Tuesday, April 28, 2015

[DVD] Tuesdays with Mell 4/21/2015 The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Into the Woods, Little Accidents, Unbroken, A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night & more

Unbroken (2014) Poster2014 PG-13 Bio Drama Sport

Plot: This inspiring tale of survival is based on the real-life experiences of Louis Zamperini, an American pilot held by the Japanese during World War II. After his plane crashes into the Pacific Ocean, Zamperini spends 47 days adrift before his capture.


Into the Woods (2014) Poster2014 PG-13 Musical

Plot: Woven from a collection of revered fairy tales and characters, this enchanting musical mash-up focuses on a childless couple who venture into the woods hoping to end a curse put on them by a vindictive witch.

Review: TBD

Rating: TBD

Watch with:
Enchanted (2007) PosterRed Riding Hood (2011) Poster

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (2014) Poster2014 PG-13 Adventure Fantasy

Plot: Conjuring up another epic tale, director Peter Jackson unspools the final chapter of the Hobbit saga, with things coming to a head as Bilbo Baggins, Gandalf and the Dwarves at last reach Smaug's lair.

Review: I will not be seeing this. I'm just not interested. I fell asleep in all three LOTR movies. However, I will report on what my husband this of this after he sees it.

Rating: TBD

Watch with: 
The Hobbit: An Unexpected JourneyThe Hobbit: The Desolation of SmaugThe Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the RingThe Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

Everly (2014) Poster2014 R Action Thriller

Plot: After a call girl betrays her crime boss lover to the police, he offers a $50,000 bounty to anyone who can kill her. Trapped inside her apartment, she must fight off an endless tide of assassins to survive -- and save her family.

Review: TBD

Rating: TBD

Watch with:
Taken 3A Most Violent YearKill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003) Poster

Like Sunday, Like Rain (2014) Poster2014 Drama R

 Plot: When struggling musician Eleanor takes a position as nanny to 12-year-old cello prodigy Reggie, she's thrust into the role of parent, mentor and confidant -- giving rise to a friendship that has profound effects for them both.

Review: So many music movies. I love it. Leighton Meester is a great signer/songwriter. I hope we get to hear her sing in this.

Rating: TBD

Watch with: 
Life PartnersBy the Gun

Little Accidents (2014) Poster2014 Drama

Plot: When fate selects Amos Jenkins as the only survivor of a coal-mining disaster, it also makes him part of the turmoil that follows the tragedy. After a mine executive's son is murdered, Amos and the boy's mother join forces to find the killer.

Rating: TBD

Watch with:

A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (2014) Poster2014 UR Horror, Romance Thriller

Plot: Bad things are commonplace in Bad City, including prostitution, drugs and crime, and most recently a sequence of attacks by a vampire on the loose. In this wild mash-up of cinematic genres, one couple struggles to cope with their hellish situation.

Review: I've been wanting to see this since it got nominated for an Indie Spirit Award. It looks really unique and beautiful.

Rating: TBD

Watch with: 
SpringCubThe Babadook

Life Inside Out (2013) Poster2013 Music Drama

Plot: When a suburban mother accidentally comes across her old guitar, it reignites her passion for music. She soon takes to the stage again, bringing along her brooding youngest son -- which gives rise to unexpected results.

Review: I love music movies. Looking forward to this.

Rating: TBD

Watch with: 
Nothing SpecialLiving Is Easy with Eyes Closed

Supremacy (2014) Poster2014 Drama

Plot: Based on a true story, Supremacy follows a high-ranking white supremacist who, within 24 hours of being released from prison, finds himself on the run after murdering a cop. In an attempt to hide from the police, he and his accomplice find themselves seeking refuge in a home owned by a black family, taking them hostage.

Review: I got chills watching this trailer. Never heard of this movie til I watched this trailer looking up the new DVD releases of the week. Top top it off, it's a true story. Love Danny Glover. So glad to see him in so much lately.

