Posts Tagged ‘review’

Cut To The Chase Review: Guardians of the Galaxy; Marvel’s Star Wars

Saturday, August 2nd, 2014


Cut To The Chase Reviews from COF are spoiler free reviews ‘abridged for your pleasure’. Quick, concise, and sometimes entertaining opinions on the go!


Setup:  I watched the movie in 3D and with assigned seating (due to an advanced ticket purchase) I was able to select my favorite spot:  back row, in the middle. It was a sold out show.

Rocket Raccoon: Why would you want to save the galaxy!?
Peter Quill: ‘Cause I’m one of the idiots who lives in it!

Review: Guardians of the Galaxy is a game changer for Marvel; it’s as irreverent and comical as you would expect judging from the fantastic trailers released this summer. Director James Gunn has told a visually enthralling story with so much humor and thrilling action that I can’t even remember a period of the film that slowed down. It never stopped to fill us in with obvious exposition, creating a natural progression to get us where we need to be. It’s a great reminder of what a comic movie should be: fun! Not just cross-branding commercials (Captain America: The Winter Soldier)

The movie is self-aware and full of pop references that hit home with more than one generation. It doesn’t feel like a Marvel movie or anything like a comic movie of the last few years. I for one am happy about that; I don’t know how much more grim, dark, and moody hero movies I could take. This movie has heart and balances that with the action and humor perfectly. Lastly, the main cast was exceptional; they were daring choices that should be admired. I can only think of one other movie that must have been this original and exciting to watch in a theater, and it came out in 1977. Guardians of the Galaxy is a weird roller coaster that anyone looking to step away from same old slate of comic movies should ride.

Stay during the credits? Yes.

Rating: 4.5 orbs out of 5



The Transformers: The Movie: The Review

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014

Transformers 6

There are definitely bigger fans of The Transformers out there than I.  Even though I born in their heyday I never gave them a lot of thought.  I never watched the show.  I never had any of the toys.  I never wanted to be Optimus Prime for Halloween.  However, I do recall seeing the 1986 movie at some point.  I suppose I must have liked it enough that when a special edition was released to coincide with Michael Bay’s first Transformers flick…I bought it.  I watched it once and stuck it back on the shelf, where it’s sat untouched since then. With last weekend’s release of Transformers: Age of Extinction I thought this would be a good time to revisit what is still probably the best Transformers film. So join me as I sit down to re-watch The Transformers: The Movie.


Book Review: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes – Firestorm

Sunday, June 22nd, 2014


Titan Books sent us a copy of the official movie prequel to the eagerly anticipated Dawn of the Planet of the Apes movie, scheduled for release in July 2014. The book is in available now.

apes-sideNew York Times bestselling author Greg Keyes brings us the original Apes story. He bridges the gap between the events of Rise of the Planet of the Apes and the anticipated sequel Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. This book only outlines the very early beginnings of Caesar’s colony and not the full ten years. Ape characters from Rise appear and us as the readers are given a bit of backstory on quite a number of the characters including Koba and Cornelia and are given glimpses of their personalities that are likley to flow into Dawn when the film is released.

It’s an entertaining and engrossing read that went by very fast. It’s a short read which made it all the more difficult to put it down. The prequel gives a lot of insight to the upcoming conflict; I suspect they might even use the events of this book as a narration talking point that start the movie. It’s very smart and it’s clear that Keyes cared about this material enough to craft out an emotional and entertaining tale that delves into social, political, and scientific issues that more that resonate with what’s happening today. I recommend it for any Planet of the Apes fans who wanted to know a little more of the Planet of the Apes mythos. The question at the end of the book which you might be able to answer by the time the credits roll on the new film is will you cheer for the apes or cheer for humanity?

Buy it today!

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Book Review: Resistance by Samit Basu

Sunday, June 22nd, 2014


Titan Books sent us an advanced copy of Resistance by Samit Basu, here is our review.

