Monday, May 23, 2016

Love, Wedding, Marriage (2011)

Number Rolled: 4
Movie Name/Year: Love, Wedding, Marriage (2011)
Tagline: Here comes the ride.
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Length: 90 minutes
Rating: PG-13
Production Companies: Chydzik Media Group, Voodoo Production Services, Scion Films, 120dB Films, First Wedding Productions
Producer: Jeff Abberley, Michael Arata, Sergei Bespalov, Julia Blackman, JC Cadena, Michelle Chydzik Sbwa, Natalia Chydzik, Jerry Daigle, Peter Graham, Joel Hatch, Stephen Hays, Stefan Jacobs, Daniel March, Nathalie Marciano, Vlad A. Osipov, Gary Raskin
Director: Dermot Mulroney
Writer: Anouska Chydzik, Caprice Crane
Actors: Mandy Moore, Kellan Lutz, James Brolin, Jane Seymour, Jessica Szohr, Michael Weston, Marta Zmuda Trzebiatowska, Richard Alan Reid, Christopher Lloyd, Alexis Denisof, Alyson Hannigan, Colleen Camp, Andrew Keegan, Gabrielle Shuff, Julia Roberts

Blurb from Netflix: When a marriage counselor learns that her parents are candidates for divorce, she throws all the rules out the window to repair their relationship.

Selina’s Point of View:
I was shocked to see that this film got a 0% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The Human Centipede (2010) got a fucking 49%, but THIS film got a 0%. Right. Ok.

WTF are critics smoking these days, and is it legal?

Love, Wedding, Marriage wasn’t the greatest movie in the world. No one is going to come out and say it was their favorite film ever, but it wasn’t THAT bad.

Sure, Mandy Moore’s (License to Wed, How to Deal, The Princess Diaries) portrayal of her insane character left a lot to be desired and Kellan Lutz (Experimenter, The Comeback, The Expendables 3) was as believable as the Easter Bunny dating the Tooth Fairy, but the story didn’t suck and neither did the script.

It was definitely a take on a recipe film, but it was an interesting take. It didn’t show us the wedding and the stuff leading up to it. Instead, it examined life for the couple after the wedding. That’s not a storyline often portrayed by romantic comedies. Most rom-com movies prefer to show the magic of falling in love, rather than the upkeep of the love that follows.

I didn’t hate the movie. Many of the actors were very good, and I had some theories about Michael Weston’s (See You in Valhalla, Wish I Was Here, Blink) character that brought the movie to a whole new level for me.

There was also a bit of a nostalgia factor for me when popular 80s/90s actors, like Christopher Lloyd (Back to the Future, Camp Nowhere, Angels in the Outfield) and Andrew Keegan (Camp Nowhere, Party of Five, 10 Things I Hate About You), popped up on my screen.

You may also note that Julia Roberts (Money Monster, Eat Pray Love, Mona Lisa Smile) was in this. I watched the whole thing and had no idea until I checked IMDB. The reason is because only her voice is featured in the film.

Cat’s Point of View:
I must admit that, at first, I wasn’t really looking forward to watching this movie. It wasn’t that I had any sort of bias against it – I really knew nothing about it. It was more that I just wasn’t in the mood for a rom-com.

Be that as it may, the dice had spoken!

The film was ok. It wasn’t spectacular, and I am doubting that it will be particularly memorable (except for a few shirtless Kellan Lutz [Accepted, Arena, Immortals] moments…maybe).

I’m not sure if the movie was more of a victim to its writing or the fact that it was the directorial debut for Dermot Mulroney (J. Edgar, Stoker, Dirty Grandpa). I’ve enjoyed him as an actor; though, he apparently has some work ahead of him to refine his craft behind the camera.

I think this film was also slightly mislabeled. The bulk of the substance of this movie was drama, rather than romance or comedy. Sure, there were some laughs. Most of my chuckles came from the character played by James Brolin (Burlesque, Elsa & Fred, The 33).

I realize that the best friend of Lutz’s character, played by Michael Weston (The Last Kiss, Pathology, Gamer), was also supposed to be a bit of comic relief. It failed to hit that mark entirely for me. The character made me face-palm, and provided some really awkward feeling moments – and then there’s this 180. He almost comes off as being malicious in a few places.

Mandy Moore’s (Because I said So, Tangled, Hotel Noir) character came across as manic, selfish, and oblivious – yet, that might be how the part was written. I haven’t found fault with her acting in the past – but a good bit of the movie felt a little forced.

Lutz deserves more than just a mention about his shirtless scenes, though. I find that he tends to be a little underestimated and underrated. Sure not all of his films have been winners, but he exudes this charm that makes him likable for more than his washboard abs – and he can flip it off like a switch to turn into something altogether menacing, if the role requires. I’m not sure that this movie did his career any favors, but I enjoyed his role in it.

I don’t know – part of my disconnect for this movie might have been that it’s very hard for me to see Jane Seymour (The Assistants, Freeloaders, Austenland) outside of the framework I originally ‘met’ her in. I was a die-hard fan of Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman (1993-1998), and she will forever be ‘Dr. Mike’ to me. I have to somewhat force myself into seeing her in a different light in more recent projects.

I also have to question the location choices for filming. I will be the first one to jump up and shout ‘woohoo’ when a movie gets shot here in Louisiana, as this one was. Though the plantation setting for the vineyard was gorgeous and did add a nice backdrop to the film, the movie’s dialogue seems to suggest that this is supposed to be set in California.

