DANNY COLLINS (2015)

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Written & Directed By: Dan Fogelman 

Cinematography: Steve Yedlin 

Editor: Julie Monroe 

Cast: Al Pacino, Annette Bening, Christopher Plummer, Bobby Cannavale, Jennifer Garner, Nick Offerman, Melissa Benoist, Josh Peck, Katarina Cas, Giselle Eisenberg, Brian Thomas Smith, Scott Lawrence 


Inspired by a true story, Al Pacino stars as aging 1970s rocker Danny Collins, who can’t give up his hard-living ways. But when his manager uncovers a 40 year-old undelivered letter written to him by John Lennon, he decides to change course and embarks on a heartfelt journey to rediscover his family, find true love and begin a second act.


Inspired by the story of singer Steve Tilston, who learned of the existence of a letter that John Lennon had written to him 34 years after the letter was written.

The film is a feel good film that feels a little like a fantasy but is a heart warmer and feels lived in. Will admit this is an easy film to overlook. as once you see the trailer you feel like you have it all figured out. Though once you watch it you are shocked at how much it grabs a hold of you and moves you.

Al Pacino shines in his role her where he gives a heaviness to a role that could be easily written off as lightweight. He gives it his all and makes a charismatic sympathetic character who could have been more comedic. Though the fact that he isn’t makes us pay attention and wonder.

The previews for this film focused more on the romantic angle between him and Annette Bening’s Character but as the film progresses that is only one part of this character study. As most of the drama revolves around him and his estranged son’s relationship.

There are plenty of isn’t that convenient moments but in the end the film leaves you with a smile on your face. As it is a film that could be a family film Except that is some scenes it goes out of it’s Way to show you the material is more adult with drug use and a scene of nudity.

The film lightly explores being afraid of challenging yourself and taking the easy way out. While also asking not o hard if you have built up a reputation for making others happy but it doesn’t make you happy anymore. Do you still owe the people what they want or are you allowed to let yourself be happy and express yourself even if it’s it in a way that others are used to or might not even approve of and try to deny.

Christopher Plummer is good as always and it’s fun to see him play more of a tough guy.

For such a noted cast this is actually kind of lightweight material. Though for the most part they are the true reason to watch this. As they give the material the respect even though they are above it to a certain aspect.

Though in the end this is feel good entertainment with a little bit of an edge and basically gives the cast an easy walk with letting them play characters who are more lived in and having the younger cast members play smaller roles that are more like sketches of characters.

It also asks how much do you owe your audience as they are the ones who supported you and admire you, but ho much do you owe them when you want to express yourself more truthfully and honestly though that stands at odds with what your audience wants or will even let you do. Who is more in control especially when you have given them years and been made rich off of it but aren’t being true to yourself.

Grade: C+

PREDESTINATION (2014)

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Written & Directed By: Michael Spierig & Peter Spierig (The Spierig Brothers)
Based On A Story “ALL YOU ZOMBIES” By: Robert A. Heinlein
Cinematography By: Ben Nott
Editor: Matt Villa
Music By: Peter Spierig 


Cast: Ethan Hawke, Sarah Snook, Noah Taylor, Christopher Kirby, Christopher Sommers

For his final assignment, a top temporal agent must pursue the one criminal that has eluded him throughout time. The chase turns into a unique, surprising and mind-bending exploration of love, fate, identity and time travel taboos.

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KINGSMAN: THE SECRET SERVICE (2015)

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Directed By: Matthew Vaughn
Written By: Jane Goldman & Matthew Vaughn
Based On The Graphic Novel “The Secret Service” By: Mark Millar & Dave Gibbons Cinematography By: George Richmond
Editor: Eddie Hamilton & Jon Harris
Music By: Henry Jackman & Matthew Margeson 

Cast: Colin Firth, Taron Egerton, Samuel L. Jackson, Mark Strong, Michael Caine, Sophia Boutella, Jack Davenport, Mark Hammil, Fiona Hampton, Anna Halstrom

