Lifetime Renews ‘UnReal’, Morgan Is A Regular ‘Wife’ while Kinney joins in ‘Sex’

Lifetime has picked up their struggling, but critically acclaimed drama UnReal for another season. Lifetime hasn’t been sticking behind most of their dramas recently, so this is a big step in the right direction for them developing a stable of reliable series.

Jeffrey Dean Morgan, currently seen on Extant, will be a series regular next season on The Good Wife. He’s playing a private investigator hired by Alicia, basically filling the void left by Kalinda. Rumors are swirling he’ll fill another void for her too… romantically.

Meanwhile, The Walking Dead’s Emily Kinney has joined Masters Of Sex in a recurring role.

Leap Of Faith

Starring: Steve Martin, Debra Winger, Liam Neeson, Lolita Davidovich, Lukas Haas, Meat Loaf, Philip Seymour Hoffman, MC Gainey, LaChanze
Directed By: Richard Pearce

Well, obviously you can see the ending coming a mile away. But that’s not always the point, is it? Sometimes, it’s about the journey. And this journey is solid. Yes, I’m reviewing a movie from 1992. It’s a movie that shows a whole lot of promise for what Steve Martin is able to do as a dramatic actor, long before anyone really took him seriously as a dramatic actor. Here, he plays Jonas Nightingale, a fake faith healer who travels from town to town and swindles simple folk out of their money. That is, until he breaks down in this town and finds himself oddly matched with the town sheriff (Neeson), and people who actually need his help. No rain. Dried up crops. These people need a real miracle. Can Jonas provide?

If you’re a fan of Steve Martin, you’ll love this. It’s almost his Groundhog Day. It’s not on the same level as Groundhog Day, of course, but it almost does for him what Groundhog Day did for Bill Murray. It’s just a little too obvious. Every moment is so well placed. There are no surprises. As entertaining as he makes the entire film, the paint-by-numbers story does nothing for him. It is a movie a lot of people could learn from, about how easy it is to put on a show and swindle money from simple minded folk, but that’s not the real reason this film exists. It’s not a full blown comedy, so you can’t expect to roll down the aisles. Since Dramedy isn’t a real thing, I’d feel more comfortable calling it a drama before I call it a comedy. These people have real issues and Jonas encounters them early on, weighing down the movie. Sure, it’s a drama in good humor, but it’s a drama.

Supporting Martin is Debra Winger as his main accomplice, and she’s great too. For some reason, we let her go as a talent. I’m not sure why we let Debra Winger slip from the public eye. She’s great, and goes toe-to-toe with heavy hitters Martin and Neeson. She should still have a major career today. We’ve failed her.

I enjoyed Leap Of Faith despite the obviousness of the story, and you will too.

FINAL GRADE: B+

The Man In The High Castle (Pilot)

Starring: Luke Kleintank, Alexa Davalos, Rupert Evans, Rufus Sewell

Based on a Philip K. Dick novel, The Man In The High Castle is HIGH concept. Imagine we lost World War II, and Germany and Japan invaded the US and split us in half, what would life be like? That’s basically the main attraction for The Man In The High Castle. The rest of it is that it is super mysterious and refuses to actually reveal much of its plot in the pilot.

The super mysterious pilot shows us a few main characters. Joe (Kleintank) might be on a mission to meet the resistance. Juliana (Davalos) might also be on her way to meet the resistance, after finding some super secret stuff. Rufus Sewell is definitely a nazi villain though. No mystery there.

I thought it was a strong pilot. I just saw Luke Kleintank in Max, and had I seen this Amazon pilot before Max, I might have been like “who is this random dude?” He’s not a bad leading man for the series. Alexa Davalos is the strong woman type, so it’ll be interesting to see how their characters unfold. I would say I’m cautiously optimistic about the direction of the series. I think the concept is strong, the talent is good, and there’s a lot of promise. I would caution them on asking too many questions they don’t intend on answering. Shows that get bogged down in mystery often end up losing viewers who either find it hard keeping up with all the unanswered questions, or abandon ship because they’re annoyed their questions aren’t being answered. Just ask The Killing what happened to them after Season 1.

