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Matthew Razak

Punisher photo
One batch, two batch
If you watched this last season of Daredevil you know that someone finally nailed Punisher. Jon Bernthal absolutely stole the show with his slightly psychotic and entirely compelling portrayal of Frank Castle. People lov...

Review: Mother's Day

Apr 29 // Matthew Razak
[embed]220546:42940:0[/embed] Mother's DayDirector: Garry MarshallRated: PG-13Release Date: April 28, 2016  I think Mother's Day is supposed to be about being a mom because it's called Mother's Day, which seems like it would be the name of a movie about being a mom. It really isn't though. We find Sandy (Jennifer Aniston), a divorced mom with two kids still kind of pining over her ex-husband who has recently married a 20-year-old. There's Miranda (Julia Roberts), a HSN host who is somehow actually famous. And then Jesse (Kate Hudson) who has married an Indian man, Russell (Aasif Mandvi), without her racist parents knowing. Finally Bradley (Jason Sudeikis) has just lost his wife and is raising two daughters. Children actually play a very small part in this film as it's more about romantic relationships than being a mom -- don't worry, it fails at romance as well. There are plot lines in here involving children and becoming a parent, but they're buried under what has to be the worst screenplay written this year. It's seriously bad, and I'm not even discussing the casual racism it tosses around for no reason. The movie feels like the its four screenwriters (two male, two female) got together and wrote conversations for a group of women characters based on advice from an alien race who had only experienced conversations between females by watching soap operas. It is easily the most stilted tripe to ever pour out of any of these actors mouths. Watching the legendary Julia Roberts stoop so low in such a bad wig as some sort of favor to Garry Marshall was revolting.  The entire movie is revolting, especially since it somehow mistakes flat out racism for comedy. When Jesse's parents find out she's married to Russell as he accidentally walks in after they surprise her with a visit their first reaction is to wonder what a "towel head" is doing in her house. The audience at my screening instantly gasped and then sat there in horror as it only got worse. For some reason the filmmakers thought that the parents' flat out offensive and racist actions would be charming and whimsical, as if we're supposed to laugh along at those silly old folks who just disowned their grandchild for being "a little dark." No really, someone says that. I want to make it perfectly clear that jokes about race can be hilarious. Comedy is one of the best ways to address race issues, but this movie confuses using race for humor with actually being racist. None of the lines are actually jokes, they're just racist (and sexist and homophobic) statements said out loud as if that's enough to make something funny. Just because you say you're a comedy doesn't mean you can say offensive things without a punchline. There's no deeper meaning here either. Sure, in the end everyone comes around and no one is racist anymore (because it's that simple), but it's handled with such dull-witted ineptitude that you can only sit there with your jaw open and wonder if anyone making the movie actually understood the history humanity. I want to really stress just how incredibly out of touch with reality this film is. We'll ignore the fact that all the characters are cliches, none of the actors seem to actually care that they're there and that it easily has one of the worst soundtracks in the past ten years. We're ignoring all of this because at the end of Mother's Day Asif Mandvi, the only minority in the vehicle, gets out of an RV and a group of cops go to pull their guns on him. This is a joke. In the middle of a crisis of violence on minorities by police this film deems it appropriate to have an Indian man pinned to the ground as a group of white people, who very recently called him racial slurs, stand around gawking. That's it by the way. That's the joke. It just happens and everyone is OK with it once one of the cops RECOGNIZES THE INDIAN GUY AS HER DOCTOR. If I was Mandvi I would have walked off the set faster than an American Indian in an Adam Sandler film.  The only reason this movie didn't get a zero is because Jason Sudeikis is so damn charming even when he's stuck in crap like this. Crap where his meet cute is based around awkwardly buying tampons and then followed up by a second meet cute where his hand is stuck in a candy machine. Only that man could make something that stupid work, and even then one has to ask oneself why, in a movie called Mother's Day, one fourth of the lead characters needs to be a father. I get that it's supposed to be about the hole a mother leaves when she dies, but it really isn't at all and it makes for just another bit of sexism to add into this already turgid pile of crap.  There's about 50 other things wrong with this movie like why all the women seem to be constantly working out or why the only minority character aside from Mandvi and his mother is a sassy black woman. It would be impossible to catalog every way this movie is the film equivalent of the KKK projectile vomiting onto celluloid while a group of men attempt to write a screenplay about women with their penises, but I'll digress because I'm getting too angry and this human excrement of a movie isn't worth it.
Mother's Day photo
A racist, sexist, unfunny pile of crap
I'm not going to pull punches here because Mother's Day is easily the worst movie I have seen in years. It is unfathombly offensive, boring, unfunny and terrible in every way possible. I didn't head into it thinking it was go...