Rating: TBD

Watch with: 
Big DriverVANishEverly

Sunday, April 26, 2015

[DVD] Tuesdays With Mell 04/14/2015 Big Eyes, Exodus: Gods And Kings, Penguins of Madagascar, Maps To The Stars, The Babadook & more

2014 PG-13 Bio Drama

2X Gold Globe winner: Best Actress & Best Actor in a Musical/Comedy: Adams & Waltz


Plot: A drama about the awakening of the painter Margaret Keane, her phenomenal success in the 1950s, and the subsequent legal difficulties she had with her husband, who claimed credit for her works in the 1960s.

Review: Burton finally gets serious with this biopic with artistic qualities that mirror his own. The last few of Tim Burton's films have been all style no substance. I'm happy to say that he pushes himself in a new direction while still staying true to his aesthetic. He lets the artwork tell most of the story in terms of visuals with a few CGI moments used very effectively and evocatively. It's also a beautifully shot film with several moments that look as if they could be framed and hung as artwork. The fashion and music also lends itself to be Tim Burton-esque. In anyone else's hands this could've been a very boring biopic with an interesting story line. In his hand, it's special. The actors also did very well. Waltz had nuances here that I loved, even though he yet again plays the bad guy. Adams is always good and is no exception in this. The only problem I had with this film was that at times I found her character to be weak. I understand the time period was different, but a woman who had the courage to leave her first husband in the 50's seems to be too weak to cut the ties to conman husband number 2. I know she was afraid, but the film doesn't depict dramatically enough to me her feelings of fear, hopelessness, enslavement, and captivity. On paper he was an abusive man. If you read a list of the things he did to her then there's no denying that. However, the film felt light. He came off as a douche bag, not as dangerous as Margaret said he was. I do wish I had seen this in the theaters for the visuals.  Not perfect but a step in the right direction.

Rating: Not The Brightest Crayon In The Box But Sure Is Pretty

Watch with:
CakeThe VoicesStill Alice

2014 PG-13 Action Drama




Jeffrey Caine
(written by) and
Steven Zaillian
(written by)


, etc.


Plot: The defiant leader Moses rises up against the Egyptian Pharaoh Ramses, setting 600,000 slaves on a monumental journey of escape from Egypt and its terrifying cycle of deadly plagues.

Review: I was looking forward to this movie as a Christian who enjoys Bible films. For the most part, I enjoyed this. Everyone was good in this movie, I loved the clever explanations for the plagues, and the character development was there. This was made as if it was a historical biopic. The director wasn't arrogant or insulting enough to portray this film as sci-fi the way Aronofksy did with the film Noah. My only caveat to this film was the casting. Although the actors were all solid, none of them looked the part or spoke the part. As least have everyone have the same accent, even if it is a British one. Historically, films made in English that depict people in other countries have the actors speaking in British accents. However, maybe that's a habit we should break. The actors should have the accents of the people in that country, and the actors portraying them should be the same race/nationality/ethnicity of the people they are portraying or at least be able to look the part. There are plenty of people of Jewish & African decent, or that at least look like they could be, that could've played every role in this film. I'm continuously annoyed that actors are miscast due to studios believing that white actors are needed to make films any money. The director is quoted as saying that he used the actors he did because "the movie would not be financially viable without white actors." Ugh. That's just gross. If you can get past the weird tanning lotion and makeup to make the actors look darker (black face anyone?), then you will enjoy this as a well-acted, creatively realized mostly-biblically accurate historical drama. If you can't get past the visual distraction of the actors, you won't. It was a watch once for me in order to support a Christian film, and I'm happy it was respectful of the material. However, I cannot in good conscience watch it again because it is not respectful to the Jews, Africans, & Egyptians that lost out on great acting gigs because of studio heads seemingly too afraid of ethnic diversity. 

