Sub Headline

Please feel free to leave comments, Check out the Out Now with Aaron and Abe Podcast, And Follow me on Twitter & Instagram!

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Out Now Commentary: Taken (2009)


Finally, we have a new commentary out and what better way to ring in the new year than with a discussion of the film Taken, starring Liam Neeson.  Aaron and Abe are joined by Brandon Peters, Jordan Grout, and Kaitlin Grout, to discuss the action film that launched this later act of Liam Neeson’s acting career.  This commentary track also serves as something of a Taken 3 podcast as well, not to mention a source of good-spirited fun and plenty of info in regards to what Taken has brought to the world.

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…


Friday, January 30, 2015

Welcome To ‘Project Almanac’ (Movie Review)

Project Almanac: 3 out of 5

Quinn: It’s yesterday!

Project Almanac feels like the result of producer Michael Bay taking the film Primer and throwing it into a room where the MTV Films scientists could poke, prod, analyze, disassemble, and reassemble it into a time travel film that could appeal to teenagers of today.  That is not inherently a bad thing, but it also does not mean this film will have much lasting appeal for the future, compared to other time travel films or other films that also utilize the ‘found footage’ format to better effect.  So with that in mind, despite some clever ideas and an energetic sense of momentum, Project Almanac is only so much fun, if you don’t think too hard about it, but innocent enough to work for what it is, with the target audience likely willing to have enough to enjoy.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Out Now with Aaron and Abe: Bonus Episode – Thoughts on the 87th Annual Academy Award Nominations


This week’s episode of Out Now with Aaron and Abe features guests Mark Johnson and Terence Johnson, both from AwardsCircuit.com, joining the duo to talk about the 87th Annual Academy Award nominations.  Various snubs, surprises, and more took place with these award announcements, so the guys decided to go into their thoughts on what took place, what they would have liked to see, why certain things may have happened the way they did, and other relevant conversations.  So now, if you’ve got an hour or so to kill…

Monday, January 26, 2015

Brief Thoughts: Leviathan (Movie Review)


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.  This brief thought is a review for the Oscar nominated foreign drama Leviathan.

‘Mortdecai’, A Shot In The Mustache (Movie Review)

Mortdecai:  2 ½ out of 5

Inspector Martland: What is that thing on your lip?

At its best, Mortdecai is an adult-skewing drama that uses its big-name cast to its advantage, as everyone does their best to show how much fun they are having, while being moved along by the comic zip of director David Koepp’s direction.  This is not a sentence that I can apply to the whole movie, unfortunately, but Mortdecai is by no means the disaster that would be suggested by its January release date and lack of much publicity, beyond the basic marketing via trailers and posters.  Really, it is a globetrotting adventure with fairly low stakes and a lead performance from a very game Johnny Depp that you will either enjoy or find irritating.  Fortunately, the film does have other actors also doing their part, even if the film is fairly minor in every sense.  That in mind, this is far better than The Tourist or whatever the hell Steve Martin was doing in those Pink Panther movies.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Enjoy The Depths Of ‘Black Sea’ (Movie Review)

Black Sea:  3 ½ out of 5

Robinson: I’ve been working on submarines for nearly 30 years.  I lost my family to this job.

There was a time when I used to say I was not a fan of submarine movies.  I have since found that to be inaccurate, given how much I appreciate the ones considered to be the best and even some of the more average attempts.  I believe it to come down more to whether or not the film is effective in getting across the key idea of what works best in a submarine movie, which is effectively building the claustrophobic tension that comes from having multiple characters stuck with each other in a narrow enclosure, deep below the ocean’s surface.  Black Sea manages to do this.  It takes the premise of a heist film and combines that with what you can get from a submarine thriller, making for a unique sort of drama held together by some solid performances and an interesting play on what these characters actually desire most.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Brief Thoughts: Song of the Sea (Movie Review)


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. This brief thought is a film review for the Oscar nominated Song of the Sea.

