Theatrical Releases: Captain Phillips & Machete Kills

CAPTAIN PHILLIPS || October 11th, 2013

CaptainPhillips-poster Easily the strongest thrilling drama of the year, “Captain Phillips” takes an otherwise stale newspaper headline and breathes a life into it that is perfect for the big screen. With a layered performance from Tom Hanks and a keen eye for the grand scale of things, Greengrass’ drama snowballs from a standard pirate hijacking to an intense escape from the Navy that ends in one of the most jarring and emotionally wrecking sequences. Bringing tears to my eyes, this filmwill garner some Oscar buzz, matching the strong dynamic set by “Zero Dark Thirty”.

MacheteKills-poster Machete’s back and even though “Machete Kills” looks to be the same old tricks that might have worn out their welcome, there’s just no denying a film with a cast of Danny Trejo, Michelle Rodriguez, Sofia Vergara, Amber Heard, Charlie Sheen, Lady Gaga, Antonio Banderas, Jessica Alba, Demián Bichir, and Mel Gibson. If it’s anywhere near the comedy of the original, it will be worth my time.
THEATER

AllTheBoysLoveMandyLane-poster Speaking of Amber Heard, her thriller “All The Boys Love Mandy Lane” comes out of a seven year exile after the Weinstein’s reacquired the rights to the film. Long before “Warm Bodies” and “50/50”, Jonathan Levine’s directorial debut was this horror film involving a weekend getaway and the murdering of all Mandy’s friends. Somewhat sensual and led by an excellent director and actor, there’s no reason to miss this long forgotten film.
RENTAL
BroadwayIdiot-poster DOCUMENTARY PICK OF THE WEEK: “American Idiot” was Green Day’s best album. I remember playing it constantly, even more so when I found out that it was a rock opera, written as a story. So when it became a Broadway play, I was extremely intrigued and although I yet to see the play, “Broadway Idiot” is a step inside the theater with the band as they prepare for the New York debut of the rock play. Green Day’s definitely not one of my favorite bands but there’s a respect there and I will definitely give this documentary a try.
50% PROBABLY
CBGB-poster Word on the street is that “CGBG” may mean well and have a spectacular ensemble cast but there’s hardly a story and absolutely no driving force. Alan Rickman plays club owner as some of the biggest names in rock come through the door, like The Ramones and Blondie. But without a story-line to help guide the film, it remains a revolving door of talent with no direction. That being said, I’ll see how bad it is for myself.
25% MAYBE
Cassadaga-poster A little too B movie for its own good, “Cassadaga” is a horror film that talks about deadly marionettes or at least turning people into them but never quite delivers on this aspect in the trailer. Kelen Coleman is intriguing and fits the horror film victim perfectly, but the story surrounding her is not worth the time spent.
PASS
DesignIsOne-poster Apologies all around but I could not finish the trailer for the documentary “Design Is One” after a full minute of watching the foreign couple put flowers into a vase, I simply couldn’t stand it anymore. Not sure if this couple was behind the logos for Bloomingdales and JCPenneys, or what exactly they are, but with a trailer this boring the film could not be much better.
PASS
EscapeFromTomorrow-poster “Escape From Tomorrow” is an Indie acid trip adventure to Disneyland. The film has garnered a little attention by bringing up the fact that this was shot without Disney’s acknowledgement and in a strange turn of events, the conglomerate took the high road and did not sue the director. Black-and-white and bringing a dark look on the children’s haven, this film is very intriguing.
RENTAL
GhostTeamOne-poster Unlike the horrible Marlon Wayans; “A Haunted House” spoof on the found footage, paranormal films, “Ghost Team One” is actually quite humorous by remaining completely dead pan with its jokes. Starting as a party movie and turning into a paranormal film, there’s enough of a mixture of sex and ghosts to make this worth a viewing.
75% MOST LIKELY
