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Goat

Thu, 22 Sep 2016 13:04:55 PDT

Rent It

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The stereotypical fraternity house has been explored through a wide array of different films and television shows. They have become known for their extreme parties and hazing initiations, which include quite shocking forms of physical and psychological humiliation. This primarily takes place during Hell Week, where the newest pledges must endure an entire week of shock-inducing treatment. This has been reduced in recent years due to colleges taking injuries - and the occasional death - more seriously. Brad Land has shown this perspective in a memoir that exposes fraternity culture and the effects that it could have.

Still dealing with the effects of a terrifying assault, 19-year-old Brad (Ben Schnetzer) decides to enroll in the same fraternity as his older brother (Nick...Read the entire review

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Blair Witch

Wed, 21 Sep 2016 16:17:48 PDT

Rent It

(image) (image) The Blair Witch Project, the eighty-minute indie trek into the found-footage genre filled with yelling and tears, shaky camerawork, and a slow but assured build of real-world tension, has always been a bit polarizing. Some bought -- and continue to buy -- into the illusion created by Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sanchez, viewing the grainy film and muffled audio as an authentic relic left behind by three doomed documentary makers in search of Maryland's fabled Blair Witch. Others see it as nothing but hype pushing forward a not-so-scary horror film made exasperating by its frustrated characters. Perhaps my initial impressions were impacted by the fact that I originally screened the film at a rural drive-in theater nestled against a forested area, but I fall into the f...Read the entire review

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The Magnificent Seven

Tue, 20 Sep 2016 08:40:09 PDT

Recommended

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Director: Antoine Fuqua
Starring: Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke
Year: 2016

Director Antoine Fuqua started his career off with a bang in 2001 with Training Day, a film in which Denzel Washington won Best Actor and Ethan Hawke was nominated for Best Supporting. Since then, Fuqua's choices have gone from bad to worse, until his moderate success with Southpaw last year. With The Magnificent Seven, he looks to redeem himself, teaming up with Washington & Hawke once again in an effort to recapture the magic. Adding in Chris Pratt for good measure isn't a bad idea either, since the hot-ticket actor is currently turning everything he touc...Read the entire review

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Sully

Thu, 15 Sep 2016 19:03:19 PDT

Recommended

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Director: Clint Eastwood
Starring: Tom Hanks, Aaron Eckhart, Laura Linney
Year: 2016

Has it occurred to anyone that Clint Eastwood isn't a very good director? The man is a living legend, an 86-year-old icon that has played some of the most memorable roles of the 1900s. But does that mean he's also great behind the camera? We hear his name and we check "must-see", but why? Jersey Boys, Hereafter, Changeling, Space Cowboys, True Crime, The Bridges of Madison County; half the movies he directed since 1990 are either bad or mediocre. Million Dollar Baby, Mystic River, Read the entire review

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Kubo and the Two Strings

Thu, 15 Sep 2016 04:46:14 PDT

Highly Recommended

(image) (image) Several years ago, the Portland-based animation company Laika Entertainment emerged on the scene with the dazzling Coraline, a stop-motion journey into a mythical world adapted from the works of Neil Gaiman. Filled with dark whimsy and meaningful allegory, the Henry Selick-directed story put the animation studio on the map with its hypnotic, outlandish fusion of reality and nightmarish fantasy. Since then, the studio has been chasing after that same kind of artistic success, yet their following works -- ParaNorman and The Boxtrolls -- have been jaw-dropping works of ...Read the entire review

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Don't Breathe

Thu, 01 Sep 2016 08:33:21 PDT

Recommended

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Director: Fede Alvarez
Starring: Jane Levy, Dylan Minnette, Stephen Lang
Year: 2016

In 2015, the surprise horror hit of the year was It Follows, a haunting throwback thriller that shocked us all with its quality, gaining it instant acclaim and a quick cult status. In 2016, the film to take its place was purported to be Don't Breathe, an equally dark & simple horror flick that steps onto the bodies of its gruesome genre companions in order to reach new heights. And while this film might very well be one of the better & smarter horror blockbusters you'll see this year, it's by no means a sparkling gem in the way it was advertised. Don't Breathe...Read the entire review