Out Now with Aaron and Abe: Ep. 178 – American Sniper


This week’s episode of Out Now with Aaron and Abe features guests Aaron Fink and Philip Price to join in on discussing Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper.  Among topics covered, we have a fun round of Know Everybody (4:01), some Out Now Quickies™ (10:02), the main review (18:32), Out Now Feedback (42:30), a fun Game (50:35), What’s Out Now (59:43), and some Bloopers following this week’s close out song (1:07:03).  So now, if you’ve got an hour or so to kill…

Monday, January 19, 2015

‘Paddington’ Is The Cinematic Equivalent Of A Warm Hug (Movie Review)

Paddington: 4 out of 5

Mr. Brown:  Hello, I just need to add something to my home insurance policy.  Well, what it is, we have a guest for the night, a bear, and I just need some extra coverage for…Yes, a bear.

I am not sure whether or not I should be surprised by how much I enjoyed Paddington, the film adaptation of the popular children’s literature character created by Michael Bond, but I know without a doubt that I was absolutely charmed by it.  Co-writer/director Paul King, best known for his work on the British comedy series The Mighty Boosh, has put together a marvelous little film that has the kind of wonder that makes the film adaptations of certain Roald Dahl books, like Fantastic Mr. Fox, Matilda, and Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, work so well.  He even throws in the plotting of a film like Beethoven to make for a very easily accessible family film, with just enough plot to make this fish-out-of-water story very easy to watch.  So grab your coat & red hat and get ready for Paddington.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

‘Blackhat’ AKA Sexy Hackers (Movie Review)

Blackhat: 3 out of 5

Hathaway: The real hit is still to come…

Blackhat is a slickly-produced techno-thriller from co-writer/director Michael Mann.  While Mann continually enjoy exploring the relationship between cops and crooks, this film and the last couple efforts from Mann (Miami Vice, Public Enemies) seem to feature same issue: personality vs. interest.  The fact is, all of Mann’s films have tons of personality, given his stylish tendencies, but his recent efforts have unfortunately not left us with much to connect with, beyond the visuals, committed (yet somewhat shallow) performances, and visceral quality of the action in his features.  Blackhat does nothing to really change that around and while a January release date is harsh sentencing for a director that continues to put what I imagine is tons of effort into his productions, it stands to reason that a film with a couple action-based highlights amidst a world filled with exotic locals, techno-jargon, and the handsomest hacker of them all could only draw up so much excitement.  That in mind, I am still a Mann fan and while bloated, I tend to enjoy the visual language Mann puts on the big screen, overweighing my need for a more enjoyable screenplay, which is still unfortunately the issue with these recent Mann projects.

Eastwood Aims High With ‘American Sniper’ (Movie Review)

American Sniper: 3 out of 5

Taya Renae Kyle: If you think that this war isn’t changing you you’re wrong.  You can only circle the flames so long.

So director Clint Eastwood decided to pull a Spielberg and be a double threat in 2014, but while Jersey Boys and American Sniper are no Jurassic Park and Schindler’s List (and perhaps not even a Lost World and Amistad), the latter film is certainly his best effort in some time.  That may not be saying much, but American Sniper, while not the most engaging war film in terms of having much to say, without adding a layer of schmaltz on top (fitting with the strong war violence presented), did interest me on another level.  Despite being an uncomplicated, yet never-dull and efficient war-drama, I was intrigued by seeing a filmmaker like Eastwood make an attempt at a film that studies masculinity, given his own career as a gruff, male action hero.

