Saturday, November 29, 2014

Penguins of Madagascar Movie Poster

Denver Film Critic Society Review Round-Up: November 28, 2014

This week’s DFCS round-up includes reviews of new theatrical releases Horrible Bosses 2, Penguins of Madagascar, and Foxcatcher as well as The Expendables 3The Giver, and The November Man - which are now available for DVD/Blu-ray/Digital purchase.

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Opening in Theaters

Horrible Bosses 2:

  • Christian Toto: Horrible Bosses 2, barring an unlikely sophomore slump, will probably lead to a third installment even less necessary than the current model. That’s a shame. . Read Christian’s full review.

Penguins of Madagascar: 

  • Christian Toto: The Penguins of Madagascar should slap the film’s creators on their collective chins and demand a better, more streamlined story for the inevitable sequel. Read Christian’s full review.

Still in Theaters

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1:

  • Andy Bockelman: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 almost satisfies your hunger. Read Andy’s full review.
  • Ben Kendrick: It’s a solid entry in the series, and lays an intriguing foundation for Part 2, but on its own Mockingjay – Part 1 is rarely as entertaining or rewarding as its predecessors. Read Ben’s full review.
  • Dave Taylor: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 is a dry, confusing film characterized by poor performances and an unengaging narrative. Read Dave’s full review.
  • Christian Toto: We know where this is all going and we’ll have to wait another year to get there. For now, Part 1 is a two-hour infomercial for the main event. Read Christian’s full review.

The Mule: 

  • Christian Toto: Those looking for a tale told with intelligence, humor and the element of surprise, though, will be glad to greet this MuleRead Christian’s full review.

Beyond the Lights:

  • Lisa Kennedy: Director Prince-Bythewood, who made the move from television to the big-screen in 2000 with the terrific romance Love and Basketball has a way with actors. Read Lisa’s full review.

Dumb and Dumber To:

  • Ben Kendrick: Dumb and Dumber To is not required viewing but, with Carrey and Daniels back in the starring roles, the sequel delivers a fair number of enjoyable (though moronic) laughs. Read Ben’s full review.
  • Christian Toto: Anything goes, and the tone is light enough not to offend even when the material seems hell bent on doing just that. That’s the smartest way to keep this franchise alive. Read Christian’s full review.
  • Barry Wurst: Too many comic dead spots and an unsatisfying wrap up take the (flatulent) wind out its sails, as some of this is uproarious. Read Barry’s full review.

Rosewater:

  • Walter Chaw: As much as I like and often admire The Daily ShowRosewater is very much the movie the host of The Daily Show would make. Read Walter’s full review.

The Theory of Everything: 

  • Lisa Kennedy: The Theory of Everything stands as a tear-courting visualization of Hawking’s and our precious quandary: time. Read Lisa’s full review.
  • Jonathan Lack: The Theory of Everything does not wholly rewrite the rules of biographical cinema, but it is sharp, empathetic, and touching in a way these sorts of films so rarely are. Read Jonathan’s full review.
  • Christian Toto: Suffers from the flaws that dog many biopics. If only the genre could spawn as many magnificent couples as the one Redmayne and Jones conjure on screen. Read Christian’s full review.

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Expendables 3 Movie Poster

New on DVD/Blu-Ray/Digital Download

The Expendables 3: 

The Giver:

  • Andy Bockelman: The Giver suffers from sameness. Read Andy’s full review.
  • Ben Kendrick: The Giver is a surprisingly generic addition to the young adult film genre – especially for a story that champions individuality and self-expression. Read Ben’s full review.
  • Lisa Kennedy: The Giver is a gentle, chilling primer for dystopian tales. Read Lisa’s full review.
  • Dave Taylor: The performances are good, but at times The Giver also seems more of a stage production on film than a cinematic experience. The book’s deep. Read Dave’s full review.

The November Man:

  • Ben Kendrick: In a genre where smarts and thrills are pivotal, The November Man delivers only routine (and uninspired) spy drama. Read Ben’s full review.
  • Barry Wurst: The November Man is a rough edged, fast paced but empty shoot ‘em up, worthwhile for Brosnan’s fan base but not entirely worthy of him. Read Barry’s full review.
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Hunger-Games-Mockingjay-Part-1-Jennifer-Lawrence

Denver Film Critic Society Review Round-Up: November 21, 2014

This week’s DFCS round-up includes reviews of new theatrical release The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 as well as 22 Jump StreetSin City: A Dame to Kill For, and The Wind Rises - which are now available for DVD/Blu-ray/Digital purchase.

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Opening in Theaters

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1:

  • Ben Kendrick: It’s a solid entry in the series, and lays an intriguing foundation for Part 2, but on its own Mockingjay – Part 1 is rarely as entertaining or rewarding as its predecessors. Read Ben’s full review.
  • Christian Toto: We know where this is all going and we’ll have to wait another year to get there. For now, Part 1 is a two-hour infomercial for the main event. Read Christian’s full review.