Agent Harry “Galahad” Hart from the Kingsman Secret Service helps troublemaker Gary “Eggsy” Unwin, who is the son of an Agent that saved the lives of Harry and his team, sacrificing himself seventeen years ago. Harry invites Eggsy to be a candidate to the vacancy of a new Agent in the agency, and he is trained by Agent Merlin and competes with other candidates. Meanwhile, the Kingsmen investigate the industrialist Valentine, an insane genius of technology who is plotting a deadly plan with his assistant Gazelle to save the Earth from global warming, eliminating most of the population with a chip and saving only those that he has chosen. Continue reading “KINGSMAN: THE SECRET SERVICE (2015)”

BURYING THE EX (2015)

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Directed By: Joe Dante
Written By: Alan Trezza
Cinematography By: Jonathan Hall
Editor: Marshall Harvey 


Cast: Anton Yelchin, Alexandra Daddario, Ashley Greene, Oliver Cooper, Dick Miller

When Max learns that his new live-in girlfriend, Evelyn (Greene) is controlling and manipulative, he is afraid to end the relationship. However, fate occurs and Evelyn is killed in a freak accident. A couple months have passed and Max meets his dream girl, Olivia. The new romance gets tricky when Evelyn comes back from the grave and insists on continuing their once relationship by all means.

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THE MEDDLER (2015)

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Written & Directed By: Lorene Scafaria
Cinematography By: Brett Pawlek
Editor: Kayla M. Emter 


Cast: Susan Sarandon, Rose Byrne, J.K. Simmons, Jerrod Carmichael, Cecily Strong, Lucy Punch, Michael McKean, Billy Magnussen, Jason Ritter, Casey Wilson, Megan Echikunwoke, Amy Landecker, Harry Hamlin, Robert Picardo, Shiri Appleby, Laura San Giacomo, Roger Arron Brown, Randall Park, Bill Fagerbakke 


An aging widow from New York City follows her daughter to Los Angeles in hopes of starting a new life after her husband passes away.

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DARK PLACES (2015)

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Written & Directed By: Gilles Paquet-Brenner
Based on the book By: Gillian Flynn
Cinematography By: Barry Ackroyd
Editor: Douglas Fox & Billy Crise 

Cast: Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hault, Chole Grace Moretz, Corey Stoll, Tye Sheridan, Drea De Matteo, Christina Hendricks, Sean Bridges, Andrea Roth

Libby Day was only eight years old when her family was brutally murdered in their rural Kansas farmhouse. Almost thirty years later, she agrees to revisit the crime and uncovers the wrenching truths that led up to that tragic night.

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NASTY BABY (2015)

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Written & Directed By: Sebastian Silva
Cinematography By: Sergio Armstrong
Editor: Sophia Subercaseaux 


Cast: Sebastian Silva, Kristin Wiig, Tunde Adebimpe, Reg E. Cathey, Mark Margolis, Alia Shawkat, Anthony Chilsom, Neal Huff, Marsha Stephanie Blake, Judy Marte 


A close-knit trio navigates the idea of creating life, while at the same time being confronted with a brutal scenario that causes them to take a life.

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IT FOLLOWS (2015)

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Written & Directed By David Robert Mitchell
Cinematography By: Mike Gioulakis
Editor: Julio Perez IV 

Cast: Maika Monroe, Kier Gilchrist, Olivia Luccardi, Lili Sepe, Jake Weary, Daniel Zovatto, Bailey Spry, Claire Sloma

For nineteen-year-old Jay, Autumn should be about school, boys and week-ends out at the lake. But after a seemingly innocent sexual encounter, she finds herself plagued by strange visions and the inescapable sense that someone, something, is following her. Faced with this burden, Jay and her friends must find a way to escape the horrors that seem to be only a few steps behind.

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THE VISIT (2015)

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Written & Directed By: M. Night Shyamalan
Cinematography By: Maryse Alberti
Editor: Luke Franco Ciarrocchi 

 Cast: Olivia DeJonge, Ed Oxenbould, Deanna Dunagan, Peter McRobbie, Kathryn Hahn

Two children are sent to their grandparents house to spend a week with their grandparents while their single mom goes on a relaxing vacation with her boyfriend. One of the kids, Becca, decides to film a documentary about her grandparents in order to help her mom reconnect with her parents and also find out some things about her parents as well. While filming the documentary, however, Becca and her little brother, Tyler, discover a dark secret about their grandparents.

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