Mann-ly Casts: 10 Michael Mann Movies & Their Key Players


This Friday sees the release of a new film from director Michael Mann.  This upcoming feature is titled Blackhat and while it does not offer a whole lot that we have not seen before, both in terms of story and in what Michael Mann is capable of as a director, it does continue a trend that I love seeing in films from directors like Mann, who frequently commit to sprawling films that feature many speaking roles: the use of a ton of character actors.  Using the past few decades as an example, Mann fits with directors such as Ridley Scott, Tony Scott, Steven Soderbergh, and Martin Scorsese, among a number of others, as well as producer Jerry Bruckheimer, who have made films that not just have a lot of characters, but seem to fill all the roles with character actors and familiar faces that were either in the early stages of their careers or are just reliably good.  With that in mind (and an understanding that I have now set myself up to revisit this topic with other directors in the future), I wanted to have a little fun spotlighting some key performances in all of Michael Mann's films (minus The Keep, as I just do not have a way to see it and Mann disowns it, so...).  In particular, it would be fun to go into the real minor roles, but I'll see how I do, given how I had only so much time to revisit Mann's filmography.  Anyway, let's see how this goes, as I wanted to do something different than just rank Mann's movies.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Out Now with Aaron and Abe: Ep. 177 – Inherent Vice And Selma


This week’s episode of Out Now with Aaron and Abe features guests Todd Gilchrist and Jonathan Van Dyke, as the group discusses both Inherent Vice and Selma.  Among topics covered, we have a fun round of Know Everybody (3:38), some Out Now Quickies™ (8:40), Trailer talk for Ant-Man (20:57), the main review (29:52) and (59:23), Out Now Feedback (80:09), a fun Game (89:10), What’s Out Now (99:44), and some Bloopers following this week’s close out song (108:34).  So now, if you’ve got an hour or so to kill…


Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Brief Thoughts: Cake (Movie Review)


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.  This brief thought is a review of the film Cake, starring Jennifer Aniston.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Look Who’s ‘Taken’ Now (Movie Review)

Taken 3: 1 out of 5

Bryan Mills:  By now I’m sure you know who I am and what I’m capable of.

My favorite scene in A Walk Among the Tombstones, the previous Liam Neeson thriller that found the 62-year-old actor facing up against a number of deadly foes, involved Neeson’s character talking a knife-wielding man out of fighting, because they both knew how it would end.  It showed how much of an intimidating force Neeson can be just by having a conversation.  The same can be said for the first and best Taken.  While that film had its share of action, the best scenes involved Neeson intimidating his enemies through just his presence and dialogue.  Now we are at Taken 3, which is pretty much a joke.  Sloppy storytelling, incoherent direction, horrible action (featuring plenty of close-ups); this is a mess of a film.  Sure, Neeson knows how to sell his presence, but as the tagline states, I really hope it does end here.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Top Ten Luc Besson-Produced Films


With a new Taken film coming out tomorrow, I decided to put together a list of what I would consider the best Luc-Besson-produced films.  For those unaware, Luc Besson is the French writer/director who is responsible for directing films such as Nikita, Leon, and The Fifth Element.  He has also had his hand in writing and producing a lot of films, which led to the launch of Jason Statham as an international star, along with serving as a way for many young directors to get their start.   I have joked in the past that Besson appears to write an idea down on a napkin now and again, hands it off to a protégé, and that becomes the next Besson B-movie.  That said, there are now a number of Besson-produced films, so I figured why not rank them.  This was a harder challenge that I anticipated, because as much as I enjoy Besson-directed films from the 90s and his most recent film Lucy, his work as a producer is pretty mixed, with almost as many films fit for a “Top Ten Worst” list.  With all that said, let’s get to it. [Note: I never saw the original Taxi. Not the terrible American remake, the original, so I will not have that film on this list, but am open to hearing opinions on it.]

