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Thursday, July 31, 2014

‘Guardians of the Galaxy’: Marvel’s New Hope (Movie Review)

Guardians of the Galaxy:  4 out of 5

Rocket:  Ain’t no thing like me, except me!

While the word is out on what the future holds for the films from Marvel Studios, they are currently in a place of comfort, as the films produced are consistently entertaining, despite fitting into familiar structures.  Given that the films all have reasonable budgets and lots of talent both behind and in front of the camera, it is not too much of a surprise that audiences generally really enjoy these movies.  Guardians of the Galaxy is both the wildest step yet for Marvel and the biggest risk since 2008’s Iron Man, as it is based on an obscure comic property and lacks huge name stars in the lead roles for audiences to be easily sold on the film.  With that in mind, Guardians of the Galaxy will be a real test of the Marvel brand.  It helps that the film is very good.  It may only break some new ground, given the setting and style of the film, but even while fitting into a familiar mold, it is a total blast of space opera-style joy.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Out Now with Aaron and Abe: Episode 159 - LUCY


This week’s episode of Out Now with Aaron and Abe brings back that gender balance that we’ve all been waiting for, as Aaron and Abe are joined by guests Amy Taylor and Liz Manashil from Just Seen It, in order to talk about the film LUCY, starring Scarlett Johansson (not to mention Amy’s Kickstarter for her upcoming project Jess Archer Versus).  Additionally, all of the regular segments are present as well, including “Know Everybody”, “Out Now Quickies”, “Movie Call Back”, “Out Now Feedback”, and Trailer Talk (50 Shades of Grey).  It’s a fun, upbeat episode this week, especially given all the Comic Con exhaustion going on.

So now, if you’ve got an hour to kill…

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Out Now Bonus: Comic Con 2014 Recap Pt. 2


Making this quick: We have the second half of this bonus episode set, recapping Friday and Saturday at Comic Con 2014. Alan Aguilera guests! Check it HEREHEREHERE, or below.






Of course, in addition to this episode, there are many more episodes to be found on iTunes, TheHHWLOD Podcast Network, Stitcher Radio, Soundcloud, and at Podomatic for most of the newest episodes and some exclusives.  You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.  Also have fun participating on the official Facebook page for Out Now (“Like” it), which features weekly questions for listeners, updates from Aaron and Abe’s personal blogs, and various photos.  You can also follow us on Twitterand Tumblr.  Finally, feel free to e-mail the show at OutNowPodcast@gmail.com with any sort of feedback or add an iTunes rating/review.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Out Now Bonus: Comic Con 2014 Recap Pt. 1


Making this quick: We have a brand new episode recapping the first couple days at Comic Con. Alan Aguilera guests! Check it HERE, HERE, HERE, or below.



Of course, in addition to this episode, there are many more episodes to be found on iTunes, TheHHWLOD Podcast Network, Stitcher Radio, Soundcloud, and at Podomatic for most of the newest episodes and some exclusives.  You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.  Also have fun participating on the official Facebook page for Out Now (“Like” it), which features weekly questions for listeners, updates from Aaron and Abe’s personal blogs, and various photos.  You can also follow us on Twitterand Tumblr.  Finally, feel free to e-mail the show at OutNowPodcast@gmail.com with any sort of feedback or add an iTunes rating/review.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

‘LUCY’ Express (Movie Review)

Lucy:  3 out of 5

Lucy:  What did you do to my stomach?

In the premise for Lucy, Scarlett Johansson’s character is forced to deliver a package implanted inside of her, only to gain unique abilities after the package is ruptured.  I am sure some kind of variation of that description is what got writer/director Luc Besson the means to make this film as a big studio movie, as opposed to a smaller release.  With that in mind, it is almost as if Besson was able to pull one over on many, as he may have a film built up to be a slick, easy-to-digest, summer sci-fi/action film, but Lucy has more going on than one may expect.  It is unfortunate that the film’s ambition is masked underneath a wavy sense of actual science and Besson’s own penchant for kinetic (and very violent) action beats, but a strong central performance and a very fast pace keep Lucy from ever slowing down in its brief runtime.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Out Now with Aaron and Abe: Bonus Episode – Boyhood, Snowpiercer, and More!


This week’s episode of Out Now with Aaron and Abe is a discussion of a collection of films, but namely Richard Linklater’s Boyhood and Bong Joon-Ho’s Snowpiercer.  Abe and Aaron are joined by Mark Hobin and Jonathan Van Dyke to discuss both films and many of the other recent arthouse films, foreign features, and documentaries they may have caught in recent months.  Additionally, some of the regular segments are present as well, including “Out Now Quickies”, and “Out Now Feedback.”  There is a lot of discussion this week, as we cover lots of movies and keep spirits high (and make sure to listen to the whole recording).

So now, if you’ve got an hour to kill…



Friday, July 18, 2014

The Purge: Catching Fire & Rescue (Movie Review)

The Purge: Anarchy:  2 ½ out of 5

Leo:  It’s late. You need to leave.

