning high school friend of Craig. Vince is a debt collector. The off-the-books type of debt collector. Then enter Colin (David Koechner), a seemingly well-off stranger who just wants some drinking company on his wife Violet’s (Sara Paxton) birthday. As per the genre’s usual tropes, something seems off about Colin and Violet. Colin is uncharacteristically charismatic and friendly. Violet is uninterested in almost everything.

 

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As the night moves on and the drinks start flowing, Colin starts engaging Craig and Vince in a series of bets. They are innocent bets, but they come with tempting Continue reading Cheap Thrills (2014) Movie Review

Fantastic Four (2015) Movie Review

 

Reed Richards (Miles Teller) is a child with a dream: to create a teleportation device and change the world for the better. After his prototype device is disqualified from his high school science fair, scientist Franklin Storm (Reg E. Cathey) hires him to work on a government funded device of the same ilk for the sake of accessing a nondescript alternate dimension dubbed “Zero.”

 

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From there, Fantastic Four is a haphazard jumble of plot points inserted abruptly with no sense of pacing or flow. The opening sequence with Continue reading Fantastic Four (2015) Movie Review

The Gift (2015) Movie Review

 

In The Gift, married couple Simon (Jason Bateman) and Robyn (Rebecca Hall) move back into Simon’s California hometown after the unexpected loss of their unborn child. The first snaking shots of their new house are an immediate sign of their status. Simon is successful at a well-paying job and is on the verge of a promotion. Robyn is happy doing freelance work from home. Seemingly, life in the pair’s little world is picturesque.

 

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Then there’s Gordo (Joel Edgerton). At first, we only see him from a distance, curiously looking in on the couple as they are shopping, just behind Simon’s shoulder. Eventually he approaches Simon, saying that Continue reading The Gift (2015) Movie Review

Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation (2015) Movie Review

 

In the opening scene of Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, Tom Cruise’s franchise spy Ethan Hunt is seen hanging from the side of a plane as it takes off of from a private runway in Minsk. On board is a massive amount of nerve gas able to take out a large city worth of people. Hunt grapples against the hull of the plane as tech expert Benji (Simon Pegg) struggles to open the door for him remotely from a nearby grass plain.

 

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Finally, the door releases and Hunt is pitched into the cargo hold of the plane. Holding tightly to the pallet of nerve gas, he gives a guard a Continue reading Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation (2015) Movie Review

Pixels (2015) Movie Review

 

In 1982, savant children battle for the fame of becoming an arcade game champion, an event being filmed for the sake of a time capsule that will be shot into space. Brenner (Adam Sandler), the savant-iest of savant gamers, gets a tie score with hot shot Eddie (Peter Dinklage) and must face off against him in a round of Donkey Kong. Brenner loses by a nose, which seemingly demoralizes him into leading a washed up life of attending Mississippi Institute of Technology and becoming an electronics installer.

 

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Meanwhile, Brenner’s dopey friend “Chewy” Cooper (Kevin James) is President of the United States. That’s right, Continue reading Pixels (2015) Movie Review