Tag: Movies

Minions is fun for the whole family

maxresdefaultWhen I first heard about the idea of a stand alone Minions movie, I was skeptical. I was a big fan of the Despicable Me films but I questioned if the little recklessly loyal dudes could scratch out a huge July release date and make a feature film work. The first 15 minutes of Minions puts those worries to rest. This is a funny film and works for a 91 minute feature that can give each member of the family a little something to enjoy.

The story is pre-Gru(No Steve Carell here) and takes the group of adorable little guys all the way back to the Stone Age with the dinosaurs as they struggle to find a proper villain/master to live and die for. Without purpose, each of their masters finds a way to die, from T-Rex to a Caveman to Dracula himself. In search of a real boss, they send three to America to track down the evil Scarlett(Sandra Bullock), a deadly ambitious super villain looking to obtain the crown from the Queen of England. The Minions find her and her sidekick/lover(Jon Hamm) and go to work. Serious hijinks ensue and the necessary plot threads are revealed and nothing truly original occurs.

You don’t go to a Minions movie to be blown away. You take the wife and kid to it and hope to laugh a decent amount and take a load off your mind. This isn’t Inception. It’s candy for the soul. The various group of actors who perform the voice work for the minions deserves praise, because their voices and various ways of speaking can’t be easy. Their language is unique and weird, and never tires. Whether it’s one of them being stranded in a mall watching an old game show or climbing on top of each other to help save the day, the dudes are fun to watch. The kid in you takes over and the adult is put at ease and can take a couple hours off the clock. (more…)

Sylvester Stallone: Still saving the day at 69

66ème Festival de Venise (Mostra)
66ème Festival de Venise (Mostra)

Let’s be honest. Most of us won’t be hanging off an exploding car or engaging in a gun battle when we are 69 years old. We will be suffering through a lawn mow or making coffee before we digest the paper and make a 56th attempt to fight the computer keyboard. On Monday, Sylvester Stallone, one of the best action stars who ever lived and the owner of an Academy Award, turns 69 years old. He’s the king of blow it up and talk about it later but probably most remarkably known for Rocky Balboa, the ultimate underdog.

In the spirit of recommending, I am going to provide 6(serious number territory) underrated movies of Sly’s for you to watch.


6. Cliffhanger

A tense nerve racking thriller to this day. Renny Harlin’s “Sly on a mountain” action adventure pitted our 5 foot 10 inch hero against the ruthless criminal John Lithgow and more importantly, ice cold temperatures up in the Rocky Mountains(really, Rocky?). From the unsettling opening death scene to the ending fight off a cliff with a plunging helicopter as their base, this movie never lets up and works all of the action hero’s strong suits to perfection. For a movie that’s 22 years old, it still holds up well. (more…)

Latest “Terminator” feels old and useless

arnold_schwarzenegger_terminator_genisys-wide_0There’s a scene in the latest Terminator adventure, the 5th entry called Genisys, where Arnold Schwarzenegger’s original T-800 tells Kyle Reese, “I am old, yet not obsolete.” I wish the same could be said for the latest sequel/reboot/reimagining. I grew up on these films and I still think the entire thing could have ended with James Cameron’s Terminator 2: Judgement Day. While the third Terminator film wasn’t bad and featured an unexpected ending, Terminator Salvation was weak and didn’t feature Arnold at all and this summer blockbuster pretender is all flash and has zero originality.

I’m sorry, but reshaping the entire storyline to fit the requirements for making a 5th film doesn’t count as being original. Sure, Arnold is back in full bad to the bone mode as the ultimate protector. Game of Thrones darling Emilia Clarke is Sarah Connor and the blank slate Jai Courtney tries his best to not mess up Kyle Reese, but it’s not enough to make this reboot required. Jason Clarke is a skilled actor, but has little to do here as John Connor, the man who sent Reese back to save his mom, or something like that. Around an hour into the film, the plot gets very complicated and grows more tedious by the moment. What was simple turns into a constant changing of the timeline. Summer action films shouldn’t be this complicated, heavy and recycled. (more…)

FURY: Pitt, Ayer, tanks and World War II power

I’ll be revisiting old movie reviews from the past three years here this summer. Ones you may have missed, passed up or completely forgot about. Stay tuned. First up is Brad Pitt’s FURY.

Fury“Ideals are peaceful. History is violent.”-Don“War Daddy” Collier (Brad Pitt)

Diagnosis-Fury is the best World War II film since Saving Private Ryan and also brings out the best performance in the troubled career of Shia Labeouf.

David Ayer has been waiting to make Fury for a long time, holding his ace of spades in his pocket for the past decade. Let’s just say he didn’t miss when he swung for the fence with Fury, a brutally realistic punch to the gut that combines the red meat history of Saving Private Ryan with the visceral testosterone of Lone Survivor.

