Showing category "0.00% Water" (Show all posts)

REVIEW: From A Celestial Ego to David Hasselhoff, Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2 Is All About the Unspoken Things

Posted by James Brown on Sunday, May 7, 2017, In : 0.00% Water 
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2





Directed By: James Gunn

Starring: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, Elizabeth Debicki, Chris Sullivan, Sean Gunn, Sylvester Stallone, and Kurt Russell


The summer blockbuster season is now upon us.  With it, we have Marvel's first big time up at bat in 2017.  We are on the road to Infinity War in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and the board is almost set.  The final pieces are moving, ...

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REVIEW: Beauty And The Beast (2017) – A Star-Studded Cast With A Tale As Old As Time & A Song As Old As Rhyme

Posted by SoberFilmChick on Wednesday, March 22, 2017, In : 0.00% Water 
Beauty and the Beast
SoberFilmChick




Directed by: Bill Condon

Starring: Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Luke Evans, Kevin Kline, Josh Gad, Ewan McGregor, Stanley Tucci, Audra McDonald, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Ian McKellen, and Emma Thompson


Disney is in the business of remakes.  As if the Marvel and Star Wars dynasties were not enough, the industry titan has decided to bring numerous cartoon classics to life.  In the last few years, Disney has released Cinderella and The Jungle Book to much success.   Live act...

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REVIEW: With the Persistent Love of An Ugly Woman, Martin Scorsese's Silence Is More Than A Formality of Faith for Two Padres in the Swamp of Japan

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, January 21, 2017, In : 0.00% Water 
Silence





Directed By: Martin Scorsese 

Starring: Andrew Garfield, Adam Driver, Tadanobu Asano, Ciarán Hinds, and Liam Neeson


For just the second time in the 21st century, director Martin Scorsese has directed a live action film not starring his second muse Leonardo DiCaprio — his first being longtime collaborator Robert De Niro.  Gangs of New York, The Aviator, The Departed, Shutter Island, and Wolf of Wall Street all featured DiCaprio.  His latest feature Silence, however, follows in the foot...

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REVIEW: Taking the Crookeds With the Straights, Troy Maxson Builds Fences From Mr. Death & His Hell Hounds

Posted by James Brown on Friday, December 30, 2016, In : 0.00% Water 
Fences





Directed By: Denzel Washington

Starring: Denzel Washington, Viola Davis, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Jovan Adepo, Russell Hornsby, Mykelti Williamson, and Saniyya Sidney


"You got to take the crookeds with the straights."
-Troy Maxson (Denzel Washington)

The statement above is especially true when it comes to Denzel Washington's acting career as of late.  For every Flight with which we're enamored, we have to deal with a slate of films such as Safe House, 2 Guns, and The Equalizer.  There ar...

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REVIEW: From Boulder City & Chicken On a Stick To Paris and Seb's, The Jazz-Filled La La Land Is For the Fools Who Dream Season After Season

Posted by James Brown on Monday, December 19, 2016, In : 0.00% Water 
La La Land





Directed By: Damien Chazelle

Starring: Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, John Legend, Rosemarie DeWitt, and J. K. Simmons


If there is such a thing as a liberal bubble, Hollywood is the absolute epitome of it.  There have been plenty of years where the film crowned best picture does not speak to the times in any way, shape, or form.  Just look to winners like No Country for Old Men, Birdman, and especially The Artist.  In two of these examples, it's clear that Hollywood has an affinity for mov...

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REVIEW: Given Her Necklace of Kyber Crystals, Rogue One's Hopeful Stardust Jyn Erso Is One With the Force and the Force Is With Her

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, December 17, 2016, In : 0.00% Water 
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story





Directed By: Gareth Edwards

Starring: Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Ben Mendelsohn, Donnie Yen, Mads Mikkelsen, Alan Tudyk, Riz Ahmed, Jiang Wen, and Forest Whitaker


"I am one with the force, and the force is with me."
-Chirrut Îmwe (Donnie Yen)

There is no doubt that Disney has had a mighty year with hit after hit after hit.  From The Jungle Book and Zootopia to Captain America: Civil War and Doctor Strange, the studio has had a banner year.  With rumors swirling about...

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REVIEW: With Joe Chandler's Congestive Heart Failure, Janitor Lee & Nephew Patrick Need a New Motor to Take Manchester by the Sea

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, December 3, 2016, In : 0.00% Water 
Manchester by the Sea





Directed By: Kenneth Lonergan

Starring: Casey Affleck, Michelle Williams, Kyle Chandler, Gretchen Mol, Lucas Hedges, and Matthew Broderick


We're starting to get a little deeper into awards season, and we're increasingly seeing studios bring out the big guns.  Enter Amazon Studios with Manchester by the Sea.  Incredibly lucky to have won the bidding on writer-director Kenneth Lonergan's latest feature instead of Nate Parker's directorial debut The Birth of a Nation at the Su...

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REVIEW: For Susan, The Creativity of Nocturnal Animals Is a Heartbeat Away from the Real World

Posted by James Brown on Thursday, November 24, 2016, In : 0.00% Water 
Nocturnal Animals





Directed By: Tom Ford

Starring: Amy Adams, Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Shannon, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Isla Fisher, Armie Hammer, Laura Linney, Andrea Riseborough, and Michael Sheen

If you've been reading my posts this awards season, you've probably noticed that I haven't given too many sober ratings as of late.  With the Oscars on the way, you would think there would be something fantastic that would come my way.  So far, this has not been the case.  That's about to change for the...

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REVIEW: Hell or High Water, Comanche Brothers Toby & Tanner Howard Set Their Sights on Texas Midlands Bank

Posted by James Brown on Sunday, August 28, 2016, In : 0.00% Water 
Hell or High Water





Directed By: David Mackenzie

Starring: Jeff Bridges, Chris Pine, Ben Foster, Gil Birmingham, and Katy Mixon


August may be a poor time to catch high quality big budget blockbusters.  Jason Bourne and Suicide Squad are most certainly potent examples of this.  Still, it's an excellent time to catch great independent or low budget films.  After all, the month of August is really the preamble to awards season and the glut of prestige films on the way in the next several months.  I'...

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REVIEW: Indignation Features Son of a Kosher Butcher & Atheist Marcus Messner Spurning Dean Caudwell & The Winesburg Chapel

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, August 13, 2016, In : 0.00% Water 
Indignation





Directed By: James Schamus

Starring: Logan Lerman, Sarah Gadon, Tracy Letts, Linda Emond, Danny Burstein, Ben Rosenfield, Pico Alexander, Philip Ettinger, and Noah Robbins

I'm really enjoying my return to independent film.  The timing couldn't have been better.  As the mainstream box office continues to largely disappoint, arthouse cinemas are here to pick up the pieces of aficionados' dashes hopes, as long as we're willing to indulge indie filmmakers' tendencies to experiment and di...

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REVIEW: Trying to Protect the Avengers With the Sokovia Accords & His Sunday Foundation, Tony Stank Causes the Empire to Fall in Captain America: Civil War

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, May 7, 2016, In : 0.00% Water 
Captain America: Civil War





Directed By: Anthony Russo and Joe Russo

Starring: Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Don Cheadle, Jeremy Renner, Chadwick Boseman, Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Rudd, Emily VanCamp, Tom Holland, Frank Grillo, William Hurt, and Daniel Brühl


"Our very strength incites challenge.  Challenge incites conflict.  And conflict... breeds catastrophe.  Supervision is not something to be dismissed out-of-hand."
-Vision (Paul...

