10 CLOVERFIELD LANE || March 11th, 2016

10CloverfieldLane-poster 10 CLOVERFIELD LANE || What could have easily made it on its own merits was then turned into what can only be described as a cash grab, adding the “Cloverfield” name to a script that simply did not need it. Mary Elizabeth Winstead was fine but it’s John Goodman that knocks this out of the park. This should easily kick start Dan Trachtenberg’s directing career.
TheBrothersGrimsby-poster THE BROTHERS GRIMSBY || No one should be shocked by the things that Sacha Baron Cohen does in his films, following “Borat” and “Bruno” and yet somehow we still are. “The Brothers Grimsby” is definitely his most produced film yet, with action sequences and a decent cast throughout, begging the question what would it be like if James Bond had an idiot brother. Despite it not being a great film, you probably have to see this one just to experience it’s craziness.
CityOfGold-poster CITY OF GOLD || Documentaries about food critics or dining experiences are usually not for me, but “City Of Gold” almost becomes the portrait of the city of Los Angeles through an LA Weekly food critics journey through different restaurants, not all major players, with some heartfelt stories about him saving several people’s livelihoods. Jonathan Gold is the subject.
STREAM
HelloMyNameIsDoris-poster HELLO MY NAME IS DORIS || At almost 70, Sally Field plays the title character, who decides to start living her life when a young new creative director starts at the place that she works. Max Greenfield plays that creative director, as he becomes the center of Doris’ fantasies and in her pursuit for him through Facebook and concerts, she finds a life that she could be living. As much as it’s nice seeing Max get work outside of “New Girl,” none of this comes off appealing to me.
PASS
ThePerfectMatch-poster THE PERFECT MATCH || There’s definitely a lot of good looking people in “The Perfect Match,” but of course there’s no substance. We are taken in the life of a player who says he’ll never settle down… until his friends dare him to settle down and of course he ends up falling in love. I wish this could be even slightly better so I could enjoy these beautiful people, but even the trailer was a little too much to take.
PASS
RiverOfGrass-poster RIVER OF GRASS || Before director Kelly Reichardt made the films “Old Joy,” “Wendy & Lucy,” and “Night Moves,” her directorial debut was “River Of Grass,” which was now restored and released into theaters for all to enjoy. A modern Bonnie & Clyde, the narrative is a bit stiff, but if you enjoy Reichardt’s filmography, chances are you’ll enjoy this.
PASS
TheYoungMessiah-poster THE YOUNG MESSIAH || Being one of the oldest stories ever told, you’ve got to wonder, at this point, how many films have been made, not just about Jesus Christ, but about his origin story as well. Sean Bean is the only recognizable face here as Severus.
PASS

