Archive for the 'New on Home Video' Category

Concussion
Will Smith vs. the NFL

Professional football is not just a sport, it is an industry. And the National Football League is so big that, as explained by Dr. Cyril Wecht in Concussion, they “own a day of the week… the same day the church used to own.” Few individuals would ever have the gumption to take on a corporation so large, but Concussion, inspired by a GQ article called “Game Brain,” is the story of one such individual.


The Big Short
A Comedic View of a True Drama

When adapting a novel about a serious topic like the housing-bubble collapse in the mid-2000s, Adam McKay might not be the first director on your short list. The filmmaker who is best known as Will Ferrell’s producing partner and the director of the Anchorman movies seems like an unnatural fit for a movie about a subject that completely changed the American economy and affected millions of lives. As it turns out, though, McKay was the perfect choice to direct The Big Short.


In the Heart of the Sea
The Real Moby-Dick

The last time star Chris Hemsworth and director Ron Howard collaborated, the result was the thrilling racing drama Rush, one of the best movies of 2013. They leave behind the racecars in favor of whaling ships for their next film together, the epic-feeling adventure-cum-survival drama In the Heart of the Sea. It’s the true story of the ill-fated 1820 whaling expedition that inspired the classic novel Moby Dick. The result may not be a timeless classic on par with the novel, but it is still quite entertaining.


Spectre
Bond Gets Co-opted by Dude Bros

Keep in mind while reading this… I love almost all the Bond movies for what they are, from the gritty and serious Craig Bond movies to the ultra-cheesy Moore Bond era. Beyond the specific writing issues below, I also didn’t care for this one because it seemed to be assuming a cheekier tone, which is totally wrong for Daniel Craig’s Bond world. Also keep in mind that I can’t talk about why Spectre stinks without tons of spoilers. If you haven’t seen the movie, stop reading now!


The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2
Game Over

Adapting young adult novels into big screen franchises has been popular in Hollywood for more than ten years now. The Harry Potter movies really started it, while the so-called “craze” really started with 2008’s Twilight. Many of the attempts to take advantage of this craze have failed to find a wide audience, but a few have broken out from the pack to become legitimate blockbuster franchises. The queen jewel of the heap is certainly The Hunger Games franchise, which now concludes with Mockingjay Part 2.