Watch The Factory Online Movie Review 2013

the factory

Release Date: 1 June 2013 (Japan)
Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures
Director: Morgan O’Neill
Screenwriter: Morgan O’Neill, Paul Leyden
Starring: John Cusack, Dallas Roberts, Sonya Walger, Mae Whitman, Katherine Waterston, Mageina Tovah, Cindy Sampson, Conrad Pla
Genre: Drama, Horror
MPAA Rating: R (for strong violence including disturbing images, language throughout and sexual material)
Official Website: Not Available
Review: 5,5/10

Plot Summary :

“The Factory” is a character-based horror film about a detective in present-day Buffalo whose daughter is kidnapped. There’s been a rash of missing girls in the city and the detective has to go to a very dark place to find his daughter.

Movie Review

This film has quite polarized reviews from suspicious 10 star glowing reviews to 1 star reviews of ‘Most Horrible Movie Ever’ and other similar variations.

Okay… I really had to think about how I would rate this one because MANY times I read horrible reviews of films that are made very well, but the ‘reviewer’ just didn’t like it so obviously it’s just crap. I honestly thought that technically and quality and acting wise that the film was made very well; the pacing and editing, etc. were indeed quite gripping and intense. The overall premise was mildly intriguing because as you went along you were genuinely curious as to WHY this guy was doing this. And of course as ALWAYS Cusack’s performance was good (although, quite honestly he DID look like he was kinda sleepwalking through most of it)

Now, as far as the ‘Ending’… Well… Firstly it DID catch me totally by surprise; I was actually sitting here saying ‘NO WAY!’ out loud. But, that is a double edged sword because it was so incredible that many here found it almost ridiculous. I wouldn’t put it that strongly but I personally think it could have been worked a little better than just kind of attached onto the end of an otherwise competent film; and then the continuing scenes after that also not really quite matching the quality of the rest of the movie.

So, again, is it well made? Yes. Thus my somewhat generous rating of 6. If a film is put together well (except for perhaps the last 10 minutes) I think that that should be acknowledged so that others reading reviews and trying to decide whether they should bother to see it will know that. It is really great? Well, no… But, if you can take the ending with a teaspoon or two of salt and just enjoy the intensity, pacing, and entertainment value of the majority of the movie, then you might like it.

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Watch Machete Kills Online Movie Review 2013

Machete_Kills_14

 

Release Date: October 10, 2013 (p.m. screenings)
Studio: Open Road Films
Director: Robert Rodriguez
Screenwriter: Robert Rodriguez
Starring: Danny Trejo, Michelle Rodriguez, Sofia Vergara, Amber Heard, Carlos Estevez, Lady Gaga, Antonio Banderas, Jessica Alba, Demián Bichir, Alexa Vega, Vanessa Hudgens, Cuba Gooding, Jr., William Sadler, Marko Zaror, Mel Gibson
Genre: Action
MPAA Rating: R (for strong bloody violence throughout, language and some sexual content)
Review: 6/10 rating
DVD Review: Not Available 

Plot Summary :

Danny Trejo returns as ex-Federale agent Machete, who is recruited by the President of the United States for a mission which would be impossible for any mortal man – he must take down a madman revolutionary and an eccentric billionaire arms dealer who has hatched a plan to spread war and anarchy across the planet. 

Movie Review

There was a scene in the original Machete that featured the title character, played by Danny Trejo, removing the intestines from someone in a hospital and using the lengthy apparatus to swing down to the lower story of the hospital by crashing through the window. Long story short, it had to be seen to be believed (and comprehended) and that kind of consistent, rather fresh humor was what kept the film buoyant. When Machete grabs a hold of a man’s intestines and throws them onto the spinning blades of a helicopter, all while the intestines are still attached to the man, the feeling of gross absurdity isn’t so much a gory little stint of humor but a rehashed gimmick that brings significantly less pleasure to a viewer.

