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
In David Robert Mitchell’s It Follows, teenager Jay (Maika Monroe) and her new boyfriend Hugh (Jake Weary) share an intimate moment in the back of Hugh’s car following a date. When the deed is done, Hugh goes to retrieve something from the trunk while Jay monologizes about how strange it is to no longer be a child. She is then promptly chloroformed by Hugh.
Hugh later informs her, when she comes to tied to a wheelchair, that he has regretfully passed on to her a terrible curse. It may take the form of a complete stranger or a close loved one, but it will always follow, painfully slow, until it Continue reading It Follows (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.
When a pharmaceutical company takes over their research, Continue reading The Lazarus Effect (2015) Movie Review
Scary Movie 5: A Scene-by-Scene Analysis (sort of) and Movie Review
Caution: Spoilers ahead
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 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
“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.
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
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