I’ve been to that area of California – it’s where my husband’s from and it is where most of his family resides. You don’t find architecture like that out there. There was also a distinct lack of mountainous terrain. I realize that this was filmed during a period of time that Louisiana was still offering big tax incentives, etc., to film here – but a believable setting is important in suspending disbelief.

I don’t know that I’ll be watching this one again, but I didn’t hate it. Before I started writing my review, I actually thought I liked it better than I apparently did. I think that this one’s better appreciated without too much thought.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 0%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 28%

Netflix’s Prediction for Selina – 2/5
Selina’s Trust-the-Dice Score3/5

Netflix’s Prediction for Cat – 3.5/5
Cat’s Trust-the-Dice Score3/5

P.S. Scenes/bloopers during the credits.

Movie Trailer:

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Dark Skies (2013)

Number Rolled: 27
Movie Name/Year: Dark Skies (2013)
Tagline: They’re coming.
Genre: Sci-fi & Fantasy
Length: 97 minutes
Rating: PG-13
Production Companies: Alliance Films, Automatik Entertainment, Blumhouse Productions, Cinema Vehicle Services
Producer: Jason Blum, Jeanette Brill, Bailey Conway, Phillip Dawe, Brian Kavanaugh-Jones, Charles Layton, Jessica Malanaphy, Jeff Okin, Rick Osako, Matthew Parker, Scott Stewart, Bob Weinstein, Harvey Weinstein
Director: Scott Stewart
Writer: Scott Stewart
Actors: Keri Russell, Josh Hamilton, Dakota Goyo, Kadan Rockett, J.K. Simmons, L.J. Benet, Rich Hutchman, Myndy Crist, Annie Thurman, Jake Brennan, Ron Ostrow, Tom Costello, Marion Kerr, Alyvia Alyn Lind, Josh Stamberg, Judith Moreland, Kenneth Meseroll, Trever St. John, Andy Umberger, Michael Patrick McGill,

Blurb from Netflix: A couple has trouble convincing friends and neighbors that an alien is entering their house each night to terrorize their children.

Selina’s Point of View:
Who writes these Netflix blurbs? This is another great example of a bad blurb by Netflix. The only part of it that’s really true is “an alien is entering their house each night.” Does someone over there just watch the trailer and guess what the movie is about? If so, they should probably stop that. Trailers aren’t always as true to their movies as they should be.

Moving on.

This movie was interchangeable with every other alien-based movie in existence. In two months, if someone describes the film looking for a title, I’ll wind up going through 15 titles before I guess the correct one.

The only impression Dark Skies left on me is that producers need to find something new to do with aliens. Sometimes recipe films can be as comforting as chicken soup, but not when there’s nothing at all to elevate them to a level where you can tell them apart from the other recipe films they follow.

It wasn’t bad, but it certainly wasn’t good either. It just was.


Cat’s Point of View:
I’ve actually seen this movie before, more than once. I really enjoy the film – though, that’s not why I’ve seen it the handful of times that I have. It’s been making its rounds through cable movie channels for a while now, and so I’ve just caught it here and there. I gave it another go for fresh perspective for the purposes of this review, and I didn’t mind.

It was just as eerie and suspenseful – partially thanks to the brilliant sound & music team. The background score sets the tone for the scenes so well that nothing inherently special could be going on and the suspense and sense of unease would still be building because the music or ambient sounds was taking you there.

Keri Russell (August Rush, Austenland, The Americans) had a stand-out performance in this role. It was very easy to emotionally connect with her. Of course, Josh Hamilton (J Edgar, The Wait, Experimenter) did a great job with his role as well. I wasn’t really connecting as well with the youngest child; though. I did enjoy the older boy’s performance by Dakota Goyo (Arthur, Real Steel, Rise of the Guardians). He captured the awkwardness of his character excellently.

The basic day-to-day struggles of this particular family are relevant and relatable. It gives a good grounding foundation before anything out of the ordinary is layered on top of their situation.

I am torn on how I feel about some of the special effects. On one hand, I appreciate that having appearances be a bit more nebulous allows the production to bypass the risk of things looking fake or hokey in this digital HD age. On the other hand, it leaves you wanting more and possibly takes away from the believability for some scenes.

I would definitely recommend the movie, and I’ll likely find myself watching it again in the future when it comes back around on cable.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 40%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 49%

Netflix’s Prediction for Selina – 4/5
Selina’s Trust-the-Dice Score2/5

Netflix’s Prediction for Cat – 3/5
Cat’s Trust-the-Dice Score4/5

Movie Trailer:

Monday, May 16, 2016

John Dies at the End (2012): Through the Eyes of Cat

Number Rolled: Not Applicable
Movie Name/Year: John Dies at the End (2012)
Tagline: Just so you know...they're sorry for anything that's about to happen.
Genre: Horror
Length: 99 minutes
Rating: R
Production Companies: M3 Alliance, M3 Creative, Midnight Alliance, Touchy Feely Films
Producers: Daniel Carey, Dac Coscarelli, Paul Giamatti, Brad Baruh, Aaron Godfred, Joshua Lewin, Andy Meyers, Roman Perez
Director: Don Coscarelli
Writers: Don Coscarelli, David Wong
Actors: Chase Williamson, Rob Mayes, Paul Giamatti, Clancy Brown, Glynn Turman, Doug Jones, Fabianne Therese, Jonny Weston, Jimmy Wong, Tai Bennett, Bark Lee

Blurb from Netflix: Promising a trip that transcends time and space, a drug called Soy Sauce is sweeping the landscape -- and quietly robbing users of their humanity.

Cat’s Point of View:

Selina’s off on a family vacation this weekend. While the blogger’s away the Cat will play? No, not really. We did randomly fish up an old title that she had already reviewed before we began our collaboration. This has generally been our modus operandi when The Random Review’s fearless leader requires a sabbatical.