Review: Ratchet & Clank

Apr 28 // Matthew Razak
[embed]220548:42938:0[/embed] Ratchet & ClankDirectors: Jericca Cleland and Kevin Munroe Rated: PGRelease Date: April 29, 2016 There's nothing really wrong with Ratchet & Clank. It's a perfectly standard set up that pulls from all your other favorite science-fiction classics. Ratchet (James Arnold Taylor) is a Lombax mechanic on a remote desert planet who dreams of being like his hero, Captain Qwark (Jim Ward), but when tryouts for Qwark's team of heroes roll around he's laughed out of the building by the man himself. Luckily for him Clank (David Kaye) has just escaped from the evil Chairman Drek (Paul Giamatti) and Dr. Nefarious (Armin Shimerman), who have a dastardly plan to blow up some planets and make a new one. Due to a crash landing Clank meets Ratchet, the two become friends and adventure ensues all culminating in that oh-so traditional children's film lesson that you can be whatever you want with the support of friends and a wide array of weaponry. There is not really much more to it. You can insert almost every standard joke you've come to expect from tongue-in-cheek children's films and then add a few references to the game. They actually really under utilize the latter. For a game that's known for its funky and fun weapons the movie barely plays around with them. There is the expected montage of weapon use, but from there on out most of the action could rely on the basic blaster. Maybe that's a super meta commentary the directors had about the game's gameplay, but I seriously doubt it. That's not the only opportunity missed. One of the mainstays of the games (or the first two at least) was the great dynamic between the excitable Ratchet and the reserved Clank. The film barely touches this. We have to be introduced to the characters separately, of course, but once they're together the action keeps tearing them apart. Their dynamic is sidelined in favor of more Captain Qwark and the Galactic Rangers. This isn't all bad as Qwark has some of the funniest lines, but you still feel like the movie is more about Ratchet on his own than his friendship with Clank.  However, judging a movie for what it is not, especially a children's movie, is a bit unfair. Ratchet & Clank does move along at a perfectly good clip and the plot holes are all within acceptable range for the target audience. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the sight gags, which kids will most likely love, and the screenplay puts in enough jokes to keep any parent relatively entertained even if you've heard almost every one before. This isn't a movie that's out to top Pixar, but it will stand with your more basic Dreamworks animations any day.  The animation itself is good too, though nothing stellar. Having just come off the revolutionary The Jungle Book my eye might be a bit jaded, but just as there's nothing that will wow you in terms of animation there's also nothing that's going to put you off. It's just middle of the road throughout as with the rest of the film.  That goes for the voice acting as well, which was very clearly taken more seriously by some. The filmmakers brought in the game's voices for Ratchet, Clank and Captain Qwark and it shows. The actors' performances stand out among phoned in turns from the "name" actors, especially John Goodman who sounds like he wasn't quite sure what movie he was reading for the entire time. Thankfully those roles are smaller in scale and never bad enough to break the film, just to keep it at its constant level of acceptability.  No one was really expecting stellar things out of Ratchet & Clank and if you go in with that mindset you're going to come out having definitely seen a movie that fit it. I can't see hardcore fans of the franchise coming out of the film upset in any way because the movie is so inoffensive. I can't see anyone really coming out of the theater too excited except for a five-year-old wanting a pet lombax... and then having his dreams crushed when he finds out they don't exist.
Ratchet & Clank photo
Clanking along
Ratchet & Clank is the epitome of a film that doesn't do anything wrong, but that doesn't make it right. I suppose I should start by saying that I have not kept up with the games this movie is based on. I played the ...

Netflix photo
Netflix

Netflix announces Wet Hot American Summer: 10 Years Later


Do we all have our act together?
Apr 27
// Matthew Razak
Netflix brought back Wet Hot American Summer last year and it was pretty glorious. Evidently it was pretty glorious for them too as they've just announced a sequel... or is it a second season? I'm not sure. It's either t...

