Movies

Movies

Tue
21
Oct

Goodman, Crystal Reunite for Monsters University Short

Monsters University Party Central

Who doesn't love a free film, even if it's a short one? Disney•Pixar has released online the new Monsters University short, "Party Central," part of a Halloween Spooktacular! The film is currently available for iPhone or iPad, or at DisneyMoviesAnywhere.com. (Psst! You can download the app at http://di.sn/hvV.)

Billy Crystal and John Goodman reprise their roles as Mike and Sully, who return to Oozma Kappa for a party with their frat brothers. When nobody shows up, the two buddies hatch a plan to make sure "Party Central" is the most epic party the campus has ever seen!

Check out the clip below for just a taste.

 

Sun
19
Oct

Swedish Thriller LFO Delivers Low Key, High Concept Sci-Fi

LFO

Dark Sky Films delivers a Swedish treat that explores all the dark corners of the average put-upon man. In LFO (which stands for low frequency oscillations), sound engineer Robert Nord (Patrik Karlson) is a socially inept Walter Mitty personality who discovers a combination of sound frequencies that serve to immediately bypass and shut down the brain's sensory receptors. It not only puts the body into a state of complete relaxation, but it opens the mind to accept commands. In short, LFO's conceit is the ultimate in mind-control fantasy, put into the hands of a man with no immediate long-range plans on how to use it.

Sat
18
Oct

Witching & Bitching Bubbling To Become Cult Classic

Witching & Bitching on DVD

“Witching & Bitching” is a campy, off the cuff, over the top sci-fi comedy that just screams to be the next cult classic. This film by Alex De La Iglesia is made in Spain with English subtitles and is available on DVD from IFC films.

Mon
13
Oct

"Venus in Fur" Flows Smooth as Sable Stole

Venus in Fur

“Venus in Fur” takes place in a Paris theater, where the director of a play about a woman entering into an agreement to dominate her male counterpart, feels exhausted and frustrated after holding auditions all day for the woman’s role and not finding anyone remotely close to what he is looking for. Just as he is getting ready to leave for the day, in from the rain barges a pushy domineering actress bent on getting an audition even though she is not prepared (or so it seems at first).

Fri
10
Oct

Jeremy Renner is Killer in Kill the Messenger

Jeremy Renner stars in Kill the Messenger, opening 10/10/2014

I tend to avoid pre-release publicity and trailers because I want to be surprised. I skimmed the press screening synopsis and saw the words, “Kill,” “Jeremy Renner,” “and “CIA.” My cursory glance at the press invite and the film’s title had me thinking action flick. It isn’t. It’s a thinking man’s thriller, a “JFK” for this generation. Michael Cuesta, more noted for directing episodes of Six Feet Under, Dexter, and Homeland than for film, has crafted a masterpiece of political intrigue and the cutthroat world of American mass media with “Kill the Messenger,” but I’m afraid it may not fare as well as it should in the box office. As Jack Nicholson famously said in “A Few Good Men,” “You can’t handle the truth!” I’m looking at you, America.

Fri
10
Oct

Dracula Untold Fails as Horror, but Fares Better as Superhero

Dracula Untold opens 10/10/2014

“Dracula Untold” is PG-13. If you’re hoping for a gory, bloody-squirting everywhere fang-fest, that simple sentence probably tells you everything you need to know. If, however, you’re not particularly a horror fan but like over-the-top action with a little tongue-in-cheek humor mixed into your violence and don’t take liberties with history as being sacrilegious, you might enjoy it.

Or, to put it another way, this is Dracula, the superhero. Ponder that. I’ll wait. 

Before you get all spastic about the lack of sparkles and shaved chests on werewolves (while the rest of us old school Universal Pictures horror buffs cringe at the same thought, and anything involving Kristen Stewart), take a deep breath and change your perspective a little. What other possible way can a movie studio possibly depict Dracula? He’s been done as the classic European gentleman bloodsucker, he’s been a blaxploitation caricature, and he’s been used to sell breakfast cereal.  It’s been done.

Mon
06
Oct

"Groundhog Day" Meets "Starship Troopers" in Cruise SF Flick "Edge of Tomorrow"

Edge of Tomorrow on Blu-ray

I love a good time travel flick, and Doug Liman's "Edge of Tomorrow" qualifies. The unique twist this Tom Cruise vehicle has going for it is the method used for for time traveling, and the restrictions put in place upon it. Specifically, Cruise's character can only ever go back in time to a specific moment -- and to get there, he has to die.

