QUICK TAKE: Free State of Jones

TeachingTitle: Free State of Jones | Rated: R | Runtime: 139 min | Theaters limited (reducing)

There’s no shortage of incredible true stories, and a great number of them deserve to be told on the big screen. After all, through the magic of filmmaking, a story can come to life and engage the viewer emotionally, intellectually, and visually. The story of Newton Knight and the “Free State of Jones” rebelling against the Confederacy during the Civil War is an utterly fascinating one, and it’s well-suited to be a movie that engages on all fronts. Writer-director Gary Ross (Seabiscuit, The Hunger Games) is up for the task, but Free State of Jones is a cluttered film that simply tries to juggle too much and ultimately doesn’t fulfill any part of its incredible subject matter.

Continue reading

Revisiting Batman v Superman (Ultimate Edition Blu-Ray Release)

maxresdefaultI wanted to like this move. I really did. In fact, I wanted to love it. Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be. Don’t get me wrong, I found it entertaining and seeing Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman on the big screen together, well, the geek in me was doing back flips. The problem was they attempted to push in about four movies’ worth of character development into one film and somehow made it painstakingly slow. How do you do that? Overwhelm someone with information while also making it feel like things are unfolding underwater? You can read MBP’s thoughts here in our email throwdown.

As Batman V Superman became a punchline for everything that sucks about DC in the DC vs. Marvel battle of comic blockbusters, there were rumors of an extended addition of the film that covers up some of the rough spots of the cinematic release. Optimistic of the additional scenes as well as the R rating of the Ultimate Edition, I took a leap of faith and purchased the Blu Ray. Here are some quick items of note that changed in the Ultimate Edition: Continue reading

REVIEW: Ghostbusters (2016)

Team Subway 2Title: Ghostbusters | Rated: PG-13 | Runtime: 116 min | Theaters nationwide

When it comes to this year’s female-led Ghostbusters reboot/remake, you’ve got to have an opinion. Ever since the project was announced, it has been met with a barrage of absolute hatred that shows no signs of stopping. I’ve yet to come across any preview on YouTube where the “likes” outnumber the “dislikes,” low ratings are already flooding its IMDb page, and a large number of individuals seem to relish reading any negative review. All this is happening before the movie officially opens stateside in a few hours, by the way, so general audiences haven’t seen it yet. Such reactions come from a variety of people, from fans of the Ivan Reitman films to trolling misogynists to Donald Trump himself. To say the least, this is a strange and troubling phenomenon: there’s a widespread desire to see this particular film tank hard. It’s very unfortunate since the film isn’t the cancer-inducing dumpster fire that many want it to be. On the contrary, it’s a solid flick that – despite its flaws – bursts with energy and fun, thanks in large part to the chemistry between its leading ladies.

Continue reading

QUICK TAKE: Swiss Army Man

DuoTitle: Swiss Army Man | Rated: R | Runtime: 97 min | Theaters wide

Let’s face it: a movie about a shipwrecked survivor relying on a farting corpse with incredible abilities sounds pretty stupid, if not outlandish. That said, it’s almost magical when a pair of filmmakers inject that story with so much emotion, fun, heart, and humanity, turning it into something that almost defies description – and that’s exactly what Swiss Army Man is. It does bite off more than it can chew, but you can’t deny that it’s exciting to watch unfold.

Continue reading

REVIEW: The BFG (2016)

HillTitle: The BFG | Rated: PG | Runtime: 117 min | Theaters nationwide

Two of the world’s greatest storytellers have come together. One is Steven Spielberg, perhaps the greatest living master of cinema, and the other is Roald Dahl, whose books have caused the imaginations of children across many generations to run amok. It seems like a perfect match given their techniques and tendencies, and it’s almost surprising how Spielberg hasn’t adapted a Dahl story until now. His book of choice is The BFG, and on paper, his adaptation of the zany novel sounds like nothing short of a home run. Alas, the film turns out to be one of his weaker efforts – a visual treat boasting a pair of terrific performances, but marred by slipshod pacing and a mishandling of the book’s tone.

Continue reading

KD to the Warriors: The Legacy of LeBron

Kevin-Durant-Golden-State-Warriors-I want that Game 7 back so bad. Like, in a very painful, gut-wrenching, throw myself through a wall type of way. But KD coming to the Warriors, that helps about as much as anything can. In fact, if the Warriors can pull it off and become a multi-championship dynasty, I will gladly give up the 73-9 dream season – I love KD. But right now, I still want Game 7 back. Moving on…

Continue reading