GodLoveUganda-poster Similar to “Jesus Camp”, where the audience is privy to the extremist Christians, “God Loves Uganda” takes those extremes overseas to Uganda where the anti-homosexual movement brought by the American Evangelical church becomes violent and political. A little too frustrating for me, there’s so equilibrium in this type of documentary, simply a rage inducing venture.
PASS
InevitableDefeatOfMisterAndPete-poster The Indie answer to “Precious”, “The Inevitable Defeat of Mister & Pete” takes two young boys and puts them on the streets of New York City, after Mister’s mom, played by Jennifer Hudson, ends up in jail. Also starring Anthony Mackie and Jeffrey Wright, this solid drama could contain just enough emotion to be enjoyable.
25% MAYBE
IWillFollowYouIntoTheDark-poster Talk about a film that doesn’t know what it is. “I Will Follow You Into The Dark” starring Mischa Barton is all over the place. Seeing her father die, meeting a guy and starting a relationship, and then witnessing his disappearance, apparently to the top floor of their apartment building which is haunted? Where did I lose you? This could have had potential if they would have nailed down what it was.
PASS
McConkey-poster The incredible feats that skiers are willing to put themselves through is phenomenal enough but this documentary focuses on one extreme skier. Told through archival footage and interviews with friends like Tony Hawk, “McConkey” delves into this man’s professional and personal life, but does not hold much interest for me.
PASS
MonkeysPaw-poster Too low budget for its own good, “The Monkey’s Paw” is a recycled story told time and time again in one of the worst packages that could possibly be conceived. With zero nameable talent and such low quality that I couldn’t even finish the trailer, this falls at the bottom of the horror pile.
PASS
RomeoAndJuliet-poster We’ve definitely heard the story before and we’ve definitely seen enough iterations of the story in movies and television but the new “Romeo & Juliet” has a few things going for it that make it worth seeing. The 16 year old Hailee Steinfeld looks amazing in the role and exudes a radiance far beyond her years. Also, with Paul Giamatti and Damian Lewis involved, it cannot be completely disregarded. In the wake of television like “Game Of Thrones”, this film follows in its period piece with a much more serious telling of the Shakespearean tragedy.
50% PROBABLY
SaratovaApproach-poster Reading too much like a Lifetime Original Movie and with no notable stars involved, “The Saratov Approach” falls on deaf ears.
PASS
SnowQueen-poster2 Cashing in on Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale “The Snow Queen” before Pixar’s “Frozen” set for release later this year, “Snow Queen” is a bargain basement animated film with lame voice acting and even lamer jokes. Hardly the caliber of anything Pixar has to offer, this film will not even be a blip on the radar for them.
PASS
Sweetwater-poster2 January Jones stepping out of “Mad Men” and into a Western, count me in. Although the reviews coming from this are not good at all, the fact that Jones plays a sexpot in the wild west, seeking revenge on men, as sheriff Ed Harris follows close behind is enough reason for me to eventually see this Western titled “Sweetwater” which made its debut at Sundance this year.
50% PROBABLY
ZeroCharisma-poster Simply not revolutionizing the nerd genre of film, “Zero Charisma” is a comedic look at the power struggle between two very different guys playing Dungeons and Dragons. Touting itself as the “Taxi Driver of nerd films”, its trailer simply does not suggest its funny enough or smart enough to be anything but another venture into nerd-dom.
PASS

THEATER

  • Captain Phillips
  • Machete Kills

RENTAL

  • All The Boys Love Mandy Lane
  • Escape From Tomorrow

MOST LIKELY CATCH ON NETFLIX (75%)

  • Ghost Team One

PROBABLY CATCH ON NETFLIX (50%)

  • Broadway Idiot
  • Romeo & Juliet
  • Sweetwater

MIGHT CATCH ON NETFLIX (25%)

  • CBGB
  • The Inevitable Defeat of Mister & Pete

PASS

  • Cassadaga
  • Design Is One
  • God Loves Uganda
  • I Will Follow You Into The Dark
  • McConkey
  • The Monkey’s Paw
  • The Saratov Approach
  • Snow Queen
  • Zero Charisma

HELL NO

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