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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Out Now with Aaron and Abe: Episode 173: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1


This week’s episode of Out Now with Aaron and Abe features guest Liz Manshil joining the duo to discuss the film, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1.  Among topics covered, this episode features a discussion about director Mike Nichols (6:58), a fun round of Know Everybody (12:22), some Out Now Quickies™ (18:09), Trailer talk for Pitch Perfect 2 (24:36), the main review of course (30:08), Out Now Feedback (55:31), a fun Game (1:05:17), What’s Out Now (1:12:35), and some Bloopers following this week’s close out song (1:22:23).  So now, if you’ve got an hour or so to kill…


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Horrible Bosses 2 And The Mild Returns (Movie Review)

Horrible Bosses 2: 2 ½ out of 5

Kurt:  He’s Fight Clubbing himself! We’ve got a Fight Clubber!

There is a point in Horrible Bosses 2 where a character is asked what took place and his response is that he is unsure, because the three lead characters were yammering too much for him to be certain.  Jason Bateman, Charlie Day, and Jason Sudeikis have great chemistry, no doubt about it.  Their banter, which features each performer playing up the key aspect of their comedic personas that make them enjoyable to watch for many, is key to maintaining a level of energy for a film that was not really needed.  I liked Horrible Bosses okay, but a sequel seemed like overkill.  Now I have seen it and while the concept is pretty thin, enough is done to make it fairly enjoyable.  With that in mind, the way it leans hard on some weirdly uncomfortable jokes keeps it from being one I really need to see twice.

Friday, November 21, 2014

‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1’ Successfully Sparks The Beginning Of The End (Movie Review)

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1: 4 out of 5

Katniss Everdeen:  I never wanted any of this.  I never wanted to be in the Games, I just wanted to save my sister and keep Peeta alive.

Here is another critic-proof blockbuster that happens to be an entry in a series I very much enjoy.  With movies that not only have a massive amount of hype, but are also a part of an ongoing franchise, there really is not much to lose when writing about them.  I am not going to focus on the obvious financial success this film will have, but it stands to reason that any opinion I have on the film could only affect me personally, if, say, my views went on to be trashed by mega supporters or the opposite.  With that in mind, it pleases me to not only be positive towards the first half of a two-part finale, but find it serving as a strong follow-up to what many consider to be the series high point.  Mockingjay Part 1 may abandon one major series staple, but it continues to stands its ground as a well-realized film featuring a female protagonist’s role in a major rebellion.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Out Now Nights 9: Interstellar Spoilers!


A new Podomatic and Soundcloud exclusive episode of Out Now NIGHTS is here! For this bonus episode, Aaron and Abe are joined by Jonathan Van Dyke to talk more in depth in regards to some of the twists, turns, and revelations found in Christopher Nolan's Interstellar.  This conversation goes a bit more in depth on spoilers, basically, and features some fun talk that extends the conversation already had in our previous episode, where Aaron and Abe had a full on conversation about the movie as a whole.  Now that it is been out a couple weeks, some can feel free to enjoy this bonus conversation if they would like.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Out Now with Aaron and Abe: Episode 172: Birdman


This week’s episode of Out Now with Aaron and Abe features guest Jonathan Van Dyke joining the duo to discuss the film, Birdman (in full detail, including spoilers).  Among topics covered, this episode features a fun round of Know Everybody (5:35), some Out Now Quickies™ (9:13), Trailer talk for The Gambler (14:40), the main review of course (21:24), Out Now Feedback (71:23), a fun Game (92:20), What’s Out Now (96:47), and some Bloopers following this week’s close out song (107:58).  So now, if you’ve got an hour or so to kill…


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The ‘Rosewater’ Smell Of A Successful Debut (Movie Review)

Rosewater:  4 out of 5

Maziar Bahari:  Sir, can you tell me why I’m here?

Circumstances surrounding a film can often impact the thoughts one has, when attempting to review/critique it.  Obviously a film should stand on its own, but certain aspects always have an effect on one’s perception.  I say this because it would be difficult not to talk about Rosewater without mentioning writer/director Jon Stewart’s role in all of this.  He made the film, so obviously he has plenty of involvement, but the fact that his role was a minor factor in why the story that led to this film exists (however inconsequential The Daily Show may really be in all of this) is an interesting factor to consider.  Keeping that in mind, based on the quality of this directorial debut from Stewart, I would say he found a way to be very respectful to his subject, in an effort to make a compelling drama that may not be what one would expect, when it comes to watching a film put together by the host of Comedy Central’s The Daily Show.

Monday, November 17, 2014

The Homesman Is Surreal, Grim Stuff (Movie Review)

The Homesman:  3 out of 5

Marry Bee Cuddy:  Come on, girls.

How grim is too grim and when does it just start becoming a little humorous?  Earlier this year we had a novel idea for a film in the form of A Million Ways to Die in the West.  That film did not work for me overall, but the idea of making a western film that put emphasis on how terrible a time it could really be was a funny one.  Tommy Lee Jones’ second directorial effort, The Homesman, based on the novel by Glendon Swarthout, is a film that sits in grim territory, but pushes things so far that it becomes a strange sort of dark comedy.  The film has a large cast of great actors, but they all provide merely decent to good performances.  Hilary Swank stands out, but that makes sense, given that she does most of the heavy-lifting, with strong support from Jones to back her up.  Really, the film seems confused by how sprawling it could be versus how effectively poignant it may be if the film felt a bit more consistent.  The good news is, this film is far too interesting to write off.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

‘Foxcatcher’ Has Strong Performances, But A Loose Grasp (Movie Review)

Foxcatcher:  3 ½ out of 5

John du Pont: Coach is the father.  Coach is a mentor.  Coach has great power on athlete’s life.