This movie was tweaky – as in it almost has you feeling like you’re the one tripping on something as you watch. I’d been hankering for a bit of a suspenseful movie with a touch of horror gore and the like. This film certainly fit that wish list, and then some (at least on the part of the gore). The whole movie was a bit of a suspense-fest because from the outset I wanted to know whether or not John really does die at the end or not. 

I’m reminded of a song, when I think of this movie. Beck’s “Loser” is a jumbled mishmash of utter nonsense, yet somehow comes together to make something rather awesome. A particular verse comes to mind: “...Don't believe everything that you breathe, you get a parking violation and a maggot on your sleeve...” but before we get to shaving faces with mace in the dark, let’s carry on with the movie – which was not, in fact, a loser. 

Time-bending and mind-bending shenanigans tend to have the potential of having an audience either love a movie or hate it. There generally isn’t a lot of in-between. I, for one, loved this movie. If I had to compare it to something; I’d say it was somewhat like if you took Dude, Where’s My Car? (2000), gave it a horror movie spin, and stuck it in a blender with Supernatural (2005-). 

Rob Mayes (The American Mall, Ice Castles, Burning Blue) and Chase Williamson (The Guest, Video Game High School, Siren) were excellent castings for the timeless comedy formula of the mischief maker and the ‘straight man,’ respectively. Mayes seemed to effortlessly embody that one crazy friend that we all have that just makes you cringe when they say something like “hold my beer and watch this.”

I confess that I also had a bit of a squee seeing Clancy Brown (99 Homes, The Flash, Hail, Caesar!) as Dr. Marconi. This man has been in a little bit of everything since the 80’s. Today’s audiences likely recognize his voice more for his cartoon work – but my geeky heart will forever recognize him as The Kurgan from Highlander (1986). I loved the dimension (no pun intended) that his character brings to the movie. 

It’s amazing that a twist of fate in the form of an online book recommendation brought this story to the attention of director Don Coscarelli (Phantasm, The Beastmaster, Bubba Ho-Tep). The title of the book caught his attention and the rest, as they say, is history. The book was originally published a chapter at a time online, so that readers would be kept guessing as to what John’s fate would actually be. 

Does John survive? You’ll have to watch this movie to find out. I would recommend this movie in a heartbeat.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 61%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 54%
Netflix’s Prediction for Cat – 4.5/5
Cat's Trust-the-Dice Score4.5/5

P.S. There’s a scene that plays during the beginning of the credits.

P.P.S. Pirates beware! At the very end of the credits, there’s a warning that starts out as any other anti-piracy legalese does these days; but it ends with “…may result in civil liability, criminal prosecution and the wrath of Korrok.”

Movie Trailer: 

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Flu (2013)

Number Rolled: 19
Movie Name/Year: Flu (2013)
Tagline: Death goes viral.
Genre: Action & Adventure
Length: 121 minutes
Rating: NR
Production Companies: iLoveCinema, iFilm Co.
Producer: Ok-kyung Bang, Tae-sung Jeong, Teddy Jung, Seong-jin Kim
Director: Sung-su Kim
Writer: Yeong-jong Lee, Sung-soo Kim, Jae-ho Jung
Actors: Hyuk Jang, Soo Ae, Andrew William Brand, In-Pyo Cha, Hee-joon Lee, Sang-Yeob Lee, Jung-min Park, Min-ah Park, Boris Stout, Kahlid Elijah Tapia, Hae-jin Yoo

Blurb from Netflix: When people in a South Korean suburb start dropping like flies from a deadly airborne respiratory disease, the area is quarantined and chaos reigns.

Selina’s Point of View:
I’m going on vacation this weekend, which means I need to rush to get all my work done before I leave. As a result when we rolled a foreign film, I was not happy. I had NO desire to sit through two hours of subtitles. Especially subtitles for a Korean movie. The Korean language flows so fast that sometimes it’s difficult to read along and it requires several rewinds to get the whole story. Altogether, for a two hour foreign film from Korea, I’d set aside six hours to ensure I have time to watch it, re-watch it, research it, and write the blog.

So yeah, I groaned.

Turns out, I didn’t need six hours. The story was so in depth and the characters were so interesting that I zoned into the movie at a level I don’t think I’ve ever reached with a foreign film. I don’t think I missed any of the subtitles, but if I did it didn’t matter because the actors were so on point that I almost didn’t need subtitles at all.

Even the child actress, Min-ah Park (Mrs. Cop, Pots of Gold, Feast of the Gods), rocked her part.

The film reminded me of Outbreak (1995), but it was a lot more in depth and the brutality scale was turned WAY up. I found it completely terrifying. At some times, my mouth was hanging open; at other times there were tears in my eyes. This movie exceeded expectations so much that I’d have to put it among my favorites.

Cat’s Point of View:
This movie was not what I expected, at all.

With the state of the world these days, epidemic and pandemic movies have grown in popularity. This film does follow some of the expected themes, as such; but also takes it down to a more personal and emotional level.

While the recipe does make the movie somewhat predictable, I still found myself having a rather visceral reaction. I had periods of ugly crying. I’m not even going to try to deny it.

This was rather impressive for a subtitled movie. Sometimes reading the dialogue can be distracting from what is going on with the scenes. That wasn’t the case for me. The cast was phenomenal and drew me right in so that I hardly noticed that I was reading what they were saying rather than understanding their words.

I’ve also got to say that the little girl in this movie was just about the most adorable munchkin ever. I believe that young lady will have quite the career ahead of her, if she continues to pursue acting as she gets older.