Robert Rodriguez’s Machete Kills is a fine sequel, well-shot, directed with respect to exploitation films of decades past, and plays the kind of instruments you’d expect for this kind of genre piece. The issue is that after a collaboration between Rodriguez and Tarantino to bring us a “Grindhouse” style double-feature in 2007, along with a feature-length Machete film spawned from one of the double-feature’s fake trailer, the joke has run its course. We know the filmmakers are not serious. We know they want to gimmick seventies style cinema. And we know that the actors get the joke. The big news here is we, the audience, get the joke as well, and Machete Kills functions and conducts itself narcissistically, repeatedly telling the same jokes over and over as if we’ve never heard them. This is the equivalent to that knock-knock joke that went around the playground circa first or second grade.

Trejo returns as Machete Cortez, a ruthless spy who is summoned by U.S. President Rathcock (Charlie Sheen using his birthname “Carlos Estévez”) to stop a mobster named Mendez (Oscar-nominated actor Demián Bichir), who has a large missile pointed at Washington D.C.. While trying to stop Mendez, Machete becomes tangled with arms dealing terrorist Luther Voz (Mel Gibson), who is working out a mission to try and create anarchy and civil unrest in several countries in the world. Armed with a crew of ladies such as Madame Desdemona (Sofia Vergara), La Camaleón (Lady Gaga), and Miss San Antonio (Amber Heard), it would be gravely difficult for Machete to lose this battle.

Machete Kills, for starters, makes the same error that almost cost its predecessor its credibility. The film begins with a “prevue” for Machete Kills Again…In Space, starring the likes of Danny Trejo, Michelle Rodriguez, Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, and Leonardo DiCaprio (subject to change), which is presented with convincing film-grain, seventies-era cheapness, and pleasantly scuzzy picture quality. What follows is “our feature presentation,” which appears to be a grossly modern action epic starring big name actors (one of them is a pop singer for Christ’s sake) and clearly shot with high quality HD cameras only assisted by strong special effects work. No film grain, no popping sound, no fuzziness to the picture quality. Just the unsurprising clearness of audio and visuals we’ve grown accustomed to in 2013.

I give a huge amount of credit to the Grindhouse film that was released in 2007, as it clearly had intentions to replicate and portray what one would likely see in a seamy theater downtown, showing the latest low-budget action flick for $2 in a theater with colorful individuals, cigarette smoke, and a sticky floor. However, Machete Kills provides for the same kind of soulless action movie experience we’ve seen time and time again. And with names like Lady Gaga, Jessica Alba, and even Danny Trejo, who finds his name plastered on more and more direct-to-DVD messes each year, it’s hard to feel like we’re back in time.

There is something I can’t deny and that’s the inanity of everything and everyone involved. Machete Kills is the rare film that can simply have fun with itself and that’s something I truly respect and did respect in the original film. Trejo’s tough-guy screen presence successfully carries over to the sequel, and the onslaught of actors such as the aforementioned females and other minor touches such as Mel Gibson and Cuba Gooding, Jr. provide for some much-needed smiles. It’s also pleasant to note how the film evades cynicism and disregards action movie conventions in favor of a truly unpredictable series of events. Consider an early sex scene between Miss San Antonio and Danny Trejo. During the foreplay, an on screen title card urges us (by flashing and repeatedly binging) to “put on our 3D glasses,” which we don’t have. After about ten seconds, the film’s image becomes blurry and incomprehensible thanks to the known reddish-bluish hue the retro 3D put on older films. This kind of humor is what keeps Machete Kills alive and well.

If there is a Machete Kills Again…In Space (which I’m beginning to doubt due to the dismal performance of this film at the box office), I’ll certainly be in line to see it. However, in order to work efficiently, it will need to take a true step backwards and mimic the style of the much-loved (and trashed) space films of the 1940’s and 1950’s. It will need to replicate the cheesiness and the stupidity of it all, embrace its origin, add film grain, rely on its wits and respect to the time period, and cease with the glossy appearance we’ve come to accept in modern times. The Machete franchise is at that frightening point in its time where its next film can either make it or let everything it has built up until this point collapse; thee sad thing is this is only its second chapter.

