Sunday, March 1, 2015

Focus Movie Will Smith Margot Robbie

Denver Film Critic Society Review Round-Up: February 27, 2015

This week’s DFCS round-up includes reviews of new theatrical releases Focus and The Lazarus Effect as well as Beyond the LightsBig Hero 6Horrible Bosses 2, and Whiplash - which are now available for DVD/Blu-ray/Digital purchase.

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Opening in Theaters

Focus:

  • Ben Kendrick: Despite its never lose focus catchphrase, unnecessary tangents and underwhelming reveals make Focus a somewhat unfocused, though still enjoyable, viewing experience. Read Ben’s full review.
  • Lisa Kennedy: It’s a shiny, diverting ride. (And right about now, that’s OK.). Read Lisa’s full review.
  • Christian Toto: You can’t trust a con man. Nor can you trust a con artist movie that can’t stop lying long enough to tell its tale. Read Christian’s full review.

The Lazarus Effect:

  • Currently, there are no reviews available for this title.

Out of the Dark:

  • Christian Toto: Out of the Dark struggles to make sense of its otherworldly trappings, but by the final reel you’ll be begging for some controlled chaos to give Dark a kick in the pants. Read Christian’s full review.

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Still in Theaters

The Duff:

  • Ben Kendrick: The Duff makes timely points about self-love, body image, and modern relationships but falls short of becoming a teen drama classic. Read Ben’s full review.

McFarland, USA:

  • Lisa Kennedy: It took a village of fine performers to depict this close-knit town. And the list is too long to give a shoutout to everyone. Read Lisa’s full review.

Song of the Sea:

  • Lisa Kennedy: Song of the Sea tells the sort of story that makes you crave the flickering of firelight or wish for the warmth of a blanket pulled up to your chin while mom or dad reads a bedtime tale. Read Lisa’s full review.

Two Days, One Night:

  • Lisa Kennedy: Consider Marion Cotillard’s Oscar-nominated performance in Two Days, One Night a tour de nuance. Read Lisa’s full review.

What We Do in the Shadows:

  • Christian Toto: Shadows seems a natural for repeated viewing. The visual jokes rush past as quickly as the sly asides, meaning you may need to pause a time or two to make the most of the experience. Read Christian’s full review.

Fifty Shades of Grey:

  • Ben Kendrick: Listen to Ben’s podcast review.
  • Barry Wurst: A great-looking movie with a toxic center. It rises above expectations, but not the source material. I can’t get behind a movie that aims to set female empowerment back at least fifty years (or shades). Read Barry’s full review.

Kingsman: The Secret Service:

  • Andy Bockelman: Kingsman is entertaining but no crowning achievement. Read Andy’s full review.
  • Ben Kendrick: Smart genre riffs and hyper-stylized action, Kingsman: The Secret Service manages to provide a clever twist on the spy movie format. Read Ben’s full review.
  • Christian Toto: Kingsman: The Secret Service starts as a sartorially splendid spin on British spy games before ending like the Kick-Ass sequel no wanted. Read Christian’s full review.
  • Barry Wurst: A movie that bludgeons its audience before turning the mallet on itself. Read Barry’s full review.

Old Fashioned:

  • Christian Toto: Old Fashioned offers a faith-based antidote to Fifty Shades of Grey, but it’s how that faith is deployed that gives the film an edge. Read Christian’s full review.

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Big Hero 6 DVD Blu Ray Baymax

New on DVD/Blu-Ray/Digital Download

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.

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.
  • Barry Wurst: Like the efficiently designed but flavorless San Fransokyo, the characters are all lively caricatures who speak in clichés and have no inner life. Read Barry’s full review.

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.

Whiplash:

  • Lisa Kennedy: Sundance winner Whiplash bangs the drum furiously. Read Lisa’s full review.
  • Barry Wurst: So intense and filled me with such anxiety, I’ll never forget it. The two lead performances are so good, they tower over every other aspect of the story. Read Barry’s full review.
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DFCS Spotlight: Features, Interviews, and More

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Next Week: ChappieUnfinished BusinessThe Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, and more!

