Theatrical Releases: The Transporter Refueled & A Walk In The Woods

A WALK IN THE WOODS || September 4th, 2015

SteveJobsTheManInTheMachine-poster STEVE JOBS: THE MAN IN THE MACHINE || Steve Jobs died in 2011 and since then, he’s been the topic of many films and documentaries, including the latest for director Alex Gibney, “Steve Jobs: The Man In The Machine,” which continues to chronicle his life from the rise of his infamy working in a garage to developing the most recognizable brands in technology history. Interviewing those around him, the most interesting, which continue to propel Jobs as this eccentric auteur with definitive orders and dreams, are the ones of his co-workers and subordinates who spell out just exactly how taxing it was working for him. Coming from a director with such an amazing documentary track-record, it still doesn’t feel like it goes anywhere you didn’t already know about Jobs.
PASS
TransporterRefueled-poster THE TRANSPORTER: REFUELED || Had I not heard a single bad reviews about the latest “Transporter,” I would still thinks it looks utterly impossible to watch on all levels. Delving into the world of the man behind the getaway vehicle, the trailer contains so many action movie tropes that at minute 1:30 of 2:30, I couldn’t take it anymore. A bank heist, an “impossible” getaway, blackmail, kidnapping. It’s all just too much. Honestly, the only thing that could actually only slightly sold this was if they had gotten Jason Statham back.
PASS
AWalkInTheWoods-poster A WALK IN THE WOODS || Looking like you’d expect it to, “A Walk In The Woods” is literally two old guys bumbling through the woods making quips and “learning” as they go. Robert Redford and Nick Nolte are the old guys and the Appalachian Trail is the setting. Together they fall, trip, bump, and splash through every part of the trail. The humor isn’t quite there, with jokes like the bunk bed breaking and the bears attacking, as it all feels retreaded just with “old guys” filling the mad lib for what ever was there before.
PASS

