DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES Is Just Another Unwieldy Blockbuster

Posted by on Jul 12, 2014 in Big News, Movie Review | 0 comments

Reading the reviews that have come in for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, you would think that the sequel to the blockbuster surprise Rise of the Planet of the Apes was something special. Truth be told, there’s a special movie in it somewhere. But it’s the stuff that’s so desperately ordinary that keeps it from differentiating itself from any given summer blockbuster. What’s so ordinary here? I could say it’s shallow characters or standard sequel-itis, making a movie bigger than the first just to be bigger. That’s not it, though. Dawn of the Planets of the Apes is exactly the kind of blockbuster we’ve become accustomed to in the last decade or show: An unwieldy one. Dawn of the Planets of the Ape clocks in at an unnecessary 130 minutes. While this is shorter than Man of...

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AFFLUENZA’s Strengths Outweigh Its Weaknesses

Posted by on Jul 7, 2014 in Movie Review | 0 comments

Redhead Review: Affluenza Affluenza, the newest feature from Holy Rollers (2010) director Kevin Asch, is a fairly predictable, formulaic glimpse into the lives of entitled teens and their absent, equally spoiled parents living in Great Neck, Long Island during the summer preceding the 2008 financial crisis. The film centers specifically on middle-class teen Fischer Miller (Ben Rosenfield) who spends the summer there with his rich cousin Kate (Nicola Peltz) and her friends, selling weed to them and expertly photographing their partying exploits with an inherited vintage camera. The film is an allegedly loose, teen-centric adaptation of The Great Gatsby but I found it to be so unwavering from this narrative and those character types that, on the whole, the film fell a little flat. But it’s just good enough still for you to wish it had been better. There...

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HOMEMAKERS Lacks Direction But Speaks To Lost Souls

Posted by on Jun 17, 2014 in Movie Review | 0 comments

Readhead Review: Homemakers Homemakers finds part-time Austin-based punk singer Irene McCabey, played by Rachel McKeon, off to claim her inheritance in Pittsburgh—after her grandfather passes away, she is left with an abandoned and dilapidated three-story house. She runs into a long-lost cousin (turned drinking partner) named Cam, and they attempt to restore the house together, or demolish it—it is, at least initially, troublingly unclear which, or what Irene really even wants. She says she wants to sell it, but she grows to enjoy the kind of domesticity she finds in the forgotten home. This film may be a diamond in the rough, but it is too rough to ever truly shine to its fullest potential, not to mention that it requires quite a bit of patience and effort from the audience—so concerned with the act and angst of private destruction...

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A COFFEE IN BERLIN: An Eccentric, Enlightening Journey

Posted by on Jun 12, 2014 in Movie Review | 0 comments

Redhead Review: A Coffee in Berlin This German language film, originally titled Oh Boy, won 6 German Film Academy awards last year, including Best Director, Best Actor, Best Screenplay, and Outstanding Feature Film. It follows a day in the life of Niko Fischer, played by Tom Schilling. Niko is a slacker—directionless and unmotivated, but still likable and endearing despite his sometimes frustrating passivity. But, on this particular day that the film chronicles, he has a series of encounters that are in equal parts awkward, funny, poignant, and bizarre—endlessly entertaining, albeit sometimes uncomfortable, each event illuminates aspects of Niko’s mundane existence, knocking him down in the hopes of eventually waking him up and propelling him forward. I loved A Coffee In Berlin and found it deeply satisfying on a number of different levels. Shot in dreamy black and white with a sometimes...

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22 JUMP STREET Exceeds All Comedy Expectations

Posted by on Jun 12, 2014 in Big News, Movie Review | 1 comment

I loved 21 Jump Street. I thought it was smart, funny and best of all, a surprise. It managed to successfully score with its target audience and further without having to follow the mindless, juvenile fart and sex joke tropes that films in the same genre now seem to contain all too often. I had very cautious high expectations for the sequel, 22 Jump Street. I was scared that the trailers had given the film away and that the all too familiar plot would detract from the enjoyment. That’s why I was disappointed with Neighbors (and I have heard some pretty dismal things about A Million Ways to Die in the West), so I was really hoping for a redeeming comedy this year. 22 Jump Street not only met my expectations, but it completely blew them out of the water. It is hilarious, witty and weirdly...

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OBVIOUS CHILD: A Wonderful, Honest Indie Comedy That Subverts Indie Comedies

Posted by on May 30, 2014 in Movie Review | 1 comment

Readhead Review: Obvious Child Obvious Child is charming, unpretentious and above all, honest, sometimes brutally so; we often watch Donna Stern, our protagonist played by Jenny Slate, crash and burn, trying to deal with pain through her stand-up comedy. Donna is dumped, fired and pregnant from a one-night-stand (all within a matter of weeks, leading up to Valentine’s Day). The comedic tone of the film never masks the pain of these experiences, nor does it make Donna’s painful human emotions subordinate. Rather, humor serves as a kind of therapy for both Donna in the narrative and for the audience watching that narrative unfold. Donna is, herself, a quirky sort of anti-heroine, but the film never tries overly hard to present us with that kind of figure; instead, her character is relatable and realistic, her silliness on and offstage refreshingly...

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