• Neighbors

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    Get ready for some side-splitting laughs with Neighbors. Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne star as a couple who deal with a fraternity that moves in next door led by Zac Efron. Family, parties, babies, boobies and mayhem ensue in this hilarious romp. The Players: Director: Nicholas Stoller Writers: Andrew J. Cohen and Brendan O’Brien Starring: Seth Rogen, Rose Byrne, Zac Efron, Dave Franco, Ike Barinholtz, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Carla Gallo […]

  • Orpheus

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    When I think of French directors who used film as a medium for personal expression, director Jean Cocteau is among the best.  He was not only a poet, playwright, and filmmaker, he was also an artist, designer and novelist.  With Orpheus, Cocteau demonstrates yet again why he’s a legend of French art and cinema. The Players: Director: Jean Cocteau Writers: Jean […]

  • Think Like a Man Too

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    Think Like a Man Too has big shoes to fill. Its predecessor, Think Like a Man, was a box office success and fan favorite. The sequel maintains what made the first film a hit, but a few unnecessary additions keep it from greatness. The Players: Director: Tim Story Screenwriters: Keith Merryman, David A. Newman, Steve Harvey (story) Cast: Kevin Hart, […]

Neighbors

Get ready for some side-splitting laughs with Neighbors. Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne star as a couple who deal with a fraternity that moves in next door led by Zac Efron. Family, parties, babies, boobies and mayhem ensue in this hilarious romp. The Players: Director: Nicholas Stoller Writers: Andrew J. Cohen and Brendan O’Brien Starring: Seth Rogen, Rose Byrne, Zac Efron, Dave Franco, Ike Barinholtz, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Carla Gallo Cinematography: Brandon Trost Music: Michael Andrews The Plot: When a couple and their newborn baby find a home, they think everything’s on the up and up — that is until a fraternity moves in next door. After trying to be “cool” adults, they’re forced to take matters into their own hands to protect their child from their raunchy neighbors. The Good: The Story: Neighbors is a fun and believable exaggeration of life. They take two stories about growing up: One from the college age perspective and the other from the new family perspective. You believe that if these worlds collided things would escalate as they do, which is what makes the movie work. Even when the more outlandish things occur, their motivated by real life circumstances people can relate to. The Cast: There are some great comedic talents here from Rogen and Mintz-Plasse to Franco...

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Orpheus

When I think of French directors who used film as a medium for personal expression, director Jean Cocteau is among the best.  He was not only a poet, playwright, and filmmaker, he was also an artist, designer and novelist.  With Orpheus, Cocteau demonstrates yet again why he’s a legend of French art and cinema. The Players: Director: Jean Cocteau Writers: Jean Cocteau Cast: Jean Marais, François Périer, María Casares, Marie Déa Notes: In Greek mythology, Orpheus is a musician who can charm everyone and anything, including inanimate objects.  However, he suffers the death of his wife, Eurydice, whom he must then bring back from the underworld.  Cocteau’s Orpheus is a modern and twisted version of this myth, taking place in Paris and featuring a young famous poet in the role of Orpheus (Jean Marais). In addition to the parallels with Greek mythology, Orpheus is a complex and poetic film with a lot of subtext.  Weaved within its multitude of layers is a mufti-dimensional universe dealing with themes such as death, love and the unconscious.  In fact, “Death” (Maria Casares), is an actual character in this plot, and one involved in a love triangle of all things.  Unless you have an understanding of these layers, this...

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Think Like a Man Too

Think Like a Man Too has big shoes to fill. Its predecessor, Think Like a Man, was a box office success and fan favorite. The sequel maintains what made the first film a hit, but a few unnecessary additions keep it from greatness. The Players: Director: Tim Story Screenwriters: Keith Merryman, David A. Newman, Steve Harvey (story) Cast: Kevin Hart, Michael Ealy, Taraji P. Henson, Regina Hall, Terrence Jenkins, Romany Malco, Meagan Good, Gabrielle Union, Jerry Ferrara, Gary Owen, Jenifer Lewis, Wendy McLendon-Covey, Adam Brody, David Walton, Lala Anthony, Dennis Haysbert Cinematography by: Christopher Duskin Original Music by: Christopher Lennertz The Plot: The gang reunites in Las Vegas for Michael (Jenkins) and Candace (Hall)’s wedding. Cedric (Hart) takes it upon himself to plan the bachelor weekend, while Lauren (Henson) does the same for the girls. Unfortunately, everyone’s brought their own personal baggage on the trip. Once again, relationships are tested as they prepare for Candace’s walk down the aisle. The Good: The Cast: If it ain’t broke don’t fix it. Tim Story was aware that he struck gold with this cast of actors. Their chemistry is still intact after a two-year hiatus. It’s the movie’s saving grace, as well as...

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Edge of Tomorrow Review

When any movie-goer first takes a glance at the latest Tom Cruise film Edge of Tomorrow, it appears to be another ho-drum sci-fi action story that may easily get washed away in the sea of high budget movies out this year. What audiences won’t expect is a surprisingly thrilling, and at times comical, sci-fi movie that is yet another fine addition to what’s beginning to look like one of the better summer movie seasons in a long while. The Players: Director: Doug Liman Writer: Christopher McQuarrie Cast: Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt, Brendan Gleeson, Bill Paxton, Jonas Armstrong, Tony Way, Kick Gurry, Franz Drameh, Charlotte Riley Cinematography by: Dion Beebe Original Score by: Christophe Beck Plot Synopsis: The future is looking bleak for humanity as the arrival of the terrifying “mimics” could wipe out all of humanity. The world has been fighting against these strange alien creatures for years, and now they’re ready to make their sudden assault on them and hope to gain the upper hand. Unfortunately for Officer Cage (Cruise), he gets caught up in the strangest situation as they storm out to fight the “mimics,” being pulled into a time loop that could change the course of this...

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Reviewing Ebert’s ‘Greatest Ebert’: Pixote (1980)

  In the vein of social realism perpetuated by the neo-realists but if a documentary-like immediacy, with Pixote Argentine director Hector Babenco takes us deep into the bowels of an urban jungle in Sao Paolo, Brazil during the 1970′s.  It focuses in children characters plagued by a life in crime, and deserves a place at the top of any best movie list, as it retains its power and societal relevance more than 30 years after its premiere. The Players: Director: Hector Babenco Writers: Hector Babenco, Jorge Duran Cast: Fernando Ramos da Silva, Jorge Juliao, Gilberto Moura, Edilson Lino, Zenildo Oliveira Notes: The film follows a young kid named Pixote, who is sent to juvenile prison, along with several other street children, whose impoverished and orphaned existence steers them inevitably towards a lifetime of criminality. In a country held under several dictatorships throughout the twentieth century, the independent spirit of Brazilian cinema benefited significantly from the creation of the Brazilian National Film Institute in 1966.  For the next 15 years, Brazil would produce more than a dozen international hits.  Made in 1981, Pixote marks the end of an era known now as Cinema Nova, a movement drawing some of its courage from Italian neo-realism and...

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