movie review

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Movie Review: Transcendence

In: Donovan, Movies

Johnny Depp’s latest blockbuster, Transcendence, hits theatres today and while the film features a talented cast and an interesting story, the complexity of the whole thing just sort of implodes into a giant mess.

Depp plays Will Caster, a scientist whose focus is artificial intelligence. His ultimate goal is to create a computer system that not only learns and grows, but is self aware. Nearing this goal attracts the attention of a anti-AI terrorist organization that leads a series of attacks against AI labs culminating in an attempted assassination of Caster.

While on his deathbed, Caster’s wife Evelyn (Rebecca Hall) uploads his consciousness to the computer system resulting in a Will Caster/Computer hybrid that has the ability to evolve, learn, and grow. This creates a whole mess of predictable problems.

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Adam’s Terrifying Revenge Movie Pick: Oldboy

In: Adam, Movies

A cross between Kill Bill, Hard Candy and Running Scared, Oldboy is a tale of revenge and mystery- a pretty damn good one too! Not wanting to give away anything more than the trailer would, I’ll tell you that this movie follows the search for answers and vengeance by a man imprisoned in a Satre-esque prison for 20 years. Played sexily (if you’re into daddies, and WOOF am I ever) by Josh Brolin, the protagonist is someone you’ll love to hate and hate to love as he vacillates between total dick and wounded pup. He hunts without discrimination the men and the men behind the men who trapped him for two decades leaving an impossible body count along the way.

This one is bloody. While its famed director Spike Lee doesn’t go all Quentin Tarantino with exploding veins of geysering blood, there is definitely some old world kung fu choreography that would look fake if you saw it in real life but gives this movie an otherworldly quality. It’s almost like watching a horrific dream sequence and you keep waiting for either the main character or yourself to wake up from it. Josh well embodies the dogmatic and determined killer who won’t rest until justice is paid and he can reunite with his daughter. Along the way, the fighter meets an overly sexy (seriously, HOW did an Olsen girl turn out so pretty?) Elizabeth Olsen who is really killing it these days with actual talent (sorry Michelle and Michelle!). The connection between them is undeniable and who cares about the age difference: they’re both hot. From violence to sex to more violence, this is definitely a GUY’S movie.

Click through to see the trailer and read the rest of my review

Adam’s Hilarious Jewish Movie Pick: In a World

In: Adam, Movies

Now this is one funny movie. Basically a sitcom premise for the big screen, In a World follows the neurotic and unaware of her own gorgeousness Lake Bell as she attempts to break into the apparently very male dominated arena of trailer movie voice overs. You know, the guys who say: “In a world where men and women have to fight for survival etc etc..” Well, apparently this “world” is quite commanded by sexy sounding men who do NOT want to give up any screen time to a lady. Lake Bell takes issue with this. The daughter of one of the most famous movie voice over artists, Lake lands job after job as she burrows into this exclusive career to the dismay of her coworkers and acclaimed father.

An odd but fun premise for a movie, the real meat is in the relationships Lake has with her family, her clients and the odd duck who has a crush on her. Lake plays alongside some C-List names including Fred Melamed, Rob Corddry and Michaela Watkins who all play comedy to the max in their respective roles. Each character seems completely consumed by their own world and issues to the dismay of everyone else around them, but in classic american film style: deep down everyone is essentially a good person and cares for one another. It’s sweet, it’s damn funny and it’s definitely gonna give you a laugh: watch this one with a date.

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Okay, this movie is straight up pretty much only going to appeal to art house movie buffs and REALLY big fans of either the vampire genre or Tilda Swinton: I got pulled in by the pull of that amazingly androgynous act[ress] and of course the lure of the eternal. Only Lovers Left Alive follows a coven of vampires who have lived what seems like millennia, making love and playing music along the way. Honestly, that’s about the entirety of the plot. Yes, to answer the burning question: they have some powers… but it seems mostly contained to extreme speed they rarely make use of and of course an ever-present aversion to the sun. In fact, it seems like death is a possible part of their existence and not just by a wooden stake: we’re talking natural causes.

