6 items from 2014
Moviefone's Top DVD of the Week
What's It About? A boring, regular dude Lego named Emmet (Chris Pratt) is suddenly called upon to save the world. Will Ferrell voices bad guy President Business, Elizabeth Banks as the super cool Wyldstyle, Alison Brie as Princess Unikitty, and Nick Offerman as a pirate named Metal Beard.
Post by Moviefone.
Moviefone's Top Blu-ray of the Week
"Picnic at Hanging Rock" (Criterion)
What's It About? A group of schoolgirls and their teacher go on a lovely picnic at Hanging Rock, a scenic rock formation in Australia. Their Valentine's Day outing takes a turn for the weird when several of them go missing, leaving a devastated community in their wake.
Why We're In: It's a gorgeous, »
- Jenni Miller
A relentless self-exploration has steered actor and director Mark Webber’s filmmaking output, and increasingly it seems his preferred route of doing so is through quotation marks. Last year’s “The End of Love” starred Webber as “Mark,” an actor struggling in La with his real-life son Isaac, and now—with a new romance and marriage to “Warm Bodies” actress Teresa Palmer—here arrives “The Ever After,” a similarly self-reflexive look at marriage hiding a dark undercurrent of anxiety and abuse. We first glimpse the shores of Australia, and a series of quick cuts as Thomas (Webber) and Ava (Palmer) are wed, go clubbing, and frolic in the sea. A flash-forward then finds the couple years later in Los Angeles, drifted apart—Thomas jetting around U.S. as a fashion photographer, and former actress Ava at home parenting their young daughter. But that now-predictable structure, contrasting the highs and lows of love, »
- Charlie Schmidlin
For the past few years, actor Mark Webber has been a mainstay at film festivals like Sundance and SXSW, appearing in movies that premiered at one or the other, including his first two features as a director, Explicit Ills and The End of Love . Probably his most high profile role to date was playing musician Stephen Stills in Edgar Wright's Scott Pilgrim vs. the World , although he's had pivotal roles in a number of other movies as well - Save the Date and For A Good Time Call. are two of my personal favorites in terms of Webber performances. Right now, he can be seen in the thriller 13 Sins , directed by The Last Exorcism 's Daniel Stamm, playing a salesman faced with a baby on the way and insane medical bills for his autistic brother. When he gets a phone call offering »
A most dangerous game indeed tempts a meek, straight-laced insurance salesman to embrace the beast within in “13 Sins,” a creepy little diversion that ultimately unravels long before its hero’s fragile psyche does. Having made a commercially successful foray into religio-supernatural horror with 2010′s “The Last Exorcism,” German-born director Daniel Stamm here applies his relatively slick, straightforward genre smarts to a template provided by the 2006 Thai thriller “13: Game of Death” (also known as “13 Beloved”). The resulting remake achieves a modest degree of tension and dark humor before tilting into gory overkill, while its diffuse central ideas — about materialism, the dangers of playing God and the latent human capacity for violence — never really take plausible shape. Intriguing enough to appeal to younger thrill-seekers but unlikely to match the B.O. spoils of Stamm’s previous picture, these “Sins” will be paid for primarily through streaming and other home-viewing services following »
- Justin Chang
Another half-formed feature from indie cinema’s most prolific doodler, “Happy Christmas” demonstrates that Joe Swanberg makes better babies than movies. The evidence is Swanberg’s 2-year-old son Jude, who handily upstages anything co-stars Melanie Lynskey and Anna Kendrick can come up with to generate interest onscreen, to the extent that one can imagine a greater audience for 80 minutes of “baby Jude does the darnedest things” YouTube videos than might turn out for this sweetly insipid, mostly improvised dramedy, acquired by Magnolia and Paramount together prior to its Sundance premiere.
As it happens, Jude is also a more natural improviser than Swanberg’s professional cast, who presumably signed on for the experience of co-creating a film from within the confines of a broadly defined concept. Swanberg and Lynskey play young Chicago couple Jeff and Kelly, who invite Jeff’s younger sister Jenny (Kendrick) to crash in their tiki-themed basement for the holidays, »
- Peter Debruge
2014 is here but that doesn't mean the tabulating of 2013 will end just yet. Everyone is still using the holiday season to catch up on the year that was before jumping into the year ahead, and yet another Top 10 is upon us. This time around, it's indie filmmaker Lynn Shelton, who released her own "Touchy Feely" last year, dropping her fave movies of 2013, in no particular order it seems. And as you might guess, the movies that stuck with the filmmaker were more under the radar pictures like the Kathryn Hahn/Juno Temple starring "Afternoon Delight," SXSW hit "Gimme The Loot," Mark Webber's "The End Of Love" and Lake Bell's "In A World." That said, Shelton likes her popcorn just like the rest of us, and gives a thumbs up to Edgar Wright's "The World's End" while also giving some love to Spike Jonze's "Her." Check it all out below. »
- Kevin Jagernauth
6 items from 2014
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