GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY || August 1st, 2014

GetOnUp-poster All the marketing I have been seeing for “Get On Up” has been highlighting the fact that James Brown was a revolutionary musical artist, but fails to touch on the richness of the story, which I truly believe is there. With Tate Taylor (“The Help”) as director, reuniting with Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer, and again introducing Chadwick Boseman, who played Jackie Robinson superbly last year in “42”, there is no way there is not a depth to the story.
THEATER
GuardiansOfTheGalaxy-poster Marvel took its biggest gamble to date on the space Western “Guardians of The Galaxy” and from the sounds of it, that gamble is going to pay off hugely. Bringing to the big screen superheroes like Iron Man and Captain America is one thing, but bringing to light a group of superheroes that most people have never even heard of is risky. Yet, with the right casting in Chris Pratt and Zoe Saldana, along with a storyline akin to that of “Star Wars”, people will turn out for the action, sci-fi, comedy in droves.
WhatIf-poster Despite my favor-ability for Harry Potter, Daniel Racliffe is not yet a selling point for me. Zoe Kazan, however, is. Slowly becoming one of my Hollywood crushes, Zoe has the qualities that I find immensely attractive, which ultimately equates an attraction to her films. “What If” is the story of these two determining whether they can just be friends even though Radcliffe’s character has feelings for Zoe’s, who has a boyfriend. This also stars Adam Driver and the adorable Megan Park who you may recognize from the second season of ABC’s “Neighbors”.
THEATER

