Movies

Movies

Fri
31
Oct

Gyllenhaal and Gilroy Get Gloriously Creepy in "Nightcrawler"

Jake Gyllenhaal and Rene Russo in Nightcrawler, opening 10/31/14

Dan Gilroy has always been a solid screenwriter, He wrote one my favorite early 90s sci-fi movies, the under-appreciated “Freejack,” which starred Emilio Estevez, Mick Jagger, Anthony Hopkins and Gilroy’s wife, the beautiful and talented Rene Russo. He followed that up with “Chasers”, a silly comedy featuring Baywatch beauty Erika Eleniak, Tom Berenger, and Crispin “George McFly” Glover. More recently he wrote “Real Steel,” the robot boxing movie with Hugh Jackman and “The Bourne Legacy” starring Jeremy Renner. Most of his films have done pretty well, and with his most recent effort, “Nightcrawler,” he finally gets to sit in the director’s chair. With one of the most versatile lead actors in the business and a couple of always-reliable supporting actors, and a juicy story to tell, Gilroy’s first directorial effort is not only a hit, it could get some Oscar nominations.

Thu
30
Oct

The Divergent Series: Insurgent Will Get 3D Release

The Divergent Series: Insurgent

Critics weren't kind to DIVERGENT, but audiences held a different opinion (41% to 71%, respectively, as ranked by Rotten Tomatoes). So how to ensure a better take on the sequel, THE DIVERGENT SERIES: INSURGENT?

By going 3D, of course! Summit Entertainment has made it official, and to get fans of the series pumped up for the March 20, 2015 release, they've released a set of interactive 3D character posters.

Tue
28
Oct

#LionsgateHorror Digital Download Contest: The Blair Witch Project

The Blair Witch Project

This contest has ended. The randomly selected winner is:

Diane V of Chesterfield, VA.

 

Ah, the digital life! We no longer have to set aside valuable space in our homes to store our movies. Now they can reside in cyberspace, or on our hard drives.

And that's the crux of our giveaway this time: One lucky entrant will win a Digital Download code for THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT. Just enter your information in the form below and be entered into the contest. Be sure to review all the rules regarding eligibility. CriticalBlast.com will not, does not, doesn't plan to, and will never share your personal information, and all entries are deleted upon confirmation of prize delivery to the selected winner's address. (Thank you, U.S. Postal Service, for online tracking!)

Thu
23
Oct

Avenger vs. Avenger in Marvel's "Avengers: Age of Ultron" Trailer

Marvel's Avengers: Age of Ultron

A haunting version of Pinocchio's "I've Got No Strings" trills chillingly through this trailer for "Marvel's Avengers: Age of Ultron" trailer, and the action we are seeing here is the most intense of any Marvel movie to date. Thor vs. Tony Stark. Iron Man (in the Hulkbuster armor) vs. The Hulk. Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver in action. The broken shield of Captain America, symbolizing, perhaps, the broken S.H.I.E.L.D. post "Captain America: The Winter Soldier."

It's the kind of trailer that makes you want to run out right now and buy a ticket, then wait in the front row for the lights to dim -- until you realize there's still six months left to go before you'll see the actual film.

James Spader's narration over the trailer is convincingly menacing, as we watch the separate stories our heroes have just completed converge into a connected arc, with the world falling down around them. You will believe this could be the end of the team as we know it.

Tue
21
Oct

Goodman, Crystal Reunite for Monsters University Short

Monsters University Party Central

Who doesn't love a free film, even if it's a short one? Disney•Pixar has released online the new Monsters University short, "Party Central," part of a Halloween Spooktacular! The film is currently available for iPhone or iPad, or at DisneyMoviesAnywhere.com. (Psst! You can download the app at http://di.sn/hvV.)

Billy Crystal and John Goodman reprise their roles as Mike and Sully, who return to Oozma Kappa for a party with their frat brothers. When nobody shows up, the two buddies hatch a plan to make sure "Party Central" is the most epic party the campus has ever seen!

Check out the clip below for just a taste.

 

Sun
19
Oct

Swedish Thriller LFO Delivers Low Key, High Concept Sci-Fi

LFO

Dark Sky Films delivers a Swedish treat that explores all the dark corners of the average put-upon man. In LFO (which stands for low frequency oscillations), sound engineer Robert Nord (Patrik Karlson) is a socially inept Walter Mitty personality who discovers a combination of sound frequencies that serve to immediately bypass and shut down the brain's sensory receptors. It not only puts the body into a state of complete relaxation, but it opens the mind to accept commands. In short, LFO's conceit is the ultimate in mind-control fantasy, put into the hands of a man with no immediate long-range plans on how to use it.