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Hot Tub Time Machine 2 Poster

Denver Film Critic Society Review Round-Up: February 20, 2015

This week’s DFCS round-up includes reviews of new theatrical releases Hot Tub Time Machine 2, McFarland, USA and The Duff, as well as BirdmanDumb and Dumber ToThe Interview, and The Theory of Everything - which are now available for DVD/Blu-ray/Digital purchase.

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Opening in Theaters

The Duff:

  • Ben Kendrick: The Duff makes timely points about self-love, body image, and modern relationships but falls short of becoming a teen drama classic. Read Ben’s full review.

Hot Tub Time Machine 2:

  • Currently, there are no reviews available for this title.

McFarland, USA:

  • Lisa Kennedy: It took a village of fine performers to depict this close-knit town. And the list is too long to give a shoutout to everyone. Read Lisa’s full review.

Song of the Sea:

  • Lisa Kennedy: Song of the Sea tells the sort of story that makes you crave the flickering of firelight or wish for the warmth of a blanket pulled up to your chin while mom or dad reads a bedtime tale. Read Lisa’s full review.

Two Days, One Night:

  • Lisa Kennedy: Consider Marion Cotillard’s Oscar-nominated performance in Two Days, One Night a tour de nuance. Read Lisa’s full review.

Still in Theaters

Fifty Shades of Grey:

  • Ben Kendrick: Listen to Ben’s podcast review.
  • Barry Wurst: A great-looking movie with a toxic center. It rises above expectations, but not the source material. I can’t get behind a movie that aims to set female empowerment back at least fifty years (or shades). Read Barry’s full review.

Kingsman: The Secret Service:

  • Ben Kendrick: Smart genre riffs and hyper-stylized action, Kingsman: The Secret Service manages to provide a clever twist on the spy movie format. Read Ben’s full review.
  • Christian Toto: Kingsman: The Secret Service starts as a sartorially splendid spin on British spy games before ending like the Kick-Ass sequel no wanted. Read Christian’s full review.
  • Barry Wurst: A movie that bludgeons its audience before turning the mallet on itself. Read Barry’s full review.

Old Fashioned:

  • Christian Toto: Old Fashioned offers a faith-based antidote to Fifty Shades of Grey, but it’s how that faith is deployed that gives the film an edge. Read Christian’s full review.

Jupiter Ascending:

  • Lisa Kennedy: This sci-fi-inflected fantasy has many a wince-worthy romantic exchange between stars Channing Tatum and Mila Kunis. Read Lisa’s full review.
  • Dave Taylor: If you can overlook the flaws, there’s a lot to appreciate in Jupiter Ascending and definitely enough to justify the price of a movie ticket (so you can enjoy the spectacle on a big screen). Read Dave’s full review.
  • Christian Toto: Jupiter Ascending is a hyper-ambitious saga salvaged by stars who know not to take it all too seriously. That makes it a serviceable February release wisely saved from a summer movie beating. Read Christian’s full review.
  • Barry Wurst: This is my kind of flop–a charmingly bad, un-cynical personal work by The Wachowskis, who are overreaching here by light years. Read Barry’s full review.

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Dumb and Dumber To Poster

New on DVD/Blu-Ray/Digital Download

Birdman: 

  • Ben Kendrick: Birdman provides a thought-provoking and inventive exploration of artistry, family, and the difference between power, popularity, and prestige. Read Ben’s full review.
  • Lisa Kennedy: Does it dip? A time or two. Does it take vivid flight? Absolutely. Read Lisa’s full review.
  • Christian Toto: Birdman offers a cutting view of both the creative process and the deeply flawed people bringing art to the public square. Read Christian’s full review.
  • Barry Wurst: The movie is full of itself in ways that don’t always work. Read Barry’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.

The Interview:

  • Dave Taylor: There’s the kernel of an amusing film in the vein of Spies Like UsJohnny English, or Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, but it never comes to fruition. Read Dave’s full review.

St. Vincent:

  • Barry Wurst: This is easy to recommend, even with reservations, when the acting, soundtrack, final scene and Mr. Murray are this great. Read Barry’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.
  • Barry Wurst: This is too TV movie-ready for the man whose extraordinary life its portraying. Still, Johann Johannsson’s beautiful score and Redmayne’s astonishing performance make it worthwhile. Read Barry’s full review.
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DFCS Review Round-Up: ‘Kingsman: The Secret Service,’ ‘Fifty Shades of Grey,’ & More!

