movie review

Vacation-movie-review-2015

MOVIE REVIEW: ‘Vacation’ Isn’t Worth The Trip Down Holiday Road

Film: Vacation
Starring: Ed Helms, Christina Applegate, Chris Hemsworth
Directed by: Jonathan M. Goldstein, John Francis Daley

Vacation–the successor to the last entry in the National Lampoon comedy series–opens on a series of pictures depicting seemingly idyllic families enjoying their vacations. In ye olde National Lampoon fashion, there are also a few visual gags centered on puking and erections (luckily, not in the same frame). From the get-go, this spiritual sequel (reboot? who cares?) is already trying to bring back the kind of humor that made the original quadrilogy so famous. Instead of relying on sight gags and absurdist …

unexpected-review-2015

MOVIE REVIEW: ‘Unexpected’ Is A Wonderfully Simple Indie Gem

Film: Unexpected
Starring: Cobie Smulders, Gail Bean
Directed by: Kris Swanberg

Unless you’re planning for it, the news that you’re about to have a baby can be both an exciting and terrifying experience in someone’s life. For Samantha Abbott (Cobie Smulders), there was probably no good time for the news that she would soon give birth to her first child to arrive. It’s not that she never wanted children, but she always planned to have them at some unknown point in the future when her life was a bit more settled. Unfortunately for Samantha, life rarely cares about the plans …

Trainwreck-Review

MOVIE REVIEW: ‘Trainwreck’ Cruises With Help From Amy Schumer

Film: Trainwreck
Directed by: Judd Apatow
Starring: Amy Schumer, Bill Hader, Brie Larson, Lebron James

Judd Apatow’s directorial features have been losing their comedic luster as of late, trading in laughs for more commonplace and conventional themes of parenthood and mid-life crises with This is 40 and Funny People. With Trainwreck, it’s like his spitfire hangout kind of humor has been revived by way of his new muse, comedienne Amy Schumer. Ripping from events in her own life, the film properly emulates the societal pressures put upon women in regards to staying monogamous while splicing through the kind …

The-Gallows-Review

MOVIE REVIEW: ‘The Gallows’ Might Be The Worst Film Of Summer 2015

Film: The Gallows
Starring: Reese Mishler, Pfeifer Brown
Directed by: Travis Cluff, Chris Lofing

2015 may be the year I finally stop defending found footage/POV storytelling in cinema. It’s been a good run, more or less, but after witnessing the hundredth-plus remix of the same twelve ideas presented with little to no original twist whatsoever in The Gallows I’m starting to believe my faith in shaky-cam storytelling has officially been depleted.

The year is 1993, and through the lens of a shoulder-mounted home video camera perched between two parents who don’t know when to shut up, we bare witness to …

terminator

MOVIE REVIEW: ‘Terminator Genisys’ Is More Than A Bit Rusty

Film: Terminator Genisys
Starring: Jai Courtney, Emilia Clarke, Arnold Schwarzenegger
Directed By: Alan Taylor

“Old, but not obsolete.” This line reverberates throughout the narrative of the new reboot/sequel/studio machination, Terminator Genisys. As the camera lingers on Schwarzenegger’s automated façade, we see that the lines on his face are more noticeable than ever. A sign of passing times, one would say. Time has most certainly passed since director James Cameron built the foundation for the franchise on top of schlocky B-movie tropes like relentless violence, threadbare sci-fi concepts and seemingly invincible villains. But this is 2015, folks – the time …

insideout

MOVIE REVIEW: ‘Inside Out’ Is A Heartwrenching Pixar Feature

Film: Inside Out
Directed by: Pete Docter, Ronaldo Del Carmen
Starring: Amy Poehler, Bill Hader, Phyllis Smith

Pixar has a knack for crafting stories based in other worlds or worlds that we can’t see with characters that strike the most emotional of chords with their relatable stories. Now, the studio put emotions at the forefront, as their own individual characters. The huge risk pays off, though. Instead of functioning as a surface-level understanding of Fear, Disgust, Anger, Joy and Sadness, Inside Out digs deep to find what makes these emotions tick and how or why they affect things around them. …

Entourage-Movie-Review

MOVIE REVIEW: ‘Entourage’ Is A Fitting Finale For HBO’s Bros

Film: Entourage
Starring: Adrien Grenier, Jeremy Piven
Directed by: Doug Ellin

The boys are back, and they’re picking up right where they left off.

