Spectre: Messy, Long and Boring Cover Up the Fun.

Posted in 6, Action, Drama, New Releases, Ratings, Reviews, Thriller with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on November 27, 2015 by mducoing

Spectre - IMDBCinematic Law: long and anxiously awaited sequels typically disappoint. Often catastrophically. While not every sequel is a plunge into the abyss (T2, Aliens are just two superiors films), these are often exceptions that prove the rule.

Spectre, while technically the fourth installment of the Daniel Craig Bond franchise, is often considered as the sequel to the mega-hit Skyfall, the final act to director Sam Mendes’ Bond Oeuvre. Viewed in this light, our mentioned cinematic law remains firmly intact.

Premise: Bond is on a trail to uncover a sinister organization at the heart of all his woes. Result: Disappointing.

Spectre finds Bond (Daniel Craig) -some time after M’s (Judi Dench) death- in Mexico City on the Day of the Dead, stalking a villain of some sort. A minor chase then ends with a thrilling helicopter battle above the crowded Zocalo resulting in the death of said villain.

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The Top 10 Highest Grossing Movies of all time (and why humanity is doomed because of them) Part 2

Posted in Uncategorized on November 23, 2015 by notlaz

I’m finally recovered from my trip to Las Vegas. And my editor only had to check on me twice to make sure I didn’t die, so I’d say it was a blazing success.

If you haven’t already, read Part 1 to see the #6-10 highest grossing movies of all time. Or don’t… and this adorable puppy will die!

It will be painful, and it will be on your head.

Don’t read anything sexual into this. He’s just watching me take a dump, you weirdos.

It will be painful, and it will be on your head…

Now onto part 2 of this dumb list!

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Sicario: Brilliant, Exciting, Terrifying. A Feel Good Movie from Hell.

Posted in 9, Action, Drama, Ratings, Reviews, Thriller with tags , , , , , , , on October 23, 2015 by mducoing

Sicario - IMDBDirected by Denis Villeneuve (Prisoners, Enemy) and written by Taylor Sheridan, Sicario, simply put, is a journey, largely that of Kate Macer (Emily Blunt) who realizes the world is much, much worse than she had ever imagined. While only 121 minutes, this expedition will take our characters and each of us a far greater personal distance than we might ever want to go.

Premise: An FBI agent unwittingly crosses lines she never dreamed while aiding in the escalating war against drugs at the border area between the U.S. and Mexico. Result: Brilliant and thrilling thought piece from the moment it begins to long after it ends.

It is no secret that the drug war, the endless drug war, is both cruel and unrelenting. Agent Macer confronts these realities daily in her Arizona universe. She has a keen sense of Justice, Right and Wrong and this determination keeps her motivated in the endless battles ahead. But when her boss, Dave Jennings (Victor Garber) introduces her to an opportunity to go deeper past the frontlines than ever before, she has no idea what is truly coming.

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The Final Girls: Good Time!

Posted in 7, Comedy, Horror, New Releases, Ratings, Reviews, Thriller with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on October 17, 2015 by mducoing

TFG - IMDBWhile not nearly as impactful and groundbreaking perhaps as Cabin in the Woods, The Final Girls is a very fun satirical take on Slasher Films. Enjoyable from moment one, it mixes comedy with horror with drama and genuine emotion to deliver a genuinely intelligent good time.

Premise: Wayward teens are transported into a cult-classic slasher film. Result: A really well-delivered, fun time throughout.

Directed by Todd Strauss-Schulson, The Final Girls focuses on the legacy of slasher classic Blood Camp, an obvious parody of Cunningham’s horror staple Friday the 13th. At its center is Amanda Cartright (Malin Akerman), Nancy in the film, who twenty years later is still struggling to distance herself from that role and become the breakout star she’s always dreamed to be. But as she and her daughter Max (Taissa Farmiga) drive to dinner one day after a failed audition, rocking out to Bette Davis Eyes, a fatal collision leaves Max an orphan.

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The Martian: An Astounding Series of Unfortunate Events…in Space!

Posted in 9, Action, Drama, Ratings, Reviews, Sci Fi/ Fantasy with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 11, 2015 by mducoing

The Martian - IMDBIn space and its surrounding unknowns, anything can and will go wrong. Director Ridley Scott (Alien, Exodus: Gods and Kings) -with the aid of writer Drew Goddard who masterfully adapts the Andy Weir novel – cruelly reminds audiences of this objective reality with The Martian, a beautiful, exhausting think piece on the dangers of our universe that manages to be educational, deeply emotional and thoroughly exhilarating from moment one.

Premise: Astronaut Matt Watney is left for dead on Mars after an emergency evacuation of his crew. Result: A thoroughly engaging thriller that manages to magnetize the true majesty of space and the science that makes it possible.

Our seemingly endless journey (the film is 141 minutes in length) begins with the crew of Ares III already on Mars for several weeks going about their mundane routine (except of course this is on Mars so literally collecting rocks is way cooler there!). But when a terrible storm threatens their mission, Commander Lewis (Jessica Chastain) aborts mission; but not without a causality when Mark Watney (Matt Damon) is presumed dead and thus abandoned to the sands of the Red Planet.

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Dope: Fantastic and Unnerving

Posted in 8, Comedy, Drama, Ratings, Reviews, Thriller with tags , , , , , on October 9, 2015 by mducoing

Dope-IMDBWriter/director Rick Famuyiwa delivers one of the more intriguing, humorous, painful and provocative films in recent memory. Dope is one of the more powerful stories audiences will experience this year based on imposing raw storytelling with an exhilarating twist.

Premise: Malcolm, a geek who’s surviving life in a tough L.A. neighborhood, has his life abruptly change after a chance invitation to an underground party. Result: A good, thrilling film that challenging the lenses by which we see the world.

Our story begins with a group of young teens Malcolm (Shameik Moore), Diggy (Kiersey Clemons), and Jib (Tony Revolori) poised to somehow make it out of the slums that otherwise should have smothered them. If nothing else, it is the strong identity these three have cultivated -as preposterously anachronistic 80/90s hip-hop artists- that has kept them isolated, unified and firm.

But when Malcolm finds himself with a brick of coveted contraband, as a result of being quite literally in the wrong place at the wrong time, he and his friends sink into a nightmare. The ensuing film is a poignant thought piece on race, color, uniqueness and identity while also delivering the pacing and power of a modern thriller.

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The Visit: Some Thrills, Mostly Ridiculous!

Posted in 4, Horror, Ratings, Reviews, Thriller with tags , , , , , , on October 3, 2015 by mducoing

The VisitWriter/director M. Night Shyamalan (The Sixth Sense, The Happening) is no stranger to controversy. He is also no stranger to making bad movies. The Visit, despite some genuinely good tension and scares, is an incoherent catastrophe, a splashy blend of tones and stories that make this overall experience wholly unpleasant for all the wrong reasons.

Premise: A visit to Nana and Pop Pop’s house goes south. Result: Scary moments can’t make up for this nonsense.

Becca (Olivia DeJonge) and Tyler (Ed Oxenbould) are off on a very strange journey to meet their grandparents for the first time in their young lives. Their mother Kathryn Hahn has been estranged from them for the better part of 15 years but a recent failed marriage and a heart-felt plea from these alienated parents increases the likelihood of this meeting, even if she remains far away.

The entire journey shall be documented by precocious Becca, a burgeoning documentarian that increases both the annoyance factor as well as plausibility of the found-footage delivery.

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