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Saturday, February 28, 2015

Out Now Commentary: The Terminator (1984)


Out Now with Aaron and Abe is happy to present an all-new commentary for the James Cameron written and directed sci-fi classic, The Terminator, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger.  Aaron and (eventually…maybe) Abe are joined by guests Scott Mendelson and Brandon Peters, as they dive into everything about what made this film work, James Cameron’s legacy, the nature of genre films of this type, what came out of it, and plenty more.  It is full of fun and good information, so be sure to listen up.

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, February 27, 2015

‘Focus’ In And Enjoy (Movie Review)

Focus: 4 out of 5

Nicky: Attention is like a spotlight and it is our job to dance in the darkness.

Focus is solid entertainment that puts its audience back into the world of con artists, as there have been many of its kind before.  It is an easy way to have people both root for the leads, while also feeling intrigued by the sort of shadowy world they live in, but generally remains exciting due to these sorts of characters masquerading in lavish settings.  First and foremost though, Will Smith is back!  Regardless of one thoughts on Smith, he is one of the most charismatic actors in the world and while his leading roles have been fewer and further in between as of late, Focus is a film that does a fine job of both showing how effective of a performer he can be and how he has evolved for the better as an actor over time.  While there are plenty of other aspects of this film one can focus on, it really is nice to say that Focus is sharp and good-looking film, with a very good leading performance from the always watchable Will Smith.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Out Now Bonus – 87th Oscars Wrap-Up and Predestination (w/spoilers)


This bonus episode of Out Now with Aaron and Abe is a follow-up to the predictions, as the gang discusses how Aaron dominated the Oscar predictions competition.  Guest Mark Hobin returns to go over the ceremony with Aaron and Abe, which allows for thoughts on the ceremony and the winners.  This is followed by a review and discussion of the time travel thriller Predestination, starring Ethan Hawke, which also involved diving deep into spoilers regarding the twisty film.  Other fun is had as well; as there is plenty of fun, movie-themed discussions taking place this episode.  So now, if you’ve got an hour to kill…


Brief Thoughts: The Salvation (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 focused on The Salvation, a Danish western starring Mads Mikkelsen.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Out Now Bonus – 87th Annual Academy Award PREDICTIONS


This bonus episode of Out Now with Aaron and Abe is a lead up to exciting times, as the 87th Academy Awards will be airing the Sunday following this episode’s release.  Because of this, Aaron and Abe have brought together guests Mark Hobin and Terence Johnson for their annual Oscar Prediction show, which is always a lot of fun, as the guys are very competitive, when it comes to picking the potential winners.  The guys also discuss who they believe should win and delve into why things may happen the way they do.  It makes for a lot of interesting conversation, but once again shows that these guys do not joke around come Oscar time…well they do, but in the spirit of the ceremony.


Thursday, February 19, 2015

‘Hot Tub Time Machine 2’ Was Not A Relaxing Second Dip (Movie Review)

Hot Tub Time Machine 2: 2 out of 5

Nick:  Smells like hatred.

In 2010, I was excited to see a film that sold me on Craig Robinson looking into the camera and spouting the words “Hot Tub Time Machine.”  Given that the film had such a ludicrous title to begin with, the cast going the extra mile to make something so silly it came back to being pretty funny again just in the way of the premise was enough to have me excited.  The fact that the film delivered on being more than just a silly title is what left me impressed.  The film was a gross-out comedy with a sci-fi twist fitting of the 80s body switching craze.  It also had a solid cast and a mix of clever and absurdist humor to make it more worthwhile.  Now we have the sequel, with its existence seeming as perplexing as the concept of time travel.  The lack of the charm and some of the same stars did not help, as this film left me wanting to get out, dry off, and mingle with a different crowd.

