REVIEW: Spotlight

Spotlight Team 1Title: Spotlight | Rated: R | Duration: 128 min | Theaters limited (expanding)

What makes Spotlight such an accomplished and incredible project? It’s one of those pictures where every single one of its parts come together seamlessly, never calling attention to themselves and working only for the purpose of making a tremendous film. It knows what kind of movie it wants to be, and sets out with that objective in its sights without ever straying from its intended path. It is, without a doubt, one of the best films of the year.

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Main GroupTitle: Truth | Rated: R | Duration: 121 min | Theaters limited (reducing)

Cinema should see more journalists. One of the world’s noblest professions hardly ever gets a movie about it, instead being relegated to minor characters who are used for some greater purpose, typically the publication of classified information. All in all, journalism doesn’t quite receive the attention nor respect it deserves in this visual medium, at least not lately. Seeking to change that is Truth, which follows a group of journalists as they do their jobs and are forced to defend their work. Despite being based on a compelling true story, the film unfortunately feels constrained and lacking.

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Into the Badlands: The New Kid on the (AMC) Block

1B6B46E9-CA12-CF88-17852A957FAEFB4FAMC has released another original show and I couldn’t be more excited. Put together by the producers of Pulp Fiction and Django Unchained (and if you’re into it, the creator of Smallville) Into the Badlands is set in a dystopian world that is ruled by Barons. Think of them as southern plantation owners. They have banned the use of firearms and rule with armies of skilled fighters called Clippers. For safety and protection, non-Baron/non-Clipper members of the population (or Cogs) must submit themselves to a life of servitude. Nomads run around wreaking havoc through stealing, smuggling, etc.. And I warn you, this is not for the weak-stomached. There are some seriously brutal fight scenes to be enjoyed here and if you have problems with arms, legs, spines, and any other appendage (or even your whole body) bending the wrong way – stay away from this one.

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I Need a Beer: Appreciating Autumn

calvin_hobbesI’ve been asking a lot of people about what their favorite time of year. The almost unanimous response is autumn/fall. And you know what – I’m going to go on record saying that this time of year is underrated. autumn is fricken’ awesome:

  • Weather cools down but things don’t get dreary and rainy.
  • If you live in a place that has seasons, the colors blow your mind.
  • If you live in a place that has seasons, say bye-bye to humidity and bugs!
  • If you live in CA, the heat becomes more bearable.
  • It has my personal favorite holiday: Thanksgiving (You eat and you give thanks. How is this not more popular?).
  • You get the best sleep. It’s cold enough that you don’t have to remove the covers but not so cold that you’re shivering when you get in.
  • And the most important reason: NBA season begins!

I repeat. Autumn is amazing and underrated.

Another great thing about autumn. You get to start drinking heavier beers. Today I’m looking for what might be my favorite type of beer: the barley wine. Continue reading

REVIEW: Spectre

On the WallTitle: Spectre | Rated: PG-13 | Duration: 148 min | Theaters nationwide

Did you know that when Daniel Craig was unveiled as the sixth actor to play James Bond, a tremendous backlash occurred in response to his casting? Why, there were calls for boycotts and campaigns to strip the actor of his new role. It’s quite hilarious to read about these now, considering that Craig would receive acclaim for his performances and also star in two of the best films in the franchise with Casino Royale and Skyfall. His work doesn’t end just there; he signaled the franchise’s direction towards a dark, edgier, and grounded Bond without sacrificing his heart and ability to thrill. Craig’s time as Bond didn’t run smoothly (as Quantum of Solace can testify), but things seemed well for both the character and his future. That being said, it’s damn near heartbreaking how Spectre drops the ball in almost every way imaginable and ends up what I never would have imagined a Bond film being: lifeless.

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AllerdaleTitle: Crimson Peak | Rated: R | Duration: 119 min | Theaters nationwide

Hello, loyal readers! It’s time for another MediaBrewPub Email Throwdown. This past week, Andrew, Jun, and Simon were able to take in Guillermo del Toro’s latest film, Crimson Peak. It’s been a while since the world has seen a del Toro film, and they were excited to see his latest creation on the silver screen. So let’s get to it! WARNING: Spoilers ahead.

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REVIEW: Bridge of Spies

TrialTitle: Bridge of Spies | Rated: PG-13 | Duration: 141 min | Theaters nationwide

When looking at Steven Spielberg’s filmography, I see his maturation. Yes, you can say that about any director, but that development applies not just to his skills, but also to his interests as a filmmaker. Most of his flicks from the ’70s and ’80s, like Jaws, the Indiana Jones saga, and E.T., focused on taking the audience on an adventure and delivering thrills. The Color Purple marked his first foray into more serious and adult subject matter, and that fascination continued across the ’90s and well into the 21st century in films such as Schindler’s List, Saving Private Ryan, Munich, and Lincoln. Bridge of Spies is the latest project from his growing awareness of his world, and stands as an exceptional and relevant piece.

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