Movie Reviews - Page 2

‘True Story’ Review: James Franco and Jonah Hill Get Serious (But Not Very Interesting)

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by Matt Singer April 13, 2015 @ 12:54 PM
Fox Searchlight
In more self-indulgent moments, I Google myself and find there are many Matt Singers in the world. There’s a folk singer, a fashion designer, a liberal blogger, and a former Canadian professional football player for the Manitoba Bisons. Though I’ve never met any of these men, their mere existence infuriates me. Who the hell are these jerks trying to steal my name? How can they be Matt Singer? I’m Matt Singer.

‘Furious 7’ Review: One Last Ride, and It’s a Good One

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by Matt Singer April 3, 2015 @ 5:21 AM
Universal
Furious 7 almost certainly won’t be the last Fast & Furious movie. But at times it feels like a series finale. There are numerous callbacks and homages to the franchise’s entire 15-year history. The setpieces are bigger and crazier than ever; it’s hard to imagine anyone topping them. And before the chases really get rolling, the mood is often downright mournful. Two different scenes are set in graveyards, and characters talk about taking “one last ride” together.

‘Get Hard’ Review: Two Hilarious Actors, One Bad Movie

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by Britt Hayes March 27, 2015 @ 7:00 AM
Warner Bros.
Individually, Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart are undeniably hilarious guys. Bringing two major comedic forces together on the big screen just makes sense on both a commercial and entertainment level. Unfortunately, Get Hard largely squanders the talents of Ferrell and Hart on an outdated premise with tired jokes, delivering what essentially amounts to one overlong joke about the terrors of prison rape.

‘While We’re Young’ Review: Noah Baumbach’s Ben Stiller Comedy Has Mass Appeal

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by Mike Ryan March 25, 2015 @ 11:00 AM
A24
To date, the most successful movie that Noah Baumbach has been involved with grossed $530 million worldwide. This is an astounding and somewhat surprising figure until it’s revealed that the movie in question is ‘Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted’ – a movie that Baumbach co-wrote with the writer of the other two 'Madagascar’ movies, Eric Darnell. As a director, Baumbach’s most successful movie to date is 2005’s ‘The Squid and the Whale,’ which grossed a little over $7 million domestically. This will all change when ‘While We’re Young’ – which premiered in Toronto and was the New York Film Festival’s Surprise Screening on Sunday evening – reaches theaters next year. Noah Baumbach has made a commercially viable film.

‘Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck’ Review: Documentary Exposes a Man Who Resented Exposure

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by Britt Hayes March 21, 2015 @ 3:48 PM
HBO
There are few mysteries more grim than that of a suicide, particularly of such a beloved and iconic celebrity. That death can blur the line between fandom and the entitled urge to know more about their private lives — as was and still is the case with Kurt Cobain, guitarist and frontman of prolific ‘90s grunge outfit Nirvana. Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck gives us unprecedented access to the mind and soul of someone who never took interviews seriously and resented his overnight rise to fame.

‘Spy’ Review: An Empowering but Uneven Female Spy Spoof

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by Matt Singer March 17, 2015 @ 12:35 PM
20th Century Fox
Paul Feig’s The Heat took a genre that has traditionally belonged to men — the buddy cop movie — and gave it a female twist. Feig’s new movie, Spy, does much the same thing, this time for spy films, a world that has long been by, about, and for dudes and their power fantasies. Spy explicitly subverts the genre’s typical gender dynamics by casting Melissa McCarthy as a lowly, desk-bound CIA analyst named Susan Cooper, who has spent her entire career in the shadow of a glamorous James Bond-esque spy (Jude Law) and then finally gets her opportunity to step into the spotlight and become a full-fledged field agent.

‘Trainwreck’ Review: Amy Schumer’s Debut is Nearly Flawless

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by Britt Hayes March 16, 2015 @ 11:29 AM
Universal
Amy Schumer has built a sizable fan base thanks to her Comedy Central series, which showcases her specific brand of honest and often subversive sense of humor. There’s no denying her intense relatability — and it’s that quality that serves her well in her debut film, Trainwreck. Written and produced by Schumer and directed by Judd Apatow, the film centers on a fictional version of Schumer. We’ll never know how fictional this Amy is (and we shouldn’t), which makes her cinematic alter ego all the more appealing.

SXSW Review: ‘Raiders!’ - The Story Behind the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made

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by Matt Singer March 15, 2015 @ 7:16 PM
Courtesy of SXSW
Movies are often compared to dreams. If that’s true, then filmmakers are dreamers. When Eric Zala and Chris Strompolos were kids, they dreamed of making movies, so they spent most of their childhood summers in Mississippi making a shot-for shot remake of Steven Spielberg’s Raiders of the Lost Ark. The project eventually consumed seven years of their lives and nearly destroyed their friendship, but in the end, Zala and Strompolos completed their film, which they called Raiders of the Lost Ark: The Adaptation.

SXSW Review: ‘Ex Machina’

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by Matt Singer March 15, 2015 @ 1:59 PM
Universal
Ex Machina is Alex Garland’s first film as a director but it’s very simpatico with his screenplays for movies like 28 Days Later, Sunshine, and Dredd. As a writer, Garland likes to work in compact universes — an abandoned city, a spaceship headed to the sun, a gang-infested high-rise — where characters are trapped together and pitted against one another. In Ex Machina’s story of a brilliant technologist who creates artificial intelligence, he’s found a man who fashions himself as something of an inquisitive god, and there’s a bit of that notion in Garland’s work as well — he builds little petrie dishes of life, testing mankind’s resolve under extreme stress to see whether we crack under the pressure. His findings are usually not promising.

SXSW Review: ‘7 Days in Hell’

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by Matt Singer March 14, 2015 @ 7:00 PM
If comedy filmmakers weren’t already jealous of their television brethren, they will be after they watch HBO’s 7 Days in Hell, which uses the cable network’s permissive attitude toward adult material to tell envelope-pushing jokes that no mainstream movie could ever hope to get past the MPAA. 7 Days in Hell is funny enough to play in a multiplex (even if, at 50 minutes, it’s not quite feature length), but its hilariously vulgar jokes would definitely saddle it with a box-office poisoning NC-17 rating. On HBO, though, anything goes, and thank goodness because director Jake Syzmanski and writer Murray Miller were able to produce a mockumentary that giddilypulses with a sense of absolute freedom — freedom from content restrictions and freedom to experiment with weird strains of comedy that would never fly in a mainstream Hollywood film.