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Saturday, March 28, 2015

Out Now Commentary: 2 Fast 2 Furious (2003)


Out Now with Aaron and Abe is ready to dive back into the Fast & Furious series with an all new commentary focused on the second entry in the franchise, 2 Fast 2 Furious, which has an excellent title, of course, and hidden joys throughout. Brandon Peters and Maxwell Haddad join in with Aaron to discuss the John Singleton-directed sequel and have fun going over the silliness of the film and things associated with it. Plenty of good thoughts to share on this flick all around.

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…

DreamWorks’ ‘Home’ Is Nothing To Phone Home About (Movie Review)

Home: 2 out of 5

Oh: Oh, no! My hands are in the air like I just do not care!

The “cute factor” always plays a big role in animated features made for a family audience. As it stands, I am happy to watch these animated features that manage to balance a level of cuteness with some witty writing, good-natured humor, or other fairly positive elements that make for a good film. Home definitely makes attempts at cuteness, given the way we see certain characters, but I found a lot of that to be undone by the nature of the story that I could not get over. Some unintentionally uncomfortable implications of the “friendly” alien invasion that set up this story ultimately kept me from embracing the film more and the nature of the aliens known as “Boov” did not help much either.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Out Now with Aaron and Abe: Episode 184: The Divergent Saga: Insurgent

This week’s episode of Out Now with Aaron and Abe features Courtney Howard and Michael Lee, as the duo to The Divergent Saga: Insurgent.  Among topics covered, we have a fun round of Know Everybody (4:11), some Out Now Quickies™ (6:00), Trailer talk for Pixels (15:12), the main review of course (23:10), Out Now Feedback (61:44), a fun Game (76:18), then we wrap things up (82:49), and lastly some Bloopers following this week’s close out song (94:37).  So now, if you’ve got an hour or so to kill…

Friday, March 20, 2015

'Insurgent' Continues 'The Divergent Saga', But Is Still Not Very Engaging (Movie Review)

The Divergent Saga: Insurgent: 2 1/2 out of 5

Last year I watched the first entry into 'The Divergent Saga', which introduced me to Tris Prior (Shailene Woodley) and her overcomplicated world of factions existing, in a dystopian society, built from the ruins of Chicago. It was a messy film with some neat ideas, but ultimately not all that memorable. I say this because the sequel, 'Insurgent' does little in the way of handholding to reintroduce me to this world. Enough was done so I was not lost, but my lack of memory concerning Tris having killed what appears to be a major character in the first movie, so much so that lots of dialogue surrounding this comes up, seems to indicate how uninvested I am in this franchise. It was not for a lack of trying, as this film is loaded with talent and some nifty visuals, but ultimately, my lack of concern for the thinly drawn characters or the primary story held me back from embracing this sequel any more than the first.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Out Now with Aaron and Abe: Episode 183: Cinderella


This week’s episode of Out Now with Aaron and Abe features David Yeh and Kevin Taft joining the duo to discuss the film Cinderella.  Among topics covered, we go over the short, Frozen Fever (3:05), have a fun round of Know Everybody (6:50), some Out Now Quickies™ (10:35), Trailer talk for Inside Out (17:36), the main review of course (24:05), Out Now Feedback (51:52), a fun Game (1:07:28), then we wrap things up (1:10:42), and lastly some Bloopers following this week’s close out song (1:17:17).  So now, if you’ve got an hour or so to kill…

Thursday, March 12, 2015

‘Cinderella’ Is All Dressed Up And Ready To Go (Movie Review)

Cinderella: 3 ½ out of 5

Coachman: I can’t drive, I’m a goose!

I was not sure what to expect from Disney’s new Cinderella. The track record has not been great for the recent crop of live-action remakes of classic Disney animated features. Alice in Wonderland was elaborate, but bland; Snow White and The Huntsman (not Disney) went the forgettable “dark and gritty” route; and last year’s Maleficent turned a good idea into a CGI mess, with far too much tonal imbalance. My anticipation was not high for yet another one of these films, but low and behold, it turned out to actually be pretty good.