One of the more impressive aspects of The Purge: Anarchy is not really the movie itself, but the fact that how it was sold managed to get me excited, despite the first ‘Purge’ from a year ago finding its way to my ‘Worst of 2013’ list.  Fast-tracked sequel or not, ‘Anarchy’ seemed set out to resolve the main issue that the first film created, which was to go a more open world route, given the endless possibilities that the ridiculous basic concept set up.  Here is a film that exists in a reality where crime and unemployment are at all-time lows in America, because a 12-hour period exists one night a year, where all crime (especially murder) is legal.  It is a very dumb premise if you stop to think about it, but there is so much to do with that concept, which is something this higher-budgeted sequel tries to do.  With all of that said, even when considering the couple degrees that separate this film from reality, in an effort to add some level of social commentary, I did not take away much from this film that will likely stick with me no further than a week.

Interesting ‘I Origins’ (Movie Review)

I Origins:  3 ½ out of 5

Ian:  What would you do if something spiritual disproved your scientific beliefs?

A few years back, writer/director Mike Cahill made a film called Another Earth, which managed to find itself on my top ten list.  It was a debut feature and had some rough edges, but it hit me in just the right way and at just the right time (going well with its existential-sci-fi-drama counterpart – Melancholia), providing me with enough to let the film get to me more than I was expecting.  Now we have Cahill’s follow up feature, I Origins, which I cannot say I was as enraptured by, but still found to be interesting.  The main curiosity I have outside of this film is whether or not audiences will be happy to go along with what is essentially a character journey that does not really decide to engage in a specific plot until more than halfway through the film.  There is a sense looseness here that I think can go either way for people, but I did find myself involved in some key moments that led me to admiring I Origins quite a bit.

When Other New Kids Movies Fly Out, ‘Planes’ Flies In (Movie Revew)

Planes: Fire & Rescue:  2 ½ out of 5

Lil’ Dipper:  Shut the hangar door!

I guess there is something to be said for a Disney film like Planes: Fire & Rescue that does not try to go for the modern Disney approach of being a film for everyone, rather than just kids.  While there is nothing about this theatrical sequel to a film that was originally supposed to go straight to video that makes it essential viewing or even all that innovative, there is also nothing here that really makes it unwatchable either.  I may have some quibbles over the implied lessons that Dusty Crophopper learns at the end of this film, but it really makes no difference, as Planes: Fire & Rescue is kiddy stuff, through and through, which is not a bad thing, just something to take into consideration.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Out Now with Aaron and Abe: Episode 158 – Dawn of the Planet of the Apes


This week’s episode of Out Now with Aaron and Abe had such an intense focus on Dawn of the Planet of the Apes that the guys actually have a lengthy spoiler section to go with their review of the film.  Be advised, but also enjoy Aaron, Abe, and guests Markus Robinson and Tyler Smith talking all about this summer spectacle.  Additionally, all of the regular segments are present as well, including “Know Everybody”, “Out Now Quickies”, “Movie Call Back”, “Out Now Feedback”, and Trailer Talk (Exodus: Gods and Kings).  It’s a solid discussion this week as it deals with Out Now. Family. Future.

So now, if you’ve got an hour to kill…



Monday, July 14, 2014

Brief Thoughts: Begin Again


I really enjoy putting my reviews together.  I honestly wish I could delve deeper into certain movies, but alas, I get incredibly busy and can sometimes only deal with movies to a briefer extent than I would prefer.  This is why I write these occasional "Brief Thoughts" posts on movies I have seen, as I want to at least offer some of my own perspective on them.  They may not be as polished, but I can at least get my opinions out there.  The following is a brief review of Begin Again.

Friday, July 11, 2014

It’s A New ‘Dawn’ For Caesar And The Planet Of The Apes (Movie Review)

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes:  4 ½ out of 5

Caesar:  Apes together strong!

The only thing more complicated than the time traveling plotline of the original Planet of the Apes franchise is realizing that Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is the sequel to Rise of the Planet of the Apes, the reimagining of the fourth film in the previous franchise, which took place before the first film, chronologically.  Relieving the stress of such complications is the fact that ‘Dawn’ may be the 8th film in a long running series of ‘Apes’ movies, but it stands very close to the top, nearly outdoing the Charlton Heston classic.  This is a summer movie that is not afraid to embrace the idea of keeping the damn dirty humans in second tier positions, while Andy Serkis, the other actors, and the fantastic visual effects team at Weta Digital do tremendous work at not only creating what appears to be living, breathing apes, but well-developed and empathetic characters.  Along with a clever script and some ace direction, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is another very strong entry for the 2014 summer season, let alone a fine sci-fi spectacle.

Take A 12-Year Journey Through ‘Boyhood’ (Movie Review)

Boyhood:  5 out of 5

Teacher:  Who do you want to be Mason?  What do you want to do?

