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Friday, August 26, 2016

Sun Choke Review

What a Choke

Writer/director Ben Crescimen has made a very unusual psychological thriller in his latest film, "Sun Choke." At least that's what I think it is. Crescimen leaves us in the dark through most of it, which can be a very effective strategy. However, other things, like a coherent plot or a clue as to what is driving its central characters need be present if he wants to make it past the "novelty" stage. Neither can be found here and the result is a wandering semi-story that never quite works.


Janie (Sarah Hagan) is a young woman living in a house also occupied by Irma (Barbara Crampton), who is about the age to be a parent of Janie, but their relationship is so unclear for so long that it becomes a bit grating. Janie is at the very least, incredibly hesitant about everything. It's also possible that she is a survivor of a psychotic break. Whatever it is, Irma functions as Janie's caretaker, parent, disciplinarian and psychiatrist and part of the treatment involves keeping Janie a prisoner in the house.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Suicide Squad Review

Almost Squad Goals

"Suicide Squad" isn't the 26-percent on Rotten Tomatoes disaster that you have heard about but it can't help but feel that it's a bit of a letdown. Maybe it was all of the hype surrounding the film that it just couldn't meet. Perhaps, it was the hope that a group of misbegotten antiheros could save a dismal summer at the movies. Either way, greatness eludes "Suicide Squad." Sorry, puddin'.

Director David Ayer had the chance to take the worn superhero genre in a new direction and conceptually does so. Amanda Waller (Viola Davis, always elevating and adding gravitas to every movie she's in) wants to temporarily release a group of imprisoned crazies to fight even crazier crazies. In exchange for a completed mission, they get time off of their sentences.


Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Jason Bourne Review

Bourne, Again... and Again...

Jason Bourne has always been a serious and stoic character, rarely cracking anything that resembles a smile. But in the latest film, "Jason Bourne," he seems much more distant than before. Matt Damon, who returns as the titular character, looks like he longs to be elsewhere. Maybe he stopped making "Bourne" films because he was ready to move past them.

That's the other fundamental flaw with returning director Paul Greengrass' film; why does it exist? Greengrass directed the two sequels ("The Bourne Supremacy" and "The Bourne Ultimatum," Doug Liman directed "The Bourne Identity") but stayed away from the Jeremy Renner headlined "The Bourne Legacy." Most fans of this series cried afoul at the Renner flick, which makes me think "Jason Bourne" is here to eradicate the memory of the spinoff.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Outlaws and Angels Review

Where Are The Angels?



It's an old-style bank robbery in the wild West that begins with the actual robbery, and it's a brutal one. Afterwards, Henry (Chad Michael Murray) leads the gang on their run from the usual hell-bent posse. It's one in a string of robberies by this bunch and it's immediately clear that no one in this gang is going to turn out to be a good guy who is just misunderstood. 


The posse is led by Josiah (Luke Wilson) and on their chase and on their travels they meet people who have fallen victim to the gang as well as some witnesses. Their chase leads them further into the wilderness. Meanwhile, Henry takes his gang of ne'er-do-wells to a remote farm, hoping for some down time to plan their next move.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Bad Moms Review

Moms Just Wanna Have Fun

"Bad Moms" begins with an aerial shot of storybook perfect suburbia. We meet frazzled mom of two, Amy (Mila Kunis), who has spread herself much too thin. She works part-time at a coffee company start-up, where at 32 years old, she is considered ancient. She must be at all extracurricular activities to support her children, attend PTA meetings and do everything around the house because her man-child husband (David Walton) simply can't handle adulthood.


That's what writer-directors Jon Lucas and Scott Moore put forth as our expectations for mothers. They are expected to do everything. Lucas and Moore also want us to know, they like to have a bit of fun, as well. Amy has had enough of being expected to be the perfect mom. She's not a perfect mom - no one is. She kicks her Internet-companion-seeking husband out and is ready to live her life as her own person. She befriends two other moms at school - the timid Kiki (Kristen Bell) and the wild Carla (Kathryn Hahn). They enjoy drinks, midday shopping and movies, and the occasional brunch together. Dammit, enough! They don't have to be perfect.     

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Focal Listen Mobile On-Ear Headphones Review

Designed in France, the Listen has a closed-back design and noise isolation features. Photo: Focal.

Listen Up!

It seems like every speaker company on the planet makes headphones these days. In fact, there are even a few non-speaker companies out there making headphones. It's a crowded space already. Does the world need a new headphone line? French company Focal thinks so, and at $249, their Listen Mobile On-Ear Headphones represent the entry level into a headphone line that tops out at $4,000 a pair. Does that make the Listen 'phones a relative bargain? Read on to find out.

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