Kyle North

Staff Writer



"Throwdown" Takes Your Patience To The Mat Review

One could say don’t bother, but you probably weren’t going to anyway. From director Timothy Woodward, Jr, who has five films in post-production, which should tell you something about the care he’s putting into each project he helms, comes the graveyard where subpar actors go to die. Or, get small paychecks to phone it in. Same difference. Someone’s got family money, because Woodward leads the cast, with affordable has-beens Vinnie Jones and Mischa Barton flanking him, which should also tell you a good deal. Supporting duties also fall to prolific schlock star Danny Trejo and Death Race 2 and 3’s superstar, Luke Goss. If your expectations are where they should be by now, then you may be able to stomach Throwdown.

Nov
24
2014
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"Low Winter Sun" Didn't Shine Bright Enough Review

It’s funny to call Low Winter Sun an “AMC original series,” when it was adapted from the British miniseries that ran seven years earlier. Semantics aside, go-to villain Mark Strong returns to his gritty antihero, Detective Frank Agnew. The action now unfolds in the impoverished underbelly of Detroit, ruthlessly depicting a city on its knees and the corruption that has infiltrated every facet of the urban landscape. Tragically, even with a solid cast of known faces, the show never quite found its audience and was canned after the first season. The disappointed fan will have to make due with the scant 10-episode bundle that constitutes “The Complete Series.”

Nov
23
2014
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The "Most Wanted Man" That Nobody Wanted Review

There is a strange phenomenon that follows the untimely death of a great artist; not honest criticism as a testament to their purity, but instead unconditional positive regard of their posthumous work. In some cases, this wave of adulation coincides with decidedly great work; Heath Ledger earned his Oscar as The Dark Knight’s maniacal Joker. Occasionally, a final performance is an unfortunate capstone on a far greater career. More often than not, however, a final performance is simply another role in a career that had ups and downs, as they all do. A Most Wanted Man shamelessly toted its lead’s last performance, as all film marketers do when they have the bittersweet opportunity to. Unfortunately, Philip Seymour Hoffman is good, not great, and the movie is a tedious, hapless waste of its potential.

Nov
13
2014
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"Spartacus" Leads A Slave Revolt Against Good Taste Review

If anyone tries to sell you on the exquisite performances or stellar craftsmanship of Spartacus: The Complete Series, don’t trust their judgment on anything. If, however, they pitch it as one of the greatest guilty pleasures of recent years, rife with ample gore, relentless male and female nudity and sex, juicy soap opera plotlines, and the guarantee of pure brain candy enjoyment, then take their word for it. Spartacus is exactly that; an addictive four-season CGI-laden period epic following one of the greatest slave rebellion’s in man’s history. It also isn’t inaccurate to say that while other shows and creators slowly warm up to tackling some of the hot button issues of our times, namely homosexual relationships, Spartacus brazenly and uncompromisingly leaves it all on the table. Don’t be fooled; hidden behind the skimpy loin clothes and relentless carnage, there is one of the most mischievously progressive shows TV has ever seen.

Oct
21
2014
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"Krull" Takes You To Weird, Strange, Fantastic Place: 1983 Review

From the four time Oscar-nominated racecar driver/director of such speedster classics as Bullitt and Breaking Away, Peter Yates, comes “Excalibur meets Star Wars” (Variety). Indeed, Krull, Columbia’s biggest budget fantasy film to date, meant to compete with the Lucas franchise from 20th Century Fox, is that strange hybrid genre of sword-and-sandals science-fiction. Battling the laser guns of the evil Slayers will be the protagonists’ swords, axes, and the five-pointed glaive, the film’s most famous prop. What awaits is a fun romp of Euro filmmaking, very much of its time, but still worth a family-friendly viewing.

Oct
08
2014
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We All Will Be Received (Amiably Enough) In "Graceland" Review

Graceland follows the “merry band of misfits” from the FBI, DEA, and ICE living together in the titular beachside mansion seized by the Government from an incarcerated drug lord. Broadway’s Aaron Tveit, famous on the Great White Way for headlining Next to Normal and Catch Me If You Can, stars as Mike Warren, a fresh agent right out of Quantico. With top scores, bested only by his new training officer and de facto King of Graceland, Paul Briggs (Rescue Me’s Daniel Sunjata), Warren scurries to prove himself as an undercover operative worthy of his housemates’ respect.

Sep
30
2014
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"Tosh.0" Portends A Dark And Strange Future Review

In 2009, comedian Daniel Tosh cashed in on over a decade of comedy circuit dues, along with late night show appearances and a couple stand-alone specials, and launched Tosh.O with Comedy Central. A true millennial show, each episode featured online clips, both viral and obscure, that he and his team had compiled. Tosh entered the meta, building his comedy at the expense of others through internet videos, while he, in turn, became a viral success of his own. With an unexpectedly high viewership right from the get, the show is already contracted to eight seasons and doesn’t show any sign of slowing down. As long as people do dumb stuff, there’ll be something to laugh at.

Sep
23
2014
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"Cell 213" Beckons... Review

From Stephen Kay, director of Boogeyman and Stallone’s flat Get Carter remake who went on to directing a plethora of good television, comes Cell 213, a supernatural film about a young, ambitious lawyer who finds himself on the other side of the law when he is incarcerated in the film’s titular cell. Hounded by the brute guard and the otherworldly forces of Good and Evil, a claustrophobic battle for his soul rages.

Sep
23
2014
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Don't Look Too Long Into "The Face Of Love" Review

Let’s face it; Annette Bening is the real deal. Perhaps the greatest achievement of The Face of Love is in the superb cinematography that captures her in all of her classic elegance. From smooth dolly moves to immaculate close-ups, her radiance as an aging paramour commands the camera in every lingering, nuanced moment. Still going strong nearly thirty years after getting her start, she’s a classy, dignified template young actresses of today should endeavor to follow. Unfortunately, The Face of Love is only partially buoyed from its melodramatic implausibility by her, with the able assistance of the underused and always compelling Ed Harris.

Sep
22
2014
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"Dom Hemingway" Proves The Scum's Just As Green On The Other Side Of The Pond Review

Unsavory Europeans are in. James McAvoy sported his most detestable self in Filth, Martin McDonaugh is putting the eloquent ire in Ireland, with his younger brother John angling to establish himself as another wordsmith of societal disharmony and individual anarchy. Somewhere in that mix is the filmmaker Richard Shepard, most well known to date for helming the then recently decommissioned 007, Pierce Brosnan, in his repugnant turn as perverted, alcoholic hitman in 2005’s The Matador. While softening his approach for the occasional TV pilot, with Criminal Minds and Ugly Betty to his name and an Emmy in the bag, Shepard makes a raunchy, boisterous return to the Silver Screen with Jude Law as his new guinea pig, feeding from the slop trough of immoral absurdity.

Sep
22
2014
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