Movie Reviews - Page 4

'Gone Girl' Review: David Fincher's Sleazy Prestige Film

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by Mike Ryan September 26, 2014 @ 10:15 PM
Fox
Throughout David Fincher’s adaptation of ‘Gone Girl,’ it was almost as if my subconscious was telling me that this movie shouldn’t be as good as what I was watching. That’s not a slam on Gillian Flynn’s novel (obviously; I haven’t read it), it’s just that the book is presented in such a unique way, which would at least seem almost impossible to pull off – just in a basic book vs. movie sort of way. Look, I understand that this following statement can be said about most movies, but in a less capable director’s hands – and with a less capable cast -- this movie could have easily have been garbage. Actually, this movie should have been garbage.

'It Follows' Review: How a Sexually Transmitted Ghost Helps Revive the Horror Genre

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by Britt Hayes September 26, 2014 @ 8:39 AM
Radius-TWC
The last few years in horror have felt rather stale, but hot on the heels of watching the terrifying and refreshing 'The Babadook' at Fantastic Fest comes 'It Follows,' the sophomore effort from writer/director David Robert Mitchell. Similar to the lo-fi tone of his debut film, 'The Myth of the American Sleepover,' the comparisons end there for Mitchell's follow-up, which smartly and horrifically explores the politics of young adult sexuality.

'The Equalizer' Premieres at the Toronto International Film Festival (And It's Insane)

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by Mike Ryan September 26, 2014 @ 7:30 AM
Sony
“If this were a TV show, I’d watch it every single week.” These were the words I spoke right after watching Antoine Fuqua’s theatrical version of ‘The Equalizer,’ which is kind of a dumb thing to say considering that ‘The Equalizer’ was a TV show. Though, this updated version of ‘The Equalizer’ bears little resemblance to the mid-‘80s version, even though it kind of has everything to do with it.

'The Babadook' Evokes 'The Shining' With a Strong Female Presence

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by Britt Hayes September 22, 2014 @ 10:19 AM
IFC Midnight
It's become increasingly rare for horror films to make an effort to truly scare us these days, but Jennifer Kent's 'The Babadook' gets under the skin in ways that are both visceral and highly emotional. A mediation on a mother's grief and the displacement of that grief onto her son, the film echoes Stephen King's 'The Shining' in many ways, while lead actress Essie Davis gives a chill-inducing performance evocative of vintage Sissy Spacek and Mia Farrow.

'John Wick' Review: Keanu Reeves Is Partying Like It's 1999

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by Britt Hayes September 19, 2014 @ 10:00 PM
Summit
Keanu Reeves seriously does not get the credit he deserves. Over the years it seems like he's just been accruing knowledge from project to project, figuring out what works for him and what doesn't, and now he's distilled and perfected something that's almost hard to define. Last year he brought the crazy, crowd-pleasing martial arts flick 'Man of Tai Chi' to the Fantastic Fest film festival, and this year he returns with 'John Wick.' It's a ridiculous action thriller in which Reeves plays a former hitman-type out for revenge because some obnoxious Russian gangster's son steals his cool muscle car and kills the puppy his dead wife sent him as a present -- yeah, really.

Is 'The Maze Runner' Surprisingly Not Bad? (And 24 Other Urgent Questions)

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by Mike Ryan September 17, 2014 @ 10:50 AM
20th Century Fox
This weekend, you now have a choice: You can continue to solve your favorite maze puzzles in the privacy of your own home or you can watch a movie about mazes. No matter how you break it down, this is a very exciting and difficult decision. Hopefully, that decision will become a little easier after we answer every question that you could possibly have about ‘The Maze Runner.’

'Rosewater' at TIFF 2014: What to Make of Jon Stewart's Directorial Debut?

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by Mike Ryan September 9, 2014 @ 3:50 PM
Maarten de Boer, Getty Images
It’s impossible to separate 'Rosewater' from the personality that is Jon Stewart. On the surface, this statement makes little sense, because many films are deeply culturally intertwined with its director. But 'Rosewater' is a little different, because it’s a person not known for directing -- or even really acting, for that matter. Jon Stewart is famous, but famous for something almost completely unrelated. It would be as if Derek Jeter or Joe Biden directed a movie. The public curiosity with 'Rosewater' is all because of who directed 'Rosewater,' not what 'Rosewater' is about.

You'll Never Look at Steve Carell the Same Way After Watching 'Foxcatcher'

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by Mike Ryan September 8, 2014 @ 11:44 AM
Sony Pictures Classics
‘Foxcatcher’ – directed by ‘Moneyball’ director Bennett Miller – premiered Monday at the Toronto International Film Festival after a highly successful debut at Cannes earlier this year. It’s the true story of the intricate relationship between two brothers and Olympic wrestlers -- Dave Schultz (Mark Ruffalo) and Mark Schultz (Channing Tatum) – with their wrestling team financier and sort of coach, John du Pont (Carell), of the famed and extremely wealthy du Pont family … a relationship that ends in paranoia and disaster.

TIFF 2014: 'Whiplash' is Even Better the Second Time Around

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by Mike Ryan September 4, 2014 @ 3:14 PM
Sony Pictures Classics
This was my second time watching with ‘Whiplash,’ Damien Chazelle’s film about basically two sociopaths and their terrible relationship. One of these sociopaths (I’m exaggerating a little, but not by much) is played by Miles Teller as an up-and-coming jazz drummer trying to make it at the best school in the country. The other is played by J.K. Simmons, his jazz instructor. Both of these people are assholes. Both of these people hate each other. Both of these people kind of need each other, but in the process, both do awful, awful things to each other. There’s no real reconciliation for these two. ‘Whiplash’ will never have these two characters put apart their differences and form a friendship. The dynamic between these two assholes is just what makes ‘Whiplash’ so incredible to watch.

Will 'As Above/ So Below' Ruin Your Labor Day Weekend?

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by Mike Ryan August 29, 2014 @ 2:20 PM
Universal
It’s Labor Day weekend. The good news: You most likely have a three-day weekend ahead of you. The bad news: Movies are terrible. Anyway, there a new movie called ‘As Above/ So Below’ that comes out this weekend. You might be tempted to see it because it’s new. New isn’t always better. Sometimes it is! But not this time. As a service to no one, really, because you are already enjoying your long weekend, we answer every question that you could possibly have about ‘As Above/ So Below.’