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Out Now with Aaron and Abe Ep. 176 - The Top Ten Films of 2014


This week’s episode of Out Now with Aaron and Abe features Mark Hobin and Maxwell Haddad, along with several surprise cameos, to discuss The Top Ten Films of 2014.  Not many topics covered aside from the top ten, but as far as the schedule:  we have a revisit to Into the Woods (4:10), followed by the Top Ten (9:55), some more discussion of the year for film in 2014 and the future (2:15:36), and some Bloopers following this week’s close out song (2:34:08).  So now, if you’ve got an hour or so to kill…



Tuesday, January 6, 2015

My Top 10 Films Of 2014


Alright, with a new epic Top Ten podcast on the horizon and following a few days of me recapping the year of 2014 in other forms ("Most Average", "Odds & Ends", "Worsts", "Top 30-21", "Top 20-11"), I have now assembled my Top Ten Films of 2014.  Of course, this and many lists could have already been seen at Why So Blu as well, but it is now on my own site, with some minor tweaks. Not much else to say, so enjoy!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Depp, Diaz, Downey: 5 Disappointments & The 10 Worst Films of 2014


Once again, I must note that this list and others have also been posted on Why So Blu, but are now here on my site as well, with some minor tweaks.  With that said, this is never a post of joy, but every year does see the release of films that are not very good.  I never seek out films with the purpose of hating them and a majority of these are not without redeemable elements, but if I have at least 10 films on a list that I consider better than the rest I saw this year, then this is a list that features at least 10 films I would say are worse than everything else I saw.  I have also included the films I was most disappointed in, which are not necessarily bad movies, but not ones I would say lived up to their potential.  Final note:  this is my list, meaning I only saw so much of what was generally considered ‘terrible,’ basically meaning that I was not racing out to see Blended, Saving Christmas, or I, Frankenstein, while I was also fine with certain ‘alleged’ atrocities, such as The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and Trans4mers, so they won’t be anywhere near this list.  And with all that said, let’s dig into the bottom of barrel.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

20 2014 Films I Just Want To Shout Out (Odds & Ends)


I originally posted this list over at Why So Blu, but wanted to make sure it made the rounds, as I use my site to wrap up 2014.  With that in mind, this year, given how I have ranked a large number of films in an effort to put together an ultimate Top 10+ list, I wanted to spend time creating a list focused on a solid selection of films that I may not go all the way in pronouncing as my end-of-year favorites, but certainly want to bring as much notice to them as possible.  With that in mind, here is a list of 20 films in alphabetical order, consisting of comedies, horror films, genre fun, documentaries and more, which I have a high level of admiration for. (Each one is linked to my review for it, when applicable.)

Brief Thoughts: Mr. Turner (Movie Review)


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.  This Brief Thought will be focused on the Mike Leigh film Mr. Turner.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

10 ‘Hated’ Films Of 2014 I Kinda Liked & 10 “Loved” Films of 2014 I Was Mostly Indifferent To


A lot of best/worst lists have been put together by myself and others over the past couple weeks, for obvious reasons, so I wanted to add another kind of list.  I have seen the concept of 'Most Average of 2014' going around and decided to take a different approach by going over the films I found to be somewhere in the middle for the most part.  Here are two lists of films that I was basically in the minority on for either liking, disliking, or not liking nearly as much as others. It may be a silly sort of idea for a post, but it was on my mind, so why not.  Links to the reviews of all of these films are provided as well.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

‘A Most Violent Year,’ A Most Wonderful Film (Movie Review)

A Most Violent Year: 4 ½ out of 5

Abel: I have always taken the path that is most right.

There is something I find fascinating about a man struggling not to be a criminal.  This was something played to near-perfection by Al Pacino in The Godfather films, but it is a character type that we have seen a lot in the crime and gangster films before and since those first two ‘masterpieces.’  In regards to this superb crime drama from writer/director J.C. Chandor, I think my fascination has something to do with the idea of understanding lead character Oscar Isaac’s sense of morals, but seeing how much ‘easier’ it would be for him if he more willingly stepped onto the dark side.  Regardless of what the case may be, A Most Violent Year is the kind of slow-burn, tactics-heavy, crime drama that I was easily taken in by, thanks to a level of confidence behind the camera and strong performances matched with cinematic beauty in front of it.

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...