Blu-Ray Review: The Wind Rises (2013, Dir, Hayao Miyazaki)

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Since this is the last movie Hayao Miyazaki is making, he’s retiring from movie making, I was expecting the best, but what I got was something less than that. I mean the animation as always was spectacular but the story this time out is rooted firmly in the real world, so to speak. I tend to be more partial to his fantasy-laden plots. The Wind Rises centers on an actual person from history, Jiro Horikoshi, who designed this airplane for World War II. The tale, however, as I understand is fictional, showing how he became inspired by aeronautics and how he met his wife who then died of tuberculosis.

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Blu-ray Review: Disaster L.A.: The Last Zombie Apocalypse Begins Here (2014, Dir, Turner Clay)

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Seeing as zombies aren’t my favorite movie monsters I was surprised that the last zombie flick I added to my collection was John Gulager’s Zombie Night (2013), and it’s not because I don’t like Gulager. He did a masterful job with Feast (2005) and a not bad job with Feast II (2008), it’s just the distributor who footed the bill for Zombie Night, The Asylum, I’m not a fan of. But they are showing some promise these days with their Syfy channel zombie series, Z Nation, which so far I’m a fan of.

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Blu-ray Review: Tarzan (2013, Dir, Reinhard Klooss)

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The best version I ever saw of Tarzan in any kind of celluloid form was Greystoke: The Legend Of Tarzan, Lord Of The Apes (1984), so far I have not seen a better movie about Edgar Rice Burroughs’ character. The only animated movie I’m aware of tackled this character was Disney’s Tarzan (1999). Now we come to this “animated” version of Tarzan, a CGI motion capture flick, that’s PG, has no talking animals or characters breaking into song and is decidedly more adult, at least when it comes to life and death matters. But that doesn’t make it a good Tarzan movie in my book. It was interesting enough to keep me captivated till the end, but I can’t see myself wanting to watch it more times than I have to.

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Movie Review: Third Person (2013, Dir. Paul Haggis)

Third Person Movie Review

Third Person written and directed by Paul Haggis (Crash) tells several interlocking stories (just like Crash) connected by theme, and similar back-stories with a tone of sincere emotion (just. like. Crash).

These stories are implied to be spawned from the mind of a once Pullitzer prize winning writer, Michael (Liam Neeson), who, now on his sixth or seventh novel, has lost that spark of full self-exposition his first book had, and sits in a Paris hotel trudging through his latest literary efforts. After a somber conversation with his assumedly estranged wife, Elaine (Kim Basinger), he is met with his all-around troubled girlfriend/mistress Anna (Olivia Wilde) who is prone to mercurial behavior, but still has him eating out of her hand.

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Blu-Ray Review: The Legend Of Hercules (2013, Dir, Renny Harlin)

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I’m a big fan of sword and sandals/sword and sorcery movies and have a shelf worth of them in one of my DVD cabinets but to date I still don’t have any Hercules adaptations. And Hercules is one of those mythic characters that Hollywood has been making movies about since the 50s. I was hoping Renny Harlin’s new film here, The Legend Of Hercules, would be my first but sadly it won’t be.

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Movie Review: 95ers: Time Runners (2013, Dir. Thomas Gomez)

95ers: Time Runners Movie Review

When thinking of low budget, sci-fi, time travel films, one almost instantaneously comes to mind: Nacho Vigalondo’s Los Cronocrímenes (titled Timecrimes in the U.S.). An enthralling story, great acting, the director/writer’s first name is Nacho – basically, you can’t go wrong! It had a grandiose feel, with minimal budget and kept me on the edge of my seat throughout. At this point, you, dear reader, are probably thinking: “Jeez, they sure messed up the title of this review. This guy is talking about a completely different movie!” Don’t worry, I’m getting to it! Sci-fi and time travel CAN be messed up; countless films are below B-grade and more often than not, on the SyFy channel (though, they can acknowledge and use the cheesiness to their advantage). Director/writer Thomas Gomez Durham’s 95ers: Time Runners is an example of time travel gone wrong.

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Movie Review: Cesar Chavez (2014, Dir. Diego Luna)

you-won-cannes-cesar-chavez-movie-review-top-image Cesar Chavez tells the story of one man’s struggle to protect field workers against the tyranny of corporate greed. It’s a biopic that I’m surprised hasn’t been made yet. I remember a time when biographic epics were a big deal. Ghandi swept the Oscars when it came out. We can’t forget Lawrence of Arabia before that. I guess you can throw the ancient history epics like Cleopatra and Sparticus in there too. I’ve never been all that enticed by the biography genre, unless you count Goodfellas and Mommy Dearest. The movies about well-known historical figures have never quite captivated me, because I assume they will fall short, and they usually do. You can only tell so much about a famous person’s life, and the stuff that isn’t a famed part of history can seem dull. I did like A Royal Affair, but that’s because it was so unfamiliar to me. The writing and acting in that were phenomenal in exactly the same way they weren’t in the movie Diana. I’m not sure what I expect from these films, but whatever it is, it generally isn’t delivered.

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Movie Review: Vikingdom (2013, Dir. Yusry Abd Halim)

Vikingdom (2013) Movie Review I think I got into Dungeons & Dragons back in the sixth grade, hearing about it for the first time in Dynamite magazine, although I didn’t really start playing it until I got into my sophomore year of high school. Because of this, I have a weakness for medieval fantasy movies and there have been a ton of them that reminded me of D&D. They even started making movies based on Dungeons & Dragons; unfortunately, they have all been, for the most part, lackluster.

Peter Jackson’s Lord Of The Rings and The Hobbit adaptations are the best when it comes to being D&D inspired. And then there’s Vikingdom. The trailer was good enough for me to want to see it. Like with most of these fantasy flicks, it had me reminiscing about my D&D times. The movie, however, is a different story.

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Movie Review: Toad Road (2012, Dir. Jason Banker)

Toad Road (2012) Movie Review

I have a confession to make, everybody. When Occupy Wall Street was going on, I happened to side with the people who were against Wall Street. I’m not a fan of banks in general, but those kids had a point. Rich people have always, and will always, suck.

But, I just watched Toad Road and now I don’t know what to believe. I saw these fucking kids time and time again at those goddamn rallies. The same kids that live off credit lines while living out a self-righteous minimalist lifestyle that outsources their cash to drugs and cover charges are the kids that pollute the story of Toad Road. I want to show this movie to the Obama administration, just so that he can make Jason Banker’s film a federal crime against the progression of culture by ruining the namesake of art so badly that it’s offensive.

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