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MOVIE REVIEW: Why I Almost Walked Out Of “The Walk”

I’ve come close to walking out of a few movies in my life, because they were simply too intense to handle. Jaws, Jurassic Park and The Edge had me so freaked out that I wanted to run for the door. The Walk is the first movie to do so WITHOUT a man-eating creature. Instead, it was a serene stroll between the Twin Towers that had me crawling out of my seat and skin. Continue reading →

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TRAILER PORN: “The Big Short” Looks Insanely Good!

I just got the trailer for the movie The Big Short and about peed my pants. Don’t ask questions, just watch this:

OK, I’ll admit that I’m a sucker for any trailer that uses Led Zeppelin but seriously…how great does this movie look? The Big Short will have a limited release starting December 11th and opens wide on December 23rd. It’s based on Michael Lewis’ New York Times #1 Best Seller The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine. You can buy it on Amazon by clicking HERE, if you want to read it before the movie comes out. I’ll do everything I can to get free passes for us too. Hey, that’ll be my Christmas present to you!

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MOVIE REVIEW: “Digging For Fire” & Why It Pissed Me Off

Married couple Tim (Jake Johnson) and Lee (Rosemaire DeWitt) are staying at a friend’s mountain home when they discover a gun and what might be human remains buried nearby. Tim is intrigued and wants to dig further while Lee wants to put the gun back and forget they found anything. She leaves with their child for the weekend and Tim invites friends over to continue searching. Digging for Fire on the surface is about these mysterious bones, but underneath lies a serious study of marriage, aging and the ever present spectre of mortality.

Digging for Fire was directed by Joe Swanberg and co-written by he and Jake Johnson. The script was essentially a 3-page long outline so actors were required to improvise most of their dialogue. Swanberg is known for this style of movie-making but when it comes to a film like this, I think it works against him. This is a very personal story about spouses who have hit an unpleasant plateau. That said, they never register as people who’ve EVER been in love. Tim and Lee barely connect with each other and seem so focused on their own dissatisfaction that they never stop to think about the other. Instead, they barrel forward, making horrible and potentially marriage-killing choices. Continue reading →

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ON YOUR RADAR: “Bridge of Spies” & “Scream Queens”

It’s kind of depressing to be on THIS side of Summer Movie Season, isn’t it? All the movies we were SO PUMPED to see have come and gone. What do we do now? Well, we should start getting jazzed about the NEW stuff headed our way, like Bridge of Spies. This movie is directed by Steven Spieldberg, stars Tom Hanks and was co-written by the Coen Brothers. There’s so much good stuff going on here that I kind of want to hate it. It reminds me of the really hot jock in high school that everyone was in love with. YOU wanted to hate him because everyone thought he was so perfect, then he smiled at you in the hallway and you swooned. Well, THAT’S how I feel about Bridge of Spies. It’s based on the true story an American lawyer who is recruited by the CIA during the Cold War. He must help rescue a pilot detained by the Soviet Union and YES, it will probably get Oscar nominations. Bridge of Spies opens October 16th. Continue reading →

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ON YOUR RADAR: “Sicario” & “Master of None”

So many new TV shows and movies are coming down the pipe, it’s hard to keep track of all of them. I’ve been digging through the press releases and picking out the ones that I personally am most pumped about. Take, for instance, Sicario from Director Denis Villeneuve (Prisoners) and screenwriter Taylor Sheridan. If that name sounds familiar, it’s because Sheridan plays Deputy Chief David Hale on the FX series Sons of Anarchy. He’s apparently a writer in his spare time and a pretty damn good one, as well.

Sicario is about an anti-drug-cartel task force and stars Benicio Del Toro and Josh Brolin. Emily Blunt is at the heart of it all, playing an FBI Agent who is drafted into the group. When I saw Blunt’s name attached to Sicario, my first thought was, “What is SHE doing here?” I asked the same question about her role in Edge of Tomorrow though, and Blunt absolutely killed it in that movie. There’s already Oscar buzz around this one, specifically for Blunt’s performance so let’s keep our fingers crossed for her. Sicario will open in theaters September 18th. Continue reading →

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ON YOUR RADAR: “The Walk” & “Blindspot”

We’ve officially reached the end of “Summer Movie Season,” and most of the current offerings look about as sad and lifeless as the grass on my lawn. This would be the perfect time to catch up on those blockbusters you MEANT to see (like Straight Outta Compton and Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation) AND familiarize yourself with all the new TV shows and movies heading our way. I’ve been lucky enough to see some sneak peeks of upcoming attractions and wanted to share what I’m MOST excited about. First and foremost is The Walk, from Director Robert Zemeckis. You simply HAVE to watch this trailer:

Your heartrate is up, isn’t it? Continue reading →

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MOVIE REVIEW: Can “American Ultra” Turn Jesse Eisenberg Into an Action Hero?

One of the perks of being a Film Critic is that I get to take friends to the movie screenings with me. They love it and usually repay me with cocktails afterwards. Sometimes though, I can’t FIND anyone to see a movie with me because no one is interested in it. That was the case with American Ultra, so I had to see it alone. One friend even said, “The one with Kristen Stewart? Ugh, PASS!” That surprised me because I was excited about this movie. I’ve been a fan of Jesse Eisenberg ever since Zombieland and American Ultra seemed like the perfect vehicle for his talents.

Eisenberg plays Mike, a hapless stoner who is perfectly content working at a small town convenient store. He lucked into a gorgeous stoner-girlfriend named Phoebe (Stewart), who is way out of his league but takes care of him anyway. They live in slacker Utopia until the day Mike is “activated” and his past as a Sleeper Agent comes back to haunt him. This is where the fun really kicks in because Mike is even more surprised by his new skills than the audience. Mike and Phoebe don’t have time to explore them though because someone wants to kill them both and time is running out. Continue reading →

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MOVIE REVIEW: “Ricki and the Flash” Gives Meryl Streep Her Biggest Challenge Yet

Ricki and The Flash is written by Diablo Cody, directed by Jonathan Demme and it stars Meryl Streep. You’d be hard pressed to find a stronger pedigree but unfortunately, the sum of this film doesn’t equal its parts.

Ricki was rock star who left a family behind to pursue her music. Now her career has stalled and her grown children are scarred from their abandonment. Ricki is summoned home when her daughter suffers a major loss but must mend fences before she can be of any help. It’s clear early on where the movie will go from here.

I hate to say it but we might have found the ONE role Meryl Streep can’t easily slip into. Continue reading →