Director: Jordan Vogt-Roberts
Screenwriter: Chris Galletta
Length: 1h 33m
Frustrated with their lives at home, two teenagers named Joe (Robinson) and Patrick (Basso) decide one summer to run away into the woods and live on their own. Together, also joined by a mysterious and bizarre boy named Biaggio (Arias), the teens build a house, “forage” for food, and have the adventure of their lives.
In the year 2022, the United States is a completely different country. For one night every year, almost all laws are suspended, and that night is called the Purge. It is “celebrated” by millions from coast to coast through uninhibited mischief and violence, perpetuated by benefits like a booming economy, 1% unemployment, and drastically lowered crime rates. This year the Sandins – a well to-do family of four who live in a ritzy neighborhood – are faced with unprecedented challenges due to an unexpected incursion on their home. After unintentionally offering refuge to a stranger begging for help, the family is faced with the dilemma of appeasing the mob that wants him, or standing up to them in defiance of the Purge’s allowances.
With disbelief in the possibility of the premise suspended, we are inclined to ask a pivotal question:
What is the Purge for?
Director: Louis Leterrier
Length: 1h 55m
A mysterious hooded figure gathers together four talented magicians (Eisenberg, Fisher, Harrelson, Franco) and turns them into a team called The Four Horsemen. During a big Las Vegas show, they pull off the trick of stealing 3 million euros from a Parisian bank. FBI agent Dylan Rhodes (Ruffalo) and Interpol agent Alma Dray (Laurent) are tasked with finding any explanation for the heist beyond magic. They’re helped by a former magician now devoted to exposing the secrets behind the trickery, Thaddeus Bradley (Freeman), but as the group pulls off one heist after another, Rhodes slowly discovers there might be something more sinister at work. Read the rest of this entry »
Director: Justin Lin
Screenwriters: Chris Morgan
Length: 2 hours 10 minutes
When a new crew of fast-driving thieves – led by Owen Shaw (Evans) – wreak havoc in London, Federal Agent Hobbs (Johnson) calls in Dominic Toretto (Diesel) and his retired crew to help stop them. However, Dom is attracted to the job by more than just the full pardons Hobbs has promised if they succeed, as his former crew member and girlfriend, Letty (Rodriguez), seems to have survived her apparent death in Fast & Furious, and is now working with Shaw. Read the rest of this entry »
My immediate reaction after seeing any adaptation is to compare and contrast the two mediums. In the case of director Baz Luhrmann’s movie version of The Great Gatsby, there is surprisingly few disparities. Both the film and the book tell the same story of a newly-wealthy Jay Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio) who chases after his lost love – the beautiful Daisy Buchanan (Carey Mulligan) – but faces dire consequences. Yet Gatsby’s story is not his own. Wallflower narrator Nick Carraway (Tobey Maquire), who is Gatsby’s neighbor and Daisy’s cousin, tells of the complicated events as they happen. And as they happen, it became clear to me just how relevant they are.
This past May, A&E wrapped up the first season of their new drama series Bates Motel, which is a loose prequel/revamping of the classic 1960 film Psycho, unleashing to much praise the shy and loveable serial killer Norman Bates back into the public sphere. Even earlier this year, Bates’ gory doppelganger, Leatherface, reappeared in the sequel/revamp Texas Chainsaw 3D, albeit to much less praise. In honor of this renewed interest in these two godfathers of modern slasher psychopaths, I thought it worthwhile to take a step back and determine what makes these two horrible portraits of humanity’s baser natures so compelling to their audiences.
Director: J.J. Abrams
After a mysterious terrorist (Cumberbatch) attacks Starfleet, Captain James T. Kirk (Pine), First Officer Spock (Quinto), Lt. Uhura (Saldana), and the rest of the crew aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise make it their mission to find him and bring him to justice. They soon find that not only is the terrorist more dangerous than they bargained for, but that there is a larger conspiracy at play.
In the 2012 release of Disney’s Brave, incautious princess Merida’s original look features wild red hair, a bow and quiver, and a tomboyish figure. Her appearance is befitting of a Scottish teenager who wants to change her fate by breaking with years of tradition. Her look also defies what it means to be a traditional Disney princess, for instead of being docile and disengaged she is a feisty firecracker who chases after her dreams.
Director: Shane Black
Screenwriters: Drew Pearce, Shane Black
Length: 2h 10m
The world is facing a grave new terrorist threat, and it goes by the name of The Mandarin (Kingsley). The precocious Tony Stark, a.k.a. Iron Man (Downey Jr.), is at a loss in figuring out how the maniac has left no evidence of how his efforts have caused so much destruction. And after Tony is forced to take one attack personally, he invites The Mandarin to make him his next target – which he does.
In reeling from an explosive ambush at his home, Tony discovers that Aldrich Killian (Pearce) – a genius he once ignored – is in cahoots with The Mandarin, turning humans into living bombs. With the help of Col. James Rhodes, a.k.a. Iron Patriot (Cheadle), Tony must uncover The Mandarin’s master plan and thwart it, all the while dealing with unsettling anxieties left over from his adventure with The Avengers. Will Tony redeem himself for underestimating the evil potential of Aldrich Killian, and spare the world of any more terror from The Mandarin? There’s only one way to find out.
Director: Joseph Kosinski
Length: 2h 4m
The year is 2077. Earth has been devastated after a nuclear war with extraterrestrial forces, and the human race has migrated to live on one of Saturn’s moons while a select few have stayed behind to clean up the mess. Jack Harper (Tom Cruise) is one of these people. Two weeks away from the end of his contract on Earth, however, he begins to discover some unsettling truths about the planet’s current state, and he finds that he may be the only person who can make things right.