Pixar is back in perfect form with Inside Out. It’s been a few years since they’ve released something this original, heartwarming, hilarious and just plain embraceable. A classic, for sure.
I discuss how wonderful it was with ScreenPicks, plus my thoughts on the indie gem Dope.
The Entourage boys are back in this big-screen adaptation, and it feels like they never left. If you’re a big fan of the show, you shouldn’t be disappointed to see Vince, E, Turtle, Johnny Drama — and of course, Ari Gold — up to their usual shenanigans.
The ScreenPicks crew and I discuss the film, plus the Melissa McCarthy excellent comedy Spy. Just know that Jason Statham will totally surprise you!
It’s time for the Big One! San Andreas follows the disaster flick formula pretty closely, as Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson plays a first responder who has rescue his family when the San Andreas fault finally shifts for the worse, destroying most of San Francisco.
Despite its many faults (get it?), the film is what you’d expect and enjoyable for pure entertainment value. Listen to our discussion about it on the ScreenPicks podcast. Plus, hear what I have to say about how Cameron Crowe’s Aloha went wrong.
Step 1: Sympathize with poor Blake Lively. She has to spend her whole time in Age of Adaline looking young and gorgeous while everyone around her grows old. It’s a solitary life never aging — Adaline stopped in the 1930s — and now in present day, she’s sad. That is, until she meets Ellis, played by the equally gorgeous Michiel Huisman of Game of Thrones fame (he plays Daario Naharis, the Mother of Dragon’s booty call). Now Adaline might have a chance at happiness if she decides to stop running and allow herself to embrace love. Even if, you know, she stays young and he gets older.
Step 2: Admire Lively’s acting chops as she aptly portrays Adaline’s angst and loneliness after finding herself in this strange age limbo. You have to look past Age of Adaline’s severely flawed logic and once you do, you find yourself wrapped up in the romance because of Lively’s convictions and her obvious chemistry with Huisman.
Step 3: But wait, there’s more… Harrison Ford does a nice turn as Ellis’ father, who has a past connection to Adaline. It’s kind of weird, that connection, but Lively and Ford make the most out of their poignant moments together. All in all, Age of Adaline surprises you with its warmth and sweeping romantic notions.
Listen to more of my thoughts on the ScreenPicks podcast, plus, I talk about the soapy WWII melodrama Little Boy.
From baby bears to cheetah and lion cubs to chimpanzees, DisneyNature documentaries have never disappointed, and with Monkey Kingdom, they’ve succeeded again. With incredible cinematography, it tells the compelling story of how a lowly toque macaque monkey and her newborn son survive the social hierarchy of the Temple Troop, a dynamic group of monkeys living in an ancient ruin in the Sri Lanka jungle. Monkey Kingdom is just another example of how Disney filmmakers teach kids lessons about life and death in nature and the importance of preservation.
I discuss in more detail with ScreenPicks below, plus, I give my take on the mystery thriller True Story, starring James Franco and Jonah Hill.
The eerie Ex Machina explores a popular theme in movies: What happens when man creates artificial intelligence and tries to reign it in. But it does it to great effect. This three-person character study is full of proper mind games and suspense, with Oscar Isaac a clear stand-out as the mad scientist.
I discuss with my ScreenPicks crew, plus we talk about the Simon Pegg crime comedy Kill Me Three Times.
I didn’t dislike “Insurgent” as much as some other critics out there, but I do feel like this sequel in the YA “Divergent” series suffers from middle-child syndrome. “Divergent” did a great job at introducing a dystopian world, where a girl named Tris (Shailene Woodley) finds out she’s dangerous because she’s divergent, aka can’t be pigeon-holed. In “Insurgent,” Tris and her small band of allies are now on the run from those who want her, and all like her, dead, but not before they force Tris to open a mysterious box that could explain the whole reason for their existence. As exciting as that may sound, it really isn’t, despite some well-done action sequences. Woodley and Kate Winslet, who plays Tris’ nemesis, do their best to raise the bar, but “Insurgent” still fails to stand out.
Listen to more of my review with the ScreenPicks gang, plus, I talk about Sean Penn’s first real action movie “The Gunman.”
Will Smith and Margot Robbie are a comely pair in “Focus,” and their chemistry is pretty much all the con/heist movie has going for it, while “The Lazarus Effect” fails to drum up any after-life thrills, even with its top-notch cast. I discuss with my ScreenPicks pals…
Although “Fifty Shades of Grey” is dominating the box office as expected (see my review above), I recommend seeing “Kingsman: The Secret Service” as soon as you can. The James Bond-esque actioner is a great ride, gloriously violent, stars the cool, collected and wonderful Colin Firth and Mark Strong, stars the kooky Samuel L. Jackson as the perfect villain, and gives us cutie newcomer Taron Egerton, who shows real potential. I talked about it with the ScreenPicks.com gang below…
Not a particularly stellar week for movies, I have to say. Although there is some exquisite visual eye candy in “Jupiter Ascending,” it is also truly embarrassing for everyone involved. “Seventh Son” also has its moments, specifically involving Julianne Moore as a witch with relationship issues, but Jeff Bridges’ over-the-top and distracting performance nearly ruins the whole thing.
I break it down with fellow movie cohorts Phil Wallace, Adam Spunberg and Scott Youngbauer in our weekly ScreenPicks.com podcast… listen in!
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