I will also add that I don’t think this show would have worked on network TV. Too controversial. It might have worked on an edgy cable network like FX that enjoys taking risks. Without streaming services, pay channels would have been the most likely host. Now, we have Amazon and Netflix, so we have options for shows that are risk takers. With Ridley Scott on board as producer, I have hopes. I’m glad Amazon ordered this to series.

FINAL GRADE: B

So You Want To Be A Film Buff?

I’ve been working on a list that’s not really the 100 best films of all time, but a list that I believe is currently driving the most influential films of our time. These are the films that these guys grew up on. There’s a new generation of filmmakers coming down the line, and they’re been influenced by films fairly recently. They didn’t grow up watching too many films made before they were born, and some of them may have caught up on the classics, but most are influenced by films they watched when they were a kid. That’s why Jurassic World feels so much like a love letter from Colin Treverrow. So without further adieu, I bring you the 100 films you should see to be effective as a film buff in todays world. You have to understand the groundwork if you’re going to enjoy what’s being built upon it.

1) Star Wars Episode 4: A New Hope- An absolute must for anyone watching film. So many filmmakers cite Star Wars as being their inspiration for being a film director, that you have to at least sit through the original Star Wars. If you haven’t seen this, watch it now.
2) The Godfather- A classic, also cited as one of the greatest influences of all time.
3) Jurassic Park- Another film that cited the wonder in children, who are now filmmakers.
4) Back To The Future
5) Raiders Of The Lost Ark
6) Pulp Fiction
7) Psycho
8) Fight Club
9) The Shawshank Redemption
10) The Godfather Part 2
11) Seven
12) Toy Story
13) The Silence Of the Lambs
14) Alien
15) Casablanca
16) The Matrix
17) Citizen Kane
18) Goodfellas
19) Jaws
20) Terminator 2: Judgement Day
21) The Lord Of The Rings: Fellowship of the Ring
22) The Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers
23) The Lord of the Rings: Return Of The King
24) The Dark Knight
25) American Beauty
26) North By Northwest
27) The Usual Suspects
28) The Lion King
29) Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
30) Star Wars Episode VI: Return Of The Jedi
31) Memento
32) The Shining
33) A Clockwork Orange
34) Scarface
35) Rear Window
36) 2001: A Space Odyssey
37) Saving Private Ryan
38) Monty Python and the Holy Grail
39) Raging Bull
40) Die Hard
41) Vertigo
42) Aliens
43) It’s A Wonderful Life
44) Forrest Gump
45) Blade Runner
46) The Big Lebowski
47) Toy Story 2
48) Schindler’s List
49) Singin In The Rain
50) Fargo
51) The Sixth Sense
52) Gone With The Wind
53) Chinatown
54) Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
55) Unforgiven
56) The Thing
57) The Princess Bride
58) The Exorcist
59) Apocalypse Now
60) The Good The Bad and the Ugly
61) Good Will Hunting
62) Braveheart
63) The Wizard Of Oz
64) Stand By Me
65) 12 Monkeys
66) Pans Labyrinth
67) Finding Nemo
68) Annie Hall
69) On The Waterfront
70) Taxi Driver
71) Seven Samurai
72) Beauty and the Beast
73) Donnie Darko
74) Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
75) Spirited Away
76) Ghostbusters
77) 12 Angry Men
78) Leon: The Professional
79) No Country For Old Men
80) Kill Bill Vol 1
81) Independence Day
82) Titanic
83) Rocky
84) The Breakfast Club
85) One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest
86) Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl
87) Akira
88) Heat
89) The Graduate
90) Mr Smith Goes To Washington
91) Harry Potter and the Sorceror’s Stone (or really, any Harry Potter movie)
92) Casino
93) Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrells
94) Groundhog Day
95) Some Like It Hot
96) To Kill A Mockingbird
97) The Truman Show
98) Dog Day Afternoon
99) Trainspotting
100) Gladiator

For Your Consideration: Best Drama Series

It’s my last For Your Consideration before the nominations are announced next week. The ballots have already been sent in, but I think it’s still important to run down the shows Emmy voters are bound to ignore.

