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Review: Sin City: A Dame to Kill For

Return to the crime-infested streets of Sin City!

Review: Frank

Michael Fassbender as you've never seen him before!

Review: The Expendables 3

More action heroes than you can toss a grenade at, but is the movie any good?

Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, and Edgar Wright are together again!

The trio will reunite on a new project in the near future.

8/22/2014

'The November Man' Advance Screening



Once Pierce Brosnan was Bond...James Bond, now he's back and better than ever as The November Man! Brosnan stars in the action flick as an ex-CIA agent who comes out of retirement for a deeply personal mission, only to be hunted down by his highly trained friend and protege. The film co-stars Olga Kurylenko (another veteran of the James Bond movies) and Luke Bracey with direction by Roger Donaldson. We're happy to offer our readers the chance to see The November Man early by attending a free advance screening.

The screening takes place on Tuesday, August 26th at 7:00pm at AMC Georgetown. If you're interested in attending, simply head to the Relativity website here and download one Admit-Two pass. These are first come first served, and having passes does not guarantee entry into the theater. We also ask that you spread the word about Punch Drunk Critics by "Liking" us on Facebook and sharing the site with your friends.

The November Man opens August 27th.

SCREENING
Tuesday, August 26
7:00 pm
AMC Georgetown 
3111 K St NW, Washington, DC 20007

New Trailer for 'Amityville: The Awakening' Welcomes You Back Home


Home prices are about to take a serious tumble because the most haunted house in movie history is terrorizing yet another family. There have been eleven Amityville Horror films since the first one spooked audiences in 1979, and while many of the sequels have been of the lousy straight-to-DVD variety it was only ten years ago we were treated to a remake led by Ryan Reynolds and Melissa George. But now Franck Khalfoun (P2) is bringing the "based on a true story" horror back again with Amityville: The Awakening, and the new trailer shows that some things have definitely changed.

The always-great Jennifer Jason Leigh stars as the single matriarch of a family who move into the disturbed New York home and discover, shockingly, that there's some weird mojo going around. Not having a father around changes the dynamic a little bit, but also having one of the three kids (Cameron Monaghan) in a coma from a severe injury. While that may strike a little too close to Insidious, it's a change for this franchise which could use a bit of novelty going into its twel. They may also be planning ahead for future sequels by putting the daughter, played by Bella Thorne, as the central character rather than Leigh. Thorne was last seen in the Adam Sandler comedy Blended and will appear next opposite Steve Carell in Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.

Amityville: The Awakening kicks off 2015 on January 2nd.


AMITYVILLE- THE AWAKENING Trailer #1 (2015) Bella Thorne Horror Movie HD by MovieTrailerz

'Minority Report' and 'The Devil's Advocate' TV Shows On the Way


The list of popular movies being turned into TV shows is growing, and it's not likely to slow down any time soon. But while it may seem like this is a new phenomenon it's been happening for a long time. Remember the 1980s sitcom, Alice? Based on Martin Scorsese's 1974 film Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore. The same goes for M.A.S.H., Clueless, Fargo, and of course Buffy the Vampire Slayer which were all turned into either television classics or reasonably successful shows. There have been plenty of duds (remember Bad Teacher?), too, and what's curious about the current trend are the questionable movies being chosen.

On that note, NBC is bringing the 1997 "Satan was a Lawyer" flick The Devil's Advocate to the small screen. Matt Verne (Bag of Bones) will pen the scripts for the show about a hot shot attorney who comes to realize he's working at Satan's personal law firm. Keanu Reeves and Charlize Theron co-starred in the film but it's basically only remembered for Al Pacino's hilarious rantings ("He's a sadist!!") as Lucifer. John Wells (ER) is producing and he's going to have to work hard to find somebody to top Pacino. [Deadline]

The other side of the coin has Steven Spielberg, who is already producing a Halo series and the CBS thriller Extant, turning his 2002 sci-fi flick Minority Report into a TV show. He's going big with this one by hiring Godzilla screenwriter Max Borenstein to adapt the film, which was based on a story by Philip K. Dick, about a futuristic police force and the PreCrime unit tasked with arresting criminals before a crime is committed with the help of three psychics. Tom Cruise starred in the movie version and a big name will be targeted for the show, as well.  [TheWrap]


Review: 'Are You Here' Starring Owen Wilson, Zach Galifianakis, and Amy Poehler


Having never seen a single moment of Mad Men I can't truly speak to the quality of that show except through the superlatives others have placed on it. Lapping up all of that praise has been the show's 9-time Emmy-winning creator, Matthew Weiner, who has always managed to create something special on the small screen. And that's what makes his feature film debut with the middling and muddled buddy comedy Are You Here, which only a few months ago was titled You Are Here. Not that anybody will care because they'll be too busy wondering where the laughs are to notice.