The suspenseful sense of dread was on point here. I’d definitely recommend this movie to those that enjoy the genre.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 45%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 60%

Netflix’s Prediction for Selina – 5/5
Selina’s Trust-the-Dice Score5/5

Netflix’s Prediction for Cat – 4.5/5
Cat’s Trust-the-Dice Score4.5/5

The Random Rating: R

P.S. There’s an extra scene during the credits.

Movie Trailer:

Monday, May 9, 2016

Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox (2013)

Number Rolled: 99
Movie Name/Year: Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox (2013)
Tagline: Fight the future.
Genre: Action & Adventure
Length: 81 minutes
Rating: PG-13
Production Companies: DC Entertainment, Warner Bros. Animation, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group, DC Comics
Producer: Alan Burnett, Toshiyuki Hiruma, Geoff Johns, Sam Register, James Tucker
Director: Jay Oliva
Writer: James Krieg, Bob Kane, Bill Finger, Geoff Johns, Jack Kirby, William M. Marston, Joe Shuster, Jerry Siegel, Marv Wolfman, George Perez, Jim Lee, Andy Kubert, Brandon Choi, Paul Norris
Actors: Justin Chambers, C. Thomas Howell, Michael B. Jordan, Kevin McKidd, Dee Bradley Baker, Steve Blum, Kevin Conroy, Sam Daly, Dana Delany, Grey Griffin, Cary Elwes, Nathan Fillion, Jennifer Hale, Danny Huston, Danny Jacobs, Peter Jessop, Lex Lang, Vanessa Marshall, Candi Milo, Ron Perlman, Kevin Michael Richardson, Andrea Romano, James Patrick Stuart, Hynden Walch

Blurb from Netflix: When a trip to the past creates ripples in time and an altered present for the Flash – who no longer has any powers – he turns to Batman for help.

Selina’s Point of View:
It’s a good week for comic book movies. I saw Captain America: Civil War (2016) for its first showing on the 5th and now I got to see a kick-ass DC-based animation film.

(For the record, if you go to see Captain America: Civil War, keep in mind there are two cut scenes after the movie. One in the middle of the credits and one at the very end.)

There is SO much I loved about this film. Marvel may dominate the live-action movie scene, but no one does animated superheroes better than DC. (For the record, I think they’re on even footing with TV shows. Arrow [2012-] is phenomenal, but so is Daredevil [2015-].)

First of all, the Flash was my favorite superhero growing up. I used to watch the TV show starring John Wesley Shipp (One Life to Live, Golden Shoes, Separation Anxiety) with my mom (he now appears in the new Flash series as Barry Allen’s dad, fyi). I still love that show, however short-lived it was. My husband got me the series for Christmas.

Naturally, there’s a hint of nostalgia in this film for me because of my love of the Flash as a character. (I even prefer The Flash [2014-] to Arrow, though I’m a little behind on both at the moment.)

I’m also a huge fan of alternate universe storylines. I love thinking about what could have been. Comics and movies that explore those questions earn my heart.

What if Superman had landed in Russia? (Superman: Red Son)

What if Magneto ruled the mutants and the mutants ruled everything? (House of M)

What if Apocalypse was the good guy and Professor X was the villain? (Mutant X)

What if everyone was a zombie? (Marvel Zombies)

There’s just something super interesting to me about the ‘what ifs’.

This particular ‘what if’ might seem a bit on the familiar side to viewers of the Flash’s current TV show. This film goes more in depth on the subject, but there’s still a certain familiarity. I can’t divulge which ‘what if’ this film explores without delivering spoilers, though, so… watch it.

Kick-ass storyline and amazing animation aside, there’s also the cast to consider.

The entire cast was great. There wasn’t a single voice in the bunch that I didn’t like for the character that was portrayed. However, there are three people in this movie that I consider actors I would follow anywhere. Those actors are the kind I could watch eating a sandwich for an hour and probably enjoy it.

The actors I’m talking about are Cary Elwes (The Art of More, She Loves Me Not, The Story of Luke), Ron Perlman (Hand of God, Poker Night, Sons of Anarchy), and, the super-awesome, Nathan Fillion (Castle, Con Man, Slither).

I loved everything about Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox. I have nothing bad to say.

Cat’s Point of View:
I have a confession: I haven’t watched many animated superhero movies or series in a while. I’ve lost no love for the material, I can assure you. I grew up on Marvel and DC Comics. Though, my readership has leaned more towards the former than the latter. I’m still not too clueless when it comes to DC properties; but I will admit that I’m not up on the ‘New 52’ story arcs, and am fairly hopeless at finding the subtle Easter Eggs.

That being said, I really enjoyed this movie. It took me a minute to get around hearing Justin Chambers (Lakeview Terrace, Broken City, Grey's Anatomy) as the Flash, but he did a great job with it. I’m just used to hearing Grant Gustin’s (A Mother's Nightmare, Glee, Affluenza) voice behind the Scarlet Speedster. He is currently starring in the role on CW’s The Flash (2014-) series. Given the release timeframe of this movie, though; it’s understandable that he wasn’t included. Gustin didn’t start playing Barry until a cameo on Arrow (2012-) in its 2013 season.

I was relieved to find that Batman was voiced as I expected. Kevin Conroy (Jay and Silent Bob's Super Groovy Cartoon Movie, Russian Yeti: The Killer Lives, Yoga Hosers) has been my cartoon Batman since I became a fan of Batman: The Animated Series (1992-1995) while I was in high school. I just can’t envision hearing a different voice for the character. It would be equivalent of someone other than Peter Cullen (My Friends Tigger and Pooh, IGPX: Immortal Grand Prix, Transformers) voicing Optimus Prime.