Ranking The Top Ten Oscar Winners For Best Animated Feature

The award for Best Animated Feature has been part of the Oscars since the 74th Academy Awards back in 2002.  Since then, we have seen 13 winners of this award, with a 14th coming up this Sunday at the 87th Academy Awards.  As I enjoy putting together some kind of look back at the Oscars every year, I decided to rank my top ten favorites among the winners for Best Animated feature.  It is a pretty straightforward list, though I’m sure the ranking will throw off some, but it was fun to do.  Additionally, I have also listed out what I wish could have won in their respective years, which are actually often the same.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Out Now with Aaron and Abe: Episode 180: Kingsman: The Secret Service and Fifty Shades of Grey


This week’s episode of Out Now with Aaron and Abe features Scott Mendelson from Forbes joining the duo to discuss the films, Kingsman: The Secret Service and Fifty Shades of Grey.  Among topics covered, we have a fun round of Know Everybody (6:05), some Out Now Quickies™ (9:18), Trailer talk for The Man From U.N.C.L.E. (16:23), the main reviews of course (23:45) and (44:02), Out Now Feedback (1:03:51), a fun Game (1:19:38), What’s Out Now (1:24:33), and some Bloopers following this week’s close out song (1:36:38).  So now, if you’ve got an hour or so to kill…

Monday, February 16, 2015

My Thoughts On 2015's Oscar Nominated Animated Shorts


The Oscars are coming and while I may or may not have more to say about the 87th Academy Awards in upcoming posts (okay, I will), I did want to take the time to discuss the animated shorts.  This is just one of the many smaller categories that can make or break an Oscar pool for people, but while they may just seem like possible points to gain on a ballot, they do also represent a lot of great talent being put out there and recognized for their quality.  I have been happy to have the chance to see the Oscar nominated animated shorts for the past couple years now and I wanted to take the time, this year, to throw out my thoughts on each.

Does ‘Grey’ Matter (Movie Review)

Fifty Shades of Grey: 2 out of 5

Kate: What was he like?
Anastasia: He was polite, intense, smart.  Really intimidating.

Fifty Shades of Grey is one of those movies that will end up being credited more for the hype around it than what is actually seen in the film.  This is a film based on the first book in a trilogy of bestselling erotic romance novels that seemingly aspires to be placed in the same territory as something like Sex, Lies, and Videotape or Body Heat, but is far too bland in execution, which seems like the presumed result of Twilight fan-fiction come-to-life.  I imagine there could be plenty to say about a potential blockbuster film based on a novel by a woman (E.L. James), adapted by a woman (Kelly Marcel), directed by a woman (Sam Taylor-Johnson), and featuring a female lead (Dakota Johnson) who takes charge on a man who masks his inadequacies with a certain kind of appearance and use of dominance behind closed doors, but it comes more from what the viewer ultimately needs to extrapolate from the film, rather having a film that more effectively conveys proper purpose in a story like this.  The only caveat I can provide at this early stage is that I have not read the book, but I doubt the many giggling women at my screening have read it either.

Friday, February 13, 2015

A View To A ‘Kingsman’ (Movie Review)

Kingsman: The Secret Service:  4 out of 5

Harry:  Manners maketh man.

The Spy Who Loved Me is one of my favorite James Bond movies.  It is easily the best of the Roger Moore entries, but also a fine example of how strong the more cinematically over-the-top versions of the world famous British spy can be.  Kingsman: The Secret Service essentially functions as one of the more outlandish James Bond entries, albeit made up of different characters and stemming from a graphic novel world, with a style and tone fitting of the millennial age.  Director Matthew Vaughn, along with his screenwriting partner Jane Goldman, clearly had fun developing and filming the sort of R-rated madness taking place in this self-aware action-comedy, but it also has some of the dry British humor and sensibilities that make it more than just a new take on the ‘spy spoof’ for regular movie goers and a series of in-jokes for the filmmakers and movie geeks invested in the entertaining work of filmmakers like Vaughn.  It is more than that, which comes in the form of a smart script that services most of its principle characters properly and is also a lot of fun.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Out Now with Aaron and Abe: Episode 179: Jupiter Ascending


This week’s episode of Out Now with Aaron and Abe features Ethan Anderton from Firstshowing.net joining the duo (Abe has returned!) to discuss the film, Jupiter Ascending.  Among topics covered, we have a fun round of Know Everybody (7:23), some Out Now Quickies™ (9:51), Trailer talk for Magic Mike XXL (14:06), the main review of course (18:58), Out Now Feedback (49:51), a fun Game (80:16), What’s Out Now (83:07), and some Bloopers following this week’s close out song (95:20).  So now, if you’ve got an hour or so to kill…


Sunday, February 8, 2015

Brief Thoughts: Timbuktu (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 2014 French-Mauritanian drama Timbuktu, nominated for Best Foreign Language Film for the 87th Academy Awards.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Seventh Son Is An Epic Mess (Movie Review)

Seventh Son:  1 out of 5

Gregory: F***ing Witches.