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REVIEW: When Water Flows to Peace Rock Again, Man-Cub Mowgli Turns to the Red Flower & Dead Trees to Take on Shere Khan

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, April 16, 2016, In : 0.00% Water 
The Jungle Book





Directed By: Jon Favreau

Starring: Bill Murray, Ben Kingsley, Idris Elba, Lupita Nyong'o, Scarlett Johansson, Giancarlo Esposito, Christopher Walken, and Neel Sethi


"Now this is the law of the jungle, as old and as true as the sky,
And the wolf that shall keep it may prosper, but the wolf that shall break it must die.
 
As the creeper that girdles the tree trunk, the law runneth forward and back;
For the strength of the pack is the wolf, and the strength of the wolf is the pack."
-The...

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REVIEW: With Night Howlers, Pawpsicles & Godfather Mr. Big, Dumb Bunny Cop Jude the Dude & Sly Fox Nick Make Zootopia Better for Savage Predators & Prey Alike

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, March 5, 2016, In : 0.00% Water 
Zootopia





Directed By: Byron Howard and Rich Moore

Starring: Ginnifer Goodwin, Jason Bateman, Idris Elba, J.K. Simmons, Tommy Chong, Octavia Spencer, Jenny Slate, and Shakira


"Everyone comes to Zootopia, thinking they could be anything they want.  But you can't.  You can only be what you are.  Sly fox.  Dumb bunny.  And that is not wet cement."
-Nick Wilde (Jason Bateman)

This past Thursday night, fourteen million Americans had the distinct displeasure of watching the umpteenth Republican president...

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REVIEW: Beasts Of No Nation: A Chilling African Hunger Games

Posted by SoberFilmChick on Saturday, January 23, 2016, In : 0.00% Water 
Beasts of No Nation
SoberFilmChick




Directed by:  Cary Joji Fukunaga

Starring: Idris Elba, Abraham Attah, and Emmanuel Nii Adom Quaye


Netflix continues to innovate and produce quality entertainment in the streaming media realm with its release of Beasts of No Nation.  Netflix is currently streaming a gripping African war drama at a time when #Oscarssowhite is trending and wreaking havoc on the Academy Awards.  Many critics lament that Idris Elba was overlooked in the Oscar’s best supporting acto...

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REVIEW: A Tree with Strong Roots, The Revenant's Hugh Glass Learns That Revenge Is in God's Hands Not His

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, January 9, 2016, In : 0.00% Water 
The Revenant





Directed By: Alejandro G. Iñárritu


Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Domhnall Gleeson, and Will Poulter

"As long as you can still grab a breath, you fight.  You breathe.  Keep breathing.  When there is a storm.  And you stand in front of a tree.  If you look at its branches, you swear it will fall.  But if you watch the trunk, you will see its stability."
-Hugh Glass's Wife (Grace Dove)

The reigning Oscar champ is back!  I may not have been rooting for Birdman throughout last ...

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REVIEW: Flung Out of Space, Therese Gives Carol A Portfolio of Things to Worry Her Including Love & A Morality Clause

Posted by James Brown on Tuesday, December 29, 2015, In : 0.00% Water 
Carol





Directed By: Todd Haynes

Starring: Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara, Sarah Paulson, Kyle Chandler, and Jake Lacy


I've just about covered all the films in the mix this awards season, excluding The Revenant and 45 Years.  Throughout this year’s litany of films, I've mentioned that there was an uptick in the number of adaptations, and I still believe this holds true.  The Danish Girl, The Big Short, and Concussion have all continued this trend over the last couple of weeks.  Now, we have yet ano...

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REVIEW: On the Long Road to Red Rock with the Hangman & Daisy Domergue, Old Mary Todd's Calling The Hateful Eight to Minnie's Haberdashery For One Bloody Western

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, December 26, 2015, In : 0.00% Water 
The Hateful Eight





Directed By: Quentin Tarantino

Starring: Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Walton Goggins, Demián Bichir, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, Bruce Dern, and Channing Tatum


"You only need to hang mean bastards, but mean bastards you need to hang."
-The Hangman John Ruth (Kurt Russell)

Spend Christmas with someone you hate
.  Now, that's a catchy tagline.  It also rings true right now for some moviegoers spending their Christmas holiday with loathsome family members the...

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REVIEW: Up 489% on Its Initial Investment, The Big Short Serves Up One Damn Good Ice Cream Sundae With Sprinkles & A Cherry On Top

Posted by James Brown on Thursday, December 24, 2015, In : 0.00% Water 
The Big Short





Directed By: Adam McKay

Starring: Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Brad Pitt, Melissa Leo, Hamish Linklater, Rafe Spall, Marisa Tomei, Finn Wittrock, John Magaro, Adepero Oduye, and Max Greenfield


It's amazing how the best films can catch moviegoers by surprise.  2015 hasn't been a year boasting the strongest awards season contenders.  Sure, we have Bridge of Spies, Room, and Brooklyn.  The problem is, however, that there seems to be no front runner.  This isn't a year o...

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REVIEW: Immigrant Eilis Lacey Has a Fun Choice Between the Irish Catholic Life With Jim or the Brooklyn Dodgers Life With Tony

Posted by James Brown on Thursday, November 26, 2015, In : 0.00% Water 
Brooklyn





Directed By: John Crowley

Starring: Saoirse Ronan, Domhnall Gleeson, Emory Cohen, Jim Broadbent, Julie Walters, Jessica Paré, Eve Macklin, Nora-Jane Noone, and Emily Bett Rickards


Immigrant-themed period piece Brooklyn couldn't have had more perfect timing for its release.  It's a time when courts are blocking President Obama's executive action on immigration reform.  It's a time when Donald Trump and his fellow Republican presidential contenders are indoctrinating their base with the ...

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REVIEW: In the Shadow of His Family Rocky Balboa, Baby Creed Adonis Johnson Makes His Own Legacy One Step, One Punch, One Round At a Time

Posted by James Brown on Thursday, November 26, 2015, In : 0.00% Water 
Creed





Directed By: Ryan Coogler

Starring: Michael B. Jordan, Sylvester Stallone, Tessa Thompson, Phylicia Rashad, and Tony Bellew
 
I have to admit that I was baffled when I learned that Ryan Coogler was directing Creed.  After all, the breakout director of Fruitvale Station delving into the seventh act of the Rocky Balboa saga for his second feature film isn't a career move that makes a whole lot of sense at first glance.  This is especially true when you consider the fact that the aging Sylvest...

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REVIEW: With Joy and Jack Newsome, Room Rolls, Wiggles Free, and Jumps to Greatness From A Garden Shed World

Posted by James Brown on Thursday, October 29, 2015, In : 0.00% Water 
Room





Directed By: Lenny Abrahamson

Starring: Brie Larson, Jacob Tremblay, Joan Allen, Sean Bridgers, and William H. Macy


Brie Larson has been one to watch over the last several years.  From bit roles in Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World and 21 Jump Street to meatier supporting roles in The Spectacular Now and Don Jon, Larson has stolen scenes in film after film.  Her breakout lead role was equally impressive in the outstanding indie drama Short Term 12.  Since then, she's had supporting roles in The G...