Sat
18
Oct

Witching & Bitching Bubbling To Become Cult Classic

Witching & Bitching on DVD

“Witching & Bitching” is a campy, off the cuff, over the top sci-fi comedy that just screams to be the next cult classic. This film by Alex De La Iglesia is made in Spain with English subtitles and is available on DVD from IFC films.

Mon
13
Oct

"Venus in Fur" Flows Smooth as Sable Stole

Venus in Fur

“Venus in Fur” takes place in a Paris theater, where the director of a play about a woman entering into an agreement to dominate her male counterpart, feels exhausted and frustrated after holding auditions all day for the woman’s role and not finding anyone remotely close to what he is looking for. Just as he is getting ready to leave for the day, in from the rain barges a pushy domineering actress bent on getting an audition even though she is not prepared (or so it seems at first).

Fri
10
Oct

Jeremy Renner is Killer in Kill the Messenger

Jeremy Renner stars in Kill the Messenger, opening 10/10/2014

I tend to avoid pre-release publicity and trailers because I want to be surprised. I skimmed the press screening synopsis and saw the words, “Kill,” “Jeremy Renner,” “and “CIA.” My cursory glance at the press invite and the film’s title had me thinking action flick. It isn’t. It’s a thinking man’s thriller, a “JFK” for this generation. Michael Cuesta, more noted for directing episodes of Six Feet Under, Dexter, and Homeland than for film, has crafted a masterpiece of political intrigue and the cutthroat world of American mass media with “Kill the Messenger,” but I’m afraid it may not fare as well as it should in the box office. As Jack Nicholson famously said in “A Few Good Men,” “You can’t handle the truth!” I’m looking at you, America.

Fri
10
Oct

Dracula Untold Fails as Horror, but Fares Better as Superhero

Dracula Untold opens 10/10/2014

“Dracula Untold” is PG-13. If you’re hoping for a gory, bloody-squirting everywhere fang-fest, that simple sentence probably tells you everything you need to know. If, however, you’re not particularly a horror fan but like over-the-top action with a little tongue-in-cheek humor mixed into your violence and don’t take liberties with history as being sacrilegious, you might enjoy it.

Or, to put it another way, this is Dracula, the superhero. Ponder that. I’ll wait. 

Before you get all spastic about the lack of sparkles and shaved chests on werewolves (while the rest of us old school Universal Pictures horror buffs cringe at the same thought, and anything involving Kristen Stewart), take a deep breath and change your perspective a little. What other possible way can a movie studio possibly depict Dracula? He’s been done as the classic European gentleman bloodsucker, he’s been a blaxploitation caricature, and he’s been used to sell breakfast cereal.  It’s been done.

Mon
06
Oct

"Groundhog Day" Meets "Starship Troopers" in Cruise SF Flick "Edge of Tomorrow"

Edge of Tomorrow on Blu-ray

I love a good time travel flick, and Doug Liman's "Edge of Tomorrow" qualifies. The unique twist this Tom Cruise vehicle has going for it is the method used for for time traveling, and the restrictions put in place upon it. Specifically, Cruise's character can only ever go back in time to a specific moment -- and to get there, he has to die.

Fri
03
Oct

"The Good Lie" Rings True With Fresh Talent

"The Good Lie" starts 10/03/14.

Americans have it tough. Which cell phone company gives us the biggest bang for our buck? How secure are our pictures on our i-Phones and Android devices? Which lousy choice will we get to pick from for our next President? Who do I pick up to replace these criminals who keep getting suspended by the NFL for my fantasy league? Do I want Taco Bell or am I thinking Arby’s? Why in the world is Thor a woman in the comics when he’s a man in the movies? Why won’t my cell phone stay charged for the whole day? 

Wed
01
Oct

Obama, Oz Contrasted in Gilbert's "There's No Place Like Utopia"

Joel Gilbert, There's No Place Like Utopia

Joel Gilbert's latest documentary, THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE UTOPIA, is a two-hour coast-to-coast tour of America in decline. Using THE WIZARD OF OZ as a springboard, Gilbert draws comparisons from the Wizard -- a charlatan -- to President Barack Obama. Not being as complicated of a connect-the-dots as his previous work, DREAMS FROM MY REAL FATHER, UTOPIA is easier to follow, and more inventive in its employment of effects and its cogent use of parallel analogy.

Wed
01
Oct

Liam Neeson Brings the Action Again for "Taken 3"

Liam Neeson returns to the big screen one final time as Brian Mills -- the family man with a "certain set of skills." But this time, his efforts to protect his family fail -- and his wife is murdered.

