Friday, November 17, 2017

Lady Bird - Review

Interestingly enough, a film that brings to mind the classic coming-of-age films of the past manages to be charming, smart, and pleasantly unique in its own way. The setting nor plot scream originality and yet the film feels out of the ordinary, even special if you will. Lady Bird is the combination of all these elements, or tropes, but manages to spin it in a sharper, yet equally as affable, manner.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Justice League - Review

Have you ever been so innately excited for a film while equally as nervous? Well in this case Justice League fits the bill. With a troubled production, Justice League was wounded before it really left the gate and yet it’s hard to not be eager to see the DC heroes fighting together on screen. And while the course correction that the film takes is in the vicinity of the right direction, being slightly better the Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice isn’t a success.

Friday, November 10, 2017

The Florida Project - Review

As the end of the cinematic year draws closer, the awards season contenders are all starting to emerge like clockwork. Perhaps one of the more promising films with plenty of festival buzz is The Florida Project. The newest film from director Sean Baker finds a very sympathetic approach to telling a moving story, and every second of it is exceptional.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Daddy's Home 2 - Review

Even when an actor has really been off of their game lately, it’s easy to give them the benefit of the doubt when they’ve been great in the past. Will Ferrell is one of those actors, and despite not having a hit in quite a while, it’s easy to forget. It’s not like the first Daddy’s Home was horrendous by any means (there are some truly horrifying comedies lately), but it wasn’t good either. Unfortunately, the sequel isn’t any better.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Murder on the Orient Express - Review

The remake, a Hollywood staple that’s so frequent at this point it might as well be its own genre. Some are worth it, presenting a good idea in a new way that the original messed up, but most of the time it’s a waste of everyone’s time. Murder on the Orient Express is an odd case. It’s a story that’s been told many times and yet the idea of adapting it in a new way never seems like a terrible thought process. And with a stellar ensemble cast and a talented director, this remake may just be a good thing.

Friday, November 3, 2017

The Killing of a Sacred Deer - Review

In a year where the weird has frequented cinemas, perhaps the newest master has stepped up to the plate. Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos returns to outdo himself after last year’s The Lobster with a film that’s equal parts mysteriously tense and beautifully haunting in The Killing of a Sacred Deer. A film that’s overflowing with dread and absurdity in a way that very few films can match.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Thor: Ragnarok - Review

Taika Waititi has directed a Marvel film. That’s really all you should need to know to pull you into Thor: Ragnarok. Though the talent he has shown with his other films is stupendous, now he has the Marvel money machine behind him and a franchise begging for a rebranding. A rebrand that sees the God of Thunder in an epic (and hilarious) adventure the likes of which the MCU has yet to see.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Thank You for Your Service - Review

Just a few years removed from the surprising hit that was American Sniper, writer Jason Hall looks to take on another real-life story. Stepping into the director’s shoes for the first time, Hall looks to remove the war from the war film, focusing in on the soldiers and the perils that follow them to the homefront with Thank You for Your Service.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

The Snowman - Review

In the rare instance an adaptation is truly good, one can usually credit the talent behind and in front of the camera. The Snowman has plenty of that combined with all the elements of a classic murder mystery; a visually enthralling killer, a seemingly impossible case, and a troubled officer attempting to solve it all. But an apparently troubled production leaves much to be desired in this mess of a film.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Happy Death Day - Review

Time has always been a tool for Hollywood to play with, in shots, scores, and narrative. Repeating the same day is not a stranger to film either, frequently featured in various manners of success and failure. In fact, 2017 has already seen one film use the repeated time technique to moderate success in Before I Fall earlier in the year. But to spin this tool into a horror film, a slasher film no less, could provide for some interesting possibilities.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Blade Runner 2049 - Review

Reviving sequels decades after the last film has been a recent trend in Hollywood, to various degrees of success of course. In this instance, the original film is a classic work of sci-fi believed by many to be a masterpiece so whoever were to take over the reins had a tall task. But if anyone were to take Blade Runner 2049 to new heights, it’s the rising director Denis Villeneuve. And what he puts together is nothing short of spectacular.

Friday, September 29, 2017

American Made - Review

Can we collectively agree to retire ‘American’ being used in titles of films? There seems to be at least one every year, or even two this month. While the first (American Assassin) may not have been the best quality, the second looks to deliver on its promising pieces. Uniting Doug Liman and the ever-charming Tom Cruise in a story featuring the CIA, drugs, and Pablo Escobar seems like a winning formula, a proverbial slam dunk if you will. But will the results be favorable in the final product?