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REVIEW: In Bridge of Spies, Standing Man James B. Donovan Gives Us More Than Just a 2-for-1 at Glienicke Bridge & Checkpoint Charlie

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, October 17, 2015, In : 0.00% Water 
Bridge of Spies





Directed By: Steven Spielberg

Starring: Tom Hanks, Mark Rylance, Amy Ryan, and Alan Alda


"You're not worried?!"
-James B. Donovan (Tom Hanks)
"Would it help?"
-Rudolf Abel (Mark Rylance)

There is such a thing as a match made in heaven on the big screen.  Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks are living proof of this.  You need to look no further than films such as Saving Private Ryan, Catch Me If You Can, and The Terminal.  Any collaboration between these two cinema legends is a 2-for-1 spe...

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REVIEW: In The Martian, Ares Space Pirate Mark Watney Doubles As Iron Man to Pull Off Project Elrond & Survive More Than 500 Sols With Potatoes

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, October 3, 2015, In : 0.00% Water 
The Martian





Directed By: Ridley Scott

Starring: Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, Jeff Daniels, Michael Peña, Kate Mara, Sean Bean, Sebastian Stan, Aksel Hennie, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Donald Glover, and Mackenzie Davis


Alfonso Cuaron's Gravity may have hit a nerve in the human psyche and started a trend at the box office.  Every year since Gravity's debut on the big screen back in 2013, we've had a space epic arrive.  With each, we have interesting collective dialogue about the authentici...

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REVIEW: In the Land of Wolves, Sicario Kate Macer Fights the Coming Medellin

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, October 3, 2015, In : 0.00% Water 
Sicario





Directed By: Denis Villeneuve

Starring: Emily Blunt, Benicio del Toro, Josh Brolin, Victor Garber, and Jon Bernthal


There are lots of great movies out there, but there are few that I would characterize as beasts.  There's a certain raw energy that marks these kinds of movies that's unmistakable.  The Wolf of Wall Street had a beast-like ferocity.  Whiplash raged.  Mad Max: Fury Road roared into theaters earlier this summer.  These are the kinds of great movies we don't get every day.  Th...

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REVIEW: The Facts Behind Mr. Holmes' Long Life on the Big Screen Include Royal Jelly, Prickly Ash & the Delightful Charms of Sir Ian McKellen

Posted by James Brown on Sunday, July 19, 2015, In : 0.00% Water 
Mr. Holmes





Directed By: Bill Condon

Starring: Sir Ian McKellen, Laura Linney, Hiroyuki Sanada, and Milo Parker

In the pantheon of British fictional characters, there are three reigning kings.  Harry Potter certainly has a place in our hearts with the magic he's to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in recent years.  MI-6 secret agent James Bond has had us preferring our martinis shaken not stirred for more than half a century now.  The most iconic British character of them all, however, ...

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REVIEW: Inside Out of Riley's Mind With Core Memories & TripleDent Gum Commercials, Joy & Sadness Take a Fun Ride Through the Islands of Personality & Imagination Land

Posted by James Brown on Sunday, June 21, 2015, In : 0.00% Water 
Inside Out





Directed By: Pete Docter

Starring: Amy Poehler, Phyllis Smith, Bill Hader, Lewis Black, and Mindy Kaling


America could use a little happiness right about now.  With the atrocities that took place in Charleston, South Carolina this week, I'm certain that many of our hearts are heavy.  Regardless of what anyone in the media or the blogosphere says, racism and gun control are two of the crucial issues of our time.  The desire to pick up a gun and go kill black people is not a mental illn...

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REVIEW: The Part Where You Respect the Research On the Doomed Friendships of Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

Posted by James Brown on Sunday, June 14, 2015, In : 0.00% Water 
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl





Directed By: Alfonso Gomez-Rejon


Starring: Thomas Mann, Olivia Cooke, Ronald Cyler II, Jon Bernthal, Nick Offerman, Connie Britton, and Molly Shannon

We've had a terrific run of coming-of-age movies in recent years.  Boyhood, The Way, Way Back, The Spectacular Now, Short Term 12, Mud, and The Kings of Summer have all risen to the occasion at one point or another in the last several years.  What's so marvelous about this list of quality movies is that they're all so...

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REVIEW: O Negative High Octane Universal Donor Mad Max Rides on Fury Road With Furiosa for the Green Land With the War Boys Hot on Their Trail

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, May 16, 2015, In : 0.00% Water 
Mad Max: Fury Road





Directed By: George Miller

Starring: Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult, Hugh Keays-Byrne, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Riley Keough, Zoë Kravitz, Abbey Lee, and Courtney Eaton

At the beginning of the year, I said that 2015 was the year of the reborn franchise.  Just look to upcoming installments for the Jurassic Park, Terminator, and Star Wars series.  It's undeniable.  There's one franchise introducing itself to a new generation of moviegoers this weekend that has a k...

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REVIEW: In the Old Fashioned 5 to 7, Writer Brian Bloom & His Perfect Love The Mermaid Arielle Swing from the Heels

Posted by James Brown on Sunday, April 26, 2015, In : 0.00% Water 
5 to 7





Directed By: Victor Levin

Starring: Anton Yelchin, Bérénice Marlohe, Glenn Close, Frank Langella, Lambert Wilson, and Olivia Thirlby

"I will hold your heart more tenderly than my own."
-Valery & Arielle (Lambert Wilson & Bérénice Marlohe)

I've noted this on several occasions before, but the best films often help me to either broaden or reassess my perspective on this big blue world in which we live.  I've rarely said this about films tackling matters of the heart, however.  All that bei...

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REVIEW: Ex Machina's Turing Test of Magician's Assistant Ava & Her Bluebook Software Boasts One Intriguing Chess Match With No Power Cuts

Posted by James Brown on Sunday, April 19, 2015, In : 0.00% Water 
Ex Machina





Directed By: Alex Garland


Starring: Domhnall Gleeson, Alicia Vikander, and Oscar Isaac

There are many themes that have come to define the science fiction genre over the years.  Space travel, time travel, and aliens are just a few that pervade the genre.  One particular theme has stood out prominently in the last several decades, namely the battle of man versus machine.  It's mankind against the artificially intelligent beings we've created.  With films like The Terminator and The Matr...

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REVIEW: With the IRA on the Hunt in Belfast in '71, British Soldier Gary Hook Finds Himself in a Confused Situation & Has One Bloody, Brutal Night

Posted by James Brown on Sunday, March 22, 2015, In : 0.00% Water 
'71





Directed By: Yann Demange

Starring: Jack O'Connell, Richard Dormer, Sean Harris, Sam Reid, Charlie Murphy, Paul Anderson, and Paul Popplewell

I must admit that I've been a bit of a pessimist when it comes to the cinematic landscape as of late.  In the interest of full disclosure, there's nothing that's quite motivating me to make my way to my local theater.  The next movie on my radar is Avengers: Age of Ultron, which will not arrive until May.  While many would argue that this predisposes m...

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REVIEW: Wild Tales Rages Comically With Gabrielle Pasternak, Bombita, An Angry Driver, Rat Poison, & One Crazy Bride

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, March 21, 2015, In : 0.00% Water 
Wild Tales (Relatos Salvajes)





Directed By: Damián Szifron

Starring: Ricardo Darín, Oscar Martínez, Leonardo Sbaraglia, Érica Rivas, Rita Cortese, Julieta Zylberberg, and Darío Grandinetti

I normally am not one to review short films, but I must make an exception in the case of Damián Szifron's Wild Tales.  This Argentinian anthology of shorts offers the biggest laughs I've had in a movie theater since last year's Chef.  It's a rather insane series of films, but they all deliver incredible h...

