Saturday, 25 June 2016

Movie Review: 90 Minutes In Heaven (2016)

It’s religious cinema time again! I want to point out that I am not doing this because such films are generally easy targets; sitting through God’s Not Dead 2 was anything but easy. No, I maintain that I want to see really good religious cinema come to theatres around here. One of my favourite films is Kevin Smith’s Dogma, something that affected me so deeply as to completely shape my views on theology to what they are today, and I’d give anything for someone else to be similarly affected by a recent release. The problem is, between the preachiness, toxicity and just plain banality that fills an awful lot of these kinds of releases, it doesn’t look hopeful. Not that I can guess who will be influenced by what; I’m just saying that, if there are people who sees something positive and enlightening in something like War Room, I’ll be happy for them from a very, very safe distance. So, on my quest to find a Christian film that doesn’t suck on toast, I came across this fairly recent release featuring Hayden Christensen. Well, that optimism was nice while it lasted. This is 90 Minutes In Heaven.

Thursday, 23 June 2016

Movie Review: Where To Invade Next (2016)

Bowling For Columbine was one of the first films I can remember watching and it was on heavy rotation in my DVD player when I was growing up. It is also the only Michael Moore film to date that I have seen in full. When dealing with any politically-charged filmmaker, especially one as divisive as Michael Moore, experience is probably helpful. Then again, experience is something in pretty short supply around these parts, so why start now? However, seeing as how it is election season both here in Australia and over in the U.S. and we’re being bombarded by vox pops and spin doctors every other minute of the day, I feel a certain need to soap box that would probably do me good to let out. As a result, I am now breaking my usual rule of abstaining from politics as best as I can on this blog and willingly walking into the hellfire by looking at a very politically-charged film. At least I can get it out of my system and go back to not knowing thing one about my country’s politicians; we’re all screwed regardless of who wins anyway. This is Where To Invade Next.

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Movie Review: Bad Neighbours 2: Sorority Rising (2016)

2014’s Bad Neighbours, or Neighbors as it is known in the U.S., might be one of the best stoner comedies of recent years. Nicholas Stoller struck gold on this one, using the tried-and-true formula of weed smokers contemplating their place in life and the prospect of getting older and creating some genuinely thought-provoking work. It might have some of the best character writing of the entire year’s crop worth of films, up to and including Zac Efron’s weirdly relatable antagonist turned near-supervillain. And, of course, it was also my first proper exposure to the absolutely brilliant use of music that is a trademark of Point Grey Productions, making me better appreciate film soundtracks from then on. So, naturally, when the sequel was announced, I was undoubtedly looking forward to it. Sure, it seems to be following Sequel Rule #2425 (If in doubt, swap the genders out), but I have enough faith in these filmmakers and these actors to still bring decent product. I’ve mentioned before that I have no issue with being proven wrong when it comes to expectations; yeah, not so much this time, so let’s just hope it all works out. This is Bad Neighbours 2: Sorority Rising.

Sunday, 19 June 2016

Movie Review: Jane Got A Gun (2016)

Today’s film is a Western. I already gave the closest to mentally stimulation discussion concerning Westerns back with Slow West, so I don’t really have a whole lot to introduce this film with. Joel Edgerton co-wrote this, and after seeing Felony, he has a lot to live up to. Will he, in this case? This is Jane Got A Gun.

Thursday, 16 June 2016

Movie Review: Felony (2014)

After looking through the last remnants of Sarah Snook’s filmography (that fall under my purview, at least), it seems that this uncharacteristically patriotic stint hasn’t left me just yet. So, with that in mind, let’s take a look at another Aussie talent who has a permanent fixing on my radar: Joel Edgerton. Since The Gift is still well and truly ingrained in my memory, and with the finale that film contained it’s unlikely to leave me at any point ever, I figure I’d go back and look into something else that had Edgerton attached behind the scenes. This also means that we’ll be checking in with another regular target in these parts, only for far less positive reasons: Jai Courtney. Between the two of them, this film could go either way, so let’s just hold off on the scepticism for once (stop laughing) and dive right in. This is Felony.

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Movie Review: The Angry Birds Movie (2016)

With all that I’ve willingly come across, I’ve mostly detached from any feeling that a particular film has something against me personally. Sure, films like Mommy and God’s Not Dead offend certain aspects of my being, but I mean just in terms of the film’s existence itself. This is a marked difference to that. When the trailer came out, and a long while until I discovered the existence of an Emoji movie (no, I'm not kidding), I wanted to throw my hands up and officially declare that Hollywood has run out of ideas. Then the posters started cropping up everywhere, complete with the slogan “Why so angry?” like Rovio was actively trying to taunt me. As if the prospect of a film based on one of the most inexplicably popular and bugged beyond belief mobile games wasn’t daunting enough. What makes this even weirder is that this notion of the film trying to make me hate it? It isn’t exclusive to the marketing. Let’s dive in and I’ll explain. This is The Angry Birds Movie.

