Whiplash (2014) Movie Review

Whiplash 2014 Movie

Whiplash (2014)
Director: Damien Chazelle
Cast: Miles Teller, J.K. Simmons, Paul Reiser, Melissa Benoist

Miles Teller is on a roll. A year after his critically acclaimed performance in The Spectacular Now, Teller’s latest film Whiplash is one of my personal favourite indie movies of 2014.

Whiplash is throughly engaging and entertaining. There’s genuine dramatic tension between characters, lines of dialogue that’ll either make you laugh out loud or marvel at its razor-sharp cruelty and an exhilarating ending.

Director Damien Chazell’s jazz music drama centers on a highly driven nineteen year old drummer named Andrew Neyman (Miles Teller) and his music conductor Terrence Fletcher (J.K. Simmons) whose bully like tactics can either make or break Neyman’s dreams for greatness.

Read the rest of this entry

The Walking Dead Season 5 Episode 3 “Four Walls And A Roof” Review

The Walking Dead Season 5 Episode 3 Rick Grimes

In “Four Walls And A Roof”, Rick faces off against the cannibalistic Hunters, Bob makes a surprise return to the church and Father Gabriel confesses his sin.

Everything after the break will contain complete spoilers and a discussion of The Walking Dead Season 5, Episode 3.

Read the rest of this entry

Community Links & News: Most Anticipated Movies

Jake Gyllenhaal Nightcrawler Movie Poster

A number of blogs are covering their local film festivals, giving us a first look at some movies I’m highly anticipating when they get a wider release (or depending on where you live, it might already be in theatres).

Here are several movies that might interest you:

The biographic flick The Imitation Game starring Benedict Cumberbatch as a WWII code breaker looks to be a gem. Here’s a great review over at Cinekatz.com.

To the dark underbelly of LA, Jake Gyllenhaal plays a photographer arriving at crimes scenes before the police, turning his photos into quick money. Here’s a spoiler free review of Nightcrawler from The Review Club.

The black comedy Birdman starring Michael Keaton as a former Hollywood star is already in US theatres and getting great reviews. For a spotlight on the director González Iñárritu (21 grams, Babel) take a look at Writers Loves Movies’ great post.

The other week I was lucky to able to catch a couple of movies at VIFF. Before the screening of Foxcatcher, the crowd were treated to a phone call from Marc Schultz, U.S. Olympic wrestling gold medalist and subject of the biographic film. The audience gasped out loud a few times during the movie … yes ladies, star Channing Tatum drops trou in this one!

A rousing applause erupted after Whiplash ended. This is going to be a fan favourite starring Miles Teller as an ambitious young drummer at a music conservatory and J.K. Simmons as his teacher who uses bully-like tactics to get the best out of him. I hope to have reviews of both coming up soon.

Which upcoming movies are you most anticipating?

On to other links and news:

For a fun post, Film & Things made a list of 5 Must Have Items to Survive the Zombie Apocalypse. Hmm, my picks would be a machete, can opener, water proof fire starter, chocolate bars, and a poncho (didn’t Daryl from The Walking Dead look badass in one? Okay maybe it was the bow & arrows). What’s your picks?

Box Office Buzz is featuring a weekly movie bucket list. Check out an excellent review of The Matrix from a movie lover who watched it for the first time!

The idea behind MovieRob’s Genre Guesstimation is for him to watch a bunch of new movies from the chosen monthly Genre Grandeur in order to expand his knowledge of movies within that particular genre. Find out what he thinks of Daniel Day Lewis’ Oscar winning performance in My Left Foot.

See how many references to Stanley Kubrick films you can spot in The Simpsons’ Halloween Special Treehouse Of Horror over at silence cunning exiling … maple syrup site.

Read the rest of this entry

The Walking Dead Season 5 Episode 2 “Strangers” Review

The Walking Dead Season 5 Episode 2 Stream

In “Strangers”, Rick has suspicions on Father Gabriel while a member of the group gets bitten in more than one way.

Everything after the break will contain complete spoilers and a discussion of The Walking Dead Season 5, Episode 2.

Read the rest of this entry

Community Links & News: WordPress Comments Going To Spam

X-men babies

With the help of some fellow bloggers, I’ve discovered the reason why my comments on other WordPress blogs have not always been showing up is because they are automatically going to the spam folder.