Sherlock Holmes photo
Sherlock Holmes

Sherlock Holmes 3 gets screenwriter


Remember this is still a thing?
Apr 26
// Matthew Razak
The two Robert Downey Jr. Led Sherlock Holmes movies made a crap ton of money and, in all fairness, were a descent amount of fun. You'd think in this sequel hungry world that means we'd see another one as quick as possible, b...
Ghostbusters photo
Ghostbusters

Ecto Cooler returns and some pictures


5-year-old me is really excited
Apr 25
// Matthew Razak
One of the greatest things to come out of Ghostbusters aside from really good movies and toys was Hi-C's Ecto Cooler, which was basically a green sugar drink in a juice box. I couldn't tell you how it tasted, but I do kn...
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See PAPA: Hemingway in Cuba early and free


Apr 25
// Matthew Razak
I'm not sure what the quality of PAPA: Hemingway in Cuba will be, but it is the first Hollywood film to be shot in Cuba since Obama loosened restrictions to it does get some historical credit. You can find out if it's ac...
Magnificent Seven photo
Not that magnificent
When you're discussing The Magnificent Seven you're discussing some serious pedigree. The movies it is based on are two of the greatest of the genres (samurai and western) so remaking it is a daunting task. I thought tha...

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The Founder gets its first trailer and Michael Keaton shows off


Anyone want a Big Mac?
Apr 21
// Matthew Razak
It might be possible that you haven't heard of Ray Kroc, the man who made McDonald's what it is today, but you're about to. The Founder has all the hallmarks of a possible academy award winner, and it's all about the man...
Magnificent Seven photo
Magnificent Seven

First look at Denzel Washington in The Magnificent Seven


Still not as cool as Steve McQueen
Apr 19
// Matthew Razak
As far as remakes go (or in this case remakes of remakes) it's pretty easy to actually get excited for The Magnificent Seven. Antoine Fuqua is directing Denzel Washinton in a Western. After The Equalizer that's pretty ea...
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See the Green Room early and free


Washington DC Screening
Apr 19
// Matthew Razak
Patrick Stewart as the villain in a horror film. You're sold, right? Good, because we have some tickets for you that will get you into a free screening of The Green Room. The slasher has been getting solid buzz since it's pre...

Review: The Jungle Book

Apr 15 // Matthew Razak
The Jungle BookDirector: Jon FavreauRated: PGRelease Date: April 15, 2016 [embed]220509:42914:0[/embed] As a property it's hard to believe that one could bring something new to The Jungle Book. Mogli's (Neel Sethi) story has been told so many times in so many different ways that retelling it again seems a bit redundant. This seems especially true since this version is part of Disney's ongoing effort to remake or reimagine their animated classics as live action films (see: Cinderella or Maleficent). Yet despite the fact that this new version of The Jungle Book once again finds Mogli raised by a pack of wolves and the panther Bagheera (Ben Kingsley), hunted by the villainous tiger Shere Khan (Idris Elba) and eventually hanging out with the laid back bear Baloo (Bill Murray), it feels dramatically different from previous tellings of the story. The plot may be mostly the same as Disney's animated classic, but striking visuals and Favreau's surprisingly fluid direction make it an entirely new experience. Those visuals, though. You will spend half this movie wondering what is real and what isn't while marveling at the individual hairs on Baloo's back or how Baheera moves perfectly or how the fat on King Louie (Christopher Walken) is disturbingly realistic. If ever a film has crossed the uncanncy valley it is The Jungle Book. Yes, there are still some parts that get stuck in the low end of that valley, but overall it is a visual masterpiece. The most impressive part is that they did it all while featuring talking animals in situations that are sometimes entirely human. Everything feels real and yet is somehow full of the magic and wonder that more traditional animation brings. It is this combination of reality and magic that make The Jungle Book work so well. Hats off to Favreau for being able to pull this movie together. His direction is often striking and far more than you'd expect from a traditional children's film. Some shots seem to be pulled from an art house independent while others are pitch-perfect horror moments (still suitable for children). Most impressive though is the fluid way he moves Mogli and company through the jungle. Taking advantage of his almost entirely digital setting, Favreau stitches together fluid shots that make you feel like you're there. It helps that the IMAX 3D is simply breathtaking on the big screen and that digital animation always looks better in that setting. Though Favreau may miss a few beats here and there, they're mostly because he's playing towards a crowd of children who expect certain things from their movies.  The only truly inconsistent thing about the movie is Sethi, who, in all fairness, had an incredibly daunting task before him since he's the only actual person in the entire film. It's clear that he became more comfortable with that fact as shooting went on as his performance varies from absolutely stellar (banging out a rendition of "The Bear Necessities") to horribly awkward (being hypnotized by the snake Kaa, played by an utterly wasted Scarlet Johansson). Still, he performs admirably overall, and it's his animal counterparts who steal the show anyway. Murray's Baloo is both perfect casting and the chance to hear him sing Baloo's classic song would make any movie worth the price of admission. Throw in a rollicking scene with King Louie that has Walken delivering a mafia routine and a chilling rendition of "Be Like You" and it's hard not to be drawn in by the performances not to mention stopping your foot from tapping. Much of their performance can be chalked up to the stellar animation, especially Elba's Shere Khan, who lurks around the screen fearsomely while the actor's silky voice drips with menace.   This is a children's movie overall, however. In the end Disney wants kids to be pretending they're hanging out with Baloo, and the movie plays like that. It's almost a contradiction as they hyper-realism of the film means the darker parts have that much more impact and the scary parts are that much scarier. Often the look and tone of the film don't jive with each other, though that's probably only a complaint an adult would have.  That look is so good, however, that it almost doesn't matter if the tone feels off sometimes. This is a major step forward in what we should come to expect from our CGI, but more importantly to that target audience, it's actually fun. 
Jungle Book photo
More than the bear necessities
At this point in my jaded film critic life it takes a lot to actually impress me with special effects. We've seen Transformers and giant blue aliens and everything in between on screen by now, and great digital effects are al...