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The Light Between Oceans

Tue, 30 Aug 2016 10:51:12 PDT

Highly Recommended

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Director: Derek Cianfrance
Starring: Michael Fassbender, Alicia Vikander, Rachel Weisz
Year: 2016

Much like with The Danish Girl, the dramatic critical hit period piece of 2015, The Light Between Oceans premieres as a film that is guaranteed to succeed. It fills the same niche as the former, even also co-starring Alicia Vikander, the girl who can do no wrong. Combining some specific elements is about as certain a recipe as you can possibly produce, and Between Oceans follows Danish Girl down that path step by step. Proven director: Cianfrance (Blue Valentine, Read the entire review

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War Dogs

Fri, 19 Aug 2016 07:14:20 PDT

Recommended

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Director: Todd Phillips
Starring: Miles Teller, Jonah Hill, Ana de Armas
Year: 2016

Road Trip, Old School, Starsky & Hutch, Due Date, and the Hangover trilogy; which of those movies was supposed to convince us that Todd Phillips could direct a true story about gunrunning and America's Middle East wars? He can direct a comedy, sure, his record has proven that, a few of his films even reaching cult classic status, if not exactly cementing themselves as legends. But that's only one small element of War Dogs, its comedy, the rest of the movie depending on much more. The true story supports itself, so there's another element that Philli...Read the entire review

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Suicide Squad

Thu, 18 Aug 2016 13:21:23 PDT

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Even though they've seen a drastic uptick in exposure and popularity over the past couple of years, the Suicide Squad has been kicking around the DC comics universe for a long time. Devised as a novel way of explaining how some of the villains -- mostly in Batman's neck of the woods -- manage to get out of prison and continue doing their bad-guy thing, cutting their sentences with "good deeds", the group has naturally experienced a number of changes since the '80s. As of late, the most notable inclusion comes in Harley Quinn, the jesterly wild-card girlfriend of The Joker introduced in Batman: The Animated Series, who has enjoyed her own popularity since DC restarted their continuity with the "New 52", which made her a focal member of this...Read the entire review

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Hell or High Water

Thu, 18 Aug 2016 08:35:31 PDT

DVD Talk Collector Series

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Director: David Mackenzie
Starring: Chris Pine, Ben Foster, Jeff Bridges
Year: 2016

The term 'neo-Western' has never been more appropriate. Gritty Australian films seem to slide right into the genre, like The Rover, but then again almost every Australian film has a bit of a Western vibe by default. American movies like Ain't Them Bodies Saints and No Country for Old Men keep the theme fresh, depicting modern violence in a places clinging to the old ways. But Hell or High Water perfects the neo-Western in a way that many have tried but few have achieved. It manufact...Read the entire review

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Sausage Party

Thu, 11 Aug 2016 14:57:42 PDT

Recommended

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Animated films and TV shows have often received the reputation that they are made exclusively for children. However, many content creators are telling very adult stories through different forms of animation. This isn't a new concept, as The Simpsons, South Park, Family Guy, among others have been succeeding at this for years. In 2015, Charlie Kaufman released his tremendous Anomalisa, which went on to be the first R-rated film to be Oscar nominated in the animated category. Seth Rogen and his usual group have joined forces once again to bring out the most Seth Rogen movie that you could possibly imagine. Feel free to take that as a pro or con, depending upon your feelings of one of Hollywood's go-to people for comedy.