Fri
03
Oct

"The Good Lie" Rings True With Fresh Talent

"The Good Lie" starts 10/03/14.

Americans have it tough. Which cell phone company gives us the biggest bang for our buck? How secure are our pictures on our i-Phones and Android devices? Which lousy choice will we get to pick from for our next President? Who do I pick up to replace these criminals who keep getting suspended by the NFL for my fantasy league? Do I want Taco Bell or am I thinking Arby’s? Why in the world is Thor a woman in the comics when he’s a man in the movies? Why won’t my cell phone stay charged for the whole day? 

Wed
01
Oct

Obama, Oz Contrasted in Gilbert's "There's No Place Like Utopia"

Joel Gilbert, There's No Place Like Utopia

Joel Gilbert's latest documentary, THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE UTOPIA, is a two-hour coast-to-coast tour of America in decline. Using THE WIZARD OF OZ as a springboard, Gilbert draws comparisons from the Wizard -- a charlatan -- to President Barack Obama. Not being as complicated of a connect-the-dots as his previous work, DREAMS FROM MY REAL FATHER, UTOPIA is easier to follow, and more inventive in its employment of effects and its cogent use of parallel analogy.

Wed
01
Oct

Liam Neeson Brings the Action Again for "Taken 3"

Liam Neeson returns to the big screen one final time as Brian Mills -- the family man with a "certain set of skills." But this time, his efforts to protect his family fail -- and his wife is murdered.

Wanted by the police, the FBI, and the CIA, Mills must disappear, while simultaneously protecting the only person left in his life: his daughter.

Olivier Megaton's trailer for TAKEN 3 has just the right amount of explosions, car crashes, gunfire, and cool fighting moves to draw in the action movie audience. The music is well timed to the action, with just the right build to a crescendo, setting up the perfect silent moment for one of Neeson's coldly delivered tough guy phrases.

If you're a fan of the TAKEN series, you'll definitely want a seat for this 20th Century Fox offering as the story comes to its conclusion. But be warned that it's going to be a bit of a wait -- TAKEN 3 gets teased today, but it isn't in theaters until January 9, 2015!

Fri
26
Sep

"The Equalizer" Reunites Fuqua and Washington for Another Hit

The Equalizer, starring Denzel Washington and Maton Csokas, directed by Antoine Fuqua

Remember that old 1980s television show, The Equalizer? If you’re much younger than me you may not. It was a solid show but skewed much older demographically than my age at that time. The show featured that other Michael Caine, Edward Woodward. He was old, and he wasn’t taking any crap from anybody, that’s pretty much all I remember. Fast forward 30-odd years to the present and director Antoine Fuqua has recreated the concept with his “Training Day partner Denzel Washington playing an old guy who isn’t taking any crap from anybody. That’s pretty much the gist of it. What you’re wondering is: “Is it any good?”

Tue
23
Sep

"Kingsman: The Secret Service" Trailer Spotlights Action and Comedy

Kingsman: The Secret Service

The spies are back in business... in Hollywood, that is. Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has a strong television following, Scorpion is kicking off, "The Equalizer" is debuting in theaters, and the original series starring Edward Woodward is also getting a full-series release. And that's just scratching the surface.

"Kingsman: The Secret Service" is a blending of James Bond with "Men in Black." Colin Firth is Harry Hart, a seasoned spy and man of action. Taron Egerton is Eggsy, a young delinquent in whom Harry sees untapped potential. And Samuel L. Jackson gets to play the bad guy, Valentine (not the one in "The Mortal Instruments" but a different one), a little bit more unbalanced than his "Mr. Glass" portrayal in "Unbreakable."

Fri
19
Sep

Liam Neeson Nails Noir with "A Walk Among The Tombstones"

Liam Neeson in "A Walk Among the Tombstones;"  opens 9/19/14.

Liam Neeson is one cool cat. I enjoyed his work long before “Taken,” but after that gloriously performed throwback to the classic violent revenge films he was a bonafide superstar. Unfortunately for him, he’s dangerously close to being typecast. Whether it be the predictably subpar “Taken 2” or the surprising gem “The Grey,’ Neeson always seems to always play a man with a particular set of skills. “A Walk Among the Tombstones” may not seem all that different on the surface, but if you watch closely there’s a lot more to it than you might think.