There are certain genres a director has to be careful with and World War II is one of them. War pictures aren’t easy to make these days because there have been so many different takes on the battle that killed many and ended in victory. Ayer could have wrapped this tale in Hollywood gloss and just phoned it in. Viewers are generally worn out with this genre that doing something original and viscerally exciting is a hard task. Ayer pulls it off here by choosing the right story and bringing an authentic touch to the camera.

Fury tells a darker tale of the war, a time towards the end that saw the monstrous German tanks leveling the lesser equipped American tanks and where Hitler got so desperate that he deployed men, women and kids to try to and win the war. Ayer isn’t afraid to show you the coldness that violence brings to the souls and how killing a man truly changes a person. (more…)

“Maggie” Pulls The Right Strings and Pushes Zombie Genre Forward

Maggie-poster-4I grew up watching Arnold Schwarzenegger kick ass and take names. Commando, Running Man, Terminator 2, Raw Deal or Red Heat. You name it and I probably saw it six times. He was the king of “Say little and Shoot Often”. He was rarely asked to act and that was a good thing. Action stars are built on presence and stature along with the ability to convince us they can truly destroy things. If a chef in a kitchen is cooking them up, he’s using 2-3 spices instead of five. More one liners than monologues.

For his latest flick, the heartfelt nerve touching zombie flick Maggie, Arnold finally gets to act a little and it’s about time. He’s 67 years old, looks weathered in the face, and didn’t have any work done to his body or face in the last 40 years. What you see is what you get, and Arnold was the perfect choice to play Wade Vogel, a man facing the worst decision of all time. His daughter, Maggie(Abigail Breslin, wonderfully cast to tango with the big Austrian) is infected and is slowly decaying. Instead of letting her be taken into quarantine and live a tortured last set of days before being executed, Wade keeps her at home so he can “take care” of her himself when the time is right.

In this film, the actual word “zombie” is never used once and frankly, it’s not needed. We know what’s going on. Someone is bit and they slowly change into something else. Director Henry Hobson, working from a genuine simplistic piece of goodness in John Scott 3’s script, doesn’t need to turn this into The Terminator Meets The Walking Dead. He wants to go in the other direction and uses a slow burning tactic. Once bitten, the victims don’t change in minutes or overnight. It takes days, hence the need to quarantine them. (more…)

Gone Girl: Easier To Admire Than To Love

Review-Warning. You will leave Gone Girl mad as hell. It will get inside your head, crawl down into your nervous system and dance the jig around your heart and try to make it chilly inside.
Gillian Flynn took her novel to the one director who could make this material sing and that was the brilliant David Fincher. The man doesn’t miss. He crafted classics with Seven, Fight Club, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and The Social Network. He can do crime, dark comedy, uncomfortable sexual drama and elicit performances from actors few others can.
Gone Girl can’t be explained without giving away juicy plot details that need to be digested inside a theater and not on your IPhone at a bookstore. I can tell you this. Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike are perfectly cast as the greatest looking couple who carry a warehouse full of secrets that uncoil as the plot points and twists unfold on screen. They are Nick and Amy Dunne. A couple of New York writers who get rocked by the recession and drift apart when they move to Cape Girardeau. When she goes missing, he falls under the microscope of the local police, talk show hosts and the locals.
Affleck has always been a better actor than he has ever given credit for but he truly nails it here. He was born to play the well meaning yet weak in the knees Nick, who seems a little less worried about his missing wife than the usual husband. Nick is charming, speaks well, and doesn’t show harm but has a few secrets buried in his gut(pre-Batman Fleck body). Pike plays a number of personalities and this movie could be her coming out party as an actress or type cast her as the sweet blonde who rocked Fincher’s mystery. Carrie Coon is dynamite as Nick’s caring yet clingy sister. Tyler Perry puts the perfect shade of slick on the lawyer struggling to free Nick from potential doom. Kim Dickens is solid as the detective clearing the waters and Neil Patrick Harris is something entirely different than you’d expect playing a creepy dude from Amy’s past. The entire cast makes for a good ensemble and everybody gets their moments. In my eyes, Affleck nails his role the best but the cast as a whole is aces.
Trent Reznor’s score is perfectly gloomy and restrained, never overpowering the slow devil’s dance being transmitted by Fincher’s directing, Flynn’s writing and the cast’s flavor.
The only thing that kept me from loving this film was the ending. It will hit you in the gut and then the head. It pissed me off. Flynn stuck to her guns and kept the ending intact, but the result isn’t as golden as one would think. It just made me mad. I get the idea. When Law and Order is referenced and mocked early on in the film, I get the idea Fincher is going for. This plot won’t get tied up the way the audience wants it. Nice and tight? Nope. It’s going to be chilly and awkward, like a marriage slowly coming undone. That’s the effect and the goal. That doesn’t mean I have to like it.


