Kyle North

Staff Writer



Don't Bring A "Plus One", Or Even Go In The First Place Review

From the director of the remake of the movie that should never have been remade, Last House on the Left, comes a movie distributed by IFC, which we all know stands for, “It Failed Commercially.” With an all-star cast led by that weird guy who stood outside Ethan Hawke’s house in The Purge and a really indie girl from Chronicle that is really super indie, +1, now titled Plus One on the cover art, fails on the page long before it disappoints on the screen.

May
28
2014
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"Wrong Cops" Tries Too Hard to Get it Right Review

In 2010, the Toronto After Dark Film Festival awarded their special award for Most Original Film to Quentin Dupieux’s Rubber. Following a telepathic tire named Robert that discovers his destructive powers, the 82-minute film rolled aimlessly from one set-up to the next, as the audience came to realize they were the butt of a cinematic joke. A meta film of observers observing, and becoming bored themselves with the film’s action, the project revealed a director with his own sense of humor. Two years later, Dupieux released Wrong Cops, inching towards a more mainstream comedy, but still limited in appeal by its eccentricity.

May
17
2014
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You'll Never Forget "Amistad" Review

Four years after Schindler’s List, Spielberg returned to the director’s chair for his prehistoric sequel The Lost World: Jurassic Park. It wasn’t long, the same year in fact, before he returned to heavier fare with the multi-Oscar nominated Amistad, following the true story of African slaves who led a 1839 mutiny on the titular ship, resulting in a United States Supreme Court Case in 1841. With a star-studded cast and an eye for new talent that would go on to stardom, the film is a superb and nostalgic ensemble work.

May
15
2014
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"Call Me Crazy", Or Just Smart Review

You’ve gotta hand it to Lifetime; they have come to excel at low-budget fare that’s easy to make and quick to turn around. Beyond that, they are also one of the few content creators who really know their target demographic: women, specifically middle-aged and older. Combine low production overhead with a loyal audience and you’ve got the makings of a solid business model. For that reason, Lifetime has the clout to bring together top-tier talent on a tour-de-force production like Call Me Crazy: A Five Film.

May
14
2014
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In the Land of Disappointing Sequels, "Godfather Part III" is King Review

“Just when I thought I was out…they pull me back in.” And it’s a shame they did. Sixteen years after Francis Ford Coppola outdid his first masterwork, The Godfather, with the inconceivably more impressive The Godfather, Part II, he, Mario Puzo, and Al Pacino returned unnecessarily to the immaculate characters and world they created for a final chapter of the Corleone family. Most would agree that one of cinema’s most famous and infamous families was better off left on their pedestal.

May
09
2014
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Andy And Vera Are Wasted "At Middleton" Review

Who doesn’t like Andy Garcia? Sure, he was in the only regrettable entry to The Godfather trilogy, but he more than redeemed himself with a career going on four decades that has seen everything from the major blockbusters to more nuanced fare a la Kenneth Branagh’s underrated Dead Again. His recent choices have been dynamic and engaging, like City Island, which is worth putting on right now. As in, stop reading this review and watch it; Garcia at his best in years. Similarly Vera Farmiga is at the top of her game professionally. Currently haunting TVs as the titular Norma running Bates Motel, she’s throwing in key performances in flicks like The Conjuring after a career that catapulted with The Departed and Up In The Air. These two should be a rock star team, but, sadly, in At Middleton, the script and direction are middling at best.

Apr
23
2014
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"And Then There Was" The World Beyond Hollywood Review

As Hollywood homogenizes, you have to give some much-needed credit to the underdog; that scrappy can-do mutt who can make something happen without $100m of CGI and A-list talent. As the tectonic plates of distribution shift and the movie studios themselves move farther away from actually being content creators, instead taking on the less risky task of acquiring completed products, the room for new voices to be heard is hopefully going to increase. Already vibrantly at work, are the niche directors who aren’t waiting for an invitation to speak up for their branch of humanity and sphere of experience. Writer/director Leila Djansi is one such voice, turning in her fourth feature with eyes set squarely on the messiness of a domestic unraveling.

Apr
23
2014
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Not Too Many "Bible Secrets Revealed" Review

The History Channel’s six-week, 270-minute special entitled Bible Secrets Revealed is a hefty undertaking. The series launches in Qumram, the discovery site of the Dead Sea Scrolls, and quickly pushes the differences between the modern Hebrew Bible and the books found in the Scrolls front and center. So begins a meandering, detailed examination of the mysteries and obscurities found in history’s most famous text and its various predecessors with their traditional differences. Moving away from the rigid “Word of God,” the series is an interesting, if not entirely fresh, look at an ancient text’s origins before being appropriated by a world that has done unspeakable acts of both immense good and unconscionable bad in its name.

Apr
18
2014
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There Will Never Be Another "Bogart" Review

There is only one Humphrey Bogart. Fortunately, there some 86 Bogart films to relive time and again, transported to Hollywood’s Golden Age by one of the most intriguing, unconventional leading men the screen has ever seen. In a career that spanned three decades, he reached the top of any list of actors worth being on, taking more than a few of his films with him. Collected here, assembled from their individual releases, are four of the best from the “first film noir” to one of cinema’s greatest films, and into a new decade with a fast-talking exotic adventure pitting two of Hollywood’s titans against each other.

Apr
13
2014
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A Microbudget Vanquishes "Empire Of The Apes" Review

Pennsylvania is a huge state. Between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, is the same distance as from Philly to Boston, which crosses five states! And while the urban centers keep PA voting blue nationally, the local governments are a good slice of ol’ fashioned God and guns. This is the state of Romero, where zombies first walked, but it’s also a state with a lot of small, isolated towns that seem stuck in the past. In 1987, Mark and John Polonia made Splatter Farm, a direct-to-video release that launched their B-movie, cult company. Since then, they have churned out 32 films, to date. One of their most recent offerings, Empire of the Apes doesn’t disappoint…in absolutely disappointing you.

Apr
12
2014
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