February 14, 2015

Denver Film Critic Society Review Round-Up: February 13, 2015 This week’s DFCS round-up includes reviews of new theatrical releases Kingsman: The Secret Service, Fifty Shades of Grey, and Old Fashioned, as well as Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, Nightcrawler, and Rosewater - which are now available for DVD/Blu-ray/Digital purchase. – Opening in Theaters Fifty Shades of […]

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DFCS Review Round-Up: ‘Jupiter Ascending,’ ‘Seventh Son,’ & More!

February 6, 2015

Denver Film Critic Society Review Round-Up: February 6, 2015 This week’s DFCS round-up includes reviews of new theatrical releases Jupiter Ascending, The Spongebob Movie: Sponge out of Water, and Seventh Son as well as Dracula Untold and John Wick - which are now available for DVD/Blu-ray/Digital purchase. – Opening in Theaters Jupiter Ascending: Lisa Kennedy: This sci-fi-inflected fantasy has many a wince-worthy romantic exchange between stars Channing […]

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DFCS Review Round-Up: ‘Project Almanac,’ ‘Black Sea,’ ‘A Most Violent Year,’ & More!

January 30, 2015

Denver Film Critic Society Review Round-Up: January 30, 2015 This week’s DFCS round-up includes reviews of new theatrical releases Project Almanac, Black Sea, and A Most Violent Year as well as Before I Go To Sleep, The Book of Life, Fury, and The Judge - which are now available for DVD/Blu-ray/Digital purchase. – Opening in Theaters Black or White: Lisa Kennedy: It may […]

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DFCS Review Round-Up: ‘Strange Magic,’ ‘Still Alice,’ ‘Cake,’ & More!

January 25, 2015

Denver Film Critic Society Review Round-Up: January 23, 2015 This week’s DFCS round-up includes reviews of new theatrical releases The Boy Next Door, Strange Magic, Still Alice, and  Cake as well as Lucy and The Zero Theorem - which are now available for DVD/Blu-ray/Digital purchase. – Opening in Theaters The Boy Next Door: Currently, there are no reviews available for this title. Cake: […]

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DFCS Review Round-Up: ‘Paddington,’ ‘American Sniper,’ ‘The Wedding Ringer,’ & More!

January 16, 2015

Denver Film Critic Society Review Round-Up: January 16, 2015 This week’s DFCS round-up includes reviews of new theatrical releases Paddington, American Sniper, and The Wedding Ringer as well as Gone Girl - which is now available for DVD/Blu-ray/Digital purchase. – Opening in Theaters American Sniper: Lisa Kennedy: A deep appreciation of the masculine that adds texture to our understanding of violence, warfare and […]

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DFCS Names ‘American Sniper’ 2014′s Best Film

January 12, 2015

“American Sniper,” Clint Eastwood’s mesmerizing look at the life of Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, earned the Denver Film Critics Society’s Best Picture award today. The Colo.-based group spread the honors liberally through 2014’s best films, with “Birdman” scoring the most awards (Best Original Screenplay, Best Score and Best Cinematography). Bradley Cooper’s performance as Kyle tied […]

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DFCS Review Round-Up: ‘Taken 3,’ ‘Selma,’ ‘Inherent Vice,’ & More!

January 9, 2015

Denver Film Critic Society Review Round-Up: January 9, 2015 This week’s DFCS round-up includes reviews of new theatrical releases Taken, Selma, and Inherent Vice as well as Boyhood and Get on Up - which are now available for DVD/Blu-ray/Digital purchase. – Opening in Theaters Inherent Vice: Jonathan Lack: Anderson has crafted something vast and significant, a film designed to reward deeper engagement at every possible […]

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DFCS Nominates ‘Birdman,’ ‘Boyhood’ for Group’s Major Awards

January 7, 2015

The Denver Film Critics Society honored “Birdman” with seven nominations this week, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Original Screenplay. The Colo.-based group also singled out “Boyhood,” “Inherent Vice,” “The Grand Budapest Hotel” and “Under the Skin,” reflecting both the year’s diverse array of films and the fact that no one movie is breaking away […]

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