The biggest contenders in this category are the shows that seem to always get nominated. Game Of Thrones, House Of Cards, Mad Men, and Downton Abbey. It’s likely that Orange Is the New Black will impact the drama race, which could leave one spot open. Will it go to new sensation Empire? Or Better Call Saul?

Outside chances are that Emmy voters finally recognize something like The Americans, Sons Of Anarchy, or Bates Motel. It’s unlikely that they’ll nominate strong freshman dramas like Gotham, How To Get Away With Murder, Daredevil, Bloodline, The Affair, Madam Secretary, or The Knick.

Homeland and The Good Wife are likely to be left in the dark this year. As are returning shows that are perpetually ignored like The Walking Dead, Orphan Black, Outlander, Masters Of Sex, Justified, and Rectify. The Newsroom, Scandal, and Boardwalk Empire are out too.

For me, I’d nominate Game Of Thrones, Orange Is The New Black, Sons Of Anarchy, The Americans, Mad Men, and The Walking Dead. I think that’s a good representation of where our drama series are across all networks. There are some strong contenders, but I think the shows I picked are strong because of the story and multiple characters, and not just the work of one or two great performances. There’s some spectacular acting in Bates Motel, but I think the acting deserves to be recognized over perhaps the series.

I’m pretty sure that Emmy voters are going to play it safe and go with Game Of Thrones, Mad Men, Orange Is The New Black, Better Call Saul, and House Of Cards. If Empire can get enough votes, I think it might knock Downton Abbey out. I don’t think any other show really has a shot. The strongest dark horse is probably The Affair, but that would mean something else would get left out, and I just don’t see that happening.

Weekend Box Office: Jurassic Keeps #1, No ‘Magic’ This Weekend

JurassicWorld managed to top the box office again for the fourth straight week. The dino-might pic (sorry) became the 4th highest grossing film of all time, surpassing 2008’s The Dark Knight. Its next target is The Avengers, which is 3rd with 623.3M domestically, or roughly 65.1M away. By my early projections, Jurassic World seems to have enough steam to push past The Avengers, and possibly also #2 Titanic (though that will be close). It is unlikely it will unseat the #1 film, Avatar. Worldwide, Jurassic World is the 5th highest grossing film of all time, having just passed Avengers: Age Of Ultron. Its next victim worldwide is this years Furious 7, which made over 1.5 billion worldwide.

Inside Out is currently the victor of the “Movies That Never Hit #1″, as long as it turns out that it didn’t eek out a victory this weekend. It recently passed My Big Fat Greek Wedding to be the top film on that list. Domestically, Inside Out is now in the top 100, sitting at #93 all time (and climbing). It needs to break 304M domestically to be in the top 50, and 378M to be in the Top 25.

Terminator Genisys had a terrific weekend overseas, but you won’t be hearing about that in your facebook thread. Everyone else is calling this a bomb, despite the fact that it raked in 74M overseas, beating Minions (which is already out in several countries, and made 54M internationally this weekend). Domestically, people just weren’t that excited. Will the foreign grosses be enough to keep the franchise alive?

Magic Mike XXL, as I pointed out earlier in the week, cost so little that it’s already profitable. Though it won’t come anywhere near the gross of the first film (113.7M domestic). A good cinemascore suggests that it might have some decent legs.

Ted 2 had a harsh drop this weekend, and I can’t figure out why. I loved the sequel, but audiences aren’t giving it a chance. Critics this year seem to have ruined a few decent films, like Terminator Genisys, Tomorrowland, and Ted 2, keeping them from actually being seen by real people. Ted 2 fell 67% in its second weekend, a drop usually reserved only for horror movies.