Interstellar Trailer: The Perfect Tease

“We used to look up in the sky and wonder about our place in the stars. Now we just look down and worry about our place in the dirt.”-Interstellar

interstellar__2014____alternate_poster_by_camw1n-d7ir19zChris Nolan makes awe inspiring movies. Every time. He doesn’t waste your time or steal your money with his cinematic features. He takes you on a ride that is guaranteed to fill your mind with rapturous movie love glee and get your thinking about how movies should be made. The third(and most likely final) trailer for his latest, Interstellar, is built the way all previews should be built. It offers a tease of the plot, great imagery, powerful dialogue playing over it and an instant need to watch it again and again.

Don’t spend too much time thinking about the plot. It’s 2001: Space Odyssey meets Apollo 13 meets The Abyss. The idea is that earth has become a dangerous place to live and climate control is destroying it. In a way, our planet is dying and a professor/scientist(Michael Caine) devises a plan for a group of scientists(Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway among others) to perform an exercise called “interstellar” in order to “save” it. It involves time travel and perhaps finding another planet that humans can survive on. Remember, there is a lot more going on and many characters in play. The plot is just the first bite of the steak on this delicious looking experience.

That’s what Nolan does every time. He creates a one of a kind experience. Something to watch again and again. Something to tell your kids about when they are ready to explore great films. Nolan’s films always involve plots that require a little leap of belief. A format that denies limitations in the depths of storytelling. He opens a pandora’s box in your soul with his trailers. Remember The Dark Knight trailer? The Inception tease? They had you at hello! That’s Nolan.

This is McConaughey at his best. His dramatic scenes in the trailer with Mackenzie Joy, playing his daughter in the film, are amazing. The line where McConaughey tells Hathaway after she asks him, “Couldn’t you have told her you were going to save the world?” is priceless and speaks for any good parent.

“No. When you have become a parent, one thing becomes pretty clear and that’s that you want your children to feel safe.”

That is the backbone of every Nolan production and story. Family and how it binds people to each other and makes them do dangerous things to protect the sanctity of it. Every film of his has something to do with the depths one will go to in order to get back to his family or protect others.  His stories are about troubled men and how their sacrifice sits close to mankind’s reward.

Dylan Thomas’ writings are read, Jessica Chastain and Casey Affleck show up, and tons of astronaut activity occurs as well. Add it up and these 2 minutes and 33 seconds will just about store itself away in your cerebellum.


Nolan makes movies that are easy on the eyes and blow your mind.


Interstellar comes out on November 7th. That gives you a little over three months to salivate over this trailer.

Interstellar Makes You Dream Big About Movies

imageedit_3_2878164175Leave it to Christopher Nolan to blow our minds with a 140 second reel about crops, engineers, outer space, time travel, wormholes and Matthew McConaughey running through all of it. Nolan isn’t a pioneer of film but he is a renegade every time he touches it and promises us something great with every release. In a day and age where so many filmmakers phone in a production for the dollar and need to keep working, a film addict must appreciate creators like Nolan. He doesn’t waste our time and serves up fresh engaging and quietly amazing cinema every time. Isn’t that great to have around?

Nolan was the only director in Hollywood who could make Inception so good. He was the only director who could turn Batman into a movie that many felt was snubbed for an Best Picture nomination. He put Batman and Wolverine(Christian Bale and Hugh Jackman) into a movie about magic(The Prestige) and made an award worthy film. In short, Christopher Nolan doesn’t own a Best Picture or Director nomination but in a matter of 12 years has created a fine partnership with Warner Brothers.

Interstellar centers itself around McConaughey’s Cooper, an engineer who has an obsession with Indian surveillance drones and loves his two kids, one of them called Murphy(which is a moniker here for Murphy’s Law) a little more than his urge to go back into space discovery. When a scientist(Michael Caine, a Nolan regular) wants to place him in a special mission that involves time travel, Cooper must weigh the risks against his family if he decides to venture into the unknown. Think Inception meets The Abyss meets 2001: Space Odyssey. You will catch short glimpses of Anne Hathaway, Casey Affleck and Jessica Chastain as the trailer closes.

If you are confused by the trailer at first glance, that’s not a bad thing. Nolan wants to throw you for a loop and watch you click it again as you slowly get up off the floor. He doesn’t want to bore you so he plays with your mind. He will have your interest with this one because it concerns real questions and sprinkles in movie juice to go with it.