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Watch All Is Lost Online Movie Review 2013

all is lost

 

Release Date: October 18, 2013 (limited)
Studio: Roadside Attractions
Director: J.C. Chandor
Screenwriter: J.C. Chandor
Starring: Robert Redford
Genre: Drama
MPAA Rating: Not Available
Official Website: AllisLostfilm.com
Review: Not Available
DVD Review: Not Available
DVD: Not Available

Plot Summary :

Academy Award winner Robert Redford stars in “All Is Lost,” an open-water thriller about one man’s battle for survival against the elements after his sailboat is destroyed at sea. Written and directed by Academy Award nominee J.C. Chandor (“Margin Call”) with a musical score by Alex Ebert (Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros), the film is a gripping, visceral and powerfully moving tribute to ingenuity and resilience. Deep into a solo voyage in the Indian Ocean, an unnamed man (Redford) wakes to find his 39-foot yacht taking on water after a collision with a shipping container left floating on the high seas. With his navigation equipment and radio disabled, the man sails unknowingly into the path of a violent storm. Despite his success in patching the breached hull, his mariner’s intuition, and a strength that belies his age, the man barely survives the tempest.

Using only a sextant and nautical maps to chart his progress, he is forced to rely on ocean currents to carry him into a shipping lane in hopes of hailing a passing vessel. But with the sun unrelenting, sharks circling and his meager supplies dwindling, the ever-resourceful sailor soon finds himself staring his mortality in the face.

Movie Review

In 2011, director Michel Mazanavicius brought a black and white silent film called The Artist to the Cannes Film Festival. The film dazzled the French crowd, but bringing a silent film into the trend-setting North American market was anything but a safe bet. Released domestically in January of 2012, the film went on to win the Academy Award for Best Picture proving that American audiences were willing to accept films with limited speaking roles.

As a result of the critical success of The Artist, we have seen some daring and spectacular projects of scripts with limited dialogue. Ang Lee’s Life of Pi was basically a boy on a boat talking to a tiger with little verbal sparring after their ship capsizes. And this week, Alfonso Cuaron opened Gravity to $55 plus million despite the film having but two characters drifting alone in space with limited conversational communication. Both films proved to be both a critical and commercial success and The Artist Effect may have paved their way to box office glory.

The Artist Effect is next to be realized in J.C. Chandor’s All is Lost. Starring Robert Redford (and ONLY Robert Redford), All is Lost showcases the story of a sailor who after a freak collision with a floating shipping container must use his resources to stay afloat and alive against both the odds and the elements that harshly attack survival.

With the ship taking on water, Redford’s character must use his resourcefulness as a seasoned boatman to counter the inevitability of his sinking vessel. With limited tools and a survival kit that can provide for a single person a handful of days on the ocean, we watch engrossingly as the elements take their toll both physically and mentally on the deteriorating sailor. With food dwindling, fresh water unavailable and a life raft being torn apart with each impending storm, all is but lost for the seaman and a message in a jar seeking forgiveness tossed to the sea might be the only lasting connection to the loved ones left behind.

J.C. Chandor showed that he could handle the complexities of multiple characters in a complex financial market with 2011’s Margin Call. With All is Lost, Chandor strips away subplots, multiple character developments and compounded locations for a simpler story that rides the back of the credible Redford who commands the screen in a dazzling performance that will be considered one of his best.

The script, also penned by Chandor, stays away from many of the usual clichés and easy jump scares or moments of awe that would be easily picked from the Stereotype Tree by a less confident director. The story is not fed to its audience with narration or a man talking to himself to education the audience on his thought process. Instead, All is Lost trusts that the audience will be able to understand the decisions and actions of the protagonist and in this venture the film succeeds admirably.

Robert Redford shines as the sole actor on the call sheet and only once before Academy nominated actor (for 1973’s The Sting), might finally get his due with his riveting portrayal of a man that slowly loses hope in his survival.