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REVIEW: Unusually Attached to Mommy Die, Steve Loves to Mingle, Especially With Kyla

Posted by James Brown on Friday, February 27, 2015, In : 0.00% Water 
Mommy





Directed By: Xavier Dolan

Starring: Anne Dorval, Antoine-Olivier Pilon, and Suzanne Clément

I've said this a million times, but I love movies about crazy people.  These are the kinds of films that feature immensely intriguing characters and offer loads of spontaneity.  These are the kinds of films that tend to boast fuller, richer performances that resonate with me.  It's one of the reasons I love Xavier Dolan's Mommy.  The Canadian drama boasts some fascinating performances as Dolan navi...

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REVIEW: To Fuel His American Dream, Abel Morales Endures A Most Violent Year On the Most Right Path

Posted by James Brown on Tuesday, January 20, 2015, In : 0.00% Water 
A Most Violent Year





Directed By: J. C. Chandor


Starring: Oscar Isaac, Jessica Chastain, David Oyelowo, Alessandro Nivola, and Albert Brooks

Margin Call, All Is Lost, and A Most Violent Year all have something in common, and it's not just that they're the first three feature films by prolific director J. C. Chandor.  These terrific movies have not gotten the recognition they deserve at the culmination of awards season.  The corporate thriller Margin Call about the 2008 financial crisis notched ju...

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REVIEW: For the Dignity of the Vote in Selma, Dr. King, the SCLC, & SNCC Negotiate, Demonstrate, and Resist to Outstanding Effect

Posted by James Brown on Friday, December 26, 2014, In : 0.00% Water 
Selma





Directed By: Ava DuVernay

Starring: David Oyelowo, Carmen Ejogo, Tim Roth, Lorraine Toussaint, Common, Giovanni Ribisi, Omar Dorsey, Andre Holland, Niecy Nash, Colman Domingo, Wendell Pierce, Tessa Thompson, Keith Stanfield, Stephan James, Alessandro Nivola, Cuba Gooding, Jr., Martin Sheen, Tom Wilkinson, and Oprah Winfrey


"A state trooper pointed the gun, but he did not act alone.
He was murdered by the brutality of every sheriff who practices lawlessness in the name of law.

He was murdered...

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REVIEW: Interstellar Travel & Newton's Third Law Help Cooper, Brand, & TARS Find the 5th Dimension & Murphy's Ghost in a Gargantuan Wormhole

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, November 8, 2014, In : 0.00% Water 
Interstellar





Directed By: Christopher Nolan

Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Michael Caine, Bill Irwin, Ellen Burstyn, Casey Affleck, John Lithgow, Topher Grace, David Gyasi, Josh Stewart, and Matt Damon

"Do not go gentle into that good night; Old age should burn and rave at close of day.  Rage, rage against the dying of the light."
-Dylan Thomas

Ambition is the cornerstone of truly great filmmaking.  If a filmmaker is not taking creative risks and is being overly ca...

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REVIEW: Confusing Admiration for Love, Birdman's Super Realism Is the Unexpected Virtue of Our Cinematic Ignorance

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, October 25, 2014, In : 0.00% Water 
Birdman





Directed By: Alejandro González Iñárritu


Starring: Michael Keaton, Zach Galifianakis, Edward Norton, Andrea Riseborough, Amy Ryan, Emma Stone, Lindsay Duncan, and Naomi Watts

"Popularity is the slutty little cousin of prestige."
-Mike Shiner (Edward Norton)

Twenty five years later, it's hard to deny the influence of Tim Burton's Batman and its star Michael Keaton.  Just look at the state of mainstream cinema today.  As we eagerly await the latest news bytes on Doctor Strange, X-Men: Apo...

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REVIEW: For His Double-Time Swing Tempo for Caravan, Whiplash's Jo Jones Throws a Cymbal at Neyman to Turn Him Into the Next Charlie Parker

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, October 18, 2014, In : 0.00% Water 
Whiplash





Directed By: Damien Chazelle


Starring: Miles Teller and J. K. Simmons


On this weekend, I come face to face with my 27th birthday.  Though that may sound a bit overdramatic, it is nonetheless true.  With this, I've been reflecting on life, what I've done and where I've been in this first quarter of it.  Coupling this with the fact that I was just at a dear friend's wedding a few weeks ago at which I opened up a figurative time capsule and saw some familiar faces from high school, the arr...

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REVIEW: Thanks to A Sugar Storm at The Bar, Gone Girl Amazing Amy Dunne Trounces Her Husband Nick's Killer Smile

Posted by James Brown on Friday, October 3, 2014, In : 0.00% Water 
Gone Girl





Directed By: David Fincher

Starring: Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Neil Patrick Harris, Tyler Perry, Carrie Coon, and Scoot McNairy

"What are you thinking?  What are you feeling?  What have we done to each other?  What will we do?"
-Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck)

Awards season has begun on a rather wicked note.  Oddly enough, I find myself in the peculiar position of kicking things off admitting just how wrong I was about a movie.  That movie is David Fincher's Gone Girl.  I haven't read the boo...

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REVIEW: Guardians Of The Galaxy – Star-Lord Takes Us On A Fun Action-Packed Ride To The Tunes of the Awesome Mix-Vol. 1

Posted by SoberFilmChick on Saturday, August 2, 2014, In : 0.00% Water 
Guardians of the Galaxy
SoberFilmChick




Directed by:  James Gunn

Starring: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Lee Pace, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Djimon Hounsou, John C. Reilly, Glenn Close, and Benicio del Toro

Marvel has done it again.  In a summer filled with lackluster movies, audiences finally have something to smile about: Guardians of the Galaxy.  While films based on Marvel comics have always had an element of humor, Guardians of the Galaxy is a superh...

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REVIEW: Like Mason in Richard Linklater's Boyhood, We're All Just Winging It Through Life Without Bumpers As the Moment Seizes Us

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, July 19, 2014, In : 0.00% Water 
Boyhood





Directed By: Richard Linklater

Starring: Patricia Arquette, Ellar Coltrane, Lorelei Linklater, and Ethan Hawke

I'm always in search of bold, refreshing filmmaking that pushes the bounds of what cinema can be.  Rarely, do I actually find it.   On this otherwise ordinary weekend at the movies, I think we've found something special, something extraordinary.  The vast majority of films go into production for several months.  Well, on this weekend, we have a movie that went into production fo...

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REVIEW: Life Itself Is a Machine That Generates Empathy About the Life and Times of Roger Ebert, A Soldier of Cinema

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, July 5, 2014, In : 0.00% Water 
Life Itself





Directed By: Steve James

Starring: Roger Ebert, Chaz Ebert, Gene Siskel, Martin Scorsese, Werner Herzog, and Ava DuVernay


Nearly three years ago, Sobriety Test Movie Reviews (STMR) was born.  This time in 2011, I was planning content, finalizing designs, and figuring out what this site could really be.  I was doing it all because of my endless love for film.  After all, it takes a special kind of person to watch and write about multiple movies on a weekly basis.  Still, that's not to...

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REVIEW: Giving Kronoles for No More Protein Bars, the Snowpiercer Train's Tail Bucks Balance & Preordained Position to Take Wilford's Sacred Engine

Posted by James Brown on Friday, July 4, 2014, In : 0.00% Water 
Snowpiercer





Directed By: Bong Joon-ho

Starring: Chris Evans, Kang-ho Song, Go Ah-sung, Jamie Bell, Alison Pill, John Hurt, Tilda Swinton, Octavia Spencer, and Ed Harris

For a guy who supposedly would like to retire from acting in a few years, Chris Evans of Captain America fame seems to be a consistent presence at the box office.  He reprised his role as the elder Avenger in Captain America: The Winter Soldier.  He's got two other comedies on the horizon later in the year in A Many Splintered Th...