Max continued to do well, considering it has a lack of star power. Max dropped 45% with no new kids competition. Spy also continues to do well, and should break 100M next Friday. It fell only 30% this weekend. San Andreas continued to do well, dropping only 43%.

Me Earl and the Dying Girl cracked the Top 10 this weekend, but with a sad PSA of 1,517. We can do better than that. This is one of the best films of the year. Christian driven Faith Of Our Fathers debuted in 344 screens, with a 1,259PSA. Well reviewed documentary Amy was the big success, launching in 6 theatres with a 37K per screen average.

Next weekend, Minions aims to dethrone Jurassic World (which can’t be that hard), and Self/Less and The Gallows both look to find at least a few people interested in seeing their films. In limited release, Robin Williams’s final on-screen appearance in Boulevard is released (he’ll lend his voice to another film later).

1) Jurassic World- 30.9M Weekend, 558.2M Total
Click Here For My Review Of JURASSIC WORLD
2) Inside Out- 30.1M Weekend, 246.4M Total
Click Here For My Review Of INSIDE OUT
3) Terminator Genisys- 28.7M Weekend, 44.2M Total
Click Here For My Review Of TERMINATOR GENISYS
4) Magic Mike XXL- 12M Weekend, 27.1M Total
5) Ted 2- 11M Weekend, 58.3M Total
Click Here For My Review of TED 2
6) Max- 7M Weekend, 25.7M Total
Click Here For My Review of MAX
7) Spy- 5.5M Weekend, 97.8M Total
Click Here For My Review of SPY
8) San Andreas- 3M Weekend, 147.4M Total
Click Here For My Review of SAN ANDREAS
9) Me and Earl and the Dying Girl- 1.3M Weekend, 4M Total
Click Here For My Review Of ME AND EARL AND THE DYING GIRL
10) Dope- 1.1M Weekend, 14.1M Total
11) Mad Max: Fury Road- 1.0M Weekend, 149M Total
Click Here For My Review of MAD MAX FURY ROAD
12) Avengers: Age Of Ultron- 852K Weekend, 454.1M Total
Click Here For My Review of AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON
??) Pitch Perfect 2- 572K Weekend, 182.3M Total
Click Here For My Review of PITCH PERFECT 2
??) Faith Of Our Fathers- 506K Weekend, 506K Total
??) I’ll See You In My Dreams- 470K Weekend, 5.8M Total
??) The Overnight- 361K Weekend, 664K Total
??) Amy- 222K Weekend, 222K Total (37K PSA)
??) Infinitely Polar Bear- 202K Weekend, 363K Total
??) A Little Chaos- 126K Weekend, 396K Total
??) Jimmy’s Hall- 22K Weekend, 22K Total (7K PSA)
??) Cartel Land- 17K Weekend, 17K Total

Slow West

Starring: Michael Fassbender, Kodi Smit McPhee, Ben Mendelsohn, Caren Pistorius
Directed By: John Maclean

Slow West starts out as a pretty self fulfilling prophecy. Slow. But, you really need to give it a full chance because Slow West is one of the most visually rewarding films of the year. It’s not one of the best movies of the year. It’s sort of a wandering script that ends up trying to beat you over the head with metaphors (like pouring actual salt into a wound), but it is one of the most visually striking films I’ve seen this year. Probably second to only Mad Max: Fury Road.

The acting is on point. Fassbender and Smit-McPhee both are fantastic. They’ll both be forgotten about by the end of the year. They’re good performances, but not awards worthy. Just, another thumbs up on their resumes. For the average film goer, I’m not sure if Slow West has much to offer. Its attempt to offer a slow meditation on life leaves a film that’s not even 90 minutes long feel draggy.

If you’re a film buff, you’ll enjoy how the film was shot. It’s like moving paintings. This film definitely deserves some tech award consideration. Slow West is one of those Sundance type films that just gets lost when it hits theatrical release. Not really a fair verdict for a film that looks this good.

