Wed, 23 Jul 2014 04:01:08 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Win Passes to An Advance Screening of I Origins Wed, 23 Jul 2014 04:01:08 +0000 Enter here for your chance to win passes to an advance screening of director Mike Cahill’s new film I ORIGINS, starring Michael Pitt and Brit Marling.

I OriginsFor your chance to receive two (2) complimentary passes to see I Origins at the Landmark Main Art Theater in Royal Oak, Michigan on Monday, July 28th at 7:00PM, just look for the “Enter the Contest” box further down on this page. But hurry, because there are alimited number of passes available and when they’re gone, they’re gone!


I ORIGINS : The second feature film from writer and director Mike Cahill, tells the story of Dr. Ian Gray (Michael Pitt), a molecular biologist studying the evolution of the eye. He finds his work permeating his life after a brief encounter with an exotic young woman (Astrid Bergès-Frisbey) who slips away from him. As his research continues years later with his lab partner Karen (Brit Marling), they make a stunning scientific discovery that has far reaching implications and complicates both his scientific and spiritual beliefs. Traveling half way around the world, he risks everything he has ever known to validate his theory. Also starring Steven Yeun and Archie Panjabi, the film is produced by Mike Cahill, Hunter Gray and Alex Orlovsky. Directed by Mike Cahill. Starring Michael Pitt, Brit Marling, Astrid Bergès-Frisbey, Steven Yeun, Archie Panjabi (FOX SEARCHLIGHT)

I ORIGINS opens in the Detroit are exclusively at the Main Art of Friday, August 1st!

Enter the contest by clicking here!


]]> 0
Win Passes to see Boyhood! Tue, 22 Jul 2014 16:27:07 +0000 Enter here for your chance to win passes to an advance screening of director Richard Linklater’s BOYHOOD.

BoyhoodFor your chance to receive two (2) complimentary passes to see Boyhood at the Landmark Main Art Theater in Royal Oak, Michigan on Thursday, July 24th at 7:00PM, just look for the “giveaway” box further down on this page.

There you’ll be directed to a variety of methods by which you can enter the contest. You’ll be asked to provide a valid email address, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter, and Tweet the contest. That’s it. That’s all you have to do to enter. We’ll contact you to let you know if you’ve won one of the 25 pairs of passes that we have. But hurry, because the contest ends at 12:00AM on Wednesday, July 23rd!


BOYHOOD: Filmed over 12 years with the same cast, Richard Linklater’s BOYHOOD is a groundbreaking story of growing up as seen through the eyes of a child named Mason (a breakthrough performance by Ellar Coltrane), who literally grows up on screen before our eyes. Starring Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette as Mason’s parents and newcomer Lorelei Linklater as his sister Samantha, BOYHOOD charts the rocky terrain of childhood like no other film has before. Snapshots of adolescence from road trips and family dinners to birthdays and graduations and all the moments in between become transcendent, set to a soundtrack spanning the years from Coldplay’s Yellow to Arcade Fire’s Deep Blue. BOYHOOD is both a nostalgic time capsule of the recent past and an ode to growing up and parenting. It’s impossible not to watch Mason and his family without thinking about our own journey. (IFC FILMS) This film is rated R.

BOYHOOD opens in the Detroit are exclusively at the Main Art of Friday, August 1st!

Enter the contest below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

]]> 8
Box Office Weekend: Purge Fails to Budge Apes From Top Spot Mon, 21 Jul 2014 04:27:48 +0000 The evolution of apes was still a big enough draw to keep away the de-evolution of society, as Dawn of the Planet of the Apes topped The Purge: Anarchy at the box office. While The Purge: Anarchy suffered a lot more at the hands of critics, both sequels are doing very well at the box office; Dawn of the Planet of the Apes picked up an additional estimated $36 million and closes in domestic success (though it has been successful counting worldwide sales), while The Purge: Anarchy earned an estimated $28.4 million, which is actually a grand success considering its $9 million budget.

The Purge: AnarchyFollowing in their wake are two far less successful debuts; Planes: Fire & Rescue made an estimated $18 million on a $50 million budget, and Sex Tape made an estimated $15 million on a $40 million budget, and neither are getting much help from critical acclaim.