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REVIEW: In X-Men: Days of Future Past, Mystique's DNA Unlocks the Key for Charles Xavier to Bear Mutants' Pain Without Breaking & Dare to Hope Again

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, May 24, 2014, In : 0.00% Water 
X-Men: Days of Future Past





Directed By: Bryan Singer


Starring: Hugh Jackman, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Halle Berry, Anna Paquin, Ellen Page, Nicholas Hoult, Peter Dinklage, Ian McKellen, and Patrick Stewart

"So many battles waged over the years... and yet, none like this.  Are we destined to destroy each other, or can we change each other and unite?  Is the future truly set?"
-Professor Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart)

This year has offered a glut of ambitious comic book...

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REVIEW: El Jefe Chef Big Dog Carl Casper Has a Twitter War With a Food Critic & Launches a Cubano Food Truck to Our Cinematic & Culinary Delight

Posted by James Brown on Sunday, May 18, 2014, In : 0.00% Water 
Chef





Directed By: Jon Favreau

Starring: Jon Favreau, Sofia Vergara, John Leguizamo, Scarlett Johansson, Oliver Platt, Bobby Cannavale, Dustin Hoffman, and Robert Downey, Jr.

Hollywood has really taken the all-or-nothing approach to heart in the last several years.  Studios will drop billions on a handful of tentpoles annually and hope to reap enormous profits.  Their strategy of going for special effects bonanzas that will admittedly appeal to the inner fanboy in all of us has left plenty of pot...

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REVIEW: In the Age of Miracles, A Troubled Running Man Captain America Faces the Ghost Story Winter Soldier To Stop Hydra’s Project Insight Helicarriers

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, April 5, 2014, In : 0.00% Water 
Captain America: The Winter Soldier





Directed By: Anthony Russo and Joe Russo

Starring: Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Cobie Smulders, Frank Grilli, Emily VanCamp, Hayley Atwell, Robert Redford, and Samuel L. Jackson

"On your left..."
-Steve Rogers/Captain America (Chris Evans)

Shared movie universes are the new thing in Hollywood.  With the imminent The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Sony is laying the foundations for the Sinister Six and an unfathomable nine films surroun...

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REVIEW: Despite Mouth Cancer, "Lay Down Sally" and Truth-Telling Are Drug Addict Violet Weston's Specialties in August: Osage County

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, January 11, 2014, In : 0.00% Water 
August: Osage County





Directed By: John Wells

Starring: Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Ewan McGregor, Chris Cooper, Abigail Breslin, Benedict Cumberbatch, Juliette Lewis, Julianne Nicholson, Margo Martindale, Dermot Mulroney, Sam Shepard, and Misty Upham

Earlier this week, Emma Thompson was named Best Actress at the National Board of Review awards dinner in New York.  The Saving Mr. Banks star was honored by fellow actress Meryl Streep.  Unlike blander ceremonies such as the Golden Globes and the O...

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REVIEW: Wolf of Wall Street & Lude Addict Jordan Belfort Rises in a Straight Line from Pond Scum to One Rich Oompa Loompa Selling Pens at Stratton Oakmont

Posted by James Brown on Thursday, December 26, 2013, In : 0.00% Water 
The Wolf of Wall Street





Directed By: Martin Scorsese

Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Jean Dujardin, Matthew McConaughey, Margot Robbie, Jon Favreau, Kyle Chandler, Cristin Milioti, and Rob Reiner

I've always believed that the Academy is too stuffy for its own good.  Mostly comprised of old white men, it doesn't exactly embrace the cutting edge films of the day.  You can look to Steve McQueen and Michael Fassbender getting ignored for their great work in Shame two years ago.  You can loo...

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REVIEW: Saying No to Pears, Animation, & Everything Else, Mary Poppins' Family P.L. Travers is Perfectly Capable of Saving Mr. Banks

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, December 21, 2013, In : 0.00% Water 
Saving Mr. Banks





Directed By: John Lee Hancock

Starring: Emma Thompson, Tom Hanks, Paul Giamatti, Jason Schwartzman, Bradley Whitford, Rachel Griffiths, Ruth Wilson, and Colin Farrell

"Winds in the east, mist coming in.
Like somethin' is brewin' and bout to begin.
Can't put me finger on what lies in store.
But I fear what's to happen all happened before.
"
-Travers Goff (Colin Farrell)

It would be an understatement to say that our generation of moviegoers is a jaded, cynical one.  Anything that is che...

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REVIEW: If We Had Wings, The Coens & Their Cat Ulysses Would Take Us Soaring From the Gaslight Cafe With Some Soulful Folk Songs in Inside Llewyn Davis

Posted by James Brown on Friday, December 20, 2013, In : 0.00% Water 
Inside Llewyn Davis





Directed By: Joel & Ethan Coen

Starring: Oscar Isaac, Carey Mulligan, John Goodman, Garrett Hedlund, and Justin Timberlake

As I conclude another year of running STMR, I've begun reflecting on all the movies I've seen and the hundreds of reviews I've written during the 2+ years since the site was founded.  After doing so, I can say one thing with the utmost confidence.  I have absolutely no idea what movies I'll end up loving.  With the holiday mass of films starting to crowd ...

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REVIEW: Tick Tock, Tick Tock... Remember Who the Real Enemy Is in Catching Fire Despite All the Moves and Countermoves in the 75th Hunger Games

Posted by James Brown on Friday, November 22, 2013, In : 0.00% Water 
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire





Directed By: Francis Lawrence

Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Lenny Kravitz, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Jeffrey Wright, Stanley Tucci, and Donald Sutherland

May the odds be ever in Jennifer Lawrence's favor.  Her rise to stardom has been meteoric to say the least.  Just three short years ago in 2010, Hollywood's new golden girl was debuting in the indie Winter's Bone.  In 2011, she had a couple of suppo...

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REVIEW: All Is Lost for the Virginia Jean and Her Crafty Captain Robert Redford

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, October 26, 2013, In : 0.00% Water 
All Is Lost





Directed By: J.C. Chandor

Starring: Robert Redford

In the 2012 awards season, veteran directors stepped up to the plate.  We saw the likes of Steven Spielberg, Quentin Tarantino, Kathryn Bigelow, and Ang Lee rising to the occasion and putting out great movies.  To some extent, the opposite is happening this year.  For instance, first-time director Ryan Coogler has got plenty of Oscar buzz for his poignant drama Fruitvale Station.  The same can be said for director Steve McQueen, who ...

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REVIEW: 12 Years a Slave, Solomon Northrup Brilliantly Plays the Fiddle as Georgia Runaway Platt to Survive Until Freedom is Opportunity

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, October 19, 2013, In : 0.00% Water 
12 Years a Slave





Directed By: Steve McQueen

Starring: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Dano, Paul Giamatti, Lupita Nyong'o, Sarah Paulson, Brad Pitt, Alfre Woodard, Quvenzhané Wallis, Dwight Henry, and Adepero Oduye

In a review two months ago, I wrote about how filmmakers are taking us to school this year.  With films like Fruitvale Station, Lee Daniels' The Butler, and even 42, we've gotten a healthy dose of black history from Hollywood.  We've arrived at our fi...