FINAL GRADE: B

What Happened, Miss Simone?

Documentary.
Directed By: Liz Garbus

Netflix has backed this documentary on the life of Nina Simone, the legendary singer. It’s an interesting weekend for celebrities, as Amy opens in limited release and explores the toxic nature of being a celebrity in the public eye. Nina didn’t have the paparazzi or TMZ and you can still feel that she is somehow changed by her fame and her access to influencing how others think.

Nina wanted to be a concert pianist, but grew up in a time where black girls just didn’t go and be concert pianists. She ended up using her piano skills to earn money in a bar, and eventually started singing, and that’s how we got Nina Simone. She got married, but it was a little bit of a destructive relationship. While it isn’t directly said, there’s this general idea that as Nina got older and her celebrity grew, she became more unhinged. Her spotlight grew, and her access to political figures grew with it. She soon was friends with Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr, and other people a lot more educated than her. She felt her need to contribute in the civil rights movement. It was all of these experiences thrown together that broke Nina Simone, slowly, over time. She didn’t have TMZ, but the spotlight definitely broke her.

Testimonials from Nina’s daughter, and those who knew Nina well will show you the transition of Nina from a smart savvy superstar to a woman haunted by the tragedies that happened on her watch. Too often, however, the filmmakers fill in time with extended performances from Nina. We’re watching a Nina Simone documentary, we’re probably already aware of who she is and appreciative of her talents. You can also pick up on that pretty quickly in smaller clips. It feels a little like filler. You shouldn’t feel like you have to make a certain runtime. There’s a good story that has to take a break around her performances. It could have been a stronger documentary about the bipolar person behind the superstar we knew, instead it feels oddly like an introduction to Nina Simone and her music. This is not a Music Appreciation class.

FINAL GRADE: B

Friday Box Office: ‘Inside Out’ and ‘Jurassic’ Defeat Disappointing Newcomers

Terminator Genisys is tanking. It will debut below every Terminator film except the first Terminator. A B+ cinemascore is suggesting it won’t have legs either. It won’t fall off the face of the earth, but audiences are kind of echoing what critics have said. This isn’t a great film. I kinda disagree. And unlike Magic Mike XXL, this flops hurts. Over 150M spent, which it might get back eventually after foreign numbers come in and everything is accounted for. But, this might be the last time we see the Terminator on the big screen. At least, in this series… and not a full on reboot.

Magic Mike XXL is a flop, don’t get me wrong, but it cost less than 15M to make, so it’s already beyond that. It also has an A- cinemascore, so word of mouth will be stronger. It has no shot at crossing 100M like the first one did. It’ll be lucky to creep to 50M.

Minions will definitely hit #1 next weekend.

1) Inside Out- 12.5M Friday, 30M Projected Weekend
2) Jurassic World- 12.4M Friday, 29M Projected Weekend
3) Terminator Genisys- 10.7M Friday, 27M Projected Weekend
4) Magic Mike XXL- 6.2M Friday, 15M Projected Weekend
5) Ted 2- 4.5M Friday, 11M Projected Weekend
6) Max- 2.6M Friday, 6.5M Projected Weekend
7) Spy- 1.9M Friday, 5M Projected Weekend
8) San Andreas- 1M Friday, 3M Projected Weekend
9) Me Earl and the Dying Girl- 488K Friday, 1.3M Projected Weekend
10) Dope- 420K Friday, 1M Projected Weekend
??) Faith Of Our Fathers- 178K Friday, 500K Projected Weekend
??) Amy- 98K Friday, 230K Projected Weekend

Taken 3

Starring: Liam Neeson, Maggie Grace, Forest Whitaker, Dougray Scott, Famke Janssen, Sam Spruell, Leland Orser, Jon Gries, Jonny Weston
Directed By: Olivier Megaton