4MinuteMile-poster There is a balancing act with the cast of “4 Minute Mile” which basically renders it void. Analeigh Tipton is an actress that I would love to see more of while Kim Basinger is way past her prime and should probably quit acting. Richard Jenkins, however, is still a fantastic actor, while Cam Gigandet’s prime was during “The O.C.” and even that was not so great. You may have seen basketball or football save the lives of inner city high school kids, but now you can see track and field take over.
PASS
TheAlmostMan-poster Be warned, the trailer for “The Almost Man” does nothing for the film. However, read the description and you will get a real sense of what the film is trying to portray. “Henrik is 35, but he still parties with his high-school buddies like they were in they’re 20s. Now, his girlfriend Tone is pregnant and Henrik has taken a serious job, and is trying to calm down the partying and start behaving like a father-to-be. But as he feels the pressure to mature, and to do it quickly, Henrik’s frustrations surface in unforeseen-and outrageously inappropriate-ways.
PASS
AroundTheBlock-poster “Dangerous Minds” moves to Australia in this latest independent drama, “Around The Block”. Christina Ricci takes the place of Michelle Pfieffer as the teacher trying to get through the struggling inner city kids who are all on the verge of making really horrible decisions. For most of the trailer, I did not want to see this film, hitting the kid with so much to lose angle, but there is something about Ricci’s performance that drives me to it and seeing this take place in Australia is also very interesting to me.
25% MAYBE
BehavingBadly-poster How can a film with so many great actors and actresses have a 0% on Rotten Tomatoes. That means that there is not one critic that thought “Behaving Badly” was a good idea. Here’s a rundown of the cast: Nat Wolff (“Palo Alto”, “The Fault In Our Stars”), Selena Gomez, Jason Lee, Elisabeth Shue, Heather Graham, Mary-Louise Parker, Dylan McDermott, and Cary Elwes. Considering this is director Tim Garrick’s first feature, he must have done something to get this star-studded cast. Now how the hell did he screw it up so badly?
25% MAYBE
CabinFeverPatientZero-poster The second sequel to be spawned from the 2002 Eli Roth horror film “Cabin Fever”, this venture sets off to the Caribbean where a group of friends suddenly finds one of their party infected. Sean Astin stars as the “Patient Zero” referred to in the title and with the tagline “The Birth Of Fear”, I think we can assume that this is a prequel of sorts. If you are unfamiliar with the series, it features a flesh-eating virus that consumes its host and in the process scares the crap out of the group of people that around when it infects. Timely subject matter given the Ebola outbreak in the news.
PASS
Calvary-poster Nowhere near the action comedy that was John Michael McDonagh’s previous work, “The Guard”, his new drama, “Calvary”, finds him re-teaming with Brendan Glesson. Telling the story of a priest who is given a death threat during a confession, he is given time to get his affairs in order before the man kills him. Starring Chris O’Dowd, Kelly Reilly (“Flight”), Aidan Gillen (“Game Of Thrones”), and Gleeson’s son, Domhnall (“Harry Potter”, “About Time”), this looks like a truly original story.
50% PROBABLY
ChildOfGod-poster Say the name Cormac McCarthy and my ears perk. The author of “No Country For Old Men” and “The Road”, one of his earlier works, the 1973 novel “Child Of God” is finally making its way to a big screen adaptation with actor James Franco taking on the role of director. Also starring Tim Blake Nelson, the film is about a madman named Lester Ballard who basically becomes a cave dweller wielding a gun and wrecking havoc on a nearby city. Although not as high profile as McCarthy’s previous big screen work, I am more inclined to want to read the book at this point than actually see the movie, but I will likely do both.
50% PROBABLY
FindingFela-poster2 You may recognize director Alex Gibney’s for the multiple Academy Award nominations for his documentary work, including a win in 2007 for “Taxi To The Dark Side” and a buzzed about film last year called “The Armstrong Lie”. This year, he ventures into the story of Nigeria politics with a revolutionary musician Fela Kuti who fought for social and political change with his Afrobeat sound. “Finding Fela” is definitely not my cup of tea but with such a prolific documentarian and interviews with musicians of today, it does at least look well made.
PASS
LouderThanWords-poster Fresh off the last season of “Californication”, David Duchovny finds himself in this heartwarming independent drama titled “Louder Than Words”. I am on the fence about giving this film a try, however. Duchovny is a huge selling point and seeing him take a leap away from his philandering character from his Showtime series would be fantastic, but the trailer gives away almost the entire film, as he loses his daughter and becomes determined to build a children’s hospital in her memory.
PASS
LoveChild-poster What a strange trailer for the documentary “Love Child”, exploring the defense made in South Korea, one of the world’s most internet wired nations, in regards to internet addiction being dubbed a mental illness after a couple let their child die of malnutrition as they immersed themselves in gaming. Blurring the line between virtual and reality, internet policy is apparently being put into effect in South Korea after this occurrence and this HBO produced documentary attempts to make a blanket statement connecting it to the United States.
PASS
Moebius-poster The trailer for “Moebius” does not give much away and I hate relying on the synopsis provided by the websites to write my descriptions, but there is no way for me to describe it better: “South Korea’s celebrated perennial provocateur Kim Ki-duk (Pieta) returns with this twisted family chronicle perched somewhere between psychological thriller, grotesque comedy, and perverse ode to the pleasures of sadomasochism”. So if you are ready for some South Korean “grotesque comedy”, line up.
PASS
TheOliviaExperiment-poster “The Olivia Experiment” takes a stab at the ideas of intimacy an the idea that someone may or may not be asexual. In this romantic comedy, Olivia is a 27-year-old who has never had sex and wonders what all the hype is about. Offered a free pass at one of her friend’s boyfriend, and cheered on by most of her other friends, Olivia must decide what to do from there. Coming off slightly like a rated R “Napoleon Dynamite”, I am curious what becomes of Olivia, but not enough to actually see the movie.
PASS
RichHill-poster Winner of the 2014 Sundance Grand Jury Prize, “Rich Hill” is my documentary pick of the week. It has become pretty rare of me to use this feature, but this film, following three young men as they come of age in Rich Hill, Missouri, fighting to stay positive despite their poor living conditions, looks to be more emotionally resonate than any fictional dramas being released today. Do not be entirely surprised if this film shows up during the Academy Award nominations, as Sundance usually hold a strong indicator about what gets noticed.
RENTAL
Sharknado2-poster Believe it or not, I have only seen ten minutes of the first “Sharknado” and after I recognized that most of the film was actually stock footage, I became wholly disinterested. But, because of the huge cult following that supported the first film, which was set in Los Angeles, the film-makers were allotted another chance with “Sharknado 2: The Second One”, in which the completely stupid premise of sharks being sucked up into tornadoes and attacking people moves to the New York City.
PASS
TheStrangeLittleCat-poster As described in the trailer for “The Strange Little Cat”, this is a very minimalist drama set in the life of an ordinary family. A film that basically attempts to turn ordinary life into a cinematic art, the film sees two siblings as they visit their parents, prior to a huge family dinner. With everyday occurrences filling up the film, this is what it would be like to look out the window of your apartment and watch the world around you set to a soundtrack.
PASS
ToscasKiss-poster First, Dustin Hoffman directed the comedy “Quartet” about a retirement home for former members of the opera and now we find his name in presenting this restoration of a 1983 documentary titled “Tosca’s Kiss” about the actual retirement home that his work of fiction was based on. Whether he has a love for the opera or just this subject matter in general, from the trailer alone you can tell that these actual people are quite the characters, making it clear why Hoffman wanted to make his directorial debut in the first place.
PASS
WarStory-poster As much as I have faith in Catherine Keener and Sir Ben Kingsley’s acting prowess, the telling of “War Story” is simply too bleak and flat for me to be interested in. Following Keener’s character, who is a photojournalist who has lost someone close to her and is refusing to leave her current residence in some war torn country, she comes across a young woman played by Hafsia Herzi, whom she recognizes from a previous picture and offers to help her get out of her abusive situation. I feel like Kingsley will hardly star, with his parts in the trailer being taken from the same scene, this will most likely be all Keener’s film.
PASS

THEATER

  • Get On Up
  • Guardians Of The Galaxy
  • What If

RENTAL

  • Rich Hill

MOST LIKELY CATCH ON NETFLIX (75%)

PROBABLY CATCH ON NETFLIX (50%)

  • Calvary
  • Child Of God

MIGHT CATCH ON NETFLIX (25%)

  • Around The Block
  • Behaving Badly

PASS

  • 4 Minute Mile
  • The Almost Man
  • Cabin Fever: Patient Zero
  • Finding Fela
  • Louder Than Words
  • Love Child
  • Moebius
  • The Olivia Experiment
  • Sharknado 2: The Second One
  • The Strange Little Cat
  • Tosca’s Kiss
  • War Story

HELL NO

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