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REVIEW: Given Clear Skies with a Chance of Satellite Debris, All Eyes Are on Dr. Ryan Stone and Her Journey Over that Big Blue Earth with No Gravity

Posted by James Brown on Friday, October 4, 2013, In : 0.00% Water 
Gravity





Directed By: Alfonso Cuarón


Starring: Sandra Bullock, George Clooney, and Ed Harris

When it comes to technically impressive films, Avatar has long been my gold standard.  There's nothing quite like being immersed in James Cameron's daring vision of Pandora.  While I've got tremendous respect for the movie from a special effects standpoint, I've always thought that the story lacked substance.  When I initially heard of Gravity, I had similar concerns.  The trailer looked incredible, but ...

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REVIEW: Masseuse Eva Hears More Than Enough Said about Her Flabby Boyfriend Albert from Human TripAdvisor and Poet Marianne

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, September 28, 2013, In : 0.00% Water 
Enough Said





Directed By: Nicole Holofcener

Starring: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, James Gandolfini, Catherine Keener, Toni Collette, Ben Falcone, and Toby Huss


We've lost many iconic figures in Hollywood this year.  We've said goodbye to the likes of Roger Ebert, Jean Stapleton, and even Cory Monteith.  Though celebrity deaths generally don't take an emotional toll on me.  I do have to say that I was troubled by James Gandolfini's passing earlier this year.  The beloved actor made his mark on the world ...

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REVIEW: Prisoners Is One Intense Abduction Thriller Chock Full of Snakes, Torture, and Mazes

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, September 21, 2013, In : 0.00% Water 
Prisoners





Directed By: Denis Villeneuve

Starring: Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Viola Davis, Maria Bello, Terrence Howard, Melissa Leo, and Paul Dano

It's official.  The awards season has begun at the box office.  Though we've had some early contenders such as Fruitvale Station, Blue Jasmine, and The Butler, we've now hit that time of year where we'll see more of the movies that will be competing for golden statuettes in January and February of next year.  Last year around this time, we had Pau...

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REVIEW: In The Spectacular Now, Paper Girl Aimee Finecky Gets Alcoholic Sutter Keely to Write One Hell of a Personal Statement On Hardship

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, August 10, 2013, In : 0.00% Water 
The Spectacular Now





Directed By: James Ponsoldt

Starring: Miles Teller, Shailene Woodley, Brie Larson, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, and Kyle Chandler

The summer of coming-of-age movies is coming to a close.  Before we say adios, I'd just like to say that it's been a fun ride.  With films like Mud, The Kings of Summer, and The Way, Way Back, we simply haven't gone wrong.  The closer for this summer is James Ponsoldt's The Spectacular Now, a daring comedy-drama that puts a new me...

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REVIEW: In Fruitvale Station, Oscar Grant Tragically Doesn't Get the 30 Days Oprah Recommends to Form His New Habits

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, July 20, 2013, In : 0.00% Water 
Fruitvale Station





Directed By: Ryan Coogler

Starring: Michael B. Jordan, Octavia Spencer, Melonie Diaz, Ahna O'Reilly, Kevin Durand, and Chad Michael Murray

Race and equality have been at the forefront of the American psyche for the last week or so.  With George Zimmerman being acquitted after killing 17 year-old Trayvon Martin, a long overdue conversation about what it means to be a black man in America may finally be getting started.  That conversation looks to be focused on a variety of topic...

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REVIEW: In The Way, Way Back, Pop-N-Lock Duncan Leaves the Riptide Beach House and Hits the Slides at Water Wizz

Posted by James Brown on Friday, July 5, 2013, In : 0.00% Water 
The Way, Way Back





Directed By: Nat Faxon and Jim Rash


Starring: Steve Carell, Toni Collette, Allison Janney, AnnaSophia Bobb, Sam Rockwell, Maya Rudolph, Rob Corddry, Amanda Peet, and Liam James

2013 marks the summer of coming-of-age comedies at the indie box office.  The proof is in the pudding.  This past June, Joe, Patrick, and Biaggio jammed on some logs in the woods in The Kings of Summer.  This month, Duncan is breaking it down on a cardboard dance floor at Water Wizz in The Way, Way Back....

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REVIEW: Joss Whedon's Foray Into Shakespeare With Much Ado About Nothing Does Prove That Man is a Giddy Thing

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, June 22, 2013, In : 0.00% Water 
Much Ado About Nothing





Directed By: Joss Whedon

Starring: Amy Acker, Alexis Denisof, Nathan Fillion, Clark Gregg, Reed Diamond, Fran Kranz, Sean Maher, Spencer Treat Clark, Riki Lindhome, Jillian Morgese, and Ashley Johnson

I can't believe I'm saying this, but what do Shakespeare and The Avengers have in common?  The beloved Joss Whedon.  In his first directorial effort after his mega blockbuster with Marvel, Whedon takes a break from adapting comics to the big screen and focuses on a smaller pr...

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REVIEW: This Is The End – Jay and Seth Versus The Apocalypse At James Franco’s House

Posted by SoberFilmChick on Friday, June 14, 2013, In : 0.00% Water 

This Is The End
SoberFilmChick



Directed by: Evan Goldberg, Seth Rogen

Starring: James Franco, Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel, Jonah Hill, Craig Robinson, Danny McBride, Michael Cera, Emma Watson, Kevin Hart, Mindy Kaling, Rihanna, Channing Tatum, and Paul Rudd

Ridiculous. Campy. Over the top. Self-deprecating. These are all apt descriptions of Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg’s new comedy This is the End. But most of all, This is the End is pure fun. Based on the 2007 short film Jay and Seth Versus the...


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REVIEW: Star Trek Into Darkness – Captain Kirk, The Mysterious John Harrison, and Robocop Mix It Up Aboard The NCC-1701 In This Phenomenal Sci-Fi Flick

Posted by SoberFilmChick on Thursday, May 16, 2013, In : 0.00% Water 

Star Trek Into Darkness
SoberFilmChick




Directed By: J.J. Abrams

Starring: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Benedict Cumberbatch, Karl Urban, John Cho, Simon Pegg, Peter Weller, Alice Eve, Bruce Greenwood, and Anton Yelchin

Director J.J. Abrams appeared on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart this week and revealed that he was not originally a fan of the Star Trek television series.  After becoming involved with developing a new Star Trek movie series, he did revisit the television show and gre...
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REVIEW: For the Love of the Mets and Graffiti, Gimme the Loot is All About Malcolm and Sophia Bombing the Apple at Shea Stadium

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, April 27, 2013, In : 0.00% Water 
Gimme the Loot





Directed By: Adam Leon

Starring: Ty Hickson, Tashiana Washington, Zoë Lescaze, Meeko, Sam Soghor, and Joshua Rivera


The New York Mets have an interesting tradition for celebrating home runs.  Whenever a player knocks the ball straight out of the park during a home game, a giant apple rises out of Shea Stadium with the Mets' logo front and center.  The apple rising is a pivotal moment in any Mets game and presents an interesting opportunity to claim some fame for those who are bol...

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REVIEW: Amour Is a Superior Distraction About the Tragic Beauty of Long Life and One Bold Pigeon

Posted by James Brown on Sunday, January 13, 2013, In : 0.00% Water 

Amour (Love)





Directed By: Michael Haneke

Starring: Jean-Louis Trintignant, Emmanuelle Riva, and Isabelle Huppert

Getting old sucks, or so I've heard.  If we live long enough, it's a journey we all must take.  It's a subject that's often glossed over at the movies, but the floodgates have opened as of late on this topic.  While we've had lighter fare like The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel in recent months, director Michael Haneke, a septuagenarian himself, has decided to tackle the darker side o...


