Now Available to Own: The Walk, Sicario, The Visit, Deathgasm, and More

Brace your bank accounts, it’s time to see what’s Now Available to Own for the week of January 5, 2016. Every Tuesday we run down new movie and television releases that you can enjoy in the comfort of your own home, as well as some slick deals that can help save you some coin. New on shelves this week are The Walk, Sicario, The Visit, Deathgasm, and more.

Sicario Movie

Source: Business Insider

Movies on Blu-ray

Sicario (Denis Villeneuve) Rated R [121 min] – An idealistic FBI agent is enlisted by an elected government task force to aid in the escalating war against drugs at the border area between the U.S. and Mexico. Starring Emily Blunt, Josh Brolin, Benicio Del Toro, and Jon Bernthal

If you like tense, edge of your seat dramas that leave you in suspense up until the bitter end, Sicario will be your cup of tea. Emily Blunt puts out a wonderful performance alongside a stellar supporting casting, especially Benicio Del Toro who absolutely shines.

Special features include:

  • Stepping Into Darkness: The Visual Design of Sicario
  • Blunt, Brolin, and Benicio: Portraying the Characters of Sicario
  • A Pulse From The Desert: The Score of Sicario
  • Battle Zone: Inside The World of Sicario
  • And More…

The Walk (Robert Zemeckis) Rated PG [123 min] – In 1974, high-wire artist Philippe Petit recruits a team of people to help him realize his dream: to walk the the immense void between the World Trade Center towers. Starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Charlotte Le Bon, Guillaume Baillargeon, and Émilie Leclerc

Sadly, The Walk is one of the most under seen movies of 2015. The most depressing part about the film isn’t that it’s a dramatization of the thrilling documentary Man on Wire, what’s upsetting is that The Walk is actually a really fun movie that is riveting experience when seen on the big screen. There is some incredible cheese and terrible narration, but overall this movie is one of the most intense things I witnessed in theaters last year. My armpits were dripping with anxiety throughout the last 30 minutes of the film.

Special features include:

  • Pillars of Support
  • First Steps
  • The Amazing Walk
  • Deleted Scenes

The Visit (M. Night Shyamalan) Rated PG-13 [94 min] – A single mother finds that things in her family’s life go very wrong after her two young children visit their grandparents. Starring Olivia DeJonge, Ed Oxenbould, Deanna Dunagan, and Peter McRobbie

M. Night (Signs; The Sixth SenseThe Village; Unbreakable) has not had the best track record after the handful of successes he garnered early on in his career. After a slew of flops, including 2013’s abomination After Earth, the once revered master of twists shows he still has that delicious flare we know and love. The Visit doesn’t have the best characters to fall in love with, but the pacing, direction, and level of mystery delivers a fairly rewarding end. And amazingly, if he continues doing work at this caliber, I am highly intrigued at what he can accomplish next.

Special features include:

  • Alternate Ending
  • Deleted Scenes
  • The Making of The Visit
  • Becca’s Photos

The Green Inferno (Eli Roth) Rated R [100 min] – A group of student activists travels to the Amazon to save the rain forest and soon discover that they are not alone, and that no good deed goes unpunished. Starring Lorenza Izzo, Ariel Levy, Aaron Burns, and Kirby Bliss Blanton

Not since 2007’s Hostel II have I really seen anything to jump for joy about when it comes to Eli Roth’s work. And after delays and mixed reviews, I wasn’t so sure I’d walk away from The Green Inferno in any better shape. Surprisingly, I was pleasantly enlightened by its cheeky story. And despite having heard how vicious and disgusting it is, The Green Inferno is pretty tame considering it’s a film about cannibalism.

Special features include:

  • Feature Commentary
  • Photo Gallery

Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse (Christopher Landon) Rated R [93 min] – Three scouts, on the eve of their last camp-out, discover the true meaning of friendship when they attempt to save their town from a zombie outbreak. Starring Tye Sheridan, Logan Miller, Joey Morgan, and Sarah Dumont

Originally entitled Scouts vs. Zombies, a more suitable and grammatically correct title, Scouts Guide, in its truest form, is the stoner comedy answer to the rise in popularity of the undead. Not without its lewd and somewhat refreshing zombie set pieces, the movie fails to deliver characters and a story that matters. Scouts Guide is what would happen if the tripod from Superbad encountered the zombie apocalypse. It’s not revolutionary on any level, but it does have a few gags that are worth fast forwarding to get to.

Special features include:

  • Scouts Guide to Filmmaking
  • The Zombie Makeup FX Handbook
  • Undead Movement Guidelines: Zombie Choreography
  • Uniforms and You: Costume Design
  • Deleted Scenes

Deathgasm (Jason Lei Howden) Unrated [86 min] – Two teenage boys unwittingly summon an ancient evil entity known as The Blind One by delving into black magic while trying to escape their mundane lives. Starring Milo Cawthorne, James Blake, and Kimberley Crossman

After its big premiere at South by Southwest, Deathgasm has been on my must watch list for quite some time. So does it live up to the hype? Kinda. The movie is really fun and full of hilarious references to the metal scene, and even if you’re not a metalhead, the movie goes a long way to entertain and fully engage you in the rambunctious anarchy. The only downside is that its convenient ending makes the movie feel a bit rushed.

Special features include:

  • Commentary with Writer-Director Jason Lei Howden
  • Featurettes
  • Music Video: Bulletbelt – “Deathgasm”
  • Trailer
  • Teaser

Experimenter (Michael Almereyda) Rated PG-13 [98 min] – Famed social psychologist Stanley Milgram, in 1961 conducted a series of radical behavior experiments that tested ordinary humans willingness to obey authority. Starring Peter Sarsgaard, Josh Hamilton, Taryn Manning, Winona Ryder, and Anton Yelchin

Not having any previous awareness to famed psychologist Stanley Milgram, I didn’t quite know what to expect going into Experimenter, only that the cast is exceptional. That being said, the movie is pretty cut and dry aside from a narrative breaking of the fourth wall by Sarsgaard. The movie tells and never shows. The main social experiment is rather fascinating, and its subjects bring up a lot of concerning and existential conversations. However, there’s nothing too exhilarating about Experimenter to capture and engage like it should with how important Milgram’s findings were.

Special features include:

  • The Making of Experimenter
  • Designing Experimenter
  • Understanding Stanley Milgram: An Inerview with Joel Milgram

Kung Fu Panda [Re-Release] (Mark Osborne and John Stevenson) Rated PG [92 min] – In the Valley of Peace, Po the Panda finds himself chosen as the Dragon Warrior despite the fact that he is obese and a complete novice at martial arts. Starring Jack Black, Dustin Hoffman, Angelina Jolie, Jackie Chan, Seth Rogen, Lucy Liu, David Cross, James Hong, Randall Duk Kim, and Ian McShane

AND

Kung Fu Panda 2 [Re-Release] (Jennifer Yuh) Rated PG [91 min] – Po and his friends fight to stop a peacock villain from conquering China with a deadly new weapon, but first the Dragon Warrior must come to terms with his past. Starring Jack Black, Dustin Hoffman, Angelina Jolie, Jackie Chan, Seth Rogen, Lucy Liu, David Cross, James Hong, and Gary Oldman

Both Kung Fu Panda films have been re-released with extra bonus content in celebration of the upcoming release of Kung Fu Panda 3. While I enjoy both films, the new extra features are fun for the kids, but don’t bring anything really new to those looking for a deeper exploration of the making of the film.

New Re-release Special features include:

  • “Secrets of the Scroll” – an all-new animated adventure. – Tigress, Viper, Monkey, Crane and Mantis transform from complete strangers into the legendary Furious Five Warriors of Kung Fu
  • Martial Arts Awesomeness Music Video – Our heroes’ fight sequences move to the beat of “Kung Fu Fighting” in this colorful music video
  • Mash-Up of Awesomeness: Slo-Mo – Prepare to be thrilled by amazing, high-intensity action sequences in all the glory that slow motion provides
  • Mash-Up of Blunders – Laugh with this lightning quick mash-up of all Po’s hilariously embarrassing moments
  • Plus an Exclusive Sneak Peek of Kung Fu Panda 3 – All-new Kung Fu Panda 3 sneak peek with introduction by Jack Black

DVD Only

Sleeping with Other People (Leslye Headland) Rated R [95 min] – A good-natured womanizer and a serial cheater form a platonic relationship that helps reform them in ways, while a mutual attraction sets in. Starring Jason Sudeikis, Alison Brie, Jordan Carlos, and Margarita Levieva

This may be the first time I’ve found Jason Sudeikis mildly tolerable. That may lie solely on the fact that Alison Brie brings out the best in people. Sleeping with Other People isn’t your traditional FWB romcom, but rather a relationship story based on friendship and support. Crazy concept, I know. It works up until the very end where things start to fall apart. It has some good laughs and witty dialogue, but not revolutionary to the romcom game.

  • No special features included

Captive (Jerry Jameson) Rated PG-13 [97 min] – A single mother struggling with drug addiction is taken hostage in her own apartment by a man on the run after breaking out of jail and murdering the judge assigned to his case. Starring Kate Mara, David Oyelowo, Mimi Rogers, and Michael Kenneth Williams

Not much can be said about the rather mediocre Captive. While the performances by Mara and Oyelowo maintain a professional level of commitment with the utmost conviction, the film is rather repetitive, beating the main story beats and themes over the head too often. And by the end, the miles Captive puts in to build to some meaningful, big finale doesn’t come close to the oomph it is hoping for because the damage has already been done.

Special features include:

  • Feature film in standard definition
  • Journey Through Darkness: Filming Captive
  • Faith and The Purpose Driven Life
Broad City Season 2

Source: neogaf

Television Series

Broad City (Season 2) [DVD Only] (Ilana Glazer, Abbi Jacobson) Rated TV-14 [22 min] – Broad City follows two women throughout their daily lives in New York City, making the smallest and mundane events hysterical and disturbing to watch all at the same time. Starring Abbi Jacobson, Ilana Glazer, and Hannibal Buress

I hadn’t had the inclination to check out Broad City, but after the opportunity presented itself, and figuring how well received the series has been, I thought I’d check it out. The show definitely lives up to the hype. Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer absolutely crush it. The lives of their characters are hilariously resonating while at the same time utterly fantastical. Season 2 is a big step forward as their characters progress to even further heights and their morals even lower. This show is hilarious and suggest everyone gets on it.

Special features include:

  • Outtakes & Deleted Scenes
  • Pop-Up Enhanced Episode
  • “Hack Into Broad City” Series
  • “Body By Trey” Videos

Additional Releases this Week

  • It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (Season 10) (DVD Only)
  • Legend: The Complete Series (DVD Only)
  • Party of Five: The Complete Series (DVD Only)
  • Comedy Bang! Bang! (Season 10) (DVD Only)
  • Ancient Aliens Season 8 (DVD Only)
  • Battle for Skyark (DVD Only)

Blu-Ray Deals and Steals

  • The Land Before Time – $9.99
  • Fox Searchlight Collection – $69.99
  • Princess Mononoke – $17.99
  • The Drop – $9.99
  • We Are Still Here – $7.99
  • Me and Earl and the Dying Girl – $14.99
  • The Wind Rises – $17.99
  • The Breakfast Club: 30th Anniversary Edition – $8
  • Baby Mama – $5
  • West Side Story – $10.99
  • Far From the Madding Crowd – $12.99
  • Kill Bill 1 & 2 Collection – $7.99

All prices from Amazon.com. Best Buy, Frys, and Target all price match online prices.

What will you be taking home this week? Tell us in the comments section below!


new movie tv video game releases on dvd and-blu-ray

All plot synopses come courtesy of IMDb.com

Image: Fighting in the War Room

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Coming Soon to Blu-Ray and DVD: The Scorch Trials, Inside Amy Schumer, The Visit, and More

While we provide you with a list of available new releases Now Available to Own every Tuesday, Coming Soon to Blu-ray and DVD looks at all of the recent home video announcements. For the week of November 7, 2015 we have the The Scorch Trials, Inside Amy Schumer, Black Sails, and The Visit, and more. Find out when they’ll be out and what special features movie fans can expect below.

Maze Runner The Scorch Trials Blu-ray Box Cover Art

Available on Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital HD December 15

Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials (Wes Ball) Rated PG-13 [131 min] – After having escaped the Maze, the Gladers now face a new set of challenges on the open roads of a desolate landscape filled with unimaginable obstacles.Director: Wes BallStars: Dylan O’Brien, Kaya Scodelario, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Giancarlo Esposito, Ki Hong Lee, Dexter Darden, Jacob Lofland, Rosa Salazar, Aidan Gillen, and Patricia Clarkson

Special features include:

  • Janson’s Report
  • Secrets of the Scorch
    • The Second Chapter Begins…
    • Creating a Scorched Earth
    • New Friends and Enemies
    • Surviving the Scorch
    • Creating the Cranks
    • On the Edge: Constructing the Skyscraper Sequence
  • Visual Effects
    • Optional Commentary by Wes Ball
    • Bunker Entrance
    • Hiding from WCKD
    • Building Collapse
  • Visual Effects Reel
    • Bunker Entrance
    • Bunker Escape
    • Mall
    • Scorch Travel
    • Lightning Storm
    • Jorge’s Lair
    • Tunnels / Leaning Building / Crankland
    • Right Arm Camp
  • Deleted and Extended Scenes with Audio Commentary from Wes Ball, T.S. Nowlin, Joe Hartwick Jr. and Dan Zimmerman
    • Food Fight
    • Storage Depot Walk – Meet Janson
    • Bunker Escape – Minho Knows the Way
    • Mall Walk – Escalators
    • Mall Attack – Goodbye Jack
    • Scorch Travel – Teresa on Bridge
    • Scorch Travel – Helping Winston
    • Newt & Thomas at Campfire
    • Extended Jorge Lair Walk
    • Cranks Attack WCKD Soldiers
    • Extended Zipline
    • Jorge Lair – Brenda Fires Back
    • Extended Tunnel Walk
    • Extended Crankland WCKD Arrives
  • Gag Reel
  • Galleries
    • Concept Art
    • Storyboards
  • Theatrical Trailers

The Visit Blu-ray Box Cover Art

Available on Digital HD December 15; Blu-ray and DVD January 5, 2016

The Visit (M. Night Shyamalan) Rated PG-13 [94 min] – A single mother finds that things in her family’s life go very wrong after her two young children visit their grandparents. Starring Olivia DeJonge, Ed Oxenbould, Deanna Dunagan, and Peter McRobbie

Special features include:

  • Alternate Ending
  • Deleted Scenes
  • The Making of The Visit
  • Becca’s Photos

The Perfect Guy Blu-ray Box Cover Art

Available on Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital HD December 29

The Perfect Guy (David M. Rosenthal) Rated PG-13 [100 min] – After breaking up with her boyfriend, a professional woman gets involved with a man who seems almost too good to be true. Starring Sanaa Lathan, Michael Ealy, Morris Chestnut, and L. Scott Caldwell

Special features include:

  • Featurette: Lust and Obsession: Making The Perfect Guy

Inside Amy Schumer Season 3 DVD Box Cover Art

Available on Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital HD November 11

Inside Amy Schumer Season 3 (Amy Schumer) Rated TV-14 [22 min] – Amy Schumer switches from sketches, doing stand up, to interviewing people on the street and people of interest usually following a certain theme. Starring Amy Schumer, Kevin Kane, and Mike Houston

Special features include:

  • Outtakes & Deleted Scenes
  • Exclusive Unaired Sketch
  • Unaired “Amy Goes Deep” Interviews

The Green Inferno Blu-ray Box Cover Art

Available on Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital HD January 5, 2016

The Green Inferno (Eli Roth) Rated R [100 min] – A group of student activists travels to the Amazon to save the rain forest and soon discover that they are not alone, and that no good deed goes unpunished. Starring Lorenza Izzo, Ariel Levy, Aaron Burns, and Kirby Bliss Blanton

Special features include:

  • Feature Commentary – With co-writer, director and producer Eli Roth, producer Nicolás López, and stars Lorenza Izzo, Aaron Burns, Kirby Bliss Blanton, and Daryl Sabara

He Named Me Malala DVD Box Cover Art

Available on Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital HD December 12

He Named Me Malala (Davis Guggenheim) [Limited] Rated PG-13 [87 min] – A look at the events leading up to the Talibans’ attack on the young Pakistani school girl, Malala Yousafzai, for speaking out on girls’ education and the aftermath, including her speech to the United Nations. Starring Malala Yousafzai, Ziauddin Yousafzai, Toor Pekai Yousafzai, and Khushal Yousafzai

  • No special features included

Girls Season 4 Blu-ray Box Cover Art

Available on Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital HD February 16, 2016

Girls Season 4 (Lena Dunham) In Season 3 of the Emmy and Golden Globe-winning HBO comedy series, Hannah is now in a committed relationship with Adam, and the two are settling into a newfound domesticity in Hannah’s apartment. Hannah is also working on rehabilitating her writing career and concentrating on delivering her eBook to her eccentric publisher. Meanwhile, Marnie is meticulously working to achieve the life she feels she deserves. A comedy about the experiences of a group of girls in their early 20s. Starring Lena Dunham, Allison Williams, Jemima Kirke, and Adam Driver

Special features include:

  • Deleted & Extended Scenes
  • Gag Reels
  • The Making of Girls – a look inside the creation of season four
  • Marnie & Desi’s full “Breathless” performance
  • Marnie’s solo “Riverside” performance
  • Episodic Recaps
  • Season 3 Recap
  • Inside the Episodes
  • Audio Commentaries – seven commentaries with cast and crew including Lena Dunham, Allison Williams, Jemima Kirke, Zosia Mamet and more.

Togetherness Season 1 Blu-ray Box Cover Art

Available on Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital HD January 12, 2016

Togetherness (Jay Duplass, Mark Duplass, and Steve Zissis) Rated TV-MA [30 min] – Follows two couples living under the same roof who struggle to keep their relationships alive while pursuing their individual dreams. Starring Mark Duplass, Melanie Lynskey, and Amanda Peet

Special features include:

  • Deleted scenes
  • Behind-the-scenes interview with cast members Amanda Peet and Steve Zissis
  • And More…

Zoolander Blu-ray Steelbook Box Cover Art

Available on Blu-ray December 1

Zoolander (Ben Stiller) Rated PG-13 [89 min] – At the end of his career, a clueless fashion model is brainwashed to kill the Prime Minister of Malaysia. Starring Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, and Christine Taylor

Special features include:

  • Audio Commentary by Ben Stiller and writers Drake Sather & John Hamburg
  • A Really, Really, Really Cool Teaser for Zoolander No. 2
  • Breakdance Fight Rehearsal—NEW!
  • Alternate Brainwashing Sequence Storyboards—NEW!
  • Walkoff Rehearsal Footage with Ben Stiller commentary
  • Deleted Scenes with Ben Stiller commentary
  • Extended Scenes with Ben Stiller commentary
  • Outtakes
  • VH1 Fashion Awards Skits
  • Music Video “Start the Commotion” by The Wiseguys
  • Public Service Announcements
  • MTV Cribs
  • Interstitials
  • Photo Galleries

One Eyed Girl Blu-ray Box Cover Art

Available on Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital HD December 8

One Eyed Girl (Nick Matthews) Unrated [102 min] – Travis, is a thirty-something psychiatrist haunted by the death of a former patient. On the brink of a nervous breakdown he stumbles across a group run by a charismatic leader, Father Jay. In search of answers, Travis is led deeper and deeper into the underworld of a Doom’s Day cult where he meets Grace, a mysterious teenage girl. When the cult comes under attack from the outside world, Travis must risk his life to free a girl, and save his soul. Starring Sara West, Steve Le Marquand, and Tilda Cobham-Hervey

  • No special features included

12 Rounds 3 Lockdown Blu-ray Box Cover Art

Available on Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital HD December 22

12 Rounds 3: Lockdown (Stephen Reynolds) Rated R [90 min] – Lockdown Follows a police officer who returns to duty after recovering from a gun shot wound to discover incriminating evidence of illegal activities against those closest to him. Starring Jonathan Good, Roger R. Cross, and Daniel Cudmore

Special features include:

  • “Resourceful Adversary” Featurette
  • “Filming a Firefight” Featurette

And that’s it for this week. What are you looking forward to picking up when they release?

Stay tuned for more Blu-Ray and DVD announcements every Saturday.


All plot synopses courtesy of IMDb.com

Coming Soon to Blu-ray and DVD

Click here for more home video announcements

Box Office Battlefield: The Intern, Hotel Transylvania 2, and The Green Inferno

Every week, movie studios select candidates to enter the glorious battlefield for your hard-earned dollars. The weekend warriors of September 25, 2015 includes The Intern, Hotel Transylvania 2, and The Green Inferno, as well as a handful of limited releases. Box Office Battlefield is here to help you decide which movie(s) will take priority over the others and determine who will be victorious. Should you see ’em, skip ’em, or rent ’em? Find out below!

Last weekend, The Maze Runner sequel scorched the box office with $30.3 million in domestic ticket sales. Johny Depp fared well with Black Mass owning up to $22 million. But with three new wide releases set to divide audiences, will the young adult adaptation have what it takes to fend off its competitors? Ooga-Chaka Ooga-Ooga! This is the Box Office Battlefield:

The Intern 2015 Movie Title Logo

The Intern (Nancy Meyers) Rated PG-13 [121 min] – 70-year-old widower Ben Whittaker has discovered that retirement isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Seizing an opportunity to get back in the game, he becomes a senior intern at an online fashion site, founded and run by Jules Ostin. Starring Robert De Niro, Anne Hathaway, Rene Russo, Adam DeVine, and Anders Holm

Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics – 55% • Audience – 79%

My review:

The Intern has all the right intentions. It has a progressive edge in its plot and characters, there’s solid chemistry between De Niro and Hathaway, and it speaks to this generation. Nancy Meyers movies definitely skew toward women, but The Intern has a voice that can be understood and enjoyed by all. Unfortunately, the further down the rabbit hole you go the uglier it becomes, and there’s nothing the actors could have done to salvage its remains.

Mad Max: Fury Road single-handedly demonstrates how you can take an bonkers male property and infuse it with feminist ideals without compromising plot or character for the sake of its agenda. The Intern doesn’t bother with this kind of subtlety. Nancy Meyers shoves her ideas down your throat to ensure you fully grasp what it means to be a woman in a successful company. Representing a woman at the top of her game at the head of a large company is a grand idea that’s rarely seen – The Devil Wears Prada (2006) comes to mind – but Meyers doesn’t allow The Intern to tell this story organically enough to feel completely honest with itself. Her direction and awkward comedic shifts derail the more heartfelt moments that are sprinkled within. Which is a shame because there is a lot to like about The Intern. RENT IT!

The Green Inferno Movie Title Logo

The Green Inferno (Eli Roth) Rated R [100 min] – A group of student activists travels to the Amazon to save the rain forest and soon discover that they are not alone, and that no good deed goes unpunished. Starring Lorenza Izzo, Ariel Levy, Aaron Burns, and Kirby Bliss Blanton

Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics – 38% • Audience – 46%

Their reviews:

“A fun and interesting twist on the travelogue sub-genre of horror … far better than many horror movies with twice the budget.” – Edward Douglas (ShockTillYouDrop)

“Eli Roth’s faux-smart, long-shelved, and exploitative-as-hell cannibal tale “The Green Inferno” is a remarkably perfect example of horror’s unexamined white privilege.” – Inkoo Kang (The Wrap)

My take:

Unfortunately there were no opportunities for me to see The Green Inferno on Thursday night due to conflicting screen times, so I decided to see Sicario instead. I’m sure I made a far better decision, but I really do eventually want to see The Green Inferno. Eli Roth may not be the greatest actor or have a keen sense of good movies to produce, but he has a decent eye for directing horror. I’ve enjoyed both Hostel films and Cabin Fever, so The Green Inferno tickles my fancy. Other critics who have seen the movie are wildly mixed, leaning more toward the negative end, but I will chalk it up to most critics not liking horror movies in general. I don’t think The Green Inferno warrants a trip to the theater, unless you want to hear other people’s gut reactions to the disgusting visuals. RENT IT!

Hotel Transylvania 2 Movie Title Logo

Hotel Transylvania 2 (Genndy Tartakovsky) Rated PG [89 min] – Dracula and his friends try to bring out the monster in his half human, half vampire grandson in order to keep Mavis from leaving the hotel.Director: Stars: Adam Sandler, Andy Samberg, Selena Gomez, and Kevin James

Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics – 45% • Audience – 86%

Their reviews:

“Hotel Transylvania 2 offers cute but brainless escapism for young moviegoers – as well as parents looking to distract their children for a few hours.” – Ben Kendrick (ScreenRant)

“The whole thing is amiable and colorful and surprisingly low on body-function gags. It may not kill you to take your kids.” – Glenn Kenny (New York Times)

My take:

Hotel Transylvania 2 wasn’t an option for Thursday night because it wasn’t being screened. Plus I’ve never seen the original, but I can easily guess what happens based on the trailer. This sequel looks like it’s much of the same shtick. Although critics are saying it’s good for the kids, I’m not sure it would be worth the time or money to see it in theaters. Who would want to subject their children to mindless entertainment? WAIT FOR IT ON NETFLIX!

Mississippi Grind 2015 Movie Title Logo

Mississippi Grind (Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck) [Limited] Rated R [108 min] – Down on his luck and facing financial hardship, Gerry teams up with younger charismatic poker player, Curtis, in an attempt to change his luck. The two set off on a road trip through the South with visions of winning back what’s been lost. Starring Ben Mendelsohn, Ryan Reynolds, Yvonne Landry, and Anthony Howard

Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics – 90% • Audience – 60%

Their reviews:

“Mendelsohn plays Gerry as a stringy, sweaty hunk of pure desperation, while Reynolds, as the ostensibly more stable partner, demonstrates yet again that he’s much more than a ridiculously pretty face.” – Mike D’Angelo (AV Club)

“Mississippi Grind captures the ecstasy of a good role of the dice and the desperation of a bad turn of the cards — and provides a sense of why some keep going even when it becomes clear they’ve lost their shot at a happy ending.” – Keith Phipps (Uproxx)

My take:

There was a lot of buzz for Mississippi Grind coming out of Sundance earlier this year. Ben Mendelsohn (Slow West) and Ryan Reynolds are on the up and up with these little indie features they’ve been appearing in this year. The trailer sets up an intriguing premise, one that gains my attention but doesn’t giveaway all its cards. Based on its praise, I’d be hard pressed not to wonder what’s so special about it. MATINEE IT!

Ashby 2015 Movie Title Logo

Ashby (Tony McNamara) [Limited] Rated R [100 min] – High-school student Ed Wallis enters into a friendship with his neighbor, Ashby, a retired CIA assassin who only has a few months left to live. Starring Mickey Rourke, Nat Wolff, Emma Roberts, Sarah Silverman

Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics – 46% • Audience – 56%

Their reviews:

“Folks buying a ticket to Ashby hoping to see a film about the late-great director of Being There and Harold and Maude are about to be sorely disappointed. So is everyone else.” – Chris Nashawaty (Entertainment Weekly)

“The film displays little ability to utilize Ashby’s violent actions for means other than high-concept fodder and out-of-place bloodshed.” – Clayton Dillard (Slant Magazine)

My take:

Last year we had an old man bestowing wisdom to a young lad in St. Vincent with Bill Murray. This year it’s Mickey Rourke’s turn to bring Nat Wolff into adulthood. I’m not sure when there’s going to be a specific genre category named for these old mentor/socially awkward youngster films (Bad Santa; Bad Teacher; Bad Words), but there’s a clear formula they all follow. The performances all look dialed-in and the trailer shows me nothing that hasn’t already been done before. I don’t see much of a reason to waste any money on it. WAIT FOR IT ON NETFLIX!

