Monday, July 27, 2015

Pixels, Paper Towns, Southpaw, Amy Reviews

Dir. Chris Columbus

Pixels, based on the French animated short film of the same name, seemed like it had the potential to pull Adam Sandler out of the box office quicksand he's currently in. With Sandler vehicles That's My Boy, Jack and Jill, and Blended all bombing both critically and financially, a lot seemed to be riding on this ode to 80's-era arcade games. But at this point, I think audiences are catching onto Sandler's laziness, and Pixels was yet another stinker. With no new films on the horizon (only his controversial new Netflix projects), who knows, maybe this marks the end of Sandler's big-budget Hollywood comedy career. Perhaps that's just wishful thinking though, because Pixels, like those aforementioned Happy Madison productions, is just abysmal.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Ant-Man, Trainwreck, The Gallows, Self/Less Reviews

Dir. Peyton Reed

It seems like superhero movies can only get so big. After a while saving/destroying an entire city just doesn't do it anymore. That's one of the reasons Ant-Man, the final "Phase Two" Marvel movie before Civil War next year, is so refreshing: it literally scales everything back. Ant-Man's power is shrinking down to the size of an ant and the film is kind of the superhero version of Honey I Shrunk the Kids. The way director Peyton Reed (a self-professed hardcore Ant-Man fan) and his cinematographer Russell Carpenter captured the small scale "epic" action was unlike anything I've seen before, and it's fun and hilarious to boot!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Terminator Genisys, Magic Mike XXL, Love and Mercy, The Overnight Reviews

Terminator Genisys
Dir. Alan Taylor
Watch Trailer

Terminator Genisys feels like the backbreaking result of dozens of board meetings demanding the next Terminator film include Arnold Schwarzenegger. After the Arnie-less critical and financial disappointment of Terminator Salvation (aka, the Christian Bale-freakout movie you forgot existed), it seems to me that writers Laeta Kalogridis and Patrick Lussier manipulated the time travel aspect of the series to its absolute "jumping the shark" point in order to bring the once-box office king back to the franchise. Like Jurassic World, Genisys seems to exist only as a product of pure nostalgia pandering.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, Max, Heaven Knows What, When Marnie Was There Reviews

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
Dir. Alfonso Gomez-Rejon
Watch Trailer

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl won both the Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award for Drama at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, which is no surprise seeing as it's such a "Sundance-y" movie. You've got an energetic young director doing crazy camera stuff, a sickeningly quirky sense of humor balanced with teen drama, you've got a girl dying of cancer, you've got snobby references to "Criterion" movies and Werner Herzog, and throw in an angsty white kid at the center and you've got a standing ovation in Colorado. Although it's been getting a lot of buzz, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl just sort of rubbed me the wrong way. It's twee to a fault.

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