Monthly Archives: August 2014

Weekend Movie Preview: August 29, 2014

Summer is over, folks! It’s the last weekend movie preview of the summer movie season and we’ve got three new films arriving to entertain audiences this Labor Day weekend. 

One of our favorite James Bond’s is back in The November Man, Jennifer Aniston does Elmore Leonard in Life of Crime and found footage horror gets a shot in the arm of originality with As Above/So Below

Let’s break it down…

The November Man: Pierce Brosnan is back in the spy game and frankly, better than ever. Brosnan plays an ex-CIA operative who is pulled back into work when someone he loves gets in trouble. Then, all hell breaks loose and it proves that old adage that old spies never retire, they just keep getting better!

Pierce Brosnan is Back!

Since walking away from being Bond, we haven’t seen Brosnan do action like we do in The November Man.

As our The November Man review stated, not only is it great to see Brosnan return to the action genre, but it is a story with a geopolitical landscape that is as timely as it is thrilling. 

Life of Crime: Another Leonard book comes to life with Jennifer Aniston starring as a wealthy wife who gets kidnapped by John Hawkes. When he demands a ransom, husband TIm Robbins balks — no one knows it, but he just filed for divorce!

Jennifer Aniston in Life of Crime

Jennifer Aniston is about to be kidnapped in the crime comedy Life of Crime.

As we said in our Life of Crime review, the film is not one of Leonard’s best adaptations, but it is right in the middle, and that is not such a bad thing. And this is the Hawkes and Aniston show as the two put on a crime thriller with a tad of comedy acting clinic.

As Above/So Below: Found footage horror movies are quite stale, there is no question. But this scary flick heads underneath the streets of Paris to the legendary catacombs for a story about a female scientist trying to prove her father’s theories and in the process, she may have just found the gates of hell. 

As Above/So Below Photo

A scary tease into the world of As Above/So Below.

The cast is fantastic and the thrills are quite enjoyable — there’s at least three jump out of your seat moments! Check out our As Above/So Below review for more.

Feel like staying in this weekend? Several titles have arrived on digital download recently. Watch Blended onlinewatch The Amazing Spider-Man 2 online or watch Muppets Most Wanted online.   

Big Hero 6 Trailer: Going Back to School!

The Marvel Comics inspired film Big Hero 6 is celebrating the return of millions and millions of kids to school with its new TV spot. The Disney film doesn’t land until November 7, but there is something so incredibly compelling about this wild looking animated film that has us wishing it was here sooner than later.

As first teased in the full Big Hero 6 trailer, the story follows Hiro Hamada, who may be just a kid, but he is a wizard in the world of science and robotics. With his trusty robot Baymax by his side, he is set to tackle another school year in the above teaser, but this year will be a bit different.

He and his friends hold the key to defeating a man who seeks to destroy their beloved hometown of San Fransokyo. 

Big Hero 6 stars the voice talents of TJ Miller, Jamie Chung, Damon Wayans, Jr., Genesis Rodriguez and Ryan Potter as Hiro!

Hiro Hamada Poster

The star of Big Hero 6, Hiro Hamada, gets his own poster. He’s voiced by Ryan Potter.

Blade 4: Wesley Snipes Will Be Back!

After Wesley Snipes essentially began his comeback after serving two years in jail for tax evasion with The Expendables 3, it looks like his dream of being Blade again is back on.

Blade Wesley Snipes

The NY Daily News column, Confidenti@l column is reporting that Snipes has secured a deal that will pay him millions, as well as a percentage of the back-end profits and that filming will commence sooner than later.

“Confidenti@l has learned Wesley Snipes is set to reprise his lead role in Blade, the 1998 vampire thriller that made more than $130 million and generated two sequels,” the site reported.

As Blade is one of our favorites and we’re kind of excited about this news and judging by his kick-ass performance in The Expendables 3, we know Snipes can inhabit the action hero that is part vampire and part human effectively.

No details yet on plot, timing or anything more than the above for that matter. But, you know that Movie Fanatic will bring it to you as soon as any info is available!

Until then, watch Blade online and see how Snipes and his anti-hero first got started!