This has been an on and off problem for about the last month. Since I spend a fair amount of time reading and supporting other blogs with comments it’s been a bit discouraging.

WordPress uses a spam filtering service called Akismet. I’ve been working with them to resolve this issue.

The good news is that my comments have been getting through the last couple of days. But my previous comments might still be in your spam folder.

Here’s how you can help: Check your WordPress blog’s spam folder if my comments are in there and unspam them.

Apparently, Akismet is a learning engine, so unspamming should help subsequent comments get through the filter. On the flip side, I think leaving the comments designated as spam might give it the wrong idea. 

To help the unspamming, I’ve put together a list of some of the posts I think I may have commented on.

In any case, these are all friendly and quality bloggers, well worth your time to check out their posts and add them to the list of blogs you follow.


 Awesomely Shitty: F*ck Your Cinematic Universe

Cinema Parrot Disco: Life After Beth (2014) Review

digitalshortbread: TBT: Rosemary’s Baby (1968)

Head In A Vice: 13 Sins (2014)

Let There Be Movies: TV Actors Hitting The Big Screen

Mesh The Movie Freak: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000) Movie Review
Mini Recaps: Person of Interest (4×03) and Agents Of Shield (2×03)
*Already Unspammed

The Hypersonic55’s Realm Of Reviews: Let’s Be Cops Mini Review

The Speech Bubble: The Comic-Verse: Awesome Art & Top 15 Featured Links (10/03/14/ – 10/09/14)
*Already Unspammed

Silver Screen Serenade: Premiere Particulars: Arrow
Premiere Particulars: The Flash
*Already Unspammed

Read the rest of this entry

The Walking Dead Season 5 Episode 1 “No Sanctuary” Review

The-Walking-Dead-Season-5- Episode 1 Full Episode

The Walking Dead is back with a vengeance! The outstanding fifth season premiere delivers on all fronts: the fate of the Terminus prisoners comes to a head, the butchers become the slaughtered and a heart warming reunion caps off the episode.

Watch the full episode of The Walking Dead Season 5, Episode 01 at AMC.com (No sign in required).

Continue reading for a spoiler filled recap and reaction to The Walking Dead Season 5 Premiere entitled “No Sanctuary”.

Read the rest of this entry

The Flash Series Premiere Review

The-Flash-TV-Show-Costume

CW’s The Flash 2014 TV Series: Spoiler Free Pilot Review

The opening scene to The Flash (8 pm, Tuesdays on CW) tells us exactly the kind of television show it is. It’s a fun, contemporary super hero series that asks the audience to believe that the impossible can be possible, if only for the next hour.

The Flash doesn’t set out to redefine the genre which is not a bad thing at all. The show embraces its comic book origins in a way that is accessible to new and old fans alike.

What sets The Flash apart from other comic book based shows such as Gotham, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and even Arrow is that its lead character has super powers. It’s refreshing that while the amazing feats of The Flash aka Barry Allen are not grounded in realism, his personality and emotional reactions feel genuine.

Read the rest of this entry

13 Sins (2014) Movie Review

Time to dust off the old keyboard. It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything but I hope to get back into the swing of things. By “things” I mean stopping by your blogs and whipping up posts for your reading enjoyment/bemusement.

Still with me? Cool. :D

puppy-dog

Over at Head In A Vice, Tyson (pictured above) is presenting the Recommended By Blogathon. The idea is to watch a movie based on a recommendation/tweet etc from a fellow blogger and write you’re own review.

In case you missed it, I’m reposting my entry here but be sure to check out all the other  Recommended By reviews at Head In A Vice.

My pick is 13 Sins, from the director of The Last Exorcism.  Film and Things which I’ve been following for a while reviewed 13 Sins back in March.

Bonus points if you can spot the dead body in the photo way down below heheh!