Several years may have passed since the world said goodbye to Vince, E, Drama, Turtle, and Ari, but in the world of Entourage it has only been a few short months. Like the time jump that occurred between each of the show’s eight seasons, the jump between the series finale and the beginning of Doug Ellin’s long-awaited big screen continuation is only long enough for a new set of circumstances to arise. Vince is no longer …

San-Andreas-Movie-Review

MOVIE REVIEW: ‘San Andreas’ Crumbles, Explodes And Dulls

Film: San Andreas
Starring: Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Carla Gugino, Alexandra Daddario
Directed by: Brad Peyton

The disaster movie is a sub-genre that works almost solely off of nostalgia. I remember watching The Poseidon Adventure as a kid and was shook in awe by the power of natural forces and how humans may react to such an event. The bar of quality was set decades ago for these kinds of bombastic features. San Andreas does nothing to prove that it’s different from any other recent blow-em-up effort, wading through a slew of CGI compositions of buildings crumbling, coupled with generic …

Aloha-Movie-Review

MOVIE REVIEW: ‘Aloha’ Means Goodbye To Cameron Crowe In Hawaiian

Film: Aloha
Starring: Bradley Cooper, Emma Stone, Rachel McAdams
Directed by: Cameron Crowe

Director Cameron Crowe, the guy who brought us the masterpiece that is Almost Famous, has been on a sharp decline in quality ever since that 2000 effort. Vanilla Sky was an ambiguous mess and Elizabethtown was the most self-indulgent road movie to date. We Bought a Zoo wasn’t terrible, but it was nevertheless harmless fluff. Aloha is no different. Is it a romantic drama? Is it a screwball comedy? Is it a drama steeped in supernatural Hawaiian mythos? Well, it tries and fails to be all …

when marnie

MOVIE REVIEW: ‘When Marnie Was There’ Is Another Beautiful Gem From Studio Ghibli

Film: When Marnie Was There
Starring: Sara Takatsuki, Kasumi Arimura
Directed By: Hiromasa Yonebayashi

Based on Joan G. Robinson’s 1981 novel of the same name, When Marnie Was There is a beautifully affecting – and at times tragically depressive – animated feature from director Hiromasa Yonebayashi (The Secret World of Arrietty) and the iconic studio behind the works of legendary animator/director Hayao Miyazaki (My Neighbor Totoro, Spirited Away) and other beloved features such as Grave Of The Fireflies, Only Yesterday and most recently, The Tale Of Princess Kaguya.

At an hour and forty …

Tomorrowland-Movie-Review

MOVIE REVIEW: ‘Tomorrowland’ Lacks Wonder And Coherence

Film: Tomorrowland
Starring: Britt Robertson, George Clooney
Directed By: Brad Bird

As the first shot rolls on Tomorrowland, we see Clooney’s Frank Walker talking to the camera about his pessimistic predilections towards the future. Once he is done telling his story, the camera pans over Britt Robertson’s Casey Newton, someone self-dubbed as an optimist as she smiles into the camera while Frank grunts.

It would be fair to say that watching these two ideological agendas play out amongst a swath of beautiful CGI would be fun, to say the least. Unfortunately, that’s not the case here. Brad Bird’s newest …

Welcome-To-Me-Review-Wiig

MOVIE REVIEW: ‘Welcome To Me’ Is Kristen Wiig At Her Best

Film: Welcome To Me
Starring: Kristen Wiig, Wes Bentley
Directed by: Shira Piven

As if you needed another reason to love Kristen Wiig.

Welcome To Me may be the definition of an offbeat movie. Both hilarious and heartbreaking, the film tells the tale of a mentally unwell woman who uses her lottery winnings to purchase air time on at a local TV station. She uses that time to host one-hundred episodes of her very own talk show, starring herself, with absolutely no guests.…