Feb 272015
 

Horrible Bosses 2 like its comedy sequels that have come before (see The Hangover 2 & 3), is the definition of unnecessary and kind of lazy in its jokes. On the plus side Chris Pine was a hoot to watch in a completely comedic role (vs. the balance of snark and drama in the Star Trek movies) and the three stooges at least looked like they were having a good time which helped pass the time.

 

 

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Feb 262015
 

The Intruders actually isn’t a terrible movie but it should be noted that the target audience in all likelihood is the ‘tween demographic. As a PG-13 flick, it’s pretty light with the bulk of the rating being for “scary” images but remove a couple swear words, this could easily air on LMN or ABC Family with minimal edits. Miranda Cosgrove is decent as a lead actress however she’s not given much to work with.

 

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Feb 252015
 

Something Wicked isn’t a good movie but there’s elements that with some help could’ve made it a fun little B-movie. The performance from lead actress Shantel VanSanten is actually not bad and I hope she receives more opportunities with better material to work with. The DVD released by Arc Entertainment is basic with only a trailer and decent to good video and audio transfers.

 

 

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Feb 252015
 

Love and Death is one Woody Allen’s more quirky outings but found his footing and voice with follow-ups including Annie Hall (1977) and Manhattan (1979), two of my all-time favorite Allen films (along with Match Point). The Blu-ray released by Twilight Time is simple with only a trailer but decent audio and video transfers.

 

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Feb 242015
 

Dying of the Light seems to be a cautionary tale as well as show the perhaps seedy side of Hollywood when a project gets taken away from the filmmaker. In fairness, and it is a distinct possibility, that there might be more to the story but the final cut we get here is a mess and worse, a boring and dull mess at that. Nicolas Cage actually wasn’t too bad and there are some interesting elements but I would’ve loved to have seen Shrader’s version.

 

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Feb 242015
 

Return to Me is somewhat of an underrated and overlooked romantic-drama-comedy and in spite of the surprising casting of David Duchovny in the typical male lead role, the movie really works from beginning to end the he and Driver actually have good chemistry with one another. The supporting cast is also impressive from James Belushi to veterans like Robert Loggia and Carroll O’Connor.

 

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Feb 222015
 

Lenny is one of those movies propelled and almost entirely stands on the performance of its lead. Dustin Hoffman does an amazing job bringing the late, great and “controversial” (for his time) Lenny Bruce, deserving of his Academy Award nomination (though he had the unfortunate timing of going against so many greats like Nicholson and Al Pacino and losing to Art Carney). The Twilight Time Blu-ray release is limited in terms of features but the video and audio transfers were both well done.

 

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Feb 212015
 

Dumb and Dumber To lives up to its name and really, there’s nothing more to it than two characters bumbling around the country one upping the jokes with each scene. No, it’s not that good and it’s of course nowhere near as funny or memorable as the original but for what it is, I can’t say I regretted seeing it, though I doubt I’ll remember much in a month.

 

 

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Feb 192015
 

An Autumn Afternoon is not only a beautifully written film but, to go along with the excellent performances, was beautifully shot by director Yasujiro Ozu and his longtime cinematographer Yûharu Atsuta. The Blu-ray released by The Criterion Collection brilliantly restores the picture and audio and while the features aren’t bountiful, are still interesting especially the commentary track.

 

 

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Feb 182015
 

VANish actually was a surprisingly well done, if not flawed, suspense thriller with what is hopefully a star-making performance by Maiara Walsh while the writing and direction from Bryan Bockbrader was well done with a unique format with the film entirely taking place in the confines of a van.

 

 

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Feb 182015
 

LEGO DC Comics Super Heroes: Justice League vs. Bizarro League isn’t great and is even a notch below LEGO Batman: The Movie but is still a fun little adventure with impressive animation and it’s something comic book fans and young kids will enjoy. The Blu-ray released by Warner has a good video transfer and an OK lossless audio track.

 

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Feb 172015
 

this horror-oriented version of The Phantom of the Opera isn’t great but there are some things to admire: Robert Englund does well enough as the title character and Jill Schoelen is absolutely stunning as the female lead. The Blu-ray, though, is a bit limited. There is a good commentary track and a well made retro documentary with new interviews while the audio/video are at best serviceable.

 

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Feb 132015
 

Laggies is an uneven drama-comedy but it propped up and propelled by a charming performance from the cute and adorable Keira Knightley proving she can excel in spite of any issues with the screenplay, in this case it’s just not a memorable story. Sam Rockwell also works well opposite Knightley and although she’s nothing overly noteworthy, Chloe Grace Moretz turns in a passable performance.

 

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Feb 112015
 

The Sword of Doom, directed by Kihachi Okamoto (who was often overshadowed by other Japanese mainstays), this drama has heart and features great performances from its two leads. This Blu-ray released by The Criterion Collection might not have an abundant amount of features but the video and audio transfers are both well done and alone are worth the price.

 

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Feb 102015
 

V/H/S: Viral has little to offer and, unlike its predecessors, seems to be mish-mash of stories with little, if anything, to do with one another, all held together with a lame “main storyline.” The acting also isn’t the best and add to the fact I’m not a fan of the found footage format, this just was not something I enjoyed.

 

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