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REVIEW: In Zero Dark Thirty, Maya's Canaries Follow Courier Abu Ahmed to Deliver Justice Upon Osama bin Laden

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, January 12, 2013, In : 0.00% Water 

Zero Dark Thirty





Directed By: Kathryn Bigelow

Starring: Jessica Chastain, Jason Clarke, Joel Edgerton, Chris Pratt, Kyle Chandler, Edgar Ramirez, Mark Strong, Jennifer Ehle, Mark Duplass, Scott Adkins, and Taylor Kinney

History seems to be the predominant story of this awards season.  It's the history of our sixteenth president and his fight to pass the Thirteenth Amendment in Lincoln.  It's the history of six American diplomats making a fake movie to escape Iran in Argo.  It's the history o...


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REVIEW: Les Misérables. I Dreamed a Dream of Time Gone by With Prisoner 24601, the French Revolution, and the Perfect Christmas Movie

Posted by James Brown on Tuesday, December 25, 2012, In : 0.00% Water 

Les Misérables





Directed By: Tom Hooper

Starring: Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, Amanda Seyfried, Samantha Barks, Helena Bonham Carter, Eddie Redmayne, and Sacha Baron Cohen

In musicals, acting is often compromised at the expense of singing.  Because a musical's selections are traditionally recorded before filming occurs, actors are playing to performances they gave before ever arriving on set.  As such, creativity and spontaneity are often stifled in actors' portrayals of their...


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REVIEW: Fasten Your Seatbelt Because The Impossible Shoots for the Stars

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, December 22, 2012, In : 0.00% Water 

The Impossible (Lo Imposible)





Directed By: J.A. Bayona

Starring: Ewan McGregor, Naomi Watts, Tom Holland, Samuel Joslin, Oaklee Pendergast, Geraldine Chaplin, Marta Etura, and Simon Blyberg

There's always some tragedy on the news related to a natural disaster.  Earthquakes, tsunamis, and hurricanes leave paths of devastation marked by unthinkable death tolls and billions of dollars in damages.  When we see it on the news, we often get the big picture.  It's completely understandable because ...


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REVIEW: Despite the Trash Bag for Attire, Mr. Excelsior Runs with Greatness in Silver Linings Playbook

Posted by James Brown on Sunday, November 18, 2012, In : 0.00% Water 

Silver Linings Playbook





Directed By: David O. Russell

Starring: Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro, Jacki Weaver, Anupam Kher, Julia Stiles, and Chris Tucker

"You have to do everything you can, you have to work your hardest, and if you stay positive, you have a shot at a silver lining."
-Pat Solitano (Bradley Cooper)

Two years ago, director David O. Russell rocked my world with The Fighter.  In my opinion, it may be the best boxing movie in the last three decades.  When I hear...


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REVIEW: In Skyfall, The Last Two Rats Eat Each Other Alive for Our Pleasure

Posted by James Brown on Thursday, November 8, 2012, In : 0.00% Water 

Skyfall





Directed By: Sam Mendes

Starring: Daniel Craig, Javier Bardem, Judi Dench, Ralph Fiennes, Naomie Harris, Bérénice Lim Marlohe, and Albert Finney

I can't believe it's been four years since Daniel Craig's last outing as James Bond in Quantum of Solace.  We've all certainly missed 007, his shaken martinis, and his happy trigger finger.  That being said, Skyfall is upon us!  It's been a year full of hype ranging from an appearance by Craig at the 2012 Olympics with Queen Elizabeth, an ...


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REVIEW: Full of Flashbacks & Flash-Forwards, the Cloud Atlas Sextet is an Ambitious, Brilliant, & Beautiful Composition

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, October 27, 2012, In : 0.00% Water 

Cloud Atlas





Directed By: Tom Tykwer, Lana Wachowski, and Andy Wachowski

Starring: Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Jim Broadbent, Hugo Weaving, Jim Sturgess, Doona Bae, Ben Whishaw, James D'Arcy, Zhou Xun, Keith David, David Gyasi, Susan Sarandon, and Hugh Grant

"Our lives are not our own.  From womb to tomb, we are bound to others, past and present.  And by each crime, and every kindness, we birth our future."
-Sonmi-451 (Doona Bae) / Abbess (Susan Sarandon)

Ambition is the word of the day thanks to...


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REVIEW: Looper Closes the Loop. Bruce Willis is Killing It!

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, September 29, 2012, In : 0.00% Water 

Looper





Directed By: Rian Johnson

Starring: Bruce Willis, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Emily Blunt, Paul Dano, Noah Segan, Piper Perabo, and Jeff Daniels

Time travel is quintessentially sci-fi.  Some of the greatest sci-fi flicks have turned the time and space continuum on its head.  What would cinema be like today if Marty McFly never went back to 1955 or if the Terminator never went back in time to kill John Connor?  Time travel is a cornerstone of the science fiction genre, and Rian Johnson decid...


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REVIEW: In The Master, Paul Thomas Anderson Finds His Inherent State of Perfect

Posted by James Brown on Sunday, September 23, 2012, In : 0.00% Water 

The Master





Directed By: Paul Thomas Anderson

Starring: Joaquin Phoenix, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams, Laura Dern, Jesse Plemons, and Ambyr Childers

It's been awhile since we've seen Paul Thomas Anderson at work.  It's been five years since Daniel Day-Lewis struck oil in Anderson's There Will Be Blood.  Now, Anderson has returned to the big screen with The Master, an ambitious, challenging masterpiece.  Featuring Joaquin Phoenix, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Amy Adams, the film delves int...


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REVIEW: When the Angel of Death Faces the Power of Prayer, We Get Chicken with Plums

Posted by James Brown on Sunday, September 16, 2012, In : 0.00% Water 
Chicken with Plums





Directed By: Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud

Starring: Mathieu Amalric, Edouard Baer, Maria de Medeiros, Golshifteh Farahani, Eric Caravaca, and Chiara Mastroianni

A title can sometimes tell you everything about a movie long before you see it or absolutely nothing at all.  Of all the movie titles I've encountered over the years, I have to say Chicken with Plums might just be the most enigmatic I've ever heard.  When I first learned of this movie, my initial thought was "...
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REVIEW: With Spankings, Jumping Jacks, & Rape, Compliance Shows That Prank Phone Calls Aren't So Harmless

Posted by James Brown on Sunday, August 26, 2012, In : 0.00% Water 
Compliance





Directed By: Craig Zobel


Starring: Ann Dowd, Dreama Walker, and Pat Healy

With Killer Joe earlier this month, I thought I had seen the sickest stuff I would see this summer.  It's an NC-17 film, so there shouldn't really be anything else that can leave me in a cold, dejected state quite like that.  What could top what Matthew McConaughey's Joe did with a chicken leg from KFC?  Well, I found it in Craig Zobel's Compliance.  Apparently, sick, twisted prank phone calls are more unnerving...
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REVIEW: He May Only Find Pain When He Gets Back in the Game, But The Dark Knight Rises to the Occasion

Posted by James Brown on Friday, July 20, 2012, In : 0.00% Water 
The Dark Knight Rises (TDKR)





Directed By: Christopher Nolan

Starring: Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Anne Hathaway, Tom Hardy, Marion Cotillard, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Morgan Freeman


During a summer blockbuster season that's offered moviegoers ass-kicking Avengers, web-slinging heroes, time-traveling secret agents, and weed-smoking teddy bears, the Dark Knight has finally arrived!  It's been four years since Christopher Nolan's landmark film The Dark Knight, and not much has chan...