In Resistance it’s been eleven years since the events in Samit Basu’s Turbulence. It’s 2020 and the world is overrun with supers. Some use their powers for good, others for evil, and unsurprisingly some just want to destroy monuments and resistance-sidestar in their own reality show. In Turbulence we were introduced to The Unit, a group of oddly endowed superheroes with powers that are derived from personality and desire. That same group now has to stop someone who, from New York to Tokyo, is hunting down supers, killing off heroes and villains.

If you enjoyed Samit Basu’s Turbulence, you are not alone. It was enjoyable and surprisingly original in a world of entertainment when you blink and have a new superhero movie. He has a sense of pop culture that still jumps out with Resistance. With great heroics and fantastic action scenes (which are never easy to write), it’s safe to say this might top his first outing. It’s a great read that spans the world and somehow manages to keep things organized and highly entertaining without skipping a beat. I trust Basu is more confident in his writing this time around offering more wit and cinematic like sequences with new characters that jump off the page.

I said it at the end of my review for Turbulence and I’ll say it again here: I’m looking forward to the sequel already.

Resistance will be released on July 8, 2014. Pre-order it today!

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Book Review: Godzilla – The Official Movie Novelization

Sunday, June 22nd, 2014


Titan books sent along the official novelization of Gareth Edwards’ Godzilla by Greg Cox. The movie was released on May 16, 2014 and this book is available now.

godzilla-sideThis summer saw the epic rebirth of Toho’s iconic Godzilla; this spectacular adventure pits the world’s most famous monster against malevolent creatures who, bolstered by humanity’s scientific arrogance, threaten our very existence. This companion book offers little difference from the exceptional film, although I will say it makes some characters more important. It’s still an exciting read but if you have seen the movie or plan on it (you should) then this might just be for people who really like to read over going to the crowded theater.

Novelizations are usually paint-by-the-numbers reads that don’t deliver the same level of entertainment than its awe-inspiring production counterpart. It was the same with Man of Steel and now Godzilla.
If you liked the movie you’ll probably appreciate Cox’s presentation of a story-line that many thought to drag in crucial spots on the big screen; it’s a straightforward novelization otherwise.

Buy it today!

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Cut To The Chase Review: 22 JUMP STREET – The Great Bromantic Comedy

Sunday, June 15th, 2014


Cut To The Chase Reviews from COF are spoiler free reviews ‘abridged for your pleasure’. Quick, concise, and sometimes entertaining opinions on the go!


When I reviewed 21 Jump Street I said it was “smart to embrace everything we love and should hate about TV shows and movies”. With 22 Jump Street, it manages to do the same for sequels with Phil Lord and Chris Miller proving to be the best comedy directors working today. There’s even more the bromance to love and over the top action sequences to laugh along with.

It’s because of its good natured humor and subsequent vulgarity that 22 Jump Street outshines the first installment. This movie knows about sequels and does everything it can to point out how cheap and familiar this movie COULD feel; it side steps that pressure with a brilliant self-aware attitude, comedic timing, and a the chemistry from its leads that can’t be matched.

22 Jump Street somehow manages to be more inventive than the first film integrating action and comedy in better ways (albeit more outrageous) and giving a middle finger to a same system it’s in business with.

You should get to know Phil Lord:


+ The end credit sequence
+ Tatum and Hill a winning double act
+ Consistently funny
- Some repetitive jokes

Final Score: 9/10


First Clip, Poster, Teaser and Reviews for FOXCATCHER starring Steve Carell and Channing Tatum are Amazing

Monday, May 19th, 2014


One of my most anticipated movies of 2014 is director Bennett Miller’s (Moneyball) psychological drama Foxcatcher. The film tells the true story of Olympic Wrestling Champion brothers Mark Schultz (Channing Tatum) and Dave Schultz (Mark Ruffalo), and their relationship with eccentric millionaire John du Pont (Steve Carell). The movies premiered at the Cannes Film Festival and the first reviews are nothing short of amazing for the film.

The first clip is below as well showing the astonishing transformation Carell took on for the role, nearly unrecognizable. It’s downright creepy.

The film also stars Sienna Miller, Vanessa Redgrave, and Anthony Michael Hall.