Admiral-poster ADMIRAL || Rutger Hauer and Charles Dance (“Game Of Thrones”) star is the navel period piece that sees the Netherlands being attacked by England, France and Germany, all while being on the verge of a civil war. The graphics are up to snuff, but the acting seems hollow and the story relies completely on historical narrative rather than putting any real emotion or passion into it.
PASS
TheAutomaticHate-poster THE AUTOMATIC HATE || Finding out there’s a side of your family that you never knew existed is probably enough to base a film on, but then add in some strange, taboo attraction between the cousins and the reasoning behind the longstanding family grudge and there’s enough to make this intriguing. Adelaide Clemens is also a bright young actress worth checking out.
STREAM
Backgammon-poster BACKGAMMON || A weekend away with friends turns into a sexual thriller. After his girlfriend leaves, Lucian is faced with an artist named Gerald and his girlfriend, Miranda. But after Gerald flies off the handle, Lucian and Miranda are left to explore their sexual tension alone. But with their surroundings being altered, it’s apparent that Gerald might not have left. I feel like there’s probably a bigger twist than that, but this all feels too thin from the get-go.
PASS
BarneyThomson-poster BARNEY THOMSON || Robert Carlyle directs and stars lead in this offbeat dark comedy about a barber that accidentally kills his co-worker and then tries to cover up the death with his mother, played by Emma Thompson. Ray Winstone is left to sniff out exactly who killed the barber. Even with all this talent, it still feels like nothing I haven’t seen before, with “Bernie” being the first thing that comes to mind.
PASS
BoomBoomBust-poster2 BOOM BUST BOOM || Exploring economics and the housing crisis, but with puppets mixed in. I’m not sure how any of that relates, but this is yet another documentary that attempts to bring answers to our current economical woes.
PASS
CreativeControl-poster CREATIVE CONTROL || Exploring virtual reality and what could be ahead of us for the future, the characters in this film use glasses not that far off from Google Glass. The obvious place to go with this is relationships in virtual reality and this at least shows a slight story-line involving real relationships versus virtual ones. I enjoy some of Nora Zehetner’s work, but not enough to see this film.
PASS
EyeInTheSky-poster EYE IN THE SKY || Drone movies are becoming all the rage, probably because drones are taking over where feet on the ground used to be. So it’s easy to suppose that for every “Saving Private Ryan” or “The Hurt Locker” that were made in the past, we will get just as good drone war films. “Eye In The Sky” aims for that, especially with a cast of Helen Mirren, Aaron Paul, and the late Alan Rickman, but it doesn’t quite reach any of those levels. You might recognize Phoebe Fox from “The Woman In Black: Angel Of Death.”
STREAM
AHauntingInCawdor-poster THE HAUNTING IN CAWDOR || Even on the scales of low budget horror films, this one is bad. Cary Elwes plays a counselor of sorts, putting delinquent teens through a small-town production of Macbeth until some paranormal activity begins taking place.
PASS
HyenaRoad-poster HYENA ROAD || On the front-line, soldiers are asked to do all kinds of questionable things I am sure, but when these men are asked to protect an FBI informant that is clearly working both sides, they simply cannot take the order, especially when there is child smuggling for the Taliban involved. Disobeying orders, they step in to help. Not that I completely agree with either sides. Anyway, the production quality on this one is low.
PASS
Lolo-poster LOLO || Julie Delpy returns to the directing chair (“2 Days In Paris” & “2 Days In New York”) with “Lolo,” a story about a middle aged woman trying to date all while her grown up son who lives with her isn’t doing her any favors. There’s no real jokes here and it’s painfully clear this is Julie Delpy in the directors chair, the writing room, and starring lead, which leaves no real room for any other tone or idea than what she can bring.
PASS
Marguerite-poster MARGUERITE || An opera singer that can’t sing and yet everyone wants to see. The trailer does not do a good job of telling the audience why this works exactly. If it’s not like “The King’s Speech,” where the president must learn to control his stutter to command the respect of those listening to him, then I’m not sure where it’s going, as the title character almost embraces the fact that she’s tone deaf.
PASS
MeHimHer-poster ME HIM HER || Max Landis’ latest feature starts off as an interesting LGBT film, as a famous actor comes out of the closet to his friend and asks him to come out to L.A., but sadly deteriorates into your run-of-the-mill, straight romantic comedy that not even the pretty and talented Emily Meade can save.
PASS
RiseOfTheLegend-poster RISE OF THE LEGEND || Martial arts films all feel the same to me. Not to say that they are not works of art, especially when it comes to choreography of the fight scenes. But they all closely resemble one another and each story feels slightly derivative of the last. The only differences here are spelt out in the copy, describing the master that came before Bruce Lee and Ip Man.
PASS

THEATER

  • “10 Cloverfield Lane”
  • “The Brothers Grimsby”

RENT

STREAM

  • “The Automatic Hate”
  • “City Of Gold”
  • “Eye In The Sky”

PASS

  • “Admiral”
  • “Backgammon”
  • “Barney Thomson”
  • “Boom Bust Boom”
  • “Creative Control”
  • “The Haunting In Cawdor”
  • “Hello My Name Is Doris”
  • “Hyena Road”
  • “Lolo”
  • “Marguerite”
  • “Me Him Her”
  • “The Perfect Match”
  • “Rise Of The Legend”
  • “River Of Grass”
  • “The Young Messiah”

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