Theatrical Releases: Mad Max: Fury Road & Pitch Perfect 2

MAD MAX: FURY ROAD || May 15th, 2015

Absolution-poster ABSOLUTION || Steven Seagal starring in another action film is almost the punchline to a joke. But yet, “Absolution” exists, seeing him as the retired killer going in for one last job to save a woman and do one good thing with his life. Vinnie Jones plays the mob boss at the head of the snake, and although he can sell his performance, Segal is very much past his prime is the worst of ways. Part of me hopes the copy line is true in regards to his career. “One Last Fight”.
PASS
Animals-poster ANIMALS || You may recognize David Dastmalchian from his minor role in “The Dark Knight” but now he takes a starring role in this relationship drama where a couple faces drug addiction together. Dastmalchian is also credited as the writer of the film. The trailer takes a nice approach by making the film seem very straightforward and slowly introduces the drug aspect of their relationship.
25% MAYBE
Area51-poster AREA 51 || Roswell, New Mexico, Area 51, and aliens have always been a source of great speculation. Of course, we will probably never actually know what is being hidden there, but “Paranormal Activity” director Oren Peli takes a stab at it with this found footage film where a group of young adults find out how to get past the security and find themselves in over their heads when they potentially unleash alien life miles under the desert.
50% PROBABLY
GoodKill-poster GOOD KILL || When you think of ethics in the military, the hot topic these days is drone strikes. So it’s only fitting that there’s a film about it starring Ethan Hawke and January Jones, from director Andrew Niccol (“In Time”, “Lord Of War”). Hawke plays air force pilot turned joy stick controlling drone striker who deals with the ethics of carrying out kills from countries away, stating in the trailer “I blew away 6 Taliban in Pakistan today, now I’m going home to barbeque.”
50% PROBABLY
MadMaxFuryRoad-poster MAD MAX: FURY ROAD || If you’re going to remake or reboot a franchise, why not have the original creator/director take the helm? That’s exactly what happened with George Miller and his “Mad Max” series which dates back to the late ’70s. What looks and is being described as one giant chase scene, Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron step into the desert world where giant clouds of dirt, dune buggies, and half naked women run rampant. This is one of my most anticipated of the summer.
THEATER
PitchPerfect2-poster PITCH PERFECT 2 || The only reason I saw the first “Pitch Perfect” film was for Anna Kendrick. Not the A cappella music or the rest of the misfit cast, just Kendrick. And the same might go for this film. Yes, Rebel Wilson has now made a career out of being fat and Brittany Snow is a slightly bigger name now, and they’ve even added the talented Hailee Steinfeld to the cast and Elizabeth Banks has taken a seat in the directors chair for the first time, but after 3 years, I’m still only in it for Anna Kendrick.
25% MAYBE
PoundOfFlesh-poster POUND OF FLESH || Thanks to the success of “John Wick,” you can bet there will be more simple plot action films following in its footsteps, including Van Damme’s latest where, on the eve of donating a kidney to his dying niece, he is the victim of organ theft. Taking matters into his own hands, he goes out get revenge himself. If there’s anyone else in line with Steven Segal who should no longer be in action films, it’s Van Damme.
PASS