The Mule: 

  • Christian Toto: Those looking for a tale told with intelligence, humor and the element of surprise, though, will be glad to greet this MuleRead Christian’s full review.

Still in Theaters

Beyond the Lights:

  • Lisa Kennedy: Director Prince-Bythewood, who made the move from television to the big-screen in 2000 with the terrific romance Love and Basketball has a way with actors. Read Lisa’s full review.

Dumb and Dumber To:

  • Ben Kendrick: Dumb and Dumber To is not required viewing but, with Carrey and Daniels back in the starring roles, the sequel delivers a fair number of enjoyable (though moronic) laughs. Read Ben’s full review.
  • Christian Toto: Anything goes, and the tone is light enough not to offend even when the material seems hell bent on doing just that. That’s the smartest way to keep this franchise alive. Read Christian’s full review.
  • Barry Wurst: Too many comic dead spots and an unsatisfying wrap up take the (flatulent) wind out its sails, as some of this is uproarious. Read Barry’s full review.

Rosewater:

  • Walter Chaw: As much as I like and often admire The Daily ShowRosewater is very much the movie the host of The Daily Show would make. Read Walter’s full review.

The Theory of Everything: 

  • Lisa Kennedy: The Theory of Everything stands as a tear-courting visualization of Hawking’s and our precious quandary: time. Read Lisa’s full review.
  • Jonathan Lack: The Theory of Everything does not wholly rewrite the rules of biographical cinema, but it is sharp, empathetic, and touching in a way these sorts of films so rarely are. Read Jonathan’s full review.
  • Christian Toto: Suffers from the flaws that dog many biopics. If only the genre could spawn as many magnificent couples as the one Redmayne and Jones conjure on screen. Read Christian’s full review.

Big Hero 6:

  • Lisa Kennedy: Big Hero 6 celebrates nerd culture. And not merely the pop-culture- obsessed version (comic books) but the let’s-invent-something-cool kind. Read Lisa’s full review.
  • Jonathan Lack: Big Hero 6 is an exciting reminder that when true creative passion is involved, the way a story is told matters so much more than the story itself. Read Jonathan’s full review.

Interstellar: 

  • Andy Bockelman: Interstellar is a great space film undone by the Hollywood black hole. Read Andy’s full review.
  • Walter Chaw: Interstellar is a fairly crumby science-fiction movie, but as a metaphor for love it’s kind of great. Read Walter’s full review.
  • Ben Kendrick: Interstellar is an imaginative movie, but a heavy-handed mix of personal sacrifice and theoretical physics doesn’t leave much room for subtle storytelling. Read Ben’s full review.
  • Lisa Kennedy: Interstellar is as cinematically epic as it is dramatically intimate. Read Lisa’s full review.
  • Jonathan Lack: The kind of film I walk out of deeply shaken, while high on the power of cinema, drunk on what I just saw, elated, enlightened, inspired and made better. Read Jonathan’s full review.
  • Jim Noonan: Should you see it? Don’t miss it for the world. Read Jim’s full review.
  • Dave Taylor: How much did I like Interstellar? Let’s just say that I’m looking forward to seeing it again on an IMAX screen in just a few days. It’s that good. Read Dave’s full review.
  • Christian Toto: Boasts another superlative turn by Matthew McConaughey, brilliant space vistas, an all-American spirit and a father-daughter story to make your eyes well with tears. Read Christian’s full review.
  • Barry Wurst: This is fearless filmmaking, as dizzying ideas and awe-inducing visuals service a story that takes radical leaps but remains emotionally grounded. Read Barry’s full review.

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Sin-City-2-A-Dame-to-Kill-For-Movie-Cast

New on DVD/Blu-Ray/Digital Download

22 Jump Street:

  • Andy Bockelman: 22 Jump Street keeps on shooting high! Read Andy’s full review.
  • Jonathan Lack: Phil Lord and Chris Miller’s films look effortless, but there is a rigorous understanding and development of narrative and ideas at work underneath. Read Jonathan’s full review.
  • Barry Wurst: The return of Jonah, Channing and Korean Jesus makes for a surprisingly clever dissection of sequel-itus. Read Barry’s full review.

Sin City: A Dame to Kill For:

  • Ben Kendrick: Sin City: A Dame to Kill For is a jumbled but still enjoyable followup that, for most moviegoers, arrives on the scene too late. Read Ben’s full review.
  • Lisa Kennedy: Sin City: A Dame to Kill For more than earns its keep in terms of lavishing love, mildly ironic as well as pretty damn earnest, on pumped-up noir. Read Lisa’s full review.
  • Barry Wurst: Rodriguez is overly faithful to the source material. Rather than mimicking the frames of Miller’s comic books, how about making us care? Read Barry’s full review.

