Archive for the Drama Category

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

Bang_Marry_Kill_Logo

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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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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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 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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