8 items from 2015
There’s just something special about the way Joss Whedon writes. Whether it by Firefly/Serenity, Buffy The Vampire Slayer or hell, The Avengers, the guy has a knack for wit and well developed characters. While I typically refrain from jumping into romantic comedies/dramas, when the Whedon-written In Your Eyes appeared in my mailbox, it was just too good Not to tell you fright fanatics about.
When, as a child, Dylan has a vision of a girl sledding through the snow and crashing into a tree, he feels the girl’s pain and gets knocked out of his chair. Now a grown-up and recently paroled ex-convict, Dylan (Cloverfield’s Michael Stahl-David) lives alone in a trailer in the middle of nowhere and frequents a bar in which his former friends (and the reasons for his imprisonment) continually try to talk Dylan into one last score. Once a promising student, »
- Jerry Smith
At a loss for what to watch this week? From new DVDs and Blu-rays, to what's streaming on Netflix, we've got you covered.
New on DVD and Blu-ray
"Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day"
This adaptation of the beloved children's book got mixed reviews, but it's fine if you're looking for a rather harmless family feature. Steve Carell and Jennifer Garner co-star as the equally frazzled parents of young Alex (Ed Oxenbould). Check out this exclusive clip!
They say that how you react in an emergency reveals your true nature and feelings. Are you out for number one, or is your family your first concern? A seemingly perfect Swedish family has to face that exact question when an impending avalanche threatens to ruin their ski trip to the Alps.
If you're already a fan of Jake Gyllenhaal's performance as a creepy crawly »
- Jenni Miller
I’ll admit it, I’m a sucker for romantic comedies, especially when they involve cute-but-awkward main characters who’re destined to be together. While the genre may bore some to death, I love it. I love love, as it were.
Monday marks the DVD release of one of my favourite rom-coms of the last few years, What If, starring Harry Potter alum Daniel Radcliffe and actress/screenwriter/playwright extraordinaire Zoe Kazan. Known for her choice of indie roles, Kazan is one of my favourite actresses, so I thought it appropriate to establish why I think she’s wonderful.
(Brin Hill, 2014)
Kicking off my list is independent drama In Your Eyes, which premiered at the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival. Released online (and available on Netflix), Zoe plays Rebecca, the lonely young wife of a big-shot doctor. Considered a little strange and treated as an outsider by others, Rebecca »
- Jazmine Sky Bradley
Daniel Radcliffe has been acting since the age of 9, when he played the young David Copperfield opposite Maggie Smith in the BBC’s 1999 adaptation of the classic Dickens story. But it was in 2001, when Radcliffe was cast as the titular boy wizard of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone that he became an internationally recognised movie star. Eight feature films, adapted from the seven novels by Jk Rowling, were to follow, grossing more than $7bn at the global box office.
With roles in December Boys and My Boy Jack, Radcliffe proved he was no one-trick pony. But it was his 2007 turn on stage – in Thea Sharrock’s West End revival of Peter Shaffer’s play Equus – that established Radcliffe as a serious young actor. Then 17, Radcliffe earned rave reviews for his haunting turn as Alan Strang, a role that required him to disrobe. The actor was nominated for a »
- Phil Wheat
Director: Michael Dowse
What If is another telling of the subject of “Can men and women be truly friends without sleeping together?” Yes, this is possible but films don’t seem to agree on this matter. According to la-la land Aka Hollywood, men and women are pretty much doomed to courtship as soon as they even glance at each other, like a pair of nightmarish ducklings imprinting. At least it’s not as bad as Jacob from Twilight creepily imprinting on a child at least, right?
The main problem with the film can be summed up with one word; predictable. From the beginning of the film where Wallace is messing around with the magnets on the fridge and spells out “Love is stupid”, you wouldn’t be blamed for thinking this could be a fun an unexpected ride. Sadly it isn’t. »
- Louise Tooth
What If? stars Daniel Radcliffe as medical school dropout Wallace and Zoe Kazan (Ruby Sparks) as Wallace’s best friend Chantry. Wallace and Chantry form an instant connection after meeting at a party, striking up a close friendship leading the pair to wonder: what if the love of your life is actually your best friend?
To celebrate the release, we’ve got an exclusive clip of an interview with Zoe Kazan and Daniel Radcliffe where they talk about what attracted them to making the film and where Daniel Radcliffe talks about giving, and receiving, relationship advice. Here you go and take note that The F Word is the title for the Us release, to save any confusion:
- Dan Bullock
2014 has been a particularly good year for movies. It seems everyone found a group of movies they could hold onto in a very personal way. I like that. It created a very diverse set of top tens around the Internet. However, because opinions were so diverse, it makes a lot of us think, "Why did so many people like thatc" or "Why does no one talk about this moviec" Well, Rope of Silicon writer Jordan Benesh and I decided to choose five films each of us thought got far more praise than they deserved and five films we thought did not get enough love. Thus, we bring you the top ten overrated and underrated movies of 2014. The first five and five combination is mine, Mike Shutt's, and Jordan's start on page three. Enjoy! The lists are not numerically ranked. Just alphabetical. When our top tens come around, then you will get some rankings. »
- Mike Shutt
One of the most disappointing realities about 2014 was that as box office shrank compared to last year, independent films were often hit the hardest. Despite stellar reviews, even festival darlings like “Whiplash,” “Foxcatcher,” “The Skeleton Twins” and “Dear White People” each grossed less than $10 million domestically. Here are the 17 most underrated movies of 2014 that deserve a second look in the opinion of Variety’s film critics and reporters.
Jake Gyllenhaal’s biggest, most buzzed-about performance of 2014 may have been in “Nightcrawler,” but his best work could be found in “Prisoners” director Denis Villeneuve’s existential thriller about a mild-mannerded Toronto history professor who discovers he has a doppelganger in the form of a bad-boy bit-part movie actor. Virtually a solo — make that dual — performance piece, with Gyllenhaal playing most of his scenes opposite himself (and, in one case, a giant tarantula), this freewheeling mash-up of Davids Cronenberg and Lynch »
- Peter Debruge, Ramin Setoodeh, Scott Foundas and Jenelle Riley
8 items from 2015
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