The Witch: Terror Felt but Unseen, Unknown

Posted in 8, Horror, Independent, New Releases, Ratings, Reviews, Sci Fi/ Fantasy, Thriller with tags , , , , , , , on February 27, 2016 by mducoing

The WitchIn modern cinema, audiences often rebuke films that leave nothing to the imagination, and yet, this is often exactly what they are asking for. The Witch is a slow burn horror film that is equal parts madness and supernatural and both gives too little and just enough to unsettle observers for far longer than its run time.

Premise: A family finds horror and a terrible fate alone in a Wood. Result: A brilliant, yet understated horror film that places tension in every crevice.

The Witch follows a devout family of Puritans in early established America, recently expelled from their Plantation Community for unclear reasons that appear to stem from the very devotion they hold dear. Father William (Ralph Ineson), mother Katherine (Kate Dickie), eldest daughter Thomasin (Anya Taylor-Joy), eldest son Caleb (Harvey Scrimshaw) and two horrid twins Mercy (Ellie Grainger) and Jonas (Lucas Dawson) and infant Sam. They are even more radical in their love of God than others and their reckless reproach has estranged them in a world where life is difficult enough without the terror of solitary.

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Deadpool: Lives up to Hype and…Don’t Get Greedy That’s Good Enough

Posted in 8, Action, Comedy, New Releases, Ratings, Reviews, Sci Fi/ Fantasy with tags , , , , , on February 26, 2016 by mducoing

DeadpoolIn the vein of tongue-in-cheek super hero films/spoofs, Deadpool ups the ante as one of those splendid films that lives up to the hype. Imperfect as it is, this is swept quickly beneath the rug in favor of playing along with this self-aware, dark, violent comedy.

Premise: A military operative turned mercenary is subjected to a terrible experiment that leads him to become alter ego Deadpool. Result: A fun spoof on super hero films that is as smart as it is violent (oh and raunchy).

Skeptics need only wonder how many times Ryan Reynolds (Deadpool) can deliver the same film before somebody, anybody, could finally stop him. But unlike recent and not so recent catastrophes (Green Lantern, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, where he actually played the same, albeit vastly distinct, character) this film seems retrofitted to Reynolds and his self-deprecating, irreverent, machine gun style humor.

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Room: Haunting

Posted in 8, Drama, Horror, Ratings, Reviews, Thriller with tags , , , , , on February 21, 2016 by mducoing

RoomThere are films that frighten audiences. Others that lash, others that endear, others that fester and still others that cause emotional arrest. All these are true of Room, a film that handles an unspeakable tragedy in such a mundane manner as to make one wonder and ultimately succumb.

Premise: After five-year-old Jack and his mother escape from the room that has been their captivity, life afterward is more challenging than they dreamed. Result: A mesmerizing, tragic drama far from ordinary.

It is a room. In it are things, ordinary things that anyone might expect to find in any ordinary home on any ordinary street in any ordinary town. There is a small skylight to let in the dim glow of the sun. And these regular belongings appear to be owned by normal, if unkempt people, a young boy and his average mother, lounging about, sleeping, transfixed by television or mundane tasks about the kitchen.

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The Revenant: Proof That It Really Could Always Be Worse

Posted in 7, Action, Drama, Horror, Ratings, Reviews with tags , , , , on February 10, 2016 by mducoing

Revenant - IMDBThere is beauty in misery. For the most part, this sums of Alejandro González Iñárritu‘s latest film, The Revenant, which basically follows a colonial version of Job through every horror one can imagine. Beautiful, engaging but also exhausting and ultimately over-the-top.

Premise: A frontiersman on a fur trading expedition in the 1820s fights for survival in pursuit of revenge. Result: A dark, emotional draining crucible of horror and madness that is both beautiful and traumatic.