His brother Jonathan wrote the script with him, and their idea here isn’t as complex as some would think. Is there more to us than simply life and death? Does the human race have abilities that stretch outside of our world? Where does our destiny truly lie? These kind of questions are being put on the table here for us to start thinking about. Nolan wants us to open the book and get invested.

Great films make moviegoers go into their own outer space and let us time travel for a couple hours. With Interstellar, Nolan is producing that kind of phenomenon here. While we won’t know the result until the November 7th release date, this trailer gives us plenty of chew on in the mean time. 

Watch it(a few times) and let me know what you think.


Support Film-Addict: A Homegrown Website

Whenever I hand out a business card to someone or tell them I have a movie website, I get a number of looks. One response is complete bewilderment followed by a seriesGetAttachment of facial expressions that make it look like I am trying to show off. Another common response is, “That’s cool. What’s on the site?” Everybody else just hands over the fake care expression, where they take it, look interested and then start scanning the block for trash cans to chuck it into. I am sure my website has a huge following in the trash can colonies. The reason people want that blunt reaction to this card you have just handed them is simple. Where is the need? They want to know what you have, what it can do for them and how it is different from the other websites.

People, this is a world that is run on red bull, smart phones, and likes on Facebook. There is no time for old fashioned movie reviews, showtimes and commentary on film. I literally have to sell the site every time I hand someone a stylish piece of printed paper. This isn’t 1989 where a three button suit became awesome and having your name on a business card was as wild as carrying around a cellphone the size of a brick. This is 2014, and the world is constantly on the move.

I am here to tell you why you should not only help support Film-Addict but why you should care about it as well. The best way I can do that is by telling you a story.

In the early days of 2012, Eric Moore came to Chris McHugh and myself about starting a website. Eric and I had thought about it several times since we had become friends 8 years earlier. It was a dream. A grand idea. The three of us loved the movies and allowed our bodies and minds to be wrapped up inside their world. We didn’t just see a movie, leave, and burp out the expression, “that was alright”. We wanted to know the budget of the film, the director’s last 5 films and why the hell the movie stars did the damn thing. We wanted everything and needed to download it. We were true film-addicts. The most lovely question I can get these days is, “Why do you want so many movies?” I am a film-addict and here is why. Boom!! The conversation has begun. We wanted to put our love for film out there to the masses. Connecting with fellow addicts along the way.

We picked up a few addicts the past 2 years. Leigh Ann Jones, Landon Burris and Alana Hammonds all write reviews and individual articles for our site. Like us, they get paid nothing. Like us, they work full time and do this for the love of the game. Jones watched a 100 films in 100 days. Alana watched Blackfish on Netflix and decided to write a review because that’s what serious movie lovers do. We see something that moves us and the only way to move on is to write about it. Landon has reviewed all kinds of films for the site. A dialogue less visual pleasure to a Japanese animation film to a film about sex maniacs. We bleed for the site because we believe people need this information.

Next weekend, Wizard World comes to St. Louis. It’s the Comic Con of the Midwest. While it’s not as crazy popular as the one held in San Diego every year, they do our city proud and host a great show. The horror buffs dress up like Chucky, Jason, Michael and Freddy. The comic book faithful come out in full gear. Over 100,000 people show up downtown looking for a taste of the action. Last year, The true HULK Lou Ferrigno showed up. This year, Nathan Fillion, Firefly alum and Castle star, will be in attendance along with other stars. The reason I am telling you this is Film-Addict has a booth/table at the event. We will be handing out posters, shirts and other cool memorabilia to the people who stop by and fire up conversation. On one of the days, we will direct our attention to The Amazing Spider Man 2 that comes out this summer.

Since we are a proud mom and pop shop variety website, we need help raising money to put on the best possible show at this event. We are looking for donations from anyone looking to put their money into something meaningful. Something with a pulse. We throw away money every day. Coffee in a cup, gas in our cars, a bag of chips or a bad Subway sandwich. I don’t ask you to donate any more than you think our website deserves. If it’s a couple dollars, it helps.

While we do offer actor and cinema spotlights, I’d like to think Film-Addict offers you honesty. A blunt take on film delivered by a group of people who provide you with something authentic and fun. We didn’t have to start a website. We are probably 10-12 years late and while we are joined at the hip by a hundred thousand other sites dedicated to film, we like to think we do something special with ours.

If you wish to know more about this particular mission and enterprise, head over to our page at Go Fund Me. Eric has all you need to know about why you are donating and how you can do it. You can see others who have donated and get an idea of what we are going after. See for yourself before you hand over your own dollars.


Thanks for giving us the time of day. In this modern world of 24/7 rush hour, that is something no one should take for granted.