Author: Diego Crespo

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back is A Competent Disappointment

Overview: Jack Reacher is back, in spite of his paradoxical sequel title, wrapped in further espionage and a sever lack of Werner Herzog. Paramount Pictures; 2016; Rated PG-13; 118 minutes. Never Go Back (Again): In the pantheon of Tom Cruise action films, the first Jack Reacher flies surprisingly under the radar. It’s brisk, efficiently cut action with an abruptly entertaining Jai Courtney performance pre-Suicide Squad. The best part is when Werner Herzog pops up as a villain who forces someone to chew his own fingers off. It’s a riveting villain for Cruise to go up against. While not quite...

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Netflix Hidden Gem #79: Stretch

Stretch Director: Joe Carnahan Genre: Comedy Universal Pictures Synopsis: When news first broke of Joe Carnahan writing and directing Bad Boys 3, the sequel to Bad Boys 2 (aka the most fascinatingly ugly film I’ve ever seen), my uncertainty about the series was immediately replaced with unrestrained excitement. Movies like Stretch are the reason why. Overview: Stretch was perhaps best described to me by Cam Carpenter (WHY IS CINEMA) as “if Bad Boys 2 got punched in the face by Holy Motors.” The story follows a down on his luck limo driver named Stretch through one night in Los Angeles. The city rarely looks both...

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Mechanic: Resurrection is Technically a Movie

Overview: Jason Statham returns in a movie that is supposedly a sequel to a movie that existed. Tommy Lee Jones cameos. Summit Entertainment; 2016; Rated R; 98 minutes. Resurrection: Is there any better action star stuck in a rut of crummy action movies than Jason Statham? It’s hard to say but Statham is a action star who deserves our attention. The reason to watch high-budget direct-to-video quality is because Statham himself is such a charismatic leading man. He’s a performer who consistently elevates material. Not every one of his movies can be as magnetic as the Crank series but watching...

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Blood Father is Gritty, Grindhouse Fun

Overview: Ex-con John Link protects his daughter from gangs of criminals. SND Films; 2016; Rated R; 88 minutes. Dadcore: The latest in the long, ever-growing line of dadcore action movies, Blood Father sports classic B-movie grindhouse aesthetics. Where something like Non-Stop is a sleek, efficiently directed Hitchcockian action-thriller, Blood Father collects remnants of Mad Max and throws the character into a garden of grit and filth. When John Link (Mel Gibson) finds daughter Lydia (Erin Moriarty) on his doorstep,  embroiled in a criminal enterprise, the recovering ex-convict upends his lifestyle to face down the drug dealers seeking to do her...

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Kubo and the Two Strings Is A Triumph

Overview: A young boy, joined by a talking monkey and beetle samurai, embarks on a quest to discover the ending to his story. Focus Features; 2016; Rated PG; 102 minutes. Kubo: Kubo and the Two Strings  tells the tale of a young boy from a small village with one great aspiration in life — he wants to tell stories. It’s practically a superpower for him. Kubo’s mother tells him stories of his father, the great warrior Hanzo. Kubo constructs origami creations to tell the story of Hanzo and his quest to gather a mystical set of armor to vanquish the...

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Talking The Little Prince & April and The Extraordinary World On InSession Film

As always, it’s an honor and pleasure to join the In Session Film podcast whenever they’ll allow me to come on. We’ve already established I’m booked for the eventual Bad Boys 3 episode so they must keep me around for something. This week I spoke with them about two recently released animated movies: The Little Prince and April and the Extraordinary World. I had been looking forward to The Little Prince for a while and found myself feeling lukewarm to it. Then April and the Extraordinary World comes out of nowhere and now I can’t stop thinking about it. The biggest flaw for both movies was how I...

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Beyond Star Trek Beyond: Where Does The Film Franchise Boldly Go Now?