There seems to be a scale of how well movies can depict the passage of time with the characters we are following.  We constantly see films that effectively (or ineffectively) make us of makeup and other effects to convey a certain age of a character, let alone simply using different actors, based on time jumps.  Writer/director Richard Linklater has gone a different route.  Rather than using traditional, physical tools to convey the lengthy period of time that Boyhood covers, he worked with the same actors for a 12 year period to deliver a unique and ambitious project.  As a result, we see a story about family and change and growth and many other things that make up life from a personal perspective.  It was a wonderful idea that has turned into an equally wonderful film.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Out Now with Aaron and Abe: Bonus Episode – 2014’s Best (And Some Worst) Films of the Year So Far…


This week’s episode of Out Now with Aaron and Abe is a step back from the regular episodes and into bonus territory, as Aaron and Abe ride it solo, while discussing their favorite and least favorite films of 2014 so far.  It’s the halfway point in the year, so the guys figured, “why not.”  Additionally, some of the regular segments are present as well, including “Out Now Quickies”, and “Out Now Feedback.”  Plenty of fun was had this week, as it was a less voice-heavy, but still very talkative show (plus a nice story at the end).

So now, if you’ve got an hour to kill…

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Take On ‘Life Itself’ Even After The Balcony Has Closed (Movie Review)

Life Itself:  Thumbs Up

Roger Ebert:  It’s not what a movie is about, it’s how it is about it.

Roger Ebert was a force to be reckoned with when it came to film criticism, and I was very saddened by his death in April, 2013.  The documentary film Life Itself, an adaptation of the late film critic’s memoir and a look at the last few months of his life, puts his story front and center, with no one more fitting than Steve James (director of Hoop Dreams, one of Ebert’s favorites) to be the one to direct the film.  The film is rife with stories and insight about the life of Roger Ebert, as far as his career as a writer and onwards goes, with plenty of interviews to back up a truthful look at a man who was not perfect, but certainly a huge influence and impressive figure when it came to what he accomplished.  This is a documentary for many film fans, as they may not have been shaped by Ebert’s film criticism, but it has certainly been a factor, while he had his time to say something about cinema.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Out Now Commentary: Planet of the Apes (1968)


Here is an all new bonus episode, coming right in time for not only America’s Independence Day weekend, 2014, but shortly before the release of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, which sparked the reason to do this commentary episode for the original 1968 science fiction classic, Planet of the Apes, starring Charlton Heston.  Aaron is joined by guests Brandon Peters and Jim Dietz to go over the film, Charlton Heston’s career choices, sci-fi films from the same time and beyond, the Apes franchise in general, and plenty of other aspects related to the film.  It is another info-packed commentary with plenty of fun and entertaining insights from multiple perspectives.  Get your paws on this damn dirty commentary!

Important Note:  This commentary may feature both juvenile uses of language and jokes that may be considered un-PC.  We of course are just trying to have a fun time…

So now, if you’ve got an hour to kill…

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

This Pulpy Detective-Horror Story Tries To ‘Deliver Us From Evil’ (Movie Review)

Deliver Us From Evil: 3 ½ out of 5

Ralph Sarchie:  Ma’am, what’s wrong with you?

The biggest question I have about Deliver Us from Evil, a film that mixes a police procedural plot with exorcism, is why have it released on July 4th weekend?  I understand counter-programming and all, but a grimy, R-rated horror feature does not exactly seem like the choice for Independence Day, regardless of producer Jerry Bruckheimer’s name being attached to the film.  That said, whether or not audiences flock to see HULK and Carlos the assassin exorcise the demons on its opening weekend, Deliver Us from Evil has a neat setup that feels like a throwback detective story fitted with effective atmospheric direction from Scott Derrickson.

Tammy Is Sad, Messy, and Occasionally Endearing (Movie Review)

Tammy: 2 ½ out of 5

Tammy:  Grandma, I don’t know where I’m going.

It is unfortunate that Tammy does not quite work overall.  Here we have a character-based, R-rated comedy, featuring a large number of female characters, with ideas that extend beyond big-budgeted set pieces, and it is arriving in theaters just in time for the Fourth of July.  Melissa McCarthy fans may certainly enjoy the opportunity given to her and her husband, Ben Falcone, who directed the film and co-wrote the screenplay with McCarthy, but perhaps not those who are expecting a traditional slapstick comedy. Or maybe it is the other way around.  What Tammy has in character exploration and some actual pathos, whenever McCarthy settles down with her antics, it loses whenever the film amps up its randomness, certain comedy routines, and disjointed plotting.  It makes the film an interesting watch, just not one that I found entirely worthwhile, as a whole.

Out Now with Aaron and Abe: Episode 157 – Transformers: Age of Extinction


This week’s episode of Out Now with Aaron and Abe features a discussion of the latest effort from Michael “Boom Boom” Bay, Trans4mers: Age of Extinction.  Reuniting the same crew from the Dark of the Moon episode (way back with episode 17, for those keeping track), Aaron and Abe are joined by Alan Aguilera and Jordan Grout to provide some reasonable thoughts on this latest robot smashing film.  Additionally, all of the regular segments are present as well, including “Know Everybody”, “Out Now Quickies”, “Movie Call Back”, “Out Now Feedback”, and Trailer Talk (Fury).  The guys battled some challenging internet connections to get this episode recorded, so boot it up and roll out!

So now, if you’ve got an hour to kill…(main review starts at 18:40)



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