AMC photo
AMC

Update: AMC to consider allowing texting in theaters


I'm avoiding AMC theaters
Apr 14
// Matthew Razak
Maybe I'm going to sound like some sort of grump old man here, but damn these kids and their cell phones! Unable to keep themselves from texting for the running time of most movies the younger generations enjoy whipping their...
Screenings photo
Screenings

See The Dark Horse Early and Free


Washington DC Screening
Apr 12
// Matthew Razak
We've got a last minute giveaway for you to an interesting looking movie called The Dark Horse.  Based upon a powerful true story, The Dark Horse is the uplifting portrait of a man searching for the courage to lead, des...
Suicide Squad photo
Suicide Squad

David Ayer says Suicide Squad reshoots are not about humor


Funny story
Apr 11
// Matthew Razak
With a new trailer landing that's jam-packed full of one-liners and bravado you'd be hard pressed to understand why Suicide Squad would need to go back for reshoots to add to its humor, but after BvS's dour turn you migh...
Star Wars photo
What will you become?
Gareth Edwards is directing a Star Wars movie. The man who has helped to redefine how you direct large objects hurtling at each other has his hands on the Death Star and all of a galaxy far, far away. I mean, that's a fa...

Last of Us photo
Last of Us

The Last of Us movie probably isn't happening any time soon


But should it ever?
Apr 04
// Matthew Razak
Two years ago we got word that a The Last of Us movie was in the works, and then nothing, but some rumors on casting and whispers of a table read. Many of us probably forgot about it, shrugging our shoulders as we replay...
The Flash photo
The Flash

Cyborg may crossover in Flash movie


Wonder twin powers!
Apr 04
// Matthew Razak
If there is one thing we learned from BvS (and it was hard to really learn anything), it's that DC has absolutely no problem shoving in as many characters as they can into one film so they can get their universe up and r...
JLA photo
JLA

George Miller returns to JLA, Snyder removed from project


Oh, what day. What a lovely day!
Apr 01
// Matthew Razak
If you've been following DC's comic book movie attempts you'll know that back in the day George Miller was going to be the one helming the Justice League movie. After a bunch of set backs and WB not knowing what the hell...
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Amazon's The Tick reboot to be darker and more grounded


Spoon?
Mar 31
// Matthew Razak
With news that Amazon was going to be bringing The Tick back to television I got very excited. The original comic and cartoon were two of my favorite things in the world growing up for their oddball comedy and general go...
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Blu-ray

Iron Giant Signature Edition Blu-ray coming in September


A thing of beauty
Mar 29
// Matthew Razak
Last year we all had the chance to see The Iron Giant, Brad Bird's first and possibly best film, in theaters again with added footage. It was dubbed the Signature Edition and was pretty awesome, especially since many folks di...
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LEGO Batman

Two LEGO Batman trailers in one week!


