Theatrical Releases: Allegiant & Midnight Special

MARCH 18TH, 2016

Allegiant-poster ALLEGIANT || Being a film behind in the Divergent series, I cannot say for sure if I’m on board with this third installment, “Allegiant,” because I have absolutely no idea what’s going on in the trailer. Shailene Woodley looks stunning as always, so it will likely get the benefit of the doubt. But story-wise, the trailer does nothing to sell it to someone who is just walking into the series.
RENT
TheBronze-poster THE BRONZE || Melissa Rauch of minimal “Big Bang Theory” fame (I don’t watch it, so I had no idea who she was) takes on what feels like an SNL character in her first feature film. Rauch plays Hope, a former Olympic gymnast who never quit moves on from her 15 minutes of fame and is now living in her father’s basement, masturbating, cursing, and sponging off of what little celebrity she has left. With a plot of having to train the next big thing and face off against her rival (played by Sebastian Stan), this film tries for all the raunchy moments it can (gymnastic sex) but it all falls a bit short of being shocking.
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TheConfirmation-poster THE CONFIRMATION || With two films out this week, young Jaeden Lieberher is seeing his star rise since being apart of Bill Murray’s “St. Vincent” alongside Melissa McCarthy. Now he’s next to Clive Owen in “The Confirmation,” yet another film about a deadbeat dad who’s tasked with taking care of his son for a weekend when his prized toolbox is stolen. Patton Oswalt looks to be the only thing that could lead me to seeing this, but chances of that are small.
PASS
TheLittlePrince-poster THE LITTLE PRINCE || REPOST: More often than not, animated features that aren’t put out by the big name studios like Pixar or Dreamworks end up not being very good, but “The Little Prince,” directed by Mark Osborne (“Kung Fu Panda”) does an excellent job of being a decent rival to these studios. With a huge voice cast including Rachel McAdams, Jeff Bridges, Benicio Del Toro, Marion Cotillard, Paul Rudd, and Paul Giamatti, with decent production quality, similar to Pixar’s last feature “Inside Out,” and telling a heartwarming story about a young girl who breaks away from her planned out life to have an adventure reminds me of “Up” in its tone and delivery.
STREAM
MidnightSpecial-poster MIDNIGHT SPECIAL || Director Jeff Nichols follows up “Take Shelter” and “Mud” with his latest “Midnight Special,” the story of a young boy (Jaeden Lieberher) with special abilities on the run with his father, played by Michael Shannon. A little too sci-fi for its own good, Nichols does prove to direct this ensemble cast (Joel Edgerton, Adam Driver, Kirsten Dunst) to some of their best performances in recent memory.
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MiraclesFromHeaven-poster MIRACLES FROM HEAVEN || Why are faith-based films so heavy-handed? Based on a true story, a little girl gets a rare, incurable disease, but when she falls out of a tree and lands on her neck, instead of being paralyzed she’s cured of the disease. A miracle! This is exactly where Jennifer Garner belongs. In a film I will never ever see.
PASS
MyGoldenDays-poster MY GOLDEN DAYS || Apart from the debut of young French actress Lou Roy-Lecollinet, “My Golden Days” seems a little on the melodramatic side, also starring Quentin Dolmaire.
PASS
ThePreppieConnection-poster THE PREPPIE CONNECTION || There’s something about actor Thomas Mann that slightly turns me off of his films and “The Preppie Connection” is sadly one of those. The trailer is well done, with some interesting cues and a drug-smuggling plot that is almost original.
PASS

