Theatrical Releases: Draft Day & Oculus

OCULUS || April 11th, 2014

CubanFury-poster There’s an amount of respect that I have for Rashida Jones and Chris O’Dowd to warrant at least one viewing of “Cuban Fury” at some point, but when and where that viewing is could be debated. When Jones becomes the new boss of Nick Frost and O’Dowd’s office building, a gentleman’s battle ensues that sees these men vying for her affection, by dancing. Ian McShane also stars and stacks the deck in this otherwise droopy comedy.
50% PROBABLY
DraftDay-poster Looking to capitalize on the good fortune of “Moneyball”, which proved that sports films can go behind the scenes as well, “Draft Day” steps off the baseball field and onto the football greens, replacing Brad Pitt with the seasoned sports movie actor Kevin Costner. Despite being a valiant effort, there’s something majorly lacking from this film, even in the trailer, but with an interesting enough cast, I’m willing to at least give this the same shot I gave “Moneyball”.
50% PROBABLY
Oculus-poster Turning an inanimate object into the main antagonist of a story is a huge accomplishment, especially when it comes to horror. Setting the right tone and building enough tension to get the audience invested in your otherwise outrageous ideas is pivotal in bringing that world to life. In “Oculus”, the inanimate villain is an ancient mirror that plagues the families that it comes into contact with. “You see what it wants you to see”, as the tagline insists. In the same regards, the audience sees what director, co-writer, and editor Mike Flanagan wants you to see, in his highly stylized editing sequences that blends two narratives into one.

RailwayMan-poster Based on a true story about a man returning to face his war captor, “The Railway Man” comes from The Weinstein Company and stars Oscar winners Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman. It also seems that Stellan Skarsgard is becoming the busiest man in Hollywood, showing up in yet another supporting role. Though this film looks just fine, it also has a heavy drama tinge to it that cries the Weinstein Company, and not in the best of ways, feeling much to melodramatic.
50% PROBABLY
Rio2-poster With the returning voice cast including Jesse Eisenberg and Anne Hathaway, “Rio 2” is the unnecessary sequel to the 2011 animated film “Rio” which I only saw because it was nominated for Best Original Song at the 2012 Academy Awards (to which it lost to “The Muppets”). So unless this sequel also ends up with a nomination, which I strongly believe it won’t, there’s no way I will be seeing this film.
PASS

Fractured-poster Is it just me or does Callum Blue look a lot like Matthew Goode (“Stoker”)? First of all, who the hell is Callum Blue? Secondly, why does he get top billing (because he’s the protagonist?). And lastly, why isn’t Vinnie Jones pissed about that? I suppose Jones did get on the poster for the film, so that is something. “Fractured” sees Jones as the villain, after Blue, who wakes from a coma with no idea who he is. There might be vampires or zombies involved in the film but I really have no clue and desire to know anyway.
PASS
HankAndAsha-poster Told through video letters, “Hank And Asha” is a found footage drama of sorts that tells the love story of Hank, a man from New York and Asha, an Indian woman in Prague, as they get to know one another and progress their relationship without ever actually meeting in person. A love story that fits this technological day and age, there’s something that draws me toward this film while at the same time pushing me far, far away.
25% MAYBE
HateshipLoveship-poster2 Kristen Wiig and Guy Pearce are doing their rounds with the small film circuit as of late, Wiig with the dismal “Girl Most Likely” and Pearce with the incomparable “Breathe In”. But “Hateship Loveship” looks to land in the middle of the spectrum, as Wiig again plays the cute, awkward, shy woman as Pearce plays the widowed rocker type. Haille Steinfeld (“True Grit”) continues her resurgence as well alongside fellow Oscar nominee Nick Nolte.
RENTAL
HotGuysWithGuns-poster Low budget and leaning a little too much on the gay story angle, “Hot Guys With Guns” is a mystery surrounding the “sex party bandits” who strike gay sex parties. Mainly the trailer lays out that there are tons of gay oriented jokes with men acting like prissy women and humor that would have landed 20 years ago.
PASS
JesusPeopleTheMovie-poster Tout mockumentary all you want but when you start pushing the subject of religion for so long it starts to show through. “Jesus People” attempts to recreate the comedy styling of films like “Best In Show” or “Drop Dead Gorgeous” while continuing to beat the dead horse that is the camera work of “The Office”. Unfortunately, even guest stars like Wendi McClendon-Covey does not help your chances.
PASS
Joe-poster A return to form for both director David Gordon Green and actor Nicolas Cage, “Joe” is the best film I’ve seen so far this year. Reminiscent of last year’s “Mud” and also starring the extremely talented, future award winner Tye Sheridan, this backwoods drama delves into family ties and the desire to do the right thing, even if it means doing something that’s not necessary right. Both emotionally impacting and exquisitely produced, this is independent film at its very finest.
NoGodNoMaster-poster Even though this follows a true story about packages rigged as bombs in the 1920s, “No God, No Master” lacks any real entertainment value. Like watching a Civil War reenactment, the only setting a film like this against a much more impacting period piece is a breathtaking visual style or rock solid screenplay and this film lacks both.
PASS
OnlyLoversLeftAlive-poster Take away the vampire story from “Only Lovers Left Alive” and it still seems like there’s enough to grasp onto in order to view a success. Off his now infamous and star-making role of Loki, Tom Hiddleston is able to continue proving himself in dramatic roles outside the Marvel Universe. Also, Mia Wasikowska is becoming an actress to watch, no matter what film she’s in. This one just happens to be about longtime vampire lovers reconnecting after being apart.
25% MAYBE
PerfectSisters-poster Apparently I am a sucker for actors and actresses, as more often than not, they’re the reason I end up deciding to see a film or not. The one and only reason for anyone to see “Perfect Sisters” is for Academy Award nominee Abigail Breslin, who is turning into quite the young lady (she’s 18 as of April 14th, so quit being weirded out). Apparently based on a true story of two sisters deciding to kill their drunken mother, the story and camerawork isn’t very good but Breslin looks fantastic.
25% MAYBE

THEATER

  • Joe
  • Oculus

RENTAL

  • Hateship Loveship

MOST LIKELY CATCH ON NETFLIX (75%)

PROBABLY CATCH ON NETFLIX (50%)

  • Cuban Fury
  • Draft Day
  • The Railway Man

MIGHT CATCH ON NETFLIX (25%)

  • Hank And Asha
  • Only Lovers Left Alive
  • Perfect Sisters

PASS

  • Fractured
  • Hot Guys With Guns
  • Jesus People
  • No God, No Master
  • Rio 2

HELL NO

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