Weiner has gathered a cast built for comedy but there's a breakdown suffered somewhere along the way. Owen Wilson plays pot smokin', womanizing weatherman Steve Dallas, the stereotypical big fish in a small pond. He thinks he's the king of the little Annapolis, MD news station he struts around at, sleeping with one of the co-anchors and driving his boss crazy. He's incapable of connection on any emotional level with everyone, except for his old pal Ben Baker, played by Zach Galifianakis with the same childish idiocy he brings to every character since The Hangover. Bipolar and claiming to be some kind of "green" enthusiast, Ben has nothing except his friendship with Steve, who he looks up to for unknown reasons.

Drifting along lazily for far too long, the plot kicks into gear when Ben learns that his rich father has passed away up in Pennsylvania. Well, it "kicks into gear" in the sense that something actually happens and it's the last time anything of worth does. Ben learns that he's basically inherited everything, with his eternally-negative sister Terri (Amy Poehler) gaining little and the man's sexy young wife Angela (Laura Ramsey) getting absolutely nothing. While Angela is shocked at first she learns to deal with it, but Terri sees Ben's psychological issues as a means of getting the money for herself. Basically she's a terrible person but at least she's transparently horrible. The other characters, who we are supposed to like, don't have any qualities worth rooting for.

Surely the characters on Mad Men aren't as one-note as these otherwise a petition should be started to have Weiner's Emmys forcibly removed. He seems convinced Wilson's meager charms can make the self-involved Steve likeable, as one of the key arcs involves his growing feelings for Angela. It culminates in a terribly unfunny scene where Steve is asked to capture a chicken for dinner, and he does, chopping its head off and watching it run around decapitated. Yeah, that's hilarious. There's a meandering shapelessness to Are You Here that is trying from the outset and punishing in the long run. Weiner doesn't seem to have any idea what the film is supposed to be about, and he clearly wants it to be about something. Ben, who is magnanimous as often as he's depressed, is suddenly cured in such a knee-jerk fashion it's like Weiner was worried he'd have to cut for a commercial break. But the worst treatment is reserved for Poehler and Ramsey who are given few opportunities to flesh out forgettable female roles.

Sometimes working in the world of serialized television can be detrimental to a movie career. There's a different rhythm and structure to directing features and Weiner may just need more time to adjust. He can always bounce back if somebody's willing to give him another shot, but Are You Here is such a disaster a second chance could be hard to find.

 Rating: 1 out of 5

First Teaser for 'The Woman in Black: Angel of Death'



When Hammer Films' horror The Woman in Black scored $127M in 2012 much of the credit was given to the star power of Daniel Radcliffe in his first major post-Harry Potter role. Certainly the curiosity of seeing him do something different was a factor, but the famous British studio is hoping the scares and ominous tone were enough to lure audiences back for a Radcliffe-free sequel, The Woman in Black: Angel of Death.

The first teaser for the film has been released and it doesn't reveal anything about the plot, but it establishes that incoming director Tom Harper is sticking with the dreary atmosphere from before. Jeremy Irvine and Helen McCrory star in the gothic ghost story which is set during WWII, forty years after the first film. Here's the official synopsis:

England, 1941. With London in the midst of the blitz, two teachers evacuate a group of schoolchildren to the abandoned Eel Marsh House. Seeking safety from the bombs in the remote coastal location, the group instead find themselves facing an evil far more frightening when their arrival awakens the Woman in Black.

The Woman in Black: Angel of Death hits the U.K. in February but has yet to gain a U.S. date. 

Possible 'Ant-Man' Plot Details Plus Evangeline Lilly's Waspy New Look


After a little bit of confusion we now know that Evangeline Lilly is playing Hope van Dyne in Marvel's Ant-Man, clearly marking her as the daughter of Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) and Janet van Dyne aka the Wasp. One of the big questions has been whether or not Hope will decide to suit up for superheroics in the film, perhaps carrying on her mother's legacy. With production now underway and the first official photo already released, Lilly has revealed her new hairstyle for the film and it will be familiar to fans of Wasp in the comics.

The short hair is something Wasp has always sported, while Lilly tends to keep hers long so in the most superficial way possible this would suggest she could become the superheroine at some point. I think Lilly's hiring is the more convincing evidence because of her history playing tough female characters. She'd make for a natural fit on the Avengers if Marvel decided to go that route.

But there's another reason I think she'll end up as Wasp and it has everything to do with the character's history in the comics. Her relationship with Hank Pym is defined by domestic violence and is one of the most polarizing to fans, especially female readers. Just as Marvel has stayed away from Tony Stark's alcoholism in the Iron Man flicks they will likely steer clear of this storyline, too. One way of doing that is by making Hope the Wasp rather than Janet.