The Wind Rises:

  • Jonathan Lack: A gorgeous, impossibly rich masterwork, Hayao Miyazaki’s The Wind Rises captures the air of an artist tying together a lifetime of creativity into one final, majestic coda. Read Jonathan’s full review.
  • Barry Wurst: The busyness of the story’s history lesson make it seem more dramatically top-heavy than Miyazaki’s more whimsical fantasies. Read Barry’s full review.
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DFCS Review Round-Up: ‘Dumb and Dumber To’, ‘Rosewater’, ‘The Theory of Everything’, & More!

November 14, 2014

Denver Film Critic Society Review Round-Up: November 14, 2014 This week’s DFCS round-up includes reviews of new theatrical releases Dumb and Dumber To, Rosewater, and The Theory of Everything, as well as How to Train Your Dragon 2, Jersey Boys, and Tammy - which are now available for DVD/Blu-ray/Digital purchase. – Opening in Theaters Beyond the Lights: Lisa Kennedy: Director Prince-Bythewood, who made the move […]

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DFCS Review Round-Up: ‘Interstellar’, ‘Big Hero 6′, & More!

November 7, 2014

Denver Film Critic Society Review Round-Up: November 7, 2014 This week’s DFCS round-up includes reviews of new theatrical releases Big Hero 6 and Interstellar, as well as Hercules and Maleficent - which are now available for DVD/Blu-ray/Digital purchase. – Opening in Theaters Big Hero 6: Lisa Kennedy: Big Hero 6 celebrates nerd culture. And not merely the pop-culture- obsessed version (comic books) but the […]

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DFCS Review Round-Up: ‘Nightcrawler’, ‘Before I Go to Sleep’, & More!

November 1, 2014

Denver Film Critic Society Review Round-Up: October 31, 2014 This week’s DFCS round-up includes reviews of new theatrical releases Nightcrawler, Before I Go to Sleep, and Horns, as well as Wish I Was Here - which is now available for DVD/Blu-ray/Digital purchase. – Opening in Theaters Before I Go to Sleep: Ben Kendrick: Before I Go to Sleep does little to redefine […]

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DFCS Review Round-Up: ‘John Wick’, ‘Whiplash’, ‘Birdman’, and More!

October 24, 2014

Denver Film Critic Society Review Round-Up: October 24, 2014 This week’s DFCS round-up includes reviews of new theatrical releases John Wick, Ouija, and Birdman as well as Snowpiercer and Sex Tape - which are now available for DVD/Blu-ray/Digital purchase. – Opening in Theaters 23 Blast: Christian Toto: 23 Blast is awkward at times, and it could use some gridiron spit polish. It’s still […]

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DFCS Review Round-Up: ‘Book of Life,’ ‘Fury,’ & More!

October 18, 2014

Denver Film Critic Society Review Round-Up: October 17, 2014 This week’s DFCS round-up includes reviews of new theatrical releases Fury and Book of Life as well as X-Men: Days of Future Past - which is now available for DVD/Blu-ray/Digital purchase. – Opening in Theaters Book of Life:  Kenny Miles: A lavish and vivid animated feature about love, life, and laughs. Read Kenny’s full review. […]

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DFCS Review Round-Up: ‘Dracula Untold,’ ‘The Judge,’ & More!

October 11, 2014

Denver Film Critic Society Review Round-Up: October 10, 2014 This week’s DFCS round-up includes reviews of new theatrical releases Dracula Untold, The Judge, and Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, as well as Edge of Tomorrow, Million Dollar Arm, and A Million Ways to Die in the West - which are now available for DVD/Blu-ray/Digital purchase. – Opening […]

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DFCS Review Round-Up: ‘Gone Girl,’ ‘Annabelle,’ & More!

October 3, 2014

Denver Film Critic Society Review Round-Up: October 3, 2014 This week’s DFCS round-up includes reviews of new theatrical releases Gone Girl, Annabelle, and Left Behind, as well as Transformers: Age of Extinction and Chef - which are now available for DVD/Blu-ray/Digital purchase. – Opening in Theaters Annabelle:  Christian Toto: In Annabelle, we’re left with a lifeless doll that works better as a marketing prop than […]

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DFCS Review Round-Up: ‘The Equalizer,’ ‘The Boxtrolls,’ & More!

September 27, 2014

Denver Film Critic Society Review Round-Up: September 26, 2014 This week’s DFCS round-up includes reviews of new theatrical releases The Boxtrolls, The Equalizer, and Hector and the Search for Happiness, as well as Neighbors and The Rover - which are now available for DVD/Blu-ray/Digital purchase. – Opening in Theaters The Boxtrolls:  Lisa Kennedy: There are many more delighted ‘Ewwws’ than too-easy ‘Awws’ […]

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