Hats off to Cary Elwes (The Princess Bride, A Mouse Tale, Lost & Found) for his Aquaman performance. I didn’t realize that was him at the character’s voiceover helm until the credits rolled.

There were exactly two things that made me actually squee for a moment with this movie. The first was that Nathan Fillion (Firefly, Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog, Super) voiced Hal Jordan, The Green Lantern. His classy sass was perfect for that role.

My second squee came in the form of Grifter’s appearance, voiced by Danny Jacobs (Phineas and Ferb, The Penguins of Madagascar, Miles from Tomorrowland). That character originated in Wildstorm Comics in the 1990s. The Wildstorm properties were sold to DC back during that timeframe. With this character’s appearance here – this is officially the first Justice League movie to feature a Wildstorm character. Grifter provides some snarky levity in the movie; and with the heavy tone of the story, it’s well timed and much needed.

Before I ramble on too far within my own personal geekdom; I realize that I should probably get back to the movie, itself. Considering I haven’t read any of the comics that this story pulls from, I’m afraid I can’t advise die-hard fans whether or not this follows the expected plot. I can, however, relate that I enjoyed the complexity of the story and all the little twists that were worked into it.

This was not a cartoon movie that would be ideal for children – in fact, I would hold firm to the PG-13. This recommendation is largely due to the violence and bloodshed factor. My daughter likes to watch some of the superhero cartoons on TV but this was a bit too much for her, and she excused herself early in. Things are often dark, thematically, in Gotham City – but this was definitely heavier than usual.

I would probably watch this again – especially if I have a bit more information under my belt ahead of time.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 100%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 93%

Netflix’s Prediction for Selina – 5/5
Selina’s Trust-the-Dice Score5/5

Netflix’s Prediction for Cat – 5/5
Cat’s Trust-the-Dice Score4.5/5

P.S. Short after-credits scene.

Movie Trailer:

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Technical Difficulties

We apologize for the lack of regularly scheduled movie review post today.
Our Monday edition will publish at its normal time on 05/09/2016.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Top 20 Movies to Look Out For In May (2016)

According to: Selina

20 – The Trust (5/13)

Tag Line: Bad cops make the best criminals.
Production Company: Highland Film Group (HFG), Hassell Free Production, Ingenious Media, Saban Films, The Electric Shadow Company, Prettybird, Saeculum Productions
Director: Alex Brewer, Benjamin Brewer
Writer: Benjamin Brewer, Adam Hirsch
Actors: Nicolas Cage, Elijah Wood, Jerry Lewis, Sky Ferreira, Kevin Weisman, Steven Williams, Jeff Howard, Christie Beran, Ethan Suplee
Genre: Thriller, Crime
Rated: R

I feel like there’s pretty much at least one Nicolas Cage (Left Behind, Rage, The Frozen Ground) movie made every month. It doesn’t always make the list… but sometimes he just looks like he’s at his best in the trailer. Sure, we get the overacting and corny humor, but there’s one part at the end of the trailer where he’s yelling and his face is red and it looks like a perfectly acted scene.

Obviously, I’m not only interested in The Trust because of Nick Cage. I’m interested in the character portrayed by Elijah Wood (Wilfred, Grand Piano, Pawn Shop Chronicles) and the nods to comic relief throughout the action and thrills as well.

19 – The Offering (5/6)

Tag Line: The chosen will be sacrificed.
Production Company: Boku Films Pte Limited, Boku Films, PEP Pictures
Director: Kelvin Tong
Writer: Kelvin Tong
Actors: Matthew Settle, Elizabeth Rice, Pamelyn Chee, Jaymee Ong, Elizabeth Lazan, Adrian Pang, Adina Herz
Genre: Thriller
Rated: NR

I love a good possession movie.

This one does have some unique and terrifying scenes shown in the trailer, however, it also shows a great deal of reverence to the original Exorcist (1973). It’s a toss-up on whether or not The Offering will meet expectation. Either way, I look forward to seeing it.

18 – Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising (5/20)

Tag Line: Parenthood vs. Sisterhood
Production Company: Good Universe, Point Grey Pictures
Director: Nicholas Stoller
Writer: Andrew Jay Cohen, Brendan O’Brien, Evan Goldberg, Nicholas Stoller, Seth Rogen
Actors: Zac Efron, Seth Rogen, Rose Byrne, Dave Franco, Chloe Grace Moretz, Selena Gomez, Ike Barinholtz, Lisa Kudrow, Kiersey Clemons, Beanie Feldstein, Carla Gallo, Awkwafina, Billy Eichner, Clara Mamet, LL Cool J, Hannibal Buress,
Genre: Comedy
Rated: R

I was really looking forward to the first Neighbors (2014) movie and now I’m looking forward to the new sequel almost more than the first. Unfortunately, I haven’t seen the first one yet, but I love the comedic style of Seth Rogen (The League, Kung Fu Panda 3, The Interview). I’m also a fan of Zac Efron (Dirty Grandpa, The Paperboy, Charlie St. Cloud), Dave Franco (Now You See Me, 22 Jump Street, Warm Bodies) and Chloe Grace Moretz (The 5th Wave, The Equalizer, Laggies). There’s really nothing about this film that I’m not looking forward to.

I have to see the first one!