From the perspective of ...Read the entire review

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Sausage Party

Thu, 11 Aug 2016 09:34:21 PDT

Highly Recommended

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Director: Greg Tiernan, Conrad Vernon
Starring: Seth Rogen, Kristen Wiig, Nick Kroll
Year: 2016

Whether you look at it as an adult version of Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 or a food version of This Is the End, you'll walk out of the theatre after having watched Sausage Party slightly scarred. This in-your-face comedy refuses to be kid-friendly, instead going for the record in how often a fruit can say fuck and how sexual you can make a taco that has no genitalia. If you didn't know or haven't guessed by now, this film is R-rated, meant for grownups wit...Read the entire review

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Pete's Dragon (2016)

Tue, 09 Aug 2016 11:56:09 PDT

Recommended

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Director: David Lowery
Starring: Oakes Fegley, Bryce Dallas Howard, Robert Redford
Year: 2016

There aren't many who would claim the original Pete's Dragon to be among Disney's best. It's amateurish and poorly-acted, though the music of the film carries it along fairly well, allowing it to be cemented into our memories even if it has more flaws than successes. That status makes it a perfect candidate for a remake, and frankly I don't know why this wasn't done sooner. The CGI was there, and audiences aren't in love with this film the way they are with The Little Mermaid or Pinocchio...Read the entire review

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Suicide Squad

Wed, 03 Aug 2016 08:52:07 PDT

Recommended

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Director: David Ayer
Starring: Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Viola Davis
Year: 2016

We have been so inundated with comic book movies over the past 10 years that we've lost our collective perspective. Especially over the last few years, films based on comics have been released ad nauseam, as first Marvel and then DC stumbled upon a fascinating tidbit; that we would watch. We would watch regardless of quality or quantity, audiences were of a prime age to eat up anything related to comics, and we never seemed to get enough. There have always been superheros & comics in our media; old Superman movies, Batman franchises, X-Men TV shows. But not until now did studios realize that partnering with comic book companies meant an infinit...Read the entire review

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Star Trek Beyond

Wed, 27 Jul 2016 12:12:01 PDT

Highly Recommended

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Director: Justin Lin
Starring: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Karl Urban
Year: 2016

With J.J. Abrams abandoning ship in order to join the Star Wars extravaganza, Star Trek needed a new director. Enter Justin Lin, whose filmography is basically four Fast & Furious movies. That's it, nothing much else besides TV & some shorts, which is reason for serious concern. After thoroughly enjoying the first two in the series (Star Trek, Star Trek Into Darkness), I was extremely worried that th...Read the entire review

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Ghostbusters (2016)

Wed, 20 Jul 2016 15:52:44 PDT

Rent It

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Director: Paul Feig
Starring: Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones
Year: 2016

Bridesmaids, The Heat, Spy, and now Ghostbusters; Paul Feig has an obsession with Melissa McCarthy that can't be healthy, especially to those who don't find her funny in the slightest. But in case you don't like Mike & Molly, the Ghostbusters female remake that no one asked for also features SNL comediennes like Wiig & McKinnon, with Cecily Strong waiting in the wings with a bit part. Don't like modern SNL either? Well then you might be out of luck. This reboot relies very heavily on A) our love of the original series but 2) our ability to find these women & their styles of c...Read the entire review

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Ghostbusters (2016)

Sun, 17 Jul 2016 19:21:29 PDT

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(image) (image) From the day that the idea was announced up until its release, Paul Feig's take on the Ghostbusters phenomenon has been derogatorily referred to as being nothing more than a remake of the much-beloved 1984 classic ... only with a team of women donning the tan jumpsuits and proton packs. Some immediately dismissed the idea based on the "girl power" gimmick, while others -- like myself -- remained optimistic about what director Feig and his writers could construct with a cast comprised of Bridesmaids and Saturday Night Live alums, hopefully taking the franchise in a fresh, innovative direction. Alas, regardless of months of exaggerated bickering over feminism and nostalgia, those first sight-...Read the entire review

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The Neon Demon

Sun, 03 Jul 2016 05:21:40 PDT

Recommended

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Over the past decade, Nicolas Winding Refn has gradually turned into quite the polarizing director. His biggest critical and commercial success, Drive, garnered its fair share of disapproval for its pacing and characterization, while Only God Forgives drew ire for its seemingly hollow violence and self-gratifying style. Some find his filmmaking to be lyrical and symbolic; others find it to be pretentious and lacking substance. There's one commonality among his films, though: few dispute the beauty of his craftsmanship, which boasts strong contrast and vivid colors that transport his films to a unique...Read the entire review