The other six films in the top ten are all successes in their own right, whether critics are interested in promoting them or not. The worst received, Transformers: Age of Extinction, added an estimated $10 million to its already moneymaking run, while the also poorly received Melissa McCarthy comedy Tammy has blown past its $20 million budget with an estimated $7.6 million adding to its $71.2 million domestic earnings. 22 Jump Street won over nearly everyone with an estimated $4.7 million adding up to $180.5 million in domestic earnings, and How to Train Your Dragon 2 finally managed to do the same, an estimated $3.8 million adding to a modestly successful run. Maleficent remains the highest earner currently on the top ten, with an estimated $3.3 million bringing its eight week total to $228.4 million, while Earth to Echo made good on a small budget, an estimated $3.3 million pushing its three-week total to $32 million over a $13 million budget.

Weekend Box Office (July 18th – July 20th)

  1. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes…$36 million
  2. The Purge: Anarchy…$28.4 million
  3. Planes: Fire & Rescue…$18 million
  4. Sex Tape…$15 million
  5. Transformers: Age of Extinction…$10 million
  6. Tammy…$7.6 million
  7. 22 Jump Street…$4.7 million
  8. How to Train Your Dragon 2…$3.8 million
  9. Maleficent…$3.3 million
  10. Earth to Echo…$3.3 million
]]> 0
Movie Review: Sex Tape Sat, 19 Jul 2014 04:37:31 +0000 Settling into Sex Tape, I was looking forward to a couple of hours of laughter from this supposed comedy of the summer. (Maybe not pee-your-pants laughter, but more of a constant snicker with an occasional guffaw.) The kind of giggles that typically come with the territory of a Cameron Diaz and/or Jason Segel film. Besides, who doesn’t like a naughty, sexy comedy? Plus, Sex Tape director Jake Kasdan, who previously directed both Diaz and Segel in Bad Teacher (2011), has secured some chuckles from me before. That said, overall, Sex Tape fell flat. Fun to watch; nothing spectacular. Not too naughty – just a tad. Minimal laughter, without the pee.

Sex TapeWe’ve all heard this story before, right? Boy meets girl. Boy and girl get married. Babies are born. Boy and girl stop having sex. But then…boy and girl try to reignite the spark and bring some excitement back into their lives by making a sex tape for their eyes only. Only – of course it doesn’t end up working out that way, and everyone they know gets their hands on it.

On its premise, it is a funny story. But that’s it. The entire Sex Tape script barely scratches the surface. Where’s the nitty gritty? The chemistry is missing amongst the cast. This movie could have painted a better picture of that discomfort and hilarity. Instead, it felt stilted and a bit cold; the film’s disjointed editing didn’t help.

Sure, there were a few zingers that I grinned and laughed out loud at. (Most of them were in the trailer, though.) At one point, Annie and Jay are having sex on the floor (the American dream, right?), when Annie is suddenly turned off by the very sight of her to-do list on the fridge. Meanwhile, Jay’s knees are hurting from going at it on the tile. These teeny everyday-life bits that crept their way onto the screen were gold.

Personally, I was hoping to see Segel in another hilarious movie that didn’t involve puppets. Perhaps another Forgetting Sarah Marshall meets 40 Year Old Virgin meets There’s Something About Mary. I was hoping for some obscenity amid a gut-busting love connection. But what I got was a bland screenplay with a couple of sex toys and an over-abundance of iPad product-placement.

So, here’s the thing. To be fair, despite the flavorless writing, Diaz played Annie with her usual quirky, sultry gusto, while Segel worked his naïve boy-charm. But together their characters just seemed distant, even while being intimate on the big-screen. Maybe it’s just that we’ve seen Segel play this part several times. Maybe he’s gotten a bit bored of being the guy next door that moms all want their children to marry. Segel did elicit some crowd laughter, though, during a particularly slapstick bout with a ferocious house dog.

Sex Tape

Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel in “Sex Tape.” © 2014 – Columbia Pictures.

Oh, and that dog’s owner? Rob Lowe, who is fantastic in his role as Hank, Annie’s goody-two-shoes-coke-head boss. A small role, yes. But refreshing. Rob Corddry and Ellie Kemper (Robby and Tess, respectively) have slightly larger roles, but don’t make as much of an impact. Their son, Howard (Harrison Holzer), however, was a great addition to the cast. Oh, and Jack Black makes a brief appearance as a porn guru. So, that happens. And it’s okay. Like the rest of Sex Tape.