17 – The Darkness (5/13)

Tag Line: Evil comes home.
Production Company: Blumhouse Productions, Chapter One Films
Director: Greg McLean
Writer: Greg McLean, Shayne Armstrong, Shane Krause
Actors: Kevin Bacon, Radha Mitchell, Jennifer Morrison, Matt Walsh, David Mazouz, Ming-Na, Lucy Fry, Trian Long-Smith, Parker Mack
Genre: Horror, Thriller
Rated: NR

The majority of this film looks relatively recipe-ish. However, I kind of like what seems to have been done with the recipe. It even seems like the child actor, David Mazouz (Gotham, The Games Maker, Touch), actually knows what he’s doing.

And every recipe can be elevated with Bacon (The Following, Cop Car, R.I.P.D.).

16 – The Horde (5/6)

Tag Line: Fight back or die.
Production Company: 313 Films, Razors Edge Productions, Traplight Media
Director: Jared Cohen
Writer: Paul Logan
Actors: Paul Logan, Bill Moseley, Vernon Wells, Costas Mandylor, Tiffany Brouwer, Sydney Sweeney, Matthew Willig, Nestor Serrano
Genre: Horror
Rated: NR

For the Horde!

No, sorry. I’m a horde player in WoW and I couldn’t help myself. I’m in a super corny mood tonight.

Speaking of super corny, this film looks the part. The reason I want to see it, and the reason it’s this high on the list, is because there seems to be an interesting twist as well a merger of genres that don’t often meet. You’ve got the military man, you’ve got zombie-types, you’ve got the damsel in distress, and you’ve got jerky hillbillies.

I believe this film will either spectacularly succeed or phenomenally fail. I don’t think there’ll be any ambivalence in the reviews.

15 – The Ones Below (5/27)

Tag Line: How well do you know your neighbors?
Production Company: Cuba Pictures, Tigerlily Films, BBC Films, Kreo Films FZ
Director: David Farr
Writer: David Farr
Actors: Clemence Poesy, David Morrissey, Stephen Campbell Moore, Laura Birn
Genre: Thriller, Psychological
Rated: R

This film looks pretty familiar to me. Not because it’s unoriginal, but because I think I’ve seen the trailer for it before. It might have come out during one of the film festivals. It might have been released on a limited basis previously. I’m not sure.

Whatever the reason for its familiarity, it seems to be getting a wider release now.

I think this film looks creepy as hell. The psychological aspect of it really comes through and David Morrissey (The Walking Dead, Line of Sight, The Missing) makes a phenomenal villain (or perceived villain as this film may go). I have a feeling there may be some triggering moments, however…

14 – Kill Command (5/13)

Tag Line: You can't fight the future.
Production Company: Vertigo Films
Director: Steven Gomez
Writer: Steven Gomez
Actors: Vanessa Kirby, Thure Lindhardt, David Ajala, Tom McKay, Deborah Rosan, Bentley Kalu
Genre: Action, Horror, Sci-Fi
Rated: NR

This looks like a well-made, well-acted, well-written science fiction film. The graphics look pretty amazing as a bonus. I’ve got nothing against the low budget B-Movies out there, but sometimes it’s nice to get those great graphics backing up a decent film. It’s as much fun, just for a wider audience.

The story actually reminds me of a short story I read in an anthology a few years back. I don’t remember what the anthology was called, though. I remember thinking it would probably make a great film.

If I remember the name of the book later, I’ll add it to this part.

13 – All the Way (5/21)

Tag Line: Politics is war.
Production Company: Amblin Entertainment, HBO Films, Moon Shot Entertainment, Tale Told Productions
Director: Jay Roach
Writer: Robert Schenkkan
Actors: Bryan Cranston, Frank Langella, Anthony Mackie, Melissa Leo, Stephen Root, Marque Richardson, Bradley Whitford, Aisha Hinds, Todd Weeks, Mo McRae, Spencer Garrett, Joe Morton, Ned Van Zandt
Genre: Drama, Biography
Rated: NR

I don’t mind the occasional biographical, based-on-a-true-story, film. It just has to feature a story that’s worth telling.

It is in my opinion that Lyndon B. Johnson’s story is definite worth telling and seeing. I think Bryan Cranston (Trumbo, Breaking Bad, SuperMansion) was a wonderful choice to play him, as well. Anthony Mackie (Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Shelter, Ant-Man) as Martin Luther King Jr. might seem like another story, but I’m not so sure about that.

Sure, Mackie looks nothing like the civil rights leader, but there are few people who would have the acting chops to truly pull him off. I believe suspending disbelief on his appearance will allow people to greater appreciate the amount of heart Mackie puts into the part.

12 – Maggie’s Plan (5/20)

Tag Line: Chapter Four: Maggie's Plan
Production Company: Freedom Media, Hall Monitor, Hyperion Media Group, Locomotive, Rachael Horovitz Productions, Round Films
Director: Rebecca Miller
Writer: Rebecca Miller, Karen Rinaldi
Actors: Greta Gerwig, Ethan Hawke, Julianne Moore, Bill Hader, Maya Rudolph, Travis Fimmel
Genre: Drama
Rated: R

Normally in a film like this, you get to see woman and man meet, fall in love, betray spouses, and then either get kicked out of their marriage and wind up with the affair or go back to their wife. This film seems to take another route, a more realistic one. Well, up until the ‘plan’ part of the film.

11 – The Do-Over (5/27)

Tag Line: Dying was their first mistake.
Production Company: Happy Madison Productions
Director: Steve Brill
Writer: Chris Pappas, Kevin Barnett
Actors: Adam Sandler, David Spade, Paula Patton, Nick Swardson, Luis Guzman, Kathryn Hahn, Sean Astin, Catherine Bell, Michael Chiklis, Natasha Leggero, Torsten Voges, Matt Walsh, Jared Sandler, Renee Taylor
Genre: Comedy
Rated: NR

This is another Netflix film starring, and produced by, Adam Sandler (Pixels, The Cobbler, Top Five).

