new movies

Conspiracies and Trauma Take Flight in 'Cosmic Dawn'

D.M. Palmer

The film’s fractured narrative structure increases a feeling of disorientation; past and present selves run parallel to underscore that these planes of existence are inextricable; this has all been preordained; the story has already been told, and Aurora is merely moving toward her fate. Dialogue is delivered with a consciously unnatural cadence, which brings tension to every exchange, as if there is a subtext to every word which has to be deciphered.

‘The Weasels’ Tale’ Delivers Great Characters and Unexpected Twists and Turns

Ulises Duenas

The chemistry among these four characters is great. Mara is stuck living in the past and sees her jaded friends Norberto and Martin as tormentors for wanting her to confront the reality that the good days are long gone. They constantly take small jabs at each other but are much more overtly hostile towards the realtors trying to manipulate Mara. While Mara is clearly delusional and self-centered, you do feel sympathy for her to some degree.

‘Film Fest’ Is a Solid Satire of the Indie Movie Scene

Ulises Duenas

The biggest laughs and most interesting moments come one after another towards the end of Film Fest. Film Fest shows that making a movie is just the tip of the iceberg for filmmakers and how crazy and seedy the marketing side of the industry can be even at the lower levels of the industry. It also shows the heart of the indie movie scene and how filmmakers will struggle through all the nonsense to see their vision realized.

A Chilling Cat-and-Mouse Game Ensues in ‘The Little Things’

Garrett Hartman

The performances are terrific, with Jared Leto giving a particularly superb performance as the  prime suspect, Albert Sparma. Leto creates an eerily charming antagonist who perfectly plays to the air of mystery, doubt, and confusion the film aims to create.  In typical noir style, the film offers no heroes -- which is utilized to serve the film’s theme on obsession and the nature of justice. Instead of conflicted characters who falter clearly behind the lines of right and wrong, these  characters always seem to be in the middle of the road.

‘The War With Grandpa’: A Sweet but Painfully Unrealistic Family Movie

Forrest Hartman

De Niro and Thurman are too good – and too famous – to be in a picture like this. The same can be said for Christopher Walken, who appears in several scenes as one of Ed’s buddies. These actors elevate the movie to a degree, and I admittedly laughed, probably more than I should have. That said, The War With Grandpa is not objectively good. It mixes TV comedy plotting with an A-list cast and thematic elements that are slightly disturbing.

‘Pride,’ ‘The Good Lie’ Arrive on Home Video

Forrest Hartman

Canadian director Philippe Falardeau’s feature film about the Lost Boys of Sudan is a predictable yet thoroughly enjoyable tale about perseverance, love and humanity’s odd bilateral nature. The movie starts in Sudan where a number of youth are displaced after their parents are murdered during the second Sudanese civil war. Alone and desperate to survive, they begin a long and dangerous march to Kenya. 

Maleficent,’ ‘Hercules’ Arrive on Home Video

Forrest Hartman

In truth, “Maleficent” is a winner no matter how one feels about “Sleeping Beauty.” A viewer could conceivably enjoy the film without even watching the original, but it’s definitely more fun for the acquainted. Familiarity with the cartoon allows viewers to contrast pre-existing impressions of Maleficent against those generated by the new picture, and that makes things interesting from an academic standpoint. 

‘Edge of Tomorrow,’ ‘Million Dollar Arm’ Arrive on Home Video

Forrest Hartman

Time travel movies are tricky, but director Doug Liman has delivered a science-fiction gem with “Edge of Tomorrow,” a fast-paced, action-heavy affair that plays like a mash up of “Groundhog Day” and “War of the Worlds.”  The picture is set in a near future where frightening, tentacular creatures have launched an all-out assault on Earth. Just when it looks like the alien beings are invincible, Sgt. Rita Vrataski (Emily Blunt) leads humanity to an impressive victory using a heavily armed exoskeleton.  

‘Life of Crime’ Boasts a Splendid Cast, But Slow-Paced Plot

Angelo Franco

In a timely fashion, Life of Crime opens to pay homage to Elmore Leonard’s vast collection of crime fiction and the many adaptations they have spawned.  The film, which first screened at last year’s Toronto Film Festival days after Leonard’s death, relies on a fitting cast and a script that rarely deviates from Leonard’s original dialogue.  Perhaps the truest adaptation to one of the author’s novels, Life of Crime starts off sardonic but pleasing and gets you hooked right away.  But then it dozes off for most of its hour and half runtime before it wraps itself nicely with a bow on top. 

‘Divergent,’ ‘Oculus’ Arrive on Home Video

Forrest Hartman

The plotting of the book and movie centers on Beatrice “Tris” Prior (Shailene Woodley), a teenager who must choose her place in society. In her world, it is customary for youth to be tested for various personality traits, then asked to devote themselves to one of five related factions. When Tris’ test indicates that she could fit into several of these groupings, she is warned to keep quiet. 

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