The Maze Runner Trailer: The Rules Revealed!

As we could tell from that first The Maze Runner trailer, this is a world full of mystery.

But as you can see from the latest The Maze Runner teaser, it is not a landscape without rules. Of all the teases we’ve witnessed so far, this latest one from Fox may be the most informative.

Dylan O’Brien stars as a young man who awakes on an elevator taking him to the surface of a desolate landscape. The only way out, is through the titular maze. And he’s surrounded by a group of boys who all share the same fate — none of them remember anything before they became maze runners and all have no idea how they got there.

The Maze Runner opens September 19 and also stars Will Poulter

A Maze-Like Figure

A maze-like figure is a beauty of a poster idea for The Maze Runner.

Life of Crime Review: Jennifer Aniston & John Hawkes Bring Leonard to Life

Elmore Leonard is not the easiest of authors to bring to the screen. For every Out of Sight or Jackie Brown, we get a The Big Bounce or Be Cool. Where does Daniel Schechter’s Life of Crime, based on Leonard’s The Switch, rank? The John Hawkes and Jennifer Aniston crime flick belongs somewhere in the top half.

Life of Crime Jennifer Aniston and Will Forte

Hawkes is Louis Gara, a two-bit criminal who may have found himself the big score. He and his partner, Ordell Robbie (Yasiin Bey), have scoped out a rich property owner named Frank Dawson (Tim Robbins) who has been illegally siphoning money from his Detroit area apartment buildings. Louis and Ordell feel that if they kidnap Frank’s wife Mickey (Aniston), there is no way Frank will go to the police because of all his illegal financial activities and surely he’ll pay whatever they ask (which is a cool million) to get her back.

What is clear from even the Life of Crime trailer is this is 1978 Detroit and for those familiar with Leonard’s work, Louis and Ordell will keep working together and eventually become Robert De Niro and Samuel L. Jackson in Jackie Brown. But, this is back when they were not so refined — cough, cough.

Robbins plays Frank as sleazy and unsympathetic as they come. And Aniston portrays Mickey as a typical ’70s housewife who puts up with abuse from her husband because of the country club membership, the nice house and the lifestyle that will surely help raise her teenage son.

What’s fascinating is how Schechter uses the kidnapping of Mickey to show two things: Aniston’s character is finally free of the shackles of her life, even though she’s in new ones in a sense. And two, Robbins’ Frank wakes up and realizes that planning to divorce his wife and run off with his mistress Melanie (Isla Fisher) might not be the best idea. Those two elements will clash in the most emotionally explosive of ways.

Most of Leonard’s novels that hit the screen share a trait in that their criminals aren’t the brightest, but they are likable and somehow they manage to succeed, or at the least get away with it. Yes, some perish, but in Life of Crime, we truly do pull for Hawkes and Bey. And that largely has to do with how Schechter has lifted these characters from Leonard’s pages and brought them to life with actors in Hawkes and Bey who are at the top of their game.

Life of Crime Photo

There’s a subplot involving Will Forte as a married friend of the Dawson family who has a thing for Mickey. Forte, fresh off his Oscar nod for Nebraska, is outstanding again.

But, our Life of Crime review has to point out, this is the Aniston and Hawkes show. Hawkes, as always, is incredible. He is clearly one of the most talented actors working today (and one of our 19 actors who should be bigger movie stars). Aniston, meanwhile, wears the ’70s well and her journey from hapless housewife to fierce female who is ready to rake her own husband over the financial and legal coals is something to behold.

By the end credits, the film breathes with life — which is fascinating given that when you look back at the crime story with so much going on, actually very little happens. That is perhaps the fault of the tale itself from Leonard’s The Switch. Clearly if this was one of his most riveting books, we would have gotten a screen version by now.

But, Schechter has taken the best parts of the novel and presented a crime thriller with some laughs that keeps you guessing right up until the end.

Want to see how Hawkes’ and Bey’s characters turn out? Watch Jackie Brown online!

Jennifer Aniston in Life of Crime

Jennifer Aniston is about to be kidnapped in the crime comedy Life of Crime.