Seventh Son is a mess of familiar ideas, talented actors, and competent (but mostly ugly) visual effects; all brought together into one horrible movie.  There are various ways to approach a review for a movie like this, most of which involve making fun of it, and honestly, this is the kind of movie that has been lined up to be made fun of.  Having never looked all that engaging and finally being released after a two-year delay, it is not as if I expected something truly memorable.  At the same time though, Seventh Son is a film so blinded by the thought that looking expensive equals awesome movie that it makes any admittedly cool sight, such as a warrior with four arms, completely devoid of the charm one could find in similar hack-and-slash medieval adventures of yesteryear.  Simply put: this film is awful.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Absorb The Fun Of ‘The SpongeBob Movie’ (Movie Review)

The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge out of Water:  3 out of 5

Mr. Krabs: Welcome to the apocalypse, Mr. Squidward.  I hope you like wearing leather.

It is a bit strange to go into detail about a movie such as The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water, but given that I was once a big fan of the series (and still chuckle when it comes up), along with being a big fan of the first movie, I almost find myself at odds in what is so clearly the thing to judge about this film.  The fact is, ‘Sponge out of Water’ is the exact cliché of modern sequels, it’s not only bigger and louder, but also darker and grittier than the first film, and even features a villain who had planned to get caught the whole time, during the second act.  Additionally, as opposed to the first film, which had a mix of the humor the series is known for with some kid-friendly morals, this sequel is more about anarchy and keeping a level of good-spirited fun amidst the constant craziness on display.  With that perspective in mind, I had a good time watching this movie, even if it is more of just a random adventure, than something significant.

I Wish ‘Jupiter’ Was More Than Just A Planet Full Of Promise (Movie Review)

Jupiter Ascending: 2 ½ out of 5

Caine:  It can be difficult for people from underdeveloped worlds to hear that their planet is not the only inhabited planet.

After months of speculation and curiosity, countered by delays and implied bad buzz, things have unfortunately not tipped in favor of Jupiter Ascending, the new, original sci-fi/fantasy film from the Wachowskis.  I really wanted to like this movie and all of the right elements are certainly there, given the fairly game cast, the production design, the visual effects, the score, and more.  Ultimately though, the general wonder and wackiness that comes with the ambitious world-building effort is not enough to help the chaotic story being told, which is both too repetitive and too impersonal to have garnered more connection to a film that tries really hard.  Even worse:  I can no longer say I have loved everything the Wachowskis have done.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Out Now with Aaron and Abe: Bonus Episode – January 2015 Movie News Round-Up


This week’s episode of Out Now with Aaron and Abe is just a two-hander, but unfortunately, Abe was out sick, so it’s Aaron and guest Peter Paras.  The duo spend this time diving into recent movie news that ranges from thoughts on The Theory of Everything and Project Almanac, to the new Fantastic Four trailer, to Chris Pratt’s rise in stardom and potential future roles, to the newly announced female cast of Ghostbusters, and lots more.  Enjoy this special bonus, as the two have plenty to talk about and do their best to be entertaining.  So now, if you’ve got an hour or so to kill…


Tuesday, February 3, 2015

‘Wild Card’ Is A Bust (Movie Review)

Wild Card: 2 out of 5

Nick: I can take care of things, that’s all you need to know.

Jason Statham has plenty of talent.  Best known as an English tough guy, Statham may not have what some want to call range, but he does know how to direct his energy and inherent charisma into different shades of somewhat similar performances (the dichotomy between The Transporter and Crank is a perfect example).  It is promising to learn that Statham took on Wild Card as a personal project, in which he could utilize the skills that he has, putting them into a character drama, which happens to have some action.  Unfortunately, too much of this film is dull and plodding, with some questionable performances, and a lack of cohesion, given what the film eventually amounts too.

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