On that note, Badass Digest says Hope does not become Wasp in the film...yet. They seem to think she's being set up for the role, though, while acknowledging that rewrites by Adam McKay and director Peyton Reed may have changed things beyond what Edgar Wright had planned. Still, it seems unlikely that the script has changed enough that a brand new superhero the stature of Wasp would suddenly be included. On another note, Janet van Dyne may not actually be dead as Wright and Joe Cornish's script merely said that she was "gone".

My guess is Ant-Man will end with Hope getting juiced with Pym Particles and making the decision to follow in mom's footsteps. We'll find out when the film opens on July 17th 2015.

Review: 'When The Game Stands Tall' starring Jim Caviezel, Michael Chiklis, and Laura Dern


When the Game Stands Tall stars Jim Caviezel as Coach Bob Ladouceur who led the De La Salle High School varsity Football team to a 151 record-setting winning streak and what happens as the streak effects his life and those of his family and players. See here’s the thing; most people, me included, are pretty easy to please with a sports movie. Especially a HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL MOVIE! This is America and we love football. Here we have a movie with Caviezel portraying this almost perfect coach in terms of his moral standing and reasoning for coaching these kids. These kids are perfect at least the ones in the beginning of the movie. The seniors that are leaving are great, demigod-like athletes with wholesome attitudes like they all came from Smallville, Kansas. After the first 15 minutes or so just about every bad thing that can happen to the team happens, just as they are beginning to be led by a new group of flawed senior athletes. It’s all serious; old players die, some players lose all their family, and some experience major incapacitating injuries.

It begins to feel like a little too much as major sad events are piled on and a Christian-themed message is forced into the story. They all feel out of place and like the movie doesn’t know what it wants to be. Does it want to be a sports movie or a spiritually uplifting movie? I don’t know if the film makers know themselves. The movie is also totally too long and poorly paced throughout. The movie would’ve been a lot better if they would’ve just focused on the team’s fall from grace and the need for the team to rally together in time for a major game against the country’s best team. What happens is that the story’s true climax happens in the middle of the film.

There are a lot of well-filmed football scenes throughout the movie along with some decent performances. What they are performing doesn’t always make a lot of sense, but what is worse is the team’s triumph doesn’t feel earned at all. It’s a movie where you watch a great high school football program that won 151 times lose a game and then goes right back to winning.  It’s not like watching the underdogs come up and reach the championship or something like We Are Marshall where something completely terrible happens and the whole community comes together to support the players on the field. It’s just like watching Johnny Manziel not get picked first in the draft. Like am I supposed to feel sad? Really?

In the end I’m just surprised that a sports movie could be this lackluster in every way imaginable. Somewhere it’s like a whole lot of people really liked this true story and tried really hard to make a movie out of it. The saddest part is that to me they totally failed at doing it and I think the real people in this story deserve way better.

 Rating: 1.5 out of 5

8/21/2014

Jennifer Lawrence Rumored for Quentin Tarantino's 'The Hateful Eight'


Quentin Tarantino has yet to shoot a single frame of The Hateful Eight and already we have a teaser trailer, which admittedly has no footage or anything, a poster and a potential 2015 release date. To the best of our knowledge another thing it doesn't have is a cast, and while it's been assumed the cast of the live table read would be reprising their roles on screen, a new rumor suggests a major star could be taking the one primary female role.

According to Collider, Jennifer Lawrence is in talks for The Hateful Eight, which means she'd likely be taking on the role of Daisy Domergue, the lone female in the "Hateful Eight". Amber Tamblyn read the part before, and while Zoe Bell played Six Horse Judy it's unlikely to be the role Lawrence takes. For what it's worth, the Collider story is being shut down by other outlets and Lawrence's reps, while Variety says Evan Rachel Wood, Geena Davis, and Hilary Swank could meet for it.

Even if Lawrence is considering the film a few things could stand in the way. Tarantino may begin production early next year and Lawrence is going to be pretty busy throughout. She's attached to play Joy Mangano in David O. Russell's Joy, which is set to open Christmas 2015. Bryan Singer's X-men: Apocalypse  will also shoot next year and she'll need to be there as the shapeshifting mutant, Mystique.

We'll see what happens. Samuel L. Jackson and Kurt Russell are expected to be part of The Hateful Eight cast when Tarantino finally gets moving on it.

Review: ‘If I Stay,’ starring Chloe Grace Moretz, Jamie Blackley, and Mireille Enos


I didn’t cry during If I Stay, which means I must be a monster. Everyone else around fellow PDC-er Mae and I was sniffling and openly sobbing, so are we soulless? Heartless? Or perhaps it’s just that the film, despite strong characters and relationships, does the “sad dying teenager” thing too familiarly. I saw The Fault In Our Stars already this summer; my tears were spent on that.

