Author: Jillian Huffman

Netflix Hidden Gem #23: Super

Director: James Gunn Genre: Comedy/Drama This Is That Productions/Ambush Entertainment/IFC Films I am a huge fan of all things super heroes, so, when I noticed a Kick-Ass reminiscent film directed by James Gunn and starring Rainn Wilson, well, I couldn’t pass it up. Super entertains from the very first second through the very last scene, breaking super-hero film convention. The film centers around a slightly crazy nobody who works a boring job, has a boring marriage, and an boring life. When his wife falls under the influence of a drug dealer, he decides to break loose. Frank (Rainn Wilson) dons a red super-hero costume, calls himself the Crimson Bolt, and begins beating criminals with a wrench. Unlike most super-heroes, the Crimson Bolt has an ambiguous moral compass. Yes, he wants to protect people, but will endanger others if necessary. At one point, he even hits an innocent woman with his wrench simply because she gets in the way. He has some rules, but he is not afraid of harming and/or killing, criminals. Super functions as a satire of The Punisher. In essence, Frank is an underequipped, untrained, mental Frank Castle. Gunn plays off of The Punisher’s formula by creating a film that is both gritty and hilarious. Frank is so clueless and awkward that he inadvertently packs the film  situational humor. Comic relief is provided by Libby/Boltie (played by...

Read More

2014 NYFCO Awards

In 2000, film critic Harvey Karten founded NYFCO (New York Film Critics Online), composed of a variety of internet film critics based in New York City. Each December, the group meets to discuss and vote for the annual NYFCO awards. NYFCO announced this year’s winners Sunday December 7, 2014. Below,  a list of the winners: Best Picture: Boyhood Best Director: Richard Linklater: Boyhood Best Actress: Marion Cotillard: Two Days, One Night Best Actor: Eddie Redmayne:  The Theory of Everything Best Supporting Actress: Patricia Arquette: Boyhood Best Supporting Actor: J.K. Simmons: Whiplash Best Ensemble Cast: Birdman Breakthrough Performance: Jack O’Connell:...

Read More

Horrible Bosses 2

Overview: Things go hilariously wrong when a group of idiot friends attempt a kidnapping in order to save their business. New Line Cinema. 2014. Rated R. 108 Minutes. Wait, this is a sequel?: That’s what you’ll be asking yourself as you watch this film. While Director/Writer Sean Anders managed to not tell the exact same story twice (I’m looking at you, Hangover Part II and III), the plot lacks any originality. Sure, this time the boys attempt kidnapping instead of murder, but the basic premise is the same. Nick, Dale, and Kurt create a hair-brained scheme and everything that...

Read More

The Best Tim Burton Halloween Movies

Tim Burton has been writing, producing, and directing Halloween-themed films since the 1980s. He has had many hits, and has especially found a niche in animated films. He is best known for his gothic style stylized in the likelihood that his characters will have painted white faces with dark black eyes. His animation is so unique and recognizable that most can look at one of his films and immediately know it is a Burton. He will often create characters that are reminiscent of his other films (the eccentric, the outcast, the hopeless romantic), and will often use the same...

Read More

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Overview: A family of optimists must endure an epically bad day after one of the children makes a midnight birthday wish that his family would understand that not every day is perfect. Based on the book by Judith Viorst; Disney; PG; 2014; 81 minutes. The day: Alexander has had a horrible day at school and comes home to a family who have all had excellent days, who could not be happier. Upset that they do not understand how unlucky he feels, he makes a wish over his birthday candle that they would have a bad day and finally understand...

Read More

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Overview: A group of turtle vigilantes try to save New York from a gang and its kingpin with the help of a news reporter and her driver. Paramount Pictures. 2014. 101 minutes. PG-13. Cowabunga, Dude: The origin story of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is entirely new from anything seen from the source comics or early movie/cartoon versions.   The writing team of Josh Appelbaum, André Nemec, and Evan Daugherty does a fantastic job in creating a new, engaging story that allows viewers to really separate this movie from the original franchise and enjoy a wholly new experience. Here,...

Read More

A Clockwork Orange

Overview:  Alex and his group of thugs (“droogs”) rape, pillage, and terrorize the streets. Based on the Anthony Burgess novel.Warner Brother’s. 1971. 136 minutes. Rated R. Psychological Conditioning: We all remember Pavlov’s dog from Psych 101. A Clockwork Orange explores a human example of comparable conditioning, but on a twisted, disturbing scale. When Alex is picked up by the police he is chosen for a fictional form of aversion therapy known as the Ludovico Technique, wherein he is forced to watch horrific crimes while listening to his favorite composer, Ludgwig van Beethoven. The goal of this conditioning is to...

Read More