So we’re at the third Taken film. Obviously, we’re just going for cash cow status here, and we’re not trying to reinvent the wheel. I think Luc Besson gave up, personally. Olivier Megaton did a pretty decent job with Colombiana, but Taken 2 was crap. Taken 2 was actually the reason I ignored Taken 3 in theatres and caught it on bluray instead. Taken 3 is actually a better, more fun movie than Taken 2. Now, that’s not me endorsing the film. It’s got an obvious plotline that it can’t escape. From the moment you decide to drop Dougray Scott into the franchise, we know something is up. He’s freaking Dougray Scott. He’s usually a bad guy, and he’s a big enough name to not be sidelined the whole film as “the husband”. There are a ton of character actors who would have done “the husband”. No, you wanted “the bad guy”. So when Dougray Scott turns out to be a bad guy, I wasn’t surprised. Sorry.

Maggie Grace is getting a little old too. She’s still in college? She’s 31. She looks pretty old for a college student. Not many college’s have lockers either. It immediately made me think she was in high school, which made it feel even sillier. Giving her a boyfriend played by an actor five years younger than her didn’t help. It just made her look older than her boyfriend. I don’t know why she needed the college subplot anyway. Can’t she be getting her shit together? Can’t she be working in a career now? I don’t think the movie would have really changed if she had a job instead of a class schedule.

Neeson’s getting a little old too. I’m hoping this is the last Taken. We don’t need anymore. Neeson is a tremendous actor, and Taken gave him a huge boost, but we’re done with Bryan Mills. Forest Whitaker… didn’t you win an Oscar? What the hell? I mean, honestly, this was a good sendoff to the Taken franchise we never needed, but it’s still beneath everyone. Yes, we took a small step up, but Taken 2 went so far down it was easy to make a film better than that.

Predictable, everyone feels old, yet mildly entertaining. Liam Neeson is still a star… just hopefully a star of other franchises.

FINAL GRADE: C+

Project Almanac

Starring: Jonny Weston, Sofia Black-D’Elia, Sam Lerner, Allen Evangelista, Virginia Gardner
Directed By: Dean Israelite

A cool premise doesn’t make good with underdeveloped characters and a muted delivery.

I no longer give films props just for reinventing the “found footage” genre. Unlike other found footage films, this one makes absolutely no connection to why your cameraman is also a character. There’s no “discovery of footage” or anything like that. It’s just an odd choice for the film, since they don’t actually do anything with the found footage. This is a little spoilery, but your main cast doesn’t die… so there’s no need for found footage. Sorry.

So, then, why are we subjected to shaky handycam footage the entire film? I DON’T KNOW. It literally doesn’t make a damn bit of sense, since this film could have just as easily been told through traditional filmmaking and been fine. And, it might have actually given a screenwriter the opportunity to flesh out the characters a bit more so we don’t just have Jonny Weston and then four other people following him around. I had so many questions about his sister, like what grade she was in, why people hated her, why she was gorgeous and getting bullied, and none of my questions were answered because she spent most of the movie holding the camera.

Yes, super cool premise. Teens discover time travel. First of all, if that shit was in my basement for 10 years, I would have looked around down there by now. I don’t care what mom says, you’re a budding inventor and you’re really not gonna look through dad’s stuff for 10 years even though he was clearly doing shit right up your alley? I don’t buy that at all. They go back in time, sure, but to do what? Go to a concert? Pass a test? Get the girl? And then, oh yeah, MASSIVE BUTTERFLY EFFECT. The kids talk about going back in time and trying to do cool shit like kill Hitler, but instead they just go back in time and catch an Imagine Dragons concert. I suppose that’s cool for the MTV crowd, but the MTV crowd isn’t even really watching MTV anymore so who cares. Make a better movie, and people will watch it, then you can slap an MTV label on that. Imagine if MTV made cool shit like Inside Out. Everyone would love MTV. Instead, we get this. A found footage movie that has no business being found footage.

Congratulations on using a gimmick you didn’t need to use.

