McFarland, USA is still one of the better films I’ve seen in all of 2015. Disney’s Blu-ray release is a strong one, lack of extensive extras notwithstanding, and family audiences wondering if they should add this to their respective libraries should do so as quickly as they can.
I gave Focus a second chance mainly on the strength of the first half and because the two leads have such sensational chemistry. Sad to say, I was just as disappointed this time as I was when I originally watched it in the theater. The second half just isn’t very good, building to an unbelievable and unappealing climax that wastes the talents of all involved. Pity.
Monsters: Dark Continent isn’t going to be what most expect (or probably want) it to be, but for my part I’m fine with the down-and-dirty thriller director Tom Green has thrown together. The sequel’s Blu-ray presentation is excellent (lack of special features notwithstanding), and I doubt fans will be disappointed.
Here’s what’s happening in Episode #11 (download .mp3) of the Cinema Squabble Podcast. Another weekend is upon us, therefore more squabbling is in order. This week focuses on an eclectic line-up of genre flicks: Tomorrowland / Poltergeist / Slow West / Aloha / San Andreas Squabblers Sara Michelle Fetters, Matt Oakes, Brian Zitzelman and Adam […]
The new film is a revelation…All-in-all, it’s a completely different motion picture, and one definitely worth seeing.
[It’s] hard not to walk out of Aloha with a smile, the other stuff lurking inside the narrative, the way the characters interact, how they communicate, the subtle, delicate little human truths they discover along the way, much of that isn’t just terrific, it’s shockingly close to sublime.
By keeping things small, intimate even, [San Andreas] ups the emotional ante by leaps and bounds over many of the more recent entries in the genre. Better, it keeps things from spilling into silly, overwrought and absurd ultra-cheap SyFy Channel terrain; and while this is still nothing more than a glorified B-movie, it’s still rather more compelling than it honestly has any right to be.
It’s compelling stuff, fascinating, even, but it also feels a little more like an audition reel for a potential feature than it does an insightful, intimately probing documentary, and that’s an issue Russell’s investigative opus sometimes has trouble overcoming.
Magician: The Astonishing Life and Work of Orson Welles is an engrossing, if still only surface level, examination of one of the 20th century’s most towering cinematic figures. While never digging as deep as I would have liked, the film’s nonetheless a wonderfully entertaining documentary filled with numerous delights both for diehard cineastes and the modestly curious alike.