Simple and without plot edges, All is Lost was worth the excursion. movieboxoffices.wordpress.com

Watch The Big Wedding Online Movie Review

The big wedding

Release Date: April 26, 2013
Studio: Lionsgate
Director: Justin Zackham
Screenwriter: Justin Zackham
Starring: Robert De Niro, Katherine Heigl, Diane Keaton, Amanda Seyfried, Topher Grace, Susan Sarandon, Robin Williams, Ben Barnes, Christine Ebersole, David Rasche, Patricia Rae, Ana Ayora
Genre: Comedy, Romance
MPAA Rating: R (for language, sexual content and brief nudity)
Review: 7.5/10 rating

Plot Summary 

With an all-star cast led by Robert De Niro, Katherine Heigl, Diane Keaton, Amanda Seyfried, Topher Grace, with Susan Sarandon and Robin Williams, “The Big Wedding” is an uproarious romantic comedy about a charmingly modern family trying to survive a weekend wedding celebration that has the potential to become a full blown family fiasco. To the amusement of their adult children and friends, long divorced couple Don and Ellie Griffin (De Niro and Keaton) are once again forced to play the happy couple for the sake of their adopted son’s wedding after his ultra conservative biological mother unexpectedly decides to fly halfway across the world to attend. With all of the wedding guests looking on, the Griffins are hilariously forced to confront their past, present and future – and hopefully avoid killing each other in the process.

Movie Review

“The Big Wedding” seems to be following in the footsteps of the recent Hollywood romantic comedies – gather as many big name stars as you can and put them all in a romantic comedy storyline. It’s the best of the bunch, even though that’s not saying anything at all. It’s also based on a French film “Mon frère se marie”, and that’s not really saying all that much either.

Any description of the plot is just going to read as a listing of who’s who of Hollywood. But let’s do it anyways: We have the patriarch and matriarchs (Robert De Niro and Diane Keaton and Susan Sarandon); we have the up-and-comers excited for their big day (Ben Barnes and Amanda Seyfried); and then we have the middle siblings who have had their time in the spotlight and are starting to fade away (Topher Grace and Katherine Heigl).

The wedding revolves around lies (obviously) and religion – with Robin Williams as the drunken Catholic priest. And it also includes lots and lots of sex jokes. The surprising thing that audiences are taking away from this film, especially in spite of the decidedly negative critics’ responses, is that it is hilarious. Fans of the film will find themselves laughing from beginning to end. But to give you fair warning, all of the jokes are sexually-based, and I mean all of them.

Laughing at the Catholic stigma of don’t have sex but if you do, don’t be safe; laughing at people who have too much sex; laughing at people who don’t have sex; and worse of all, laughing at divorced and married couples who have sex with one another. While some of the jokes were funny, they’re also responsible for creating the uneasy dynamic amongst the characters – all of whom are family (or, at least, are about to become in-laws). At times the film crosses the line from funny dysfunctional family to repulsive dysfunctional family.

The one line that “The Big Wedding” straddles well is that between comedy and drama. The film is effective when it moves from funny jokes to touching family honesty and back to some more funny jokes. The story lines are very predictable, and sometimes the jokes are too simple and too wrong, but it tries to add in the right amount of drama, and ultimately, it should be entertaining to fans of the genre.

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Watch Sweetwater Online Movie Review 2013

Sweetwater_1

Release Date: October 11, 2013 (limited)
Studio: ARC Entertainment
Director: Logan Miller
Screenwriter: Logan Miller, Noah Miller
Starring: January Jones, Ed Harris, Jason Isaacs, Eduardo Noriega, Stephen Root
Genre: Thriller, Western
MPAA Rating: R (for strong violence, language, some sexual content and graphic nudity)
Official Website: Not Available
Review: 6/10

Plot Summary

In the late 1800’s, a beautiful former prostitute (January Jones, “Mad Men”) is trying to build an honest life with her husband in the rugged plains of New Mexico. When she catches the eye of a sadistic and powerful religious leader (Jason Isaacs, “Harry Potter” series), her life is violently turned upside down. She embarks on a bloody course of vengeance with the assistance of a renegade sheriff (Ed Harris, “Pollock,” “The Hours,” “A Beautiful Mind,” “Apollo 13”) who has pretty violent tendencies of his own.