Out Now with Aaron and Abe: Episode 182: Chappie


This week’s episode of Out Now with Aaron and Abe features Jordan Rath and Jordan Grout joining the duo to discuss the film Chappie.  Among topics covered, we have a fun round of Know Everybody (5:43), some Out Now Quickies™ (10:31), Trailer talk for Ex Machina (19:35), the main reviews of course (23:16), Out Now Feedback (54:22), a fun Game (68:09), What’s Out Now (75:00), and some Bloopers following this week’s close out song (84:17).  So now, if you’ve got an hour or so to kill…


Sunday, March 8, 2015

‘Unfinished Business’ Had Lots Of Unfinished Jokes (Movie Review)

Unfinished Business: 1 out of 5

Dan: The first rule is: show the client a good time.

I like Vince Vaughn and have tried to support his efforts over the years, but what are we doing here?  At some point in the scripting of this film about three men going on a business trip to Germany, the creative decision was to have a character named Mike Pancake, because silly last names equal laughs.  Later on, that same character (who we come to learn is mentally challenged) slips and falls face first into an exposed penis.  Maybe you weren’t expecting me to explain a penis gag in the opening paragraph of a review for Unfinished Business, but hey, I was not really expecting to see so many in the film as a whole either.  This is just one of many haphazardly assembled ‘jokes’ thrown at the wall in this aggressively unfunny comedy.

‘Chappie’ Is A Reject (Movie Review)

CHAPPiE: 2 out of 5

Yolandi: It’s more than just a machine!

Writer/director Neill Blomkamp’s latest big screen project is a film that tackles the ideas of artificial intelligence and the big questions that come from creating a machine that thinks.  It is set in Johannesburg, a few years in the future, and finds the lead characters dealing with robots and their effectiveness in a world where criminal activity and the lines between beings that are different from each other very much matter.  It is basically another Blomkamp movie, which should inspire more good faith if one were to only judge him off of his ambitious first film, District 9, the 2009 Best Picture nominee that twisted an apartheid allegory into a sci-fi/thriller.  Unfortunately, after the step down that was Elysium, a film that dealt with economic turmoil and healthcare, wrapped up in the guise of a sci-fi/thriller, Chappie feels like another step down.  The film has some ideas and certainly looks good (as one would expect), but is all over the place and lacks much coherence, beyond honest intentions.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Out Now with Aaron and Abe: Episode 181: Focus


This week’s episode of Out Now with Aaron and Abe features The Examiner’s Markus Robinson joining the duo to discuss the film Focus starring Will Smith.  Following what some would say is too much discussion of Will Smith’s discography, we get into the main show.  Among topics covered, we have a fun round of Know Everybody (16:45), some Out Now Quickies™ (23:40), Trailer talk for Crimson Peak (31:20), the main reviews of course (36:55), Out Now Feedback (1:02:10), a fun Game (1:16:15), What’s Out Now (1:22:20), and some Bloopers following this week’s close out song (1:34:04).  So now, if you’ve got an hour or so to kill…

Monday, March 2, 2015

Cronenberg Draws Up Satirical ‘Maps To The Stars’ (Movie Review)

Maps to the Stars: 3 out of 5

Havana: I can’t believe I just spent $18,000!

Leave it to director David Cronenberg (The Fly, A History of Violence) to spend decades making studio films outside of Hollywood, only to finally shoot a film in Hollywood that looks to take it down.  Of course, it would help if this acerbic, satirical take on Hollywood culture was a little more attuned to the world of today, but that does not mean it isn’t fun.  Maps to the Stars is an entertaining drama that follows a few privileged individuals, as they deal with the culture they have thrived in, with lots of setup for disastrous results.  There is not a whole lot to take from the punches supposedly taken from the skewering of said culture, but there is enough in the way of the performances and odd touches that made it worthwhile in a weird, Cronenbergian kind of way.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Brief Thoughts: Wild Tales (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 reviewing the film Wild Tales, the dark comedy anthology film from Argentina, nominated for Best Foreign Language film at the 87th Academy Awards.

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