TheBrainwashingOfMyDad-poster THE BRAINWASHING OF MY DAD || An observational documentary showing what the right-wing movement over media did to a daughter’s father and what impact that it could have had throughout the country, “The Brainwashing Of My Dad” is a grant winning film that looks slightly under-produced and a little too one-dimensional.
PASS
BurningBodhi-poster BURNING BODHI || A group of friends come together to face the first death in their tight circle. Dealing with unresolved feelings towards one another, the criss-cross of who loves who and who loved who becomes the focus of the love triangle. Kaley Cuoco is given the star treatment here, but it’s Cody Horn that shines through this entire trailer, and almost makes it worth a watch… almost.
PASS
TheChannel-poster THE CHANNEL || If I never see another horror film about a person dying but coming back and bringing evil with them, it’ll be too soon. Especially when they star absolutely no one and the production quality is as low as it gets.
PASS
FireworksWednesday-poster FIREWORKS WEDNESDAY || Academy Award winning foreign language film director Asghar Farhadi follows up “A Separation,” “The Past,” and “About Elly” with “Fireworks Wednesday,” about a Parisian family in Tehran dealing with infidelity suspicions and domestic disputes, all while a new maid is weaved into the middle of the altercations. I’m a huge fan of Farhadi’s work and could easily see this getting an Oscar nomination if it’s as good as it looks.
STREAM
TheHatching-poster THE HATCHING || A giant genetically altered crocodile is on the loose in a small-town… and unfortunately this pseudo-horror film does not seem to poke fun at itself whatsoever.
PASS
Krisha-poster KRISHA || Centered around a Thanksgiving family dinner, the title character, Krisha, returns to her family to attempt to reconcile and make up for lost time, but things eventually spiral out of control. With some great reviews and an interesting, original plot, I am slightly intrigued, but the trailer does little to push you to actually see it.
PASS
MyBeautifulBrokenBrain-poster MY BEAUTIFUL BROKEN BRAIN || A documentary about a young woman that has a stroke, “My Beautiful Broken Brain” dives into the world of a woman that used to be very articulate but who now struggles to find the correct words. But in the sudden absence of words, she can now see colors like never before, and compares it to a David Lynch movie, who is also a producer on the film. I am passing for now, but with Netflix’s sudden rise in the Best Documentary Feature category at the Oscars as of late, I would not be surprised at all to see this get nominated.
PASS
TheProgram-poster2 THE PROGRAM || REPOST: Based on the story of Tour de France cyclist Lance Armstrong and the scandal that followed his wins, Ben Foster takes on the leading role and looks to transform into the part, giving one of his best showings yet. Were this to be released in 2015, you can be sure it would have a running at the Oscar Season as well.
RENT
ASpaceProgram-poster A SPACE PROGRAM || Tom Sachs is apparently an artist that built a space program from scratch as an art installation, and this film, “A Space Program,” created a fictional film about it, where this DIY NASA sends two female astronauts to Mars. Providing a behind-the-scenes look at this art installation, it’s apparently a must-see for fans of Sachs. Unfortunately, I have no idea who he is.
PASS
SummerCamp-poster SUMMER CAMP || From one of the producers of “[Rec]” and a hand full of other recent horror films, “Summer Camp” is yet another zombie outbreak tale set at some secluded summer camp. There’s nothing original here, offering only telegraphed jump scares and recycled zombie plot devices.
PASS
SweetBean-poster SWEET BEAN || A cute little foreign language film, “Sweet Bean” centers around a tiny bakery where a man accepts the help of an old lady who proves to have magic in her secret recipe for dorayakis—pastries filled with sweet red bean paste. Many times watching trailers like this, I wonder why short films are not a bigger medium than they are, because this would make a perfect short film.
PASS
TakeMeToTheRiver2016-poster TAKE ME TO THE RIVER || Matt Sobel’s directorial debut focuses on a family reunion, where a gay Californian teenager, Ryder decides to come out but with his mother’s wishes he decides to wait. When something strange happens with one of his little girl cousins, suddenly something dark and sinister comes out of this little drama. When it comes to incest or sexuality with little girls, however, I strongly have to pass.
PASS
ThankYouForPlaying-poster THANK YOU FOR PLAYING || When they find out their toddler son has terminal cancer, Ryan and Amy Green decide to make a video game that shares moments with their son as he deals with his cancer. Creating something never seen before and providing an in-depth, intimate look into their lives, this documentary comes from a very emotional place. I am looking forward to seeing what this game is all about, but the movie, not so much.
PASS
TooLate-poster TOO LATE || If its got John Hawkes, chances are I’m gonna see it, and “Too Late” is touting Hawkes at his best, so it has to be seen. With some interesting marketing, a recognizable cast, and above average camerawork at play, there’s definitely something here.
STREAM

THEATER

  • “The Bronze”
  • “Midnight Special”

RENT

  • “Allegiant”
  • “The Program”

STREAM

  • “Fireworks Wednesday”
  • “The Little Prince”
  • “Too Late”

PASS

  • “The Brainwashing Of My Dad”
  • “Burning Bodhi”
  • “The Channel”
  • “The Confirmation”
  • “The Hatching”
  • “Krisha”
  • “Miracles From Heaven”
  • “Mt Beautiful Broken Brain”
  • “My Golden Days”
  • “The Preppie Connection”
  • “A Space Program”
  • “Summer Camp”
  • “Sweet Bean”
  • “Take Me To The River”
  • “Thank You For Playing”

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