Star Trek Beyond isn’t doing well at the box office. It’s a crowded summer, but I wouldn’t worry about the series moving forward – although we should also note it’s the lowest grossing franchise entry since Nemesis. Regardless, the series will have lasted 50 years come September and will last another 50. So where does the series go from here? What I personally loved so much about Star Trek Beyond was how it felt like a big budget episode of The Original Series. The NuTrek finally blended in the original optimistic utopia found in Gene Roddenberry’s original vision with...

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Miami Vice On Its 10th Anniversary

In the original series, Miami Vice carried the same traits as its film reboot. Mood and atmosphere were favored over conventional plotting to justify a meditative state. Instead of Crockett sitting on his boat, overlooking a sunset with a heavy synth score illuminating isolation, Moby’s “One of These Mornings” plays as Crockett and business partner/soon-to-be-lover drive a speedboat towards a seemingly endless horizon. It’s not a disregard for the original stylings of the series as much as it is an update. The pastiche of ’80s fashion trends have been forgone in favor of sleek blacks, whites, and blues. The...

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The Best Episodes of Star Trek: The Original Series

What makes a great episode of Star Trek: The Original Series? From a bold premise to capitalizing on crew interactions, the best episodes of the original series always wound up leading to the crew discussing events through a philosophical lens but always maintaining a sense of brevity and wit about itself. Gene Roddenberry’s vision of a more optimistic future is hailed as serious science fiction but it conjoined genuine science fiction philosophies with the utmost entertaining approach. Here are six episodes that capture the wonders of The Original Series. Season 1 Episode 3: Where No Man Has Gone Before Also...

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Aliens Turns 30: Why It’s Still Great

It’s always difficult finding words to describe a movie like Aliens. James Cameron’s bonafide classic sequel evokes admiration from the hearts of multiple genre stylings. Whether you’re an action junkie, horror fiend, or science-fiction fanatic, Aliens has something worth offering. Along with being one of the few sequels capable of standing up to the original, many would argue it even surpasses Ridley Scott’s seminal monster movie. The discussion of which film is superior certainly leads to interesting debate, but Aliens maintains its status as a classic for reasons beyond that. It goes to show sequels can do something drastically different...

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Rogue One, Kong: Skull Island, Wonder Woman, & More

This weekend is Star Wars Celebration in London and we’ve already got some exciting tidbits of information. Admittedly, it’s just some behind-the-scenes footage but it reveals the world of Rogue One and some new looks at the variety of characters we’ll be spending time with come December 2016.   Gareth Edwards is directing so naturally the film looks gorgeous and epic in scope. There is constant mention of practical effects and sets because people are still worried about over-whelming CGI. There’s a happy middle-ground and it looks like Star Wars might be the series that delivers on it. Edwards also brings up riding...

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First Look at It’s Pennywise is Unfortunately Creepy

There’s a simple explanation for why the stories of Stephen King have stayed with us: he’s a talented writer who knows how to craft terror with elongated lifespans. Maybe this is why the story of It and the children of Derry resonates so much after all these years. Since the text of the film is about exploring long-term trauma and horrors, it’s only fair for the story to continue grabbing audiences with its sickly pull. Tim Curry’s campy-yet-terrifying turn as the titular clown in the original made-for-TV Stephen King’s It sent trembles throughout the horror genre as his performance undercut the initially unthreatening appearance...

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La La Land Teaser Trailer is Our Tempo

The term “movie magic” gets thrown around often enough for it to lose its impact. This trailer reminded me of the meaning. When you reunite Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling, chances are you’re going to make some kind of magic happen onscreen. In the not-so-surprising route, the teaser for Damien Chazelle’s La La Land boasts lush imagery to remind you what movies looked like when they had color. The air of romanticism permeates every fiber of its being, harkening back to classic Hollywood. Here’s the synopsis: Written and directed by Academy Award® nominee Damien Chazelle, LA LA LAND tells the story of Mia [Emma Stone], an aspiring...

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