Movie Review

There are ways for women to overcome their physical inferiority to men. The heroine of this film, played by January Jones, somehow learns it, and carries out her plans with a vengeance. The film later becomes an absurd but fun ride like “Red Eye” with its female lead replaced by another pretty blond, and set in the spectacular backdrop of the wild, wild New Mexico.

Jones is clearly not gunning for major awards here, and striking deep emotions is apparently not a requirement for her part. She needs to look sassy and resolute in her cute costume, and she sufficiently delivers within that realm.

Ed Harris is fantastic as a lunatic sheriff. The performances by the rest of the supporting cast are also sound, especially by Jason Isaacs.

Country music heartthrob Jason Aldean is naturally menacing as the bad guy’s right hand man. He has a reasonable shot at a moonlighting career in movies of this genre outside his day job as a singer.

“Sweetwater” will surely rub old school Western fans the wrong way, but if you are open-minded about crossing formats, you just might find this popcorn Western a perfect pastime.movieboxoffices.wordpress.com

Watch The World’s End Online Movie review 2013

the world end

Release Date: August 22, 2013 (p.m. screenings)
Studio: Focus Features
Director: Edgar Wright
Screenwriter: Simon Pegg, Edgar Wright
Starring: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Martin Freeman, Paddy Considine, Eddie Marsan, Rosamund Pike
Genre: Comedy
MPAA Rating: R (for pervasive language including sexual references)
Official Website: FocusFeatures.com
Review: 7.5/10 Rating

Plot Summary: Director Edgar Wright and actors Simon Pegg and Nick Frost reunite for a third film following the successes “Shaun of the Dead” (2004) and “Hot Fuzz” (2007). In “The World’s End,” 20 years after attempting an epic pub crawl, five childhood friends reunite when one of them becomes hellbent on trying the drinking marathon again. They are convinced to stage an encore by Gary King (Simon Pegg), a 40-year-old man trapped at the cigarette end of his teens, who drags his reluctant pals to their hometown and once again attempts to reach the fabled pub – The World’s End. As they attempt to reconcile the past and present, they realize the real struggle is for the future, not just theirs but humankind’s. Reaching The World’s End is the least of their worries.

Movie Review

Five pre-middle-aged male friends are drawn to Newton Haven, the site of their failed dozen-pub crawl as students in 1990. They’re led by Gary King (Simon Pegg). He’s the one who couldn’t move on from that night; couldn’t get a job like them, or get married like them. Reluctant revelry and bad-tempered banter ensues, before the gang discovers that the residents of the town have changed. That is, they have BEEN changed…

The World’s End is considerably better than the ostensibly similar This Is The End, a super-indulgent American comedy which mistook f-bombs for humour and name-dropping for satire. Edgar Wright’s film is indulgent also, but at the service of audience enjoyment, as opposed to the enjoyment of the players. The script is surprisingly dense and intricate, many of its jokes arriving bittersweet. In an era when so many comedies are heavily (and lazily) improvised, it’s refreshing to watch a tightly woven story unfold for once.

The action scenes are given equal attention, lovingly choreographed like some kind of slapstick dance. Chief pugilist is Andrew, our sort-of-hero, played by Nick Frost with remarkable agility. This instalment is far less bloodthirsty than its predecessors – more Scott Pilgrim than Shaun.

The rest of the group is made up of Paddy Considine, Eddie Marsan, and Martin Freeman. The performances are all top-drawer, although it takes time for their individual personalities to emerge. But then, the fact that they are now practically indistinguishable may be the point – for all their disapproval of Gary, they are the ones playing it safe.

What’s most impressive about The World’s End is the fact that it’s actually about something. Nostalgia is easy to indulge but difficult to deconstruct, but this film genuinely aspires to explore the idea of selective memory – as with a bad hangover, our memories tends to return in subjective spasms, and the truth is only accessible by gathering multiple witnesses. And the truth isn’t always what it cracked up to be.

