Category Archives: Long Reviews (>400 Words)

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

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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

Teacher of the Year (2014) Movie Review

 

In Teacher of the Year, Matt Letscher plays the eponymous character, Mitch Carter. Mitch is humble and dedicated to his craft, yet also clearly tired and showing the desire to be somewhere else with his career. After winning California’s Teacher of the Year award, a documentary crew begins following him and the small charter school that he works for. He also gets offered a high paying position at the National Independent School Association, a job that he is hesitant to take.

 

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The movie is filmed in mockumentary style, a genre that has become somewhat tired through its prevalence in television. In this case, nothing new is brought into the mockumentary genre. However, the talking head interviews that are employed are easily Continue reading Teacher of the Year (2014) 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

Southpaw (2015) Movie Review

 

Billy “The Great” Hope (Jake Gyllenhaal) is a mumbling undefeated light heavyweight boxing champion. Adopted into the world of boxing from a life of juvenile delinquency and living in an orphanage, fighting is his sole catharsis for his aggression. He hits hard and moves recklessly in the ring, refusing even to block a punch. He lumbers around, spitting blood and screaming intimidating exclamations. His career is one of pride and success, and he is well on the way to becoming one of the best in the sport.

 

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Then, everything goes south. You can sense it in the Continue reading Southpaw (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

Creep (2015) Movie Review

 

Creep is an independent horror film starring Patrick Brice and Mark Duplass. Brice also doubles as the director and triples as co-writer with Duplass. In it, Duplass plays Josef, a man suffering from inoperable brain cancer who has hired freelance videographer Aaron (Brice) to film what could be his final days for the sake of his unborn child.

 

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The film begins with heartfelt scenes of Josef optimistically narrating fun activities that he would like his son to experience once he is gone. These scenes are also accompanied by innocent jump scares. In one, Continue reading Creep (2015) Movie Review