Wanted by the police, the FBI, and the CIA, Mills must disappear, while simultaneously protecting the only person left in his life: his daughter.

Olivier Megaton's trailer for TAKEN 3 has just the right amount of explosions, car crashes, gunfire, and cool fighting moves to draw in the action movie audience. The music is well timed to the action, with just the right build to a crescendo, setting up the perfect silent moment for one of Neeson's coldly delivered tough guy phrases.

If you're a fan of the TAKEN series, you'll definitely want a seat for this 20th Century Fox offering as the story comes to its conclusion. But be warned that it's going to be a bit of a wait -- TAKEN 3 gets teased today, but it isn't in theaters until January 9, 2015!

Fri
26
Sep

"The Equalizer" Reunites Fuqua and Washington for Another Hit

The Equalizer, starring Denzel Washington and Maton Csokas, directed by Antoine Fuqua

Remember that old 1980s television show, The Equalizer? If you’re much younger than me you may not. It was a solid show but skewed much older demographically than my age at that time. The show featured that other Michael Caine, Edward Woodward. He was old, and he wasn’t taking any crap from anybody, that’s pretty much all I remember. Fast forward 30-odd years to the present and director Antoine Fuqua has recreated the concept with his “Training Day partner Denzel Washington playing an old guy who isn’t taking any crap from anybody. That’s pretty much the gist of it. What you’re wondering is: “Is it any good?”

Tue
23
Sep

"Kingsman: The Secret Service" Trailer Spotlights Action and Comedy

Kingsman: The Secret Service

The spies are back in business... in Hollywood, that is. Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has a strong television following, Scorpion is kicking off, "The Equalizer" is debuting in theaters, and the original series starring Edward Woodward is also getting a full-series release. And that's just scratching the surface.

"Kingsman: The Secret Service" is a blending of James Bond with "Men in Black." Colin Firth is Harry Hart, a seasoned spy and man of action. Taron Egerton is Eggsy, a young delinquent in whom Harry sees untapped potential. And Samuel L. Jackson gets to play the bad guy, Valentine (not the one in "The Mortal Instruments" but a different one), a little bit more unbalanced than his "Mr. Glass" portrayal in "Unbreakable."

Fri
19
Sep

Liam Neeson Nails Noir with "A Walk Among The Tombstones"

Liam Neeson in "A Walk Among the Tombstones;"  opens 9/19/14.

Liam Neeson is one cool cat. I enjoyed his work long before “Taken,” but after that gloriously performed throwback to the classic violent revenge films he was a bonafide superstar. Unfortunately for him, he’s dangerously close to being typecast. Whether it be the predictably subpar “Taken 2” or the surprising gem “The Grey,’ Neeson always seems to always play a man with a particular set of skills. “A Walk Among the Tombstones” may not seem all that different on the surface, but if you watch closely there’s a lot more to it than you might think.

Fri
19
Sep

"This Is Where I Leave You" Showcases Bateman and Fey but Lacks Substance

This Is Where I Leave You opens 9/19/14.

Life can be funny sometimes. You could be perfectly content, making good money at a job you actually enjoy, with a loving wife and a beautiful home, and then suddenly life throws a monkey wrench into the machine. Everything goes crazy for a while and hopefully, eventually, you come to terms with the changes and find a place of contentment.

Fri
19
Sep

Stop-Motion "The Boxtrolls" Swarm Big Screen September 26

The Boxtrolls

It's been a bajillion years in the making, but the much-awaited stop-motion animated film from the makers of "Coraline" and "ParaNorman" is finally headed into theaters this September 26.

Welcome to a whole new breed of family -- The Boxtrolls, a community of quirky, mischievous creatures who have lovingly raised an orphaned human boy named Eggs (voiced by Isaac Hempstead-Wright) in the amazing cavernous home they’ve built beneath the streets of Cheesebridge. When the town’s villain, Archibald Snatcher (Academy Award winner Ben Kingsley), comes up with a plot to get rid of the Boxtrolls, Eggs decides to venture above ground, “into the light,” where he meets and teams up with fabulously feisty Winnifred (Elle Fanning). Together, they devise a daring plan to save Eggs’ family.

Tue
16
Sep

Lionsgate Debuts Worldwide Trailer for "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1"

The Hunger Games has to be one of my favorite books. Mockingjay -- the third and final installment of the trilogy? Not so much. In fact, it was such a deviation in tone, style, and characterization that many readers felt let down, so much so that an essay on why people hated the third book made it into Smart Pop's collection, The Girl Who Was On Fire.

So it almost seems as though Lionsgate is adding insult to injury by taking "the worst of the three" and extending it out over two movies, drawing out the agony.

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