Fri
19
Sep

"This Is Where I Leave You" Showcases Bateman and Fey but Lacks Substance

This Is Where I Leave You opens 9/19/14.

Life can be funny sometimes. You could be perfectly content, making good money at a job you actually enjoy, with a loving wife and a beautiful home, and then suddenly life throws a monkey wrench into the machine. Everything goes crazy for a while and hopefully, eventually, you come to terms with the changes and find a place of contentment.

Fri
19
Sep

Stop-Motion "The Boxtrolls" Swarm Big Screen September 26

The Boxtrolls

It's been a bajillion years in the making, but the much-awaited stop-motion animated film from the makers of "Coraline" and "ParaNorman" is finally headed into theaters this September 26.

Welcome to a whole new breed of family -- The Boxtrolls, a community of quirky, mischievous creatures who have lovingly raised an orphaned human boy named Eggs (voiced by Isaac Hempstead-Wright) in the amazing cavernous home they’ve built beneath the streets of Cheesebridge. When the town’s villain, Archibald Snatcher (Academy Award winner Ben Kingsley), comes up with a plot to get rid of the Boxtrolls, Eggs decides to venture above ground, “into the light,” where he meets and teams up with fabulously feisty Winnifred (Elle Fanning). Together, they devise a daring plan to save Eggs’ family.

Tue
16
Sep

Lionsgate Debuts Worldwide Trailer for "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1"

The Hunger Games has to be one of my favorite books. Mockingjay -- the third and final installment of the trilogy? Not so much. In fact, it was such a deviation in tone, style, and characterization that many readers felt let down, so much so that an essay on why people hated the third book made it into Smart Pop's collection, The Girl Who Was On Fire.

So it almost seems as though Lionsgate is adding insult to injury by taking "the worst of the three" and extending it out over two movies, drawing out the agony.

Tue
16
Sep

"Godzilla" Saves San Francisco on Blu-ray, DVD

Godzilla on Blu-ray and DVD

There's a giant flying monster that, wherever he goes, acts like a giant EMP burst. Cities are drained of power when he's near. Across the ocean, there's another giant monster on the ground who does the same thing. (Although not having power is the least of the problems when the skyscraper you're in is being toppled.) There's very little humanity can do except to drop a nuclear bomb on them -- powered by an analog wind-up timing device, out of necessity.

Mon
24
Mar

Andrea Logan White: Moms' Night Out

Andrea Logan White's resume ranges from heavy drama ("Sarah's Choice") to light comedy ("Veggietales: Princess and the Popstar") to apocalyptic action ("Revelation Road: The Beginning of the End"). But it has been consistent in one respect: it's target audience of Christian viewers. This May, she stars opposite Patricia Heaton (The Middle), Sean Astin ("The Lord of the Rings" trilogy), Glee's Harry Shum Jr., and country music superstar Trace Adkins in the family-friendly comedy "Moms' Night Out."

We spent a few moments with Andrea to discuss her role in the film, and about being a Christian in the film industry.

You'll be starring in the upcoming film, "Moms' Night Out." But you're more than just acting in it -- this was your baby from the beginning, wasn't it?

Sat
20
Oct

Catherine Davis: "Runaway Slave" and the American Black Genocide of Abortion

Catherine Davis Black Pro Life Coalition Runaway Slave

Reverend C.L. Bryant's film "Runaway Slave" is an eye opening look into the African-American community from the perspective of black conservatives. The documentary interviews several prominent black leaders in putting together its case, among whom is the notable Catherine Davis, co-founder of the Black Pro-Life Coalition, who shares some astounding and shocking numbers and statistics. Seeking to dig more into the facts Davis puts forth in the film, we reached out to her for this interview.

 

So I've had the chance now to watch "Runaway Slave" and found it to be a powerful documentary, an opinion shared by others who've seen the film with me. How did you come to be involved with this project?

Fri
17
Aug

C.L. Bryant: Breaking the New Chains with "Runaway Slave"

CL Bryant Runaway Slave

The Reverend C.L. Bryant is a statistical political anomaly: a former leader in the NAACP who made the conscious decision to do a political about-face and join the conservative Tea Party movement. His political documentary, "Runaway Slave," is both a history lesson, a study in comparative social structures, and a rousing call to action.

 

What drove you to produce "Runaway Slave," and what's the core message you were seeking to deliver?

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