"The Morningside Monster" Is The Least Of This Movie's Problems Review

When I put on this badge, I don't give a rat's toosh who you are.

Oh good, warmed over horror tropes. Attack of the Morningside Monster (2014)--née The Morningside Monster--from director Chris Ethridge brings semi-supernatural horror to the Garden State when the local sheriff (Robert Pralgo) has to sort out a spate of local murder/mutilations happening in his sleepy burgh. It all started with this one small-time drug dealer chained to a table. He was a bit bemused, as you'd imagine, and then some masked weirdo comes in and starts cutting into him with a multi-tool when he should be using a circular saw. It's so annoying when people aren't using the right tools. But I suppose you go to war with the weapons you have lying around, you know like this Central American ritual mask. That mask was ridiculous.

Mar
04
2015
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"Laggies" Lacks Originality Review

I found myself in a place, a kinda weird in-between place.

So we're on to the woman-child genre (cf. man-child). HBO's Girls is probably the most popular exposé on the phenomenon with respect to young women who fail at the earliest hurdles of adulthood. Then there's Frances Ha (2012), Bridesmaids (2011), and countless TV-movies to which Lynn Shelton adds, if not her voice, her direction with Laggies (2014). This is Shelton's first time directing a film outside of her written improvisational process to mixed effect. While its subject matter is a very near relative of her works thus far, it lacks her grounded emotional depth and instead provides a conventional (or at least familiar) story without the surprises or resonance one would hope for from someone with Shelton's indie sensibilities. That said, without Shelton, this movie is airing on Lifetime.

Mar
03
2015
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Still No Indication Of History In The "Swamp" Review

If that gator got a taste for dog, he ain't gonna stop. If he'll eat a dog, he'll eat a kid.

It needs only to be said once, but Swamp People have no reason to be on the History channel. The mild connection that such hunting has taken place in Louisiana for over three hundred years is insufficient. That is not to say that The "Learning" Channel or Bravo couldn't pick this up as one of their better pieces of entertaining "reality". Being a Swamp People virgin, I must admit that the first HD, slo-mo shotgun blast into the first victim's small brain was rather disturbing. Then, the rather mocking use of subtitles also sparked off the first feeling of this show's designed meanness. But about halfway through the first episode, something clicked in my brain and I understood the entertainment value on display. These people are interesting.

Mar
03
2015
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"Bound By Flesh", And Budgetary Concerns Review

I don't know a happy freak.

Documentary filmmaking is as varied a genre as any with fanatics that consume them exclusively. To the select, this is obvious, but to those who only dally in documentaries, the assumption is that documentaries are distinguished by content rather than form. The reality, however, is that in the same way a movie about a construction foreman (Locke (2014)) can be gripping, the quality of the film is determined by the same elements, fiction or non-fiction. Music, editing, "performance", insights, are all places where Bound By Flesh (2012) displays its importance by fumbling them completely despite a ostensibly fascinating subject.

Mar
03
2015
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With "Rosewater", Jon Stewart Highlights an Important Piece of History (...That He Helped Make) Review

Rosewater, literally pressed from the folds of the flowers and combined with sweat to make an evocative fragrance popular in Iranian culture, and showered on the devout in holy places. The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart makes his feature writing and directorial debut with a small, powerful film taking its namesake from the holy liquid and perverting it as the fragrance worn by the protagonist’s interrogator over the course of a 118-day solitary confinement in Tehran. Based on actual events, and inspired by the protagonist’s chance encounter with the actual The Daily Show in 2009 and, in a moment of life being stranger than fiction, the role The Daily Show played in his incarceration, Stewart departs from a career of comedy to tell an important story of fellow journalist Maziar Bahari and humanity’s global and eternal quest for freedom.

Mar
01
2015
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"Malignant" Banks on Brad Dourif's Fame to Overcome its Faults Review

Don't drink, Allex.

Allex (Gary Cairns) has a drinking problem.  He goes to the bar and has a few then goes home to have a few more.  Whiskey, mostly.  Since the whiskey is probably more expensive at the bar, why not just save the money and get blackout drunk at home?  I guess that's not the point.  Anyway, Allex's problem has gone beyond forgetting how to spell his own name. He's gotten to the point where he won't even stop drinking even when a mad scientist (Brad Dourif) makes it so he's murdering strangers, friends, and co-workers during his blackouts.  That's pretty bad.  But, you know, his wife's died a couple months ago and she was very pretty and now he's got this enormous house in LA to maintain all by himself.  Of course he turned to drink.

Mar
01
2015
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"Dear White People" Reaches But Never Preaches Review

Dear White People is a film I wish didn’t need to exist, but once you take into account the true-life examples of white folks throwing blackface or black culture parties without fully understanding the racist implications involved along with the rather excellent point made by the film’s strongest character (Tess Thompson) in its final minutes, you realize just how badly its point of view is needed. However, the pigheaded antics of some frat boys and the indifference of a student body who said nothing aren’t the only reasons for the film to exist; Dear White People bursts at the seams with examples of how every racial and ethnic segment of our society has a real problem with recognizing how deep the problems go. From reality television to Tyler Perry, both sides of the racial gap are doing their part to make things worse and exploit a culture for profit, and writer/director Justin Simien does a stupendous job of pointing out the hypocrisy flowing in either direction.

Mar
01
2015
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As "Knight" Continues, So Does The Legend... Review

While Hollywood missteps again with the engorged and costly excess of Seventh Son, not to mention a potential write-down on Jupiter Ascending looming, Legends of the Knight proves that true independent film is alive and well. Brett Culp’s breakout feature doc isn’t a “Hollywood indie,” where the cast is still A-list, but the budget is slightly lower for catering; no, his project is a true grassroots passion project built from the ground up. Funded by over 1,100 fans, the $65k 76-minute journey is a beautiful shot and told examination of the effect Batman, a character who has transcended from the comic book pages of the mid-20th century to modern folklore, has had on common men and women everywhere.

Feb
19
2015
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Ugh, Not Cool "Moebius" Review

A wife drinks and tries to take a phone away from her husband. His mistress is on the other end. Their teenage son watches them wrestle on the floor, then sees his father eating dinner, then having sex with his younger mistress in a car. So does the wife. Mommy dearest sees her son masturbating, tries to cut her husband’s penis off, then, when he fights her off, cuts her own son’s penis off. Then eats it. Feeling squeamish? That’s just for the first ten minutes of Moebius.

Feb
19
2015
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Win a Blu-ray, DVD & Digital HD Copy of "Dumb and Dumber To"

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Nothing says "I Love You" quite like a copy of a movie you won online, and so it is with that sentiment that we here at JustPressPlay want to give you our readers (and/or the general internet public), the chance to win Dumb and Dumber To. It's the sequel to Dumb and Dumber that was 20 years in the making, and now it's yours to own. All you have to do to get your hands on this Jeff Daniels, Jim Carrey, Peter Farrelly, and Bobby Farelly reunion is email us and give us some social media love.

Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels reprise their signature roles as Lloyd and Harry in the sequel to the smash hit that took the physical comedy and kicked it in the nuts. Own DUMB AND DUMBER TO on Digital HD, Blu-ray & DVD now. From Universal Studios Home Entertainment.

To find out how you can win, read on!

Feb
14
2015
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