It’s hard to expect much considering the ranks of films on Rotten Tomatoes that The Ridiculous 6 sits among: Zapped! (1982), Ed (1996), Alexander the Great (1956), the oh-so-pointless Cabin Fever remake (2016), They Saved Hitler’s Brain (1963) and, of course, Manos: the Hands of Fate (1966). What is the one thing all those films have in common? A 0% rating on Rotten Tomatoes with a similarly bad rating from the audience.

One has to wonder if The Do-Over is going to be exactly that for Sandler and crew, or if it’ll join the Ridiculous 6.

I look forward to finding out.

10 – Love & Friendship (5/13)

Tag Line: A lady never reveals her tactics.
Production Company: Westerly Films, Amazon Studios, Blinder Films, Chic Films, Revolver Amsterdam
Director: Whit Stillman
Writer: Whit Stillman, Jane Austen
Actors: Kate Beckinsale, Chloe Sevigny, Xavier Samuel, Stephen Fry, Emma Greenwell, Morfydd Clark, Jemma Redgrave, James Fleet, Tom Bennett, Justin Edwards
Genre: Drama, Romance
Rated: PG

I found myself completely drawn into this trailer. From the period aspects to the intriguing performance of Kate Beckinsale (Stonehearst Asylum, Total Recall, Contraband), there’s nothing that makes me not want to see this film.

My only issue is that I don’t understand its PG rating. The trailer seems to hint at a relatively PG-13 tongue-in-cheek sense of humor. I may not understand the rating until I’ve seen it, however.

9 – Mothers and Daughters (5/6)

Tag Line: Love is the one thing they can all agree on.
Production Company: Siempre Viva Productions, Aloe Entertainment
Director: Paul Duddridge
Writer: Paige Cameron, Paul Duddridge
Actors: Selma Blair, Susan Sarandon, Eva Amurri, Sharon Stone, Paul Wesley, Christina Ricci, Courteney Cox, Mira Sorvino, Luke Mitchell, Paul Adelstein, Natalie Burn, Quinton Aaron, Ashanti, Liana Mendoza, Christopher Backus, Sebastian Siegel, Steven Scot Bo
Genre: Drama
Rated: PG-13

With Mother’s Day right around the corner, having some mother-centric films set for release was bound to happen. This film, however, really seems to examine the intricacies and complexities of the mother-daughter relationship.

It seems to be in the vein of movies like New Years Eve (2011), but I don’t hate those films. In fact, I rather enjoy seeing how the various storylines wind up connecting in the end.

8 – The Curse of the Sleeping Beauty (5/13)

Tag Line: The fairytale was only the beginning…
Production Company: 2B Films, Briar Rose Productions, Nexus Motion Picture Company
Director: Pearry Reginald Teo
Writer: Pearry Reginald Teo, Josh Nadler, Everette Hartsoe, Jacob Grimm, Wilhelm Grimm
Actors: India Eisley, Ethan Peck, Natalie Hall, Zack Ward, Bruce Davison, James Adam Lim, Scott Alan Smith, Mim Drew, Madelaine Petsch, Elizabeth Knowelden, Ryan Egnatoff
Genre: Mystery, Fantasy, Thriller
Rated: NR

At first glance, this comic book film looks visually stunning. By the third or fourth time you view the trailer, however, you get a more realistic sense of what to expect. I don’t believe the graphics will be anything to brag about. That being said, this touch on the fairy tale of Sleeping Beauty seems to have a unique and interesting twist to it.

I find a lot of the baddies in the film remind me of the Silent Hill (2006, 2012, 2017) movie franchise. My adoration of Silent Hill (movies and games) knows no bounds. Even if I hadn’t already wanted to see The Curse of the Sleeping Beauty, the comparison would have made up my mind for me.

7 – Money Monster (5/13)

Tag Line: #FollowTheMoney
Production Company: Allegiance Theater, LStar Capital, Smokehouse Pictures, TriStar Pictures, Village Roadshow Pictures
Director: Jodie Foster
Writer: Jamie Linden, Alan DiFiore, Jim Kouf
Actors: George Clooney, Julia Roberts, Jack O’Connell, Dominic West, Caitriona Balfe, Giancarlo Esposito, Greta Lee, Emily Meade, Olivia Luccardi, Chris Bauer, Condola Rashad, Dennis Boutsikaris
Genre: Drama, Thriller
Rated: R

I’m not the biggest fan of George Clooney (The Men Who Stare at Goats, ER, Gravity). That being said, the rest of the cast in this film are damn good at what they do, and the plot of the movie seems very interesting.

In a time when elections are being screwed up all over the country and politics have reached an all-time high in tension, conspiracy theories are difficult to ignore. This film gives people a conspiracy to follow that doesn’t harm the people of this country.

It also looks really good.

6 – Angry Birds (5/20)

Tag Line: Why so angry?
Production Company: Rovio Entertainment, Columbia Pictures, LStar Capital, Rovio Mobile, Sony Pictures Animation, Sony Pictures Imageworks, Village Roadshow Pictures
Director: Clay Kaytis, Fergal Reilly
Writer: Jon Vitti
Actors: Jason Sudeikis, Josh Gad, Danny McBride, Bill Hader, Maya Rudolph, Blake Shelton, Sean Penn, Peter Dinklage, Kate McKinnon, Charli XCX, Keegan-Michael Key, Tony Hale, Ike Barinholtz, Hannibal Buress, Jillian Bell, Romeo Santos, Max Charles
Genre: Animation, Comedy
Rated: PG

Although this film is made for kids, the trailer is pretty clear that there’s most likely plenty of humor to keep an adult occupied as well. Also, who doesn’t want to see how they made Angry Birds, a game most people play on the toilet, into a film?