It is funny when you have next to no reaction to a film, despite easily acknowledging so many great things about it.  Foxcatcher is incredibly well acted, effectively directed in a chilling sort of manner as a sort of powder keg of tension, and likely worthy of even more praise, when one considers the level of detail brought to the film’s time period and setting.  With that all in mind, while pivotal moments had a desired effect, I walked away only caring so much for the film.  It tells the true story of a group of individuals that seemed to be boiled down to some basic elements, which left me feeling like I watched a film that I did not really need to see.  Of course, given the built-in praise that came from its reception at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, I certainly wanted to see it, but now having done so, again, the film just didn’t leave me with much.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

‘Dumb and Dumber To’ Too Much (Movie Review)

Dumb and Dumber To: 2 out of 5

Harry:  Whoa, Lloyd. Check out the hotties at 12 o’clock.
Lloyd:  That’s three hours away.  Why can’t I check ‘em out now?

So I didn’t laugh all that much.  It is irritating to have to be on the defensive for an opinion of a film that really does not need critical weight to determine if someone wants to see it or not.  If I was not writing film reviews, I would have still no doubt seen Dumb and Dumber To, because I like the first one, I like the actors, I like the Farrelly Brothers, and I would be happy to embrace my curiosity on this thing.  As it turns out, I did not like this movie.  It is a mix of dialing up the antics and raunchiness, as any comedy sequel would be prone to do, while also relying on rehashes of what was believed to make the first film work.  This results in a film that is a little meaner (odd for the generally sweet Farrellys) and lot less funny.  Sure it is subjective and I have no shame in saying that I laughed a good few times, but overall, it mostly fell flat.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Out Now with Aaron and Abe: Episode 171: Interstellar


This week’s episode of Out Now with Aaron and Abe features guests Scott Mendelson and Ali Mattu joining the duo to discuss the film, Interstellar.  Among topics covered, this episode features a fun round of Know Everybody (4:12), some Out Now Quickies™ (8:36), Trailer talk for Tomorrowland (13:30), the main review of course (19:25), Out Now Feedback (1:16:30), a fun Game (1:31:30), What’s Out Now (1:39:40), and some Bloopers following this week’s close out song (1:48:04).  So now, if you’ve got an hour or so to kill…

Thursday, November 6, 2014

‘Big Hero 6’ Begins (Movie Review)

Big Hero 6:  3 ½ out of 5

Baymax: We jumped out a window!

Remember Bolt?  Disney’s computer animated feature about a dog that believed it had superpowers, given that he was the star of a TV series.  I enjoyed that film for what it was, as it had a warm spirit and lots of humor.  That in mind, it always felt like Disney taking a film like Toy Story and turning it into something a lot less complex.  Big Hero 6 feels like Disney’s attempt to reconstruct Pixar’s The Incredibles into a much more traditional superhero film (with lots of Disney-style emotional content), complete with a young, orphaned hero, the means to put a team of high-tech crime-fighters together, and a masked villain with a dastardly plan in mind.  What really makes this film work though is the sense of wonder, fun, and enjoyment to be had in its execution, which is largely embodied by one of Disney’s best new sidekick characters, Baymax.  Predictability aside, a large, marshmallow-like robot, and the colorful adventure he is a part of, will easily be plenty of fun for a wide audience.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Out Now with Aaron and Abe: Episode 170: Nightcrawler


This week’s episode of Out Now with Aaron and Abe features guests Jose Cordova and Julia WD Harrison joining the duo to discuss the film, Nightcrawler.  Among topics covered, this episode features a fun round of Know Everybody (8:15), some Out Now Quickies™ (12:35), Trailer talk for Focus (16:49), the main review of course (21:25), Out Now Feedback (48:39), a fun Game (1:02:18), What’s Out Now (1:08:29), and some Bloopers following this week’s close out song (1:16:17).  So now, if you've got an hour or so to kill…


‘Interstellar’ Takes Viewers On A Grand Voyage (Movie Review)

Interstellar: 4 ½ out of 5

Cooper:  Mankind was born on Earth.  It was never meant to die here.

A lot of times there is an urge to compare films to other films.  It may not be the best way to go about things, but it happens, regardless if one really wants to or not.  I remember seeing 2001: A Space Odyssey when I was very young and being transfixed by it (regardless of if I ‘got it’).  Apollo 13 was a film I saw in theaters a few times, as I was at an age where space and astronauts were the coolest things ever.  The Right Stuff I caught later, though it has become a favorite film of mine (along with 2001).  Having now seen Interstellar, a science fiction film from co-writer/director Christopher Nolan, I cannot help but think of these films that have contributed to my thoughts on the genre and how they served to influence Interstellar in various ways.  Still, regardless of how I think Interstellar matches up to those other films, what is important for this review is to communicate why I found it so worthwhile to go on this journey and would hope many others do so as well by way of watching the film on the biggest screen available to them.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Out Now Bonus: Horror Special 5 – The 90s to Now


We made it! 5 weeks and 5 podcasts devoted to horror films.  Aaron is joined by the full crew: Brandon Peters from Naptown Nerd, Jimmy O from JoBlo, and Jason Coleman form Star Pulse, but that’s not all. Abe finally joins in as well, as the group goes over the last few decades of horror, the 1990s up to present time.  Listen in, as the guys discuss the state of horror following the 80s, the revival of horror in the mid-90s, the impact of films such as Scream, The Blair Witch Project, Saw, Paranormal Activity, and more. It is a packed episode, with lots of great information and a lot of fun to be had, as these horror hounds wrap up their thoughts concerning this month-long discussion of horror films spanning nearly a century.

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


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