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The Legend of Tarzan

Wed, 29 Jun 2016 19:18:07 PDT

Rent It

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Director: David Yates
Starring: Alexander Skarsgard, Margot Robbie, Christoph Waltz
Year: 2016

The legend of Tarzan is an incredible, undying story. The Legend of Tarzan, however, is not. We all know the tale; boy lost in the jungle, raised by gorillas, friend to the animals, becomes the Ape Man, meets Jane, falls in love, has adventures, happy ending. We've seen it in Disney form, done comedically, the classics with Johnny Weissmuller; we just eat up this tale, can't get enough of it. Well, consider this film your fill. It takes hard work to butcher such a classic, to twist it until it no longer resembles its predecessors, to completely abandon the recipe that ...Read the entire review

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The Shallows

Wed, 29 Jun 2016 07:31:33 PDT

Highly Recommended

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Director: Jaume Collet-Serra
Starring: Blake Lively
Year: 2016

The surprisingly must-see horror film of the year is here, and it's The Shallows. Last year, that honor went to It Follows, which hopefully sparked a movement toward simplistic horror filmmaking, leaving the ghosts behind & focusing on the pure terror of death. Well, if you're looking for death, look no further than this blood-in-the-water fright fest, and just in time for your trip to the beach too. If you watched the trailer back in April, you could see that there was a possibility of something special here, though I doubt a...Read the entire review

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Tickled

Sun, 26 Jun 2016 19:09:02 PDT

Highly Recommended

(image) As Tickled establishes quickly, David Farrier is apparently well-known in his native New Zealand as a human-interest reporter, interviewing celebrities and covering amusingly unusual bits of life here and there. So when he discovered Competitive Endurance Tickling online, a "sport" featuring guys tied up and tickled by other guys, he thought he found an interesting subject to profile. But after contacting the company behind it, he was barraged with homophobic insults, letters promising lawsuits and more, and found himself drawn into a shadowy world of fake names, real threats and utterly damaging online harassment. Out of his search for the truth behind this bizarre corner of the internet came the documentary Tickled.

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The BFG

Sun, 26 Jun 2016 13:34:25 PDT

Highly Recommended

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Director: Steven Spielberg
Starring: Ruby Barnhill, Mark Rylance
Year: 2016

Animated, twisted, childish, fantastic; there are many ways to exhibit a Roald Dahl book in movie form, and none of them seem to be paths to failure. His novels have a life of their own that makes them easily adaptable, fluidly transition, lovely to see. They are dark, upsetting, funny, original, dramatic; all the things audiences want in a film, so all that's left to do is for a director to scoop up an adapted screenplay and get to work. Tim Burton has done it, so has Wes Anderson, and now Steven Spielberg tries his hand, with almost guaranteed success. How could Dahl/Spielberg be a flop, after all, and this is not a set up for a colossal 'but', just t...Read the entire review

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Free State of Jones

Wed, 22 Jun 2016 19:04:45 PDT

Rent It

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Director: Gary Ross
Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Mahershala Ali
Year: 2016

Since 2012 with a perfect performance in Mud, Matthew McConaughey has been red-hot, an incendiary actor lighting a fire under every film that's lucky enough to cast him. And that's saying a lot, especially considering the project choices early in his career, his eye-candy status, his penchant for rom/coms. But that's all changed, a nexus of great films beginning in 2012, with no end in sight. Mud, Dallas Buyers Club, The Wolf of Wa...Read the entire review

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Finding Dory

Wed, 15 Jun 2016 17:03:35 PDT

Highly Recommended

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Director: Andrew Stanton, Angus MacLane
Starring: Ellen DeGeneres, Albert Brooks, Ed O'Neill
Year: 2016

