Theatrical Releases: Hot Pursuit

HOT PURSUIT || May 8th, 2015

5FlightsUp-poster 5 FLIGHTS UP || The plot of the film basically boils down to Morgan Freeman and Diane Keaton going apartment hunting in New York. As much as I love Freeman in most anything, if he continues with films like this and “The Bucket List,” it might be hard to continue following his geriatric career.
PASS
TheDTrain-poster THE D TRAIN || Jack Black and James Marsden turn a high school reunion story into just a bit more. Marsden plays a Hollywood actor that is approached by Black’s character, who is putting on the high school reunion. Determined to get Marsden to the event so other classmates will be drawn by the big name, Black parties with Marsden and opens up a whole new world for himself. Despite being an off-the-wall comedy, this stays rather close to the chest and I appreciate it for that.
25% MAYBE
HotPursuit-poster HOT PURSUIT || As much as the poster and tag-line make not want to see this film, I respect Reese Witherspoon and Sofia Vergara enough to look past this poor marketing and see the film for what it is. These women are gorgeous inside and out and although they deserve a little better than a female road trip buddy comedy, you cannot deny their chemistry nor their ability to turn schmaltz into something somewhat decent.
25% MAYBE
SaintLaurent-poster SAINT LAURENT || This is the second film within a year that has delved into the life of fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent, the first aptly titled “Yves Saint Laurent”. Both were foreign films but apparently they took a fictional glimpse at different periods of his life. This one focuses on the years 1967 to 1976 in which he was at the height of his career. From the trailers, I would say I prefer Pierre Niney’s portray of the mogul over Gaspard Ulliel’s.
PASS
TheSevenFive-poster THE SEVEN FIVE || We’ve definitely seen plenty of corrupt cop movies in our lifetimes, but it’s not often that you get a documentary about the actual corrupt cops of New York’s past, including 1980’s Michael Dowd of the Brooklyn Police Department, who has become notorious for his underhand dealings. As interesting as this may sound, watching old police officers talk about their lives is really not that flashy, and becomes rather like a book report than an entertaining documentary.
PASS
SkinTrade-poster SKIN TRADE || Dolph Lundgren takes over where Liam Neeson left off with his “Taken” franchise, as he dives head first into the underground world of prostitution when his daughter is taken captive. It’s great to see Ron Perlman working and he almost makes me want to see this, but Lundgren as the leading man is a fad that should run out quick, because Lundgren is the bottom of the barrel when it comes to heroes.
PASS