The World’s End is, for me, the best of the “Cornetto Trilogy”. Highly recommended.Movieboxoffices.wordpress.com

Watch Escape From Tomorrow Online Movie Review 2013

Escape_From_Tomorrow_1

Release Date: October 11, 2013 (limited)
Studio: Producers Distribution Agency
Director: Randy Moore
Screenwriter: Randy Moore
Starring: Roy Abramsohn, Annet Mahendru, Elena Schuber, Katelynn Rodriguez, Alison Lees-Taylor, Danielle Safady, Amy Lucas, Trey Loney, Kimberly Ables Jindra, Lee Armstrong
Genre: Fantasy, Horror, Sci-Fi
MPAA Rating: R (for strong disturbing violence, pervasive drug and alcohol use, sexuality/nudity and language – all involving teens)
Official Website: www.escape-from-tomorrow.com
Review: 5,8/10
DVD Review: Not Available
DVD: Not Available

Plot Summary : The most provocative film of Sundance 2013, “Escape From Tomorrow” should not exist, and yet it does. Like nothing you’ve ever seen, Randy Moore’s directorial debut is a bold and ingenious trip into the happiest place on earth. An epic battle begins when a middle-aged husband and father of two learns that he has lost his job. Keeping the news from his nagging wife and wound-up children, he packs up the family and embarks on a full day of enchanted castles and fairytale princesses. Soon, the manufactured mirth of the fantasy land around him unravels into a surrealist nightmare of paranoid visions, bizarre encounters, and an obsessive pursuit of a pair of sexy teenage girls. Chillingly shot in black & white, “Escape From Tomorrow” dissects the mythology of artificial perfection while subversively attacking our culture’s obsession with mass entertainment.

Movie Review

FINALLY!  A film that depicts Disney World the way that I see it!  “Escape from Tomorrow” was an eerie and disturbing film about a family’s last day of vacation.  Unfortunately, the father (Jim, played by Roy Abramsohn) learned that he would not have a job to come home to after Disney.  He wanted nothing more than to make the last day at Disney the best day ever.  That wasn’t going to be the case.

As Mom (Emily, played by Elena Schuber) and Dad took each child to their respective favorite rides, Dad seemed distracted.  You would think he would have been distracted by the fact that he no longer had a job, but he was actually distracted by two cute, young teenagers roaming the park.  As his curiosity with the teens peaked, he began to accidentally happen upon the same rides!  Parenting frustration along with marital frustration exemplified the typical, but not admitted to, experience at Disney.  As was stated in the movie, “You can’t be happy all the time,” definitely played out in “Escape from Tomorrow.”  In fact, while in the park, we had glimpses of something evil lurking or having happened in the past.  These glimpses became more frequent, but still didn’t give the viewer enough information to figure anything out.

One of my favorite scenes in this film was how Dad toured Disney’s Epcot.  He drank his way around the world!  CHEERS!  That’s exactly how I dealt with it! This black and white film gave a creepy 1950’s feel to it.  You knew at the beginning that this was going to be Disney Gone Bad.  Overall, I would categorize this film as a horror flick…A Disney HORROR FLICK!  How many Disney Horror Flicks are out there!  Here’s the kicker.  Disney had no idea that this film was taking place on its grounds!  Oh, dear!  Oh, me oh my!  I bet there might be some frowns that can’t be turned upside down on the grounds of Disney this week!

This was a film that kept me guessing.  The kids in the film were adorable, however I don’t think they pulled off being bratty.  My guess is, that these kids are pretty sweet kids.  “Escape From Tomorrow”  was a unique film not only because of the black and white aspect, but because of the setting.  The story-line was at times a bit too quirky and far-fetched, but not enough to make me not want to see what happened at the end.

Kudos to Randy Moore, Director Extraordinaire, for pulling of a feat only I could have dreamed of!  Or maybe I have!  Yes, I did go to Disney and it really was a nightmare.movieboxoffices.wordpress.com