PROJECT ALMANAC || January 30th, 2015

BlackOrWhite-poster Kevin Costner is making his rounds, first with last year’s “Draft Day” and now this year with “MacFarland, USA,” and now “Black Or White,” both of which attempt to blend the race barriers. In “Black Or White,” Costner plays the grandfather of a little black girl who has lost her mother and grandmother. Left to raise her alone, her paternal grandmother, played by Octavia Spencer, decides it’s only right for her to step in and become apart of her granddaughter’s life, despite her son never seeing his daughter and still living a questionable life. Let the battle begin. Sadly, this reaches towards being a substantial movie but does not look to actually get there.
PASS
TheLoft-poster2 REPOSTED: Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes yes! Sorry, but this trailer for the thriller, titled “The Loft”, may have been harder than hell to find, but the film looks absolutely amazing and makes me wonder why the hell the advertising for this has not been everywhere. Wikipedia offered this statement: “Universal planned to release the film on August 29, 2014, but the studio has since pulled it from the schedule, and it will be released at another date.” Again, I will mention here just because I took the time to watch the trailer and loved it. Five men share five keys for a loft that they bring their mistresses to but when one of the mistresses turns up dead in the loft and when the wives find out, all hell breaks loose. The cast is absolutely phenomenal with such an array of talented actors and actresses. The five men include Karl Urban (“Star Trek”), James Marsdan (“X-Men”), Wentworth Miller (“Prison Break”), Eric Stonestreet (“Modern Family”), and Matthias Schoenaerts (“Bullhead”). Plus, in a degree of separation, Rachel Taylor (“Transformers”) and Isabel Lucas (“Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen”) also star and look as stunning as ever. Please Universal, release this film before the end of the year.
THEATER
ProjectAlmanac-poster Found footage films are becoming bothersome for me. The gimmickry of them has long been saturated and now we are left with repeat after repeat of films that are just simply looking for a gimmick to be different. “Project Almanac” is the story of a group of kids that find out how to build a time travel device and use it to their advantage (i.e. getting back at bullies, winning the lottery, you know, normal kids stuff), but of course, they soon find whatever they’re doing is effecting the world around them. Like “Chronicle”, like “Earth To Echo”, even like “Project X”, these films are not rising above the teenager schlock that they turn out to be.
25% MAYBE