13 Sins Movie Poster

13 Sins (2014) Movie Review
Director: Daniel Stamm
Starring: Mark Webber, Devon Graye, Rutina Wesley, Ron Perlman

13 Sins is an American remake of a Thai psychological thriller/horror movie, taking elements from David Fincher’s The Game and some bits & pieces so to speak from Saw with varying degrees of success. Here is the synopsis:

 A cryptic phone call sets off a dangerous game of risks for Elliot, a down-on-his luck salesman. The game promises increasing rewards for completing 13 tasks, each more sinister than the last. (Source: IMDB)

I’ll start first with the things I liked about 13 Sins. The premise has the potential for increasingly disturbing and suspenseful scenes, just the sort of thing I’d want from a psychological thriller.  From the time Elliot gets his first mysterious phone call fifteen minutes in, the pacing is good, there’s no major lull in the story. Even though I worried that this movie would come across as simply a countdown of 13 sins being committed there’s a good flow to how the story unfolds.

Wikipedia describes the movie’s theme as addiction, as in an addiction to the game and Elliot’s new emerging persona. In retrospect I can see that but it wasn’t what I was thinking during the movie. Instead, I liked how it delves into questions like how a good-natured, honest man could be turned into a dark, greedy person. Or maybe an unsettling thought is that there is potential for depravity within most of us which can be unleashed under the right set of circumstances.

Read the rest of this entry

Battle Of The Movies: Captain America: The Winter Soldier vs Guardians Of The Galaxy (Spoiler Free)

Time to kick back and put on your favourite superhero pajamas! It’s the battle of Marvel Studios’ blockbusters Captain America: The Winter Soldier versus Guardians Of The Galaxy. After going head to head in several categories such as Story, Characters and Overall Awesomeness, we’ll turn the floor over to the all important people’s decision (that’s you!) for your pick for the best Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase Two movie of the year.


 Story

Captain America: The Winter Soldier avoids the trappings of a mindless spectacle of fights and explosions because at its core it’s a clever espionage thriller wrapped up in superhero awesomeness. As with many great spy-genre movies, a lot of tension comes from not knowing who to trust. Trust, loyalty and betrayal are big themes which are explored on the personal and political front. Because Captain America is more grounded in the real world, it’s easier to make a connection to the broader ideas of the film, in particular to people’s trust/distrust in their government. Story wise, the rug gets pulled out from under the Marvel Cinematic Universe in a spectacular manner and it’ll have lasting implications in future movies.

Only several months after The Winter Soldier hit theatres Marvel Studios premiered Guardians Of The Galaxy. If you’re not familiar with this movie, check out Guardians Of The Galaxy: Everything You Need To Know for the synopsis and why Marvel is expanding into the cosmic universe. It’s a compliment to say that Guardians feels less like a typical comic book movie and more like a Star Wars meets Indiana Jones type of sci-fi action adventure film on steroids. The story shares a common thread with Marvel’s Avengers, it’s essentially about larger than life individuals who butt heads before coming together as a team although there’s nothing generic about Guardians. Director James Gunn’s vision is bold, lots of fun and manic.  Buckle in your seatbelts because the story quickly immerses you in another galaxy, far far away, yet it’s the same universe inhabited by Captain America. Driving the story is the macguffin but what’s makes the movie entertaining are the likeable characters and how dangerous situations are subverted with humour.

Read the rest of this entry

Mini Movie Review: Shame (2011)

Michael-Fassbender-in-Shame-2011-Movie-Image

Shame (2011)
Director: Steve McQueen
Starring: Michael Fassbender, Carey Mulligan, James Badge Dale and Nicole Beharie

Shame didn’t hold my attention until about the 15 minute mark when Brandon’s (Michael Fassbender) sister played by Carey Mulligan unexpectedly shows up at his New York apartment and throws a wrench into his cycle of sex addiction. Up until then, the movie is a vignette of emotionally numbing sex acts and shameless shots of Fassbender’s dangling member. My renewed interest wasn’t because of Mulligan’s performance either, she’s not nearly as captivating as the lingering camera shots would suggest. But her character’s off kilter presence is an inadvertent catalyst for Brandon to confront his inner demons, giving this movie a compelling, worthwhile direction. Having said that some of the strongest scenes didn’t involve Mulligan but with Nicole Beharie (Sleepy Hollow). To a certain extent, Beharie’s character sees through the cracks in Brandon’s dysfunctional façade and calls him out on his bullshit in a way that he can respect. She could be the healthiest if not, least destructive relationship in his life if he can only overcome his debilitating aversion to real intimacy.

Read the rest of this entry

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 572 other followers

%d bloggers like this: