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Archives for : Drama

Movie Review: “Wildlife” is a Frustrating Slow Burn

Sometimes there’s only so much a strong cast can do to make up for a story that drags. Wildlife creates some smoke but hardly ignites any flames.

Wildlife is based on the Richard Ford novel and directed by actor Paul Dano. Set in 1960s’ Montana, a young boy, Joe Brinson (Ed Oxenbould), quietly observes the gradual dissolution of his parent’s marriage. His father, Jerry (Jake Gyllenhaal), is an uncompromising and principled man of meager means, but Joe has strong admiration for his dad. His mother, Jeanette (Carey Mulligan), is more practical and driven. She is a conventional stay at home wife and mother. When Jerry loses his job and sees no other option than to sign up to fight wild fires, the dangerous undertaking separates him from his family for weeks at a time. Jeanette stays home and cuts as many corners as possible until she feels she has no other choice but to embark on an affair with her boss (Bill Camp).

I’m not going to lie, I think I made this film sound more interesting than it was from that previous paragraph. With the exception of the very beginning and the very end, the rest of the film is a whole lot of nothing. So much so that it’s hard to stay interested. Once Gyllenhaal’s character leaves his family, we are stuck in a story that feels like it will never end.

Though Mulligan’s performance in Wildlife is fantastic, her character is insufferable. There are times when you truly feel for her as a lonely mother trying to provide for her child, but it’s tough to stand by her during her affair and what she allows her son to witness. Oxenbould does a fine job as the naive, yet wide-eyed son and Gyllenhaal might have stood out more, if he was actually in the film for longer than 10 minutes. However, he creates a spark toward the end of the movie that might give audiences the jolt they need to get back into this narrative.

Though it may not seem like this, I don’t think that Wildlife is a “bad movie”.  It’s not.  It’s just not anything special.  The story-line feels deflated and it is extremely dragged out.  All the performances are solid, but that’s not enough to bring life into this film.

Rating: 2.5/5

Wildlife is in theaters now.

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Interview: Rupert Everett talks “The Happy Prince”

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Rupert Everett has/had roles in a number of acclaimed television series, he is a busy voice actor and an occasional collaborator with Madonna, and he is the voice of Prince Charming in the Shrek films.  And now we got a chance to sit down with Rupert to discuss his latest project, a classic Shakespearian tragedy, the story of the end of Oscar Wilde, “The Happy Prince”.  Check out the interview below!

“The Happy Prince” is in theaters now!

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Interview: Josh & Jonathan Baker talk “Kin”

The indie sci-fi, drama “Kin” follows  a recently released ex-con (Jack Reynor), and his adopted teenage brother (Miles Truitt) as they are forced to go on the run from vengeful criminals.  Luckily they are armed with a powerful weapon of mysterious origin as their only protection.

I sat down with the directors of the film, Josh and Jonathan Baker, to discuss the movie.  We talked about characters, being “what makes a real man”, what they’ve taught each other, and more!

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Interview: Ben Dickey talks “Blaze”

You shouldn’t count Blaze Foley among the legendary musicians who never made it to the top. He is also properly at home in the more exclusive list of legendary musicians who died before their time. A talented songwriter and musician, Foley was popular among his friends and respected by other musicians who have recorded a number of his songs on award-winning albums of their own. Ethan Hawke has produced, written and directed a new film, starring Ben Dickey, that tells the story of Blaze Foley. Ben Dickey visited the ICTN studios and talked with me about life, music and Blaze Foley.

“Blaze” hits theaters August 24.

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Movie Review: “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” Fails its Predecessor

Jurassic World was everything we had been waiting for since the first Jurassic Park was released in 1993. The park was opened and running smoothly. It was also set in some attractive green scenery. Of course, one day everything goes wrong when a wild test subject is let loose and the whole park falls apart! A simple premise with so much entertainment. Now what happened to that kind of writing with this sequel?

Jurassic World: The Fallen Kingdom starts off okay enough. It’s been three years since the tragic incident and the Jurassic World theme park is no more. But now an impending volcanic eruption on the island will wipe out the existing dinosaurs and render them extinct once again. The question is do we save the dinosaurs and bring them to the states, or do we let them die? For Dr. Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum), the decision is easy. Let the dinosaurs die and save humanity from a potential life-threatening attack. However, previous park staffer, Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) still feels a connection to the dinosaurs and jumps at the opportunity to save them when approached by Benjamin Lockwood (James Cromwell), the one time partner of Jurassic Park mastermind John Hammond. Mr. Lockwood and his caretaker/right-hand man, Eli Mills (Rafe Spall), plan to rescue the remaining species from the island and bring them to a sanctuary where they will be allowed to live in peace.

Only problem is they need the skilled velociraptor trainer, Owen (Chris Pratt), to come along this mission and find Blue, the only raptor left of its kind. FYI, the best thing about this movie is the connection between Blue and Owen. Luckily, Claire finds Owen in his new quiet life, building a cabin in the middle of nowhere. How convenient and cliché. After some banter about their previous relationship she convinces him to join the mission and save Blue.

I won’t go into the plot any further than that to avoid spoilers, but eventually we are taken on a chaotic ride.

There are many problems with Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom; beginning with its characters. With the exception of Pratt, Howard, and the best character, Blue, I could careless about anyone else on screen. In fact, who are all you people? Claire brings along two new faces, feisty “paleo-veterinarian” Zia Rodriguez (Daniella Pineda), who knows everything about these creatures but has never actually seen one in person, and tech-geek Franklin (Justice Smith), who constantly screams at any sign of danger. They had no business being in this movie. Because again, who even are you?