TheConnection-poster THE CONNECTION || Another film based around the real-life drug smuggling ring “the French Connection,” this one stars Academy Award winner Jean Dujardin, playing Marseilles magistrate Pierre Michel as he attempts to take down the ring. Despite familiar faces, there’s not much going for the film that you couldn’t get from say the 1971 William Friedkin version “The French Connection”.
PASS
DarkStarHRGigersWorld-poster DARK STAR: H.R. GIGER’S WORLD || H. R. Giger is best known for his Oscar-winning designs in “Alien,” but this surrealist artist did not keep his personal and professional lives separate, as his entire world was filled with the macabre designs that made his name recognizable. In this documentary, they unveil his world and try to gain an insight as to where this darkness in his art comes from.
PASS
EchoesOfWar-poster ECHOES OF WAR || Set after the Civil War, “Echoes Of War” takes a look at rivaling neighbors each dealing with their own losses. Ethan Embry takes on a much more serious role than we’re used to from him as he plays the head of household of one of the families. James Badge Dale is the instigating force, as Embry’s brother-in-law, who sees that the neighbors are stealing from them and decides to take actions into his own hands. William Forsythe takes on the role of villain as the other head of household.
PASS
EverySecretThing-poster EVERY SECRET THING || Elizabeth Banks is a police officer in charge of a case of a missing baby, but with two recently released teenagers guilty of the same crime, all fingers seem to point in their direction, despite the pleas from their family members. Dakota Fanning and Diane Lane are one of the teens/parent pairing, while Common also stars. This has enough star power and cinematography to rise above Lifetime Original Movie status, but just barely.
PASS
TheFilmCritic-poster THE FILM CRITIC || Everyone’s taking their shot at romantic comedies these days, and now, in true French fashion, “The Film Critic” takes on the stereotypes as well, fleshing them out in an ostentatious way. Much in the same vein as “They Came Together,” the film sets out to tell a romantic comedy story by blatantly calling out the tropes of the genre and openly making light of them. But it doing so, it attempts to tell its own story and thus finds its way into the genre anyhow.
PASS
IllSeeYouInMyDreams-poster I’LL SEE YOU IN MY DREAMS || Blythe Danner takes on her geriatric coming of age tale with Sundance selection “I’ll See You In My Dreams,” where speed dating and bridge clubs aren’t enough to tame her desire for a man in her life. Then in walks the suave Sam Elliott, who sweeps her off her feet. Also starring Malin Akerman, Martin Starr, and June Squibb, the film feels a little too cut and dry, and a little too by the book to feel any bit exciting or different.
PASS
SlowWest-poster SLOW WEST || Michael Fassbender Vs. Ben Mendelsohn in the Wild West. Not necessarily sold on actor Kodi Smit-McPhee quite yet, his inclusion does very little in enticing me to see this film, but the fact that it’s a Western and it packs to powerhouse names makes it at least the slightest bit desirable. Smit-McPhee sets out to find his lost love when he comes across Fassbender’s character. When they meet the outlaws headed by Mendelsohn, there’s enough fighting and gunfire to provide some truly great visuals.
50% PROBABLY
TheSurface-poster THE SURFACE || A downed plane and a stranded pilot picked up by a man boating around should be enough to at least draw some attention to an unknown film. It also stars Sean Astin (“Rudy”, “The Lord Of The Rings”), but instead of all these aspects working for it, the production quality and writing remain so poor that even a drug mule storyline and a nicely designed poster can not raise it above the schlock that it is.
PASS
TimeLapse-poster TIME LAPSE || The perfectly capable Danielle Panabaker takes her first real step away from the TV series “The Flash” and finds herself in a science fiction film akin to “Primer,” where a group of friends find a camera in their neighbors house that provides pictures of a day in the future, a time traveling camera which predicts what will happen the next day. But when the group uses the camera for betting and money, things go south… no kidding.
25% MAYBE
WhereHopeGrows-poster WHERE HOPE GROWS || Although I appreciate the heartwarming nature of the film and its exposure of a talented young actor with Down syndrome, “When Hope Grows” follows in line with the string of Christian based films that sell redemption and kindness towards others with a heavy hand and a paper thin facade. That is not to discredit the film in anyway, or take away from bringing positive messages to people that need them, it simply means its just not my type of entertainment.
PASS

THEATER

  • Mad Max: Fury Road

RENTAL

MOST LIKELY CATCH ON NETFLIX (75%)

PROBABLY CATCH ON NETFLIX (50%)

  • Area 51
  • Good Kill
  • Slow West

MIGHT CATCH ON NETFLIX (25%)

  • Animals
  • Pitch Perfect 2
  • Time Lapse

PASS

  • Absolution
  • The Connection
  • Dark Star: H.R. Giger’s World
  • Echoes Of War
  • Every Secret Thing
  • The Film Critic
  • I’ll See You In My Dreams
  • Pound Of Flesh
  • The Surface
  • When Hope Grows

HELL NO

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