99 Homes 2015 Movie Title Logo

99 Homes (Ramin Bahrani) [Limited] Rated R [112 min] – A father struggles to get back the home that his family was evicted from by working for the greedy real estate broker who’s the source of his frustration. Starring Andrew Garfield, Michael Shannon, Laura Dern, and Clancy Brown

Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics – 90% • Audience – 84%

Their reviews:

“Bahrani’s dismantling of the American dream — a dream deferred — has finally reached its finest conclusion with the director’s finely wrought (and seriously fraught) 99 Homes.” – Kate Erbland (Film School Rejects)

“99 Homes is by no means a perfect film, but it can achieve something more precious, and rarer than glossy perfection: it can take you by the shoulders and shake the apathy and complacency away.” – Jessica Kiang (The Playlist)

My take:

Andrew Garfield has to fill his time with something more fruitful now that he’s off Spider-Man, so why not a little indie crime drama? The plot behind 99 Homes comes across very intimate and fresh. And based on the reviews and the scope of the film it feels like one of those indie movies that many will praise but unfortunately few will see. It’s not grand enough to gain awards season attention, but it definitely has enough clout to be worth your time. MATINEE IT!

The Keeping Room 2015 Movie Title Logo

The Keeping Room (Daniel Barber) [Limited] Rated R [95 min] – Left without men in the dying days of the American Civil War, three Southern women – two sisters and one African-American slave – must fight to defend their home and themselves from two rogue soldiers who have broken off from the fast-approaching Union Army. Starring Brit Marling, Hailee Steinfeld, Sam Worthington, and Muna Otaru

Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics – 65% • Audience – 56%

Their reviews:

“An intriguing premise never finds a dramatic pulse in “The Keeping Room,” a self-consciously artsy depiction of female grit during the final days of the Civil War.” – Sheri Linden (Los Angeles Times)

“Riveting from start to finish and profoundly crowd-pleasing in its later stretches, The Keeping Room is a spare but unsparing film that empowers its women by allowing them to find a power of their own.” – David Ehrlich (Little White Lies)

My take:

I don’t know what it is that turns me off about it, maybe it’s the loony Sam Worthington or the ugly period piece setting, but The Keeping Room looks like a colossal waste of time. WAIT FOR IT ON NETFLIX!

As De Niro has grown older his films have lost touch with the younger male demographic. He’s still a good show, but the stories he inhibits these days shy away from his more known roles. Nancy Meyers and Anne Hathaway are a good draw for moviegoers, but The Intern isn’t strong enough to create positive buzz traffic. The Green Inferno is alienating itself by its premise alone. Folks love horror movies, but not something this far away from mainstream horror. Adam Sandler may be toxic but the last Hotel Transylvania did OK in theaters and there hasn’t been a good kids movie since Inside Out released in June. And I’m sure parents have been waiting for the prime opportunity to get their kids out of the house and into theaters to annoy people. But if I were you I would go see Sicario. So as it stands, I believe the victor for this weekend will be:

Winner: Hotel Transylvania 2

What will you be watching this weekend? What did you think of the current releases? Tell us in the comment section below.


Movie synopses courtesy of IMDb.com and Tomatometer Scores from Rotten Tomatoes

20 Horror Movies To Get Excited for in 2014

20 Horror Movies To Get Excited for in 2014

January is finally coming to an end, and after a slew of sub-par horror releases (Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones; Devil’s Due; I, Frankenstein) it would almost seem as if all hope is lost on the genre. But fear not is on its way, as 2014 has an abundance of 20 spooktacular and terrifying films to wake the dead. After the break check out our most anticipated horror movies of 2014 and learn why you’ll be cowering under your covers this year. Continue reading