Nevertheless, If I Stay will affect you, thanks to a well-rounded cast that embodies their characters fully. There’s Moretz, who so infrequently has played a regular teenager that it’s impressive that she can; here, she’s a good mix of self-assured but doubtful, confident but meek, as 17-year-old cello player Mia Hall. Her character grows more ambitious and collected as the film progresses, and Moretz embodies a kind of vulnerability that eventually bursts into steeliness. It’s the nature of the film that Mia is indecisive, though, so Moretz is in a holding pattern for a good deal of time. For such a dynamic actress, that’s disappointing, but it helps that she’s surrounded by other great performers, namely Jamie Blackley, Mireille Enos, and Stacy Keach. They all do their part to keep the ensemble successful.

The film focuses on Mia (Moretz), a high school senior waiting to learn if she is going to attend Juilliard, across the country in New York City, or if she is going to stay in Seattle and attend college with her boyfriend, local rocker Alex (Blackley). But one morning, a devastating car crash plunges Mia into a coma, and she wakes up separated from her body, able to move around in ghost-like fashion. Her family members are horrendously injured, and she can see her other relatives and friends waiting in the hospital for news about their condition. So the film divides its time between these present-day scenes and flashbacks of Mia’s life, particularly her relationships with her parents and Adam, her first love.

Should Mia stay or should she die? The decision is up to her, and the flashbacks are meant to be a guiding force in her choice. So we’re taken through her childhood with her parents: father Dennis (Joshua Leonard), who left his gig playing drums in a moderately famous punk band behind to raise his children, and mother Kat (Enos), a matter-of-fact former riot grrl whose closet is “terrifying” to Mia but who has devoted all of herself to her children. There is also younger brother Teddy (Jakob Davies), who loves the music favored by his parents; as a unit, they’re all different than Mia, who prefers classical music and playing the cello. Sometimes Mia even wonders if Dennis and Kat are her parents – how can they be so different?

But there is something tying the family together, some kind of love and affection and ambition, and that draws in Alex (Blackley), the older frontman of a local rock band that is growing in popularity. Mia is quiet and doesn’t fit into his crowd, but he doesn’t care; her passion and her dedication are enthralling. And in the same way, Mia is entranced by Alex’s charisma and his originality, and they fall in love. But each of them has specific career goals, and those paths may take them away from each other as Alex hits the road and Mia considers Juilliard. Can their love survive? And is it enough to keep Mia alive?

Director R.J. Cutler jumps back and forth in the narrative, switching from flashbacks to present day, and that might be the most frustrating part of the film. Instead of streamlining the plot, it makes it somewhat tedious, especially as Mia and Alex get together and then break up and then get back together and then break up. That’s an honest assessment of teenage first love, of course – it certainly jibed with my own experiences, at least – but at times the film jumps from present day, to a breakup scene, then jumps back to present day, then to a makeup scene. It falls into an expected pattern, and eventually that structure drags.

Moretz and Blackley are great, though, and as much as their relationship feels repetitive, they have undeniable chemistry. The film suffers in the beginning from the “why me?” syndrome of female teenage protagonists (literally, Mia asks Alex why he would love her, which is eyerollingly frustrating), but they’re worthy of each other, especially as Mia’s confidence grows. A major scene-stealer is Enos, though, who inhabits the “cool wise mom” role fully. Whether encouraging Mia to be more outgoing or helping her dress up like Debbie Harry for Halloween, she’s a grounded source of advice, and she increases the realistic feel of the film.

Because too often, Cutler veers into “look how hip we are!” territory, working in songs by the Smashing Pumpkins and lines from S.E. Hinton’s “The Outsiders” to show off how cool and alternative If I Stay is. Those moments are mostly scoff-worthy, because If I Stay is the best when it focuses on its characters and relationships. Everything else is somewhat extraneous.


Rating: 3 out of 5 Guttenbergs


David Gordon Green will Direct Sandra Bullock in 'Our Brand is Crisis'



Although George Clooney and his producing partner Grant Heslov have been developing it for awhile, their adaptation of Our Brand is Crisis was pushed aside to focus energy on Ben Affleck's Oscar-winning Argo. That was obviously a smart move, but when Clooney's Gravity co-star Sandra Bullock was rumored for a role in the film it was clear Our Brand is Crisis was next. And now not only has she been confirmed but an unexpected choice has been made for director.

Variety reports David Gordon Green will direct Bullock in the political film, his first foray into the world of politics. Rachel Boynton's acclaimed 2005 documentary serves as the basis for the narrative feature which centers on James Carville and the key role his political consulting firm played in the 2002 Bolivian presidential elections. Peter Straughan (The Men Who Stare at Goats) wrote the script with Bullock taking on the role of "Calamity" Jane Bodine, a consultant who constantly quotes historical figures to help make her point.

We've seen what Clooney can do with this kind of material but the addition of Green only makes Our Brand is Crisis more promising. No word on when production begins but hopefully it will be soon.