So, what is the point of watching this one? Well, Tilda as per, delivers a haunting and stunning performance and does it with crazy bed hair the entire time. Apparent hottie (though I don’t see it) Tom Hiddleston of mythical Loki fame plays the brooding and ever-annoyed lover of Tilds quite well and there’s the little known Mia Wasikowska from one of my favourites: In Treatment, who nails it as the bratty vampiric younger sister. Really, this is a bohemian fantasy tale that follows a motley crew family of blood suckers that want nothing more than to have sex, play weird trance music and hide from humanity. It’s a weirdie- but good enough to through in on a suicide tuesday ;)

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Movie Review: Jack Ryan Shadow Recruit

In: Matt, Movies

Admittedly, I’m not a huge fan of action/spy movies. I love the James Bond series but that’s where my interest usually stops. That being said, my expectations were far surpassed by Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit this week.

The film, which is based on Tom Clancy’s character, but no particular book, follows a young Jack Ryan (Chris Pine) as he joins the U.S. Marines to support his country after 9/11, and incurs life-threatening injuries in a helicopter crash. While recuperating at an army rehab facility, he meets Dr. Cathy Muller (Keira Knightley). Ten years later, the two are dating and Ryan is working as an undercover analyst for the CIA. When he discovers what he believes to be evidence that the Russians are planning a massive attack on the U.S. that would severely cripple the economy as well as endanger the lives of thousands of people, he is sent to Moscow on a special assignment to investigate. Ryan’s investigation is short lived though, as soon after arriving in Moscow, there is an attempt to assassinate him. This forces Ryan to switch gears from analyst to full blown spy.

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Movie Review: Her

In: Matt, Movies

Spike Jonze’s Her is easily one of the best films I’ve seen in a long time. It is a beautifully stylized futuristic love story about a man who falls in love with the operating system of his computer. I use the term futuristic loosely as the film’s setting is not that far off from our own. There are some technological advances and some adorable fashion throwbacks, which include high-waisted pants (yes!), but this world is very much just around the corner from today.

Joaquin Phoenix plays the man, Theodore Twombly, who works for a company that makes handwritten letters for people, the first sign this society has a problem with communication and human connection. Scarlett Johansson voices the woman, Samantha, who is actually genderless but I will continue to use female pronouns for the sake of this review. Samantha is an AI based operating system with the ability to learn and grow and we see her do just that throughout the course of the film.

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Well thanks goes to Nic on this pick as he message me late one evening this week asking if I’d seen We Are What We Are. Instructing me I had to download rent it legally and watch it immediately, I was happy to report promptly back to him that this one was worth the watch. Focusing its terrifying tale around the maudlin lives of two sisters, their little brother and deranged father after the violent death of their mother, you really start to worry about just what does go on in the bible belt.

There are no big actor names to draw you into this, no “amazing CGI” of monsters or magic and even the setting is dust bowl depression… what there is is strong acting and an engrossing script and plot. Without giving too much away, you watch the tragic story of past tradition followed blindlessly and without consent by generations of a singular family as they attempt to maintain their bloodline and lives. Does that sound a bit dramatic? Well, the story kind of is. You will cringe and want to shake most of the characters on screen as they acquiesce to tyrannical and unjustified rule. Oh, and you’re gonna see some blood and peeps eating peeps… not like Zombieland worth of cannibalism but enough to make you squirm. It’s drama and terror at its best.

Click through to read the rest of my review and see the trailer

Movie Review: Geography Club

In: Calan, Movies, Totally GAY!

Back in October Dono did a post about the Geography Club movie trailer and it peaked my interest. Not only was it starring two very handsome men,  Cameron Deane Stewart (Pitch Perfect) and Justin Deeley (90210), but it also genuinely looked really good. I’m a bit of a gay movie junkie and love attending the VQFF every year so I’ve seen my fair share of tacky gay cinema. I’m happy to say that Geography Club was not your average cheesy bad gay movie.

Synopsis: At Goodkind High School, a group of students of varying sexual orientation form an after-school club as a discreet way to share their feelings and experiences.

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