SDFF 2014 Review: ‘Wild’ is a Bumpy Ride

Wild 2014 Moive Review Reese Witherspoon

We are not born with a set path in life to help guide us through the good times and the bad. It is the decisions we make that steer us into who we become. Based on the true story of Cheryl Strayed, played by Reese Witherspoon, Jean-Marc Vallée’s Wild unfortunately isn’t able to formulate a cohesive track. With more bumps in the road than twists and turns, this journey of self discovery creates little wonder or revelation to rationalize a main character walking over 1,000-miles that isn’t, herself, a Hobbit. Continue reading

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Movie Review: ‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’ Unites the Best of Both Worlds

'X-Men Days of Future Past' Teaser Trailer

Thanks to the incredible framework established by Bryan Singer in 2000 with X-Men, and the successful prequel directed by Matthew Vaughn, X-Men: First Class (2011), X-Men: Days of Future Past works exceedingly as a thrilling, superior sequel within the expansive roller coaster of the X-Men cinematic universe. Successfully cleansing the palette of past franchise mistakes, Singer successfully unifies two timelines to create one of the most compelling superhero films of all time. Continue reading

Movie Review: ‘A Million Ways to Die in the West’ Delivers Bland MacFarlane Comedy

Movie Review A Million Ways to Die in the West

In a post Ted and 2013 Oscars world, there is not much left for Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane to mock and satire. Mining for laughs in his latest movie A Million Ways to Die in the West, which he wrote, directed, and starred in, the funny man unfortunately fails to deliver on that charm we all love. After seeing a teddy bear use produce as a strap-on dildo, A Million Ways to Die in the West is the Mr. Rogers of Seth MacFarlane comedy.  Continue reading

Movie Review: ‘How to Train Your Dragon 2’ Raises the Franchise to New Heights

How To Train Your Dragon 2 Teaser Trailer Screenshot Toothless and Hiccup Flying

Riding on the success of 2010’s How to Train Your Dragon, DreamWorks seeks to make a bold statement in the animation world with writer/director Dean DeBlois’ How to Train Your Dragon 2. The evolution of our heroes and the expanded development of the dragon mythology makes for one of the most fascinating and exciting sequels ever. How to Train Your Dragon 2 is the animated experience you cannot miss. Continue reading

Movie Review: ‘Godzilla’ is a Monstrosity of a Reboot

Godzilla 2014 Movie Review

The bigger they are, the harder they fall, and in this case we’re talking about the Godzilla reboot, not the king of monsters himself. Despite a strong marketing campaign, a solid cast and promising director (Gareth Edwards), Godzilla sadly disappoints. From empty human characters that take up most of the screen time to poorly paced monster battles, Godzilla is frankly, underwhelming. Continue reading

Movie Review: ‘Neighbors’ Uses Both Heads to Create Nonstop Laughs

Neighbors 2014 Movie Review

It’s a funny thing how age can significantly factor into the enjoyment of comedy. The older you become the more satire you’re able to comprehend, while perhaps a part of your ever evolving subjective tastes shun aspects of humor that once tickled your fancy. This contemplation struck me hard when I saw Nicholas Stoller’s Neighbors, which on one hand spoke to my extroverted, college years when I was actually in a fraternity half a decade ago, and on the other hand resonated to my post alma mater lifestyle of comfort and quiet. Accepting a balance between worlds of family and fraternity, I found Neighbors to be absolutely hilarious, but misses the mark with some of its heartfelt intentions. Continue reading

Movie Review: ‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2’ is a Bloated Mess with Great Action

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 Teaser Trailer Spidey Suit

No director is perfect. Steven Spielberg, Quentin Tarantino, Tim Burton, and Martin Scorsese have had their bad days. But when I look at The Amazing Spider-Man 2, I am befuddled by the idea that Marc Webb is the man who directed one of my favorite movies of all time, (500) Days of Summer. Plugging in too many wacky, unconvincing villains while juggling many big ideas with little-to-no payoff, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 can sadly be put on the same playing level as Joel Schumacher’s Batman films. Continue reading

Movie Review: ‘Transcendence’ is a Lifeless Disappointment of Techno Jargon

Transcendence Movie Review 2014

It’s not often that we are graced with a performance by Johnny Depp where he is not wearing make up. In fact, it is a welcomed occurrence when it happens. But given the opportunity for Depp to shed the eyeliner and work with one of the most talented cinematographers, Wally Pfister (Inception; The Dark Knight trilogy), in his directorial debut, the results are absolutely depressing. Transcendence, written by first time screenwriter Jack Paglen, is a sad, miscalculation of big themes with poor delivery. Continue reading

Movie Review: ‘Under the Skin’ Fascinates and Rewards Patience

Under the Skin Movie Review

This is a crazy world we live in, and seeing it from an outsider’s perspective can be quite an eye-opening experience because of how jaded we are to society’s expectations and evolution as a culture. Jonathan Glazer’s adaptation of Under the Skin works in many, powerful layers, carefully placing themes of sexuality and gender roles in modern civilization under the microscope. It could be one of the most important movies of our generation. Continue reading

Movie Review: ‘Mirage Men’ is for Believers and Skeptics Alike

Movie Review ‘Mirage Men’

Mirage Men has all the right ingredients for a riveting, modern-day conspiracy flick: ET visitors, flying saucers, flashing lights, and UFO crash sites – even unexplained cattle mutilation. True to Mark Pilkington’s book published in 2010, the British-made documentary is thought-provoking, unsettling, and perhaps even downright scary ­– but not because of the possible existence of extraterrestrial life or any of the aforementioned elements. Directed by John Lundberg (known for his acclaimed work regarding related ostension), Mirage Men tells the twisted and tangled story of how the US Government created a myth that took over the world. Continue reading