The Circle had plenty of potential but it’s for naught with not-so-subtle lines of dialogue combined with an uneven/unfocused story, with unintentionally funny scenes, that never worked and probably would’ve been better served as dark satire.
I give a brief breakdown on Mill Creek’s June 7th multi-movie pack releases, specifically Streets of Fear and Midnight Movie Madness. None of these movies are of high-quality and are mainly remembered for the stars sometimes in smaller roles. At basement bargain prices, these might be worthy for collector’s of these cheap sets.
I’m not entirely sure how Aloha got off the ground but as one of the subjects of the Sony hack, it might’ve been doomed from the get-go and for good reason: it’s a film with a haphazard plot but worst of all, the cast share absolutely no chemistry in spite of featuring some fine actors. Bottom line, this is a movie destined for the bargain bin and later air on USA.
Beyond the Lights is one of the better surprises to come out of 2014 with a compelling, if not formulaic melodramatic, story that is highlighted by a breakout performance by Gugu Mbatha-Raw who hopefully finds more lead roles beyond television. The Blu-ray released by Fox includes a decent amount of bonus material and fantastic video/audio transfers.
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.
Nightcrawler is one of the more stomach-churning films but not for the violence but Jake Gyllenhaal’s performance proving once again, following great turns in Prisoners and Zodiac, to be a versatile actor. But even putting him aside, Dan Gilroy’s satirical screenplay is just one other reason to see this film, it’s akin to a dark and grittier version of Network.
Edge of Tomorrow is one of the better movies to come out of a (mostly) disappointing summer 2014 although due to a generic title change and less than stellar advertising, didn’t quite catch on with audience (it did manage to cross the $100M mark domestically, however). It’s a fun film from start to finish and well worth at least a rental if not outright day one purchase.
The Colony actually isn’t too bad of a suspense-thriller. It’s a low budget utilizing SyFy-like sets and visual effects (well, perhaps a bit better) but the performances are very good headlined by Kevin Zegers and Laurence Fishburne (in a limited role). The Blu-ray released by RLJ has good audio/video transfers but the bonus material is limited.
Haywire is one of those movies that should’ve been a lot more fun than it actually was. The action scenes are well done and the fight sequences are realistic and not overdone to the extreme that you often see in over-the-top Hollywood flicks. However, from the get-go, the movie never has that energy or drive that makes one care about any of these characters, made harder when the supporting cast is only in it for 10-15 minutes at a time.
Indian Summer is a great film that hits all the right notes. It not only brings out the nostalgia for anybody who has attended summer camp but the story is well rounded with the right balance of comedy and drama. The cast is also pitch perfect with the highlights coming from Bill Paxton, Diane Lane and Alan Arkin.