Friday, July 24, 2015


Family FairePixels  (2015)  PG-13  Aliens have come to wreak havoc on Earth.  It seems, though, they have misinterpreted video feeds of classic arcade games.  Now it’s up to a gang of video gamers to save the Earth from a weapons attack in the form of video games. Can someone just give Adam Sandler a hug because he looks miserable making crappy film after crappy film? This film should have been fun and funny.  Instead we get a film that wants us to believe that someone like Kevin James can be president and that the character Adam Sandler plays is so devastated by not winning a video game contest that it ruins his life. The only actor who gives a performance with any energy is Peter Dinklage, and it’s just not enough to save this sorry film. The movie has so much product placement in it that I expected the closing credits to say “Pixels brought to you by Bud Light.” At the screening I attended, with about 20 minutes left in the film, the fire alarm went off in the theatre. While waiting for the film to restart, my fellow critics and I were able to figure out how the rest of the film would go; it’s that predictable. The best way to describe this film: unimaginative and boring.  And don’t pay extra to see it in 3-D - it was not shot in 3-D, and it shows.  So save your quarters and don’t see this mess of a film.    My Rating: You Would Have to Pay Me to See it Again   Pixels Facebook Page
Indiefest:   Paper Towns  (2015)  PG-13  Quentin (Nat Wolf) is taken on an all-night adventure by his friend and neighbor Margo (Cara Delevingne).  Soon after Margo goes missing, Quentin and his friends decide to go on an adventure of a lifetime to search for Margo. I loved this film about a young man and the girl who inspires him to go outside his comfort zone. The film is perfectly cast, especially with Nat Wolf, who does a brilliant job as the shy and reserved Quentin. Cara Delevingne is brilliant as the rebellious girl who inspires Quentin to go on his quest. The rest of the cast is a blast to watch, especially Austin Abrams, who plays the nerdish Ben, one of Quentin’s best friends. The film is part mystery, part road trip which makes it move at a quick pace. It’s a film you will enjoy from start to finish.  My Rating: Full Price   Paper Towns Website
Indiefest:   Tangerine  (2015)  R  Transgender prostitute Sin-Dee (Kitana Kiki Rodriguez) has just gotten out of prison.  She is shocked to find out that her boyfriend and pimp, Chester (James Ransone), has left her for another woman. Sin-Dee is on a mission to find the cheating couple with the help of her best friend Alexandra (Mya Taylor).  This is an interesting film shot entirely on iPhones but doesn’t look like it was. Mya Taylor’s performance as Alexandra, a woman who is trying to keep her best friend out of trouble, is the best thing about this film. Taylor gives her role a funny, sparkling turn, which makes her stand out from the rest of the cast. Shot of the streets of downtown L.A., the film, has a realistic feel to it and makes L.A., itself, one of the characters in the film. The film doesn’t always work, especially some of the scenes with a cab driver (Karren Karagulian) who has a thing for Sin-Dee, but anytime Taylor is on screen, the film gets better.   My Rating: Bargain Matinee   Tangerine Website

IndiefestUnexpected  (2015)  R  An inner-city high school teacher (Cobie Smulders) finds out she is unexpectedly pregnant. At the same time, a student of hers, Jasmine (Gail Bean), discovers that she is also pregnant. The two soon become friends over this unplanned shared experience.  Cobie Smulders gives a moving and briiliant performance as the teacher who sees her career hopes and dreams fading due to her pregnancy. She works well on-screen with Bean as the film progresses. Gail Bean is outstanding as the smart and determined Jasmine, giving her an air of inner strength and making her a character who demands respect for the choices that she makes. This is a film that explores the choices and sacrifices that women make when dealing with pregnancy. It’s to the credit of the two leads that the film works as well as it does. While not a groundbreaking film, it’s an interesting experience showing two women trying to come to grips with the reality of their situations.   My Rating: Full Price   Unexpected Facebook Page   
Forgotten FilmTess  (1979)  PG   A young woman (Nastassja Kinski) in Victorian England becomes the pawn of two men in her life.  Kinski gives the performance of a lifetime as Tess, a woman who is preyed upon by men, and there is nothing that she can do about it. It’s a sad, heartbreaking film but one worth watching due to Kinski’s incredible performance.     My Rating: Full Price   Tess Info

Weird Credits: From the credits of Pixels: Flamist Artist

Coming Soon to a Theatre Near You: Listen to Me Marlon (2015)  The film uses a newly discovered archive of over a hundred hours of audio to create a documentary with Marlon Brando’s own voice.   Listen to Me Marlon Info
\Until Next Time!


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