AbsolutelyAnything-poster ABSOLUTELY ANYTHING || Chances are you’ve already seen this movie, because “Bruce Almighty” had almost the same exact premise… one normal man is given the power of God. And of course, he must misuse it. Why couldn’t it be a females turn to have the powers of the universe? Why couldn’t “Absolutely Anything,” which also stars Kate Beckinsale, make her the lead? Anyway, Simon Pegg continues the ride of fame that he’s on, attempting to carry this rather soulless comedy.
PASS
BeforeWeGo-poster BEFORE WE GO || The gorgeous Alice Eve sells most things for me, so “Before We Go” starts off on that foot. But add to that the studio drawing no attention to the fact that this is Chris Evans’ directorial debut, and then you’ve definitely got my attention. This isn’t a complete surprise, as I remember reading his interviews in which after he departs from his Captain America gig, he may want to pursue directing. The film looks a little too sweet, but with the star-power and a fresh directorial voice, I’m interested.
STREAM
BlackPanthersVanguardsOfRevolution-poster THE BLACK PANTHERS: VANGUARDS OF THE REVOUTION || Every time racism and oppression rear their ugly heads in the media, films like this one remind us what we’ve been dealing with all these years. Reminding younger generations that groups like the Black Panthers existed, we can at least somewhat be reassured that there are always those fighting for the oppressed (or at least there should be). Filled with mostly archival footage, this is a pretty thorough documentary, but it’s also a little dense.
PASS
Blind-poster BLIND || “Blind” has plenty of intrigue and sex, providing a raw character study of a woman who recently loses her sight and what follows as she deals with this with her husband. However, it’s the characters around her that don’t quite add up.
PASS
BloodPunch-poster BLOOD PUNCH || No idea what this film is about. The trailer shows the lead actor Milo Cawthorne finding a video camera in the bathtub with a message from himself that looks to be from the night before, but when he chops off his own fingers in the video, I became completely lost. The story involves guns, drugs, and a young woman, but beyond that, like what exactly is going on or what they will be involved in, I do not have the slightest clue. This debuted in 2013, so it’s taken two years to finally get here.
PASS
BloodsuckingBastards-poster BLOODSUCKING BASTARDS || Fran Kranz (“The Cabin In The Woods”) and Joey Kern (“Super Troopers”) star in what is basically the equivalent of “Office Space” meets “Fright Night,” as a vampire corporate boss takes over a small, no-name industry and begins feeding on the employees. This is handled in true B-horror movie fashion, complete with buckets of blood and a bit of sex. Kranz is a good choice for carrying the future of this type of film, but unfortunately this feels a little too small.
PASS
BreakPoint-poster BREAK POINT || It saddens me that I don’t want to see “Break Point” because there are so many talented people involved, like Academy Award winner J.K. Simmons and a favorite actress of mine, Amy Smart. But the story of a has-been tennis player rekindling with his brother to get back into the game as doubles is really far from being entertaining or even funny. Jeremy Sisto (“Clueless”) and  David Walton (every canceled television series ever) play the brothers and they are so “vanilla” they are impossible to get past.
PASS
ChloeAndTheo-poster CHLOE & THEO || Theo is an Eskimo that comes from the North to New York City to tell the world about a vision of the future that he has involving Global Warming. The first person he tells is a homeless woman, played by Dakota Johnson. Since donning herself in “Fifty Shades Of Grey,” it seems, quite like Kristen Stewart and her “Twilight” rise, Johnson is here to stay. Many people questioned whether she was atoning by doing this film but regardless, it’s a little bit too Lifetime Original Movie to be anything substantial.
PASS
ContractedPhase2-poster CONTRACTED PHASE 2 || Although I had vaguely wanted to see the original, as it saw a young woman partake in a one night stand and suddenly come down with what she assumes is an STD but is actually something like a zombie outbreak, “Contracted Phase 2” seems to lose the intimate one person idea that made the original work, and goes for something spreading, something bigger, and that’s seriously too bad. It’s uninspired and seeing as it’s already a sequel, it fails to rise above that at all.
PASS
Deathgasm-poster DEATHGASM || Death metal meets zombies. I’m banging my head against the wall at this point, with absolutely EVERYONE trying to cash in on the zombie craze. It saturates the industry so heavily that it’s beyond overkill. “Deathgasm” sees some rockers killing and rocking and making some odd joke about being out of tune. Sadly, this misguided horror-comedy is just that.
PASS
DirtyWeekend-poster DIRTY WEEKEND || Whereas with “Before We Go,” I stated that Alice Eve could sell me on anything, I am taking those words back, as “Dirty Weekend” also stars her, and there is nothing selling me on this film whatsoever. She and Matthew Broderick, playing her employer, get stuck somewhere and have to spend the weekend together, she suddenly finds out there is something sexually different about Broderick and the film looks to explore that. Even Alice Eve kissing another woman does not sell this and that is really saying a lot.
PASS
DragonBlade-poster DRAGON BLADE || For never having heard of “Dragon Blade,” the epic action adventure film set in China and bringing to life the fight for the Silk Road when East and West collided, the cast is quite brilliant, with an Oscar winner in Adrien Brody as well as household names like John Cusack and Jackie Chan. Apparently a huge success when released in China, this is finally making its way over here. As far as I’m concerned, the plot is a little too well traveled for my tastes, but production quality looks great, as does the cast.
PASS
ElleLadore-poster ELLE L’ADORE || What the trailer for “Elle L’Adore” tries to do is point out the crazy things that women will do for their musician crushes. Selling your car for a plane ticket to see them in concert, naming your kids after them or their songs, planning pregnancies around concerts you’d like to attend. But “Elle L’Adore” is actually a fictional film, where a woman becomes obsessed with her musician crush. However, to what extents she goes or what is actually at stake is not quite made clear, as the trailer goes into music and images over story.
PASS
TheGoldenDream-poster THE GOLDEN DREAM || The United States is still the prize to many living in the slums of Mexico and “The Golden Dream” tells the fictitious story of three teenagers traveling together from Guatemala to America by train. Taking a young Indian boy who doesn’t speak Spanish under their wing, they all soon find that getting into the U.S. is much harder than it seems, with migration police patrolling the train tracks. Despite a strong narrative arc, there’s nothing here to grab your attention.
PASS
HeroesOfDirt-poster HEROES OF DIRT || Making a film stand out is about breaking out of the norm and creating not only a story worth telling, but one that hasn’t been told all that much. “Heroes Of Dirt” feels like a retread of so many other stories that it is almost laughable at how much it borrows from other films. About a BMX biker that runs from the law and gets community service because of it, he begins mentoring a young man who may or may not be involved with selling drugs. I’m not sure if this is a faith-based film, but if it’s not, it sure feels like it.
PASS
ParanormalIsland-poster PARANORMAL ISLAND || Lance Henriksen plays the creepy old man warning the young adults to be careful before the horror movie impending doom is unleashed. “Paranormal Island” sees a group of college students traveling to a bar in the middle of a lake to tend bar for the summer. But like Henricksen’s warning, they shouldn’t stay after hours, because that’s when bad things happen. Of course they get stuck there and when the ghosts come out, we get our run-of-the-mill horror film.
PASS
ASinnerInMecca-poster A SINNER IN MECCA || Just like with almost all religions, Muslims believe homosexuality to be a sin. “A Sinner In Mecca” is a documentary that looks explore one gay man’s struggle to remain Muslim but also gay, even though his church and even his parents see this as a sin. In Saudi Arabia, to be Muslim and openly gay is an act that is punishable by death, and the main character of the documentary seeks to complete this venture despite knowing the consequences. The premise is definitely original and the imagery looks intense with blood and tension galore. But it’s the subject matter in general that doesn’t do it for me.
PASS
UnGalloConMuchosHuevos-poster UN HALLO CON MUCHOS HUEVOS || In an all Spanish animated film, “Un Gallo Con Muchos Huevos” (or English translation: “A Rooster With Many Eggs”) sees a young rooster turning to cock-fighting to win money to save his owner’s farm. With talking eggs and bacon, plenty of jokes that do not land, and a weird smattering of adult reference jokes, I am not sure who this movie is supposed to be targeted at. Visually, it’s obviously for children, but humor-wise, it is much more for adults, and even then it is not quite sell-able to them.
PASS
WelcomeBack-poster WELCOME BACK || As always with Bollywood films, I have no idea what thought goes into these films and why they are the way they are. This one seems to reference a much older film in its trailer, but with some audio recording issues and the strangeness that always goes into Bollywood films, “Welcome Back” is yet another film that is either over my head or completely beneath me.
PASS

THEATER

RENT

STREAM

  • Before We Go

PASS

  • Absolutely Anything
  • The Black Panthers: Vanguards Of The Revolution
  • Blind
  • Blood Punch
  • Bloodsucking Bastards
  • Break Point
  • Chloe & Theo
  • Contracted: Phase 2
  • Deathgasm
  • Dirty Weekend
  • Dragon Blade
  • Elle L’Adore
  • The Golden Dream
  • Heroes Of Dirt
  • Paranormal Island
  • A Sinner In Mecca
  • Steve Jobs: The Man In The Machine
  • The Transporter: Refueled
  • Un Gallo Con Muchos Huevos
  • A Walk In The Woods
  • Welcome Back

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