The villain is weak and their “evil” motive is just lazy writing. There were other characters too but, honestly, I just don’t care enough about them.

Though the film has intense action-packed sequences that will keep you enthralled till the end, the ridiculous story is unforgiving. Oddly enough, I’d still say it is worth watching the action on the big screen, but don’t go in with high expectations. Grab some popcorn and try not to think too much while watching.

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom leaves the door wide open for another sequel, and maybe, the writers will get it right on their third try with what will hopefully be the final chapter.

Rating: 2.5/5

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom hits theaters June 22.

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Interview: Daveed Diggs and Rafael Casal talk “Blindspotting”

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There was lots of buzz surrounding the new drama/comedy, “Blindspotting”, at the 2018 Dallas International Film Festival.  While at the festival, I got a chance to sit down with the stars and writers of the movie, Daveed Diggs and Rafael Casal.  We discussed their film, the idea of blind spots, should you ignore your best friend’s ex, and more!

“Blindspotting” is a powerful film and one that will leave you thinking about its message long after you finish watching.

“Blindspotting” hits theaters July 27.

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Interview: Dennis Quaid talks “I Can Only Imagine”

Country music is full of stories that can make your eyes leak,  and “I Can Only Imagine” is even more poignant because it really happened (at least in a cinematic sense.) I sat down with one of the stars of the film, Dennis Quaid, to discuss, the movie, his character and never giving up on your dream.

“I Can Only Imagine” hits theaters March 16.

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“Get Out” One Year Later – Free Screenings on President Day!

First-Come, First-Served Offer Valid at 55 AMC Theatres Nationwide to Guests of the 7:00 P.M. Screenings on Monday, February 19

Universal City, CA, February 13, 2018—Filmmaker Jordan Peele, in conjunction with Universal Pictures, today announced free screenings of Universal’s Get Out on Presidents’ Day, February 19, at 55 AMC locations nationwide.  Each guest who requests a ticket the day of the screening—at a participating location—will be given one free admission to the 7:00 p.m. showing, up to theatre capacity.

Since its release in theatres in February 2017, Get Out has been nominated for four Academy Awards®, while inspiring audiences and artists worldwide.  A compilation video was also released that showcases the artwork inspired by Get Out—featuring the hashtag #GetOutOneYearLater—to encourage audiences to share more of their artwork, experiences and discussions that were influenced by the movie.

The promotion will be available at each of the 55 AMC Theatres playing the special screening of Get Out at 7:00 p.m. on February 19.  Free tickets will be available on a first-come, first-served basis and may only be picked up at the AMC box office that day.  Each guest must present a valid ID to receive their ticket, with a limit of one free ticket for each ID presented, while supplies last.  This offer is valid for the 7:00 p.m. showing of the film on February 19, only.

Markets that will playing Get Out on Presidents’ Day include ones in Atlanta, GA; Baltimore, MD; Boston, MA; Charlotte, NC; Chicago, IL; Cincinnati, OH; Columbus, OH; Dallas, TX; Denver, CO; Detroit, MI; Houston, TX; Indianapolis, IN; Jacksonville, FL; Kansas City, MO; Los Angeles, CA; Miami/Ft. Lauderdale, FL; Minneapolis, MN; Nashville, TN; New Orleans, LA; New York City, NY; Oklahoma City, OK; Orlando, FL; Philadelphia, PA; Phoenix, AZ; Pittsburgh, PA; Raleigh/Durham, NC; San Diego, CA; San Francisco/Oakland/San Jose, CA; Seattle/Tacoma, WA; St. Louis, MO; Tallahassee, FL; Tampa, FL; and Washington, D.C.  To find out more information, visit www.getoutoneyearlater.com.

“When Jordan approached us about a way to thank fans one year after the release of Get Out, we thought a Presidents’ Day screening during Black History Month would be a wonderful way to commemorate the film’s impact,” said Jim Orr, President, Distribution, Universal Pictures.  “The success of his stunning vision would not have been possible without the audience’s passion for both Get Out’s groundbreaking storytelling and its deft use of art as society’s mirror.”

For more information and a list of theatres offering the special screenings, please visit www.getoutoneyearlater.com.  Broadcast-quality clips from Get Out are available at www.epk.tv, and stills are available at www.image.net.

 

About Universal Pictures

Universal Pictures is a division of Universal Studios (www.universalstudios.com).  Universal Studios is part of NBCUniversal.  NBCUniversal is one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production and marketing of entertainment, news and information to a global audience.  NBCUniversal owns and operates a valuable portfolio of news and entertainment networks, a premier motion picture company, significant television production operations, a leading television stations group and world-renowned theme parks.  NBCUniversal is a subsidiary of Comcast Corporation.

Interview: Spencer Stone, Alek Skarlatos, & Anthony Sadler talk “The 15:17 to Paris”

On a summer vacation to Europe, three friends experience a terrifying ordeal when a terrorist threatens the passengers on a high speed train. Now THAT sounds like a movie. And it is! Clint Eastwood’s newest film, “The 15:17 to Paris” is based on a real life event that happened in France in 2015 and three American lads (Spencer Stone, Alek Skarlatos, and Anthony Sadler) are the heroes! Check out my interview with the real life heroes/stars of the movie!

“The 15:17 to Paris” opens in theaters February 9.

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Interview: Jeannette Walls talks “The Glass Castle”

I sat down with writer and journalist Jeannette Walls, author of “The Glass Castle.”  We discussed the new film based on her memoir, the proper way to raise a family and much more!  Check out the interview below.

“The Glass Castle” opens in theaters on August 11.

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