5 – Nice Guys (5/20)

Tag Line: Nice pair.
Production Company: Misty Mountains, Silver Pictures, Waypoint Entertainment
Director: Shane Black
Writer: Shane Black, Anthony Bagrozzi
Actors: Ryan Gosling, Russell Crowe, Matthew Bomer, Beau Knapp, Keith David, Kim Basinger, Ty Simpkins, Angourie Rice, Margaret Qualley, Hannibal Buress
Genre: Drama, Thriller, Crime
Rated: R

I am highly amused by the combination of Ryan Gosling (Only God Forgives, The Ides of March, Drive) and Russell Crowe (Fathers and Daughters, Noah, Man of Steel) in this film. What makes me wonder, however, is why it’s not listed as a comedy. The trailer is marketing this film as a crime/action/comedy… but there’s no listing of action or comedy related to it.

It worries me that this film might be marketed badly, because the movie that is suggested by the trailer really does look very good.

4 – Alice through the Looking Glass (5/27)

Tag Line: This spring, it’s time for a little madness.
Production Company: Walt Disney Pictures, Roth Films, Team Todd, Tim Burton Productions, Legend3D
Director: James Bobin
Writer: Linda Woolverton, Lewis Carroll
Actors: Mia Wasikowska, Johnny Depp, Anne Hathaway, Sacha Baron Cohen, Helena Boham Carter, Alan Rickman, Rhys Ifans, Mark Rylance, Stephen Fry, Michael Sheen, Andrew Scott, Lindsay Duncan, Barbara Windsor, Frances de la Tour, Matt Lucas, Geraldine James, Matt Vogel, Mohammed Ali
Genre: Adventure, Family, Fantasy
Rated: PG

I did not see the first film, not for lack of want, just for lack of access. Both the first one and this sequel trigger my interest. I’m hoping I’ll have time to see the first one before Alice through the Looking Glass hits theaters.

3 – Pele: Birth of a Legend (5/6)

Tag Line: A boy with nothing, who changed everything.
Production Company: Imagine Entertainment, Seine Pictures, Zohar International
Director: Michael Zimbalist, Jeff Zimbalist
Writer: Michael Zimbalist, Jeff Zimbalist
Actors: Kevin de Paula, Leonardo Lima Carvalho, Vincent D’Onofrio, Rodrigo Santoro, Diego Boneta, Colm Meaney, Seu Jorge
Genre: Biography, Drama, Sport
Rated: PG

I love soccer. I used to play it. I coached it for a short time. I was a better coach than I was a player, for the record. I follow Manchester United and LA Galaxy.

I feel comfortable saying that every soccer fan in the world knows who Pele is. I’m more than looking forward to learning more about his story.

2 – X-Men: Apocalypse (5/27)

Tag Line: Only the strong will survive.
Production Company: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, Marvel Entertainment, TSG Entertainment, Bad Hat Harry Productions, Donners’ Company, Kinberg Genre, Mel’s Cite du Cinema
Director: Bryan Singer
Writer: Simon Kinberg, Bryan Singer, Michael Dougherty, Dan Harris
Actors: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Hugh Jackman, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, Evan Peters, Lucas Till, Olivia Munn, Oscar Isaac, Alexandra Shipp, Sophie Turner, Tye Sheridan, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Rose Byrne, Lana Condor, Ben Hardy, Stan Lee, Monique Ganderton, Josh Helman, Rochelle Okoye
Genre: Superhero, Action
Rated: PG-13

I know the X-Men films don’t always live up to the hype. Logically, I KNOW that. Emotionally….. I don’t give a fuck. I’ll always go see the next one.

I’m part of the problem. I know.

1 – Captain America: Civil War (5/6)

Tag Line: United we stand. Divided we fall.
Production Company: Marvel Entertainment, Marvel Studios, Studio Babelsberg
Director: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
Writer: Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely, Mark Millar, Joe Simon, Jack Kirby, Stan Lee
Actors: Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Chadwick Boseman, Anthony Mackie, Jeremy Renner, Tom Holland, Elizabeth Olsen, Martin Freeman, Daniel Bruhl, Emily VanCamp, Paul Rudd, Paul Bettany, Sebastian Stan, Don Cheadle, Frank Grillo, William Hurt, Marisa Tomei, John Kani, John Slattery, Josh Peck, Stan Lee
Genre: Superhero, Action, Fantasy
Rated: PG-13

Marvel movie. #TeamCap. I already have my tickets for the first showing the day before this film is released. I’ve had them for a month. If you’re #TeamIronMan, you are sooooo wrong.

Also, more looking forward to seeing Black Panther than Spiderman. I don’t get people who aren’t. It’s Black Panther's FIRST time being depicted on the big screen. We’ve had more Spidermans than I have pairs of underwear.

Movies to Look out For
According to: Cat

Money Monster .20
Manhattan Night .19
A Light beneath their Feet .18
The Dresser .17
Sunset Song .16
Mothers and Daughters .15
Crossing Point .14
Search Party .13
Being Charlie .12
The Nice Guys .11
Kill Command .10
I Am Wrath .9
Angry Birds .8
Love & Friendship .7
The Darkness .6
High-Rise .5
The Curse of the Sleeping Beauty .4
Alice through the Looking Glass .3
Captain America: Civil War .2
X-Men: Apocalypse .1