Ben? Is that you?
Mar 28
// Matthew Razak
Are you ready for a second LEGO Batman trailer? Of course you are. By the time this movie comes out you're going to want to have seen the entire thing in trailer form. This one is a bit more of a clip than a trailer, but...
Wonder Woman photo
Wonder Woman

First look at the rest of Wonder Woman's Amazonians


But will she spin in a circle?
Mar 24
// Matthew Razak
With Batman v Superman landing this weekend (review coming soon, but it's not so great) DC has introduced the cinematic world to Wonder Woman and that means that we can start seeing more of her upcoming solo film. Bits a...
Jungle Book photo
Jungle Book

Jungle Book character posters full of actors


Idris Elba is sexy with a tiger
Mar 21
// Matthew Razak
When you've packed your movie full of famous people but none of them are going to be seen there's only one solution: take dramatic photos of those famous people and put their animal characters with them. Clearly Disney knew t...
Assassin's Creed photo
Assassin's Creed

New image of Assassins Creed takes us to the future


Because we're still in a dreamy thing
Mar 21
// Matthew Razak
If you've played Assassin's Creed you know that it's not actually a game set in the past, but a game set in the mind of a man reliving his ancestor's past. Since the original that dichotomy has gone all over the place as...

Review: The Divergent Series: Allegiant - Part 1

Mar 18 // Matthew Razak
[embed]220415:42865:0[/embed] The Divergent Series: Allegiant - Part 1Director: Robert SchwentkeRated: PG-13Release Date: March 18, 2016 In the interest of being open I did not see the second film in the series, Insurgence. Evidently nothing really important happened in it since I could easily pick up from where I'd left off after seeing the first one. The bad guys were defeated leaving divergents Tris (Shailene Woodley) and boyfriend Four (Theo James) victorious. Her brother Caleb (Ansel Elgort) is captured and comic relief Peter (Miles Teller) is running around being snarky. Tris wants to escape the walled off Chicago for the outside world as it has been revealed that their entire lives were an experiment to make divergents. However, the city gets locked down as the internal struggles start a civil war. That leads Tris and the rest of the cast to escape the city and find the lab that watches over the experiment and its director David (Jeff Daniels). From here a post-apocalyptic plot of epic stupidity unfolds, every turn making less sense than the next. Those that have read the book series say that it begins to get truly bad in the third book where it appears that the author really didn't know where she was going with the story. That seems blatantly clear from the film too as much of the plot's key point rely on twists and turns that make no sense or feel forced. Bad guys doing illogical things is a key staple of what bad guys do in movies, but in this case the bad guys aren't just illogical, but incompetent. Time and time again decisions are made that only serve as plot devices so the good guys can win, but make no sense in the world around them. It's bad plotting, bad world creation and bad movie making.  Speaking of bad film making, the cheapness continues to prevail in this series. Whether it's the special effects or what seem to be some of the worst extras ever caught on screen the movie feels budget in every aspect. Green screens often look like they simply hung a sheet up in the background and projected the image behind the actor. There's shots that look like the digital effects people just gave up halfway through. An early explosion looks like something you'd see in a SyFy made-for-TV movie, not a movie trying to be a blockbuster franchise. The end result is a film that feels cheap. Director Robert Schwenke doesn't do anything to ease this feeling. His direction is blunt, crude and cliche all while lacking any ability to tie a scene together. It would be harmless at the very least, but there are times where it is so poor that it actually made the audience laugh. He's working with a dramaless plot, but that still doesn't excuse his inability to raise the heart rate during action sequences. He has a cast made up of some of Hollywood's most talented youngsters and he can't do anything with them. Not that any of them seem to be trying. The overall tone of every performance seems to be regret. When this series started all these actors were still trying to make a mark, but now the majority of them are far too good to be showing up in a budget sci-fi movie like this. Teller feels especially lackadaisical throughout the film while Elgory appears to be searching for the nearest exit for most of the movie. The only person who didn't seem to get the memo about not caring is Daniels, but unfortunately the screenplay gives him next to nothing to work with. Allegiant is exactly what you get when you try to copy and paste a formula that succeeded elsewhere. It's cheap and lackluster, and it's hard to imagine what another entire film is even going to be about or why anyone would want to see it after sitting through this one.  
Divergent photo
Still not Hunger Games
When the first film in the Divergent series came out it was pretty obvious what was going on. Lionsgate wanted a Hunger Games so they found a young adult series with a post-apocalyptic setting and cast an up-and-com...