Rating: Noteworthy (During the film I saw past the actors looks enough to enjoy it)

Watch with: 
UnbrokenThe Imitation Game

2014 PG Animated adventure comedy


  (screenplay), (screenplay), 7 more credits »

Plot: Skipper, Kowalski, Rico and Private join forces with undercover organization The North Wind to stop the villainous Dr. Octavius Brine from destroying the world as we know it.

Review: I haven't seen a Madagascar movie since the first one, but the penguins have always been my favorite characters in it so now I'm gonna catch up so I can watch this. 

Rating: TBD

Watch with:
The Penguins of MadagascarThe Lego MovieFrozenMadagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted
(TV Series)

2014 R Dramedy

Golden Globe nominee: Best Actress Comedy  (Moore)





Music by: Howard Shore

Plot: A tour into the heart of a Hollywood family chasing celebrity, one another and the relentless ghosts of their pasts.

Review: I love David Cronenberg for his visceral, visual style and his absurd character studies. I'm curious how his visual style will translate in a "normal" non-genre film. 

Rating: TBD

Watch with:

2014 NR Horro, Drama, Thriller





Plot: A single mother, plagued by the violent death of her husband, battles with her son's fear of a monster lurking in the house, but soon discovers a sinister presence all around her.

Review: I was late in the game of jumping on the bandwagon of wanting to see this. The premise of it on paper seems silly, and the name is dumb. However, after watching the trailer and seeing some film critics that I actually respect review this film, I'm so on board. Let's do this!

Rating:  TBD

Watch with:
2014 R Drama




  (screenplay), (screenplay), 2 more credits » based on the book by Michelle Wildgen

(establishing shots)

Production Co:


Plot: A drama centered on a classical pianist who has been diagnosed with ALS and the brash college student who becomes her caregiver.

Review: I saw the trailer to this in the previews before another movie I rented on DVD. I always like watching the previews on DVD because I discover films I might not learn of otherwise. Swank doesn't do a lot of films, but she's a great actress. It's nice to see Rossum in drama mode since I'm always watching her in the comedy show "Shameless". I'm curious to see if Duhammel's good in this because I've only ever seen him in comedy or action mode. I'm rooting for him since he's such a nice guy and is from the city I live in now. 

Rating: TBD

Watch with:  

2014 UR Drama Musical Romance

2X SUndance Sepcial Jury PRize winner: World Cinmea: Enselbe & Dramtic




Plot: As Eve begins writing songs as a way to sort through some emotional problems, she meets James and Cassie, two musicians each at crossroads of their own.  Belle & Sebastian musical, directed by the mastermind behind the band.

Review: I love good musicals, Browning has a beautiful voice, I love the style of the 60's time period, and the music is awesome. What more can I want?

Rating:  TBD

Watch with:
LaggiesPlushDaydream Nation

2015 R Action, True Crime, Drama


Plot: The inside story of the planning, execution, rousing aftermath and ultimate downfall of the kidnappers of beer tycoon Alfred "Freddy" Heineken, which resulted in the largest ransom ever paid for an individual.

Review: I've had a Heineken. Not a fan, but I love true crime movies, and I had no idea this actually happened. Looks like Pain & Gain but dramatic.


Watch with:
Big EyesBlack Sea

2013 Thriller





Filming Locations:


Plot: A reclusive American composer with an online following has a tentative romance with a beautiful social worker. This offers a glimmer of hope, but his mind fractures as the voices in his head grow louder and more destructive.

Review: There's a talented cast here with a great premise. I hope it pans out.

Rating: TBD

Watch with:
Lovely MollyJulia

Netflix Instant

April 12th

  • The Identical (2014)

April 13th

  • Video Game High School (Season 3)

April 14th

  • The Babadook (2014)
  • Goodbye to Language (2014)
  • Kink (2013)

April 16th

  • Hot Fuzz (2007)

April 17th

  • Baby Daddy (Season 4)
  • Chris D’Elia: Incorrigible
  • They Came Together (2014)

April 18th

  • Noah (2014)