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REVIEW: With References Like Kool & the Gang and Earth, Wind & Fire, Driss Gives Us One Wild Ride in The Intouchables

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, June 9, 2012, In : 0.00% Water 
The Intouchables





Directed By: Olivier Nakache and Éric Toledano

Starring: François Cluzet and Omar Sy

It was voted the cultural event of the year in France last year.  It's won countless awards.  It has enamored millions of international moviegoers and conquered the box office overseas, raking in hundreds of millions of dollars in the process.  The celebrated film The Intouchables has finally made it to the US.  With the rather tepid reception here though, it's been a bit anticlimactic.  A fil...
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REVIEW: Sam, Suzy, & the Orchestra Bring the Thunder During the Black Beacon Storm in Moonrise Kingdom

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, June 2, 2012, In : 0.00% Water 
Moonrise Kingdom





Directed By: Wes Anderson

Starring: Bruce Willis, Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton, Jason Schwartzman, Bob Balaban, Jared Gilman, Kara Hayward, and Harvey Keitel

It's been a few years since we've seen Wes Anderson at the box office, and we've definitely missed his signature filmmaking style.  His eccentric visuals, his dry humor, and his caricatured characters are the things that make his films so special.  They're why we love his movies so much.  We ...
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REVIEW: Polisse. That's How the Good Lord Works

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, May 26, 2012, In : 0.00% Water 
Polisse





Directed By: Maïwenn

Starring: Karin Viard, Joeystarr, Marina Foïs, Nicolas Duvauchelle, Karole Rocher, Emmanuelle Bercot, Frédéric Pierrot, Arnaud Henriet, Naidra Ayadi, Jérémie Elkaïm, and Maïwenn

Our society has a way of turning some of our more serious problems or struggles in life into entertainment.  Reality TV is a prime example of this.  It's turned love and relationships into a joke with shows like The Bachelor and Flavor of Love.  It's turned family life into a gag with...
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REVIEW: When the Ants Get the Boot, The Avengers Kick Some Ass. Then They Get Some Shawarma.

Posted by James Brown on Friday, May 4, 2012, In : 0.00% Water 
The Avengers





Directed By: Joss Whedon

Starring: Robert Downey, Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Tom Hiddleston, and Samuel L. Jackson

"There was an idea to bring together a group of remarkable people, so when we needed them, they could fight the battles that we never could... "
-Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson)

2011 was a good year for comic book movies, but 2012 is the year of the superhero movie.  If movies were people, last year's comic book flick...
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REVIEW: We Need To Talk About Kevin...Seriously. This Kid Is Evil!

Posted by James Brown on Thursday, March 8, 2012, In : 0.00% Water 
We Need To Talk About Kevin





Directed By: Lynne Ramsay

Starring: Tilda Swinton, John C. Reilly, and Ezra Miller


Some kids are just born monsters.  From the moment they arrive, you know they're rotten to the core.  Their parents can dish out all the love and affection in the world.  They can try to instill some semblance of moral values.  They can do everything in their power to give these black sheep normal lives.  At the end of the day, they're just pure evil in human form.  There's absolutely n...
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REVIEW: A Separation Is Undeniably Riveting

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, March 3, 2012, In : 0.00% Water 
A Separation





Directed By: Asghar Farhadi

Starring: Leila Hatami, Peyman Moaadi, Shahab Hosseini, Sareh Bayat, and Sarina Farhadi


I'm a little late to the game for A Separation.  This Iranian drama has been in theaters for a while now and has had a lot of good buzz.  It's won the Golden Bear for Best Film at the Berlin International Film Festival.  It's won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.  With all this hype, it's the must-see foreign film of the year.  Having now seen A Separat...
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REVIEW: Roman Polanski Gives Us Carnage of a Delicious Kind

Posted by James Brown on Sunday, January 15, 2012, In : 0.00% Water 
Carnage





Directed By: Roman Polanski

Starring: Jodie Foster, Kate Winslet, Christoph Waltz, and John C. Reilly

Great comedies are hard to come by.  When I do get them though, there's nothing better because I know I'm leaving the theater in a good mood.  The last great comedy we had on our hands was Woody Allen's charming Midnight in Paris, which took a satirical look at some of the great intellectuals of the Roaring Twenties.  Now, we have Carnage, another satire in which Roman Polanski takes a g...
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REVIEW: Margin Call Is the Right Call for Moviegoers

Posted by James Brown on Tuesday, November 15, 2011, In : 0.00% Water 
Margin Call





Directed By: J.C. Chandor

Starring: Kevin Spacey, Paul Bettany, Jeremy Irons, Zachary Quinto, Penn Badgley, Simon Baker, Mary McDonnell, Demi Moore, and Stanley Tucci


With the Occupy Wall Street movement raging around the country, this is an ideal time to put out a movie about the decisions of a few that have tremendously impacted the lives of many.  J.C. Chandor's Margin Call chronicles the beginning of doomsday for a large investment bank on Wall Street.  Margin Call is a gripping ...
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REVIEW: Like Crazy Balks Hollywood Tradition and Tells the Truth About Love

Posted by James Brown on Wednesday, November 9, 2011, In : 0.00% Water 
Like Crazy





Directed By: Drake Doremus

Starring: Anton Yelchin, Felicity Jones, and Jennifer Lawrence


Love is a truly unpredictable thing that can challenge, inspire, and torment you at the same time.  When you find it, you should hold onto it.   It undoubtedly will present many challenges and a taste for a few strong drinks along the way.  No challenge is more difficult or painful than distance.  Specifically, long distance relationships can hurt like hell and can kill the spark between two love...
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REVIEW: Moneyball Has a Perfect Batting Average

Posted by James Brown on Sunday, September 25, 2011, In : 0.00% Water 
Moneyball





Directed By: Bennett Miller

Starring: Brad Pitt, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Jonah Hill, Robin Wright, Chris Pratt, and Casey Bond

Most sports movies capture the thrill of snatching victory from the jaws of defeat.  They delve into the joys of winning and the sorrows of losing.  They do nothing more than depict competition and what drives it.  That's your basic sports movie.  Anything beyond that is a bonus.  Given this, I went into Bennett Miller's Moneyball expecting a decent baseball fl...
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REVIEW: The Tree of Life Is a Motion Picture That Says a Thousand Words

Posted by James Brown on Tuesday, August 16, 2011, In : 0.00% Water 
The Tree of Life






Directed By: Terrence Malick

Starring: Brad Pitt, Sean Penn, and Jessica Chastain


Never before have I seen a film that captures life.  That's a huge concept with a range of implications.  It's a nearly impossible endeavor for any filmmaker.  However, Terrence Malick has proven me wrong.  Malick's The Tree of Life does the impossible in a grand way.  From grappling with the meaning and scope of life to questioning the purpose of faith, Malick covers a broad array of topics.  The ...
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REVIEW: The Magic of Harry Potter Comes Full Circle in a Spectacular Finale

Posted by James Brown on Tuesday, August 2, 2011, In : 0.00% Water 
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2





Directed by: David Yates

Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Ralph Fiennes, Helena Bonham-Carter, Alan Rickman, Michael Gambon, and Maggie Smith


We have patiently waited a decade for this moment in film history.  We have been on a long, long journey with our three young stars and some of the greatest British actors of our time.  We have enjoyed this storied franchise and unflinchingly supported it throughout seven films.  At last, I...
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