“10 Cloverfield Lane” on IMDB
Drama/Thriller, 104 Minutes, 2016
This is said to be a sequel, of sorts, to 2008’s big budget found-footage, love-it-or-hate-it epic Cloverfield [IMDB]. If so, the connection is, to be generous, tenuous. The films are vastly different in tone, style and pacing and lack any obvious overlap. They are similar thematically, however. Both focus on small, personal stories occurring on the periphery of enormous, world-altering events.
“He Never Died” on IMDB
Drama/Thriller, 99 Minutes, 2015
[Some films simply can’t be discussed without exposing something. This is one of them. They will be kept to a minimum, but there will be spoilers ahead.]
“The Lobster” on IMDB
Drama/Comedy/Romance, 118 Minutes, 2015
Remember the pain of the last time you were dumped? That feeling of betrayal and loss? How you’d mope around the house until the police came to take you to The Hotel where, if you didn’t find a suitable mate in 45 days, you’d be turned into the animal of your choice and let loose in the woods?
“The Boy” on IMDB
Thriller/Horror, 104 Minutes, 2015
Motels are creepy. Alfred Hitchcock knew that in 1960 when he set his classic thriller Psycho [IMDB] in one. By their very nature they’re nowhere. After all, if you were somewhere, there would be a hotel, right? Motels are where people end up when they can’t get where they’re going. Motels are awkward, uncomfortable, and far from people or the hope of help.
“Me and Earl and the Dying Girl” on IMDB
Comedy/Drama, 105 Minutes, 2015
At first blush (perhaps second and third, as well) this is a movie trying too hard. It’s a quirky indie comedy/drama that runs, intentionally or not, slavishly through the quirky indie comedy/drama playbook. The question is, does it have anything worthwhile to say?
“The Hateful Eight” on IMDB
Western/Drama, 187 Minutes, 2015
One thing can be said for Quentin Tarantino [IMDB] films: they’re easy to dismiss. Before a tirade about how over-rated his films are, you’ll often hear “too violent”, “too long” or “too complicated”. Tarantino’s films are hard. They require a commitment from the audience that some are unwilling to make. “The Hateful Eight” is no different.
“Metropia” on IMDB
Mystery/Drama, 86 Minutes, 2009
The trailer for this begins “In a world…”, so you know it’s going to be something different! Or at least a different version of something you’ve seen before. Or maybe something exactly the same as what you’ve seen before, but with a different paint job.
This is that last one.
“The Sisterhood of Night” on IMDB
Drama/Mystery, 104 Minutes, 2014
Before I begin, an admission: I had no interest in seeing this. At all. I gave it a glance and dismissed it as another brooding, tween, After School Special melodrama. Somebody would offer somebody else drugs, they’d just say no. Somebody else would cry and so forth and so on. I am, however, married, and this film was shot in my lovely bride’s hometown at her former high school.
So, guess who got to watch “The Sisterhood of Night”?
After many years building their skills producing award winning short films, Pixar quietly slipped Toy Story [IMDB] onto the big screens in 1995. Initially a curiosity – it was the first feature-length computer animated film – it quickly won over audiences and critics. The movie became an instant classic and established Pixar as a force to be reckoned with.
This initial success was short lived. It was replaced by mind-numbing, Earth-shattering success. Their 16 feature films have earned 12 Oscars and over four billion dollars in ticket sales (and that’s not counting the billions more in home media, partnerships and merchandising). No studio in history has enjoyed such a consistent record over such a long period of time.
“The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” on IMDB
Comedy/Drama, 122 Minutes, 2015
I was a big fan of the first film (my review). I spoke extensively about the quality of films featuring older, more experienced actors. This movie? That thing I said: same thing again. That’s not a particularly bad thing. I liked the first movie. It had an amazing cast, a funny, but understated, script and a simple, heart-warming message. This is more of the same and the same is pretty good.