All hail Pixar and their incomparable ability to make hits. And I don't say that with any cynicism, Pixar really is a god among film studios, animated or otherwise, controlled by Disney or not. Where else can you find so many films that use so little to achieve so much? Filmmakers all over the world stumble over their own feet attempting to make sense of time, space, character, plot, motivation, and depth, while Pixar churns out near-perfect products that gather together everything audiences want, set aside the filler, make us cry, and leave us thirsty for more. You could search a long time looking for what this company can d...Read the entire review

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Warcraft (IMAX 3D)

Thu, 09 Jun 2016 14:38:05 PDT

Skip It

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The video game industry has been a source of finding material for action films for years. World of Warcraft was once titled as being the most played game in the world, but the content owners at Blizzard held the property close. Apparently now is the time to bring this universe to the big screen, although writer/director Duncan Jones and co-writer Charles Leavitt made the conscious decision to tell the story from the very beginning - the first game from the franchise titled Warcraft. In an attempt to bring a Lord of the Rings level of epic to the big screen, the filmmakers have failed to bring this story to audiences in a way that added any significant depth to the plot and its characters.

The realm of Azeroth has finally found peace, until they disc...Read the entire review

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X-Men: Apocalypse

Wed, 08 Jun 2016 07:46:56 PDT

Recommended

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Director: Bryan Singer
Starring: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, Oscar Isaac, Tye Sheridan, Kodi Smit-McPhee
Year: 2016

As with their Avengers, Marvel is wringing every dollar they can out of their X-Men. And why not; comic book movies are the current rage, audiences eating up the movies & the merchandise like all mornings are Christmas mornings. We choose sides, we pretend to be experts, we buy the t-shirts, and we see all the films in every franchise, some of which are terrible, but that doesn't stop us from watching. I recently heard one critic's theory on the death of the Hollywood leading man & woman, attributing their demise to the plug-and-play comic book roles, characters that...Read the entire review

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Alice Through the Looking Glass

Wed, 08 Jun 2016 05:54:35 PDT

Rent It

(image) (image) Despite being an incredibly hit-or-miss director over recent years, there was a lot of interest in seeing where Tim Burton, the strange mind responsible for The Ghost With the Most and The Pumpkin King, might take the outlandish fantasy of "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland". Alas, while Burton's creativity emerged in colorful spurts, the end result dragged on in Alice in Wonderland amid copious amounts of digital wizardry, hallmarked by another peculiar performance from Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter. Regardless of the critical impressions, the loose adaptation was a box-office juggernaut across the world, which makes it unsurprising that a sequel would come in time. It took...Read the entire review

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The Fits

Thu, 02 Jun 2016 20:54:11 PDT

Recommended

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The dramatic horror film has become a more common occurrence, especially within the film festival circuit. Perhaps one of the most popular recent contributions is It Follows, which delivered its voice to the rape and STD discussion. However, I didn't find the film to be nearly as exceptional as many others did. Writer/director Anna Rose Holmer has made her feature debut creating a meaningful message through a similar combination of genres, although its execution is a bit more hard-hitting here. If nothing else, The Fits proves that this is a writer/director to watch.

Eleven year old Toni (Royalty Hightower) often trains at the gym while her brother is in boxing. She becomes fascinated with the dance group, but quickly finds herself struggling to fit in. Th...Read the entire review

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The Nice Guys

Wed, 25 May 2016 09:32:45 PDT

Highly Recommended

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Director: Shane Black
Starring: Ryan Gosling, Russell Crowe, Angourie Rice
Year: 2016

Director Shane Black resurrected a formula that died 30 years ago to make The Nice Guys work, a recipe that has been tried many times in the intervening years but hasn't been able to produce the same result. George Miller brought us Fury Road, a throwback to a style he perfected, a slap in the face to an action genre that has been cheating us out of awesome movies for decades. And Black does the same with the buddy cop plot line, harking this film back to the glory days of Lethal Weapon, a film he wrote before he became a director. The Nice Guys is w...Read the entire review