AlienOutpost-poster The visuals are good for this science fiction mockumentary but the story itself in “Alien Outpost” is not only loose, it comes from just about any other alien movie to come out in the last few years, i.e. “District 9” and “Battle: Los Angeles”. There are no compelling characters present in the trailer and all we see are promises of alien battle scenes which we saw bigger and better versions of in “Edge Of Tomorrow”. There’s also some sort of mystery involving the alien base but none of which screams for this film to be seen.
PASS
AmiraAndSam-poster Sam (Martin Starr) is a veteran assimilating back into life in New York City. Amira is a young immigrant selling bootleg copies of movies on the streets and getting chased by police in an attempt to get by. Together they find each other and a romance blooms. Sadly, the performances already feel weak in the trailer. Add to that substandard production quality, with the feel of a student film and “Amira & Sam” unfortunately lacks any real magic.
PASS
BackstreetBoysShowEmWhatYoureMadeOf-poster Backstreet Boys were not a band that I necessarily go into back in the ’90s, but to find out they were actually huge overseas before coming to America baffles me. Also, these guys seem interesting enough to afford a documentary made about them, so there’s a chance I could give “Backstreet Boys: Show ‘Em What You’re Made Of” a shot, which is more than I thought I would say before seeing the trailer. These guys seem down to earth and are willing to take a few chances now that they are out of the limelight and it might be nice to actually hear what they have to say.
25% MAYBE
BuenDiaRamon-poster In “Buen Dia, Ramon,” Ramon only speaks Spanish. Not English, not German, only Spanish. So when he travels to Europe to meet his aunt, being sent their by one of his family members, he not only doesn’t find his aunt but finds himself living on the street because of his language barrier and lack of funds. Along the way, he meets people that are willing to help him, mostly in the form of older ladies looking to take him in, and they find that they can somewhat communicate even though neither knows any of each others languages.
PASS
TheDevilsViolinist-poster Bringing the idea of rock stars to the 1830s, “The Devil’s Violinist” displays its lead in David Garrett as an expert violinist with all the ladies swooning over him as his sinister manager, played by Jared Harris, pulls the strings. But when Niccolò Paganini (David Garrett) meets a young singer, he begins to leave his philandering days behind him, making his fans and his manager question what he’s doing. With hints of the metaphysical, the film borders on enough edginess that it might be worth a viewing.
25% MAYBE
FearClinic-poster You know Robert Englund as Freddy Krueger from the “Nightmare On Elm Street” series, but now he returns in this latest horror film, “Fear Clinic”. The trailer does not offer up much in the form of story, except for their being some sort of coffin box filled with water that people go into and either escape their fears or face them, I’m not quite sure. Thomas Dekker (“Heroes”) also stars but how fits into all this I do not know.
PASS
Gilgamesh poster When you can’t even be bothered to light your own film, you know it’s not worth making. “Gilgamesh” is poorly acted, dismally executed garbage with one of the most convoluted plots I think I’ve ever read. Something to do with a meteor being summoned to destroy the planet while the Communist party tries yet again to take over.
PASS
Girlhood-poster Any film called “Girlhood” that comes out after Linklater’s “Boyhood” is going to garner just a slight comparison, but once the titles can be separated you realize how much deeper and mature “Girlhood” actually is. Facing hardships on all fronts (home, school, friends), a young girl decides to drop out of school and join a small gang of girls, where she steals to get by and sleeps with older men to find some sort of security. What draws you in with the trailer, however, are some young, newcomer performers that could definitely do some scene stealing in this coming of age film.
50% PROBABLY
HardToBeAGod-poster Science fiction done in black and white, “Hard To Be A God” sees a group of scientists traveling to another planet where civilization is still in the medieval period. The synopsis then veers off into something about not being able to kill anyone…  (“Their task is a difficult one: they cannot interfere violently and in no case can they kill”) Why would that be their only rule? I get that they shouldn’t interfere. Much like the crew in “Star Trek” being told not to interfere that’s fine, but why is it so specific? The film itself looks strange and weak and with that odd description, I don’t hold a lot of hope for it.
PASS
SuburbanGothic-poster “Suburban Gothic” fails to actually nail down a specific central idea. At first glance, it’s a film about Raymond (Matthew Gray Gubler) who’s forced to move back home after not being able to find work. Facing the embarrassment of returning home would be enough but then we introduce a paranormal aspect in that Raymond used to be able to see ghosts (but can’t anymore? the trailer doesn’t quite explain). Kat Denning shows up as the love interest but fails to bring any actual star power to this bland feeling film.
PASS
Supremacy-poster Out on parole, Tully (Joe Anderson) is an ex-con and a member of the Aryan Nation. Instead of being rehabilitated, however, Tully ends up killing a black cop and taking a black family hostage on his first day out, getting pinned down by the police and looking to head back right where he just came from. “Supremacy” would be your run-of-the-mill thriller if it weren’t for Danny Glover, also playing an ex-con who takes matters into his own hands in trying to save his family.
PASS
Timbuktu-poster2 Nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language film, “Timbuktu” is a French-Mauritanian drama that looks at life under rule of jihadists. Ruling a small village with the point of their guns and the edges of their whips, the jihadists are actually made into living breathing humans with feelings and hopes and dreams, yet still enforce laws like no music and women must always wear gloves. Following a few different stories, the most compelling is that of a husband and father that finds himself in prison after an altercation with a local fisherman.

WildCard-poster Just like Liam Neeson has his own genre of action film, Jason Statham as starred in enough action films to have his own genre as well. The latest, “Wild Card,” sees him as a man with certain skills, fighting for the underdogs. Set in Vegas, Nick Wild (Statham) is making money anyway he can, whether it’s playing the Blackjack tables or helping little guys win over attractive ladies like Sofia Vergara. But it’s a woman that was left for dead that needs his help the most, seeking revenge from a very bad group of guys, one of which being Milo Ventimiglia (“Heroes”). Statham also stars alongside Michael Angarano, Anne Heche, Sofia Vergara, Jason Alexander, Hope Davis, and Stanley Tucci.
50% PROBABLY

THEATER

  • The Loft
  • Timbuktu

RENTAL

MOST LIKELY CATCH ON NETFLIX (75%)

PROBABLY CATCH ON NETFLIX (50%)

  • Girlhood
  • Wild Card

MIGHT CATCH ON NETFLIX (25%)

  • Backstreet Boys: Show ‘Em What You’re Made Of
  • The Devil’s Violinist
  • Project Almanac

PASS

  • Alien Outpost
  • Amira & Sam
  • Black Or White
  • Buen Dia, Ramon
  • Fear Clinic
  • Gilgamesh
  • Hard To Be A God
  • Suburban Gothic
  • Supremacy

HELL NO

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s