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

The Coffee Nebula: Season 1 (The Next Generation)

While the original series will always be remembered as the definitive Star Trek series, The Next Generation still has its prominent place as the very close second in terms of memorability. Among the general populace, DS9 rarely gets brought up, Voyager might get a mention if only to try and highlight the canon at its worst, and Enterprise… I’m willing to bet that a majority of casual sci-fi nerds don't even know that the show exists in the first place. This is ultimately kind of surprising considering, of all the Star Trek series I’ve gleamed over so far, TNG might have the single worst first season out of all of them. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that it has the worst first season of any show that would gain popular acclaim later on. My usual litmus test is to watch the first three episodes of a series, then decide if I want to keep watching it; just for reference, Futurama passed with flying colours, while Charmed outright failed. If I were to apply that same technique here, TNG (when it started out) is bad to the point of making me question how in the hell it survived past this point. So yeah, instead of just focusing on a single episode this time around, I’m taking down the entire first season. Strap yourselves in; we’re in for a stinker.

Monday, 13 June 2016

Movie Review: Captain America: Civil War (2016)

Back in 2007, long before my critical awakening even took place that would forever change (for better or for worse) how I look at media in general, I became embroiled in the original Civil War comic book event. This is without having read a single issue of the comic itself, nor any of the many, many tie-in issues. I have the Marvel Universe wiki to thank for this, as I wound up spending a lot of time at one of my school’s library computers reading up on various characters who were involved in the event. It is with this tertiary knowledge that I can safely say that this addition to the MCU might be one of the single riskiest ventures they have ever undertaken, as the fallout as a result of the original story is staggering and still being felt to this day. It doesn’t help that the inclusion of a certain character in this story almost guarantees that I need to go into comparisons with the source material; regular readers will know that I always try and avoid that when possible. So, as I wade through the massive backlog of releases I’ve accumulated over the last few weeks, I figure I’d start out with the most potentially problematic of them all. This is Captain America: Civil War.

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Movie Review: Norm Of The North (2016)

Sometimes, it can get kind of shocking what the standards for a mainstream release are in this country. I mean, considering the crap that I’ve seen since starting this blog (and even a little bit prior to that), I would’ve thought that it was open season in terms of cinematic releases. I know that I have often said that I am more than willing to be proven wrong on certain aspects, but this certainly ain’t one of them. To help showcase this, I’ll quickly get into three relatively recent releases. The first being Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s Don Jon, which only got a DVD release over here because I’m guessing that featuring footage of actual porn made some of the censors a bit squeamish. Pansies. The second being the much derided Jem And The Holograms, which I think got a proper release over here but I have found barely any evidence to suggest so. Weird, considering that that is one of those lofted trainwrecks that I was legitimately looking forward to seeing in all its badness. Don’t worry; I’ll get to it in due time. The third release, you may have guessed by now, is what I’m talking about today: A film officially released in the U.S. last year, but only made it to our shores on DVD in the last few weeks. Is this a Don Jon or a Keith Lemon: The Film? Ugh… I already know the answer to that one, but let’s pretend I don’t and keep going. This is Norm Of The North.

Sunday, 5 June 2016

Movie Review: Not Suitable For Children (2012)

We’re dipping into the Sarah Snook pool again, and since looking at her American productions last time didn’t turn out so well, I figure we should head back to the home land this time around. And since we’re already talking about an Aussie actor that I sincerely hope gets more work internationally, it looks like we’re heading for a trifecta with today’s subject. Alongside Snook, we also have Ryan Corr who long(er)-time readers will remember as having tremendously impressed in Holding The Man and emerging from the muddied Water Diviner as the best part of the entire film. And then there’s Ryan Kwanten, whom I’ve also discussed before but not exactly in the most prime circumstances. I mean, I seem to be in the minority when it comes to Blinky Bill: The Movie, and Kidnapping Mr. Heineken didn’t seem to do anyone any favours on either side of the screen. Another minority opinion though, but I really liked him back with Dead Silence, so we’re three-for-three in terms of people I want to succeed. But when they’re all together, do they actually succeed? This is Not Suitable For Children.

Thursday, 2 June 2016

Movie Review: Whiskey Tango Foxtrot (2016)

Well, after looking at the lion’s share of films about war and films about journalism over the past year and a half, I wasn’t exactly expecting to see one so soon that would combine the two together. Now I’m just hoping for a crossover between films about sub-par opera singers, films about evil witches and films about terrorist plots in Europe. Maybe I’m the only one who wants to see Gerard Butler kill the Snow Queen through the power of bad singing, but I still don’t doubt a nearby announcement for the release of The Phantom Of The Opera 2. Anyway, tangent: I’m here to discuss Tina Fey, not the dregs of my fanfiction folder. Tina has essentially become this generation’s Meg Ryan, the actor that is meant to represent the average generally dissatisfied older woman. The main difference between the two being that Ryan gave us Sleepless In Seattle and Kate & Leopold, and Fey has so far given us films like Mean Girls and even Sisters from earlier this year; Ryan made chick flicks, Fey makes real flicks. Far as I’m concerned, at any rate. So, time to dip into that pool again with the latest of Fey’s filmography. This is Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Movie Review: Jessabelle (2014)

Since I’m at that stage where I am sick of just waiting for Sarah Snook to prove herself to me once again, I figure I might as well start digging into her backlogs to see if there’s anything worth salvaging. This is seriously something that I hope works out and I find some other hidden gem because, after the phenomenal performance she gave in Predestination, I refuse to believe that she is just a flash in the pan. As such, we’re delving into the horror annals this time around, and hopefully that’s in terms of the genre and not the overall product. This is Jessabelle.