]]> 0
Movie Review: The Purge: Anarchy Sat, 19 Jul 2014 03:58:05 +0000 The Purge: Anarchy is the follow-up to last year’s surprise hit The Purge (2013). The initial film made about twenty times its’ budget, in the US alone, so a sequel was inevitable.

The Purge: AnarchyI must confess to not having seen The Purge until just this week, in order to prep for this latest installation, of what now appears to be a mini-franchise. The Purge: Anarchy and the original are marketed as horror films and rightfully so. However, they could just as well be termed science fiction as the future/alternate history element that both films rely on involve a fictional political event. That event being the rise of a political party called the New Founding Fathers whose rise to power is based upon the success of The Purge to the economy and stability of modern America. Unemployment drops dramatically. Crime is nearly eliminated. Except for the one night of the year.

The Purge movies are written and directed by James DeMonaco. He also wrote The Negotiator (1998) the re-boot of Assault on Precinct 13 (2005).

The Purge is an annual American event held on March 21st of each year. For twelve hours all crime is legal. Naturally, all hell breaks loose each year. In the original film young, preppy thrill-killers attempt home invasion. This year the action spills into the city streets.

This year an eerie new ritual is about to start, they literally call it Commencement in the film, this story opens by introducing us to the folks we are going to be watching as they try to survive this year’s Purge.

A man getting ready with his many weapons is un-named (Frank Grillo) and is clearly preparing for big trouble. A waitress, Eva (Carmen Ejogo), and her daughter, Cali (Zoe Soul), bolt themselves into their small apartment for the night. Meanwhile, a couple in a car have trouble with their vehicle – Shane (Zach Gilford) and Liz (Kiele Sanchez) will not be getting an help from the auto club tonight.

Eventually all these characters meet up and are soon on the run from revenge killers, thrill killers, gang-bangers, random psychos, and worse. The only person with any combat skills is the man with no name – which is reminiscent of the Clint Eastwood Westerns. Predictably, he does not really want to help any of these people but sort of finds himself stuck with them.

The background/framework concerns a political dissident Carmelo (Michael K. Williams) who is accusing the New Founding Fathers of inventing the Purge to aid the rich at the direct expense of the poor as basically a cash grab. The poor cannot afford to defend themselves as well as the rich and do in fact die in vastly disproportionate amounts. Carmelo’s argument seems clear. We see flashes of Carmelo on “new reports” and online manifesto’s that Cali, the youngest character, seems particularly taken with.

The Purge: Anarchy

Carmen Ejogo and Zoë Soul in “The Purge: Anarchy.” Photo by Justin Lubin – © 2014 – Universal Pictures.

The political message here is pretty heavy-handed to say the least. Income inequality is a common buzz-word on CNN these days. DeMonaco is clearly aware of that and isn’t shy about showing us that rich = evil throughout the course of the film.

That isn’t to take anything away from The Purge: Anarchy as a rather good action/survival sort of film. The moral journey that our un-named hero makes is not at all surprising but it is extremely well done. Grillo does a great job of playing the conflicted avenger of wrongs caught up defending innocents – much like the one he wants to avenge. In one scene he is barking orders. In the next he is cracking wise and being protective, in a  gruff way, of his charges.

The action is great. The acting is pretty decent. Grillo is the stand out. However, the attempts at socio-political commentary are far too thick for my taste. It is one thing to be relevant. It is another to be preachy under the guise of entertainment (where ironically there is still a large profit motivation going on let’s not forget).

The psuedo-psychology spewed in the film about “all the good the purge does” by allowing Americans to cleanse their souls with one night a year of  violence was creepy, if absurd, in the original film. In this film that ramps up quite a bit. I get the whole blind masses following a pabulum political message equaling a greater horror, even beyond the blood being smeared across the screen, but wow. This really seems like a nightmare from a world where Fox News takes over the country.

The Purge: Anarchy is sort of far-fetched. After all you can always go to Canada for one day a year and avoid the crazies right? Be it Election Day or the night of the Purge we can all be thankful that neither political party in our fair land has a monopoly on stupidity or power. You have to wonder if Carmelo’s revolution will be realized in The Purge 3, which would intriguingly take the horror into the war/horror genre. Terminator (1984) meets Lord of the Flies (1963).

]]> 1