Indiana Jones photo
No ticket
We've heard rumblings, but no full confirmation, of a new Indiana Jones movie since Disney bought out Lucasfilms, but it's been very slow going and after the oddness that was Crystal Skull it wasn't really clear if ...

Tomb Raider photo
Tomb Raider

Daisy Ridley eyed for Tomb Raider reboot


Daisy Ridley now in everything
Mar 10
// Matthew Razak
They're rebooting Tomb Raider, in case you didn't know. They've even got a director and everything so it's actually happening. Now it seems that Daisy Ridley is one of the choices to make it happen as Lara Croft.  If you...
Dark Tower photo
Maybe Roland will finally make it
I was pretty confident that this round of "we're making a Dark Tower" movie was going to end in the same way all the others did: cancellation. However, they got a director and then there were casting rumors and now we have ac...

Guardians Vol. 2 photo
Pom Klementieff will play Mantis
While I personally am tiring a bit on the Marvel universe (note: this will last until the next awesome movie lands) I don't think I could be any more excited for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Shooting has just begun and tha...

Jason Bourne photo
Bond vs. Bourne again
The Bourne franchise was supposed to be going its own merry way without Matt Damon, but after The Bourne Legacy failed to be a mega hit the actor was lured back to the character to help the universe out again. The first ...

Awwwww photo
Awwwww

Red Ban trailer for Keanu brings us Key and Peele and kitten


Greatest movie name since Die Harder
Jan 21
// Matthew Razak
Parody movies come in all shapes and sizes, but most of us think of something like Scary Movie when we think of them.Those can be funny, but truly great parody comes from creating something original that riffs on tropes...
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First concept art for Justice League movie appears


Not my Flash
Jan 19
// Matthew Razak
You best be ready for a true onslaught of DC movie stuff. After Batman v. Superman lands we'll be getting Marvel levels of DC comic book movies and the campaign really kicks off now. Ahead of tonight's TV special is goin...
Screenings photo
Screenings

See The 5th Wave early and free


Washington DC and Norfolk
Jan 19
// Matthew Razak
Ready for some low-grade January destruction movie stylings? Early every year we get a slew of these types of movies and sometimes they can be really fun. The 5th Wave could be fun. It definitely has some interesting sla...

Review: 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi

Jan 15 // Matthew Razak
13 Hours: The Secret Solidiers of BenghaziDirector: Michael BayRated: RRelease Date: January 15, 2016 [embed]220292:42774:0[/embed] For anyone running into 13 Hours hoping for some sort of political charged hit piece (on either side of the aisle) you'll be heavily disappointed. This movie is all Michael Bay and no Michael Moore. While there are a few snide remarks here and there, the movie is surprisingly apolitical, choosing to instead focus on the action-packed adventures of six CIA military contractors who protect a secret CIA base after the attack on the US "embassy" in Benghazi. Of course, if you go into the film believing in a certain narrative of what took place that night this movie is going to do nothing, but reaffirm your beliefs. It is stuffed full of Bay's die hard patriotism and love of people shooting things to solve problems.  The movie focuses on Jack Silva (John Krasinski) as he arrives in Benghazi just before the attacks on the embassy. He's introduced to the job by the team's lead Tyrone 'Rone' Woods (James Badge Dale) and then everything starts to catch on fire. The rest of the movie is a beefed up version on what may or may not have happened that night in Benghazi. While the film opens station that this is a true story it is very clearly Michael Bay's version of a true story. What does that mean? Prolific gun fights and plenty of explosions that may or may not have actually occurred. Block long drives, that were most likely very tense at the time, are turned into all out car chases. Bodies are mowed down left and right as bullets rip through them. A bus explodes in grandiose fashion. Men all have six packs and women -- sorry, make that woman -- are all gorgeous. It's pure Bay or it would be if it wasn't about an actual attack and incredibly politically charged. What's horribly annoying is this is probably Michael Bay's most competently made action film in quite some time. Despite it running longer than it needs to, Bay actually pieces together his action sequences with some understanding of the basic of film editing and pulls off an impressively decent pace for the film. The characters, while trite at times, are all given surprising emotional depth and handled with even more surprising care. As Pain & Gain showed us, when Bay wants to actually focus on something other than women's legs and explosions the results can actually be interesting.  However, it is nearly impossible to separate this film from the "true story" it is telling. The producers definitely didn't want to as they kept the horrendous subtitle attached to 13 Hours for all the promotion. In the case of saying something the movie fails again and again. It's blind belief in the heroism of the American soldier and inability to get out of its own cookie cutter cliches lead it from something that could offer some actual commentary into a simple, though emotional, action flick. Ignoring the politics of the subject matter might be both the worst and best thing the movie does, simultaneously making it work and fail at the exact same time. It can probably be best summed up by a point near the movies end after a truly tense 30 minutes of film one of the characters turns to the encampments translator and deadpans, "Your country's gotta figure this shit out." It's deep thoughts like that that rip away at the good parts of the film. Krasinki is probably the highlight and a brilliant bit of casting. His affable nature imbues Jack Silva with a humanity that defies the stereotypical tough-guy stuff. His performance adding layers to the normal bravado we get from patriotic cinema, and in turn pulling out more from the actors around him. It can't truly elevate the film above what it is, but damned if he doesn't try. Despite all the pretense and marketing and "true storying" 13 Hours turns out to be just a decent Michael Bay film made worse by its connection to a political scandal it seems to want nothing to do with. It turns out you can't have it both ways. Either you're making a movie about Benghazi or you're not. Bay tried so hard not to it ironically overwhelms everything else. 
Benghazi Review photo
Not so secret
(Editor's Note: This review was written before the knowledge that there was a 10 Cloverfield Lane trailer before the movie. Press did not get to see that trailer. If I had the film would have gotten a 10/10 off of the wa...