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X-Men: Apocalypse (3D)

Tue, 24 May 2016 10:18:05 PDT

Rent It

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Despite being a comic book fan for a great deal of my childhood, I started to get superhero fatigue at the movies. That is, until the Captain America: Civil War press screening, which restored a much-needed burst of excitement in the genre. It has been a couple years since the last installment of the X-Men franchise, which was actually quite solid. The trailers for the third entry looked rather promising, especially in regards to some of the casting decisions. Unfortunately, the final results are relatively underwhelming, with only a few elements making the film feel particularly engaging.

When the world's first mutant, Apocalypse (Oscar Isaacs), is awoken, the world must face one of its biggest threats yet. He plans on creating an army of mutant soldiers...Read the entire review

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Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising

Thu, 19 May 2016 09:34:08 PDT

Rent It

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Director: Nicholas Stoller
Starring: Seth Rogen, Rose Byrne, Zac Efron
Year: 2016

The original Neighbors definitely deserved a solid sequel, but Sorority Rising is definitely not it. Looking back, I'm not sure what I thought they could duplicate after such a strong first film, and even as recently as in the theatre to see this movie I thought to myself, "they had better just copy the other one, that might be the only way this works." Well, I guess it's true, lighting doesn't strike twice, and sequels suck. Neighbors was raunchy, wrong, crass, pushed the boundaries, but always played for laughs, always knew it was being incredibly too foul, and alw...Read the entire review

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The Darkness

Wed, 18 May 2016 16:10:29 PDT

Skip It

(image) (image) While the "based on true events" Wolf Creek might be the first film that comes to mind involving Australian director Greg McLean, it's his crocodile creature feature, Rogue, that speaks volumes about his style, which took the mechanics of something akin to Jaws and delivered a ferocious horror flick. With The Darkness, McLean once again dives into familiar territory, this time adopting the template of another Spielberg-driven production while dabbling in the haunted-house genre, fusing together dimly-lit spookiness with brewing family dysfunction. Unlike McLean's crafty...Read the entire review

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Captain America: Civil War

Fri, 13 May 2016 17:41:25 PDT

Highly Recommended

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Surprise is no longer a factor. Not only do audiences know by now that Marvel Studios are capable of polished, exhilarating superhero films that appreciate their interconnected universe, but it's also clear that Anthony and Joe Russo are no longer just "the comedy directors" of episodes from Arrested Development and Community. Their intro into Marvel's universe, Captain America: Winter Soldier, took a sharply-written script driven by political intrigue in the vein...Read the entire review

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Captain America: Civil War

Wed, 11 May 2016 18:42:17 PDT

Highly Recommended

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Director: Anthony & Joe Russo
Starring: Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr, Scarlett Johansson
Year: 2016

I did my due diligence when it comes to Marvel films in preparation for both Avengers: Age of Ultron and Captain America: Civil War, two giant blockbusters that seemingly everyone who has ever heard of a comic book will see. For the latter, I was well prepared, having watched The Avengers, Age of Ultron, Ant-Man, First Avenger, Read the entire review

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Tale of Tales

Wed, 04 May 2016 18:47:51 PDT

Highly Recommended

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Director: Matteo Garrone
Starring: Salma Hayek, Vincent Cassel, Toby Jones
Year: 2015

A little background is needed before delving into Tale of Tales, otherwise you'll drown in the absurdity of its stories. In the 16oos, Italian poet Giambattista Basile wrote a collection of fairy tales which were published in volumes after his death. His work would inspire many timeless classics from the Brothers Grimm and Charles Perrault, including Cinderella, Rapunzel, Puss in Boots, and Sleeping Beauty. But Basile penned many other strange & morbid tales of kings & magic, some of which are presented to us here in cinematic form. Three, to be precise, The Enchanted Doe, The Flea, and The Flayed Old Lady, each bo...Read the entire review

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