movie reviews

The Neon Demon

by Cap'n Carrot on June 27, 2016 · 0 comments

in Film

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In what is likely going to be one of the more divisive films of 2016, the latest from writer/director Nicolas Winding Refn (Drive) casts Elle Fanning as a naive 16 year-old girl just breaking into the model business in Los Angeles. Blessed with an ineffable quality no one can quite explain, Jesse (Fanning) soon becomes the hot new girl, much to the dismay of a pair of models (Bella Heathcote and Abbey Lee) seeing their careers flash before their eyes.

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Finding Dory

by Cap'n Carrot on June 17, 2016 · 0 comments

in Film

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Pixar’s first sequel since Cars 2 returns audiences under the ocean for the follow up to 2003’s Finding Nemo. This time our story is centered around Dory (Ellen DeGeneres), the Pacific regal blue tang suffering from short-term memory loss who helped Marlin (Albert Brooks) find his lost son Nemo (Hayden Rolence) in the original film. With her dim memory sparked, Dory sets out to find her parents with Marlin and Nemo in tow. However, it’s not long before Dory and her friends are separated and she must fend for herself.

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Now You See Me 2

by Cap'n Carrot on June 10, 2016 · 0 comments

in Film

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The sequel to Now You See Me attempts to pull an Oceans Twelve as the heroes from the first film are constantly thwarted and outmaneuvered. Sadly this movie doesn’t have the wit or style to pull off such a move. Taking place three years after the first film, the script makes several odd choices. While the Four Horsemen (Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Dave Franco) have gone into hiding, Dylan Rhodes (Mark Ruffalo) has remained with the FBI for the questionable purpose of keeping the Feds off the inactive magicians’ trail. His lovely Interpol girlfriend (Mélanie Laurent) is nowhere to be seen, and the adventure he and the Horsemen get trapped in will rewrite several key pieces of the first film.

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Let’s face it, if you are paying to see Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping you know going in exactly what you are getting. Written by The Lonely Island Trio Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer, and Jorma Taccone, the celebrity mockumentary is variations of one joke stretched to 86 minutes. Lampooning celebrity by highlighting former boy band singer Connor4Real (Samberg) turned solo star adjusting to the unexpected criticism of his new album, it takes shots at everything from vapid celebrities to the media obsessed with them.

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Other than the bizarre Burtonian designs of the Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp) and the Red Queen (Helena Bonham Carter) I remember almost nothing of 2010’s Alice in Wonderland. Six years later Tim Burton reassembles the cast for a sequel one studio executive, and possibly some other people somewhere, thought would be a good idea. Six years from now I wonder if I will remember anything about this film.

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The Nice Guys

by Cap'n Carrot on May 23, 2016 · 0 comments

in Film

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In his latest film writer/director Shane Black returns to a formula he knows well. Set in the 1970s, The Nice Guys delivers on the buddy-cop genre by pairing hired thug Jackson Healy (Russell Crowe) with drunk private detective Holland March (Ryan Gosling) on a case involving a missing girl (Margaret Qualley), a murdered porn star (Murielle Telio), political activism, and the United States Justice Department.

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The most ambitious Marvel Studios’ movie to date, Captain America: Civil War attempts to merge aspects of Marvel’s two best movies (The Avengers and Captain America: Winter Soldier) into a cohesive whole while telling a very streamlined version of the comic event of the same name. You know what? It’s pretty damn good. It may not be the best of the Marvel movies, but it’s certainly more successful than Avengers: Age of Ultron and halts the backslide we’ve been witnessing in the quality of the Marvel films since Winter Soldier.

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Mother’s Day

by Cap'n Carrot on April 29, 2016 · 0 comments

in Film

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Following the pattern of his last two films (Valentine’s Day and New Year’s Eve) director Garry Marshall‘s Mother’s Day is a cookie-cutter ensemble dramaedy set around a particular holiday. Filled with paper-thin characters who all can be described by a single characteristic who are marginally connected through themes of mothers and their daughters, Mother’s Day is a lazy film filled with sitcom humor and blase drama that asks the bare minimum of its cast. If it were a meal, Mother’s Day would be a lukewarm McDonald’s extra-value meal that no one bothered to put under the heat lamp. If it were a color it would be beige.

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I wasn’t too impressed with 2012’s retelling of the fairy tale of Snow White. While visually elegant, I felt the story lacked heart and a willingness to truly embrace the fairy tale. Dumping one of its two title characters for the sequel, The Huntsman: Winter’s War brings back the Huntsman (Chris Hemsworth), the evil Ravenna (Charlize Theron), and two of the seven dwarves (Nick Frost and Rob Brydon) in a movie that is both prequel and sequel to the original.

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Criminal

by Cap'n Carrot on April 15, 2016 · 0 comments

in Film

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The premise behind screenwriters Douglas Cook and David Weisberg‘s Criminal is fairly ridiculous, even for B-movie action flick. Sadly, it’s not nearly as entertaining as the pair’s 20 year-old collaboration – The Rock. Set in present day, the death of Agent Bill Pope (Ryan Reynolds), who alone has vital information to keep backdoor access into the missile command of the United States out of the hands of a terrorist (Jordi Mollà), causes the CIA to attempt an experimental procedure to implant Pope’s memories into a brain-damaged convict named Jericho (Kevin Costner).

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