Category Archives: Long Reviews (>400 Words)

Faults (2014) Movie Review

 

Faults begins with a cold open in a diner, where Ansel Roth (Leland Orser), a washed up expert on de-programming former cult members, is furiously eating a meal that he is unable to pay for. After a sparsely attended seminar in a hotel, a couple approaches Ansel about their daughter Claire’s (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) involvement in a cult called Faults. Ansel, struggling with financial problems, agrees to kidnap Claire in order to counteract the brainwashing Faults has placed on her.

 

faults-movie-mary-elizabeth-winstead-leland-orsen-2014-movie-review-psychological-thriller

 

Claire responds to her kidnapping in a partly normal, partly eccentric way. She doesn’t sleep, opting instead to stare at a television set of static through the first night of her capture. She holds back threats of Continue reading Faults (2014) Movie Review

Advertisements

Ant-Man (2015) Movie Review

 

What do you get when you put a comedy A-lister in the middle of swarms of CG ants and a goatee-toting Michael Douglas? Marvel Studios’ most recent addition to their already overblown universe.

 

ant-man-marvel-paul-rudd-superhero-action-comedy-suit-movie-review-2015

 

Ant-Man was at one time a project that appeared like it would never get off the ground. The film was originally headed by the talented Edgar Wright. He left the project after Continue reading Ant-Man (2015) Movie Review

Trainwreck (2015) Movie Review

 

Trainwreck is written by comedian Amy Schumer and directed by comedy melodrama behemoth Judd Apatow. In it, Schumer plays Amy Townsend, a promiscuous journalist who has adopted a lifestyle similar to her alcoholic father (Colin Quinn). When she is assigned to write a piece on Aaron Conners (Bill Hader), a surgeon for athletes, they become romantically involved, but Amy’s lack of faith in monogamy threatens to ruin their potential future together.

 

trainwreck-amy-schumer-romantic-comedy-2015-movie-review-comedy-judd-apatow-bill-hader-lebron-james

 

The film brings Schumer’s familiar raunchy brand of comedy to the big screen. It is a sexually charged style of humor that could Continue reading Trainwreck (2015) Movie Review

As Above, So Below (2014) Movie Review

 

And now, a dramatic interpretation of a how a hypothetical pitch meeting for the As Above, So Below script might have started:

 

“It’s The Descent meets [REC] meets Grave Encounters meets Buried meets National Treasure.”

“Love it. I bet we can get that guy from Cloverfield for the male lead.”

“But we can still terrorize the sole black character by putting him in the most danger early on, right?”

“Of course! What else are horror movies for!?”

“Huzzah! Let’s make movies!”

 

as-above-so-below-horror-movie-shaky-cam-Paris-2014-jump-scare

 

All right, so I have no idea how pitch meetings actually work. Nonetheless, that’s a fairly accurate description of As Above, So Below. The movie wraps a plot largely reminiscent of Continue reading As Above, So Below (2014) Movie Review

Mad Max: Fury Road (2015) Movie Review

“High Octane” is seen being forcibly tattooed onto the back of Max Rockatansky (Tom Hardy) in an early scene of Mad Max: Fury Road as part of his new label as a slave “blood bag.” The same tattoo may as well be stamped across the entire film. This fourth Mad Max installment is essentially a nonstop car chase across the post-apocalyptic desert wasteland. There is only a handful of chances to breathe, during the four or five fade-to-black ellipses, before we are thrust back into the merciless, saturated orange of the barren landscape.

 

mad-max-4-fury-road-charlize-theron-tom-hardy-george-miller-action-film-movie-review-road-warrior

 

Amid the onslaught of cars ripping other cars to shreds and drug-fueled white-painted grunts pitching themselves at other cars with explosive sticks, Continue reading Mad Max: Fury Road (2015) Movie Review

Irreversible (2002) Movie Review

Caution: Minor Plot Spoilers Ahead.

 

Gaspar Noe’s Irreversible is not easy to watch. Midway through the film, the camera remains a static, unflinching observer to Monica Bellucci’s Alex as she is violently raped in a stark blood-red tunnel by a stranger (Jo Prestia). The camera, and thus the viewer by proxy, is a voyeur, a peeping tom viewing the proceedings of the night with cold nihilism.

 

irreversible-movie-review-film-French-horror-drama-monica-bellucci-vincent-cassel

 

Viewing the film in this way, it is understandable why someone could Continue reading Irreversible (2002) Movie Review

Me & Earl & the Dying Girl (2015) Movie Review

In Me & Earl & the Dying Girl, self-deprecating loner teen Greg (Thomas Mann) begrudgingly befriends Rachel (Olivia Cooke), a classmate who has been recently diagnosed with stage four leukemia. Throughout the course of his senior year, the somewhat selfish and self-absorbed youth grows to care for the titular dying girl.

me-and-earl-and-the-dying-girl-nick-offerman-thomas-mann-movie-review-olivia-cooke

The film, coming off the heels of last year’s The Fault In Our StarsMe & Earl & the Dying Girl is cashing in on the young-adult terminal-illness tearjerker novel adaptation genre. It also utilizes Continue reading Me & Earl & the Dying Girl (2015) Movie Review