Foxcatcher opens in theaters on November 14th, watch the clip and teaser along with the reviews below:


Book Review: King of the Weeds

Tuesday, May 13th, 2014

King of the Weeds

Mike Hammer is a rough around the edges PI first introduced to the written world by Mickey Spillane in 1947’s I, The Jury. Although he passed away in 2006, a number of Spillane’s unfinished Mike Hammer stories were uncovered and finished with the help of Max Allan Collins. You may recall that I reviewed Lady, Go Die! the 2012 release by the duo on the City of Films. (more…)

Cut To The Chase Review: NEIGHBORS (2014)

Monday, May 12th, 2014


Cut To The Chase Reviews from COF are spoiler free reviews ‘abridged for your pleasure’. Quick, concise, and sometimes entertaining opinions on the go!


It’s a beautiful day in this neighborhood..

The frat-house comedy is movie genre that has stood the test of time and left behind some classic laughs; movies like National Lampoon’s Animal House, Back to School, and Revenge of the Nerds come to many minds instantly. It’s a lot of fun to explore and luckily Neighbors does a great job using an otherwise tired premise.  It not only earns its R-rating with consistent hilarity and new ideas, but it’s also unexpectedly touching at times without losing its cool.  I welcome the self-awareness as well as a plot this absurd deserves to be mocked.

There are big jokes that never overstay their welcome, but sometimes the throwaway jokes are sometimes back-to-back and leave no thread of reason and don’t help the story or characters. It felt like they must of had free time on the set that day so they filmed some extra scenes that ended up in a movie that would have otherwise been 60-minutes.  Still, it’s actually nice to watch a comedy movie under 2-hours these days and reach for new ideas when it should be resolving others (see recent Judd Apatow movies).

It was a good time at the movies, it’s not for the easily offended, and lastly it proves what I’ve been saying a lot on this site – Zac Efron can do more than sing and dance.  He’s not in a “High School Musical” anymore; he’s a college man now.

Final Score: 8/10

+ Consistently funny
+ Zac Efron and Rose Byrne shine
- Scenes from trailer missing (I hate that)
- Felt like back-to-back SNL sketches sometimes


Book Review: The Adjacent by Christopher Priest

Sunday, April 20th, 2014


The Adjacent is the latest work from novelist Christopher Priest; it’s a puzzling and frustrating read that leaves a lot for up to the reader to interpret.  It’s also a great read as it approaches a lot of the themes Priest has worked with in the past.  If you have read The Prestige (or seen the movie adaptation by Christopher Nolan), you can expect the master of misdirection to have you turning pages as fast as you can.  The Adjacent isn’t an easy read, you will have to pay attention to take in and consider the non-linear story.

adjacentTibor Tarent, a freelance photographer, is recalled from Anatolia to an alternative, near future Islamic Republic Great Britain (IRGB) where his wife has been killed by insurgent militia. IRGB is a nation living in the aftermath of a bizarre and terrifying terrorist atrocity – hundreds of thousands were wiped out when a vast triangle of west London was instantly annihilated. The authorities think the terrorist attack and the death of Tarent’s wife are somehow connected. A century earlier, a stage magician is sent to the Western Front on a secret mission to render British reconnaissance aircraft invisible to the enemy. On his journey to the trenches he meets the visionary who believes that this will be the war to end all wars. In 1943, a woman pilot from Poland tells a young RAF technician of her escape from the Nazis, and her desperate need to return home. In the present day, a theoretical physicist stands in his English garden and creates the first adjacency.

We move between three time periods and meet many characters including HG Wells (Priest is Vice-President of the H. G. Wells Society).  I learned about WWII aircraft like the Lancaster Bomber and Spitfire. The transition between periods isn’t obtrusive; it’s structured in such a way that it just clicks for the reader.  Climate change (or global warming some still call it) is depicted wonderfully here in the near-future Great Britain.  Reading about the attack on London and the new Islamic rule is interesting fantasy.

It’s a great story for those who love non-linear novels and alternative dimensions.  Nothing is at it seems, fantasy meets fiction, and everyone you meet and everywhere you go is questioned.  If you can make sense of it all, this is going to entertain you a whole lot.

Read Titan Books’ great interview with author Christopher Priest.

Buy it today!

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