Category Archives: Review
The Girl on the Train (2016) Review
Director: Tate Taylor
Cast: Emily Blunt, Haley Bennett, Rebecca Ferguson, Justin Theroux, Luke Evans
The Girl on the Train is a missing persons mystery that manages to be somewhat satisfying despite the lack of genuine thrills.
Adapted from Paula Hawkin’s novel, The Girl on the Train is about psychological manipulation. It reveals how memories and perception is impacted by isolation, abuse and emotional anguish. The story is a deeply troubled portrait of female characters primarily told from an unhinged woman’s point of view.
In case you missed it, this post is part of MovieRob’s Genre Grandeur on Foreign Language Films (2013-present).
Taiwanese director Hou Hsiao-Hsien won the award for best director at the 68th Cannes Film Festival for his brilliant work in 2015’s The Assassin. Hou Hsiao-Hsien’s unique vision transcends The Assassin from a martial arts film into an art-house cinematic experience. However, I wouldn’t expect The Assassin to be highly influential in the wuxia genre, not because it isn’t deserving to be, but it purposely avoids many traditional tropes and conventions for what makes for a crowd pleasing, popular martial arts film that few directors and movie studios would likely follow in his forward thinking footsteps.
Pixar’s line up of sequels includes the summer blockbuster Finding Dory and will carry through 2019 with Cars 3, Toy Story 4 and the long-anticipated The Incredibles 2. From 2020, there are no further sequels planned. Pixar president Jim Morris recently shared some thoughts about why certain sequels don’t happen. “Most studios jump on doing a sequel as soon as they have a successful film, but our business model is a filmmaker model, and we don’t make a sequel unless the director of the original film has an idea that they like and are willing to go forward on,” Morris explains. “A sequel in some regards is even harder [than the original] because you’ve got this defined world which, on the one hand, is a leg up, and on the other hand has expectations that you can’t disappoint on.”
What do you think about Pixar’s approach to making sequels? Which Pixar movie would you love to see a sequel?
Movie Roundup is a feature where I give quick impressions on some films I recently watched and/or on movie related topics.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows (2016) (Non-Spoilers)
Director: Dave Green
Cast: Megan Fox, Will Arnett, Stephen Amell, Tyler Perry, Laura Linney, Brian Tee, Noel Fisher, Jeremy Howard, Pete Ploszek, Alan Ritchson, Gary Anthony Williams, Stephen Farrelly
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows’ kid-friendly action and cheesy, slap-stick humor is aimed at a younger target audience. If you no longer wake up early on Saturday mornings to watch cartoons or the phrases “Cowabunga” and “Turtle Power” don’t illicit nostalgia, it could be a tough movie to sit through.
This post is originally written for MovieRob’s Genre Grandeur on Heist Movies. For all the reviews in this feature, check out Movie Rob’s site.
Fast Five is the very first film in The Fast and The Furious franchise I ever watched. I’m not a snobby movie watcher. I love superhero films and summer blockbusters like a lot of other people. But I overlooked this franchise thinking it would be a hollow, soul less action flick. Okay, this franchise is never going to win an Oscar for best picture. It is a fun, testosterone fueled ride and I can see why it’s one of the biggest, most popular action movie franchises around.
The fifth installment surprisingly makes for a good entry point into the franchise for me. It’s arguably the best in the franchise to date. The action sequences are exciting and well directed. There’s enough character beats to give the story some heart. With so much going on and so many characters, this could have been a hot mess. Director Justin Lin has a firm hand on the steering wheel, never letting the story go off track. He’s also got a strong eye for the visuals, knowing how to frame scenes for maximum suspense and bringing an energetic flair to daring, insane stunts.
Love & Mercy (2015)
Director: Bill Pohlad
Cast: John Cusack, Paul Dano, Elizabeth Banks, Paul Giamatti
Each year there’s a bunch of biopics vying for your attention. Some like Straight Outta Compton and Steve Jobs generated quite a bit of buzz. Love & Mercy about the Beach Boy’s Brian Wilson was also very well received, though the movie’s release was quieter.
The most striking choice director Bill Pohlad makes is in casting two very different actors to respectively play the young and older Brian Wilson. Surprisingly it’s not as jarring as I would have imagined. This choice helped to immediately differentiate between the two eras as the film cut back and forth in time. Love & Mercy is factual based but it’s more concerned with what’s going on inside Wilson’s head than what his facial features look like.
How the Walkway Scene in Star Wars: The Force Awakens could have been better (even if you love the movie)
Star Wars: The Force Awakens Spoilers Discussion Ahead!
Star Wars: The Force Awakens is breaking all kinds of records at the box office. It’s not just die-hard Star Wars fans who are giddy about Episode VII, critics love the movie too. The critical rating on Rotten Tomatoes is currently above 90% and The Force Awakens received a Best Picture nomination from the Critics Choice Awards.
This is all not to say that The Force Awakens is immune to criticism. It’s possible to be a fan of a film and at the same time be critical of parts of the movie which aren’t working as well as it could have.
Some believe that there are way too many similarities between The Force Awakens and A New Hope. On the other hand, some appreciate how Episode VII mirrored the original and reenergized the Star Wars universe for a new generation. While others draw the line at the Starkiller base being an unneeded retread of the Death Star.
Personally, The Force Awakens is deserving of a lot of praises yet there is one scene in particular, among a few, that took me out of the movie watching experience. This is the scene towards the end of the movie where Kylo Ren confronts a certain rebel on an open bridge. (Spoilers ahead, final warning)
What Do Your Favorite 2015 Movie Posters Say About You?
A great movie poster can grab your attention and get you hyped for an upcoming film. Some are provocative, some are funny and some are plain weird. Some tell a story with a simple image. Some evoke a particular mood. Love or hate a film, you can’t deny an eye catching movie poster when you see it. What are your personal picks? Without further ado, check out these cool posters:
Movie Roundup is where I give quick impressions on a bunch of films. You might find a movie that catches your curiosity. Or maybe there’ll be a film to avoid, which means I watched a terrible movie so you wouldn’t have to!🙂
I’m really liking Jake Gyllenhaal’s movie choices lately, especially over the last five years. Even though I generally like commercial movies, I’m glad he’s not doing stuff like the disaster flick The Day After Tomorrow or the video game based movie Prince of Persia anymore (I had little interest in watching those). In his more recent stuff, you can see he’s shifted to this whole other gear as an actor. What’s your favorite Jake Gyllenhaal performance or movie?
This post is part of MovieRob’s Genre Grandeur – High School/Teen Romance Movies. Don’t forget to check out all the great posts in this feature.