Woodshock - Review

Certain directors earn certain expectations for each new film. Even actors get to that point, to a lesser extent. But very rarely does an entire company garner the level of expectations that A24 has garnered over the last several years. Of course, nobody is perfect and even the prestigious can get a little too weird, but will Woodshock fall into the line of successes or become a misstep?

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Battle of the Sexes - Review

Ahhh the sports film. The Hollywood tradition of inspiring stories and underdog tales that are bound to excite just about anyone, regardless of your attachment to the sport itself. If Hollywood can not only show a bit of sports history along with a relevant social justice issue, then you know a director, or directors in this case, will come flocking. Lock up some award caliber leads and you may just have a quality film on your hands.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Kingsman: The Golden Circle - Review

It is without question that the first film, Kingsman: The Secret Service, can be called one of the biggest surprises of the last few years. So, it’s also no surprise that the sequel was met with immense expectations. By bringing back the visionary director, the fun cast, and exhilarating action, Kingsman: The Golden Circle looks to be a worthy continuation of the world the original set up, but does it succeed?

Friday, September 15, 2017

mother! - Review

From the start, mother! Was always going to be a strange film. Give Darren Aronofsky, one of the better auteur directors working today, free reign and you’ll get this weird, psychological and mysterious film that is wholly unique and impossible to describe. So this is a review. I don’t know honestly how to even approach writing any sort of combination of words that can articulate what this film even is, but here goes nothing.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

IT - Review

Another month, another Stephen King adaptation. While the last film (The Dark Tower) looked dead on arrival, IT looked a film headed in the right direction. Gathering a talented group of young actors together was just the start but then throw in a more than capable actor as the titular monster and you’re already setting the wheels in motion for one of the biggest hits the horror genre has had in awhile.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Ingrid Goes West - Review

The digital, social media age is a strange time ripe with material for comedic moments. The satirical comedy that Ingrid Goes West provides is equal parts dark, disturbing, and terribly, hilariously accurate. While the main premise of the film is going for laughs, the clear undertones and deeper meanings represent a subtle horror film masquerading as the newest comedy.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Good Time - Review

With the uptick in Young-Adult novel adaptations during the 21st century, actors and actresses have become bound to those roles in a sense. And while Robert Pattinson’s Twilight co-star Kristen Stewart has made her way out of the YA genre with ease, Good Time feels like Pattinson’s big move. What better way to move back into the limelight than with a grimy, crime thriller from the home run hitting company known as A24?

Friday, August 18, 2017

The Hitman's Bodyguard - Review

The action-comedy isn't really rare nowadays but that doesn't make the good ones easy to find. Pairing two hilarious and likeable leads together is a start though and The Hitman's Bodyguard managed to snatch Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson.

However, the film leans too heavily on these two and the results are an uneven and unbalanced film. Some of the comedy hits but a majority of it is lost in a sea of action cliches.

The Hitman's Bodyguard is another disappointment in the line of disappointments of the Summer of 2017. It's forgettable, overlong, and not worth anyone's time.

For more of my thoughts on The Hitman's Bodyguard visit 614NOW. If not remember to subscribe, share, comment below, and as always  return to I Am Sam for weekly reviews and insight

Logan Lucky - Review

Retirement is a flimsy term in Hollywood. It gets thrown around and then reversed too many times to count. Nevertheless, Steven Soderbergh is technically coming out of retirement for his newest film Logan Lucky, and with any luck he won’t try to go away again anytime soon. Because say what you will about his films as a whole, the man knows how to entertain.

Friday, August 11, 2017

The Glass Castle - Review

There are certain directors that make such an impression that you watch out for any of their upcoming films. Director Destin Daniel Cretton, with Brie Larson no less, was able to craft the criminally underrated Short Term 12, so that immediately made The Glass Castle something to look out for. Unfortunately the same of level of quality isn’t there this time around.

The performances across the board range from solid to great depending on the amount of material given to the actors themselves. But that’s really the only thing that holds this film up at all. The drama isn’t terribly interesting or deep and the family dynamic is pushed a bit hard rather than actually showing the true hard times that they’ve gone through.

For more of my thoughts on The Glass Castle check out my full review on 614NOW and be sure to check back here for weekly reviews and insight. Share, subscribe, comment below, and as always return to I Am Sam Reviews.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Annabelle: Creation - Review

When James Wan introduced the world to Annabelle in 2013’s The Conjuring, few would deny that the doll itself, regardless of the horror stories to come, was creepy in its own right. Which makes the horrendous quality of 2014’s Annabelle film all the more disappointing. But the sequel looks to do better things with this less than pleasant doll, and maybe, just maybe, be a little scary this time.