Theatrical Releases: The Lego Movie & The Monuments Men

THE LEGO MOVIE || February 7th, 2014

LegoMovie-poster Growing up, I loved Lego’s just as much as the next kid. Still to this day I dream of buying the blocks and returning to my childhood. But when the trailer for “The Lego Movie” came out, I was not one of those people that jumped in the air and got excited. When I began to hear great reviews, my hopes soared slightly, but viewing the film, my suspicions were correct. Landing some great gags and an amazing voice acting cast, the film is definitely enjoyable, just simply not groundbreaking as many hoped it would be.

MonumentsMen-poster Apparently being branded as tonally challenged, George Clooney’s latest directorial endeavor, “The Monuments Men” has a stacked cast with Matt Damon, Bill Murray, John Goodman, Cate Blanchett, and Jean Durjardin, including himself. They all play art experts during WWII in this based on a true story about saving priceless artifacts and paintings from the Nazis. My guess is that the Oscar hopeful period piece is not as high caliber and spot on as we’ve come to expect from those involved, but it will still be an enjoyable film with plenty of stand out performances.
THEATER
Nurse3d-poster Paz de la Huerta (“Boardwalk Empire”) is hot. And in “Nurse 3D” she plays an obsessed sexpot on a killing spree. The film quality mixed with a standout lead like Paz makes this a must see for me, which is funny because normally a film like this would not be so intriguing. But somehow the trailer hooks and the story peaks interest, reminiscent of “Chloe” were a woman’s obsession gets the better of her. Although I do not need to see this in 3D we’ll see if it even makes it to theaters.
THEATER
VampireAcademy-poster Yet another young adult girls’ book created into a film, “Vampire Academy” is the latest in a long line of book adaptations that will hopefully not do well. With hardly anyone recognizable except “Modern Family’s” Sarah Hyland, this vampie film looks horrible, with lines like “that’s cray cray cray… I added a third cray” marking the dialogue sequences in the ads. I’ve scanned through this film for work and apart from some women in their underwear, this film has nothing for me.
PASS