Iñárritu‘s newest film forgoes much of the brilliant, often esoteric meta-tale of one man’s personal woes in favor of a far more direct route. Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his “half-breed” Native American son are trackers who appear to be the only hope of a band of American fur traders out in the Northern Wilderness who have just been trounced in one of the most jarring camp raids to hit audiences in recent memory. Observers will be shaken by the powerful and painful direction and will welcome the subsequent low-burn tension that pits Glass against John Fitzgerald (Tom Hardy), who has declared his opposition to Glass’s recommended plan in spite of Captain Andrew Henry’s (Domhnall Gleeson) decision to side with Glass.

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Concussion: A Strong Team Doesn’t Quite Deliver on All Its Promise

Posted in 6, Drama, Ratings, Reviews with tags , , , , on February 5, 2016 by mducoing

ConcussionAmerica’s love affair with football is no secret. And the inherent violence in the sport, the almost obsessive need for bone-crushing crashes and heart-stopping groans at each down, is virtual law. It is with this in mind that Concussion enters our collective consciousness, the story of a much darker side of the beloved sport. And as the story of Dr. Bennett Omalu’s discovery of CTE, the specter that terrified the NFL unfolds on screen, audiences will find it hard to look away.

Premise: In Pittsburgh, accomplished pathologist Dr. Bennet Omalu uncovers the truth about brain damage in professional football players who suffer repeated concussions in the course of normal play. Result: A fair but disjointed biopic.

Concussion follows the standard biopic formula, offering three basic story lines: first, the story itself, of CTE, the great medical discovery Omalu’s (Will Smith) makes after the madness and subsequent death toll of aging Pittsburgh Steelers players mounts. Next, we have Omalu’s victimization at the hands of the NFL and rabid Steelers fans apparently bent on his destruction and erasure from history. And then, of course, the depiction of Omalu as more than a doctor but as a man, with human needs met only by a woman that literally falls into his life.

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The 2015 Bang, Marry, Kill Orgy: Rob Cohen, The Wachowski Siblings, George Miller, Tarsem Singh & J.J. Abrams.

Posted in Action, Action, Bang Marry Kill, Comedy, Comedy, Date Movies, Drama, Sci Fi/ Fantasy, Thriller, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 18, 2016 by notlaz


To answer your last question, yes, the Dutch eat farts.

I did it last year, so in the spirit of not having anything better to do, here’s the 2015 Bang, Marry, Kill wrap-up.

BB-8 approves

BB-8 approves!

What? I reviewed 5-ish directors in 2015 for movieMixology’s Bang, Marry, Kill series. Each right before they released new movies into theaters, in a crass attempt to piggy-back site clicks off their hard work. All while I nurtured my alcohol addiction and lazily threw out dick jokes.

The tortured artists: Rob Cohen, The Wachowski Siblings, George Miller, Tarsem Singh and J.J. Abrams.

Their 2015 masterpieces: The Boy Next Door, Jupiter Ascending, Mad Max: Fury Road, Self/less and Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens.

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Star Wars – The Force Awakens: A Modern Version of What Fans Have Always Loved

Posted in 8, Action, New Releases, Ratings, Reviews, Sci Fi/ Fantasy with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 25, 2015 by mducoing

SWTFA-IMDBSet to break every box office record that has ever existed in Hollywood, J.J. Abrams’ contribution to the Star Wars universe appears to be a gamble that has paid off in spades. An often stunning, fun, and deeply exhilarating film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens is likely as good as it gets in Star Wars, delivering much of the power of the original in a modern, yet somehow nostalgic, incarnation.

Premise: Thirty years after the defeat of the Empire, The First Order attempts to rule the galaxy. With the help of the Resistance, only a reluctant and unexpected group of heroes can stop them. Result: The Star Wars film we have been looking for.

Harnessing the power fanboys everywhere (their hopes, their fears, their terrifyingly obsessive attention to detail), Abrams has created a Star Wars film that is as close to the original in look, feel and result as the original. It is quirky and yet sophisticated, combining action and comedy with the grandeur of a galactic storyline much as the originals did.

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