1001Grams-poster2 1001 GRAMS || I can admit when I’m not smart enough to get a joke and the entire trailer for “1001 Grams” is a joke that is way over my head. That’s a testament to how smartly written this film is, with something to do with the weight of matter and continuous joke of not being able to touch a certain something without fear of changing its consistency. What I assume is a question at our own methods of comparing things, there is a comedy in here somewhere, but I’m just not bright enough to have caught it.
PASS
TheApuTrilogy-poster THE APU TRILOGY || Even though I pass on certain films does not mean I do not respect what they are or where they came from. These three films, which are considered some of the best films ever made, were saved and restored after going up in flames almost two decades ago. With beautiful black-and-white imagery, these are considered milestones in India’s film-making history.
PASS
Bravetown-poster BRAVETOWN || The creators of the trailer for “Bravetown” definitely know how to cross all the right bases, but without having an actual decent product to market, they cannot overcome the “Friday Night Lights Lite” feel. They’ve got the rising above in a small town storyline, they’ve got the cast in Josh Duhamel, Laura Dern, and Maria Bello, and they even have the combination of heartfelt moments and the perfect soundtrack, but there’s still something empty about the trailer and for that, it’s not worth my time.
PASS
HuntingElephants-poster HUNTING ELEPHANTS || A geriatric bank robbery film… were Patrick Stewart not in this film, I would have absolutely no idea who any of these men were. And Stewart plays such an outlandish character that by the end of the trailer, there’s not a single thing I would want to see this movie for. It’s not funny, it’s has zero personality, and it will likely have zero audience.
PASS
IAmBigBird-poster I AM BIG BIRD: THE CARROLL SPINNEY STORY || With the perfect combination of trailer storytelling and heartfelt music, the trailer for “I Am Big Bird: The Carroll Spinney Story” had me teary eyed. Who would have guessed that the man under the Big Bird suit and the Oscar the Grouch puppet was troubled? Telling his story from how Jim Henson picked him out of oblivion to take on the role of Big Bird to meeting the love of his life and during his world around, anything Sesame Street related I am usually willing to give a shot.
25% MAYBE
InTheNameOfMyDaughter-poster IN THE NAME OF MY DAUGHTER || In a love story turned dark, Adèle Haenel plays a young woman who falls in love with her mother’s business partner, only to eventually go missing, with the partner being the prime suspect and with her mother pursuing to put him away. Haenel almost sells this film with her free-wheeling nature and ethereal beauty, but with not much in the department of production design or writing, this film feels a bit light.
PASS
Infini-poster INFINI || Like horror films, science fiction space films are also a genre that I am willing to give the benefit of the doubt and give a shot. The poster for “Infini” looks like shit… it looks like some B-movie level shlock. But the trailer actually works well for the film, portraying it like an “Event Horizon” or “Pandorum” as a crew is sent out to rescue a remaining survivor of a space incident only to find that the rest of the original crew were infected with something. My interest is peaked enough to check it out.
25% MAYBE
Maggie-poster MAGGIE || The zombie genre takes an interesting turn with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Abigail Breslin in “Maggie,” as they play father and daughter. Abigail plays a changing young woman, destined to become what looks to be the walking dead. But Arnold refuses to give up on her and he brings her home to protect her from the threat of the police. But as she changes more and more, the threat becomes real from both ends. It’s nice to see Arnold put down his macho man side and produce some real, genuine emotion.
50% PROBABLY
Noble-poster NOBLE || Based on a true story about an Irish woman that grows up an orphan and moves to the streets of Vietnam to help give the impoverished children there a fighting chance, the film shows the struggles of this one woman in doing way more than her part. Unfortunately, Deirdre O’Kane does not quite have the acting prowess to grasp the attention of the viewer and reveals why this is a small, unheard of Indie film rather than something that grabs anyone’s attention.
PASS
PlayingItCool-poster2 PLAYING IT COOL || In a completely under the radar romantic comedy, Chris Evans is a man that’s never fallen in love, but that all changes when he meets Michelle Monaghan (and rightfully so). But… major twist, she’s got a boyfriend. So he has to play the friend card while still pining for her. Obviously this is a staple in the romantic comedy genre, but Evans is dynamic enough and the supporting cast has enough players like Topher Grace and Luke Wilson to make this worth it.
50% PROBABLY
Preggoland-poster PREGGOLAND || I don’t know who Sonja Bennett is, but she’s joining an elite club of actresses that have played characters that pretend to be pregnant. In this film, she’s sick of being left out of her friends’ lives, because they’re all getting pregnant and moving on and she isn’t. So she fakes it. Just like Lindsay Lohan in “Labor Pains” and just like some other ladies on some Lifetime Original Movie. And it’s not like James Caan or Danny Trejo can save this one.
PASS
SisterCode-poster SISTER CODE || Amber Rose is acting now? Her delivery in “Sister Code” is that of Kate Upton in “The Other Woman” where she is basically just eye candy, if that’s the type of woman that you’re into, offering zero dialogue delivery that actually connects and showing off her body as much and as often as she can. There’s no way to make a movie about three sisters growing up into completely different people look worse than this.
PASS
SpikeIsland-poster SPIKE ISLAND || The Stone Roses are not a band I’m familiar with and the British nature of this film turns me off, but the one redeeming factor this film has is an appearance by Emilia Clarke (“Game Of Thrones”). With her reoccurring role on HBO’s fantasy show, it’s a nice treat to see Clarke’s smiling face somewhere other than television, but even that does not help the fact that this film is just another band origin story with very little to offer.
PASS

THEATER

RENTAL

MOST LIKELY CATCH ON NETFLIX (75%)

PROBABLY CATCH ON NETFLIX (50%)

  • Maggie
  • Playing It Cool

MIGHT CATCH ON NETFLIX (25%)

  • The D Train
  • Hot Pursuit
  • I Am Big Bird: The Carroll Spinney Story
  • Infini

PASS

  •  5 Flights Up
  • 1001 Grams
  • The Apu Trilogy
  • Bravetown
  • Hunting Elephants
  • In The Name Of My Daughter
  • Noble
  • Preggoland
  • Saint Laurent
  • The Seven Five
  • Sister Code
  • Skin Trade
  • Spike Island

HELL NO

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