Category Archives: Movies

Trailer Time: American Assassin Trailer #1 (2017) *Mitch Rapp Comes to the Screen*

If you’re a fan of the Robert Ludlum/Tom Clancy military espionage thriller genre of novels, you may have discovered Vince Flynn when his literary career took off in the late 1990’s.  His main protagonist, Mitch Rapp, is a really interesting creation and I always enjoyed the series which is now being continued by author Kyle Mills since Flynn’s tragic death at only 47.  American Assassin is chronologically the first novel in the Rapp series, and the first trailer for the film adaptation starring Dylan O’Brien (The Maze Runner) and Michael Keaton is impressive and looks like it could be something to liven up the traditional doldrums of September when it debuts on September 15, 2017.
Michael Keaton, American Assassin

Susan Sarandon’s 10 Best Movies

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Susan Sarandon’s first film was in 1970.  She has a career spanning nearly 50 years in TV and film, and I’m not even going to pretend like I have seen most of her films, but I wanted to profile her this week because she’s the living embodiment of the argument that, while the rise of quality of TV has hurt the quality of films with budget between “arthouse” and “blockbuster, it has among other things provided quality roles to actresses who otherwise would have disappeared.  Sarandon, Laura Dern, Kathy Bates, Catherine Zeta Jones, Reese Witherspoon, Jessica Lange, Nicole Kidman and Robin Wright are all actresses who either won or were nominated for Best Actress in the 1990’s to early 2000’s and have already starred in huge TV events or series in 2017.  Hollywood has a rancid history of putting women out to pasture when they near 40 (or earlier), and deprive us of their talent until they reach “grandma age”.  Sarandon’s just concluded Feud with Lange looks at that very phenomenon as it examines the real life feud between legendary stars Joan Crawford and Bette Davis.  Aside from The Rocky Horror Picture Show (which you’re either religiously fanatic about or do not get; I am the latter), most of my exposure to Sarandon’s work is from Bull Durham on, and she easily fills a top 10 with just that bit of her career.  Now a septuagenarian (yes, I had to triple check that to make sure it’s accurately used but apparently Sarandon has some arrangement with Time), Sarandon is still one of the best actresses working
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Top 5: Scenes from Forrest Gump (IMDB Top 250 #13)

Forrest Gump, Tom Hanks, Robert Zemeckis

Every other month, we take a look at a movie on the Internet Movie Database’s List of the TOP 250 FILMS OF ALL-TIME.  These are movies that transcend a simple “My Favorite Scene” column.  These are movies that are hard to just pry five gems from, but we do and examine the film overall.  We’re on our thirteenth installment in this series.  Click on the links for The Shawshank Redemption, The Godfather, The Godfather Part II, The Dark Knight, Pulp Fiction , Schindler’s List, 12 Angry Men, The Good The Bad and The Ugly, The Return of the King, Fight Club,  and The Empire Strikes Back to check out previous installments.

At  #13, we come to 1995’s Best Picture: Forrest Gump, directed by Robert Zemeckis.  These columns usually come out faster, and for that I’m sorry, but I’ve hit a road block with this one that I haven’t encountered since we did Pulp Fiction: I really don’t like Forrest Gump.  CALM DOWN!  I respect the film for the performances and for breakthroughs in the craft of film making, but in no way do I think the film is one of the greatest motion pictures of all-time.  “Gumpmania” swept the country in 1994, denying what should have been the most critically recognized film of the year, The Shawshank Redemption, the acclaim it has since received in the two decades since both were released.  Likewise, Tom Hanks has given at least three to five performances that were stronger Oscar candidates than Forrest Gump.  It is, however, undeniably a hugely popular film, and like Pulp Fiction, it does have scenes (most involving my favorite character) that are worthy of recognition and examination. Continue reading Top 5: Scenes from Forrest Gump (IMDB Top 250 #13)

In Theaters This Week (4/21/2017): Free Fire, Unforgettable, The Promise

Free Fire, Brie Larson

Each Thursday we look at what is going to be coming out in theaters this weekend, show you the trailers for the big releases, predict the box office winner and just generally give you enough of a carrot to pull you through the rest of the work week.  F8 has three new challengers to its reign, but nothing is going to stop its reign atop the box office this week or next.  It’s going to take a couple Guardians of the Galaxy to stop them. Continue reading In Theaters This Week (4/21/2017): Free Fire, Unforgettable, The Promise

Movie Review: The Fate of the Furious (2017) “CARMAGEDDON!!!”

Dwayne Johnson, Vin Diesel, The Fate of the Furious
I have no idea how in its eighth installment The Fast and the Furious franchise has reached the box office clout of Star Wars.  While it’s nowhere near as possible as THE SAGA in the US; globally, it seems there is a worldwide love of fast cars, pretty people, explosions, and increasingly humongous set pieces.  The Fate of the Furious opened with the largest international opening in history, passing even Star Wars Episode VII to set the new record.  The opening is bigger than Furious 7, but is F8 an improvement on the first movie in the series to be a legitimately great action movie?  No.  In no way is it a descent of epic proportions, but it feels a lot like the fifth and sixth installments: islands of cool moments, enjoyable enough, but bloated beyond justification and beginning to get mired down in its own mythology. Continue reading Movie Review: The Fate of the Furious (2017) “CARMAGEDDON!!!”