FINAL GRADE: C

The DUFF

Starring: Mae Whitman, Robbie Amell, Bella Thorne, Bianca A. Santos, Skylar Samuels, Romany Malco, Ken Jeong, Nick Eversman, Allison Janney
Directed By: Ari Sandel

Each generation has their set of teen movies. There are the token horror movies, like Nightmare On Elm Street, Scream, or for the new generation I guess… Insidious? Ouija? I don’t know what kids today watch actually. But, The DUFF follows in the grand tradition of adapting “Pygmalion” and acting like it’s an original concept. In this film, a frumpy girl is remade into a gorgeous chick and the guy who remade her is like “WHY DIDN’T I SEE IT ALL ALONG?”

So, while the plot of The DUFF isn’t revolutionary, it is still entertaining, due in large part to its leads. Mae Whitman is like a Christina Ricci for the dubstep generation. She’s not as angry or edgy, and not nearly as goth. She’s approachable, and her rapport with Robbie Amell feels real. They have more chemistry than Freddie Prinze Jr and Rachael Leigh Cook in She’s All That. And Bella Thorne is terrifically bitchy. Even though most of the supporting cast doesn’t make an impact (why did Ken Jeong even bother?), the leads are solid, and that makes the film work really well.

It’s already at Redbox, I missed this in theatres, so the question is “should I go out of my way to track this down and watch it”? If you like teen comedies, sure. Definitely. If you like smart teen comedies like Easy A, then you’ll really love this. It’s not a B-level teen film, this is definitely a top-tier teen movie, even if it isn’t really all that original.

FINAL GRADE: B+

The Loft

Starring: James Marsden, Karl Urban, Wentworth Miller, Eric Stonestreet, Matthias Schoenaerts, Rachael Taylor, Isabel Lucas, Valerie Cruz, Kristin Lehman, Margarita Levieva, Rhona Mitra, Kali Rocha
Directed By: Erik Van Looy

OK, this film is definitely better than 11% on Rotten Tomatoes. I mean, yes, the film has problems because of little plot holes, but this film is not awful. Fifty Shades Of Grey was definitely worse than this. Sorry sportsfans, but its true. The problem with this film is that it tries so damn hard to be clever that it thinks it can just jump over plot holes and think the audience won’t notice. First off, Wentworth Miller’s character was way too creepy… the WHOLE FILM. Like, James Marsden is obviously too likeable to be the killer, but Wentworth needs to chill the fuck out. Matthias is a red herring. And I’m sure someone read the script and said “Oh, but Eric Stonestreet is playing that part” so they added a ton of crude shit to his role to make it more believable that the guy from Modern Family would be a sex crazed maniac.

I’m not saying you missed a lot by not watching The Loft. It’s at Redbox. You could easily check it out. I think some of the performances are worth notice and some aren’t. I’d single out Miller and Isabel Lucas, who really is an awful actress. They don’t give her much to do, but the few lines she does have to drool out are really painful. I almost gave Megan Fox an Oscar, that’s how bad it was.

You might want to wait for Netflix Instant Streaming, so you’re already paying for the service.

FINAL GRADE: C+

The Spongebob Movie: Sponge Out Of Water

Starring: Antonio Banderas
Directed By: Paul Tibbitt

Actually… not a bad movie. I spent most of the movie wondering when the Sponge was actually going to go “Out Of Water”. It took a very long time. Like… the final 4th of the film is out of water, though Antonio Banderas appears throughout. It’s a nice shot in the arm to a franchise that really needed one. Spongebob is now fully energized and ready to resume being a franchise again. Part of what worked here was the arc for Plankton, taking him from the main villain to a hero. That’s always a nice arc to see.

I’m keeping this review short, because it’s unlikely you’re interested in this film for your own personal edification. Will you enjoy it as an adult? Perhaps. At least, if you grew up with Spongebob a little bit, then you might. It’s not 100% for kids, but it’s a solid 80%. That 20% will make you chuckle though.

FINAL GRADE: B-

Too Cool For Comic-Con

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