del Toro photo
Yea, that's pretty much perfect
If you were ever a child at some point the illustrations from the book Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark haunted your dreams. If you're an adult now they probably still do. The series of books collected some pretty solid...

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See Kung Fu Panda 3 early and free


Washington DC, Baltimore and Norfolk
Jan 14
// Matthew Razak
Has the shine worn off the Kung Fu Panda franchise yet? It's a long time between these sequels and I've just gotten less and less enthused about the series, but both 1 and 2 were enjoyable so maybe three will w...
Industry photo
Industry

Legendary is bought by China's Wanda for $3.5 billion


Prepare for a lot more China in movies
Jan 12
// Matthew Razak
It's a good time to be Legendary Entertainment. The studio is known for its genre films that started out small, but eventually led to things like the Dark Knight trilogy and Godzilla, but thanks to a spate of wise invest...
House of Cards photo
House of Cards

House of Cards trailer makes me want to watch


So this show is good, huh?
Jan 11
// Matthew Razak
Please don't kill me, but I haven't watched a single episode of House of Cards. It's not that I don't want to, it's just that I haven't. Yes, I've probably been watching a bunch of other shows that aren't as good, and I keep ...

The Golden Globes have their winners

Jan 11 // Matthew Razak
Best Motion Picture – Drama“The Revenant” (WINNER)“Carol”“Mad Max: Fury Road”“Room”“Spotlight” Best Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical“The Martian” (WINNER)“The Big Short”“Joy”“Spy”“Trainwreck” Best TV Series – Drama “Mr. Robot” (WINNER)“Empire”“Game of Thrones”“Narcos”“Outlander” Best TV Series – Comedy“Mozart in the Jungle” (WINNER)“Casual”“Orange Is the New Black”“Silicon Valley”“Transparent”“Veep” Best Animated Feature Film“Inside Out” (WINNER)“Anomalisa”“The Good Dinosaur”“The Peanuts Movie”“Shaun the Sheep Movie” Best TV Movie or Limited-Series“Wolf Hall” (WINNER)“American Crime”“American Horror Story: Hotel”“Fargo”“Flesh and Bone” Best Motion Picture – Foreign Language “Son of Saul” (WINNER)“The Brand New Testament”“The Club”“The Fencer”“Mustang” Best Director – Motion PictureAlejandro G. Iñárritu (“The Revenant”) (WINNER)Todd Haynes (“Carol”)Tom McCarthy (“Spotlight”)George Miller (“Mad Max: Fury Road”)Ridley Scott (“The Martian”) Best Screenplay – Motion PictureAaron Sorkin (“Steve Jobs”) (WINNER)Emma Donoghue (“Room”)Tom McCarthy, Josh Singer (“Spotlight”)Charles Randolph, Adam McKay (“The Big Short”)Quentin Tarantino (“The Hateful Eight”) Best Actress in a Motion Picture – DramaBrie Larson (“Room”) (WINNER)Cate Blanchett (“Carol”)Rooney Mara (“Carol”)Saoirse Ronan (“Brooklyn”)Alicia Vikander (“The Danish Girl”) Best Actor in a Motion Picture – DramaLeonardo DiCaprio (“The Revenant”) (WINNER)Bryan Cranston (“Trumbo”)Michael Fassbender (“Steve Jobs”)Eddie Redmayne (“The Danish Girl”)Will Smith (“Concussion”) Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Comedy Jennifer Lawrence (“Joy”) (WINNER)Melissa McCarthy (“Spy”)Amy Schumer (“Trainwreck”)Maggie Smith (“The Lady in the Van”)Lily Tomlin (“Grandma”) Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Comedy or MusicalMatt Damon (“The Martian”) (WINNER)Christian Bale (“The Big Short”)Steve Carell (“The Big Short”)Al Pacino (“Danny Collins”)Mark Ruffalo (“Infinitely Polar Bear”) Best Supporting Actor in a Motion PictureSylvester Stallone (“Creed”) (WINNER)Paul Dano (“Love & Mercy”)Idris Elba (“Beasts of No Nation”)Mark Rylance (“Bridge of Spies”)Michael Shannon (“99 Homes”) Best Actress in a TV Series – Drama Taraji P. Henson (“Empire”) (WINNER)Caitriona Balfe (“Outlander”)Viola Davis (“How to Get Away With Murder”)Eva Green (“Penny Dreadful”)Robin Wright (“House of Cards”) Best Actor in a TV Series – DramaJon Hamm (“Mad Men”) (WINNER)Rami Malek (“Mr. Robot”)Wagner Moura (“Narcos”)Bob Odenkirk (“Better Call Saul”)Liev Schreiber (“Ray Donovan”) Best Actor in a TV Series – Comedy Gael Garcia Bernal (“Mozart in the Jungle”) (WINNER)Aziz Ansari (“Master of None”)Rob Lowe (“The Grinder”)Patrick Stewart (“Blunt Talk”)Jeffrey Tambor (“Transparent”) Best Actress in a TV Series – ComedyRachel Bloom (“Crazy Ex Girlfriend”) (WINNER)Jamie Lee Curtis (“Scream Queens”)Julia Louis-Dreyfus (“Veep”)Gina Rodriguez (“Jane the Virgin”)Lily Tomlin (“Grace & Frankie”) Best Supporting Actress in a Motion PictureKate Winslet (“Steve Jobs”) (WINNER)Jane Fonda (“Youth”)Jennifer Jason Leigh (“The Hateful Eight”)Helen Mirren (“Trumbo”)Alicia Vikander (“Ex Machina”) Best Actress in a Limited-Series or TV MovieLady Gaga (“American Horror Story: Hotel”) (WINNER)Kirsten Dunst (“Fargo”)Sarah Hay (“Flesh & Bone”)Felicity Huffman (“American Crime”)Queen Latifah (“Bessie”) Best Supporting Actress in a Series, Limited-Series, or TV MovieMaura Tierney (“The Affair”) (WINNER)Uzo Aduba (“Orange is the New Black”)Joanne Froggatt (“Downton Abbey”)Regina King (“American Crime”)Judith Light (“Transparent”) Best Supporting Actor in a Series, Limited-Series or TV MovieChristian Slater (“Mr. Robot”) (WINNER)Alan Cumming (“The Good Wife”)Damian Lewis (“Wolf Hall”)Ben Mendelsohn (“Bloodline”)Tobias Menzies (“Outlander”) Best Actor in a Limited-Series or TV MovieOscar Isaac (“Show Me a Hero”) (WINNER)Idris Elba (“Luther”)David Oyelowo (“Nightingale”)Mark Rylance (“Wolf Hall”)Patrick Wilson (“Fargo”) Best Original ScoreEnnio Morricone (“The Hateful Eight”) (WINNER)Carter Burwell (“Carol”)Alexandre Desplat (“The Danish Girl”)Daniel Pemberton (“Steve Jobs”)Ryuichi Sakamoto Alva Noto (“The Revenant”) Best Original Song“Writing’s on the Wall” from “Spectre” (WINNER)“Love Me Like You Do” from “Fifty Shades of Grey”“One Kind of Love” from “Love & Mercy”“See You Again” from “Furious 7”“Simple Song No. 3” from “Youth”  
Golden Globes photo
Rocky! Rocky! Rocky!
The Hollywood Foreign Press is a strange group that really shouldn't have the second biggest award show around, but through marketing and a willingness to get famous people drunk they do. And so we once again bring you the wi...


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