7Boxes-poster Despite getting great reviews and the garnering the descriptor of “the Fast and Furious of wheelbarrows”, this foreign film “7 Boxes” is just not enough to make me want to see it. When two boys are given the task of delivering 7 boxes without looking inside and as quickly as possible, all hell breaks loose. Reminiscent of the plot to “Premium Rush” but with bike messengers, this film feels very derivative.
PASS
AfterTheDark-poster Taking apocalypse films in another direction, “After The Dark” sees a class of college students faced with the decision of who will be spared and who will be left outside the bunker before an impending end. Though I am still not sure if they are playing a game and it gets deadly or if it starts off completely real and, again, deadly, neither the trailer nor the description answers this point. Regardless, the mostly unknown cast is eye catching enough and with an interesting concept, this is definitely worth a viewing.
RENTAL
AfternoonOfAFaun-poster So many dance films, so little time. “Afternoon Of A Faun” is a documentary that delves into the life of ballerina Tanaquil Le Clercq through footage and interviews as she rose to the top of her profession and wooed her way into the hearts of theater lovers everywhere. But her life was far from perfect and with a troubled love story and an illness, her story apparently ends in tragedy. Unfortunately, I have zero interest in dance films and even less interest in the story of one solitary dancer.
PASS
Attorney-poster The trailer for “The Attorney” looks like a joke. Starting off very comedic about a self-made lawyer that decides to go into taxes, I was certain this would be a comedy, especially with all the smiling faces on the poster. Than it takes a strange shift where the main character is all of a sudden helping some abused woman and some boy in jail. You have to see the speech at the end of the trailer. It is so serious and feels like something SNL or Funny Or Die would produce.
PASS
Cavemen-poster “Cavemen” brings Skylar Astin (“Pitch Perfect”) together with Camilla Belle (“10,000 BC) for this best friends that are actually in love story. Toss in Chad Michael Murray and you’ve got an independent romantic comedy that follows the same path as every other romantic comedy ever made. We’re now to the point with trailers that we can not only see the whole film but the follow ups as well, seeing the leads kiss in the car, showing that this self-inflicted forbidden love happens anyways.
25% MAYBE
FantasticFearOfEverything-poster As much as I enjoy Simon Pegg, “A Fantastic Fear of Everything” looks a little too British and a little too out there for me to enjoy. These are the types of films that I feel are best experienced on some sort of altered state and that just isn’t my style. Pegg plays a writer that is afraid of everything and although I am not entirely certain of where this takes the story, I’m sure Pegg knocks this role out of the park, but it’s just not for me.
PASS
FieldInEngland-poster Having no doubt that “A Field In England” is likely an existential success filmed in black-and-white, the film still feels far too trippy for me to enjoy, having a quote that describes its psychedelia. However, endorsed by Martin Scorsese and containing some very interesting visuals, as three soldiers in the 17th century are brought to a field by an alchemist and experience quite the trip, I wish all the success to this film but I simply will not take part.
PASS
KidsForCash-poster I didn’t hear about this scandal when it happened but apparently “Kids For Cash” follows in the wake of Columbine, as a small-town judge takes every opportunity to “scare the hell out of kids” by sending them to jail when they do wrong. Much later, parents began to uncover that there was money involved with this and that the emotional and psychological damage to the kids that went to jail was irreparable. This is definitely a documentary that I learned enough by watching the trailer.
PASS
LastOfTheUnjust-poster Are you ready for this? “The Last of the Unjust” is an unheard of three hour and thirty minute documentary. That is an enormous chunk of time to devote to one documentary and should really have considered being a television special broken into parts. The film comes from director Claude Lanzmann who did “Shoah” which I have not seen and includes an extensive interview with Benjamin Murmelstein, a former Jewish elder in the “model” ghetto under Hitler.
PASS
LoveAndAirSex-poster Consider me the slightest bit interested in “Love & Air Sex” for a few reasons. First of all, I’ve only ever seen Ashley Bell as the strange girl in “The Last Exorcism” films. Now she takes on a romantic comedy role and I’d really like to see her do that. Also, Sara Paxton and Addison Timlin are gorgeous and I’d watch them in just about anything. The Air Sex World Championship seems very dumb to me however and how they made a film around it I will never know, but with three strong females, I am bound to eventually see this film.
25% MAYBE
LustForLove-poster It’s amazing to me how certain stars stick together in Hollywood. Look at the three stars of the short lived television series “Dollhouse” that are now in this romantic comedy, “Lust For Love”, Fran Kranz, Dichen Lachman, and Enver Gjokaj. Kranz plays lead as the hopeless romantic that finally gets a shot at dating the love of his life, but he messes it up and loses her. With the help of Dichen’s character, he begins to learn confidence and even finds himself in some hilarious situations. As good as the cast may be at times, which isn’t saying much, the story never rises above other romantic comedies that did it better.
PASS
Outsider-poster Hey Shannon Elizabeth (for a fraction of a second), where have you been? Not highlighted in the trailer or its credits whatsoever, I can only imagine she’s not in the film, “The Outsider” very long, which is a shame. This lower budget “Taken” story-line is so played out its hard to even watch the trailer. Focusing on the father, a police officer, and the bad guy, the film goes down that oh so familiar path of a man trying to find his missing daughter.
PASS
PrettyOne-poster Zoe Kazan (“Ruby Sparks”) has a way with independent scripts that makes them very appealing. In “The Pretty One”, she plays very different twin sisters who are eventually involved in a car accident that leaves one of them dead. Mistaken as her twin sister, the shy twin decides to give her sister’s life a shot, moving into her house, dealing with her ex-boyfriend (Ron Livingston), and likely falling for Jake Johnson’s character, who I have come to absolutely adore. I loved small Indie films like this and with Kazan and Johnson there’s no way I missing it.
THEATER
Scorned-poster There’s something about films portraying obsessed women that more often than not peaks my interest. Perhaps its the sensuality that often comes from these women or perhaps there’s something deeply rooted in me, but “Scorned” sees a crazy young woman takes her boyfriend (Billy Zane) hostage after she finds out he cheated on her with her best friend. Bringing them together for a “Hostel” like gore fest that involved microwaving a puppy, this film has my attention.
25% MAYBE
SilentButDeadly-poster How do stupid faux horror films like “Silent But Deadly” get made? Who finds this type of humor even the slightest bit appealing? This comedic horror film takes on a serial killer in an old folks home. About the time the old man in his underwear runs into a room screaming is about the point where I was completely disgusted with this trailer and checked out.
PASS
WelcomeToTheJungle-poster2 Jean-Claude Van Damme in a comedy doesn’t happen every day and this humor looks just borderline funny enough to make me laugh. “Welcome to the Jungle” sees an office retreat to the jungle when the pilot dies and leaves them stranded. Following the old “Lord of the Flies” scenario, the office mates turn to barbaric ways. Starring Adam Brody (“The O.C.”), Megan Boone (“The Blacklist”), Rob Huebel, and Kristen Schaal, this film could be super entertaining or it could be super lame, with very little gray area.
50% PROBABLY

THEATER

  • The Lego Movie
  • The Monuments Men
  • Nurse 3D
  • The Pretty One

RENTAL

  • After The Dark

MOST LIKELY CATCH ON NETFLIX (75%)

PROBABLY CATCH ON NETFLIX (50%)

  • Welcome To The Jungle

MIGHT CATCH ON NETFLIX (25%)

  • Cavemen
  • Love And Air Sex
  • Scorned

PASS

  • 7 Boxes
  • Afternoon of a Faun: Tanaquil Le Clercq
  • The Attorney
  • A Fantastic Fear Of Everything
  • A Field In England
  • Kids For Cash
  • The Last Of The Unjust
  • Lust For Love
  • The Outsider
  • Silent But Deadly
  • Vampire Academy

HELL NO

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